Posts

FREE & PAID Online Writing Leads

The Reality of It All

Writing online can be a legitimate source of residual income. Many of the articles here on shit-head.com are about my own personal experience earning a passive income online writing, especially on Hubpages.com. That’s real income I see deposited every month to my account.

Over the years I’ve come across many fake (scams) and authentic writing offers. I’ve compiled a list of free and paid online writing leads that are legitimate. But YOU are going to have to do the work. You can be lead to water, but nobody can make you drink! This list of online jobs can be given to you, but nobody can make you take advantage of the opportunities and do the work, no one but you.

Very, very, very, very, rarely, has any success happened overnight. It was a solid year before I began reaping any rewards worthy of talking about. I’ve been writing on Hubpages.com since 2012. I was earning pennies at first. That sucked. I could have done without the demoralizing .09 cents each month. But that didn’t last very long. Soon it jumped to $25 a month, then $75, and $100 and so on, until I am now. Reviewing my earnings page, it was one year before I had income over $100 a month. All the while I was writing, and submitting articles furiously. It was after 100 articles that the income really started to be worthy. My score as a writer has always been well above 90. Your score is determined by how well your articles are written. Not by how popular the article is, but how well you wrote it, so that’s nice. If you’re really putting your best effort forward with good grammar and thoughtful insights, etc., you’re rewarded for it with a high score even if the public doesn’t find your article interesting, you still get the kudo’s for your hard work with a high score.

Just because Hubpages.com worked out well for me, doesn’t mean it’s meant for everyone. Different strokes for different folks, right! That’s the whole reason I write these articles, so you will get the whole picture, not just my view, or what someone pays me to tell you! No way! I got your back!

Sometimes people have a difficult time finding their place on the internet to write articles. Seeking and discovering legitimate writing opportunities is one of the most difficult endeavors out there. That’s one of the reasons I offered up my success with Hubpages.com because I know any help finding legit work in this arena is very welcome by writers out there.

SCAMS

You have to be hyper vigilant for scams! Working from home and online writing are two of the biggest scam attractions. It was a lot worse a few years ago. Out of every five opportunities four were scams maybe even all five were sometimes! If these scammers would be in an honest days work they would progress so much further. They cut their own throat running all these scams. As soon as they are found out, it’s over. Talk about a dead end career! But I digress. In more recent years authentic work at home opportunities and writing jobs have begun to out number the scams. but you still need to be on your toes!

REVIEWS

Reviews aren’t always what they seem. Online, the competition for attention from shoppers is out of this world! When you have 500 websites and they are all trying to sell you the same shirt, you can imagine the virtual cat fights that go on. The fur flies! Remember this when you are reading reviews in your search for online writing gigs.
Above is the ad for writing-jobs.net . The research on this website offer for writing is skewed, but if you keep on digging you will find that it is legit. There were reviews that didn’t paint writing-jobs.net in a bright light, yet they did admit they are legit. For example a review on www.letsworkonline.net was negative. But if you step back for a minute and read the sign above the door of this reviewers business you will find why their review is negative. . .writing-jobs.net is letsworkonline.net’s direct competitor! Any reasonable person can realize this review has a conflict of interest! You can’t expect an honest, unbiased, review on a competitors site! That’s just ridiculous.
If you owned a business are you going to post a positive, business endorsing, review about your competitor? Of course not! It’s your competitor. If you give them a bright and shiny review the patrons you give the review to will most likely purchase from your competitor that you just told them was so great. Let’s be honest. If you wrote a review about your competitor it would be negative, highlighting anything that can be perceived as bad. You would keep in mind that shoppers don’t want to hear anyone bash a business hard. It makes you and your business look bad. So you bash them just enough and for proper online review etiquette you mention your competitors highlights, very few, and at the bottom of the article. Am I right or what?

Typical of a competitor letsworkonline.net fits the above mold perfectly. At least letsworkonline.net did not go into bashing writing-jobs.net . They didn’t write anything positive but they also didn’t try to drag writing-jobs,net over the coals. That would have been very tacky. I would seriously question any review that drags another business over the coals.

Writing-jobs.net does provide you with leads, websites that provide legitimate work. They do have a training program they offer to hone your writing skills. The owner, Glenn Anderson, does own further, similar types websites (I have no idea how that attributes to the legitimacy of the websites, but reviews mention it often enough I thought I should as well). writing-jobs.net does charge a monthly fee to access their website. The last I looked it was $17 a month. That’s isn’t very much to pay if this is what you need. Maybe you just need to find some legitimate leads, or procure courses on writing skills. For $17 a month it’s a reasonable source if only to boost you up.

FREE OPPORTUNITIES

So far we’ve gone over the reality of a career writing online and searching for work. We’ve looked at scams on the internet concerning online work. Then we talked about the errant nature of website reviews. It is time for the Free list of opportunities!

That was just my experience with that type of writing. Alas, different strokes for different folks, so here is the list of websites offering leads for FREE. Some websites, such as MTurk, are better known as “microwork” because the jobs are small, like writing an article or taking a survey.

(The following list are linked to their specific webpage. Each link is only for your convenience. Nothing is gained. It’s just a simple safe link. Every link has been checked and all are working fine.)

Websites such as Fivrr.com and upwork.com do provide work opportunites. You just have to sign up to their website. The problem with these types of websites is, the competition for writing jobs is extraordinarily high! I went this route years ago. When I would “bid” for a writing job ten to twenty people with several years writing on that website, with stars and kudo’s I didn’t have, would apply as well. Guess who would get the work? Not the one without all the kudo’s I can tell you that! I gave it a shot for about six months before I realized I was wasting way too much time bidding on work that I wasn’t getting. I needed to be more pro-active and write!

Seasons Of My Estranged Child

The yellow rose: Joy, Wisdom and Power
As these beautiful seasons change,
The fact still remains,
That you insist we are estranged.

Autumn drapes me in beautiful color,
My tears fall like no other.

Winter takes me by a cold command,
I wish you were here, I don't understand.

Spring leaps forth with life anew,
Lord help me, I'm still thinking of you.

Summer soaks me in sunshine warm and bright,
It's time I let go, I will start tonight.

As the seasons change so will I,
It's far past time I stop living your lie.
______________________________________________

Autumn splashes my world full of colors as the leaves float down,
I will go for a nice walk around my town.

Winter with all your hail and storm,
It's high time for my reform!

Spring entertains new growth and life anew!
I will take this joy and embrace it through and through.

Summer bring your warmth and skies so blue,
I have forgiven myself, and I forgive you too.

The Internal Cascading Stylesheet

You have a website document that you’re setting up and want to add some styles to it. That’s great! Adding styles to your website will definitely add to its curbside appeal and attract more readers! Now you have to ask yourself, “How do I add a CSS code to my webpage?”

There are three methods for adding CSS code, aka: styles, to your webpage(s) document:

  • The internal stylesheet – Usually applied to a single page.
  • The inline stylesheet – Used to style an element on a page.
  • The external stylesheet – This type of stylesheet is used for a multi-page website.

Each style type has its benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we will go over the internal CSS.

The internal CSS is used when you have a single page you want to style. If you add more than one page to your website, you will want to use an external stylesheet. This is due to two reasons. One being the internal stylesheet can make your website load slower. And the second reason is an external stylesheet is far more practical for a website with multiple pages.

The external CSS file is more practical for multiple page websites because one file is created, a .css file, which styles all of the website out of this one file. Otherwise, if you used an internal or inline CSS style, you would have to place it on every single page of your website! This would be a huge, time intensive, task. Imagine if you had a website that included twenty, or more pages! This is not an unheard of size of a website. Actually that is a conservative number of pages. Placing internal or inline on all those pagers would be impractical. By using an external CSS file it affects all of the pages. When you edit the one CSS file, it will affect all the pages on your website.

On occasion you may find that you want to alter some of the text on your webpage, or maybe you’re intending to set-up a one page landing page. For these situations the internal CSS code would be used.

When you are competing for screen time on the internet, the speed at which your website loads is paramount. The latest study on page speed and user engagement, by Forrester Consulting, reveals the average American user will wait all of 2 seconds for a website to load before they will abandon the page!

If you plan on competing with a 2 second load time, an internal style sheet won’t always cut it.

Why does it take longer to load? The internal style sheet is written into the <head> section of the page. With more information written into this section, and anywhere on the page, there is more for the browser to process and present. Albeit some information like styles is hidden from the user’s view, it still must be processed by the browser.

Yes, we are talking about milliseconds, but when you have 2 seconds to present your page to the user, every millisecond counts!

Create An HTML5 Document

Let’s create a document together. We’ll write an HTML5 document without any CSS code. We’ll save it, then open it in a browser to view it.

Then, we’ll go back and add an internal CSS code to the same HTML5 document, save it, and open it again in a browser to see the difference!

The 1st step is to open a new document in either notepad or wordpad where we will type up a webpage using HTML5 code. I’ll be using notepad.

This is a sample template of the format for an Internal CSS code. If you want you can copy it for practice. The “. . . . . .” should be replaced with your CSS code accordingly as we will see below.

What you need to do now is copy exactly what I have written below. Either copy and paste it into your note or wordpad document. Or type it into your document just make sure it is exactly the same.

<!doctype html>
<html>
<head>

</head>

<body>
<h1>No Styles Page</h1>
<p>This is an HTML5 document, or page, with no styles added. This is what the whole internet would look like if we did not have CSS code we can add to spice up this drab writing.</p>
</body>

</html>

The 2nd thing we need to do is Click File and Save as… In the window the pops up there is a box at the bottom that says File Type. Click it and from the drop-down menu select All File Types. Above All File Types is a box for you to name your file. Type in a name for your file, then a period and HTML. For example: mywork.html or firstpage.html. And be sure to put the period with HTML. Make a note of the folder you are saving this file in. Click Save.

After you save your page as an HTML document leave the original open, or save it again but save it as a .txt document so we can edit it later.

Locate your new file where you noted that you saved it. It should have your browser as its icon. Double click on your file, and it will open a new browser tab with your page just like the photo below.

If the entire internet looked like that you and I would be bored out of our minds!

This is where your CSS stylesheet comes in! We will be adding an internal stylesheet. This will be contained within those </head> and </head> labels we put in our HTML5 document.

Go back to the original document we typed up in the 1st step. Add to the document, or copy and paste the text below:

<!doctype html>
<html>

<head>

<style>
h1 {color: red;}
body {color: green;}
p {text-align: center; font-family: "Georgia"}
</style>

</head>

<body>
<h1>Styled Page!</h1>
<p>This is an HTML5 document, or page, with styles added! This catches your attention    much better don't you think? There are so many elements you can change with a CSS stylesheet the limits are virtually endless!</p>
</body>

</html>

We have only added the <style> and closing </style> tags and there elements to the document. I updated the content of the body to go with the theme of the page better.

Now we need to save it again. You can save it the same way as in step 2: File –> Save As –> File Type: All File Types –> and the name of your document.

Now find the document you just saved and double click on it, and it will open in your browser with the new attributes we just added!

You can see the changes we made just by adding a CSS style in the document. The title or h1 element stands out in large red letters. And the font is now Georgia and green!

You can play around with the elements in your document all you like. After you change an element, save it as .html and open it in your browser to see the changes!

CSS Elements

When using the name of a color, you can use HEX, RGB, HSL, RGBA or HSLA values. Also each color value IE: red, blue, green, etc. can be manipulated within the CSS code to alter its values. A simple Google search for CSS styles will display a list of websites where all the codes are listed. Listing all of them here is outside the scope of this article. CSS color code alone has 140 color value names, that does not include the alternate methods of entering a color name!

Using the sample practice pages we created earlier practice changing the values of the elements, save and then display them to see how it worked out. Try adding different values such as Borders, Outline and Icon. With a little practice you’ll be able to style your pages to your satisfaction!

Thanks for reading!

Adding Photo’s to Your Website – Newbies

I like to share what I have learned from creating my websites so that maybe you won’t have to stumble over the same things I did. If sharing what I’ve learned can make creating your own website just that much easier then it’s worth it.

Adding photos to your website sounds simple enough right? Wrong. Photos can be an insidious addition to a website, for a couple of reasons. One is they take up a huge amount of memory if your not careful. And second, a website wouldn’t be a website without several photos right? When these memory hogs are uploaded to your website, and you place two maybe three photos on a page, they will slow down your page load time significantly!

If you’re thinking, “I don’t use a fancy digital camera. I take pictures with my cell phone so they can’t be very big.” Guess again. The highest pixelated photos I take are with my Samsung cell phone. On average they contain 5312 x 2998 pixels. That is a humongous number of pixels!! Considering that your average profile picture online is recommended to be 200 x 200. Now 5312 x 2998 looks huge!

I found out about posting huge pictures on my website when I was running out of memory. I had been so busy filling in the content I didn’t even consider the size of the photos!

The image below is straight off of my cell phone. It’s an enormous 5312 x 2988 pixels!! To put it on my website I would want to get rid of as much of the background as possible so the focus will be on the flower. But I also want to reduce the size of the resulting photo. I’m using GIMP to do this.

Enormous photo off of my cell phone at more than 5000 pixels!
I select the specific part of the photo I want the focus to be on….the flower. So I select and copy it.
I open a new file and set the pixels at 500 x 300 and paste my selected flower onto the page.
As you can see the flower is way bigger than my new 500 pixel area so I use the GIMP scale tool. The box reflects the size of the flower at over 2000 pixels. I just delete the numbers the arrow is pointing at and enter 500 x 300 or click the down arrows until 500 x 300.
After entering or arrowing down to 500 x 300 I hit enter and there is your new reduced size photo. This does not reduce the pixels! It reduces the dimensions of the photo.

Reducing a photo isn’t difficult to do. You do need a software that can reduce and not just resize your photo. There is a difference. I use GIMP for all my photo needs. It’s free and very functional. It takes a little bit of practice to get good with GIMP but there are tons of tutorials online to help.

Photoshop has a resize/reduce feature as well and Adobe has a photo manipulation tool. There is also Irfanview. This is another totally free software you can download like GIMP. It doesn’t have all the functionality that GIMP has but it does have photo reducing abilities.

Check your photo’s for optimal page load and save your memory!

What Is The Meaning Of All This?

Have you ever received a bouquet of flowers and wondered, “What is the meaning of all this?” Probably not, but flowers were a common means of communication for hundreds of years!

The meaning behind various flower types and their color was established long ago. Over the years their meaning has been steadfast. You knew what was meant if you received a bouquet of white Camellia’s. The sender was telling you they felt that you are adorable! If your birthday is in March you could expect a bouquet of Daffodils!

Now-a-days you won’t come across very many people who know the meaning of flowers (and foliage), but a well versed florist will definitely know.

Whether the receiver is aware of the meaning of the arrangement you send. it can still be fun to choose particular flowers for the arrangement that mean something to you.

On the other hand, if the receiver may be wise to flowers and their meaning, you may want to consult your flower guide before sending a bouquet of pink Camellia’s to an acquaintance!

If your birth month is:

  • January – Your flower is the Snowdrop which means purity and hope.
  • February – Your flower is a Violet which reflects modesty and kindness.
  • March – You covet the Daffodil that are sincere and gracious.
  • April – Looks to the Primrose representing lovers.
  • May – Has the White Lily that is purity and sweetness.
  • June – Enjoys the Wild Rose of love and loyalty.
  • July – Only has Carnations on their mind of kind thoughts.
  • August – Puts it all on White Heather for luck and good fortune.
  • September enjoys Michaelmas Daisy with riches and happiness.
  • October reminisces of Rosemary with remembrance.
  • November dutifully seeks Chrysanthemum holding true to faith and truth.
  • December is always the Ivy of fidelity and faithfulness.

When you, or your florist, create a bouquet you can select flowers with certain meaning to get your message across to the receiver. If you are a shy person you might send a bouquet of Mignonette with Clovers (four leaf of course). And what better way to let the office flirt know your tired of the flirting than with white Carnations and Deadly Nightshade!

Common Flowers in a Bouquet and Their Meanings:

  • Aster – Love, daintiness.
  • Bird-Of-Paradise – Joyfulness.
  • Camellia – Beauty, loveliness.
  • – Camellia (White) – Your adorable.
  • – Camellia (Pink) – Longing for you.
  • – Camellia (Red) – You are a flame in my heart.
  • Candytuft – Indifference, lack of affection.
  • Carnation (Red) – I long for you.
  • – Carnation (White) – Disregard, disdain.
  • Clover four leafed – Be mine.
  • Columbine – Foolishness.
  • Daffodil – Chivalry.
  • Daisy – Innocent, pure.
  • Deadly Nightshade – Falsehood, untrue.
  • Fern – You fascinate me.
  • Forget-me-not – Do not forget about me.
  • Foxglove – I bow down to you.
  • Geranium – To console you.
  • Golden Rod – Be on your guard.
  • Heliotrope – I am devoted to you.
  • Hyacinth (White) – Sweetness.
  • Ivy – Faithfulness. I cling to you.
  • Lily of the Valley – Happiness will return.
  • – Lily (White) – Sweetness.
  • – Lily (Yellow) – Gay, Happy.
  • Mignonette – Your qualities are even greater than your charms.
  • Myrtle – Love.
  • Orchid – Beautiful lady.
  • Orange Blossom – Chastity.
  • Pansy – Thoughts.
  • Passion Flower – Willing to suffer hardship for you.
  • Peach Blossom – I am captivated by you.
  • Primrose – A token of love.
  • Rose – A token of love.
  • – Rose (Red) – Bashful, shy.
  • – Rose (Pink) – Please believe me.
  • – Rose (White) – I will be worthy.
  • – Rose (Yellow) – Jealousy.
  • Rosebuds – A confession of great love.
  • Snapdragon – Desire.
  • Statice – Remembrance.
  • Sweet Pea – You leave me or I leave you.
  • Tulip – Love and caring.
  • Verbena – Pray for me.

Phrases

Some floral combinations have well known messages already…

  • Daisy and Mignonette – Your qualities surpass even your great beauty.
  • Ferns and Lily of the Valley – You are sweet and charming and you fascinate me.
  • Ivy leaves and yellow rose – Your jealousy has put an end to our friendship.
  • Columbine, daisy and lily – You have played false and broken our friendship.
  • Pink and laurel leaves – Your high qualities have been noticed by me.
  • Goldenrod, sweet pea and forget me not – Danger is at hand, be careful, I go away but don’t forget me.

Now, the next time you receive a bouquet of flowers you won’t have to ask, “What’s the meaning of all this?” You will know!

Your Business & Your Budget (Or Lack There Of)

As I said in previous posts, my intention here is to help you get your business rolling and tell/show you what I did to become successful myself.

I have also talked about how I started out without a penny to spare. SO many people IE: business’s and their apps, have their hand out for your money it can seem impossible, for anyone without a large sum of money set aside, to start an online business! You have the cost of a domain, the cost of a host for your domain, an email program to deal with email, apps you may want to put on your website and the cost of placing ads to get your domain name out there. It’s just overwhelming.

After all that you need some sort of a phone number, besides your home phone, because every single thing listed above, and any single thing you plan on obtaining, requires a phone number! Now-a-days providing your phone number isn’t enough for these entities….they text you to verify that the phone number really works and it is yours before they will let you access the product you need.

Your phone number is not sacred to any of these entities, it’s money in their eyes. Your phone number will be sold to the highest bidder. Now you’ll be getting calls from every Tom, Dick and Harry with something to sell!

Personally, I didn’t/don’t want to give out my phone number to anyone that might sell it or share it. I don’t want advertisers calling me! I get enough ads from the internet, my email, the slide-in ads on my laptop, television and driving down the road. I certainly don’t need them calling me as well!! So how do I get around this without forking out MORE money for a business phone number?

The answer is voice.google.com . I checked out this service that is offered by Google and was very impressed! I use my Google account when I opened voice.google. I’m not sure if you have to have a Google account to use the website, but that’s free as well, so why not!

You don’t use your phone number here. You can create and send text messages and phone calls that go through Google. You can select to have a phone number. It is all FREE!

You have the option to select a phone number for yourself. You just select your city and they offer up several phone numbers. This is really nice because you can select any city you wish and select the phone number you like best. When you select a phone number, it’s yours, just like a regular telephone. You can:

  • Make phone calls and the phone number will be displayed.
  • Register the phone number as your business phone so it will display your business name with the phone number.
  • You can receive phone calls with this phone number.
  • If you’re not online when the phone call comes through it will go to a voicemail. When you access the voice.google site again it will have a notation on the left side of the screen by the voicemail icon of how many voicemails you have.
  • The voicemail is also transcribed into text message format as well so you don’t have to call the voicemail (by clicking on the icon) you can just read it under the text message icon! There voice recognition system is very accurate.
  • When you fill out the various forms online for your business you can use this phone number to verify your account.
  • When any entity text messages you to verify your account the text message arrives at your voice.google page and you can enter the code as needed. As a matter of fact one time I used a pay-per-minute phone number and it wouldn’t verify. The website kept saying “Please use a valid phone number”. I put in my Google number and it went through just fine!
  • You can select to have phone calls and text messages from your Google number forwarded to your personal phone for convenience!
  • If you don’t select a phone number when you make calls it will show an 888 or 800 number as the number your calling from and people can call it back while your online but as soon as your offline the number is of no use.

The other things I jumped on was Google Business, Yelp and Yellow Pages. These are similar to the good old Yellow Pages Directory of days gone by, but these are directories that are online and they are totally Free. They can boost your ad for a price in which you will be guaranteed so many views, but I have not found I needed any boosting.

Google Business has out paced Yelp and Yellow Pages as to business referrals. They also send a full report to your gmail about how your page is doing. This is the actual email from Google about my business. I only marked out my business name and search word queries because my brick & mortar business (which this is a report of) is unrelated to my online business and I don’t want to confuse readers. And the 11 calls to my business, that’s my voice.google number that is forwarded to my phone!

As you can see advertising by the giant Google and a business phone line are both taken care of by these free and reliable services. This is exactly what an entrepreneur on a limited budget needs!

(I will receive nothing for recommending these products listed above. I have no affiliation with Google, Yelp or Yellow Pages in any way shape or form. This is just me sharing what worked for me, to you. Simple advice for nothing. See you can get some things for free!(

A Realistic Look At Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has become a true contender in the entrepreneur arena. In the recent past hardly anyone had heard the word affiliate! Now it’s a common word especially among search engines. Personally, I stepped onto the affiliate marketing stage in 2010. I’ve jumped through the hoops, and I am now earning an income.

An incredible 97% of people that attempt affiliate marketing fail. It seems like obvious reasons: #1 They have unrealistic goals. You are not going to come out of the gate making $1,000 a day. For the average affiliate marketer you won’t see numbers like this for a few months. #2 They try to accomplish everything by skipping important steps. There are hoops you just can’t ignore. Like learning how to write so people will want to read your work. Just last night I was looking up some information on the internet. The third option down hit the nail on the head so I clicked on it. The language and content of the copy was so misaligned, confusing and poorly written that I clicked out of there after the first sentence! Am I going to favorite that website? Not even. Am I going to pass it on, or share this website? I don’t think so! The writer on this website skipped one of the first important steps, learn to write well and he paid for it by losing me and probably several others.

Since I’ve been through the ringer I can help you streamline your affiliate marketing. Some of the hoops are pointless, well, many of them, but some are essential.

Essentials of A Website

Content is King

If you haven’t heard this phrase yet, well now you have! Content IS King! You may as well hang it up if you have no intention of learning proper English and how to write great copy.

The content, copy, articles, whichever you like to call it, what you write must be impeccable. Could you imagine shopping on a website like Amazon and the items had misspellings? You’d never find what you were looking for!

When a consumer is searching for an item the search engines will look for similar words in the content of the websites. If the spelling is wrong, they will never find you! If you are selling bicycles, but your website has it as “bycycles” for sale. You won’t be found. So just as important as sounding like someone who knows what they are doing. You need to be identified by search engines as selling “bicycles” not “bycycles”. Plus, if you’re an authority in that arena, which you need to be if you want to gain and retain customers, you’re are obviously going to know how to spell “bicycles” correctly, right!

Mentors

If you can find a mentor, that, will put you way ahead of the game! Good mentors are few and far between. I am, in a sense, mentoring you here. Providing you with sound, honest, good, advice. That is what a mentor does.

You may choose to pay for a mentor. It streamlines the process of obtaining a mentor. Money is the name of the game with 99% of affiliate marketers. But even the mentors you pay for may not be up to snuff. This is one of those hoops I should have avoided.

I couldn’t find a free mentor in my time frame, so I decided to pay for one. The mentor assigned to me was completely unhelpful. She criticized my websites with nothing positive. There was no constructive criticism. The problem is I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket. She didn’t like that. She was of the mindset that I should have one website and only one site. Obviously we were not a match for mentoring. I was able to get my money back.

I use the investing strategy where I don’t put all my money in stocks. Especially in the affiliate marketing arena, don’t put it on one endeavor. Diversify and put your where it works best for you weather that be purchasing traffic, or investing in a mentor. If you can find a mentor that has the same strategy as you do, then it would be well worth it to have one.

Marketing

No matter how you look at it you will need traffic to your website. This is one of those hoops you don’t want to ignore. If the only people that know about your website is your friends and family you will need to advertise, there is no question about it. The options for advertising are huge.

When I first launched my websites my advertising budget was near nil! I hadn’t really planned on an advertising budget. I had focused so hard on optimizing my content and its value to my readers, marketing hadn’t really dawned on me.

If you do a little research on top performing companies you will find that their advertising budget takes the lions share of their budget! Many times their marketing budget far out weighs their employees salaries. It’s simple, you want customers, you need to get the word out there that you are available.

Your Money

Yes, you will, at some point in time, need to put some money where your website is. Some important words of caution. Everywhere you turn people have their hands out for your money. If they aren’t up front about the fact they are seeking your fortune, then watch your back because they’ll have a hand in your bag behind your back! Use complete caution when purchasing anything online! I will only use reputable companies. Always beware of the https: compared to the http: on a website. You should know by now that http: is an unprotected site whereas https: is protected. It’s subtle things like that you need to watch for. You could clean out your bank account in a minute if your not careful. Research what you plan on purchasing. What exactly will you receive for your dollar? How much traffic will you see? Where will this traffic come from? What kind of guarantee do they provide, etcetera, etcetera.

Free Traffic Sources

I started by using free sources of advertising such as Google business, Facebook and Yelp. Google allows you to create a profile of your business with them for free. They encourage you to make a complete profile with pictures and pricing. Facebook and Yelp offer the same thing. Yelp will have a salesperson call you and try to get you to pay for advertising. They will say that they can get you so many calls per day. They even asked me, “How many calls per day would you like? For 100 – 200 calls per day it will cost ???? (what ever the salesman offered).” But you are not obligated to purchase. To this day, I get more calls from my Google profile than any other source!! Yelp is a close second and Facebook I get a few. Facebook offers “ad boosting” where you can boost a post you have put on your website for so much money. The budget is very flexible and totally under your control. You choose who to advertise to (targeted advertising) and how long you want your ad to run. Then you set your budget and your ads start running. Even if you don’t run a Facebook ad you still have your website profile anyone can can see.

Mailing Lists

Your mailing list is important, but it is not the Holy Grail! Don’t let anyone tell you it is. Your mailing list, or opt in list, contains people that definitely have interest in your product, that’s why they signed onto your mailing list. But think about your own email. How often do you do mass deletions? You open your personal email and there’s so many ads and junk email you just click that button at the top and then Delete All! I’ve abandoned two email addresses because there is so much junk mail going to them! You don’t want to be in that Delete All category. Use discretion when deciding to use your mailing list for advertising or contacting your parties of interest.

Only email your email list when you truly have something different or important to offer to your readers. The days of indiscriminately sending out mass mailings are over. Spam protection, wise consumers, and ad blockers have changed all that. It was rude from the start, mass mailings, now the consumer has methods to fight back. I use mass delete for mass mailings!

A Favorite Website, Dumped

I had one website I really liked a lot. It was about herbal gardening. I signed up to her email list. Little did I know that she sends out an email several times a week!! When that first week I received several emails from the website I thought, “This won’t go on forever. She’ll reduce the emailing soon.” But it didn’t stop. Several times a week all these emails from her, I was overwhelmed. Who ever thought someone could talk so much about gardening!! The emails were coming so fast and furious, I opted out within the first two weeks of opting in to her site. I had enjoyed her topic, but she drove me nuts and she lost my subscription because of it.

Purchasing Email Lists

I don’t recommend purchasing an email list. As I mentioned above the days of mass emailing people whether you know them or not are over. Books about affiliate market still have a section on how to email people and how often (daily to weekly). I don’t recommend purchasing a list or harassing people in this manner. Don’t be that person that buys an email list and emails these people that never asked you to in the first place. This can also get you marked as a spammer and that will ruin your business!

The absolute BEST thing you can do is create a relationship with your customers! Learn what they want and how you can get it to them! Be that friend that knows all the right people and how to get things. Send your customer quality information and quality products and you will see your business flourish! Look at your own online experience. How important are your contacts that you know will get you what you need, fast and reliable? They are at the top of your list, maybe starred or thumbed up, right. Be that person!!

Education

Education is vital to the whole affiliate marketing world. Even if you are only learning what doesn’t work, you’re still ahead. Learn what people want. Learn what people are shopping for. Learn what website layout works best. Learn, learn, learn! The more you know the better off you will be. It’s the guy with the most information, presented in the best manner, that wins. Joe Blo that doesn’t know how to write interesting copy, has no idea what a website layout is and has no clue what people want to buy is one of those 97% that don’t make it.

I see education as a life long endeavor. You can be 20 years old or 70 years old and there’s still many things you don’t know. The best thing of all, education is FREE. And once you have it, nobody can take it away. It’s yours forever!

Get out there and learn everything you can about your niche, about the English language and marketing skills!

Last words: Use discretion spending your money!

Easter Is Canceled

Here is another one for the Parent’s Acting Poorly history book. Personally it looks cut-n-dry, yet I will present it as unbiased as possible.

This event involves:

5 kids (teenagers) and their parents

1 host child and their host parent

An Easter Egg hunt was set-up by the host child, at their grandparents house, with the 5 teenagers invited, on Easter Sunday. The afternoon would be spent at the grandparents ranch hunting eggs.

This group of kids are all friends and have been for several years on into high school. They do not smoke, drink or do anything else illegal. They are into good grades, homework and each other.

The morning of Easter Sunday the host child contacted the other teenagers to tell them that the day was canceled. The host child’s parent had become angry with the host child for not finishing their dinner the night before. To punish the child the host parent canceled the Easter Egg Hunt for them.

Some of the teenagers parents became irritated with the host parent for choosing to cancel at the last minute and for punishing their child whilst in the process of punishing their own. It was suggested another form of punishment be used so all the kids wouldn’t be punished. At that late of notice it would be difficult to pull together an alternative Easter event for the teenagers.

The host parent would not change their mind and insisted it was the host child’s fault that this punishment was issued. The teenagers didn’t have time to set-up something else and stayed at home and salvaged their Easter.

I’m sorry, but I gotta say, my opinion…..how rude of the host parent! The kids must have been looking forward to the Easter Egg Hunt and for that parent to just rip it out from under them, and at the last minute! Not good.

But we need to hear what you think! Majority rules, right!

The host parent was well within their rights to cancel, but was it appropriate?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

I Am Here For You, Take My Hand

Estrangement

Today I feel good; Today I feel strong.

Let me share my strength with you; To right this wrong.

I hold out my hand; I hold it out for you.

I can help you get through; this heartache and grief isn’t for you.

Take it please; It may be the best thing you do; take this hand offered to you.

Right here, right now; its just you and I.

Close your eyes…..clear your mind; Just think of us, your hand in mine.

We’ve done nothing wrong; So keep your heart strong.

I don’t know, I wish I did, how long this will go on.

It is our children this is all about; I hope one day they can figure it out.

Don’t live in regret; I would have never bet; Children could grow up and develop such a mindset.

You have me right here, right now; Right here on the internet.

Can you sense my good feelings flowing to you?

My good feelings and strength I’m sharing with you.

I can feel it, I know you can too.

With our eyes closed our mind will see it as true; I don’t have to be there to be able to share my strength with you.

We are human, we make mistakes; But we’ve done nothing so wrong to be estranged.

You are having a bad day, sometimes I do too. It will only get better now that I am here with you.

Please don’t worry that I must leave; I have nothing but time for you who grieve.

With our eyes closed we can imagine anything; Imagine we are in a meadow of flowers at the start of Spring.

We are still holding hands, enjoying the day, the beautiful sun, the flowers, it must be April or May.

Don’t limit your comfort with me, you see, I am any gender you wish for me; Your comfort and solice is most important to me.

If you become tired and want to sleep; you don’t have to worry;

I’ll be right here waiting, try it and see.

I promise I won’t let go of your hand; When you are ready to let go, just say it, I’ll understand.

I don’t want to let go, but I know you have plans; A life to live! Give it a chance!

My strength is here when ever you need it; In this whole wide world there’s someone who beat it.

Estangement is all about them, our children, not about us; Make your life and you will see they will become jealous.

Take my strength make it yours, YOU I will always adore.

I am real. I am estranged; But I am worth love and happiness I deserve the whole range.

When you know this, when you can feel this, you will feel the same.

You may have to look elsewhere, maybe hold a hand; But it will get better trust me I understand.