This Blog began as a place to write my stories and has blossomed into something more. "By the end of 2007, over 50% of households in the US alone will be involved in a home based business" NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE
It is every Americans duty to find a way to quit they're day job.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bling IT

Sell faster on Ebay

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Friday, December 14, 2007

HTML Quality Optimizers

Cut back on extra and unnecessary HTML code that can be cut out without impacting end users or the intended visual effect.

An easy way to cut out bandwidth is simply to cut out unnecessary HTML code, Javascripts and any other components which you simply don't need. Below, we present to you tips, ideas, and suggestions on how to cut out those non-essential tags and excess HTML which most web designers don't need and won't affect visual impact.

Strip Comments
Strip away all comments on your web pages. If you use comments, even at all, then your using up bandwidth. Even though a one line comment may not seem like much, consider the effects of the same comment distributed throughout all your users and on all your webpages. The net effect could result in significant savings over the long term.

Trimming White Space
Remove any excess white space, tabs and carriage returns that you don't need.

Remove Unnecessary Tags
Webmasters include tags that don't need to be closed such as
, and . If you are using these tags, delete away as they are unneeded.

Minimize Your Headers
No content can be displayed until the header has been read, move all Javascripts to the bottom of your pages and shorten any excess META Tags which you don't need. For example, often an HTML editor will add a default tag known as the Generator tag such as

Row Alignment
Instead of aligning each cell individually, try aligning the entire row. For example, most designers will use the "align" and "valign" attributes of the TR and TD tags in order to align content. Instead of using these attributes on each TD element, consider using it on each row. For example, consider using: TR align=centerleftright for each row instead of repeating TD align=centerleftright for each cell.

Remove Descriptions From Irrelevant Images
If your using images which do not need a description with the ALT attribute of the image tag, consider stripping away the associated description which are embedded with your images. For example, a typical image tag may appear as: img height="40" alt= "This is the description of my image" src="http://www.blogger.com/myimage.gif" width="50" . In this example, consider striiping the alt="..." portion such that the revised code appears as img height="40" src="http://www.blogger.com/myimage.gif" width="50" .

Minimize Image Usage
Each unique image on your web pages requires an HTTP request. In addition, each HTTP request has a wait latency and requires additional overhead from the browser and server to deliver the image. However, images which are re-used through the cache do not require additional overhead from either side. For this reason, you should try cutting back on image use and try re-using the same images multiple times.

Minimize DHTML
DHTML has some amazing effects but bears a large toll. Some DHTML effects weigh in at 40-60k in accompanying Javascript code. Try using low bandwidth DHTML effects or using Flash as a possible substitute.

Move Client Code to Server Side
Any client-side error checking that is done in VBScript or Javascript should be pushed to the server side. These error-checking scripts often take too much bandwidth and have loopholes which can be more rigoursly enforced if error checking is done on the server. For example, users who have Javascript/VBScript disabled will not go through error checking.

Simplifying Javascript
Anywhere you use names for your variables or functions in Javascript, try to reduce their length. Instead of using long variable/function names, try limiting them to a single character and using shorter code if possible. As well, try snipping out any comments in your Javascripts which you don't need.

Use Relative Pathways
When creating links to pages on your own domain, use relative paths rather than complete links to your pages. An example shows this best:

A HREF="http://www.yoursite.com/link_goes_here/" (Absolute Link)
A HREF="/link_goes/here/" (Relative Link)

= Joe Bucks =

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

NEW TWIST CONCERNING THREAT AND EXTORTION E-MAILS

Investigative Programs
Cyber Investigations

01/09/07—There is a new twist to the IC3 alert posted on December 7, 2006 regarding e-mails claiming that the sender has been paid to kill the recipient and will cancel the contract on the recipient's life if that person pays a large sum of money. Now e-mails are surfacing that claim to be from the FBI in London. These e-mails note the following information:

An individual was recently arrested for the murders of several United States and United Kingdom citizens in relation to this matter.
The recipient's information was found on the subject identifying the recipient as the next victim.
The recipient is requested to contact the FBI in London to assist with the investigation.
It is not uncommon for an Internet fraud scheme to have the same overall intent but be transmitted containing variations in the e-mail content, e.g., different names, e-mail addresses, and/or agencies reportedly involved. See our related top story on the hitman scam.

Please note, providing any personal information in response to an unsolicited e-mail can compromise your identity and open you to identity theft.

If you have experienced this situation please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov.

Due to the threat of violence inherent in these extortion e-mails, if you receive an e-mail that contains personally identifiable information that might differentiate your e-mail from the general e-mail spam campaign, we encourage you to contact the police.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tweaking: The Hidden Marketing Secret

keyword selectionWonder why some people get better marketing results than others? It's because they tweak.

One rarely discussed marketing secret (except amongst rabid direct marketers or online marketers), is the arcane art of tweaking. Tweaking your marketing is literally the key to getting more response to any marketing activity you attempt.

Tweak means to adjust or fine-tune.

And this is exactly what people fail to do when it comes to their marketing. In fact, most do the opposite: They develop a web site and never change a pixel for years; they settle on a marketing message and never try anything new; or they give a speaking engagement and don't try various "pitches" to get cards from participants.

The Science of Tweaking

Tweaking is what scientists do. They test something using an experiment. They get a certain result. Then they change a measurable variable and see what new result they get. They keep at this until they get the desired result (or not).

Good marketers are like scientists, but they have more fun.

Instead of experimenting on rats, they experiment on prospects. They try one marketing tactic at a time and measure the result. Then they change a measurable variable and see if the prospect responds differently.

Good scientists, if they are persistent, get grants to keep experimenting. Good marketers, if they are persistent, attract more clients and often get rich.

Let's look at a few marketing experiments you can tweak.

1. Ezine signups from a web site.

Growing a big eZine list is a great way to grow your business. Let's look at the two main variables: a) home page of web site and b) eZine sign-up page of web site.

To conduct this experiment you must know:
a) how many people land on your home page in any given period
b) how many people click onto the sign-up page
c) how many people actually sign up

Using a simple web tracker that counts visitors and subscribers, you can get these statistics very easily.

So let's say in a week, 100 people go to your home page. Of those, 40% click onto your sign-up page. And then 25% of those actually sign up for the eZine. That makes a sign-up rate of 10%.

Now you start tweaking.>>

You work at making changes to your home page so that more visitors click through to the sign-up page. You might improve the design, the graphics, the headline, the offer for the report you get with the eZine, etc.

Several tweaks might increase the number of people who click on the sign-up page to 50%. Now your total sign-up rate is 12.5%

Next you tweak away on the sign-up page. Perhaps you change the name of the report (more results-oriented), and you change the sign-up form (by making it simpler) and the placement of this form (you put it higher on the page).

Several tweaks of this kind may increase the number of actual sign-ups to 40%. Your total sign-up rate is now 20%. You've doubled your sign-up rate. And that's how tweaking pays off!

2. Getting cards after a speaking event

What I used to say was, "I have a report that covers most of the material I discussed today. If you'd like a copy, just leave me your card and I'll send it to you by email".

That pitch got me 30-40% of cards. So I tweaked my pitch.

I now say: "Here is a report that covers most of the material I discussed today. Who would like a copy? (and I get a show of hands) Great, please give me your card with a current email address and I'll send it to you by email."

That pitch gets about 80% of people in the room giving me cards. The tweak is that I got people to raise their hands saying they wanted the report. It more than doubled the results.

3. Your Audio Logo

When I use a problem-oriented Audio Logo: "I help Independent Professionals who are struggling to attract clients," I get about five times the response than a solution-oriented Audio Logo: "I help Independent Professionals attract more clients."

Go figure.

You don't have to know all the reasons your tweaking changed the results, you just have to keep tweaking until the results improve.

What are you currently doing in your marketing that isn't working as well as it could?

Time to start tweaking!>>

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Farewell CompUSA: Company to shutter remaining stores

By Jacqui Cheng Published: December 07, 2007 - 09:50PM CT

So long, CompUSA, it's been a good run. The electronics retailer decided to finish what it had started earlier this year, announcing that it would sell or close the remainder of its stores in the US after the holiday season. The company, controlled by Mexican retail management company Grupo Sanborns since 1999, has been sold to Gordon Brothers Group, a restructuring firm that will be responsible for selling off the remainder of its assets.

It was only 10 months ago when CompUSA first announced that it would close over half of its retail stores as part of its retrenchment strategy. At the time, CompUSA CEO Roman Ross said that changing conditions in the retail electronics market caused the company to close stores with "low performance or nonstrategic, old store layouts, and locations faced with market saturation."

That situation apparently didn't get any better, despite the company's $440 million cash infusion in February. Gordon Brothers Group will "initiate an orderly wind-down" of CompUSA's remaining 103 stores and plans to sell select stores in key markets. The firm also plans to sell CompUSA's tech service business, CompUSA TechPro, and CompUSA.com. Retail locations that are not sold will simply be closed.

The upside, if there is one, is that we will see some great deals at the remaining stores, just as we did in February during the closure of 126 stores. Gordon Brothers Group promises that consumers will be able to find "attractive holiday bargains" as part of the sale process—I know a good number of geeks who will be making a mass exodus to the soon-to-be-extinct stores over the weekend to get some holiday shopping for themselves done, for sure.

Although the store has all but lost its relevancy in today's market, the news still strikes me as the end of an era. So many people I know have done time at CompUSSR worked at CompUSA back in the day—here's a shout-out to the old CompUSA in Schaumburg, IL, that was closed during the first round. But the company has faced some stiff competition in recent years, not only from big box retailers like Best Buy, but also against popular, cheap, and convenient online retailers. After all, what geek goes to CompUSA first anymore over someplace like Newegg—or even Fry's—except in an emergency?

Still, it's been good to know you, CompUSA. Rest in peace. (Now, go ravage those stores!)


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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is internet marketing that allows websites to share traffic and revenue using banner and text advertisements. Merchants who sell goods and services online pay commissions to website owners (Affiliates) for sending traffic to their site. Affiliates can earn and are paid commissions when one of the following events occur:

Cost Per Sale (CPA)

A visitor referred by the Affiliate purchases goods and services from the Merchant. This payment structure is referred to as - cost-per-sale or cost per acquisition (cpa).


Cost Per Lead
(CPL)


A visitor referred by the Affiliate
completes a form on the Merchants website. This is payment
structure is referred to as - cost per lead (cpl).



Cost Per Click (CPC)


A visitor to the
Affiliates website clicks on a Merchants banner and visits the Merchants website. This
payment structure is referred to as - cost per click (CPC).

Affiliates - Affiliate marketing allows you to earn high income from your website while providing related services to your visitors.You can start earning money today with your website by joining one of the thousands of Affiliate programs located on this site.

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Affiliate Choices ~ PayPal affiliate


$1,000.00!!

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Spread the Word About PayPal and Earn Extra Cash!

As a PayPal user, you can collect up to $1,000.00 USD for each new merchant you refer. The Merchant Referral Bonus program rewards you for bringing new businesses to PayPal.

Start Referring Merchants Today — It's Easy

Here's how to get started:
-Log in to your PayPal account
-Get your personalized referral link to send out in emails, add as a banner to your website, or incorporate into your e-commerce application.
-Each time a new merchant signs up for a PayPal Business or Premier account via your link or banner, you'll immediately start receiving 0.5% of their payment volume - up to $1,000.00 USD.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

How to Select Keywords - An In-Depth Guide

keyword selectionWhen beginning a Search Engine Optimization campaign, there are a few basic steps that every SEO knows to take before they begin. The first is always to build a keyword list of which there are varying methods of doing so. The right methods will aid you in creating and supporting a site-wide SEO strategy. The wrong methods will run you in circles, wondering what went wrong.

It is the intent of this article to teach an effective method of keyword selection that will enable you to land more keywords on the first page with less work.

Getting Started: Know the Site
To create a great keyword list, you will need to know your website backwards and forwards. You should know what the site features, and just as importantly, you should know what it doesn't feature.

The first step is to brainstorm a list of somewhat generic keywords. For example, if you are a shoe store in Poughkeepsie, the temptation will arise to try and rank number 1 for the term "shoes." Well, that's a start, but ranking for the word "shoes" is probably aiming a little too high for a mom and pop shop in Upstate New York, which is why it's very important that you know the site well enough to come up with a good list of pseudo-generic "modifiers" for your keyword:
* Location (Poughkeepsie shoes, shoes upstate New York, shoes 12601)
* Price (cheap shoes, affordable shoes, quality shoes, comfortable shoes etc)
* Types (running shoes, walking shoes, jogging shoes etc)
* Industry specific (anti-pronation shoes)

Lengthening the List
At this point you should have a good list of pseudo-generic keywords. The next step is lengthening that list using your favorite Keyword tool (I will be using Overture in this example).
Each time you plug a keyword into your tool of choice, it will return the number of searches conducted for that term over a given period of time. It will also suggest keywords from the tool's database that are similar to the one you entered.

The basic idea now is to go through the list returned by the keyword tool and copy any and all similar terms as well as their corresponding search values, which relate directly to the site you're optimizing. Then, paste them to a spreadsheet program so that they can be further edited later.

Once you have copied and pasted, just go through the list row by row. Delete keywords that don't have to do with the website you're optimizing (which is why it's important to know what the site doesn't feature) and repeat with the next pseudo-generic keyword on your list. The idea is to identify as many keywords as possible.

Narrowing the List
So you have a long keyword list; it's time to narrow it down. I narrow my lists by deciding if the potential gain for a keyword is relative to the competition. In order to make that decision, I need to know three variables:
1. The number of searches on a particular keyword (already got those from Overture)
2. The Amount of Competition (I'll show you how to find your competition in this section.)
3. Will the keyword lead to conversions (this is up to you)

Below is a method for thoroughly determining competition for various keywords:
1. Do a search for one of your keywords
2. On the first SERP find the last listing with the keyword in the title tag that is either a homepage of any kind or is a sub-page which is not associated with a domain whose Pagerank is greater than 6. (This is the page you will need to beat, if one does not exist, ranking will generally be easier)
3. Find out how many unique links with the keyword in the anchor text whose linking page has a Pagerank of 1 or higher for the competitor (This is how many quality backlinks you'll need to acquire)

The aforementioned is a meticulous method for determining the competition for all of your keywords, and unless you're planning on building a tool that will automate this process, I would suggest taking a more general approach by using advanced search strings in the search engine of your choice.

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