Category: Misc (Page 1 of 3)

Progress Report #3

Report #3. I didn’t completely everything on my 2nd list.

  • I didn’t get the photos taken, or uploaded, of my LEGO creation.
  • I didn’t get started on any of the ecommerce package.
  • I never even touched the IM template I was building.

However, I did get some extra shoveling done, took a friend out to dinner, and we also had a Sunday School Soup dinner fundraiser that I was organizing and running (and I completely forgot about when I made my last list).

I also have a new work schedule, so I’m going to be headed to work 30 minutes earlier, and get out 30 minutes earlier. That should give me a bit more time in the evenings now.

  1. Work more on the CBT items I need to make.
  2. Install some games and OS updates on the kids computer.
  3. Start pulling all the receipts out of GMail for my business expenses for 2010
  4. Return my daughters broken camera for a replacement
  5. Install shelves in my office closet

Progress Report 2

Well, I did everything on my prior progress report. So that’s a nice feeling. I even did a few extra things (because of the job, we switched banks, so I’ve been migrating all my payments and such over to the new bank).

  1. Finish, test and launch a new template for my IM endeavors.
  2. Start work for a client, testing some software, and creating CBT courses for it.
  3. Go to BAND – Windows 7 Phone development is the topic.
  4. Start the research and training for my first Blueprint Black store.
  5. Read more of The Element – and blog some of my findings.
  6. Research the Kindle
    … and put together a budget on how to acquire one!
  7. Photograph and publish my new LEGO castle creation. This will be the first time I’ve ever photographed and published it……

Progress Report #1b

Well, it’s Wednesday, so here is the mid-week report.

1) Still haven’t removed the car yet.
2) Adult Ed – they contacted me, and we got teaching settled (I’m not teaching this semester)
3) Went to the Christmas Party for SS Staff… ate to much food, but had a good time.
4) Haven’t got the budget yet… Miranda will do the first draft, and I review it with her. Payday isn’t until Friday (to see what my bi-weekly check will be).
5) Started reading The Element… excellent book, put it on your reading list… :)

So far… it’s going well. A few other surprises this week (nice ones)…

Let’s see – today was a “half snow day”. Got out earlier due to the weather. I made a good sale on the Blueprint Black affiliate promotion. Finalized a contract, so that continues this month, and potentially I have a 2nd contract. Not sure on that one yet.

I’ll post again Sunday or Monday with the status of this list, and a new list for the week.

Progress Report #1

OK… it’s time to get on the ball. I’m new to this, so here’s my first shot at posting my progress reports. Let’s hope I can end the year with 52 of them… ;)

This week I will:

  1. Remove my “dead” red car from the insurance
  2. contact the local Adult Ed group I often teach for, and tell them I can’t teach this year *
  3. Go to “Christmas” party for SS staff
  4. Review new household budget (following Dave Ramsey – I’m the “free thinker” in the team)
  5. Start reading The Element

* I’m getting rather busy. New job started on the 20th of Dec. Plus 1, maybe 2 contracts. Plus my internet marketing endeavors.

** Yes… many of these were copied from my wife’s Personal Progress Report #1. What can I say… we’re married… it happens.

My List for 2011, and some new projects

My wife and her sister started a new site last month. It’s official launch date, is Jan 1st, 2011.

It’s called HerRESOLUTION. It’s primarily geared towards women… but the concepts apply to everyone.

They have a Progress Program that they created… to help you pick real goals, and then to meet them.

So… I decided to post my own. I’m using the Progress Program found on the website. (I’m sort of a honorary, member (the resident Geek))

  1. Work and Business –Start 2 ECommerce stores, using the Blueprint Project, Black Edition system.
  2. Work and Business –Expand my online income to averaging $30 per day (excluding the new ECommerce stores from Item 1).
  3. Health and Fitness – Lose 3 pounds per month. I think I can do more than that, but I want to stay “realistic”.
  4. Education – Get at least one Microsoft Certification
  5. Education – Retake the “Pistol Safety Course” and get my concealed weapons permit again.
  6. Finance – Pay off all my credit cards (big step).
  7. Family – Take a good vacation… preferably on a boat or a train (the kids have been on neither).
  8. Spiritual – Start a puppet/skits ministry
  9. Home – Setup shelves and storage in my office.
  10. Fun –Buy a geek toy (iPad, iPod Touch, Nintendo 3DS, Kindle, etc)

There you go… that’s my starter list. I’ll start work on these in 2011. And I’ll try to keep my progress posted here.

BAND – Visual Studio Launch Event!

Come out to the July BAND gig on Tuesday, July 27 at 6 pm and enjoy THREE talks on Visual Studio 2010!

There will be pizza, soda, networking with peers and talks on how to make the best use of the development tool(s) we use daily.

  • Talk #1 will be about what’s new in building ASP.NET sites in Visual Studio.
  • Talk #2 will be about Visual Studio 2010 Extensions: how to get them, some of the cool ones, and how to update the ones you have.
  • Talk #3 will be about C# .NET 4.0 language features — lots of good new stuff there!

You will leave full of good and practical info on using Visual Studio 2010, and will likely walk away with a goodie or two! There will be GIVEAWAYS at the end, from hardware to software, and lot of other things.

So come join the fun, learn about some of the best parts of the new tools, and make it an evening with others like you!

Sign up at the Bangor Developers website.

Steve and Tim LIVE – Day 2

Day 1 can be found here:  Steve and Tim LIVE – Day 1

Wednesday 6/23

9:00 – Introduction to Day 2

Another announcement of Dinner with Steve!  :)

9:15 – Information Products

Day 2 - Attendees

Steve talked about creating your own products, why you want to, why you should use ClickBank.  Some comments about the upcoming Info Prodigy product.  (woohoo!)

Steve talked about writing your products based on your passions, and what you know and like.

A good question came up… Should I stick to a niche that has an existing market?  Steve’s response was… Yes.  But unless you are really weird in your interests, there will be other people out there who have the same interest as you.  You can write something that interests you, that will likely sell.

Of course… you do have to have a  good product… but that’s where Info Prodigy comes in, right?

Another good point (fits the Paralysis by Analysis concept).  Day 2 Attendees

Your product has to be Market Ready.  NOT Perfect!

Landing Page Cash Machine – good site for doing sales/landing pages and split testing.

JV Notify Pro – Place to push out your IM related product to JV opportunities .(not recommended that you get into the IM realm though)

Affiliate Announcement – Another place to announce your info product.  Doesn’t have to be IM related.

Here is one of my personal choices for split testing…  ABingo – it is a manual tool you have to install and configure… but it’s free, and works well.

 

10:00 – Cash Flow and Budgeting

Grandma Claytons Budgeting and Cash Flow Lessons ;)

Basics of how to handle your cash flow… make sure you have the money to pay the bills when they are do.  My personal recommendation, is to go get some of the books or courses from Dave Ramsey.  It goes into MUCH more detail than what Steve is showing here.

Steve basically breaks down your yearly amounts owed (monthly mortgage x 12, car insurance, property taxes, etc) and divides that out by 12 (for each month).  This is now your “Must Pay” balance.  After you pay that, any money left is to be used for other expenditures.

Consult a tax person.  Personally I’ve had good luck with June Walker.  She also has a good book for doing taxes as an “Indie”.  Someone who is independently employed – Self-employed Tax Solutions 

Steve highly recommends becoming an LLC.  Easier in many aspects.

 

10:15 – Traffic – AdWords

Some good discussions on using AdWords.  Google appears to wholesale dislike certain niches.  Regardless of your content or methods.

If you get your domain slapped via AdWords, that domain is no longer viable.  Don’t use it for AdWords anymore… even if it’s a new niche, new content, etc. 

 

11:30 – Traffic – Facebook, MySpace

Facebook is NOT the new internet.  Facebook is interrupt driven market.    You put up ads and try to interrupt the user to get them to buy.

One thing to note, is that visitors don’t go posting on FB walls asking “where is the best place to buy a Nikon D 40”.  They go to google to do that.  So Facebook and MySpace aren’t going to replace google.  But there are some great demographics opportunities in FB that you can then target with an ad.

You may not want to try to sell directly on Facebook… you want to try to build a relationship (opt-in, free info, etc).  After you have the relationship… then you can sell to them.

Facebook Tips:

  • Use pictures for your ads.
  • Split test
  • Watch your CTR.
  • Change the pictures every other week.

12:00 – Lunch!

Pretty good… roasted chicken, vegetables, rice, salmon, salad.

And a phenomenal chocolate mousse!  *sigh*

1:00 – Traffic – Other Sources

Yahoo answers, Link Juice machines, forum signatures, ezine articles, BizRate, PriceGrabber, etc.  I can’t go into a lot of details here…   But just lots of other methods to pick up traffic… when combined, they add up.

Some more: twitter (one account per niche, build followers).  Facebook (not paid ads, but fan pages, etc).

More:  Radio ads, GoogleTV, newspaper, local ads, direct mail, postcards etc.

 

1:45 – Traffic – SEO

Discussing the case study for a realtor that was used. 

3 types of links to get…

  1. Automated (UAW, AB)
  2. Manual (forum posts, profile links, blog comments, social bookmarks, BB, LB)
  3. High PR links (link juice machines, LB)

Basically use the link building plan from IMA, and the backlink database.

The “Double Indent”.  Build backlinks with identical anchor text for 2 pages.  You’ll get one page in the #1 position, and the 2nd page gets to #1, it shows up indented under the first.

 

2:45 – Traffic – Managing the Link Building

Setup a spreadsheet for each month.  This spreadsheet has all the links that month you need to build.  Use one spreadsheet per month.  This can track each of the links you build.

Remember… don’t fret if you miss a day.  Build links.  If you aren’t sure what type of link to build… just build some.  If you are in doubt of what to do next… build links.

 

3:20 – Outsourcing LinkBuilding with Pragmites – Guarav

Background on Guarav.  He got his first paycheck from affiliate marketing at age 12.  He decided he wanted to drop out of school, but his father said no.

Pragmites – 30 full time employees. 3 offices… India, Australia and Delaware US.

Very nice presentation… horse racing themed. 

Guarav (and Steve) both recommend The 4-Hour Workweek.

Guarav talked about Why you should outsource (the 4-Hour Workweek explains the “why” very well).  He also talked about What to outsource.  He also covered the 4 items to look for when outsourcing

  1. Cost
  2. Consistency
  3. Competency
  4. Culture

Guarav had Brett come up and talk for a few minutes on Task Outsourcing vs. Outcome Outsourcing.  Don’t outsource the task.  Outsource the outcome.  What do you want to happen…

Very Informative!  I am definitely going to be outsourcing to Pragmites once I get home, and can get things sorted.

Pragmites does have some capacity to take on new clients… but they currently are not unlimited capacity.  So if you want to use their service, you might want to contact them soon.  Tell them Eric sent you.  :)

 

3:55 – Putting it all together

Take the plans outlined at the LIVE event… and build one for you.  It may be identical to what Steve outlined… it may be completely different.  But you have to take on a plan.

4 things to consider – consider your needs

  1. financial
  2. time
  3. risk
  4. rewards

There is no right or wrong way to get there.  Develop your plan (and if you are in doubt, go build links :D).

What financial resources you can commit will determine what options you can use to meet your goals.

Some items will do better than the projections.  Some will do worse.  But with the diversity of the original plan… you are covered.

 

Many of the tools and courses necessary for the Business Plan options can be found in The IM Advantage program from Steve and Tim.

Steve and Tim LIVE – Day 1

Ok.  Time for the live blogging to start.  I’m going to try and blog about what’s going on.  Please note… I am paraphrasing here, and adding my own spins to what I’m talking home from this event.

Tuesday 6-22

9:00

Steve is talking about the Introduction and the winners of Dinner with Steve.

First, the bad news.  Tim couldn’t make it.  So, once again, we still aren’t sure if Tim exists… of if he’s just a figment of Steve’s imagination.  :)

9:30

Steve is talking about his story, the story of the Hermansen Brothers, Ricambi, FastFittings.com, etc.

He recommends watching the Randy Pausch video.  The Last Lecture.  You can find more details here:

http://www.cmu.edu/uls/journeys/randy-pausch/index.html

 

10:30

Break Time.  Going well.  Steve is lots of fun to watch in person.  He’s an excellent speaker, and uses humor well.

As Steve has commented on in the forums… What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.  So I’m being careful about what I comment on here, and what I release to y’all.

One of the things Steve talked about earlier, was “Brick Walls”.  He uses the definition from Randy Pausch

Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people.
– Randy Pausch ( 1960-2008 )

There are 3 Fears that Steve mentions.

  1. Fear of Failure
  2. Fear of losing “security”
  3. Fear of losing prestige, title, office, big head count, etc.

Another key point he mentioned was… You need to honestly assess your strengths and your weaknesses.  Having a weakness isn’t a problem.  But ignore that weakness is.  You either need to find a partner, or learn a skill.

Another key point Steve talked about… is.  Failure Doesn’t Matter! If you fail… do it again.  Amit M failed 17 times before he hit the 18th AdWords campaign that was profitable.  If he had quit after 10, or 12… or even 17.  He wouldn’t be successful today.

Bob Parsons (from GoDaddy.com) sums it up well: 

The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.

One very important item that Steve has stressed over and over again.  Get A Partner.  From the start.  Get yourself a partner.

11:05 – Introducing the Business Plan

  1. The plan is flexible
  2. Modify it to suit your needs.
  3. Diversify your work.
  4. Find a business partner (didn’t we already cover this?)

For the diversity…  SEM BB, e-commerce, affiliate sites, adsense sites and buying existing website that is making a profit.

12:10 – Lunch

Lunch was great.  Chicken, potatoes, seasonal vegetables (roasted), green salad, rolls and a caramel cheesecake.  I feel a food coma coming on!

1:05 – Continuing the business plan – going into more detail on parts of the plan (SEMBB and ecommerce)

What do I do when my PayPal fees are so much?

Check into another merchant account, such as Authorize.net, however don’t go cheapest.. you need a quality merchant account.  Don’t bargain shop for one.

When do you create a 2nd store in the same niche?

It depends on the market.  Selling Bird Cages – one store.  “2 door bird cages” – probably not worth having a second store.

Ferarri parts – specific parts for the Ferarri F355 – Makes sense to have it’s own store catered specifically to the F355 customers.

Book recommendation from Steve: Advanced Google AdWords

 

2:45 – Secrets of Suppliers, Wholesalers and Drop Shippers – By Tracy

Tracy gave and Excellent talk on how to find suppliers, and how to take your e-commerce business to the next level.

Alas, I can’t reveal all of them… but it was good.

One of her points, was about finding a supplier.  She recommended contacting them first via email.  Then follow that up 24 hours later via a phone call.  It makes a HUGE difference in getting approved.

Don’t limit yourself.  As you grow, you may want to start keeping stock in inventory.  You can get inventory at discounts, and when your sales are high enough, you can hire someone to do your product fulfillment.  Yes, it’s not drop-shipping so much… but it may be the next logical step for your business.

 

3:15 – Back to more business plan ideas

Covering Buying Websites (cool concept, hard to find the sites, but pretty fail-safe if you follow Steve’s formula).  Also covering Affiliate Marketing.  Much of the info covered can be found in the various courses (such as CB2, NB2 and IMA), but the plans are streamlined to be making $100k profit in 6 months time.

Steve recommends using Escrow.com to handle the payments for purchasing the website.  You typically split the fees.  Very useful for handling the payment process.

Steve also covered AdSense websites too.  We are running a bit overtime, so we are putting the Info Product creation off until tomorrow.  Q&A is now in session.

The questions are pretty good.  Lots of common questions from various customers.  The nice thing is, they are questions that many of us have… rarely are the questions hyper-specific to a customer.

Of course… Steve generally gets cornered on the breaks, so I think many folks are asking their specific questions then.

 

5:30 – We’re done!

Day 1 is done.  Next step, is to eat some dinner, do a bit of souvenir shopping, and then go see Cirque du Soleil (the Ka show) with my wife, Brett and his wife, and Honey.  Should be fun!

 

 

Day 2 can be found here:  Steve and Tim LIVE – Day 2

 

Many of the tools and courses necessary for the Business Plan options can be found in The IM Advantage program from Steve and Tim.

The Life of an Internet Marketer / Programmer / Anyone online.

Pearls Before Swine

Click the image to go to Comics.com’s website to read the comic.

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