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How to create a PDF for free

May 31, 2006

You might be wondering what I used to create my ebook last year. Well, I didn’t spend a lot of money on Adobe software or any other PDF software. Instead, I wrote my ebook using OpenOffice and saved it as a PDF file using their export function.

It’s a great free and easy way to create a PDF file.

Update: Be sure to read the comments for the more detailed directions from http://openoffice.blogs.com/.

Getting Started – Ways to Make Money Online Series

May 31, 2006

How do you get started making money online?

I plan on presenting various methods of making money online in this series. I can tell you from experience that there are so many choices it can be a little bit overwhelming.

So what is my first piece of advice for someone trying to make money online?

DO WHAT YOU LOVE!

My first piece of advice is to make sure that your first online business venture be related to something you enjoy doing! It could be offering a service that you enjoy doing for people or it could be writing a book about something you enjoy, or it could be writing a blog about something you enjoy doing or it could be filling out surveys (if you enjoy doing that), etc.

Whatever you choose for your first online business, make sure it is something you enjoy!

The reason that this is so important, is that you are MUCH more likely to stick with it. Quite frankly making money online takes persistence and patience. In fact, many studies have shown that the one thing all extremely succesful business owners have is Persistence.

Choosing something you love doing will help you to be persistent with it. That’s why you must, must, must do what you love!

Succesful Blogging Habits

May 30, 2006

Darren Rowse had readers submit posts about blogging habits that made them succesful. Today Darren mentioned that one of his readers (Robert) had broken down the submissions to come up with a list of 50 habits. Then he broke the list down into the order of how many of the submissions mentioned each habit.

This is a great list, that I highly recommend you go look at.

1, 2, 4, 27, 43 are the ones that my wife used the most to build a succesful blog. However, I can see the value in all these habits (especially the top couple). Frequent posting was ranked number 1 in this list. Jill’s winter olympics blogging success bears this out. I think the most important thing Jill did was update her blog frequently (3-5 times a day).

Anyway, go check out the full list by clicking here.

Busy, Busy, Busy

May 29, 2006

Aren’t we all Busy?

I have a fairly busy week ahead. The next two weeks I will really be focusing on my wife and her brother’s web site. So much so, that I plan on spending less time with my own websites than with theirs.

I am going to start writing my ways to make money online series for this blog. I have one post for that series already written and will be posting it on Tuesday night or sometime during the day Wednesday. I will be spending a lot less time the next couple weeks with my other blogs, except to brainstorm viral marketing ideas for them.

Speaking of viral marketing ideas… I come up with WAY too many business ideas these days. In fact, the other day I was brainstorming some viral marketing ideas with my wife Jill and she came up with an idea that I think could be the next “MySpace”. Unfortunately, it would take a lot of time to develop! So if we do pursue it we are going to have to find someone to do the programming work involved. We came up with a lot of other web site ideas, unfortunately we can’t do them at this moment time. Maybe we should charge people for these ideas or better yet blog about them. I just can’t imagine giving away ideas like these for free though.

One more thing, I will be on vacation Thursday- Saturday, so you probably won’t see any posts from me during that time.

Anyway, I hope everyone in the US had a happy Memorial Day weekend. Off to bed for me, tomorrow it’s back to my 9-5 job.

Finding great topics to write about

May 25, 2006

If you have a blog or an informational website of any kind you may get frustrated trying to come up with topics to write about. So, what should you do?

Go visit forums! Visit forums related to the topic your website or blog is about. Find out what other people are talking about in your area of expertise and answer their questions on your blog or website.

You can also use this method to find a topic for an ebook. If I ever create a new ebook my plan is to:

1. Find a niche that I want to write about.
2. Search Forums on that topic to see what the most common questions are about that topic.
3. Answer those questions in my ebook.

I use this same method to come up with posts for my blogs. In fact, this post was prompted by a question I saw on a forum. I answered the question there and then I went over here and wrote this post. It actually makes more sense to answer the question on your blog and then write the answer on the forum and link to your post. But sometimes I do it the other way around.

You don’t have to come up with topics all by yourself, go find out what people are asking. Then answer their questions. It’s a great way to come up with useful content for your site.

How to Make Money with Web 2.0

May 25, 2006

I just finished reading this excellent post by Nick Wilson on performancing about using Web to 2.0 to jumpstart your business. I highly recommend you take a look at the post.

I have been thinking about leveraging web 2.0 ideas to create a new website, but I have too many ohter things going on to get serious about it until after the summer.

Anyway, check out the post by Nick, it’s really interesting.

Content is King, Links are King

May 24, 2006

I am trying to catch up on a few things and I just read a really good post by Chris Garret about content vs. links over on the performancing blog. I kind of agree with him, but I think that ideally you should work on creative ways of getting traffic to your blog or website in addition to creating great content.

Maybe I should rephrase that. 

I feel like the fastest way to make big money on the Internet is to create great content that is viral in nature or to create great content and somehow drive traffic to it using viral marketing techniques. 

Back Pain, Blog Spam and a New Blog

May 22, 2006

This weekend I pulled my back out, so until it gets better I won’t be spending as much time as usual writing posts for my blogs or on my business in general.

 This past weekend I spent a little time updating some of our most heavily trafficed blogs, by either upgrading them to the latest version of wordpress and then installing the akismet spam blocker or for the blogs that were already running the latest version of WordPress just installing the akismet spam blocker. I wonder if SPAM caused my back pain??? What an interesting lawsuit that could be…

One last thing that I managed to do was finish setting up our newest blog. Jill and I have been talking about this for a while, but we wanted to make our home page  onourtv.com be a blog for all the TV shows that we don’t have a dedicated blog for, but would like to write about. So I made the blog live the other day and started it off with a post about this season’s upcoming finale for LOST.

That’s it for now…

STOP THE BLOG SPAM

May 19, 2006

Ugghhh… I am having to change gears a bit. The last couple of months we have been getting more and more blog spam. All of a sudden this week one of our blogs is being pounded with SPAM. Like 1-5 SPAM comments a minute!

It’s killing that blog.

So I have temporarily turned off comments on that blog. Last night, I setup some blog spamming plugins (akisnet, and Spam Karma) on some of our blogs. But the install for those did not go well on some of our older blogs, so I am going to work on upgrading those blogs soon! For the time being, I may have to shut down all comments on all of our blogs (except the ones that have a working SPAM plugin installed).

Anyway, I will keep you updated on this, but it has thrown me a bit off course this week. Given that many other things through me off course this week, it has been a less productive week than I hoped for on a lot of fronts.

On the upside I am learning quite a bit about fighting blog spam and will get back to you on the solutions I test out.

On another positive note, it’s almost the weekend!

Trading Blogroll Links

May 18, 2006

I have been posting the section of my book on reciprocal links on my seo blog recently and I just wanted to mention something quickly about trading blogroll links. There are several questions I usually ask myself when someone asks me to trade blogroll links:

1. Does the blog have a history longer than three months?
Sometimes I will trade links with blogs that are younger than three months, but since a lot of blogs don’t make it past the three month mark, it is often best to wait for blogs to be established before trading links.

2. Is the link on every page or just one?
I have seen a trend on blogs to only put the blogroll links on the blog’s home page and not on any of the internal pages. This means that you are putting their link on all of your blogs pages, and they are putting your link on only one page. This is a very unequitable trade and I recommend avoiding these link trades.

3. Is the blog related to yours?
While the blog you trade links with doesn’t have to be have the same general theme as your blog, it will help your Search Engine rankings more and it gives your visitors what they want.

4. Is the blogger enthusiastic about their topic?
If the blogger seems enthusiastic about their blog and posts fairly regularly, they are probably more likely to be a good link partner.

5. How prominent is the link?
While the link doesn’t have to be above the fold, I would rather not trade links when the link to my blog is going to be in the footer (the very bottom) of the blog.

6. Would I recommend this blog to my visitors, friends, family?
You don’t always have to love the blogs that you trade links with, but it is best to trade links with blogs that you really like and would recommend to others.

Pay Per Click Search Engine Tips

May 16, 2006

The other night I uploaded a free ebook to my site that offers great tips on promoting your online business with Pay Per Click advertising.

If you are looking for ways to optimize your PPC campaigns, then you should check out this free ebook by clicking here.

Great Marketing Story

May 15, 2006

Darren of ProBlogger wrote this excellent post about an experience he had the other day with an umbrella salesman. There are some great marketing lessons to be learned from his post. I just wanted to quickly touch on a couple of them.

Darren said:

1. Anticipate Needs: The umbrella guy had obviously planned for rain. Maybe not that day, but he had a plan in place for the day that rain did happen (not an uncommon thing at this time on year in Melbourne). He knew what he’d do and how he’d do it when the opportunity came…

A prime example of an opportunity for this happened yesterday where many parts of the world celebrated Mothers Day.

My wife Jill has been anticipating holidays and events on her vegetarian recipe of the day blog by posting a few weeks ahead of holidays and events and we have seen some decent search engine traffic spikes right before and during these events and holidays. By reading her blog you can tell she has been doing this right from the start, with the majority of her first recipes being Super Bowl Recipes. This has definitely made a difference in traffic.

Another thing the salesman did was postion himself where the people looking for umbrellas were. Think about ways you can position your website or blog where your visitors are. Instead of making them look for you, come to them. For instance, if you have a blog or website about knitting, you should belong to knitting forums, mailing lists, associations, etc. Preferabbly you would belong to those places before you create your site or blog. That way as soon as you launch your site or blog you will have instant traffic from your knitting friends (and their knitting friends, etc.).

There is a lot of good advice in Darren’s post, so I highly recommend you go read Lessons from an Umbrella Salesman.

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