Thursday, June 30, 2005

Great Alternative to ArticleAnnouncer

I was talking to Heather yesterday and we were discussing the price of Article Announcer - which is the new software program & training series by Jason Potash (you can see my review here: Article Announcer Review). It's a higher ticket item, yes - but it's definitely worth the price. Without a doubt!

Still, there are many that simply cant afford to shell out $400 right now. Understandable. So Heather asked my opinion of a book by Jim Edwards titled Turn Words Into Traffic. I was familiar with it... but hadnt yet read it. So I sent Jim an email and asked him a few questions...

Mainly I wanted to get his opinion on whether or not his book would make a good alternative for those who would like to learn more about using Articles as a fast-track marketing tool... but werent in a position to order Jason's package.

Not only did we exchange a few words about it... but I also sat down last night and began reading his book. Jim actually considers this some of the best work he's ever written... but I was anxious to see for myself, and wanted to get an idea of how valuable it might be to my own members & subscribers.

I have to tell you - I was really impressed with the book from the minute I opened it. Very professional format & layout... and incredibly well-written. If you've read The Super Affiliate Handbook or The One Minute Ebook - this one is laid out similar with hyperlinked bookmarks so that you can jump to any section with a click.

Obviously you are not going to get any software with this package, like you do with ArticleAnnouncer... but this really is a GREAT guide start to finish if you want to learn how to write & market Articles for a HUGE surge in traffic & sales.

In fact - and this is a first - I would compare Turn Words Into Traffic to The One Minute Ebook (which is my absolute favorite info-product!). Much like OME it is very detailed, has a very organized layout and is over 150 pages of pure how-to info & step-by-step instructions.

Jim goes into great detail about the writing process, the marketing strategy, and the WHY of everything! In fact, there are exercises throughout the entire book that are extremely thought-provoking and will have ANYone writing articles like a pro (forget "writer's block"!!).

Definitely a good alternative for anyone who would love to benefit from the results of article-writing, which done right... could really make a huge difference in your online marketing strategy!

Not only does it make a great (affordable) alternative... it would even make a great addition to ArticleAnnouncer! For under 40 bucks, you are going to get a lot out of this guide!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Taking Jason's Software for a Test Drive...

I'm referring to Jason Potash, of course - and his newest software program & training guide: Article Announcer . I actually listened to the training portion, which was a huge perk. (It would be nice if ALL courses came in audio!) The audio is Jason Potash and John Reese going into great detail about: writing articles, creating compelling bylines (or signatures), directories & submissions, outsourcing (ghost writers, elance, etc), content & keywords... everything to do with articles, and how to benefit from this marketing strategy.

I did print out the User Guide so that I could refer back to it. It's very well written, by the way - and includes a lot of great tips & resources in addition to details about the software program (including step-by-step instruction & screen shots).

It's really all fool-proof because in addition to the Blueprint, Swipe Files and detailed User Guide... Jason shows you everything step-by-step in easy how-to videos! You'll find videos on:

- Choosing topics
- Optimizing your articles
- Setting up your Resource Box
- Increasing Profit Potential with Articles

... and a lot more. Jason really has covered it ALL in this series!

The Toolbox

You have a Keyword Density Analyzer, an Article Formatter, a Spam Checker, copy & paste Redirect creator (to fix those long, ugly links), an Article Tracker... and a "PageRank Booster" which is a nifty little tool that lets you search out web pages with specific PR, based on keywords (Great for content submissions & link exchanges!).

The Software

The software program is very easy to use. What I like most about it is that it is customizable - you can easily add ezine publishers or directories to your lists, remove them, file comments for later, etc.

The software allows you to either paste in your article collection, or create articles right within the program. Each screen is self-explanatory and gives you directions for each field. It will allow you to format your articles with hard breaks, selecting the characters per line - and will even give you a word count as you're writing.

You really cant go wrong with this process!

When submitting your articles to ezine publishers, it allows you to select ezines by category so that you can target your audience precisely. No "blasting" or worries about sending material to publishers that have no interest in your topic.


In fact, most of us have been submitting articles for years. It's no secret that this is a very powerful marketing strategy. That said, the process has always been quite lengthy and frustrating - and most webmasters would rather spend their valuable time doing something else altogether.

Several months ago I gave in and hired someone to submit articles for me. I simply didnt have time to mess with it as I was busy launching new sites, writing the articles and working out deals. I paid him $7 an hour to hand-submit my articles... with 3 articles in hand to start, and directions to search for directories, submission lists and any site that accepted related content.

I knew what he'd run into... which is the very reason I hired it out. Some forms didnt work, some sites were no longer accepting articles, many sites required registration and even email confirmation... It's a very long and tedious process. I'm sure he was glad I paid him by the hour instead of the successful submission (LOL).

Two full days and $112 in labor later... I had a handful of successful article submissions. 15-20 if I remember correctly, and most of those on pages in directories with low or no PageRank. I finally put him on another task and made a note to pick up on it later. Which, to this day, I havent found (or made) the time to do.

Imagine how much easier it will be now: With ArticleAnnouncer I can easily input the articles and make my selections... and let the program do all of the work! Once I get my options set within the program, I could easily outsource article submissions again - allowing my assistant to use the new automated software. He could accomplish 100x the results... for a tenth of the pay :-)

Jason recommends that we sit down at least once a week to promote our articles and get them out there in front of ezine publishers and webmasters that have the potential to send us a lot of very warm and targeted visitors.

Doing this without ArticleAnnouncer is going to make the task fall at the very bottom of your list of priorities. Doing it with ArticleAnnouncer is going to make it EASY on you... which means you're much more likely to actually do it!

Content Exchanges really are an important key to making your website(s) successful. Whether you are posting helpful responses on high-traffic discussion forums, getting your articles published on high-ranking websites, or partnering up with other webmasters to bring unique related content to your visitors... there really is no better way to establish your credibility, and to get your content and website address in front of your target market!

Article Announcer
I'm VERY happy with this package - cover to cover - and looking forward to the results!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

No Website? No List? Read this...


If you visit the link above, you'll see my testimonial on the page. Kidino asked me to review the JV Brokering Guide by Willie Crawford a few weeks ago... and I was extremely impressed! In fact, here is what I wrote back to him in an email, that you'll also find he's used on the website:

"You have a Top Quality 'cut-to-the-chase' guide on Joint Venture Brokering here! I was incredibly impressed with the amount of detail shared, yet it's an easy read that anyone can devour in under an hour. People that read this guide will walk away prepared, motivated and ready to begin as a JV Broker that very same day!"

Check it out:

You don’t need a website. You don’t need a list. You don’t need "connections". ANYONE can do this, and do well with it!

Here's what you get:

- Black Belt JV Broker Manual by Willie Crawford
- Black Belt JV Broker Interview by Kidino and Willie
- Black Belt JV Broker Interview Transcript

And you also get these bonuses:

- Willie's Secrets Interview by Patric Chan and Willie
- Willie's Secrets Interview Transcript
- The Key: From $300 per Week to $50,000 per Month by Paul Barrs

And during Kidino's "5-Day Mega Promo" (which is running from28 June 2005 to 2 July 2005 you will also get these bonuses:

- Access, manual and workbook to by Liz Tomey
- Access to by Melvin Ng
- How to Build Successful JV Relationship by Bonnie Lowe
- Viral Internet Marketing Strategies by Darryl DeLong

Also as a part of the 5-Day Mega Promo Package, you can get Black Belt JV Broker for only $47 (instead of the full price - $97)

Now, you may be into this or not, but whatever it is, just go over to Kidino's site and have a look at it. 'Having a look' is always free ... ;)


Saturday, June 25, 2005

Ideas Coming Out My Ears!

Boy, lately I just have ideas coming out my ears! I've launched two new websites this week, with a 3rd outlined... added content to current websites... and am working on some strategies to promote sites and increase traffic & commissions (including an offline marketing campaign). I love it when I get on a roll like this!!

Of course, it's very easy to get distracted when you're jumping from one idea to another... so I've decided to sit down tonight and revise my Brain Dump from last month. I need to update the tasks, and also pencil out a "routine" to maintain the sites.

Some sites need content updates, blog posts, pay-per-click campaigns monitored & tweaked, emails to lists... all of them need new relevant inbound links, stats monitored, etc. I think I'll use my large whiteboard to list out and keep up with each of my websites.

Too, I need to work on putting my "commission logs" on the computer. I've been keeping them in a notebook, with commissions from all sources logged by Month. It's getting a bit out of hand, to say the least! As I add new merchants and promote new programs, I am finding that the pages I've used for the past year are just not set up for the level of activity I've got now. Plus it just makes sense. It would enable me to pull reports by month, by merchant, by site, etc.

Ack - that sounds like WORK :-}

Anyway, I'm going to ride this wave and go work on my websites & projects while I've got this huge burst of motivation. Yeah... it's Saturday - but who cares?! Besides, I took off a few hours yesterday to soak up some rays at the pool :) You gotta love this schedule!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Google XML Site Maps & XSitePro

from Paul of XSitePro

Have you been reading recently about how you can get your site registered faster in Google by creating a specially formatted site map in XML?

If so you're probably excited about the potential.

You should be.

It's definitely something worth doing and if you are familiar with building site maps and creating XML files it's easily done but if you're not I have some terrific news for you.


LATEST GOOGLE SITE MAP FEATURE BUILT-IN In the new version of XSitePro, which is due out within the next two weeks, there is a new feature that does it for you - YES - absolutely ALL of it! You can just pour yourself a long slow drink, put your feet up, and enjoy the summer sunshine.

There are already lots of great new features in the new release, but I wanted to let you know about the addition of the powerful Google SiteMaps feature because there is such a buzz about it at the moment.

Here's how it works. It's really simple.

1. Just click on the Google Site Maps button in XSitePro.

2. Enter the details for your site

3. Click the publish button to publish your site

...and that's it. Just three steps.

Whenever you publish your site the Google Sitemap XML will be updated automatically. This is very powerful stuff because it means it updates the last modified dates in the XML file without you having to lift a finger (you don't even need to know what an XML file is) and this is something that Google really does like to see.

When you use this new feature the chances of you appearing in the Google search engine sooner rather than later are increased dramatically.

This fabulous new feature will be available in the new release and will be available to all current registered users - it won't cost you a single penny.

So, if you are not currently a registered user of XSitePro don't risk paying extra for the upgrade.

Not only will it provide you with the most sophisticated Google XML Site Map creation tool available, but you'll also get all the other benefits that XSitePro offers!

Just the Google Site Map tool alone would sell for $97 or more so it makes XSitePro the bargain of the century. Make sure you get it now so you don't risk having to pay extra for an upgrade. If you buy it now you are GUARANTEED to get the brand new version at absolutely no additional cost as soon as it is released.

All the best

p.s. Not a user? Check it out!

The Easy Way to Create an Endless Stream of Income-Generating Websites in MINUTES -- not days or weeks!

The Easy Way to Create an Endless Stream of Income-Generating
Websites in MINUTES -- not days or weeks... Check it Out!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

"The Report" by Jason Potash

Boy, I have to tell you -- Jason Potash really hit the nail on the head! I finally sat down and read his "Shocking Report" this morning... and I LOVED it!

If you know me well, you know I'm usually one of the last to jump on any "bandwagon". And lately I've been questioning myself, because while all of my buddies were out there cranking out websites and raking in cash... I've been steadily (what feels like slowly, sometimes!) building on my network of websites and working to grow each individual site.

I cant complain, because I enjoy great rankings and a steady increase in sales & commission :) But I always wondered if the grass was greener on the other side of that virtual fence! Jason Potash addressed the issue in this Shocking Report - and interestingly, it was good news for both types of eBiz'ers!

If you haven't yet read this report, you have GOT to download it and check it out (it only takes a few minutes - in fact, I read it over coffee this morning).

Plus, it's FREE :) Get it Here

Jason has a blog as well, and recently added an MP3 Recording of an Interview with an "average joe" kinda guy who is having great success with his online marketing. Below is the email (word for word) that I received on that so that you can check that out too:

During this interview, I heard from an "average guy" who released an ebook, gave up "optimizing" his website... stopped paying for pay-per-click advertising a few weeks later... and as a result, his sales conversion shot up to a healthy 3.5%, and he is making MORE moolah than ever before!.... within 0-60 days, he is spending ZERO on advertising, doing no SEO stuff, yet making enough each month to easily cover his car payment plus a couple of nice dinners out with his wife.

... How did he do it?

Here's the link to the interview. Just look under the"June 20th" post and you can listen to the MP3 audio interview.

(Look for "Click here now to listen to the MP3 audio stream" about mid-page) It will only take a few minutes. Check it out real quick!

That's it! This is good stuff, so take advantage of it ;)

Revenue Magazine

Over the weekend I received my copy of Revenue Magazine ... and I promised to share my thoughts with you in more detail. This was Issue 6, and the first one I've received by mail - I got a copy of Issue 2 at a conference in Vegas last year... which I kept and still flip through from time to time!

This particular issue focused on international affiliate marketing - or "thinking globally". Or as the editor put it: just because it's snowing where you are doesnt mean it's not summer somewhere else in the world.

It was a great issue! I loved the fact that familiar names were mentioned - such as Jim Daniels and Ken McArthur etc. The entire magazine is full of color, photos & illustrations. The ads and articles are laid out so well that it just makes the magazine easy to pick up and flip through... or read cover-to-cover.

Speaking of the Ads, they were very much on target. So much so that I read almost EVERY ONE (down to the fine print!)... and even followed up with most of them online! I found affiliate programs that interested me, websites I wanted to check out, upcoming events to consider - and a lot more.

This is a magazine with character of its own, and one that I can really "relate to". It's NICE to have a publication that is completely devoted to Affiliate Marketing and eBiz - versus the more corporate business mags or techie geek stuff.

I actually got this issue free through my LinkShare account last month... but now that I've read it, I'm HOOKED. For around 5 bucks an issue - I am subscribing TODAY! You should definitely check it out - at the very least go to the website and check out the "editorial" section to browse recent issues.

This magazine is chock full of information and opportunity. If you read it... and check out the websites & resources mentioned (yes, even in the ads!)... you can consider that 5 bucks a small investment for what could be a very large return ;)

In fact... I got 2 fantastic new business ideas while reading this issue, so I'm off to outline the plans for those sites!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Sometimes I Dont Blog...

It's been a few days since my last post, but I dont sweat it. Sometimes I just dont have anything incredibly interesting to report... and sometimes I get busy elsewhere ;) In this case, it was definitely the latter - I've accomplished quite a bit lately and have been collecting some cool new resources!

Updates to my affiliate site these last couple of months are starting to pay off - and really well. This is the site I launched back in November '04 (seven months ago), which is just beginning to rank well in the major engines - - and is converting better than expected. Since it's for tangible products the commission is lower. Usually 5-18% per sale. So the goal is good rankings, hundreds of pages, and great conversion rates - - all on auto pilot.

This is a true side project for me... I work on it just a few hours a month (at the most) and have basically let it "settle" and make it's way around the web since the initial promotional push. True that I could do A LOT more with it, but I figure I have plenty of time for that. And in the meantime, I'm enjoying the recent increase in commission checks ;)

The site actually brought in an impressive amount of sales over the weekend, which was awesome. I happened to be out most of the day on Saturday, so I came home to a copy of Revenue Magazine in my mailbox and a nice little surprise when I checked my stats!

I really liked this magazine, by the way - but I'll tell you more on that later...

Albert and I were out most of the day Saturday at Doug Lott's outdoor dart tournament. It's a TDO Sanctioned event they put on every year with good food and a great crowd. I'm not a great player - I dont even play league - but I do love the game ;)

I signed up for the blind draw in the early afternoon... and pulled Ralph McCool for a partner. Ralph happens to be #1 in the state this year :) :) What a break!

My first reaction was to cringe, figuring Ralph was just going to love it when he found out he was partnered up with some GIRL that cant hit. Not that I dont have a decent throw, but when it comes to competition... Ralph and I would be on opposite ends of the scale.

I figured if I let that intimidate me, I'd never be able to hit the board. So I shook it off and threw. Missed some, hit some - and of course Ralph carried the game and we won 1st place. Later that evening I ended up in the winners circle again, but with a different partner - playing against Ralph and Albert for the medal. Second place suited me just fine against those two ;) I had a great time, and couldnt have been happier heading home with both a 1st and 2nd place medal around my neck!

Sunday was spent cleaning house, rearranging furniture, getting things organized... and of course, wishing my father a Happy Father's Day. And today it was back to work - refreshed, focused and back in FULL swing ;)

(I love Monday's!!)

A couple of things I was checking out today in my rounds on the web: Willie Crawford's transcript for a recent Adsense Teleseminar, which you can download free: Teleseminar on Google Adsense -- and EZLeadCapture, which is a super cheap way to get your own (professional!) landing pages up and running (check it out) .

That's actually the best deal for a Lead Capture Page that I've seen anywhere. I already have one set up for the opportunity that I promote, or I would definitely be signing up myself!

I'm also checking out Brad Callen's new Free SEO Course, "7 Days to Massive Website Traffic". The last time I spoke with him he was still adding new lessons every week. I really like Brad - super nice guy! If you ever have the chance to speak with him or work with him... dont pass it up ;)

I'm going to call it a night so I can get an early start tomorrow. Hope you guys had a great weekend, too - and got this week off to a kickin' start!!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

If you want to learn Affiliate Marketing...

There's a great thread over at the SSWT Discussion Forum on Affiliate Marketing. Walter started this thread asking general questions, and it turned into more specific questions about how to successfully promote affiliate programs. I thought I'd share my response with you here, for those that would like to learn more about it:

Creating Affiliate Sites...

Everybody has their own method. Some prefer Pay-Per-Click (such as Google Adwords) and others SEO (search engine optimization). Personally, I like the "free traffic" method, so I go with SEO.

The best manual I can recommend to you for learning the entire process step-by-step is James Martell's Affiliate Marketers Handbook.

You can also read through some of my recent newsletter issues to get an idea of the strategy I use. These three go in order, and are specifically about creating affiliate sites:

Affiliate Marketing (start at the Getting Started section)

Creating Affiliate Sites (Part 2)

Using Competition to Your Advantage (Part 3)

You may also want to see:

Finding Niche Markets

How to Expand on Your Niche

That will give you a basic idea. And again, James' Handbook is an excellent strategy guide for building affiliate sites that make money.

If you need help with this, Andre and I would be happy to help you every step of the way in the private forum. Access is 12.97/month (currently) and you can join in for as long as you need assistance. We will help you with the research & brainstorming, choosing a domain name, choosing a web host, any technical issues you run into and anything you want to learn/do along the way The link is:

You can check out the entire thread here: (Leah added some great advice to the thread, too!) The Secrets to Your Success . Have something to add, or a question to ask? Feel free!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Local eBiz Owners - Tennessee

I posted this back in March, but I'm ready to revisit it and work on putting together a local group for a monthly get-together:

I've been thinking that it would be great to get together with other local online business owners and internet marketers - specifically across the state of Tennessee (which is where I am located).

I've had the opportunity to meet several "locals" online lately - and I'm quite sure there are plenty more out there lurking in the shadows ;)

I'm thinking casual, book a conference room at a comfortable restaurant - maybe Ruby Tuesdays, Red Lobster, O'Charleys... that kind of thing. A simple 'wear jeans and bring your spouse along' type of get-together.

No charge, outside of the price of your meal - and no formalities. Just a good time, out with like-minded people, and an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with each other. Just like "after hours" at the big events & seminars... without the seminars ;)

So what do you think? Do you want to help me brainstorm the ways I can pull it together - or do you think it'll never fly? I imagine it may start out small - 2 to 3 couples or a group of 5 maybe... and just grow from there.

Dinner out with friends & peers once a month sounds like a grand idea to me! I'd love to hear your thoughts. If there were a few locals in your industry getting together for dinner & drinks once a month - would you find yourself going?

If you're in the TN area, and would like to join us for dinner & brainstorming on a Saturday afternoon or evening... Post here and let me know, or get in touch with me via email:

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Download Think & Grow Rich

I'm on my 2nd read-through of this incredible classic, and decided to upload my copy and make it available through my main site. You can grab a copy here (PDF/Free):

Download Think & Grow Rich
If you haven't yet read this famous book by Napoleon Hill... you really should. It belongs on every entrepreneur's bookshelf!!

I'm in the process of downloading the audio version ($29) to listen to "on the go" with my new MP3 Player, as well - so I've added that to the site too, for those of you that prefer audio ;)

Friday, June 10, 2005

A Spontaneous Day Trip

We took off yesterday and went to Lake Winnie in Chattanooga - totally unplanned. We got home from the dart tournament on Wednesday night and Albert and I were sitting in the back yard with the little tiki light going... and he turns to me and says, "Let's go to Lake Winnie in the morning."

Hmm. For a brief second everything that I really needed to do the next morning flashed through my mind. Well - more like a minute and a half. I finally turned to Albert and said, "Okay. What time do you want to head out?" (Who wants to be the party pooper, right? :p)

So we dropped everything and went to Lake Winnie. I've said this before, and I'll tell you every time - I LOVE the drive to Chattanooga. It's maybe 100 miles (give or take, depending on which way you go) and all of it is absolutely gorgeous - especially through Monteagle.

I took this photo just after we passed over the mountain:

I'm no photographer, but I did snap a few shots because I really love the mountains and the lakes and the clouds. There are lots of huge rocks and small falls along the way, and just a lot of interesting scenery. Including barns that are painted with "See Rock City" on the side of them - have you ever seen one of those... or a birdhouse replica? Well, this drive to Chattanooga is the place to see the real deal ;)

Anyway, we finally get to Lake Winnie (which is a "nickname", its really called the Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park). I believe it was first opened in the 1920's, and looking at the old newspaper clippings and photos in the gift shop... it was quite an attraction!

Lake Winnie is famous for their Cannonball (a wooden roller coaster built in 1967)... and I found out why - it was an absolute blast! In fact, I think we went on that one 7 or 8 times LOL. There were plenty more that were fun, and a few that just made me downright sick. Like the Genie - this one pinned you to the back of the "cage" because it spun so hard... and at one point we were lifted into the air and tilted until we were parallel with the ground below us! No harness, no nothing - just a gravity trick (and holding on for dear life! haha).

One that I hated - and refused to get back on - was Wild Lightnin'. I have never been on anything that scared me as bad as that one did. In fact, I think I screamed the entire time! By the time it came to a screeching halt (there was nothing calm about this one - it even practically threw us out of it when it stopped!) I was hoarse, dizzy and shaking from the adrenaline rush. Of course, it didnt help that the ride had just opened after being "closed for maintenance" most of the morning. So the whole time you are holding on for dear life and hoping it doesnt "break" again while you're on it!

About halfway through the day I was starting to feel my sunburn and was getting a bit tired. I'd been spun, shaken, dropped, whirled, whipped around, swung down and splashed just about enough. It just didnt the feel the same as it did when I was a kid. When we sat down for a drink and a break, Albert said "this is a great amusement park"... and I thought "yes, I feel very amused" (heh).

I'm not complaining - we had a terrific time at Lake Winnie... I just dont know where 8 year olds get that amount of energy and stamina!! All said and done, it was a great time - but I left there feeling like it was pure "mommy torture" LOL - and was ready for a "mommy treat"! So we hit the all-you-can-eat crab legs & sushi bar on the way home :) Mmmm!

Of course, my stomach still felt like a tilt-a-whirl, but it was great nonetheless. I slept all the way home (total wimp-out!)... and I was never so happy to pull in the driveway. One thing about vacations and day trips - they really make you appreciate HOME.

I woke early this morning and was on my riding mower before 8am. Watering my plants, taking out the trash and starting the laundry... and sitting down to work in my home office. And I thought "yesterday was great... but there's really nothing like being at home with the family for the everyday stuff".

Monday, June 06, 2005

Time to Celebrate!

Tomorrow (June 7) is my birthday, and I'll be turning 32 years old. I've decided I'm going to celebrate all week long. Might as well, right?! :)

On my list of fun stuff to do this week (so far *grin*)...

- hang out at the Gilley Pool with my daughter one afternoon for some fun & tanning

- head back up to the Falls at Rock Island for another hike and a picnic with the family!

- get away one evening to my favorite sushi bar... with my favorite fellow :)

- get my hair done... and maybe even a manicure & pedicure while I'm there!

What's on my wish list this year? An MP3 Player! That way I can "learn on the go" all summer instead of toting books with me ;)

Have a great day... I'm going to get back to work so I can take off early!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Weekend Fun - Taking A Day Off!

I had every intention of taking the day off today to work on my flowerbeds. It's a new hobby for me (this plant thing) but I'm having great fun with it! I got up early and went outside, though, and it was HOT - not just very warm for that hour, but humid and muggy. You could barely breathe outdoors... much less try to work!

My children are both away for the weekend, so Albert and I decided to hang out and hit a few greenhouses to see what they had left. It's slim pickings this time of year because most people have all of their flowers out by now. After a couple of hours (and 3 great new plants!!) we decided it was just too hot to be out... unless we were in the water!

We grabbed our suits and some towels and headed down to Rock Island. It's only 8 or 10 miles from the house - maybe 15 or so minutes down the road. There are no good pictures on the web to show you (trust me, I just searched for half an hour!)... but the park is HUGE and it is absolutely fabulous.

We went to the swimming hole first to get cooled off. It was stifling hot out, but the water was COLD. The view there is beautiful, with a big rock bluff across the lake. We headed up to the Falls next and hiked down to the rocks.

The picture just doesnt do it justice... you have to climb across all of the huge rocks and jump the small streams to get to the rapid water and the smaller falls. That's where Albert and I headed.

There were snakes curled up in the rock overhangs, salamanders in the pools beneath the small falls and ferns growing in every crack and crevice. It's definitely a "go at your own risk" and "watch your footing" kind of trip! It's just below the dam too, so if they blow the horn you have 15 minutes to hike back out. LOL - I always hope that doesnt happen while I'm down there!

The dam is the same one shown in the very beginning of The Specialist (with Sharon Stone & Sylvester Stallone) - the scene where Stallone blows the truck off of the bridge over the dam.

Anyway, we found a great spot with small falls & rapids and got cooled off (that's an understatement - the falls are ICE cold!!), then hiked a bit further before we turned back and climbed out. I really wish I had taken my camera today so that I could share pictures with you... there's really no way to describe how beautiful this spot is.

We're planning to go back later in the week, so I'll be sure and snap a few shots for you then. For now I am going to grab a glass of wine and whip up some dip with cream cheese and Sweet Pepper & Apple Relish... Albert is throwing some steak & shrimp on the grill (mmm!).

All work and no play... ;)

Friday, June 03, 2005

Corey Rudl - An Internet Marketing Legend

I just heard the news that Corey Rudl died in a racing accident yesterday morning. Aside from being in complete shock over it all, I feel incredibly sad. The most recent photos that I've seen of Corey were of him and his fiance - just before their big (public) wedding bash. They both looked very happy... young, vibrant, healthy. And of course they had a bright future ahead of them, with the whole world in their hands.

Corey Rudl is practically a legend in Internet Marketing - certainly one of the pioneers. His newsletter was one of the first that I subscribed to. His affiliate program was one of the first that I joined. And it WAS the first program that I actually received a check from.

Sure there were a lot of opinions floating around lately... mainly about his marketing tactics and lack of personal attention to details. But you have to imagine that his "full staff" was probably handling most of the marketing & communication these last couple of years. Regardless, he was very successful and very well-known... and there is much to be learned from his model as well as his material.

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SSWT Discussion

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

rel=nofollow tag

My interest in this tag was sparked after reading the sales copy for Feed Stomper. Specifically the paragraph where they say, "FEED STOMPER Prevents Google Page Rank Bleed!". So I did a quick search on "rel=nofollow" - which I've heard of here and there, but never really looked into.

(by the way - I didnt (and wont) purchase Feed Stomper, though I really loved the concept. But $247 PER MONTH? No way... there are too many other programs out there you can purchase cheaper, and for a one time shot, to even consider paying this kind of monthly fee!)

What this tag does (supposedly) is prevent the search engine spiders from following outbound links on your pages... which prevents your page from leaking PageRank.

Here are a couple of resources:

Nofollow Tag - New Nofollow Link Tags Explained

And more interestingly...

Rel="nofollow", bad in any way? on the High Rankings SEO Forum

The best use of this tag, in my opinion, would be on an Affiliate Site. If you have a product based site, for example, which links out to 20+ products per page, wouldnt it be beneficial NOT to pass PR to the merchant (esp eBay or Amazon - who obviously dont need it)?

I dont see this particular use of the tag to be deceptive in any way - and it doesnt affect your visitors experience... Obviously, the validity of the tag is in question. Any comments?