Monday, November 28, 2005

Just Ask Google!

I've heard people complain a few times here recently that Google doesnt return the greatest results... or that they were disappointed in the first 3-5 pages of results, etc. You know what I say to that?

You arent asking the right questions! is my absolute all time favorite search engine... and the most frequently visited web page on my computer. I ask it questions no less than 10 times a day. (And not just "hey, how well does my page rank for such-and-such search term, today?" *laugh*)

My sister Googles, and let me tell you - she is so good that she usually only gets ONE result for her query! She is asking the right questions ;)

Here are some of my actual searches, to give you an example of why I love Google:

How many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?

Or lets say you want directions, or just to see a map - all you have to do is put in the street address and zip code:

333 Commerce Street 37172

(FYI: that is the address to the Bellsouth building - aka 'The Batman Building' - in Nashville. How did I know their street address? I asked Google, of course!)

Google even answers dumb questions!

Where do birds sleep?

(no, not in nests!)

Another good example - my daughter got a set of Astro Jax. We both looked at them with no clue what we were supposed to do with them. Setting a good example for my daughter (and not looking dumb in front of her at the same time), I suggested we "research it".

We were able to find some instructions, animations and even videos through a quick Google search... very helpful! (or so I thought - I honestly dont recommend these Astro Jax things - ouch!!)


This evening I was working on a few of my side projects, and in the back of my mind I was thinking that I might hook up my new wireless keyboard later. I got a great deal the other day on a wireless keyboard and mouse, and I've been undecided as to whether I wanted to hook it up on the desktop or the laptop.

And then a great idea hit me... and I went straight to Google to see if it could be done:

can I hook my dell laptop up to my rca tv?

"Why yes, Lynn, you can! And here's how..." is the answer I got :)

Cool! I'm off to dig up an S-Video cable and check this out!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Christmas Shopping Online

My daughter wants a "cell phone" this year. She's only 9... but I am considering it. Recent change of heart, actually - because I found you can get a Nokia Tracfone on their website for under $20... that includes a 40 minute airtime card.

This is not the cheapie phone you can get at Wal-Mart for $19.99 right now, but a different model. It's a much better deal to get it online, I've figured out.

(the phones & deals vary by your location - you'll have to enter your zip code to see what kind of deal you can get in your area: tracfone deals )


The Tracfone is a pay-as-you-go deal, so I wont be locked into a contract with it, and the cards will make nice gifts for her year 'round - or something relatives can easily mail in a birthday card.

I was also looking for a karaoke machine - and found some great deals online! The best deals that I found were on eBay and Amazon. There was one model on Amazon you could get for $39.99 brand new (and it retailed for almost $100 more on the manufacturers site). I ended up finding one on eBay that was just minutes from ending, though... and snagged a great deal there ;)

A quick search on Google uncovered these Karaoke CD's that you can get for just $5 each: . Knowing nothing about karaoke myself, I called their customer service line and asked if they worked in all models... and if these CD's had words that would show on the screen. Yes and yes (duh, right? LOL).

What's next? Dont know yet... but I'm going to finish this hot cup of coffee and surf the deals a bit more to see what else I come across. It's a nice quiet Saturday afternoon... and I have all the time in the world. You cant beat this kind of shopping!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Website of the Year Award

For those of you that are using XSitePro to develop websites, or for anyone that has considered it and might be ready to dive in and crank out a new site, this was just announced by Paul Smithson:


The XSitePro Web Site of the Year Awards 2005 is a competition that is open to ALL users of the software and there's no charge to enter.

It doesn't matter whether you are a professional with years of experience or a complete newbie – the competition is open to one and all.

There are three major prizes on offer.

1st Prize: $500
2nd Prize: $250
3rd Prize: $100

We will be judging each entry on three different criteria.

1. Design
2. Use of XSitePro features
3. Professionalism

Your site can be a single sales letter, a huge information site, an affiliate site, an Adsense site … whatever you like. It’s completely up to you.

There are very few rules as we wanted to keep things simple and straight forward, but for clarification here are the eight rules that we’ve come up with.

1. This competition is not open to XSitePro members of staff or their families (shucks!)

2. Any sites entered must have been created and published using XSitePro.

3. The deadline date is midnight on Wed 14th Dec 2005.

4. A maximum of 3 entries per person.

5. Only registered XSitePro users can enter.

6. Winners will be notified on Wed 21st Dec 2005.

7. Prizes will be paid via PayPal in US$ on the 23rd Dec (just in time for Christmas).

8. All winners will need to send in a photo and allow us to list their name and site url on the XSitePro web site and in related publicity materials (in other words - lots of free publicity).

I do hope you can enter as the more entries the more fun it will be. There can't be prizes for everyone, but as my dear old Grandmother always said, "it’s the taking part that counts", but hey, if you win the $500, or any of the other prizes, then that's an added bonus too.

To enter the competition just visit the link below and enter the details regarding your web site.

Good luck to all of you XSitePro users!!

p.s. The latest version of XSitePro includes over 100 sales letter templates, with and without graphical headers. It is currently the easiest solution out there for quickly creating your own affiliate sites and adsense sites!

Keep It Basic, Baby!

I just got this incredible email from Basic Templates, and couldnt agree with them more! I just had to share it:

Internet Marketer's Dream

When you think of a dream, the first thing that comes to mind is something which is not real, but that's not the case with the good news we have for you today. The content in this email is real. It's honest, and it's blunt. It's necessary to say. Some of you may be shocked. Some of you may be enraged, because we let the cat out of the bag. Some of you may disagree on the surface but deep down you know it is true.

If you are serious about your online business or have been operating a website for some time, you know that designing your site is the easiest part of all. And it should be. You have far more serious business development activities that need your attention, time and energy.

If you are one of the lucky few, after owning and operating a website for awhile, a light bulb goes off in your head. One day you realize that the design of the website is not as important as the message you are conveying. After all, you want to communicate with your customers through your website. You don't want to decorate for your customers through your website.

Then many of those few who "get it" become angry. They are angry at the web designer or template designer who sold them a graphic intensive design when in fact it was the last thing they needed to ensure their website's effectiveness.

They bite the bullet and dig in their heels while they crack open that dusty do-it-yourself HTML software manual. After a couple of short hours, they get even angier. Why? Because they discovered that not only were the sold the absolute last type of design they needed, they were overcharged by 15X or more what they should have been charged. Web design isn't rocket science or brain surgey. You don't need a college degree in website design to "get it". Oh Uh ... some designer just lost another customer - forever.

Then with this newly found knowledge, they discover the simple truth that any marketing student already knows. Marketing their website is far more important and brings in the real m0ney. To prove it, visit any successful Internet Marketer's website. You'll instantly wonder why it was designed so basic - so simple. If you visited it before you acquired your newly found knowledge, you might have thought that this marketer didn't "get it". When in fact, the opposite is true. He/she was happily raking in heaps of cold cash while you were trying to decide which graphics you wanted.

That's when your reality changes - permanently. Someone tells you about a different type of template designer called You are reluctant because you were burned pretty badly, but the price is right and so you try it. Within minutes you realize that there really are web template designers that "get it" too. You have found your dream - or so you thought it couldn't get any better ... until today ...

Today has put together an Internet Marketer's Dream package of templates that will likely be the only designs you will need for a very long time. And if $5.00-each wasn't low enough before, they are 0ffering it at a reduced licensing fee for a limited time.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? If you are one of many 1000s of happy's customers in the past 11 years, it should. If you are a potential customer scoping us out because you were burnt by another template designer, your day just got better and there is lots of hope at the end of your cash tunnel.

For the next 16 hours you can take advantage of our Internet Marketer's Dream package and/or 11 other special 0ffers we have developed just for you during this Sales.Event. Quite frankly you too will soon discover what 1000s of return customers have found out years before you. We "get it" and we are happy to serve you and help you "get it" too.

Remember, these promotional offers will end at 11:59 pm EST on November 25th, so don't delay. Happy sh0pping!

Go to the Basic Templates website and look for the special promotional offer at the top of the page. Are you an existing Member? Log into your account and get your special pricing.

Keep it Basic,
The Design Team @

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating today :-)

I had a wonderful day, spent with family and friends. Lots of deviled eggs and juicy turkey, hot rolls and giblet gravy... and desserts, mmm! I think I had 7 different kinds of pie :-D LOL

Of course, tomorrow (Friday) is the "biggest shopping day of the year"... and this officially kicks off the Christmas season! Ready? Better get ready if you arent already, because Christmas is just a few short weeks away now ;)

That means get your product based websites ready for holiday sales... on top of getting your shopping lists ready, your decorations hung, christmas cards sent - you know the drill!

So how was your day today?? Got any thoughts about the big holiday month ahead of us?

I am making great progress updating all of my affiliate sites and hope to have them done in the next few days. Sales are already steadily increasing and the stats are showing a lot of promise for the coming weeks.

Here's wishing you a successful and FUN holiday season!

p.s. I am still smoke-free and loving it! ;)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Domain Special Extended!

Yahoo has extended this special offer on domain names until the end of the year... Get yours while they're ridiculously cheap! ;)

Yahoo! has a special running where you can get domain names for only $2.99 ea!

Here are the details:

  • The most popular domain name extensions
    (.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .us)
  • 24-hour toll-free customer support
  • Domain name registration terms from 1-5 years
  • Easy-to-use control panel with DNS management
  • Domain forwarding so you can point to an existing site
  • Email forwarding to a free Yahoo! email address
  • Bonus starter web page to post online until you are ready for a web site
  • Domain locking helps prevent unauthorized transfers
  • Private Domain Registration helps protect you from spam by blocking your contact information from the public WHOIS (+$9.00/year at signup)

Click here and grab a few while they're cheap!

I'm off to register some MORE dot-com's *grin*

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Making Money With Content Sites

The most popular method for earning money online with content-based websites has been to blend Google Adsense ads in with your content. Some people even create content websites to promote their own product or service - using those pages to attract search engine traffic and then 'leading' their visitors into the sales pages that contain information about whatever they are selling.

Both are ways of funneling targeted traffic to sales pages - either your own, or a merchants page that you are affiliated with - with the intention of making a sale and earning money.

Smart marketers do one of two things (and usually both):

1) They use their content to PRE-SELL products/services

2) They weave ads or promotional links into their content so that they don't look like "blatant advertising" to their visitors, but instead a valuable related resource.

Let me cut to the chase with you here... It's Saturday afternoon as I sit here writing out this post. I hadn't actually planned on it - in fact, I'm writing rather quick because I have Sushi on my mind and want to get this done and go meet some friends for a great meal and a nice evening out ;)

But as I was surfing the net this morning, I came across one of Michael Fortin's websites (if you don't know him, he's quite famous for his success in the Internet Marketing field). The site got my interest because, quite frankly, I've been doing a lot of things behind the scenes with my own websites to increase my online inc0me.

There are two things motivating me to dig in and put some "real hours" into my online ventures again: 1) I'd like to capitalize on all of the holiday sales over the next four weeks (of course!), and 2) I plan to double my online income in 2006 as part of an overall goal I have set for myself.

I imagine you're thinking along the same lines - it's just that time of year ;)

Anyway, I said I was going to cut to the chase - blah blah blah, right? LOL Okay, here's the link to the site that I mentioned above: Context Cash

Why did the site get my attention?? It's about "Dynamic Contextual Linking" (pretty much just fancy words for "a new way to make even more m0ney from your content pages").

The web page that talks about it (link above) is 22 pages long. In case you aren't up for reading through the entire thing, here are the highlights that really stood out to me:

-> You can use it with a blog!
-> You can use it with multiple sites/blogs
-> You can use it to promote your own products/services/sites
-> They offer STATS (awesome!)

I have sold thousands of dollars worth of merchandise through alone in the last two weeks (and that is one of 20 affiliate programs I have worked with so far this month). I promoted those products "the hard way" - by manually placing links & images on web pages... and then promoting those pages.

I make sales through ClickBank almost daily. These are products that I promote "the hard way", too. I generally set up content pages to pre-sell products, and then work in images and links to the product on the page.

That's why this "Dynamic Contextual Linking" really caught my attention! Check it out for yourself... This could really be the break that you are looking for! :)

The one thing I REALLY loved about it is that you can promote your own websites and products with it. For example, I can have it connect to every time the words "passive income" are used on my website... awesome!

Just go to: Context Cash ... I'd love to hear what you think.

I Quit Smoking...

Finally. After almost 18 years (yes, I started very young).

I quit being "a smoker" on Wednesday night at 11pm. I've quit twice before for about a year each time (during and after my two pregnancies). Both of those times it was EASY. My body rejected the whole smoking habit naturally, AND I had a great reason to let it go.

This time it has been harder of course, because it's pure choice, but I'm determined to become a non-smoker. To change my lifestyle with a complete turnaround. My goal is to replace the pepsi & smokes with water & exercise.

The water is a great hand-to-mouth replacement habit, as well as a great way to flush your body of toxins and get you on the track to shaping back up...

On Thursday I drank 36 oz of water. On Friday I drank 72 oz of water. On both days I also did a cardio work-out (increasing my time by 3-5 minutes/day).

Many people find that they gain weight when they quit smoking - but I am just the opposite. For me, the soda and junk food go along with the cigarettes. As a person that smokeD with a soda in hand, and smokeD 2 packs a day... I was drinking 8-10 sodas a day (at 150 calories each). In addition to the weight gain, that many sodas will send you straight to the dentist. (I've spent thousands there already).

NOT SMOKING has A LOT of benefits.

In addition to transforming into the person that I see myself as in as little as 6-12 months (which is a great motivator!!)... I know that if I smoke again, I will wake up every single morning disappointed with myself. Sick at myself. Hating that I smoke. That I couldnt "do it". And that IS NOT how I want to feel, or who I want to be.

It's a stupid, unhealthy, expensive habit.

It's not just about quitting... it's about changing. I'll be working out every day, and drinking LOTS of water on top of not smoking cigs. I can see myself 6 months from now - a perfect visual. Feeling better, looking better, definitely smelling better ;) haha!

I'm going for a NEW ME. Anyone want to join me?

This is actually my New Years Resolution for 2006... but I decided not to wait. Instead, I intend to have all of my bad habits changed over to good habits by January 1st so that I can start the New Year with a clean slate, and a new lifestyle!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Got SEO Questions?

Everywhere I turn lately, I am hearing SEO questions... whether it be about keyword research, choosing niches, which tools and services to use, analyzing competition, how to get quality backlinks... and the list goes on and on.

I'd like to hear some of your SEO questions!

Whether you are just starting out, or already have it figured out, what were some of the first questions that came to mind - or what is it that you feel you could use a little help with in regards to search engine marketing?

Simple or complex, basic or advanced, I'd like to hear them all ;)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Maintaining a Blog

I dont feel inspired to write so much lately, I suppose you've noticed. Sometimes I will sit here and just look at the screen, and then decide that if I have nothing significant to say it's better not to write at all. Other times I think I should just write anyway (which finally won over and resulted in the post you are reading now).

That's the thing about blogging - it requires a commitment of some sort. Unless of course you are doing some kind of "auto blogging" or you have a series of messages set up and make the investment of time upfront to have it posted to your blog at regular intervals.

But that's 'marketing stuff' - I'm talking about true blogging which requires a topic, inspiration, and time to keep it all up.

Most 'true bloggers' dont earn a substantial income from their blogs. A few do, and many more earn income indirectly from their blogs... and the majority just blog because they enjoy it. I would fall into that last category - though I admit that it does contribute to my income and exposure online in some ways (indirectly, for the most part).

I have other blogs and RSS feeds besides this one - more the 'marketing stuff' I mentioned above. Some are updated automatically, others require time & energy. Actually I have lots of 'marketing stuff' - lists, sites, stats, commissions, rankings, etc - and lately I've been putting some thought into what direction I want to take with it all. Where my priorities lie, and where I'd most like to spend my time when I am online.

Nothing definitive has come out of all that thinking just yet... but I will say that I'm feeling re-energized lately, and have been working behind the scenes to get things re-organized. Maybe it's the change of season, or the New Year approaching (quickly, I might add!)... but I'm feeling antsy - in a good kind of way ;)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

John Reese 10/29

I took a few minutes today to read the latest newsletter by John Reese, dated October 29th. In this 10-page PDF file, John shares some of the events that have affected his life dramatically over the last ten months.

He also takes the opportunity to inspire and motivate his readers.

Personally, I was deeply moved. There were so many things in that document that I could relate to... recent events in my own life that were very similar, and feelings I knew all too well.

He closes by saying:

"I would like to challenge you to do some deep thinking of your own. Look inside yourself and try to identify your purpose in life."

Great advice...

The last couple of months have been particularly difficult for me. It took me almost a month to get back to work at all after losing Grandmother... and I must admit that I still havent gotten back into the full swing of things.

Just last week, as I was starting to feel better - more like myself - I had an emergency dental appointment that led to oral surgery. It didnt go so well, and I'm actually returning to the surgeon for a follow-up in the morning as I just havent recovered from this like I thought I should.

I've spent much of the last week in bed, and on a liquid diet (blek!). At this point I'm actually tired of feeling tired. Reading John's message reminded me of who I used to be, and how I used to feel. And it sparked something in me... a reminder of MY purpose in life. That one thing I enjoy working towards, that motivated me more than any other.

I'm looking forward to getting back in the action :)

But I'd also like to say that I am thankful now that I invested the time in my lifestyle and my career that I have over the last 9 years. I've taken some major leaps, worked insane hours and even continued on when things took much much longer than expected - never giving in or giving up.

I am not at the end of my journey. I havent "completed my mission" by any means. But I did manage to create solid streams of passive income that are there - even when I am not. For the last two months I have been allowed the time to grieve, and the time to rest... without concern. That is a major luxury in this fast-paced busy world that we live in, and I feel incredibly fortunate.

If you've ever wondered if it's worth it... all of this time invested researching and planning and working... let me assure you that it is.