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Don't be the One that Copies Others.......................................................Be the One that Others Copy

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Webpage and Blog Clutter


How do you know when you go too far in trying to present a useful but pleasant site? This is a question that has been asked over and over again by just about anyone who tries to build a Website or Blog.

There are a lot of options in choosing templates, just about every service offers them. You can get them for free or for a price, but they are mostly bland when you start out. Sure there are a lot of colors and layouts you can use, but what do you do after the initial setup?

Once you have made a decision on the basics, you have to start concentrating on what it is really going to look like. Where to place your information, ads, and the like is important. Another thing is to make sure you don't over do it.

I am the type of person that constantly tweaks. When I come across something new and I think it will benefit my readers or enhance the page, I try to find a way to incorporate it. I hate wasted space, so it seems that I fill every nook and cranny.

I am also a pack rat. If I add something to my page, I hate to "throw it away". If I thought it was useful before, then it must be useful now.

When I go to other sites, I constantly assess the looks. Are the colors right, are the ads placed correctly, is it overpowering? When I find a nice site, I try to incorporate the idea of how things are laid out into my own site. However, when I try to employ the concept, I usually run out of space.

All this is made even more evident because of the template and service I chose to use. Sure, Blogger is free, but that only serves to limit my options in trying to redesign the layout.

I have added so many choices in the sidebar, that I have to look for things, even though I know where they are. So, things that are not useful anymore, or don't seem to fit quite right will be stored away (since I am a pack rat). But they will be taken out of the Sidebar, or any other place that they just take up space.

If you don't notice them missing, then they probably didn't really need to be there in the first place.

Are you the pack rat type, or of the neat-nick persuasion? How do you handle clutter on your site?

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Monday, February 27, 2006

(Don't) Follow Instructions Carefully


Sometimes it's better NOT to follow the instructions.

A while ago I bought a Lexmark x2250 All-in-One printer. It has Scan, Fax, Print and Copy capabilities. It's a great printer, except for one thing, I could never get it to work. I followed All the instructions as suggested. I went so far as to have a replacement sent because I do have the warranty.

Once I received the replacement and installed it according to the instructions, it STILL didn't work. At this point I even tried changing my USB PCI Card. I knew that there were some issues with Window XP and some hardware and software drivers, but never put 2 and 2 together, so I uninstalled it.

When I got my new DSL equipment and installed it (previous posts here and here), I had no problems with it or the USB connection. So, I knew that all that equipment was good. At that point I tried to install the printer according to instructions. The Printer worked, but the DSL connection was lost.

You don't want to know what I said...

I figured since nothing else worked, I may as well just try using the XP default new hardware installer (I was advised against it in the Lexmark instructions). I did have to copy the drivers from the original CD, but I didn't get any errors as before. When I printed a test page I got the Windows XP printout, not the Lexmark page as expected.

Now, it seems everything (USB, DSL, Printer) works just fine.

The moral of this story is even though instructions are a important, they needn't be followed verbatim if you already have an idea of what needs to be done. So, follow your instincts, you may just be right.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

How to Get a Headache...


Sorry for being so blatant about this, but trying to come up with something original every day is a little difficult. Writers Block has been over-written about, not only by me, but just about anyone who writes (or tries to) everyday.

I'm not sure of the name of the artist of this comic strip, but I gotta give him credit. It's Adam at Home, and it depicts some of the best and worst of Working at Home, on a daily basis.

I don't know how he does it, but more power to him.

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Trackbacks


I think by now if you have followed Working at Home on the Internet for any period of time, you know I keep experimenting with new things. The fact that I now use pictures in my posts, along with the small previous post will attest to that fact.

This morning I read a post over at ProBlogger by Guest Writer Andy Wibbels about Trackbacks. As you know I offer that as an option for those who would like to write a post for this Blog.

Andy, in his post describes the usefulness of trackbacks and how they work in a not-too-technical way, so that even I understood the concept.

The reason I write this post is I am just implementing HaloScan which is one of the only services that offer comment and trackback features for Blogger (BlogSpot). They do have an automatic installation process for Blogger, which makes it very easy to use.

So, if you are interested in using trackback, read Andy's article. And if you use Blogger, try HaloScan. (Sounded like a salesman there, huh).

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commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Guest Write for Working at Home on the Internet


Something I have been contemplating for a while is asking you, my readers, to consider Guest Writing an Article for Working at Home on the Internet.

I think a lot of you have something to contribute, but haven't had an opportunity or the inclination to write something in the comment section. This could be a way for you to expose your site to others, not only through what you write, but you can include links and track-backs to your Blog or Website. You will get Full Credit.

I have written a few articles for other Blogs and the results have been good. I have gotten some hits I don't think I would have otherwise.

So, if you are interested, send me an E-mail with your idea and a short description of your intended subject matter. I will respond in a timely manner.

I am sure this could give some of you an opportunity to "Show your stuff".

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The "Poll about Polls" Results


OK, it was a stupid poll...

Unfortunately, the response was a little bit of a supprise. I guess the people who don't like polls just didn't bother to take the poll.

Only 5 people responded.

2 voted yes, they liked them.

1 voted no, didn't like them.

1 voted that they hated them.

50/50

When I first started using the Polls, they were to give me an idea of what information you want or need. I think the results of the last few polls ended up giving me useful topics that are relevant to Working at Home.

Therefore, since I have the deciding vote, I will continue using Polls, but I will make sure that they are related to Working at Home, the Internet, or something that will help make your experience less harrowing.

Joe

ps. The New Poll is: Is your Home Business...?

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Google SiteMaps and Blogger II


A little while back (here) I complained how Google Sitemaps couldn't verify this Blog.

Well, it still can't, but I don't think it makes much of a difference. I did a little analysis of my statistics for page views and search engines used to find all of my sites. The results supprised me a little.

While I had basically no (0) searches from Google prior to the usage of Google Sitemaps, the increase after implementation is (to me) astounding. What is more astounding is there was almost no change for the Webpage, before and after using Sitemaps. It seems that the Webpage was already getting indexed.

Since the PolBlog is so new, I will not include it in the stats, but here are the rest:

Blog

MSN... 53.49%
Google... 39.53%
Sympatico... 6.98%
Yahoo...0%

Webpage

MSN... 86.11%
Google... 8.33%
Sympatico... 5.56%
Yahoo...0%

WAH Archive (yes, I included it and you can see why)

MSN... 0%
Google... 100%
Sympatico...0%
Yahoo...0%

These statistics do not include searches such as Technorati, Blogspot, Eaton Web or referrals from other sites such as Blog links or Forums.

The reason I presented these statistics is to let you know that even though SiteMaps cannot Verify your Blog, it is still worth using to get indexed by Google. If you are indexed, you will show up in searches. And that is the main way people will find your site.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Procrastination Doesn't Work at Home


Don't let procrastination get in the way. When you are faced with something you may not feel like doing, it is easy to put it by the wayside.

It doesn't matter if you are in construction, a hairdresser or working at home, we all face something that we would rather not do. It could be something simple in hind thought, but at the time it seems insurmountable.

When this happens, there is no easy way out, you just have to put your nose to the grindstone. If you know that it is something that has to be done, then just do it.

If you are working for a company and there are other people involved, there is support with the project. If you were the boss, would it be easier to get someone else to do the task? Someone has to make sure the job gets done. A good boss ensures that it does.

When you Work at Home, You Are the Boss. There is no one else to fall back on. You may have people working for you, but you still need to take responsibility for whatever project is on the stove. If you need to move it from the back burner to the front, do it, just try not to get burnt.

I don't know of anyone who works at home that thinks his or her job is a cake walk. It will always take a lot of hard work, and hopefully, the Rewards will be worth the effort.

Just don't put off something that needs to be done, because the more time that passes, the easier it is to put it off again and again.

The main thing I found is that once I conquer my procrastination and finish the project, the better my business becomes. So as the saying goes: "Don't put off until tomorrow, what should be done today".

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Freelance Sites

This Really Is the Last of the Series

Some people have special skills that they can Sell on the Internet. Writers, Customer Service Reps, Researchers and Website Designers among others, can find something that fits their needs on the Web if they know where to look.

I have complied a list of Freelance sites that may help the Work at Home Sub-Contractor:

1. Elance... Mostly for the Tech Type, but you can find a variety of services. (look in Market Place).

2. SoloGig... Just about anything you can do online from Web Design to Sales to Editing.

3. Freelance Work Exchange... Good pay for a variety of services, one drawback, $29.95/m for membership.

4. Guru... Wide assortment of service types. Fee depends on type of membership you want. Bid on projects.

5. West at Home Agent... Free to join, they train for different projects. Requirements for type of internet service and computer capability.

6. ClickNwork... Many different opportunities, Testing for ability, will train if selected. Amount of time with program makes a difference.

7. Working Solutions... Free to join. Requirements for internet access and must have phone for use on most projects.

8. BloggerJobs... Anything that a Blog can be used for, needs to be written about by someone. Payment depends on the company involved.

Unless otherwise specified, the services are free (to the best of my knowledge). None of the above are affiliate links.

I hope some of you can make good use of these services.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Paid Surveys

Last of the Series

Any truly reputable survey company will never charge you.

If you were researching focus groups and saw an ad for a group that wanted you to pay $25 to be a part of, would you do it? Of course not. Real companies pay you, not the other way around. That being said...

Many survey sites offer gifts or points for filling out surveys. The following companies give you points which you should be able to redeem for cash:

MySurvey...

Opinion Outpost...

GlobalTestMarket...

Lightspeed...

PlanetPulse...

YourSay...

Geenfield...

Something you have to realize is that you will NOT make hundreds of dollars a day or even in a month. You can make a little extra cash and get a lot of product trials, and you may even have a little fun. But you will never make a living at it.

A place you can check out other survey companies is:

http://www.bbbonline.org/consumer/

Two more things you must consider, these survys take a lot of time and you WILL get a lot of Spam in your E-mail.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Website Enhancement

Fourth of a Series

There are quite a few ways to enhance your Website.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not just for Blogs, rather the original purpose was to enhance Websites. One of the easiest ways to improve SEO is to make sure you have keywords and descriptions in your template. You want them to be descriptive of Your Site. Use words and phrases that will attract viewers to your site. (see... What are Meta Tags? and Tweaking Meta Data).

After you have completed the above process, make sure you submit your URL to the major search engines submission pages... Google... MSN... Yahoo...

Some of the other search engines want a fee to guarantee placement, some you can't get a listing unless you pay.

Another option you have for submission to Google is their Google Sitemaps. You can submit your URL as a single page or if you have multiple pages you can submit a site map. You can get a site map for your website at XML Sitemaps.

If you update regularly or have a site that makes use of headlines, make sure to use RSS (Really Simple Syndication). If you don't already have an RSS feed, you can go to... RSS Specifications... they have links to just about anything you need to know about RSS Feeds. They also have a list of submission sites for your Feed.

If you have any other enhancements in mind that I may have missed, please share them in comments.

Tomorrow... Paid Surveys

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Blog Submission Sites

Third of a Series

Once you have your Blog written and published, you will want to have someone read it. There are quite a few sites to submit your Blog. These are but a few.

Technorati.. This is one place you want to make sure you submit your Blog. They are one of the bigger Blog listing sites.

Blogwise... Another Blog index worth using.

Blog Catalog... They are a major player for listing Blogs.

Blog Top Sites... Indexes Blogs by catagory. Good place to show how popular your site is.

Make sure you at least have an Atom.xml feed (especially if you use Blogger) or another RSS feed. Then you should submit your blog to these sites.

Feedburner... Works well with Atom feeds from Blogger and others.

Ping-O-Matic... You can "ping" multiple sites at the same time.

Syndic8... Good RSS or Atom submission site.

Web Log Directory... For Blogs with any type of RSS feed (including atom).

As I said, these are only a few of the submission sites you can use. I included some RSS submission sites because they are as important as the rest for exposure to your site.

Tomorrow... Website Enhancement

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Results of the "I Want More Information on..." Poll

As those of you that responded to the poll know, the Forums took an early lead (hence, the first post). However, Blogging closed in quick and took the lead.

Here it is:

Blogging... 33% or 3.96 of 12 (I don't know how you get .96 of a person).

Forums.... 25% or 3 of 12

Website Enhancement... 25% again 3 of 12

Paid Surveys... 17% or 2.04 of 12 (ok, make it 2 and Blogs get 4).

Other... 0% or 0 of 12

As anyone who is a regular reader knows, I will endeavor to give a good response for all the catagories.

This weeks poll is going to be: Do you like my polls?

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Blogging Platforms

Second of a Series

Here is a list of various Blogging Services that I have come across. Some are free others are paid services.

Free

Blogger / Blogspot... This is the service that this Blog is written on. It was recommended to me and I didn't realize at the time there were a lot more options.

i3log.com... Fairly new site. About 1700 users so far. 27 templates to choose from.

Myspace... This is more like a homepage. Has Chat rooms, Forums and more.

MSN Spaces... This seems to be the Older Persons Version of Myspace.

Yahoo 360... This is definately a Yahoo product. Too busy for my tastes, but you may like it.

Wordpress.com... A lot of people I know that work online Blogging for a living use this service.


Premium/Paid

Typepad... A Six Apart company, prices range from $4.95/m to $14.95/m Services vary according to price.

Moveable type... Also Six Apart. Professional Versions. Buy the program for your own Website. Prices up to $1,295.99

There are many more of these type services out there, but this is a good starting point. Check them out to see which one fits your tastes.

Tomorrow... Blog Submission Sites

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Forum List

First of a Series

Since the Poll is almost over, I thought I would get started on the requests for info. This is a list of some of the forums I frequent.

Most are specialized and deal with specific subject matter and topics. All are useful in their chosen genre.

Performancing.com Forum... This is good for Bloggers to gain valuable information. A lot of information on the Firefox extention.

Work at Home Forum... Good info on Working at Home, very interactive, mostly for people just starting out.

Webmaster Forum... This is Digital Point, anything from General business to Website design are discussed here.

SearchEngineWatch Forums... This site encompasses almost anything you want to know about SEO's.

Weblog Empire Blog Link Exchange Forum... The name says it all. It's for Blogs to set up links with other Blogs to enhance traffic for both.

Statcounter Webtracker and Counter Forum... If you have StatCounter, this is the place to get answers regarding their service.

Work at Home Community Forum... This forum is more for the WAHM. If you want to share your experience working at home and being a mom, this is for you.

Work From Home Forums Index... Fairly new site for home business discussions. Once it builds, I think it will be a valuable asset for information.

I hope the various forums listed here supply you with some valuable conversations and help in your quest of working at home.

Tomorrow... Blogging Platforms

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Problems with the Internet

I know I am not the only one to notice that some of the major players on the internet are having problems. Most (not all) seem to be related in some way to Blogging.

At first I couldn't think of any reason for this. But this week I read that the U.S Government and some of their friends had an exercise to make the internet safer. I wrote about that on my PolBlog (here).

These are just a few of the services I have noticed having problems recently.

1. ClickBank... People are having a problem logging into the service. They say it is due to an attempted denial of service attack.

2. Blogger.com... They were pretty much out of service for a week or so. I wrote about it in a few previous posts.

3. Technorati... They have been broken for at least a week. No explanation, they just aren't tracking quite a few Blogs.

4. BlogTopSites... Since the end of last week, there hasn't been any ranking in their chicklet on a lot of Blogs. The other day, I couldn't even log into their site.

5. WordPress.com... They were down at least on 2/12/06. I don't know how long they were actually down.

6. FreeSpaces.com... Last week I was having problems accessing my pages that are hosted there. I even lost all my pages at one point. I had to reload them from scratch.


These problems wouldn't be too much of a concern individually, but they all seem to be happening at the same time.

If you have experienced any of these or similar problems recently, let me know.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Working Off-line is Important Too

There is almost as much work for you to do Off-line as Online when trying to conduct business on the Internet.

Probably the most important and least observed portion of Working at Home on the Internet, is Back-up. You need to make sure all of your files are completely and safely backed up on a regular basis. How often depends on the type of business you are running.

Most home computers these days have at least a CD-RW drive, which is sufficient if there isn't too much new content involved. For very active sites, ones that are updated often, I would suggest using a Zip drive. They can usually be plugged into your USB port and installed with minimal effort.

Another thing to consider is your Anti-virus and Firewall. These should be updated on a regular basis. All of them have websites for downloading updates. Make sure you actually run the programs regularly, so as to make sure your computer is free of the many viruses, adbots and spybots that circulate continually.

Next, consider how you want to keep your statistics off-line. You can always find some type of an accounting program that will fit your needs. Or, you may be the type that prefers pencil and paper. Either way, you will not be doing it all online, even if that's the source of the information.

Speaking of accounting programs, you will probably need to do your accounting off-line. Not everyone or every bank conducts accounting business online. Actually, the majority of us need to go to the bank once in a while.

While you can research most things online, you may still need to look elsewhere for inspiration or information. It may just be easier to read a trade magazine, as opposed to spending hours looking on the web for something already at your fingertips.

Since every business is different, the need to conduct a certain amount of that business off-line will vary. However, I think the ones I suggest are the minimum requirements for any Online Business to conduct Off-line.

If you think there is anything of importance I missed, please use the comment section to share your thoughts.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Battling Writers Block

I am looking for a good way to fight writers block...

I have gotten E-mails and comments asking me how I can continue to write interesting and relevant articles every day. Actually, I continually fight writers block.

The hardest part for me is just finding a subject that someone else or I haven't written about dozens of times. I've written almost 150 posts since Mid-October, and finding something new is becoming increasingly difficult.

I do research everyday. Once in a while I can come up with something original, but most of the time nothing new presents itself. I have tried keeping a stock pile of posts that I can fall back on, things that are not time sensitive, but if I write it I usually just post it.

Quite often, I see other Blogs with multiple posts. Some of these same people have a few Blogs they write something for everyday. I feel lucky if I can get one Good post written a day.

Now, with 2 Blogs, 2 Websites and an Archive to keep up with it is extremely difficult to be original. Sometimes, I end up repeating myself on the Working at Home sites. I have a real problem with accepting that, but not everyone reads both sites. It is more likely that someone just looking for information on Working at Home through one of the search engines will go to the Website. And just as likely that return readers and referrals will frequent the Blog.

Asking for comments and suggestions only works to get new ideas once in a while. That is one reason I put the "Help Improve this Blog" link in the sidebar, to make it easier for you to offer suggestions.

If you have found a good way to combat writers block, let me know.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Be Original

When I read the Blogs from my list of favorites, I sometimes end up seeing variations of the same basic topic bandied about like it is some kind of petcock in a game of Badmitton.

I find link after link from one Blog to the other with a description of what the other person wrote. It seems there is no new subject matter in all the blogosphere. I am not guiltless, I have found myself doing the same thing, quoting one person, linking to another, always displaying the "source" of the information. Sometimes it feels as if I don't have any good ideas of my own.

It is not much different when I log into some of the Forums I frequent. There is always a new person trying to sell their get rich quick scheme (which is deleted in short order). Then you have the newbies asking the same questions again and again, even when the answers are readily avalible if they bothered to read previous posts.

The problem seems to be, at least to me, that people just don't bother to investigate anything anymore. Everyone wants the quick answer, the easy way out. Why bother writing something original when someone else already wrote something on the subject? Why look something up if I can just ask someone else for the answer?

I think the only real way to fix the problem is by caring about our own subject matter and content enough to do the research, to think of something interesting, to actually write something original.

When you work for yourself, you have to be the one who gets and acts on the new idea. You need to stay ahead of your competitors. If you are the first one there, you have an edge over the other company and you can pitch your product before anyone else.

So try not to be the one that copies from others, be the one that others copy.

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Results of "Do you have a...?" Poll

Although the response was probably not indicitive of the Entire Web, I think even with the limited number of respondants, this poll shows the growing number of Bloggers.

Here are the numbers:

Bloggers.......... 53% (7)

Websites...........7% (2)

Both.................40% (6)

Neither..............0%

With 40% having both a Blog and a Website, that puts the total of Blog owners at 13 of 15 or 86.66% and Website owners at 8 of 15 or 53.33%.

I guess it's all in how you look at the numbers.

Thanks for your response. Look for the next poll "I want more information on..."

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Can I be Too Involved with Statistics?

I have found myself more and more often going to my different stat pages. It can be a detriment to productivity.

Instead of looking for things that are pertinent to Working at Home, I find myself continually looking to see how many people have visited my site. I go to the different advertiser pages to see if anyone clicked on whatever Ad I have running. I even check to see if anyone has responded to either of my polls.

Once I find a tool that helps me in tracking what happens on one of my pages, I continually go back and forth. It seems I become more obsessed with numbers than with the writing of articles. My mood even seems to go up and down with the numbers.

In an effort to make myself more productive, I seem to have done the opposite.

Often in the past, when I couldn't think of something to write about, I would have turned to different sources for inspiration. I would read something from one of the other Blogs I frequent, or go to one of the Forums I feel comfortable with.

Although, I have written a few (maybe too many) articles on keeping statistics, I know they are not the only way to gauge success.

I really feel more like I succeeded in my objectives when I find out that something I wrote actually helped someone achieve their objectives.

Sometimes the rewards are slow in coming, sometimes they seem like they will never get here. But when they show up in the form of a thank you or just a mention on another site, it all seems like it's worth it.

(...more)

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Google Sitemaps and Blogger

"Riddle me this, Batman" If Google owns Blogger/Blogspot.com, why is there no way to install Google Sitemaps on Blogger? For that matter, why can't you even verify a Blogger Blog on Sitemaps?

I used XML Sitemap Generator to build a sitemap for my Website, downloaded it to my computer, uploaded it to my Website Host and set it up on Google Sitemaps. I had no problems, it was pretty much automatic. I tried it on the webpage first to see how well it would work.

Then I tried the same thing on my Blog. The Generator worked like a charm, but there is no way to upload the file it generated to Blogger. I tried to copy the file from my computer, it wouldn't accept the file as is. I copied the full html to Edit Posts and saved the file as a draft. Sitemaps still will not accept the file.

I even tried to copy the file to the template, in the Header. You should see what that looks like, the whole file shows in the Head before the Title. Needless to say, that didn't last long.

I'm not sure if there is any way to put Google Sitemaps on any Blog, but I am sure there is no easy way to but it on a Blogger Blog. Let me know if you have ever found a way, please.

I don't think there is any way to Verify a Blogger Blog on Google Sitemaps, at least not that I have heard.

I will, however, recommend using XML Sitemap Generator to anyone that needs an easy way to generate a sitemap.

(...more)

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Misperceptions Dealing with Requests

The other day in my post regarding Link Requests, I told you to watch out for requests that are only one way. This you should do.

However, Winston Redford of MyTrafficButler has contacted me. Apparently, he had some serious problems he had to deal with and couldn't conduct business as he normally would.

Therefore, I have put his link back in the sidebar.

I do apologize for any adverse perceptions my previous post may have caused, but sometimes a long delay can lead one to a decision prematurely.

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Work at Home Pitfalls

Working at Home seems the ideal situation for just about anyone.

The independent personality, work at home moms, recently unemployed, hate my boss, et cetera, all have a reason to work at home. Everyone who has tried a Home Business of any sort, all have good intentions when they start out.

I'll be my own boss, I can spend time with the kids, or whatever reason you start your own business, can also be the same reason your business could fail. Whatever your intentions in the beginning, don't let your Reasons become Excuses.

When I find myself with no ideas or subjects to write about, I call it writers block. What it is really, is a lack of concentration on my part. If I look a little further, maybe after a short break from the computer, I can usually come up with something.

Being your own boss sounds ideal. However, not everyone can push themselves to do what has to be done, they need an outside influence. Make sure you form a game plan and stick to it. Be your own boss, set deadlines and keep them. Otherwise you may be better off just getting a "regular" job.

If you started working at home to have more time with your children, don't be disillusioned when it's not the quality time you expected. You need to work at working. You can have that time with the kids, just make sure you allocate time for the business. Prioritize your day and make sure the kids know that while working, you are not to be disturbed, unless it is really important.

Starting a Home Business after being laid-off, fired, downsized, or otherwise unemployed, is all well and good. But you should realize that just because you could do something while working for an established company, you may need to learn a lot more than your old job required.

I would not suggest even starting a business of any sort if your sole reason is "I hate my boss". Chances are you won't like your new boss (you) any more than the last one.

The above pitfalls are far from the only ones you may encounter. You have to be scheduler, shipper & receiver, accountant, credit manager, mechanic, supplier... and on, and on...

Don't be put off by all the work you have to do, working for yourself at home does have it's rewards. You Can be independent, you Can spend more time with the kids, you Can show your old boss.

As long as you are prepared for all the pitfalls, you can enjoy all the rewards.

What are some of the pitfalls you have encountered while working at home?

(...more)

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My New Venture Not Taking Over

I've been a busy little boy lately. As you may or may not have noticed, I started a new blog this past week.

World Politics and the Internet is my new venture into the world of politics. By nature, I am not really a political animal. I very rarely even vote. I think all the politicans are basically from the same mold. They vote along party lines on just about every new thing that tickles their respective fancies. I think most of them are corrupt, selling their votes to the highest bidder.

That being said, I was starting to voice my opinion on this Blog and on my Website about all the Government intervention on the Internet. Ie. The Google fiasco, the Iranian Blogger etc. and I want to keep this about Working at Home.

Whereas I used to spend all my time researching Work at Home projects and finding good links to suggest to you. I now end up spending only about half the time I used to, partly because the Blog is set up the way I want it, and partly because I'm running into the same topics all of the time.

I am going to try to continue bringing you the same ( or better) quality of advice, topics and writing as always. I promise not to let my other projects get in the way of what I do here.

One thing I would ask in return, let me know if the quality of Working at Home on the Internet is diminished in any way. There is always comments, or you can E-mail me.

As always, feel free to suggest topics or ask questions.

(...more)

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Weblog Empire Link Exchange

Since I wrote the article on Link Exchange Requests. I came across something I didn't expect.

I read something interesting over at The Blog Herald. Duncan Riley, the owner of the site, wrote that he was starting a new project. He has launched the Weblog Empire Link Exchange Forum, a place for people with a Blog to link to other people with Blogs that have a shared interest. (He calls it a little Link Love).

Some of the catagories he has started with are: Business Blogs, Computer & Software, Celebrities & Entertainment, and Food & Drink.

These are only a few of the different types of Forums contained on the site. There are many more, so I'm sure you will find your niche.

So, if you want to exchange links with another Blog, head on over to the Forum.

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Thanks, Jesse Skinner

It seems that the missing post from the other day showed up on Bloglines.

I would like to thank Jesse Skinner (The Future of the Web Blog) personally, for retrieving it and posting it in comments on the subsequent post.

Thanks, Jesse

Joe

(...more)

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Launching of World Politics and the Internet

I have been getting a little too Political on both the Working at Home on the Internet Blog and Web Page.

Therefore, I have decided to start another Blog that is still related to the Internet experience, but political in nature.

As of today, World Politics and the Internet will be MY forum for venting about any political and social aspects of intervention by Governments world wide involving any form of internet communication.

Anyone is welcome to voice their opinion, pro or con, in the comments section of that Blog. If I get too political on either of the Work at Home Sites, please remind me that they are not the place for Politics (just in case).

If you want to join in, there is a link in the sidebar for World Politics and the Internet.

If not, please enjoy the topics presented here.

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The Importance of Content

After yesterday's fiasco with the Blogger.com situation (see previous post), I am going to try to rewrite the post from memory.

When trying to sell a product on the internet, keywords and pictures are an important part of the process. Although they are very effective in displaying the product itself, they only give part of the information you want to portray.

Someone looking for something on the internet will not always use a keyword. They are becoming more specific in their terminology. As an example, I have seen phrases such as "I want to work from my house" or "problems installing Actiontec gt704wc" both of which I had referenced in posts I had written.

While keywords are important to drive traffic to your site, you must remember they are not the only thing. How you phrase things in the description of your product will also contribute to the way people find them, especially on the internet. Make sure you paint an accurate picture in words, so that people can find what you are selling.

Content is one of your most important tools if you want to conduct business online. Don't forget, people can't look up a picture, unless they describe what they want.

I wrote a related post for Technosailor the other day, so visit Aaron and let him know what you think.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Blogger.com having Problems

I am not going to write a full post on this until Blogger.bom gets their problems resolved.
I will ask that you read my article on the Working at Home Web Page.

Hopefully, everything will be fixed on Blogger soon, only tomorrow will tell.

(...more)

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Results of "How did you find this Blog?" Poll

The results are in from the "How did you find this Blog?" Poll.

The results are a little supprising since I thought MSN Search would be the most popular.

Google Search..........50%

MSN Search.............12%

Yahoo Search...........12%

Another Site.............25%

Other.........................0%

These results do not take into account those who answered in comments "interesting".

This weeks poll is going to be about owning a Blog or Website. These are just for fun, so answer honestly.

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Link Exchange Requests

Link exchanges are a good way to get exposure for your site. Most times they are a two way street. Sometimes, the other site doesn't follow through with the arrangement.

Most of the links I have on the Blog are actually one way by design. It would be nice if they linked back, but for the most part they are there for the sole puropose of helping people who want to Work at Home. Some do link back from their site, and are very much appreciated.

However, there are some that solicit an exchange, and when they see their link on your site, they are supposed to reciprocate. These are the ones to look out for. The problem is you can never tell if they are sincere in their request for an exchange. Some just want to have the exposure on your site, and don't really care if you benefit or not.

After checking out the other site (well designed BTW), I thought the arrangement would be an advantage to our respective sites. Only after placing the link in my sidebar, and repeated E-mails to an (unnamed) owner of another site (no link intentionally), did I understand that I had been duped into giving him exposure without any in return. (The link has been removed).

Even with this experience, I still feel that link exchanges are a good way to expose your site to more readers. You just need to be cautious in who you link with, as with any other solicitation. So, try to build a trust between yourself and the other site (person) before you actually put any links on your site.

Update: Names have been removed, all has been resolved.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Update: Sean Gum & Ronald Curtis, Jr

After posting about my experience with the Magnificient Money Affiliate Program the other day, I was inundated with E-mails. It seems that not everyone had the same good experience with Sean Gum and Ronald Curtis Jr.

I started by responding to the E-mails personally, then I realized that the problem was much bigger than I originally thought. For those of you that Sean and Ronald still owe money, I am going to provide what information I have. I don't know if it is still good contact info now or not, but here it is:

Magnificient Enterprises Inc., 2637 111th Ave., Allegan, MI 49010 USA
Phone: (269) 978-2716
E-mail: sean@magmoney.com (mail return or refusing to answer)

The programs that I know of are:

magmoney.com
ulosefast.com
fortunedreams.com
mailorderwork.com

I will not vouch for the validity of this, but it seems Sean has started a new company.

http://www.MillionaireStudyGuide.com

There may be a way to contact either Sean Gum or Ronald Curtis Jr at that site.

Maybe I was just lucky that no one ever signed up or purchased anything through my affilliate links, as it seems that people are still owed a LOT of money.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

WWW.theworld.com

If you have ever wondered "Where in the World did that come from?" when reading something on the Web, you are not alone. The answer is literally THE WORLD.

I mentioned that I changed my StatCounter a couple of weeks back. Since signing up I have realized how far reaching the Internet really is. My Pages are based near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA. I have only had four (4) page views from my state. Stastically, that is less that 1% of the total.

Although the total count of page views and visitors is unlimited, I only get realtime stats for the last 100 pageviews. As expected (by me at least), most visitors to the Blog and Web Page are from the U.S. What was not, is the divirsity of locations from which people access my pages.

WAH Blog...................................................................... WAH Web Page

U.S........... 75 %....................................................................... 80%
U.K........... 8%........................................................................... 9%
Canada..... 8%........................................................................... 4%
Australia... 2%........................................................................... 3%
India......... 2%
Germany... 2%
France....... 1%............................................................................ 1%

Countries with 3 or fewer page views include:
Saudi Arabia, Iran, New Zealand, Latvia, Netherlands, Estonia, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland.

One Big thing that is obvious to me by looking at which Keywords are used, there are a LOT of people all over the World looking for opportunities to Work at Home.

(...more)

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