ALERT!!! PLEASE click SILENCE above, go to new layout. ;o)

Change and resonating with readers...

I have been busting my nuts over what I should do with this blog, as you already know from a recent previous post I will have to get off FTP and with the benefit of the speed increase the happens after that, I can and will be editing and changing a lot here.

It's needed and I already started! ;o)

Having had a tidy up with my hosting and sorting files, folders out and generally maintaining things, it's all looking better prepared for what I want to do.

As for the blog posting via FTP... at the moment it's a nightmare to deal with, I am looking forward to ending the damn nightmare too!

Anyway... (shrugs)

When I have got off the FTP I can sort things out in a few days of solid action and hopefully, doing that will boost my motivation for it and in turn do better from there on, I might change the template therefore the look of the blog too, why not...a fresh start.

As long as I stick to the blogging rules...

When it comes to blogging, there are no damn rules... not real rules but to me there seems to be plenty of guidelines to what makes a good blog, I read enough of them and as you already know, I think you have to be better reader if you want to be a better writer.

Because when it comes down to it, that's all that really matters, words, writing. But what power words have!
The pen is mightier than the sword, as the saying goes... gotta be careful them words there!

I need to improve the content you read, but also for it to differentiate from all the other gazzilllion blogs and sites out there I have to be different somehow.

I know I need to narrow the focus of the blog, then edit what I can to improve it for that chosen focus, improve content, even on older posts, delete what I can keep that what fits, just generally improve things all round.

But what to focus on?
That's my dilemma, doubt I am the first to have this dilemma and doubt I'll be the last, maybe a better thing to ask is...

How can we write what resonates with the reader in a way that matters?

People always write that following your passions, expertise, and writing around that is the way to go...while I can see why and have said myself that its a good way, but mainly to start out and get you going without letting procrastination stall you, if it's an obscure thing, its a good practising start to move on something better and if it's a reasonable "niched topic" with a good chance to doing well anyway, carry on and ramp it up!

If you read anything you are already in a position to know what pulls the reader in with that topic, giving you some idea of what and how to write what appeals to them, if you can so it makes sense to blog on something you love to write about, but to really resonate with readers you gotta do something special, out of the ordinary, something that gets noticed by those who's attention you want. Zig to everyone else's zag!

But only if it will be worth while, that is it's not just a case of doing it for the sake of it, after all, you put alot of emotional and mental effort into it and you know... it's hard work!

So, you gotta get something out of it too, whatever it is you choose as the reward, benefit.

If something does stand out from what I learned with experience and have seen happen elsewhere (too many times to be a coincidence) is being consistent is probably one of the biggest factors altogether, if you start resonating with the right readers with your content, however it happens, then be consistent with that.

It's no coincidence that this blog doesn't get as many post(s) commented on as a few of my other blogs (why it needs improving), take Portland Bill for example, because the niche topic is specific, targeted and I write about things that resonate with the readers, they read it, comment on it, almost every post... after all, they live(d) or have been here too, I am provoking their own thoughts, experiences and memories with what I write about and share, which encourages them to share theirs too. It helps leaving the ego at the door but allowing others in.

Learning from your own experience, not just what others say is so.

Whatever it is you do, if you stick at it, drop the crap, ramp up what works, learn something all the while and consistently improve no matter how small the margin... you are getting somewhere, no?

It doesn't all have to be pretty and amazing though, it just has to be tried.

You don't have to do one outstanding blog, you could be trying lots of little niche themed ones, seeing what works and building on that or something else entirely... whatever works for you works, be consistent in that.

So many egotistical people with an agenda tell you what you should do, usually it involves buying whatever it is they sell, but they have no idea what you need... don't bother unless you know it will do something for your own benefit and growth, really in most cases, if these people are that good, then you can learn plenty from seeing what they do themselves, rather than from them telling you to buy something.

Not to say everything out there is useless, because that would be wrong but to say, usually, you can learn what you need from doing, rather than listening to and reading, remember, you learn plenty watching what they do, not what they say. ;o)

It's great to learn from others, it's worth listening to what they say, reading what they write but don't take anything as gospel unless you try it yourself...the only proof and results that matters are your own (not illegal and black hat stuff though!) ... don't take my word for things I say on here, if it works for me, it might not for you, same anywhere with anything.

Everyone is a marketer.

I love getting stuck into marketing, marketing is everything in a sense, being passionate about it is great, the experience gained over the years is worth it's weight in gold and every aspect of life is in some way effected by marketing, whether it's from or too you, it's entwined with human behaviour, itself fascinating.

The internet itself has just changed marketing by taking it to a new level, adding a better dimension to it, it's just a new different platform with a better reach and possibility of measured growth.

It's not just businesses, it's everyone, everyone is a marketer...

It's not about "pushing" something onto others etc, it's about making the most out of everything you do, bettering it in any way possible in order to get the most from it, being aware of those on the other side of the screen, whoever that is and bettering what they see, share, use whatever it is you do.

The shift needed is getting from the customer or reader mindset to the marketers mindset, once that shift happens everything changes, overnight with some (me) or a bit longer with others but it happens and as you know mindset is everything too, it's that important, it's a different way of thinking.

Once that shift happens... you realise that you were a marketer all along, just the awareness of it in every part of life has sunk in, be it  and when you then look an the internet, it's never the same again!

Everytime you share something, you are marketing someone, everytime you write something (even a facebook status or tweet) you are marketing... even if it's only marketing yourself, intentionally or not, you have the power to build up and pull down, awareness is all you need.

You also realise the power you have if application is made to use it and with your marketer hat on!

You could make change!

Everyday people are making change...

The internet I am starting to think is the idea platform, nothing is better as an idea platform, and the value of the idea is the real currency and people are getting them ideas, thoughts, notions out there, some remarkable, some not, and plenty of middle of the road stuff... where's your stuff fall in that?

I wouldn't profess to saying I could change the world, but I could say my world.

Same as you, but collectively it matters and makes change.

I now realise what I want from doing what I do, to change my world, I don't to be sat on my arse all day writing mediocre and varied stuff anymore in the hope it works out, testing, trying more, I want to write less often but with better impact,  shouldn't we all aim for that?

I want to improve the things I use to do this stuff, I want to improve the way this stuff gets out there, improve what it is that works on doing all that and keep doing that.

That's the thing striking me about having a blog and writing, it changes you, it is almost empowering some form of self growth, self awareness, self education, naturally you learn alot doing it and you grow, one post a time.

Not that I am writing about self growth etc, just that it's a part of the process itself and I really do think everyone has something important to share with others, it's just finding that something.

I just realised we have to write stuff that resonates with us first, from this post I see I need to keep making the changes I am making. :o)

I put some effort into this post, that's the thing I have to keep at, make every post worth writing... my reward from you? If you like it, would you share it using the button below? Comment?

So, what about you?

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@ 5:53 PM, , create a link to this post

Good, Bad, whatever...speak up I can't hear you...

What do you choose to see?

Isn't that the world we live in, one of choices, one of free will to decide for ourselves, what we do and what we believe?

We decide for ourselves a point, the fact society is "moulding people" to "fit in" through various means, schooling, media, morals, peer pressure, all real examples you can relate to.

You know, it's depressing to look at any of the news because that's what they do, dumb em down and spread fear, just how the establishment like it, genuine bad news is understandably reported about, the earthquake recently for example, but on the whole it's all manipulated depressing roof-is-caving-in-crap!

It's nearly all propaganda crap, designed to create a mass fear.

The way things work is now shifting though with more people starting to use real time media to get facts and stories direct without being filtered as such like it is for mainstream and that's also changing the way people are influenced, by what they choose to see, where they choose to look for that information, how it changes they way they think about things, around them and elsewhere in the world.


Where is all the good news?

Good news? ... um, joking or what?

Seriously, why is there not a purely good news channel sharing what is uplifting with the world.

You could say we create that ourselves by choosing what we see online, if you ignore the TV, newspapers and only look at good things, uplifting news, whatever gees you up, inspiring writing, stories that motivate you.

Why put crap and depressing shit into your head in the first place?
Remember you almost never forget may think you do, but it's there, somewhere.

The internet really is changing the mass of thought out there in the world, collective conscience is changing... the establishment have manipulated that collective conscience for so long and now they are losing that grip.

You could almost compare it to the social change of the 60's... that was a massive collective conscience change too, it changed society as a whole.

Now it's our turn to change society, collectively.

Right in front of you, is a fantastic tool... you can't underestimate what it can do for you, those around you and indeed people all over the world.

Because of it, YOU are the media...

The responsibility of the media falls down all of us now, not the establishment, we collectively have more reach and therefore more power and responsibility with it, we are already unleashing it.

The modern generation take all this for granted and are less influenced by the mainstream than my own and older generations, we had a TV with 4 channels! (can remember it being less than that) and the usual crappy newspapers, telling us what they wanted us to know.

Now there is a massive range of choice, so many channels vying for your attention and the chance to influence they way you think, see things, act and influence others.

Make your time they desperately grasp for worth your while and be picky, picky in what you see and therefore share, but overall as with the old saying, "don't believe all you read" mum was so fond of, it still matters, yet...

That's the real power in your hands, the reach from what you share, the recent "rage against the machine" being No 1 in the UK charts being a great example, another is the more recent "bra colour" viral status campaign on facebook, they were just ideas, "was it possible to do this?" and that is the internet, a field of possibility, or a factory of them.

You never had the opportunity to spread things like that before, nor so fast, use it wisely, you have more influence than you realise, even if it is just a status, or tweet!

Share your voice, loudly, it's unique and valuable.

Consider why you read some books, blogs, profiles, whatever, usually it because of the voice behind it, not the person as such, but what they say and the way they say it, it's their voice (written voice) that usually grabs you, for whatever reason, fun, witty, sarcastic, rude, or just plain old nice and easy reading.

I see some people who write some great status's and tweets and yet they have no other platform like a blog or such which I think is a shame, they could probably build a great blog audience.

You know, you can have as much as 100 readers a day on your blogger blog after a few weeks and yet though 100 is not a massive deal you still have some influence, depends who reads it, shares it, only takes one tweet, blog link, status shared from one of these readers to explode the growth of your audience and again your possible reach to new readers.

You already say and share more than you think... what may be nothing to you could be a huge thing to another...and you'd never even know it.

So, why aren't you sharing it with the world?

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@ 6:39 PM, , create a link to this post

R.I.P: Twitter is dying, long live ...

... blogging.

Lets get this straight ...

Twitter will die long before blogging does, the fact it's treated like a "popularity" contest with the auto-follow bots, crap follow trains (where you can "gain" 400, 500 or whatever number it is), lame competitions, and other sly abuses makes it worth less now for the user.

I am continually blocking some porn spammer or other spammy crap, I look at their twitter and they have one "tweet" and they follow 500 people, and have no followers, or they follow none and have 500 odd followers, not hard to see what crap they use!

I would rather have 100 followers with reach than 2000 with none, it's not all a numbers game you know, I don't really get better results traffic wise now I have more than 2000 followers then I did when I had 1000, there could be many reasons for it, but the more followers you have only means that, you have more followers. Not all followers are equal, just as not all traffic is equal.

People are vainly trying to get the twittering celebrities attention in order to get some response, saying that it will "make their day plus get me more followers"

I don't give a flying shit about the fact some like A Kuchter has 2 million, and if he tweets to you you will gain tons of followers, who cares?

Meaningless ...

The other thing is twitter is 100% usable without going to twitter, how do twitter monetise their "webspace" when everyone is using something else to post to it?
Ads on the main twitter "home" page would be useless in that respect, plus who would really take notice of them?

Much like any social site, if you get banned and your account is deleted, that's it, you lose!
You have lost whatever you post to them, much like a few years ago with forums and people losing great content because they get banned.

Blogs are ours, I own this, noone can "ban me" from writing here, or delete this except me, or my host, and even then it's possible to back up a copy of it all so you don't lose it.

I am surprised at seeing someone say they get 90% of their business from twitter, they say that it's usually new orders, ie not much repeat orders, they even say it would be devastating to get banned from there, wtf are you doing relying on twitter?

It's good you get the work from there, if you do, not so good that you have to be there to get it and if you lose it you lose nearly all you incoming work.
If you have a blog you have a central for them to come to you.

Twitter will not outlast blogging!

Do you agree?

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@ 9:23 PM, , create a link to this post

Posterous, the big easy ...

Or the blogger killer?

So, I was a little late giving it a try but I am glad I got round to checking it out properly last night because I think the set up is just so simple, clean and easy.

They are making use of the one thing we all use and take for granted, that's email, the.ubiquitous nature of email over a website or blog platform like blogger, wordpress makes it perfect in today's world with the speed and mobility we seem to be living with, doing it all on the move so to speak, snacking on content.

The fact you don't even have to set up an account to start is unusual and good, just send an email, while that itself sounds a little odd, it really is that simple, just send an email to (replace AT with @ of course) and it does all the rest for you!

After that you simply wait for an email and in that will be a link to the blog itself and your option to "claim" it, add a password for security and you are done, and only do that once, from here it's just send the email.

Email straight to your facebook too, simply by changing the email send address to
Add images, videos etc by using "attachments" in email like you would normally do when emailing a friend.

You simply use the email subject line to write the blog title, attach whatever you want, write the content in the body part of the email, send, wait for the reply, look, share with your readers. :o)

You can even make it private, or allow others to post to your blog, family, friends etc and they only need to email, nothing else, not even having to leave your inbox to reply to the blog with a comment, simply reply by email.

It seems odd because we all use the same email address to send to, it makes sense though when you consider how easy it is then to use it, no remembering odd secret words like with blogger. The only time you need to change the sending email is when you set up another posterous blog, then the address has the blog name in it too, for example replacing the "blogname" with your real blog name of course.

I do think posterous is worth trying out, it is the perfect set up those who like and use email but don't want the hassle of setting up a blog. OAP groups, church groups, charity groups other niche groups and such would benefit greatly from a group posterous set up, all only needing to send an email.

I am even debating whether to forget about switching this blog to wordpress from blogger, use posterous instead, not entirely sold on that yet, although you will see me using posterous because it is so simple and usable. :o)

What about you?

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@ 12:15 PM, , create a link to this post

Yep, blogging is dead...

Blogging is dead?? Really... ok.

/delete... :o)

Seems to be the thing going around lately, not that I agree with it at all, they are changing maybe, evolving, adapting, growing but certainly not dying!

Why do people email or DM via twitter asking if it's true?

"Is lifestreaming, twitter killing blogs?"
"Do I start streaming and delete my blog or just leave it up?"
"It's what **** and **** is doing, so it must be true?"

WTF?? Are you serious, really?

Will my answer or anyone else's answer influence it?
If it would, then you need to get out of that mindset fast, because that's destructive to you.
The only person who can kill blogging for you, is you.

The naysayers and doom mongers are always looking to stir shit like this, that's what they do. ;o)

If you insist on listening to others and taking it as gospel you will never get far with progress anyway because no-one has all the answers and they never will, as I have said before it's all trial and error, no way to escape that.
Jumping from one thing to another is no way to go forward really.

What you should have been asking me is ...

"Is lifestreaming worth doing and if so why?"
"Can it help me with my blog or site, or presence?"
"Can't I do both and should I?"

Are they more sensible ones to ask?
Then the magic ingredient is you make your own mind up after you look at it realistically.

Does it fit with what you do now?
Can it improve things?

Then deciding if it will be worth doing, then testing it, judging it by your OWN results.

Not take what some people say as gospel and steadfastly do what they say. That's the route to nowhere.

I am not going to stop blogging, far from it. :o)

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@ 4:23 PM, , create a link to this post

Blogging, there are no damn rules...

You will inevitably read that you "should do this, or do that" in regards to blogging successfully but it also comes down to what type of blogger you are, it matters, they all have a different style, plan of action, and possible results.

Being a successful blogger is like everything else in life, not easy, simple yes, not easy though. Success is a personal definition anyway, so it's you that defines the success you can/do achieve.

I wouldn't yet say I was entirely a successful blogger, how I define it, getting there in some respects and already there in other respects.

It's completely trial and error no matter how anyone else dresses it up, you have to just do it and learn what works for you, or not, then adapt and improve.

There are many things you can test, learn, alter as you go along with the added benefit of very real time results in some cases. Whatever style of blogging you do there is no rule book saying you must do this or that, nope ... nothing!

Part of the issue I see is a bit of a double edged sword, on the one hand if you get caught up reading what people say "works and you should do" etc, you will only be following others, blogging by their rules if you like, doing what everyone else is doing.
On the other you need to learn the basics from somewhere and it's good to save time avoiding the worse mistakes by reading these things and learning from others.

It's finding a balance and forging your own path, using your own style, voice that will make the difference.

With the increasing use of micro blogging I think that alot of blogs will die off slowly as people stop doing it so much, this is good for us. :o)

So should you start blogging or have started, just learn as you do and keep at it until you can at least judge it properly regarding the return on effort, whatever you decide is success with it.

Little things can make big differences, especially if you do them from the start, something as simple as adopting a better linking practice which can improve not only the reader experience but will help in long term SEO (search engine optimising) as well also actively building relevant back-links from other blogs, sites, instead of only linking out to others and writing.

Writing better post as you write more, it's inevitable your writing will improve just as practice does with anything you persevere at.  And you can write articles at least.

As yoda said : You do, or do not.

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@ 12:18 AM, , create a link to this post

Make money online blogging, internet marketing, or both?

Had an interesting email from a friend regarding how to make money online by either blogging or internet marketing ... I asked if I could repost it here, which they agreed if their name was changed, so below is the email snippet that matters for the sake of this post ... with certain words edited and mine in (italics) ...

Hey Rob,
Good to see you in town the other week, still looking rough (me : THANKS mate!) ;o)

Anyway you know I asked you about ya blog I seen on facebook and how I could go about having one for my ***** (passion niche, which I don't care to share and ruin for them), and maybe start selling ***** to earn some extra money?

You remember I told you about that ***** (contact) who says I can have ***** at a better price, like a mates rates? Well they got a website too which they can sell ***** from, so what should I do? Won't that stop me, I mean why bother doing a blog or whatever if they already have a website to sell from? How the hell am I supposed to make money doing that? What about Internet marketing, is that different than blogs or what?

Now, my mate knows I will help him, and he also knows I am gonna tell it as it is on here like I did in the email, so he never took (with email) or will take offence at anything here. ;o)

So, my message to them : GET YOUR ARSE IN GEAR and GET ON WITH IT! :o) Use what I shared with you in that email and GO for it ... you have a GREAT chance of making headway with it, won't happen overnight but it will happen if you act on it and stick to it, like I said in the email, give it some wellie in effort for the first few months... Plus you know where I am ;o)

Back to the post ...

Quite a loaded up question wouldn't you say, I bet there are plenty of people who have thought similar things, I did once too... ;o)

Let's just answer the basics on that shall we, the first positive answer is you picked a passion, a niche you KNOW you can get somewhere with because it does interest you, whether it's a profitable niche is a different matter, for this person it IS a profitable one, from what I can see it looks pretty decent too.
(may work with him on that to benefit him more as well as me learn a thing or two extra). ;o)

The second thing, you know it sells because you know someone already selling **** and you have the benefit of a chance to work with him in the sense of a good price for **** which helps you both.
The fact they have a website is actually a good thing because you can then just monetise the leads you give them, rather than do the actual selling and delivering of **** and all the other details.

So, the best thing is to ask your "contact" for a unique commission (mate rate) for leads to their website.

You could then just concentrate on building the blog as a good value resource with interesting information, a warm up or pre-sell style that readers will appreciate, having a link to your contacts site from which you benefit from if they click (what affiliates is all about).
Or use your own unique domain link as a redirect so you can track how many clicks etc.

Then start writing for more than your blog, meaning articles with a link to your blog on them to post to the directories, this is done for good ONE WAY backlinks and will produce traffic over time too.

Internet marketing is not a tool as such like a blog is, it's marketing online, in many forms, using many tactics to get results, in a way it's a mindset to approach what you do, whether it's using a blog, website, email, social networking etc.

My friend here will need to learn aspects of internet marketing of course, but thankfully they will be a blogger first!

So it can lead to asking, do you blog and then learn internet marketing to monetise the blog?
OR learn internet marketing and have a blog as part of your internet marketing arsenal?

May seem strange but I feel the best bloggers were just bloggers who then got into internet marketing to learn how to monetise and maximise their blog, they already had success blogging just not making the money from the blogging effort put in. They were in effect not doing it for the money, but then realised it was a good way to earn a living, rightly so.

The internet marketers who chose to start blogging usually have a different agenda from the start so they never quite get the results in the sense of readership. The relationship between readers and the blog and blogger is different.

So, how to go about it?

I think that you have to have in mind a monetisation plan, even if it won't bear fruit for 6 months, the action put in over them 6 months may well make a big difference to the monetisation ability of the blog 6 months on.

Internet marketing gives you a wide range of areas to utilise, look at the big sites like amazon, ebay, etc, they all utilise internet marketing even if indirectly, its a part of the whole and can't be ignored.

So what can you take away from this post?
  1. Start with your passion or interest, if you have a few do them all to see which is best and most likely to work for you.
  2. Check there is a possibility of getting readers, buyers etc, no competition in a niche can mean no-one is in it, for a good reason most likely!
  3. Monetisation usually comes last, but factor it in with all you do for the long term plan, done right things you do now should earn in a years time, two years time, etc.
  4. Do more than you need, write extra articles etc.
  5. Just DO IT. :o)
Any thoughts?

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@ 3:24 PM, , create a link to this post

If only YOU took action

...way back at the turn of the year, well we are already half way through it shockingly, you would have had a good 6 months of learning, doing, improving and growing your blog or website. It wouldn't have all been fun or easy but it would have worth it regardless of the result simply because you learn more than you think you will. 

"You never know until you try" as they say ... and what if you DID have great results? 

What if you also now realised you could possibly replace your "Just Over Broke" within another year plus having the potential to do much better in income and lifestyle terms over time?

What if you failed miserably at it all but found a new passion and skill with the same potential if utilised, which you would never have found without taking the action in the first place?

These two scenarios do happen, the second is probably more likely in most cases ... for example ... 

I have a friend online who gave blogging a really good go for almost a year, he didn't like it much, it bored him to write and such, yet the one thing that gripped him while blogging was graphics. (logos, badges and header images for example)

He became passionate about it, he soon realised it was a skill worth utilising for an income, so started to create them for other people, companies and such as a freelancer while still blogging AND working his J.O.B. 

He dropped the blog after a while simply due to the fact it wasn't a good use of his time and effort and focus as it was a generic theme, until the turn of the year where he set out to blog again but based on ... graphics!

And having a website to showcase the work with while adding the blog as a part of it for progress of work and teaching tricks etc.  

Got a little feeling that site and blog will put him into the first scenario too.  ;o) 

Finding a skill you have a passion for is a great way to do something like this, anything which utilises that said skill to maximum effect will be easy to keep on doing as opposed to something that bored you. 

No matter what skill there will be some way of utilising it. Most people say they don't have the time or energy to try these things, normally we overcomplicate things, heck, you could even change things by simplifying it all, this way you can get some energy and make time... ;o)

The friend above started his new site and blog almost 5 months ago and says he spends between two and three hours a night, 3 nights a week after work creating and an hour promoting just 1 website link ... he simply turned the TV OFF and is now building an asset of value.  

Consider that ... ;o)

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5 steps to a better blog...

... and maybe I should take my own advice! :o)

Like most bloggers, I have a hit glass ceiling with regards to growing the blog reader count here, nothing wrong with that as we expect to hit one sometime, after all we can't do it all alone and we only have a certain reach.

Also like most bloggers I keep an aye on my stats and where they can be improved if possible to do so, which is most areas if we are honest, and the reason we test things ourselves. YOUR stats are the most accurate for your blog after all.

We can all read the top blogs like problogger, to learn of how things we need to learn but we still have to test things for ourselves so never take what any one blogger says as gospel ... yes, take this post with a pinch of salt too. ;o)

I can only share what I've learnt from my blogging experience and these 5 tips are what I think will improve things and it's what I will work on, things I should already be doing better!

1. Better content always wins.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, (last post) there is no other bigger priority when it comes to blogging, look at any of the top blogs online and the one main thing they have in common is better content.

That is better than the rest, else they wouldn't be the top blogs ;o)

What other reason do you read any blog for?

None, the content is the most important thing on any blog, website.

Good content is good ... better content is best and one of the best ways of making better content is to make evergreen content as the people like Darren Rowse and Steve Pavlina do, they consistently create content that will be as relevant in two years as it is now which also makes more likely to be shared by others too.

My action : To improve all post as much as possible because the main thing is to improve your experience of reading it and one thing I have noticed is the post(s) I write from a more personal point tend to get bigger traffic which leads me onto ...

2. Being authentic matters.

There is no-one else like you ... likewise nor is there anyone like me. :o)

Have you noticed how some blogs, and it's of course more so with corporate style ones, seem to lack any personality?

They are so ... boring at times they cry out for a bit of personality to be added.

It's all very well being professional about things but drawing the mine somewhere is sensible if you ask me, most people relate to people better when they are authentic.

Being ourselves is one of our biggest pluses so don't hide the real you as you only take away from yourself and your readers.

My action : I think I am pretty authentic on here, at least I try my best to be. Telling it like it is helps. :o) More than that ...

3. Honesty pays.

No-one likes a liar, the truth always outs as we always hear as kids, so it is in reality.

Telling lies of any sort nearly always bite you on the arse somewhere down the line and it can be worse online with it there for all to see, save, share etc.

This also ties into one of the areas I feel people really shoot themselves in the feet ... or come damn close to it and by the skin of their teeth survive.

I am talking about the "fake it till you make it" types.

You know the ones, they say one thing but the reality is quite another!

These people lack point number 2 badly.

There is no need to fake things and lie, being honest and upfront with your readers shows them the respect they deserve.

If you start playing with small exaggerations they soon grow into a monster you can't stop.

I have seen bloggers post about traffic stats and such which others have shown up to be false by a bit of detective work doing due diligence.

It all comes back in the end, never worth staking any reputation on lies or silly claims etc to try and make your reality appear better than it is.

My action : I hate lies, nothing to change there, why hide what's best to share and honesty is worth sharing, more so when you consider ...

4 Learning is the only real progress.

Not one of us knows it all and that goes for the pros out there too as they would certainly be the first to admit. The day we stop learning is the day we stop growing.

With every day we blog we learn a little more about it, we have that extra stat to consider within the bigger picture. Each day brings change which  means you cannot afford to sit still, you have to learn as the changes happen, online change is more rapid than ever but getting these simple core basics down mean everything else is in a sense secondary.

So much time is wasted (and yes I am guilty of it) learning about things we simply don't need to learn as it doesn't help things directly effecting whatever it is we are doing.

Doesn't mean we should not learn things, just that we ought spend our time learning only what we need to learn so that we can benefit from it.

My action : Cut out trying to learn what I don't need to learn, and I have done this too often! At least I learnt ...< 5. Being consistent is important.

Whatever you set out to do, be consistent at it and you will get there, people get used to you being consistent, enough to be consistent themselves in reading your blog! ;o)

As we all know people like routine, it's easy to maintain, easy to stick to, easy to follow, being consistent in the right areas is what makes the difference, in my view.

Most of all, being consistent in the above 5 tips has to be of benefit to every blogger.

Be consistent in improving everything as you go, learn, grow and maybe that glass ceiling will shatter. :o)

My action : To consistently improve all of the five above points as well as I can and stop worrying over the things I cannot control.

Will these 5 tips help you?

Do you have 5 tips of your own?

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Better content, more consistently ... the real blogging secret.

I recently mentioned about the other ways to read this blog, utilising the blog feed which in some bloggers eyes is not the best move, arguing that they want eyeballs on the whole blog and not just the content, ie, the ads on the sidebars etc. 

That may well be true for them, not me, I go by my own stats, which are on the blog that matters, mine. the only thing that really makes the difference is the content itself, that's what readers want and come for, not ads. 

Every blogger should just worry about delivering good content.

Even the copy on salesletter style sites are good content as it's what matters. 

All the people who ask about SEO, traffic tactics, ideas for getting more RSS subscribers, etc can all make a difference just delivering better content, there is the reason the top blogs get so much traffic ... great content. Nothing else.

Great content always gets shared, talked about, tweeted, blogged about, linked to and this with the other golden rule of blogging, that is ... consistency, it can only generate more of the same. 

There are no rules about having to post a certain amount of times a week, having to post a certain style of writing, what to write about, the only rule is to be consistent.

People like routine. 

So there it is, my only goal from here on is to give you better content, in a consistent manner. 

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Bought the dream but not living it

Ask many bloggers why they started blogging in the first place and "blogging is easy, plus wannabe able to make money online for it" would probably be the reply more often than not, only to go for it and find that it's not all it was made out to be. They bought into the dream, never to reach the level of living it. I have done it myself. You may do too, but hopefully not. 

The dream, blogging fulltime, earning passive income while we sleep, laze on the beach, sounds so...appealing doesn't it?

It is possible to actually make some money from blogging and it really isn't as hard as it has to be, depends how you do it of which there are way to many ways to list, even getting instant income is possible. The biggest thing is it shouldn't be the main reason you start blogging, it should be a by product of it even if monetising was planned from the start.

A few of said they can't really afford to start blogging, by which I take to mean in cost, which is a little baffling really as you can do almost all of it for free, at the most buying a domain name being the only real needed expense and that's only $10, though even if that's not possible for you it's not a must to start blogging, earlier I mentioned google accounts and why you should have one which gives a general idea of what you are getting from one account.

The bottom line is you will never know if it's worth it until you try it, trying it cost you nothing, other than time and effort, it's WORK. Ah yes, that damn thing which is something people seem to think is avoidable. 

It's not, you have to put work into anything you want to get something out of and blogging is no different.

It's not for everyone but as I say, you won't know until you try, to say you can't is wrong, you can do it if you can write an email you can write a post. In fact, I sent this post to my blog! 

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Social sites and me... as a blogger?

You may have noticed as a few others have, that I have changed a couple of things here on the blog, one was removing the one or two widgets that slowed the loading of the whole blog down, seems to have worked. Kudos for those at friendfeed for helping me with opinions and tips.

Another is to add my email address to the left sidebar, which a few had noticed and emailed was some spammer but that's ok, it's the main reason the email is not a direct link to open your email program, at least that spammer wasn't a harvester. It's the fastest way to contact me but spam me and you get deleted.

Glad to see some readers liked the last post, one emailed me and asked... What does all this social stuff mean for a blogger?

Good question, given that some thought, after all singing and dancing multimedia social sites are where the Internet is heading, some go as far to say it's turning into one giant chat room, in a way that's true, we are all getting connected better in real time.

Blogs were in fact the start of this social media change way back when, long before any of these sites like facebook etc, they were something different to the old static websites, sale pages, etc.

For me, the reason I will continue blogging is because I OWN this and the content, you can't ban me writing here and I enjoy blogging anyway. :o)

There are people who only use sites they have no control over, they write way more than they think all in comments and snippets etc, sharing pictures, even as far to say the only online album they have is stuck on facebook.

It's a fair point to say, "well I don't write stuff" like you or other bloggers, only little comments etc so does it matter?

I'll bet if you look at the conversations you have with others, they centre around topics, niches, etc...adding them bits of conversation together you would have a blog post or two. ;o)

I now look at blogs as a means of also being able expand on things from elsewhere.

After all...

What if you lost that facebook account? Or any other account you have?

I know what that feels like after losing over 5000 post on a forum with ONE click from someone else with a gripe.

But aren't blogs old hat, if they were at the start of all this?

I could just as easy ask...Are books old hat?

In my opinion, no, I don't think blogs will ever go anywhere, much like books, it's mainly the content you read not the platform it comes in. Not everyone is going to write a book, the same as not everyone will have a successful blog, but everyone CAN have a blog and try it!

There are really only two types of blog...niche topic blogs and generic blogs.

They are still evolving overall although I gotta say some of the blogs I did like that are popular are getting boring, they have changed so much from what they started out as. Problogger for one example, I remember that starting out, now it's completely lost my readership, repetitive stuff, I don't blame Darren, it's the nature of the game.

There are other bloggers writing the same things they wrote about two years ago, even on another blog...nothing new under the sun. That right there is a problem with "niche" blogs. I feel generic blogs will stand a better chance for the average person to do.

There are blogs out there you would never think of as blogs.

They both have their benefits and shortcomings, it really depends on the aim of the blog and the readers you want to target.

It's why I recently asked my readers on here what I should blog about more. I took it on board but the readership stats tell me different things. ;o)

Now though the whole ball game has changed with social sites which gives bloggers a benefit in more ways than people give credit for and also gives you a better chance of actually succeeding with it, should you try blogging.

Blogging and getting readers and keeping it going comes down to alot of different things and looking back you HAD to promote your blog and and it was hard work when starting out, seeing 3 readers on one day, 1 the next just deflates you and does make you think, "why do I bother?".

You had to go to forums and such, it was always subtle, couldn't step on toes etc, had to create a good post, hoping others would even notice your sig link.You commented on similar blogs hoping some would visit your link, you hoped someone would blog about your blog, etc. You write an article or two to stick in the article directories with your link box, hoping others would use your content AND link box and then hope traffic came...whenever, IF ever, it was work.

You had to try and understand and apply whatever SEO knowledge you had to please the SEngine's because that is the main source of hands free traffic.You watch the traffic stats and were always waiting for something to happen, over time it is demoralising.....SE traffic was and in some cases still is king. Getting it then was hard work and way above the average blogger.

Now though, you can leverage social sites to get readers almost immediately, instant eyeballs. That is the difference. And there is no easier way to kickstart a new blogs traffic than using a social site. I would say to ANYONE staring a blog, that is your first port of call for traffic kickstarting.

Now the SE traffic cannot ignore the social influence, it's all linked so it has to help overall. With social sites all it takes is ONE influential person to "like" your post and maybe comment on it, or share it, for it to spread massively and in many cases overload your servers bringing your blog down...

(not with a blogspot blog, should you want to try blogging, google host it)

Should that one person like you post, you get tons of traffic, how can google or msn or yahoo ignore that? They can't.

Social traffic feeds SE's and vice versa.

For me the social sites are a huge benefit not only because I interact in them and I do love that aspect, or the fact I get readers from them, but in the quality of readership I am now getting. The readers stay on my blog longer now than ever before and I don't think it's due to just these few long post I have done.

I feel it's because social sites have changed peoples attention span in a few different ways.
The old way was boring, looking at static sites etc, your attention was fixed for the time you were on there, like reading a forum post or a sales page, or similar.

Now with the more real time sharing process it is morphing our attention process into RSS style attention process, we tend to scan more, we tend to have no fixed expectation of what we will see, choose to read, look at etc.

Therefore more diverse topics catch our eye. Generic things. ;o)

We "snack" on various different things throughout our socialising experience.

The more we socialise the more we socialise with the people, rather than what they do, write, share. It's human nature.

Proof of that is two people can post the same thing at the same time and get vastly different results. Because of them not their actions.
Therefor it stands to reason we start to read people's stuff whatever they write, rather than reading it for the topic itself.

We are diverse, not stuck into one "topic" of thought, or being.

So for me I know what I will be blogging about and will continue to use social sites as they are full of diverse people with a broad range of interest, rather than one theme/topic.

Quality of traffic is more important then just traffic count alone.
The social sites give you a different type of traffic than anywhere else.
Should you want to start blogging then utilise social sites.

The old days you had to go everywhere you need to go to promote your blog, now you can ping ONE place and get your post out to lots of places.

Your post can be expanded on in these social sites too, a conversation grows around it.

What do social sites mean for you as a blogger?

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Not all friends are equal

Given the diversity and sheer size of the Internet this blog is one of millions, like a pebble on the beach, buried among the numbers lucky to be seen at all, a battle every blogger has to deal with over time and knowing what work goes into getting readers we appreciate every reader we have. Yeah, I appreciate you being here, all everyone of you.

My 5 years blogging!

In the 5 years I have been blogging things have changed alot, for the better and worse in some cases, at the start it was a different ball game marketing your blog and getting readers was never a sure thing, the build it and they will come myth* is just that, a myth!

*That was the downfall of the first "dot com bubble burst" with big companies paying stupid amounts for a flashy website that got NO visits!

Everything has moved on so much, grown up if you like and it was in a way what I was waiting for, see when I started blogging hardly anyone locally was online or if they were I had no idea how to reach them, so most of my readers were from places where I did market my blog which at the time were forums and reading and commenting on other similar blogs of friends who are now all doing well too.

While I was getting traffic, readers from them they weren't who I wanted to connect with in reality. Don't get me wrong, I liked being connected to them and have made some great friends from these forums, friends I value and respect and listen to. They were in the same boat as me, like minded people trying to navigate the same path, learning from each other.

I wanted to also be connected to people I really knew. They never hung out in these forums for sure.

Forums were like the first wave of social media, very web 1.0 as were blogs when they started, being in their purest form, clean uncluttered and all about the content. Forums were limited in a way that modern social sites aren't, very linear too. They weren't used like an "outpost" in the way the modern social ones are, by this I mean social sites like twitter, friendfeed, blogcatalog, etc.

By outpost what is meant, for an example, I write this post, publish it, then the RSS feed from this blog updates this post to the social sites automatically, I don't have to go to them and share.

(Hope that makes sense) :o/  

Glazed eyes as usual.

An important thing to consider no matter whatever anyone says every forum has an "old boys club mentality" thriving in the backround, IM forums are the worse for it and I am glad to have stopped going to some of them. The one thing I can say is if you stop going to the forums you will lose traffic to your blog, but some who are genuine will come back and do.

Incestuous places!

Which is why you lose traffic, you ended up relying on it and that's a bad thing.

For those who still use them forums, learn what you need from them and implement it elsewhere, where it matters, where it gets you results.

Ask any blogger what it was like to talk offline to people about it back then and they will all tell you their friends eyes glazed over, it still happens at times but less often now. That is down to more people being online and becoming familiar with terms like blogging via web 2.0 social media, like facebook etc. 

Then the ball game changed and the goalpost moved into view for me in a bigger better way, what I had waited for had happened. Locals got online and in a centralised way on facebook where it became easy to connect with them. I have previously said the reason facebook is a real success is due to everyone having to use real names. (Try finding an old friend on myspace!)

I found my voice.

The last 5 years have now lead to this point in time where I can see the reality of what I wanted back then but couldn't get, local conections online and locals reading this blog. Part of what I love about the Internet is I am not deaf on here, per se, so way back then in the forums people understood why I liked being online and having a "voice" aka as a blog and what I write elsewhere.

Now the locals can hear me and I them, online better than offline! :o)

I knew I would lose traffic ages ago after the forums and welcomed the change as it was needed in order for me to go in the right direction for me and my plans. The truth is I haven't changed what I do that much, just improved it over time and learnt things from my own experience as well as what I can learn from others, I now just do all that with a better audience. ;o) 

The connections going on in the backround via facebook inbox, email etc, are interesting mainly due to people wanting to learn more about the very things I already know of and have learnt over the years.

Now together we act on what the core of social media is all about and based on, meaningful relationships, being connected to people you really know, not strangers who just "added" you as a friend in order to build up some following, via fake friends.

That is why I won't add just anyone as a friend on facebook, I have twitter and other social sites for that, used as an outpost and to connect with like minded people rather than "real friends."

Facebook for me, is for the real friends I know and it is there you can't fake crap because they know you all too well. Not that I fake anything anywhere, nothing to hide here. :o)

It's not a popularity contest.

Being a blogger it would be daft to not have a presence on the social sites, some more so than others, with the publicity twitter is getting everyone and their dog will be using it before long, just use it a way that works for you rather than how others tell you how to use it, don't be a twit.

I use twitter, but more of an outpost now than before, although you will see me on there being interactive as without being there how can you have meaningful connections? And I get a fair amount of readers from twitter so it does pay to be using it for me and there are some great users on twitter, funny, educational, interesting and more. 

It's sadly losing some appeal overall for me as the more it goes mainstream the less social it seems to become, it's turned into some "followfest" sadly, also another thing to be aware of on twitter is the amount of crap links that get shared at times, spammers and general idiots posting things willy nilly on there, be careful what you click at all times.

I will follow you on twitter if you are worth following, or follow me and don't take the piss.

I won't click everything you share or reply to every single tweet although I do try and reply to every person who connects with me. There are some ignorant people on there, there are others who just follow way too many people and could never answer everything.

There is a reason facebook limits your friends list to 5000, be serious, can you really have that many "friends?"

How are you using social media sites? 

What do you see as a "friend" online?

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"Blogging for money"

I saw an interesting post in a forum earlier today asking if blogging to make money online was even worth trying and some of the replies were very interesting from a few different perspectives.

In my view some of the replies were bad advice for going broke fast at worse and a dumb opinion based on nothing at best.

Either way these opinions were crap!

The problem is some of those opinions out there could seriously harm people if they followed them, just as we often see anywhere online there is simply way to much misinformation and loose opinions that count for shit in reality!

So is it worth blogging to "make money online"?

My issue with that is you rarely see the real underlying question that matters to most people and the one they would really ask, that is...

"Can you blog for consistent money?"

The answer is yes as it is being done, BUT the difference is they don't "blog to make money online", they blog as a part of their overall business...something all bloggers who wish to generate an income from it should bear in mind, including me at times.

But if you are going to blog, do it anyway, forget about the making money for now.

This one thing I have been asked a few times is "how do you write so much that is needed for a blog?"

My short answer is who said "you have to write so much?"

If you really want to blog you will have to write but there is nothing saying how much or what style it has to be etc, the best advice if you really want to write is to...write, then write some more but also read more, get your kids into the reading habit while you are at it as it is so important anyway.

Reading becomes interwined with writing anyway, so in that sense read the blogs on the topics, themes you feel you would blog about.

The truth is if you don't write any content you will never make money online blogging.

But it's not the blogging itself that makes the money it is the marketing of the blog, getting the eyeballs onto the content you write that really matters.

The 80/20 rule applies here IMO, which way round is up to you.

Puting in 20% of good effort on writing the blog content is better than doing none, add 80% promotion and marketing and you will get that ball rolling quick.

Put 80% effort into the content creating and 20% into the promotion and marketing and you will get the ball rolling slower, though maybe it will be better long term.

It depends on you, your plan, you efforts and the time you can put in, the topic you choose, so many factors no-one can say it's worth it or not other than you.

One very good reason to take advice on forums etc with a pinch of salt.

Those who share bad advice I noticed don't even have blogs!

Let alone blogging to make money online!

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"Make money online"

This "make money online" niche is a strange one in many ways and there's no doubt IM or Internet marketing as it's really known as has earned a bad name online with all the "pitchfest crap" going on from the so called gurus who cross promote each other with every launch that happens.

This is why I suggest ignoring the so called big names, they are not giving you want you really need to make money online, only their own or some cronies pitch to suck your wallet or purse dry and to get you on their email list for future pitches.

Often whatever it is they sell turns out to be useless, either because of the steep learning curve, or it's is just a tool which doesn't deliver....the problem is the promises and hype that goes with it which so often is misleading or plain lies.

Making money online does require a form of marketing, whether to people, or the search engines like google you will have to target something, someone, which one entirely depends on your niche and your money making strategy, affiliate sales, sales of own products, services, or even just using adsense.

There are several key positives and negatives to each strategy you use and it takes the right planning to decide which best fits your skills and more importantly still your audiences needs, be it people or search engines.

The simple truth is there are so many systems and strategies within the IM niche it does get a little confusing, distracting and is often a pain in the arse to get your hear around.

Internet Marking (IM) is basically marketing whatever online, there is no right thing or wrong thing to market unless you start to consider ethics, which is purely subjective to each of us.

I wouldn't want to see you get "sucked in" like happens to a lot of us, mainly through the simple fact we started to consider "how to make money online" and like a new book reader in a library starting to feel overwhelmed when we looked online for the answers.

IM gets to the point where you go to bed with your brain buzzing, wake up with IM on the brain's a passion to a point.

Being new, if you are, you have a great starting point to work from as you do not have that "jaded" mindset like some of us had or have, you are like a school leaver choosing a career without the jaded view of what "work" is really like.

It's the "newbies" who the so called big names target to exploit this freshness of mind, this enthusiasm to learn to earn.

A fresh marketer is not yet jaded by these gurus, don't let it happen either.

In one sense we are all marketers, whether you agree with that or not is not really the issue as the truth we are all marketers be it online or offline, whether we like it or time you see people chatting each other up in the pub, club etc, you will see it's the truth.

You market yourself throughout life, when you go for an interview, meeting, whatever, its marketing.

This is something that "gets me" with marketing, I love to learn about it etc, but hate the negative aspect attached to it due to the bad practices of some people who care only about the money and it shows when you see them at forums etc giving out plain misleading advice and in a way spreading a bad mindset relating to "making money online".

There is NO one way, no right way, wrong way to make money online.

Half the stuff we read is total bullshit really.

If you really want a crash course in marketing online and making money doing it, the one thing I could suggest is to create and sell an ebook, get buyers by promoting it using a free blog!

While there are some people who will ridicule this idea there are others who will agree it IS a great way to learn how to market anything online, and make money.

Why do this, and how to go about it?

Do you want to learn how to make money online?
Do you want to do it without spending money?

Want to have that crash course in Internet Marketing?

Let's do that then. ;o)


Get your motivation lined up, what I mean by that is decide why you want to make money, is it to pay off the bills you have? Or is it to earn enough to take you on holiday?
Get a new car?

Whatever it is, that motivation will show through your work and everyone likes to see motivated efforts as apposed to just going through the motions.

Decide your topic, niche...if it's a hobby one great as they do well due to having passionate users.

Do a little researching on the topic, i.e use google and googles blog search functions to see what is already "out there" and what is already working for others.

You want to have a niche that you know has buyers etc, one way is to check the "ads" by google on these search pages as it means advertisers are spending money within the niche.

Now you should have some idea of what you can write about, you will be able to do this so much easier if you are writing about something you have knowledge of, or a passion, or an expert with.

The action steps you need to take to make money online this way are...

A tip here is to create a google account, this will be handy for way more than you think. You can use all of googles aps, i.e docs, blogger, calender, gmail, adsense, etc.

Create the ebook, (pdf) easily done free using google docs, or openoffice, or adobe acrobat if you have that already.
The ebook can be as short or long as you like, just make it worth what you wish to sell it for. :o)

Now think about the keywords you will use to sell your ebook, and use these keywords where needed, like the title page of the site, blog you will use to promote it.

Ie... your hobby may be... "Harley Davidson's" so you would use keywords like...

"maintaining harley davidsons"
"repairing harley davidsons"
"rebuilding harley davidsons"

These are keywords other people would use to type into the search engines, just like you did in the research process.

So you need also to set up a page or site to sell it from...use blogger to create a presell blog and make sure you use keywords in the title of the blog as well as the blog url...

I.e "www." is an example with related keywords.

Now you just create a few decent tips post (400 word articles) to add to your blog using keywords where you can, in the title, first sentence, and a few times spread throughout the post content.

Add a post everyday over the first few weeks to get that ball rolling.

While doing this, you are writing and creating a pdf ebook with all your best tips, inside knowledge which you will eventually sell via the blog.

You will need to have a payment set up, using paypal is an easy way to get started on this.
Set up a payment button, and get the html code for that to add to your blog.

After creating the pdf ebook, take a few sample tips from this and create a smaller pdf to give away to your blog readers, this smaller pdf has a link to buy your main pdf ebook inside it. :o)

If you are sticking with no outlay, you can use your email to send the pdf each time someone request it, or have it set up as an auto response as can be done with googles gmail, this is not ideal really as you would end up sending it to anyone who emailed that email address you have set it up on.

Really you would want it to be instantly delivered to them an autopilot after payment and only after a payment has been made.

Do this by setting up an email autoresponder to send the ebook after payment.
This is anything would be your only outlay, used well you will build two list, one for the free pdf people and the other for those who buy the main book.

Now you have an ebook or two (if doing the smaller givaway too), a blog and it's just joining the dots now to make it all work.

On the main blog you can add the link to another page where you sell your ebook, simply create a blog page with the details of the book and put the link on the main blog sidebar.

Ie... main blog is www. (the word ebook only highlighted for reference).

On this blog write about what the ebook is, ie a form of sales letter.

Add the ebook blog url to your main blog sidebar.

You can add the pdf to the first email (autoresponder) response to be sent after payment via paypal.

Now it's promoting the blog and ebook in order to get the first sale.

You could do this by joining forums and commenting on blogs in the related niche, ie, harley fan sites and blogs etc.

Another way is to write a great 500 word article with a link at the bottom pointing back to your main blog url, add this article to a few article directories bearing in mind each one will give you a good backlink so use keywords in the title, and a few through the article itself.

When you make that first sale is anybodies guess, but...

Once you have got this far you know what it really takes to make money online.

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"Happy new year, same shit different day?"

Happy new year!

While it is nice to see some of us can afford to relax!!

Most people are either nursing a sore head, tidying up a real after party mess or back to work!

Some of us now setting goals or if you like resolutions to achieve in 2009, starting today while that's ok I am not sure it's a good thing in some ways as it can also set you up for a bit of early disappointment depending on what it is, ie: give up smoking TODAY. (Failure tomorrow?)

So I am taking a slightly different route this year knowing it's going to be more beneficial to me over the short, medium and long term, but I will have goals but...

Instead of just setting goals, planning the action to take you forward to them goals then taking the action needed to reach them, most people get bogged down by "stuff" that creeps back into the normality after the new year optimism.

Daily slots.

I am setting daily slots of big action to avoid getting bogged down by the "stuff" normality brings us, you may have seen someone wearing a t' shirt proudly declaring...

"Same shit, different day!"

That is a truth for way too many of us! For far too many days!

I learnt a powerful lesson reading something Steve Jobs mentioned in a speech...(worth reading)

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

I have been saying that to myself for the last few months each morning and it has made a difference in a big way. I realise while it's ok to have goals as people do, such and such by 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, etc, it's the daily ones that matter the most as we are only here today, now.

Well for someone working online, that "stuff" that bogs you down is a time and money sucker, after all time is money.
That "stuff" is a distraction and can waste time we can't afford to waste.
That "stuff" is, for someone working online things like forums, social sites, twitter, facebook, etc reading blogs too much etc.

Two sides to it all

But there lies the rub, it is a double edged sword, as we need to do this "stuff" too in many cases, it is finding that balance to make it all worthwhile and fit together for the bigger picture.

If you are to "work" online you need to earn money, you can't do everything for nothing as it won't last, before long you don't even have an Internet connection!

Some will say "well you make the money in traffic and connections from these social sites, forums, blogs etc"...yes it's a part of that double edge sword as a sort of a marketing action.

But without something to sell, or earn from by way of service etc from that marketing action it is useless, because there is something fundamentally missing...

Buy me buttons!
Hire me buttons!

If, as I suspect will happen sometime somewhere given the current economy, someone is to say, "hmmm maybe there is something in this make money online lark"

They will need to grasp that simple fact!

For you to "get" money, you have to give them a way of giving you that money.

A value exchange.

So there you have it, my daily goal, increase what value I can give, and create more buttons to
allow the acceptance of money. :o)

See I am sick of these so called "people who know better" telling us what we should and shouldn't do, saying things like...

You shouldn't be "monetising" a blog, it's against our unwritten code of "ethical" blogging.

Should I highlight the most important bit there? I will, done.

Bugger off, do what ya like with your blog, I couldn't give a toss, THIS one is mine and I decide what goes here! :o)

Cheeky sods!

In any case...the truth is I don't want to "monetise my blog", I want to "monetise my time and business!"

That doesn't mean stopping using social sites etc, it means using my time to better effect, ALL the time, making daily slots of big action that gets results, IE helps me make money online.

That is my aim this year henceforth known as 2009!

The end of the "same shit different day" for me!

What goals and actions have you set yourself for 2009?

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"So, what's stopping you?"

A few post ago I wrote an example of how someone could start blogging, really in a way it's starting a potential business simply blogging about something they do, while following that post would cost you a little sum it's still no more than a bag of fish and chips, literally.

Despite that saying "you gotta spend money to make money" being the usual comment it's not true really, is it?

Yes you could do that, spending money to jump ahead on the curve so to speak, using either tools to do the job, paying someone to do it for you, or simply spending money on a form of advertising...there is nothing saying that's the only way.

With most people less likely to want to spend money, knowing you don't have to is going to sound appealing and my friend Lynn has wrote a great post on starting a free online business on her fantastic clicknews blog.

With the current situation as it is there are going to be more and more people thinking about whether this make money online really is doable and that's understandable and completely doable too.
Nowhere else but the Internet could you just start up and business and have a chance to make it work.

The real beauty is you can just test the waters many times until you do find something that will work, grab interest, gain a following, whatever the gaol may be.

Why listen to Lynn?

I've known Lynn a few years now and even remember sharing comments back and forth on our old blogs...*sigh memories....where was I?
Lynn is a successful work at home mum of two and has been working online for over ten years now, and doing it alone too and Lynn shares exactly what she does when she does get a huge advantage of leapfrogging the learning curve reading her blog.

Now Lynn is really living the dream while we all work!

There's a lot to be said for reading what other people have done, and watching what they do while telling you what they do...!! (That was a mouthful!) :o)

There are so many different ways to earn a living online, blogging, affiliate marketing, newsletters, forums, etc...Lynn has all of that going on!

How can you not learn from Lynn?

Lynn like everyone else started online with nothing, no experience, expert knowledge, big funds, just like most of us and yet shows what can be done.

It really does boil down to just doing something. Doing anything is better than nothing.

It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg either, whatever anyone thinks.

I believe now could be the best time to try due to the "socialising aspect" of the Internet that is growing so rapidly.
Why this is important is due to the growing "personal" feeling of blogs, writing, etc, there is more personality coming through from a wider angle and rightly so, it's people connecting to people.

Bigger business blogs and multiple author blogs will start to slow down, paying bloggers means outgoings so it makes sense that this will be something to cut back on for them.

This gives the smaller more personal bloggers like Lynn, me, thousands of others, you, a better chance of growing.

People trust and connect with people, not corporations etc.

People do things on the recommendation of people they trust and know, Lynn is someone I trust and know.
Therefor if Lynn shares her experience with us about something I would tend to believe her, no?

I know Lynn has done the very things she shares with us, so know that you can indeed start an online business for free!

Go for it, start now and use 2009 as your year to find your place online.
Even if you only spent 2 hours a week writing, that's 100 hours a year!

Look back this time next year and see what you have achieved!

So, what's stopping you?

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"This is why it won't work for me goddamit"

An interesting conversation I had recently, I won't say who with obviously or where, simply because it's not relevant but what we discussed was.

This reader of my blog, friend on social sites, and a real offline friend just emailed me in general chatter mode really.

The conversation came to a point where they mentioned having difficulties, just like the rest of the people with the economy taking a downturn etc.

Obviously anyone with work is worried about one main thing, "security" of that job.
No real "jobs for life" anymore as they say, which is probably 80% true.

They mentioned they are actually looking for a job as the 3 kids are all at school, hubby is working but worried like most are.

I just mentioned why not start "doing something online" while looking for work?

"Like what?" she asked, "what you do? blogging or whatever it is?"

"Could do" I replied, or any number of things really, it depends what you could do.

"All I want is to simplify life lol" she said.
"I can't do a blog and look after the kids and do the house work! And what the hell would I even blog about, goddamit"

I remembered something I had seen a few days earlier, told her I will get back to her. :o)

Funny where Valuable connections can be made and how. :o)

So, I messaged her...I said...

"I'll blog about it, but send you an email first", both happy that both of us get the value, but me sharing lets you take the value of it to do whatever with as you will. ;o)

I realised that ALL of the above issues she had could be the very things to blog about.

Here we go...

You are rushed off your feet, kids, housework all taking your time and energy, so what could you really do about that?

You think..."Rob says, blogaboutit!! But how???"

I was browsing a very interesting site when I came across a perfectly good way to learn how to Simplify your life, indeed someone like my friend here is the perfect match in some ways.

Cheaper than fish and chips! Simplify your life

Then you can start applying these to your life, simplifying it, you can blog about how you are applying it to your life, what it's doing for you what works, what doesn't etc, posting maybe daily when you have a spare 20 Min's etc to write it.

Your friends start to read your blog, they tell others and you start getting more readers, all the while you continue posting what YOU learn from YOUR actions.

You are not teaching directly, but indirectly by sharing, sharing YOUR experiences, this is you creating social proof, after a few weeks, you get more time due to the success of applying it, writing better posts, all the while you actual writing is improving.

You continue to apply and grow, your friends start asking "where they can get that book?"

You then realise you are an affiliate, you can post a link to the book while anyone who buys it will be contributing to YOU earning money, and they will buy it because of the social proof you have provided.

They may apply it but not blog about it like you did, so they will just continue reading your blog, sharing it with others, and this buying cycle will happen again.

You realise you are succeeding here, then you go check out the book writers blog, and see a great new way you can also grow your blog content, writing less at times.

Then your friends start to email you, commenting on your blog, sharing things that are working for them.

You could then ask a few to be "guest writers" on your blog, maybe let two people write a post once a week, that two days less blogging for you and you still have the content and further social proof...leading the cycle again, more eyeballs, more book sales.

You then start to see how you can add other valuable streams of income to your blog, like related products or complementing products.

Then you see how you can start to build an email list from your blog, which you can develop a better and more closed conversational relationship with your community.

It's only showing in those who subscribe to the list, not on the blog.

Maybe do better things with the list, provide even more value to them than on the blog....doable if all your post are by guest bloggers. ;o)

Other ideas start to become visible with your growing learning curve which you know will help your community.

You can't believe how far you have come just for taking action, life is simplified, calmer and you are in control, creating your own "security".

You started to see how you can turn your best content into!

Then sell that, get an army of fans selling it for you too.

All it took was that you realised "if he can do it, with more on his plate than me, I can do it too."

You may even email me later...saying... "Thanks Rob!" :o)

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"Valuable connections"

Valuable connections, it's all links, new ones, invisible ones and life changing ones.

(o؛ ¡sǝʇɐןǝɹ ɟo ʇɹos ʇı sɐ ˙˙˙ʇsod ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ oʇ ǝpıs dıןɟ ǝɥʇ uo

I have been meaning to write this for a few days. Something got under my skin, bothered me and I couldn't put my finger on it at all, so I forgot about it.

Boy am I glad!! :o)

I had to disconnect to make the connection but it not only made that connected everything else for me.

Some connections were great, some not so, I digress, they are all valuable connections.

Sadly...I had to also had to face up to something I didn't really expect. It pissed me off to a point!

As she sang...

"Sometimes it make things clear...

Or know when to face... the truth, and I know,

That the moment is here..."

No prizes to the right guess in comments! ;o)

I'll never make it really big as a blogger, as it stands!!!

I had been given it thought in the past...
I knew it was going to be an issue, but that issue is something you probably won't face...

Yeah... my crap ears!!!

The idiot!!? ;o)

This just confirmed it in some ways, but I would do a disservice not sharing it with you, as there's nothing stopping you following the fantastic and well explained FREE: Time Tested And Proven Roadmap To Blogging Success… because NOW IS the time to read that if you are in any way considering starting one...even if not, there is some good insights to where things are going on this "landscape".

One I wont be able to fully maximise.

So am I saying this blog is...dying?

NO... certainly not, I just realised where it IS going, how it effects other things in the "big picture", the book above just helped me realise with a little more clarity...connected things in a way.

Furthermore these other connections, in my head, also had an impact on a huge way.

Linking the connections was what did it, but it's only now they connect!

It was 1980...

Summer in flow, thumping feelings to my head...and here I woke, at the bottom of a pot hole in a quarry, dazed, confused, almost 9 years old...

I took a brief look around, a twin pair of holes above me, shafts of light pouring down, peeked to left, right...darkish but it clearly looked like I was in a "slab space" like a wall of mud in font of me and a wall of mud behind me.

I tried to climb up, no used, slipping and sliding, I stopped, ran my hand through my hair...caked in mud and knotted..."where's me hearing aid??, my coat?, my shoe?" rapidly flying through my head...

I looked around, I realised I was on a small ledge, the very real fear of falling down there kicked in.
At a guess I was about 30 ft down from the top.

Looked down saw real darkness, spotted a stone, a good handful sized and threw it down.

For a brief moment I completely forgot I couldn't hear shit!

I smiled, no-one can ever take that off me. :o)

"Lee, help" I suddenly screamed, not quite realising I remembered what happened.

"He has to be there" I told myself, "LEE!!!" I screamed out, we were only playing football a minute ago...or was it hours ago.... "argggh LEEEEEE""...a face flickered into the was my mums best friend, Anna..."sigh" A memory that has never faded. :o)

She said clearly so could lipread... "firemen on the way, DON'T move"

I never moved a muscle... the fireman arrived, Anna said, "tie the rope round your waist"...In my innocent confusion i started to try and tie an inch and half fat rope around my wrist... :o/

Donut..."Waist" Anna said..."of course, what an idiot" I said, did that, got pulled up slowly and nicely.

That connection was valuable! It saved my life.

I suddenly had my head slowly out of the hole, to see half the streets residents lined up on the bank a good 7, 8 ft above us.

A sight I was glad to see. Some of you will be reading this no doubt. :o) It would be interesting to hear your memory of that day, its' the other side of the coin, watching one of ya daft mates looking like worzel gummage climbing out of a pot hole! :o)

The firemen asked if I was ok... yeah I said, stood up, there were all well intentionally worried...but I started to walk off towards my home, climbing up the bank, not sure if people were clapping, can't hear at this point lol, over the top, I saw mum, my brothers, 7 and 5 at the time...all crying, shocked...the magnitude of what happened hit me and we all hugged.

I was ok, that's what mattered, I only had a few bruises, split eyelid, bruised ego, lost hearing aid, and an upset family. :o/

Oh and one shoe!

So, we all walked to the ambulance, I climbed in, I remember the paramedic taking my trousers off to check my legs, stood there in my pants and the "girl next door", literally, Sarah, my age, stood there upset, smiling, looking at me!!

"Oi bugger off" I said with a smile, while trying hard to hide the "y fronts" Yikes!!!!

She laughed, I laughed... :o)

I was let out and went home, a night not to forget, sat in mums bed, all of us, mum, me and brothers, dad was in middle east, working as a diver, we were watching tv...the news!!

"Eh, that's me"!! :o) Damn I looked rough! :o)

I was safe and well.

I had a valuable connection that day.

But a week later, sat at nans, all the family there, watching tv and it was the news, suddenly I took notice of what was happening, bearing in mind no subtitles then, it was a case in Italy, a young child fallen down a pot hole, alot further than I had and in a granite or marble quarry.

No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't get to them.

Their last wish was to have coca cola... and that's what they give them. As much as they wanted through a long pipe.

That was the last drink.

I cried my heart out.

That hurt and I never forgot that day.
I made a valuable connection with that child in my heart.

So, am I really going to let a silly thing my crap ears stop me, with anything?

Nope, you got that right. Then and now!

I won't let a pair of crap ears stop me with this blog, I'll just adapt it or I to it.

I got plans, and this blog is part of them.

I digress, whats all this got do with you?

Well, you read my blog, ;o)
Quite alot to do with you in fact.

If I am going to have issues with things like video, audio, using a webcam and mic, I can talk, not perfect but ok, I will never be able to benefit the other way, by listening. shame really, though till now I never rally saw any reason to have a webcam and mic.

Conversations, should be two way. :o)

I don't miss out completely, thankfully I still have conversations that are creating valuable connections.

I got thinking about what I really wanted to achieve, what would I be happiest doing and that is interacting with more people, connecting, sharing, and learning and well as helping.

Which I realised I already do...just not well enough.

I know I do underestimate myself and what I have to share. I get told enough too!

Time to make that big improvement.

So I would love to see you join my new "Valuable connections" ezine.

Sign up to it using the form on the left sidebar.

You are going to be my main priority. :o)

You see, I realised every opportunity I ever wanted I have had.

Let me ask you, how many times has that door in your office, room, you are in now been opened by someone else, for you?

How about other doors?

My bet is most of the doors that have opened for you in life YOU opened, or chose not to go follow through.

I can only kick myself now for not opening the doors more often and trying, and kick myself again for not even bothering to open it and take a look!

Fast forward 5 years from now....

You come out of hairdressers with ya girlfriend, she is "pissed off", not happy at all and you can feel it bristling on her, she starts to typing into her phone, five min's later she calms down a bit, you ask "what ya done?", she replies "tweeted everyone to not use that crap hairdressers".

You realise, ya girl has something like 10,000 people following her on her twitter, 2000 of them "local", mates who listen...

Damn that's gonna hurt that hairdresser you think?

One small valuable connection, or in this case not so valuable!

The flip side, she came out. "Wow gotta show mates this, I feel GREAT" uploads a pic to twitpic and tweets it to all, free valuable word of mouth advertising for you!

Good very valuable connection for that hairdresser now eh? ;o)

"Ok, well, I got a shop, not hairdresser, so it wont matter to me, and anyway, it's NOT 5 years time"... you say, right, but back to the present, there are phones now capable of scanning bar codes in the shops.

So someone scans a product in your shop, clicks the phone, says "I can get that 50p cheaper in the shop 30 yards up the rd".

You stand there bewildered! :o/ Another customer gone!

All these connections, big or small, who knows which one will make or break you?

For now, realise every connection you make, matters.

P.s there are really NO limits on the power of these connections. No barriers. You are at the most important moment in history. NOW.

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