Monday, November 29, 2004

Mailing Lists & RSS Feeds

Two good things to share with you from the weekend:

1- the new site made another sale on Saturday :) These first two sales were small dollar amounts, a percentage of the customer's total, but very promising just the same.

2- I set up my "product feed".

The product feed is basically just an RSS feed, using the WordPress platform, but features products and product categories instead of "content". After 3 installations, and several attempts at it, I finally have it set-up and looking the way I want it.

2 main changes I made to the original template are that I made all of the links blue, and removed the commenting feature. There were other modifications, of course - template colors, etc - but those were the two main differences I wanted to point out that I made for this "product feed".

The comment feature on WP just "looked" unattractive on the individual product pages (IMO), and I thought it might be confusing for the Suzy Shopper out there (vs those who are internet savvy and know what it all means).

As for the link colors, standard "link blue" is what most people are used to seeing on a web page, and I didnt want to cause any confusion - or make the links hard to spot. (They tend to blend into the text somewhat in the original WP template)

Don't worry - I didnt work more than 90 minutes on that this weekend... I actually took most of the weekend OFF ;)

My next step with this new site is to integrate the feed into the pages, and to do it in such a way that visitors understand their options for 'subscribing' to the updates. In addition to subscribing to the feed, I'd like for visitors to have a way to sign up via email for those updates.

I was planning to use Bloglet, but their info states that it is for Blogger & MT blogs only. Hmm. Maybe I'll check to see if this will work with WP...

But ahhh - thanks to Google, I just found a WordPress Email Notification Plug-in! Perfect :)

I could easily set up a mailing list through my Aweber account, but honestly - I just want this whole site to run on auto-pilot as much as is possible. I can update the RSS feed and the web pages, and the rest can just run behind the scenes.

Which brings up another thing that has been on my mind - the fact that I created this entire site manually. Yes, I used an 'affiliate feed', but it was static - not dymanic. I know that the merchant offers a "private feed" (outside of what they offered publicly), so I have emailed the affiliate manager and asked for more information on this (hoping it is dynamic and may save me loads of time in the future with site maintenance!).

Okay - that's it for now! Just wanted to let you in on the progress, and share that the 2nd sale was made :) Also, I'm very pleased with how the product feed looks in both FeedDemon and on My Yahoo!. So from here I'll just continue updating the feed, and working on that Link Strategy ;)

Saturday, November 27, 2004

MSN Search

Here's how you find out if your web pages are listed in the new MSN Beta Search:

Apparently they have 23 pages of my newest site indexed in their Beta Search Engine.

But if you just go to and do a search - it's nowhere to be found. When do they plan to offer their new search results there at the main site?

While I was there, I noticed that MSN has a "My MSN" page - like "My Yahoo". However, I didnt find an option to add RSS Feeds like you have with My Yahoo, though they are displaying Feeds from pre-selected sources (mostly news & official sites), so I assume they will add that option at some point.

It does show me the "Top Movers" and "Popular Searches" for MSN, though - which was interesting. But the search box on that page is not using their Beta search either - it's showing the same results as the main page (

Any news as to when they will make the switch?

RSS Brainstorming

The more I learn about RSS, the more excited I get. There is A LOT of potential, and a lot of room to really be creative with it.

I was just reading up on template modifications - and it seems you can easily integrate either WordPress or Moveable Type into a current site template. I like the fact that you can import posts from Blogger into MT, too - which makes for an easy transition. (If you can do this with WP, I havent figured out how yet) Here is the documentation I was looking at:

I was also reading over Robin Good's RSS Top55 guide and decided to buy the "premium version" of his guide. It does have even more resources, and is very well categorized, but the main reason I chose to spend the 5 bucks was for a version that would print nicely. I added this to the RSS binder that I have been slowly putting together with information I've found around the web in the last couple of months.

I think one of the best resources I have come across lately was Feed-for-All, which I found while reading Paul Short's course (RSS Exposed). FFA allows you to manually create feeds, which you can then run through RSS Digest's free web-based tool ( to display these feeds in various places throughout your website.

An article database, for example, could easily be categorized and then appropriate listings could be placed on pages with similar content. Or archives of newsletter issues. Or, I could use the feed from my Discussion Forum... create a feed for each topical category, and then place the feed on relevant pages of my website. Like topics from the eBay category on my web pages that discuss eBay. And topics from my Affiliate Marketing category on any web pages on that same topic.

Those are just examples of looping your own content back into your own web pages - more for your visitors sake, and to really create a comprehensive content-based website. But there are also SEO advantages... as you are creating inbound links to various pages from relevant pages, with keyword-rich anchor text.

Having this content syndicated, or gaining a solid readership to these topic-specific feeds, would also be very beneficial for any website.

This seems to be what most people (who are the least bit interested in RSS) are thinking - ways to syndicate content, ways to pull in fresh content, ways to increase exposure & readership for your content... but you dont hear much about using RSS with a product-based website, or "product feeds". However, this is an area that has really caught my interest!

Let's just use Gaming as an example. My son (Zack, 13yo) is really into the latest games - playstation 2, Xbox, computer games, etc. So a Feed that came out with the latest games, game consoles, accessories, upgrades, tips & cheats, etc, etc, etc - would be something he would subscribe to and probably read on a daily basis!

Imagine how useful this would be, versus email - or having to check back on a bookmarked site frequently. You would be the FIRST to know about the latest thing out.

I'm sure you can imagine other scenarios - either from a user's perspective, or as a merchant yourself.

As I've said before, the only limit to the potential with RSS is our own creativity ;)

Friday, November 26, 2004

Sell A Website!

Got a spare website lying around? Turn it into cash - quick! See this note from

Happy Holidays To All Text Link Ads Newsletter Subscribers!

We are looking to purchase your website just in time for some extra Holiday money for you! If you are interested in selling your website here are the requirements:

-Your site must have a minimum PageRank of 4.
-Your site must not contain adult material.

The process for selling your website is simple.

1. Email us back at with the exact website urls you are interested in selling.

2. We will email you back a quote.

3. If the price is acceptable we will send you half the money upfront along with a request for domain transfer. Once the domain is transferred we will pay the remaining balance that same day. We can pay you via paypal or overnight you a check.

Please note that our payouts for purchasing your website range from $400.00 to $1,500.00 and if your website is not in this range please do not email us back at this time.

Thanks again and have a great Holiday season!

Patrick Gavin President Text Link Ads Inc.

Contact Information
phone: (877) 480-9755

Season of Giving

Here in the States, the Christmas season has officially started. Today, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is "the biggest shopping day of the year"... and from here on out it will be wreaths, bows and candy canes all the way.

Everyone is in the mood to give and to share, and this time of year is filled with lots of smiles and surprises. People show their appreciation openly with hugs and even gifts in return.

This is a special time - and one I'm sure we all truly enjoy - but it really makes me think about "giving" and the other 11 months out of the year... In fact, this has been heavy on my mind for a while now, well before the holiday season began.

Giving is usually always mutually beneficial. The "giver" generally gets something out of the transaction, whether it be as simple as self-gratification in having done something 'good'... or a situation where there is give and take on both ends.

When a transaction is not well-balanced, it generally isnt repeated... or the situation doesnt last very long. Right? Relationships are a good example, as are business partnerships.

In business - and especially here on the internet - it's very easy to get caught up in giving too much of yourself. Your time, your resources, etc. Now don't get me wrong, giving is not all bad. In fact, in a lot of ways it's very, very good.

But - How much do you help someone before you feel like giving up because they arent willing to help themselves?

How much do you give, before it starts taking away from you to the point that it's no fun to give anymore?

These are questions I've been asking myself lately. I'm really looking closely at 'unbalanced relationships' in my life - and specifically in my business. We all know that time is a very valuable commodity, and it has become even more valuable to me lately than ever.

After all, this is my LIFE, not just my business.

So yes, I think I'll be making some changes. Gradual, of course, and probably not until after the first of the year. I say changes because, well - quite frankly, I'm not very balanced in this matter, myself.

You've got givers, and you've got takers - each on opposite ends of the scale. Those that give, give and give to their own demise. And those that stand around to take, take, take everything they can get their hands on.

But the more balanced types are the ones that engage in mutually beneficial transactions - in everything that they do. And this is the way we should all be.

I'm very guilty of being over on the giving end. I've learned over the years that this doesnt work with my two children, and have adopted the "if, then" strategy: "If you clean your room, then we'll go to the park". It's worked very well for us.

So... it's time for me to adopt a similar strategy in business. For starters, to say "No" to things I really dont want to do, or dont have time to do... and then to also work on balancing out those relationships that are not resulting in a fair trade - of time, attention, money... you name it.

This certainly wasnt meant to seem 'harsh'... and if you're reading this and thinking that I may be referring to you, you're probably wrong. The few people I've gone out of my way to work with, that havent seemed interested in helping themselves (or working, it seems) - are not keeping up with my blog, or reading along to pick up tips - - if they even know I have a blog at all ;)

I've slowly been making changes over the past year to this effect... dropping clients that call on a Sunday morning or during dinner hours - repetitively, with no respect for my work schedule. Putting less time in with people who continuously email for advice on different business strategies, but never implement them... and then move on to another idea they would like feedback on.

But at the same time - putting in more time with those who are genuinely using what I give them to move towards their goals and to build on their business. Honestly, there is nothing better than helping someone succeed - it's an awesome feeling!

So, really - just some 'thinking out loud' here as I make these observations and determine the best course of action. Again, this is my LIFE... not just my business.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

My First Sale!!

An update on my new website: I made my first sale yesterday!

This is a product-based affiliate site, 100+ pages and growing, that I am promoting specifically via SEO & RSS. No, I havent shared the link with anyone - and for a reason. I'm planning to keep this one "under my hat" for awhile as I do some testing and work on some personal case studies... which I will more than likely reveal at some point in 2005 ;)

So far, 46 pages of the site have been indexed by Google - and still no sign of it in Yahoo or MSN. I'm working on that, though *grin* - so I should have something new to report there by next week.

Anyway, as this site is brand new, there is not a lot of traffic just yet. So making the first sale this early on was really surprising - but very exciting! I look forward to taking this site to the next level, and reporting even more positive results to you very soon!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Morning After...

I'm on my 2nd cup of coffee this morning, and my mind is really buzzing.

Last night's Teleconference was great! I interviewed Paul Short, author of RSS Exposed, on the topic of Blogging & RSS - and specifically, how we can use this technology in our online marketing plans. Paul was really terrific... very thorough, full of tips & resources and really open to brainstorming and addressing everyone's questions.

I picked up a couple of gems, myself - both through is RSS Course and during the Teleconference last night - and then I ran across a very interesting website this morning (thanks to one of the Members at TIID) that really got my attention! This site was utilizing RSS in a BIG way - probably one of the *best* examples I've ever personally seen - - and all product based.

Considering I am working on a "product feed" for my newest site, this was like hitting a goldmine for me! That example, plus what I learned last night, really helped me to get a better idea of how I want to develop my own RSS Feed... and what kind of results to expect.

Really - I'm just blown away by the possibilities!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Monday again! My favorite :)

Ahh - Monday again! My favorite :)

This day started off pretty normal... up at 7am (oops, a little bit late!), kids off to school, enjoyed a coffee while I checked my email, went over the stats from the weekend, etc.

Nothing exciting to report about the new site - still 42 pages indexed by Google, and no word yet from Yahoo or MSN. I have a lot of plans for that site this week, though, and plan to tweak my strategy a bit over the next couple of days.

It really seems odd to me that Thanksgiving is this week for those of us here in the States. I'm sitting here in my office with the window open, and while the leaves are falling out there - it's a beautiful sunny day. Usually I am really geared up for Thanksgiving, but this year it just hasnt hit me at all. In fact, I could just skip it altogether and go straight for Christmas :)

Speaking of which, it's just a few weeks away! Less than 5, to be exact. WOW. And of course the end of the year follows shortly after...

Making it through the next month or so and reaching all of my goals starts RIGHT NOW, though... so I'd better get to work! I am VERY excited about the way that this year is ending, and about kicking off 2005 on the right foot ;)

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Google Wins!

This has been an exciting week as I launched my new website and waited patiently (um... yeah) for the major search engines to spider and index the pages. I watched Yahoo, Google and MSN daily to see which of the three would index it first.

This morning I woke up to find 42 of the web pages indexed in Google!!

No site of them in Yahoo or MSN yet, but it's just a matter of time now. I launched the website less than a week ago - 5 days ago, to be exact - so it's still a little soon to expect much.

I am committed to working on this website every single day: a new web page added, content added to current pages, seeking out new link partners, researching complimentary affiliate programs, etc. So far, so good - it only takes a few minutes to set up another link exchange or get the site listed in a topical directory...

What a great way to start the morning!! Okay - I'm off to catch up on email, finish up my projects for the week... and then hopefully I'll have some time left to work on my own sites :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

RSS Exposed - It's Finally Here!

I feel like a kid at Christmas :)

I finally have it in my hands! I've been waiting for weeks and weeks to get all of this information together... and today, Paul Short launched RSS Exposed!

I got up at the crack of dawn this morning, brushed my teeth, threw a sweater on over my pajamas and put my hair up... and then rushed in to check my email...

And there it was!

Why am I SO excited over an "RSS course"? Well, for one I'm a major geek and a huge fan of Paul Short's - but the real reason is because I am really excited about the potential of RSS as a marketing tool, and am looking at some serious profit potential with the feeds I am currently testing!

That's right: Cha'Ching!

RSS means more traffic, more exposure, more sales - all of it ;)

I'm off to finish reading the course - and start tweaking my feeds. And I'll be making notes along the way, because I talked Paul into joining me for a Teleconference on Monday night... and I plan to GRILL him on all of the details ;)

(If you'd like details on that teleconference, you'll need to subscribe to my newsletter over to the right - you can read the last issue here).

Monday, November 15, 2004


I'm so pumped about tomorrow, I bet I barely sleep tonight!!

I'll tell you all about it in the morning! Gotta go try to get some rest, because I plan to be up before the sun rises ;)

Back to Work!

After a nice, relaxing weekend it's time to get back to work! Monday's are always my favorite because it's an opportunity to start over with a clean slate - a whole new week to look forward to!

I had a really nice weekend hanging out here at the house with my family. We played Literati across the network, ordered pizza, watched movies - and basically just hung out in our pajamas for two straight days :)

I also had an opportunity to work on my new site, and was able to get it ready enough to go live. There are still a few sections I want to add, but it's pretty much good to go at this point. Last night before I signed off, I set up a couple of links and installed a blog - then pinged the announcement to the world. Now it's just a matter of days before the site is crawled & indexed. I'm watching the three major search engines anxiously - waiting to find out who picks it up first!

But this morning - it's back to work for me... and it looks like its going to be another great week. Plenty to do, lots of projects to finish up, and exciting things keep popping into my Inbox - - so, I'm off!

Happy Monday ;)

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Old News

Well, as if yesterday's news wasnt enough, I found out this weekend that Barbie & Ken split up. I guess I'm probably the last one to know this. A quick search returned this brief on

This is just devastating.

Barbie was supposed to be a 'happy' thing.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Single Work at Home Moms

I am just completely blown away. I dont think I've ever sat and cried over someone else's situation, before... but this came as a real shock.

I found out today that Chris & Rae are splitting up... as are Alice & Zack. Rae and Alice are two women that I consider very good friends - even though they may not realize just how much I admire and respect them, what with my somewhat reclusive ways and all.

I met Rae in Vegas last Spring, and roomed with Alice at a conference in Chicago just this past June... and I would have never suspected their marriages would fall apart within the year. Not in a million years.

At first it was just that my eyes teared up as I was reading through their blog entries... but I finally broke down and just cried. It feels so sad, and it breaks my heart.

I know they are doing what is right for them. I know that only they know what goes on behind their walls, and how they really feel. And I know that both of these women are very strong and very capable.

But still... I'm feeling very sad over it all.

Maybe I'm just thinking back on my own situation, having been divorced for 5 years myself now. I never saw it coming - I was the one that was shocked, and that dealt with a loss that I had no choice about.

And yes, I did fine - and am a very happy woman despite all of the things that I went through back then. And I truly enjoy my lifestyle, and working from home, and the wonderful bond that I have with my two children.

But there were times that it was hard. Like when my son became very ill and I stayed up night after night with him - and then worked all day, too - with nobody to relieve me... or even a shoulder to cry on about it. Or the time that I got a flat tire in the middle of nowhere with two young kids in the car. Or...

Oh. I could go on and on. Life is full of good days and bad days, whether you are alone or not. Life is a series of phases. Good and bad. We all get by. Some better than others.

I'm glad it's all behind me now... and I honestly dont have any regrets. I guess I'm just still in shock from the news... and it has brought up a lot of old memories for me. Like the time that Ken and I decided to split up the photos between us, and we sat down together to go through them and both cried our eyes out. We just gave up on the pictures. Or the time that I needed the plumbing worked on in the cabin, so I let him and his girlfriend (ack!) stay there for the weekend in exchange for the work....

Well, whatever you do, DONT watch "The Story of Us" with Michelle Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis. I made that mistake, myself. *sigh*

Lots of love and support and encouragement to you both!! I care about you both way more than I ever let you know. Thanks for always being there for me - and dont hesitate to call on me if you need a friend to talk to... anytime.

Research + Effort = Reward

It's Saturday morning and I am knee-deep in Keyword Research. My mind is buzzing, and I'm going through the notebook I've compiled for the new site that I am working on. It's a simple black 3-ring binder, with print-outs of each keyword list neatly punched and inserted in the order that I am working on the site's categories.

Every new list sparks even more ideas for expanding the site - adding categories, re-categorizing certain areas, etc. With a highlighter, a calculator and my homemade keyword book... the numbers are coming together to reveal the income potential that this site has.

Only time - and tracking & tweaking - will tell, though. One thing that really amazes me is the lack of competition in the major search engines. There are plenty of Adwords ads on most of the search terms - - which is a PLUS considering that I am also using Adsense on this website - but the actual SERPs are not very competitive at all.

My guess would be because not many people are willing to take the time to put together such a website - it's much easier to just throw an Adwords campaign up and let it run, right? So my biggest competitive advantage is that I'm willing to work. And to be honest with you, there has been a lot of work involved with this project. And much more to be done.

But this will be one that pays off for a long time to come - year round, passively. Definitely worth the time involved up-front ;)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Motivation & Multi-Tasking

Earlier this week Andre and I were passing emails back and forth. We both happened to be knee-deep in Keyword Research, and I mentioned that I was working on several sites at once. So it went:

Andre: "I don't know how you multitask like that!"

Me: "Yes - and I'm blogging, pinging, emailing, reviewing courses & studying new material... and doing laundry, too!" (LOL)

Andre: "GOD! You ARE good! Would you mind PLEASE PLEASE sending me some of the "super-juice" you're taking -- it's got to be something strong! ;)"

Me: "LOL!! It's called MOTIVATION :D
I am so pumped, I can hardly sit still!"

Andre: "OK smarty-pants, where do you buy this MOTIVATION from, and in what dosage is it best taken? Obviously NOT on an empty stomach?!"

LOL - Andre's a funny guy :p

Seriously, though - If I could bottle this stuff up, I'd be one rich woman!! (Ya think??)

It's been a great week! I've made serious progress on a lot of projects, and even plan to go live with my newest site this weekend. It's not even indexed in any of the search engines, so it will be a clean slate from which to track and test various theories. I'm looking forward to that!

Oh - and about the "Motivation & Multi-tasking" thing... the motivation part just comes natural. As for the multi-tasking -- my secret there is that I use a "timer". If I'm working on three projects at once, I'll set the timer for 15 minutes and work on one. Then reset it and work on the other. Then set it again and work on the 3rd. And by the end of the day I've accomplished three major tasks!

This works for me when they're all three equally important - but big enough projects to make them seem like daunting tasks to sit down and accomplish all at once. It's my secret for getting through the "work" part of my work ;)

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

7 1/2 Weeks to go!

It's hard to believe that the end of the year is approaching so quickly. Less than eight weeks left to accomplish everything on that list... and two major holidays to enjoy, too.

Speaking of the holidays, I already have my Christmas list made out - and it was really easy this year! I'll be doing a little shopping online, and one quick trip to Wal-Mart. Nice & easy :) Expensive, but easy :p

Last year I didnt manage to get my Christmas cards sent at all... but this year I am committed to getting them out. It's something I really enjoy - and I know everyone likes to receive them. It would be a good idea to shop for them and finish up my list as soon as possible - - as they really need to go out in about three weeks... (making note to self).

Are you thinking along those lines, too... or has it not hit you yet? If not, it will any day now! And it will hit everyone else, too -- in the States, at least.

Which brings me back around to business, and the rush to finish up all of my projects that are targeting the holiday season... and to accomplish all of the things I committed to putting into motion this year.

So far, 2004 has been an exceptionally good year - in a lot of ways. But I do still have several projects that I want to get under way, and many things I want to complete or take to the next level - - before the end of the year arrives.

And it's approaching at light speed, it seems!

So here we go... The race to the finish: Just over 7 weeks and counting...

I refuse to disappoint myself.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Incredible Results!!

I consider my mailing list to be a fairly responsive group (and a fun one, at that) - but these latest results just blew me away! Though... I dont recommend you try this method with your own list. *blush* - Let me explain:

Over the weekend I was reading up on RSS and other interesting marketing strategies, and also tweaking my sites and such. I have been very interested in RSS, and 'feeds' in general, lately and have been testing out some of my theories behind the scenes.

Anyway, I remembered that Aweber has RSS capabilities. Aweber is my mailing list manager - but honestly, it does *way* more than just that. You can host multiple newsletters and autoresponder series - it has full stats including click-through rates and open rates - and you can choose to publish your emails in a web-based HTML archive OR as an RSS Feed.

I always wondered what would happen if I checked that little box that says "publish in HTML or RSS" at the end of the composition screen. So - without reading the documentation first - I created a test message by typing in "RSS Test", checking that little box... and submitted it.

Nothing happened. Hmm. I poked around a little bit more, checked out the documentation - went here, did this, did that, checked my email - WHOA!

Um, apparently my little "RSS Test" went out to my entire mailing list (OOPS). And in my Inbox - a FLOOD of replies! *LOL*

Fortunately, most of them could relate to my mistake, or thought it was funny - - or were interested in learning more about RSS themselves. All in all, it made for some interesting correspondence over the weekend :-)

And yes - I have it figured out now. The whole RSS thing, that is. And it is MUCH simpler than I figured it would be.

My tip for the day: If you have a file named "readme" - Read It! :-)

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Content Writing & Pre-Selling

This is perfect for bloggers, writers, newsletter publishers & webmasters!

Make Your Content PREsell!

This is a brand new guide by Ken Evoy that just came out today! It shows you, step by step, clearly...

1) how to write to COMMUNICATE

2) how to develop your own "voice" with flair and substance

3) how to spin your site/biz/SELF into a unique position

4) how to HONESTLY convince people to trust and like you.

... and - it's only $10 !!


I'm off to order my copy!

I had to come back and add to this post... and tell you that Ken's guide is a whopping 159 PAGES! I was pleasantly surprised once I downloaded my copy, as it's very detailed and a terrific read! Definitely worth the ten bucks ;)

3-Site Project

I'm having a hard time finding a starting point this morning. Probably because I slept in and havent had my coffee yet :p

I have the three domains to develop and prepare to go live by Monday, so I think that's what I'll work on this morning. All of them in varying stages of completion. I'm really pushing myself on this project because I'm anxious to see the results of each individual site!

The first will be easy. The domain is already pointed, hosting set up and WordPress installed. All I lack is the template modifications and then the content. The domain is and while I had originally planned to move this blog over and transfer it to WordPress, I have changed my mind and will be using that site/domain for another purpose (at least temporarily while I test out some theories). I chose a simple template, so I think I'll work on this first, because it would be nice to get one entire site out of this 3-site project *completed*.

Also, while I'm thinking about it, I'm going to log into my registrar and point the other two domain names to my host - and set up those sub-hosting accounts. That way they'll be ready to go and I can just work on content.

Done - and the coffee's on, too ;)

On site #2, all I lack is finishing up the sales letter. I made great progress on it yesterday, so there's no reason why I shouldnt have that one up by first thing Monday morning either. This one is a one-page site, a sales-letter, that promotes an affiliate product and links directly to check-out. It completely bypasses the merchants website.

The reason that I am doing this is because I dont like the merchants website, but I LOVE the product... and I also want to test my copywriting skills. I have had relatively no success promoting this product with a direct affiliate link, but I feel confident that this will make the difference.

The 3rd site for this project is the one that my son and I are working on together. It is an affiliate site, completely product-driven, and all of the content is provided by the merchant. Zack is pulling the content and creating each of the pages for the various categories, and I am going in behind him to work on the formatting and optimization. This one is a bit more time consuming, but I think we can get through it all in the next couple of days. A lot of potential there!

The more I write, the more motivated I get - - coffee in hand -- and finding a starting point isnt even an issue anymore ;) I have the template for open and ready to work on, so I'm going to log off and get to work.

Oh - and I got two packages in the mail this morning. I love packages :) One was from Mike Litman, the other from Total Life Success. Mike sent me the Power of Concentration and it looks like awesome material! Mark - from TLS - sent my award and prizes from winning the Best of Success Award. One of those prizes was a digital camera, and there are several other really cool things in the box too :)

All in all - looks like it's going to be another great day!!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Quittin' Time!

Every Friday we take a little road trip - just an hour or so round trip to take my daughter to meet her Father so that she can spend some time with him for the weekend.

Grandmother goes along, of course, and she really enjoys the ride. A few months ago I was flipping through the radio stations on the way home and caught them playing the National Anthem on a local country radio station. My grandmother immediately put her hand over her heart and sang along.

It was sweet - real sweet.

So I've gotten in the habit of hitting this station at 5 o'clock every Friday on the drive home - but they actually do a lot more than just play the National Anthem. They go through this whole Quittin' Time! routine that starts with them playing Rocky Top (yes, complete with the banjos and all!). This happens to be the Tennessee State Song (oh my) so anyway - Grandmother really likes this one too (lol) - foot tappin' the whole way.

They blow the whistle, and carry on - it's really a riot! So this has become our little routine on the way home every Friday and I always get a big kick out of it. It's hilarious!!

And, too, it's a great little reminder - celebration, if you will - that I'm FREE. I am one of the very few on the road at that hour that ISN'T trying to get home from "work" :)

Speaking of Tennessee, you have GOT to take a look at this. It's a quick little video, and you're gonna love it (hehe):

For RealPlayer, click here

For Windows Media Player, click here

Have a great weekend!!

Pick My Brain

Got a question?

ANY question!

Click the comment button and fire away ;)

Progress Feels GOOD!

After yesterday's post, I felt particularly motivated! I put together a very quick & simple template for the new website that my son and I are working on. With that done, it's just a matter of finishing the content pages and putting it online - which I hope to do by Monday! Even if it's not complete, it can easily be a work-as-we-go type of project ;)

I also made a lot of progress with the one page sales-letter website that I mentioned, and plan to have it online and ready to go by Monday as well. All I need to do for both is set up the hosting under my main account, and point the domains... which I think I'll do today just to make sure they are both ready to go live by Monday morning ;)

The third domain that I am developing is already pointed to the account that I set up for it. This is what I LOVE about my hosting account with ThirdSphere - it houses all of my domains and websites, making everything very easy to manage from one all-inclusive control panel!

This third site that I am working on is NOT an affiliate-based website, while the first two that I mentioned are. Instead, this one will be used for content syndication and as a source for traffic and exposure to all of my websites.

I made A LOT of progress on these projects last night - in a very short amount of time - which felt GOOD!

Today it's been back to work for my clients - site updates, programming, etc... with a quick break to send a report out to my faithful subscribers. I included an audio clip in the report, too - which was fun.

I have to admit, it's really hard to critique your own audio (you know how odd it is listening to your own voice!). Also, finding any amount of "quiet time" to record is nearly impossible around here... so I just went with it on a whim and decided to put it out there. Who knows, maybe it'll at least give someone a good laugh ;)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Rolling Right Along...

Everything is rolling right along real nicely. New opportunities, inspiring conversations, much-needed downtime, serious organization, exciting progress, little ventures on the side... and work has been downright FUN lately!

The whole email fix was PERFECT. You wouldnt believe the difference - not only in how it all looks, but even in how I *feel* when I open my email program. What a relief! And I actually use my Inbox as a task organizer so it has really helped in productivity, too ;)

I registered a new domain name this week for a site I hope to launch within the next week - yes, a rush! I'm also working on another "mini site", which is a one-pager. Almost done, and really need to get that one up quick, too. I'm also very close to uploading the new template for my sswt site - - just lack some content, but really need to put a rush on this one, as well.

In addition to that I'm finishing up some client projects, looking into some really cool content syndication options, setting up some great JV's, tweaking my PPC Campaigns... and have about 342 other ideas & projects brewing!

Busy week? Um - yeah!

But definitely a good one ;)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Easy Inbound Links

There was a topic recently over at Duncan Carver's Online Marketing Today Forum titled Finding Link Partners. Phil said (and I thought this was funny!), "Like many of us, I find contacting zillions of site owners to request link exchanges to be lethally boring work. I start daydreaming about a job at Walmart whenever I try to do this..."


Awhile back I made the comment that blogs are easier to promote than websites. Here's some proof for you:

Yahoo Search for backward links: shows 312 backward links for my blog.

312 backward links - and only having had this blog online around 90 days! And NONE of those links were solicited... they all occurred on their own ;)

Backward links - or inbound links - are very important to your SEO strategy. The more links you have pointing to your web pages, the higher you will rank in the search engines. There are a lot of variables -but the goal is to get as many inbound links as possible.

I use Yahoo to monitor the number of inbound (or backward) links to any given page because it is much more accurate than Google for this purpose. Google only shows 19 for the same URL. Go figure!

People will link to Blogs - or information, aka CONTENT - faster than any other type of web page. It's linking at it's best - the way it was intended. People link to your page because they like what you have to say, or have a reason to share it with others. No requests, bribes or exchanges... just pure linking.

If you had a brand new website, how many people do you think would link to it in the first 90 days without direct solicitation or the promise of an exchange? Over 300? Not likely! ;)

So there you have it. If you're not already doing it - Start Blogging. It's free, it's easy and it just makes sense! And if you already have your own blog... Write, write, write!!!

And here are a couple more great links for you before I sign off today:

Free: Affiliate Marketing Pocket Guide

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day

I've avoided talking about politics, altogether... but I couldn't resist sharing this email from Mike Litman!

If you want to get in his loop, go to ;)


Hey Lynn!

Yes, it's Election Day in the US and I'm not going to say something 'cheesy' to you like "Elect yourself" or "Vote yourself in", but I do want to share something important with you.

In fact, it’s very important.

Let's start here.

We're going to put aside the faults of both major candidates and talk about something more important.

Let me pose this question to you.

"What are the success habits that make up a great politician and what can we learn from them?"

I'll list a few.

Decisiveness - It's so important to have a leader who makes good decisions.

Ignore the critics - Whoever wins today will have 50% of the country dislike them.

Outcome Driven - Both candidates are crystal clear about what their goal is.

Teamwork - Each campaign has thousands and thousands of people all working together.

Belief - Each candidate believes in themselves.

Paying the Price/Whatever it takes - Each candidate yesterday made 5+ stops around the country to campaign. They both 'see a deadline' and will do everything in their power to finish strong.

Sacrifice - Both candidates have given up a ton, time with friends, family, etc...over the last year.

Persistence - When polls were against each candidate it would have been so easy for them to 'get down' on themselves, but they didn't and they persisted.

Small Victories = Big Results - Every vote is important. Both candidates understand that you win an election one vote at a time.


Success isn't rocket science. I was a C- student when I graduated college in 1995.

Read the success habits again above.

Do you realize what you need to do right now?


You need to take on at least ONE of the success habits above or choose your own habit and START 'BEING IT' today.

YOU need to START being a LEADER in your own life.


Talk to you soon.

Mike Litman

P.S. You'll quickly and easily develop the success habits you need to succeed when you grab 'The Power of Concentration Success System'.

Because clients of ours are telling me I'm "giving the product away" at this cost, I'll be raising the price of it soon, so I'd grab it now at the introductory cost if I was you. Click here now:

It's Easy - Just Work Harder!

Wow - Rosalind really stepped up with this week's newsletter! You may remember from a few posts back that I had stopped reading her Net Profits Coach emails - mainly because they changed from *great* content to nothing but promotions for the next best thing out. Looks like she's back on track now, though - check out her latest issue:


Hello Lynn!

An army of ghouls, witches and ghosts are 'goblin' up the treats I shelled out on Sunday night.

Of about 100 trick-or-treaters, only a handful wore original costumes that required some imagination, time and effort to assemble.

Did I acknowledge those few and give them bonus treats?

Heck ya!

That's life... bigger effort, bigger rewards.

It reminded me of what John Reese mentioned several times during our teleseminar last week - that although everyone wants to make it big online, very few do the necessary work.

Indeed, a question asked during the teleseminar was:
"When it comes to affiliate marketing, most Gurus are talking about the same set of "tricks of the trade", if you will! What would be ONE new and effective piece of info/tip can you give?"

Almost everyone keeps looking for the proverbial 'secret'!

OK, I'll tell you the secret...

...there is no secret.

John Reese, Holly Cotter, Stephen Pierce, Jim Edwards, Yanik Silver, myself and all the other so-called 'gurus' regularly spill our guts sharing everything we know about our specific areas of Internet marketing.

That's all we can do.

The equation is simple....
Knowledge + Action = Success

I'm happy to share my knowledge, and anyone who wants to succeed with affiliate marketing needs to act on what they've learned.

Most people 'get it'.

Unfortunately, those who don't often try to shift responsibility, disparaging the information we offer as 'snake oil'.

Besides basic common sense, the latter fail to realize a few things.

Each and every successful Internet marketer started out selling something OTHER than Internet marketing information and tools.

Each and every successful Internet marketer who wrote a book about their experience did so with a desire to share their good fortune with others.

Trust me, writing a book is hard work. Certainly more difficult than building more sites. It also would have kept some of the copycats at bay.

Each and every successful Internet marketer who wrote a book about their experience to teach others to do likewise, has a score of success stories from readers who put their knowledge into action.

Some of my students are netting 10, 20 G's per month and MORE. Those are the ones I know about. Others prefer to keep their profitable niches quiet, and I can't blame them.

All who condemn also fail to DO a few things... like follow instructions... or give their project a fair shake.

For example, webmasters who link directly to merchants from Google Adwords frequently share their lack-of-sales frustration with me.

I dunno. I can't figure that one out at all...

I've only said about a hundred times that you must have a web site a follow-up autoresponder series to really succeed online as an affiliate marketer.

God, now I sound like my mother.

Anyway, I'm sure that YOU get the point, where others do not.

Speaking of sharing knowledge, I learned that it literally pays to read your email.

A couple months ago, my income from one of the affiliate networks dropped by half. I was slightly bummed by this turn of events, but altogether too busy with moving and summer houseguests to dig into the cause. (Yet another good reason to diversify your streams of income so you won't be more than 'slightly bummed' when earnings in any one program decreases substantially.)

Anyway, I finally checked things out two weeks ago. I found out that the merchant had changed their terms of agreement, and all I had to do was read and agree to them. Once I clicked 'Submit', my links started producing again within minutes. So, read your email OK?

Here's another tip.

Halloween is the second-biggest decorating holiday next to the winter holidays. According to the National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2004 Halloween survey, 61.8 percent of consumers said they planned to decorate their homes and yards with spooky themes...and spending is growing every year.

If you start working today, you'll have a Halloween site ready in ample time to profit well in advance of next October 31st.

Stock it with costumes, masks, makeup, props, prosthetics, party goods, lights, books, CD's, games, wigs, pumpkin carving kits and a hundred other spooky things.

It'll be a boo-tiful thing.

Enough. DO something this week, and make your mother proud.

Yikes... one more thing for my friends in the States. Please vote. Your vote could change the world.


Rosalind Gardner is the Best-Selling Author of the "The Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made 436,797 Last Year Selling Other People's Stuff Online"

P.S. Here are a few words listeners used to describe the Affiliate Marketing webinar - "over-deliver, right on target, excellent, generous information, enthusiasm, great tips, great strategies, fantastic ideas, held nothing back, thanks, thanks, thanks!..."

Good news, even if you missed our 2-part live webinar, you can still get the MP3 audio recordings and transcript at:

o Copyright & Subscription Info

(C) 2004 WebVista, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Tell your friends to get the 'Net Profits Coach'at:


Rosalind touches on one of the really good points that was made at last week's Affiliate Marketing Seminar, which was: "Just work harder. 99% of the people online that want to make money don't want to do any work." That was a comment made by John Reese after Jason Potash passed on the questions, "How can I possibly compete?" and "How do you differentiate yourself?"

This was a great point. It IS easy to out-do the majority and land yourself in the top percentile of any industry online... simply by *working* and being even slightly creative - or different.

Let's take SEO as an example. You choose your keywords (after extensive research, of course), but when you check the SERPs (search engine results pages) you notice there are already A LOT of websites listed for that term or phrase. At first glance, most people will give up - considering it 'too competitive'.

The truth is, the majority of website owners don't even know how to properly optimize their websites. And of the people that do... the majority of them will not take the time and put in the effort to achieve the best results. This cuts your REAL competition down to a VERY small number ;)

Remember that - anytime you get discouraged over so-called competition - and set out to do more and to do better! It's actually pretty easy, because most people don't want to do anything at all!

Monday, November 01, 2004

The Overwhelming Untamed Inbox!

I've been having a problem lately... and it's really messing with my overall productivity. It's my Inbox - my insanely overwhelming untamed Inbox!

So I was talking with a friend today - Joshua Zuchter - and we worked through it together until we came up with a good solid solution. Not just a "help me get through the current chaos" solution, but one that will work for me long term.

I have to say, Joshua is amazing. Every time that we talk, I end up making impressive progress on a project or walk away with the perfect fix to a problem that I am having. It always makes my day to hear from him!

The main problem is that I cannot keep up with the volume of email coming in. For example, right now I have 767 emails in my Inbox. These have already been filtered, so there is no junk or spam in there... all correspondence that requires my attention. I have taken all of the steps to stop spam, organize messages and filter incoming email - and I *still* sit here completely overwhelmed!

On a good day, I can generally get through about 150 messages. Most of these require some type of action on my part - update a clients website, answer a question, check out a new resource or opportunity, etc. So getting through 100+ is an accomplishment. However, when I go to sleep and then come back the next morning... there are almost 100 new messages there!

It's a neverending cycle, and I just cannot seem to get on top of it.

In addition to the 767 emails I have right now, there are almost 250 in a folder I have named "Urgent - Do Now" and 749 emails in a file that are all emails from 2003 that I just never got to. I pretty much had to write them off and move on, but I did save them in the case that I ever needed to refer back to them.

Ouch, right?

So here I sit with my task list for the week - four things that I need to accomplish. Three of them are updates for clients, the 4th is to catch up on my email. I could ignore my email and get the other three tasks completed - but that doesnt exactly work. Most of the information I need for those three projects is IN my Inbox. Besides, I cant just ignore time sensitive messages, obviously.

So I go to my Inbox to get the information or content that I need, and end up getting overwhelmed all over again. It's really getting to me!

Like I said, I came up with a solution - thanks to Joshua and our talk today. What I am going to do is go through ALL of my emails and file them into one of three folders. The names of these folders are:


Things that need to be done NOW go into the Urgent folder. Things that need to be done as soon as possible (within the next week) go into the ASAP folder. And things that arent urgent or that can wait... they go into the Anytime folder.

That's the plan - so my goal is to first organize all of it. Then, when I come into my office and sit down, I will tackle the Urgent messages first - and then move on to ASAP. I think this will work really well for me!

Joshua's last tip for me before we got off the phone was: "Don't stop until you're finished. Organize ALL of the emails into your three folders - and then you can begin working on them." Good advice, Joshua - and thanks!

I'm off to organize my Inbox ;)

Working at Home With Kids

Wow! October is gone and November is here! It seems to me that this year has gone by incredibly fast - - and these last two months will fly by, without a doubt.

I took the weekend off, outside of working about half a day on Saturday - really rare for me, but it was nice to just have some downtime. We went to the movies on Saturday night and saw Grudge, which really had no plot at all but about made me wet my pants! And then on Sunday evening I took Ann Marie to a chili supper & bonfire at church.

It was nice to spend that time with the kids. They are growing up so fast - 8 & 13 years old, now. I'm glad that I can be at home for them and with them like this... it makes everything so much easier. And even with them getting older, I dont feel like we're "out of touch" at all. Actually, we're closer than ever now that they are at an age to understand more - and old enough to reason with (lol).

Lately they have both taken an interest in "allowance"... so I've had to put some careful thought into that. I didnt want to start something I wouldnt be happy with down the road, and I did want to make sure there were responsibilities and rewards.

So here's what I've decided - and we'll be starting this week: My son (13yo) will work for me here in the office, and earn $3 towards his allowance for every hour that he works. He's perfectly capable of research, handling the link strategy and content syndication, and plenty of other tasks. He's been helping me out for several weeks already, and it's going smooth so far.

As for my daughter, I'm giving her two responsibilities: keeping the car cleaned out and keeping the living room picked up. For keeping up with those two 'messy spots', she'll earn $5/week. (Her eyes lit up when I explained to her that equals around $250/year!)

That works for me!

I'm curious - do those of you with older children let them help out with your work? If so, how is that working out for you? Personally, I would much rather my son work from home on the computer than mow lawns or deliver papers...

It's very comforting to know that they have A LOT more options for their lives than we ever considered while growing up. It would make me proud to see my son manage his own successful online business by the age of 18... and to put my daughter in a management position with my business. Of course, you never know what your children will decide to do... but it's nice to be in a position to make that option available to them!