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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

How to Get Depressed


Do you want to become depressed? Or at the least, disillusioned?

Read other peoples statistics. That is probably one of the easiest ways. I check my stats daily (a few times, OK?) as I'm sure most of you do. I don't usually give any numbers if I'm writing about them, I normally use percentages to demonstrate trends or fluctuations.

I read 2 different posts by different Bloggers today, one has been blogging for a few years, the other less than a month. Both have numbers that I would die for.

The one who has been around for a while has feed subscribers in the thousands, and I'm quite sure they are loyal and the number of readers is in the thousands daily. I'm hoping that if I'm still around the same amount of time, I will have such good numbers.

The one that depresses me is the latter of the two. He's been around for less than a month, and he has (according to him) numbers that would put him on the "B" list at least. The numbers he is giving are astounding if true. He seems to get as many visits a day as I get in 4 or 5.

I've been around for a little over seven months. As far as I know, my content isn't all that bad, and I do all the pinging and SEO and linking to others as much as anyone. I just don't seem to be getting the results that others seem to be getting.

It is possible that my niche is that much more restricted than theirs? I'm sure there are more than just a couple of hundred people a week looking to work at home. Maybe, I lost my direction and drifted to far from topic. Possibly I'm just not knowledgeable enough on the subject.

What do you think I need to work on? How can I improve my standing? My statistics?

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Value of Links


Why is it good to get a little leak from a major blog?

Do you really need an answer?

The other day I submitted a post for inclusion in Darren's (ProBlogger.net) writing project on Habit's of Highly Effective Bloggers*. He included a link to my post along with about 80 something others.

The link was shown on Saturday and my Unique Hits went up 50% and Page Views up 100% for the day. That shows not only the effect of having good solid links to other blogs, but that a good referral will allow more people to browse through your site.

The more exposure you get on other blogs increases the likelihood that you will get more visits and possibly more return visits if they like what they see. This is one reason I am such a big proponent of LLV, if you leak a link to someone else, they most likely will do the same for you.

What Comes Around, Goes Around... One Good Turn Deserves Another... What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander... Tit for Tat... (add your cliche here...)

Don't forget Blog-Tipping Day, June 1.

In Looking up the links, I found a referral on Darren's blog to The Retrospector** who compiled a list of the most popular habits. Some interesting results.


Related Articles:
* Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers (ProBlogger.net)
** The 50 Habits of Highly Effective Blogging (The Retrospector)
My Contribution to the Highly Effective Blogger Project

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day... Never Forget


Remember...

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

This Weeks Helpful Reads...Week 7


This is an ongoing series of interesting and helpful reads that I have come across on the Internet.

I try to include the most helpful articles and links each week to provide the widest range of information for the home business entrepreneur.

Telecommuting: The Ultimate in Home Work by Jessica Dyer... A look into a life of telecommuting.

10 Habits of Highly Effective ProBloggers by Darren Rowse... Darren's contribution to a write-in project he started.

Credibility In Blogging by Aaron Brazell... Aaron talks about knowing a tabloid from a news source.

Is "The New Your Times" Too Big? by Mark Kingdon... A single-person study on Media Consumption.

Screencasting by Rachel Cunliff... Very informative introduction to a new tool that can be used instead of Podcasts.

I hope you find some of these articles informational and helpful. I think they will be enjoyable reading nonetheless.

~~~ All the above can be considered infected with the Link-Leak Virus ~~~


Previous Links:
Week 6... 5/21/06
Week 5... 5/14/06
Week 4... 5/7/06
Week 3... 4/30/06
Week 2... 4/23/06
Week 1... 4/16/06
Today's Good Reads... 3/22/06

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

What Do You Think...?


... about the new layout of the Blog. Most of the changes have been subtle. Some have not.

When I moved the sidebar around to make navigation easier, there were some major changes. I had to rearrange my profile, remove some non-profitable advertisements and move things around in general.

After that came the overabundance of AdSense occurrences. At first I tried moving the ads to the end of the page keeping a full week of posts on the first page. The AdSense revenue dropped dramatically.

Then I tried to just shorten the page to just a few days, keeping the ad layout the same. There was no improvement whatsoever. Which brings us to the present layout.

Since AdSense is my main source of revenue, I put the ads back the way they were originally, showing at the end of each post. So as to not be in breach of the Google Terms of Service, I shortened the page to just two days. That in turn left a whole lot of white space.

Hence, I removed the List of Resources from the sidebar and moved them to the white space below the posts. I still thought there was just too much missing. That is why I put the Last 10 Posts Links after the second post. I think this should make it easier to find the last couple of posts prior to what is shown .

Another major change was the (more...) addition. The reasons are twofold: First is that if there are any longish posts I can show a snippet and give access to the whole post. Second is this is the best way I found to expand comments, so they show as a conversation and possibly entice more people to comment on whatever subject is being discussed.

There were a lot of minor changes that were made over the past few months, most of which I have forgotten about, these were some of the major adjustments to the layout I have made.

What do you think, do you like the new layout? Do you think the page is too short? Too long?


Related Posts:
Check Your Source Code
(more...) in Blogger
How to put a Category List on Blogger Blogs

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Friday, May 26, 2006

My Contribution to the Highly Effective Blogger Project


Darren of ProBlogger.net has a project going on this week. It's called "Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers". As a group project he already has 48 contributors listed. I'm hoping to make it in time on the last day.

So, here are some things I think are necessary to be Effective in Blogging...

~~ Write Good Content... I have mentioned may times the importance of writing good relevant content. With good content you will undoubtedly keep your readers interested in your topic.

~~ Be Consistent... Stay on topic as much as possible, use related subject matter. Post on a regular basis, so that your readers know when to expect something new. It can be daily, weekly or multiple posts in a day, just remain consistent.

~~ Be Active on Your Blog... Invite your visitors to comment on each post you write, then be sure to join in the conversation with them. This is a good way to bring readers back for more.

~~ Be Active on Other Blogs... If you comment on other Blogs, you will expose yourself to other potential readers. Just be sure to leave relevant comments, no one likes purely self-promotional comments.

~~ Be Active in Forums... Find forums that are related to the subject you write about on your site. Join in the conversation there. Again, be sure to be relevant, not spam-like.

~~ Be Original... As the quote at the top of the page says "Don't be the one that copies others, be the one that others copy." Try to do something that no one else does in your niche. Just be yourself, you are unique.

~~ Don't be Afraid to Share Links... If you find something that may be of interest to your readers on another Blog, provide a link. Your readers will appreciate what you are doing for them, and likely return because you provide them with good information.

~~ Don't be Afraid to Change... Being consistent doesn't mean you have to stick to something that isn't working on your site. Whether it is Ads, Layout or anything else that doesn't work, change it to something that does.

These are far from the only ways to find success and be effective Blogging. They can really be applied to almost any work at home situation.

Can you think of any other ways to be an effective Blogger? Share some of your ideas in comments, you know I always answer.


Related Posts:
ProBlogger.net
Content Is King

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

LLV... Don't Lose the Momentum


Why are things so fleeting on the Internet? Probably because things happen at the speed of light, or at least the tap of a key.

A couple of weeks ago the buzz was LLV (Link Leak Virus) and before that was Blog-Tipping. I haven't heard much about either since posting LLV... The Good Virus is Spreading*. That's when everything was still HOT.

Liz Strauss visited this Blog as did Easton Ellsworth and Martin Neumann (all link leaks) among others to comment on my article. They all were, and always are, welcome 'round here. I just hope that these two worthy projects haven't lost steam in the fast moving World Wide Web as so many others have.

I would like to keep the ball rolling, and I think I have with the Weekly Helpful Reads** that I present on Sundays.

I invite all of you to continue with spreading the Link Leak Virus and to join us in Blog-Tipping on June 1.

Don't let a good thing slip through our hands.


Related Posts:
* LLV... The Good Virus is Spreading
** Weekly Helpful Reads

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

For Sale... The Internet


Beware: Rant Ahead

A few months ago I started using Google Alerts in trying to get information on Working at Home. I thought that the information would be fairly up-to-date, so I would be able to keep abreast of anything new.

The stories are sometimes good, and usually within a day or two of publication. Something I did notice was that they are almost always a "formal publication", in other words MSM, Newspapers, Magazines and Press Releases.

The problem I find with that is they are all commercial ventures. I don't mean an entrepreneur, trying to build his business, but Major Publications. Fully commercial in their all aspects.

If they happen to have anything on Working at Home, it always has something to do with Big Business and how they deal with employees telecommuting. There is almost nothing about the "little guy", the people who actually work at or from their homes trying to run a small business.

If you Google something about Working at Home, you may or may not find something that you are looking for. If you search in the Blog Search, you will find some personal blogs on the subject, but since these major publications all have "blogs" now, you are just as likely to find an article from the Wall Street Journal.

Now, we have Technorati teaming up with the Associated Press along with The Washington Post. If you think we have problems getting indexed now, just wait...

Combine all this with the fiasco of net neutrality and the Telco/Cable Co's, and there will not be any room for the Work at Home types, unless you work for some Big Corporation Telecommuting.

What are your feelings on this? Do you think the Small Business is getting pushed off the Internet?


Related Posts:
Help Save Internet Neutrality
Parallel Super Highways for a Fee
Technorati-Shopping is NOT Strategy (Liz Strauss)

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Liz Strauss Will Interview Here Soon


Every day I visit certain Blogs to see what is happening in the Big Bad Blogosphere. One of the blogs I read on a consistent basis is Successful Blog. It is always informative and entertaining as well. Most likely because Liz Strauss is very active in her comments after any post.

I have asked Liz if she would do an interview for me on her Work at Home experience. She accepted without hesitation, probably because she's the nice one.

I am not trying to turn this blog into any type of Blogging Celebrity page. I just think that some of the experiences that professional, "been there, done that" Bloggers who Work at Home on the Internet can help us all.

I'll let you know when both Liz's and Darren's interviews will be published so you will have the opportunity to share in their thoughts about Working at Home.

Joe

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Play Catch-up or Plan Ahead?


I spent most of the morning catching up on the navigation of the blog. It doesn't sound like much of a project. But, it is one of those things that doesn't seem important until you have to play catch-up.

The process isn't difficult. It is time consuming. I did write an article about Procrastination* a while ago, but this just hasn't been a priority. It's one of those things that has to be done in order to keep everything on the blog current.

Trying to write good content is my main priority at all times, followed by research, statistics, SEO et cetera. It is easy to get so involved in all these things (and rightly so) that some of the minor maintenance of the blog just get pushed to the side.

I've even written posts regarding this subject time and again. From how important it is to Back up Your Files** to the Importance of Working Offline*** Most were written as much to remind myself as to help readers.

I think it is time for me to update my game plan. Make sure I schedule some time to do the little things that are needed to keep everything running smoothly.

What are some of the "little things" that you keep putting aside? How do you handle playing catch-up?


Related Posts:
* Procrastination Doesn't Work at Home
** Prepare for Disaster
*** Working Off-line is Important Too

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Monday, May 22, 2006

What Do You Do Working at Home?

I have conducted polls on this blog in the past and found some interesting things about my readers. So, I am going to conduct a small survey regarding the type of Work at Home situation my visitors are in.

This will be a non-scientific, non-official, poll. I think it would be interesting to see what percent of my readers work for themselves or telecommute for a company.


Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com

I will put in the sidebar and it will run for a week. Please take the poll so I have an idea of where I may need to focus future posts. You can also answer by clicking on the above.

You can get free polls at dPolls.com

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

This Weeks Helpful Reads...Week 6


This is an ongoing series of interesting and helpful reads that I have come across on the Internet.

I try to include the most helpful articles and links each week to provide the widest range of information for the home business entrepreneur.

Do you really need search on your website? by Gerry McGovern... An exploration into the need for searchs withing websites.

The Blog Herald: Then and Now by Aaron Brazell... His thoughts on the before and after the sale of the Blog Herad

Lessons from an Umbrella Salesman by Darren Rowse... Darren explains how there is lessons to be applied to Blogging everywhere.

Blogging and Bicycles by Liz Strauss... Liz writes a good analogy comparing bicycles to blogging on one of her other blogs Liz Strauss .com

I hope you find some of these articles informational and helpful. I think they will be enjoyable reading nonetheless.

~~~ All the above can be considered infected with the Link-Leak Virus ~~~


Previous Links:
Week 5... 5/14/06
Week 4... 5/7/06
Week 3... 4/30/06
Week 2... 4/23/06
Week 1... 4/16/06
Today's Good Reads... 3/22/06

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

(more...) in Blogger


I have been looking for a way to expand comments in the Blogger format for quite some time. In the past I used the http and the url for the post then #comments.

This works fine if you want to spend the time to publish the post to get that particular post's url and add #comments to it manually then repost. This is very time consuming. I found the answer to my problem in the Blogger Help section. It took some time to find it, but the answer is in expanding posts. Click on (more...) below for step by step instructions.

Step 1... In order to add (more...) or (go to comments) or whatever you wish, first make sure you enable post pages in your settings/archive section. Save and republish blog.

Step 2... Once this is done, you will need to add a conditional tag to your template style sheet (found at the top of the template). I put in under the part that is for "posts". (between >style< >/style< (>).

All tags are reversed so they will show in the posts, make sure you use them in the opposite direction.

>MainOrArchivePage< (>)
span.fullpost }display:none;{
>/MainOrArchivePage< (>)
>ItemPage< (>)
span.fullpost }display:inline;{
>/ItemPage< (>)

Step 3... In the post body of the template look for the <$BlogItemBody$> and right after it, place this:

>MainOrArchivePage<>br /< (>)
>a href=">$BlogItemPermalinkURL$<">Read more!>/a< (>)
>/MainOrArchivePage< (>)

You can replace Read more! with anything you wish.

Step4... In order to show a "teaser" and the rest of the post as "more", add this into the post you are publishing.

Here is the beginning of my post. >span class="fullpost"< (>)And here is the rest of it.>/span< (>)

If you do not add this to the post, "more..." will still be at the end of your post and when clicked will show that whole post and show full comments.

Don't forget ALL Tags were reversed to show in the post. (>) is shown only because all tags need to be closed.


Related Posts:
How to put a Category List on Blogger Blogs
Blogger Help

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Content Is King


"Content is King" I am not sure who coined that phrase, but it all so true. I was going over some of my statistics on pageviews yesterday, and I found more reasons to ensure that your content is good, timely and topical.

There is a listing in the sidebar for Most Viewed Articles. I got the information from my statistics. One of my best viewed articles Help Save Internet Neutrality*, was the highest amount of pageviews/unique visitors I have had to date.

Granted it was a spike in the stats for the day, and went down slightly as time passed, but it shows me how important being topical is to getting new visitors. My PV's have leveled off since then, but are still higher than prior to that post.

I have seen this effect when I have an article that people are interested in, but usually it is something in the content that lead them to my page. An example is that people are always searching for "scam" with various company names. That usually leads them to the Scam or Legit** page, which contains various companies I have dealt with on the internet.

Some people will tell you to make sure your content is Keyword Rich, which is an important tip, but don't do it at the expense of your content. Make sure your posts are readable and make sense regarding the subject about which you are writing. If the keywords fit into the conversation, then use them.

There are many times that you will find new readers through searches using keywords and phrases you never thought of in regard to your posts. So, your whole post becomes a list of keywords and phrases by which people searching for your subject can find you. Remember... "Content Is King"


Related Posts:
*
Help Save Internet Neutrality
** Scam or Legit

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Got a Question for Darren Rowse?


I have been in contact with Darren Rowse of ProBlogger fame by E-mail asking if he would be interested in an interview regarding his Work at Home experience. He has gratiously accepted.

I have a few questions in mind, but I am really interested in your questions.

So, if you have a question you would like to ask Darren about his ideas on Working at Home on the Internet, now is your chance. Please keep them brief and on subject.

All you have to do is leave a comment with your question. If I use your question, I will make sure you get credit and include a link to your Blog or Website in the final post.

Joe

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Writing to Fight Apathy


Sure, there are plenty of things to write about. I read an article about how gas prices are leading to more companies allowing more employees to telecommute.

Then there is the threat of the Bird Flu, whatever number it is, leading many companies to the same conclusion. Have people work from home.

In this whole senerio, there are great reasons for companies to want employees to be able to conduct some portions of the business at home with their own internet connections.

There are the want-to-be self-employed, and their aspirations to be the next Rockefeller or Carnagie or Gates.

All these take a person with a certain type of personality. They have to be able to work unsupervised. They have to be self-starters. They need to know the business, whatever it may be.

But, there are days, even I just don't feel like doing my job. I know there are plenty of others that go through the same thing. It's not writers block or anything so easily fixed. It is just apathy. I love my work, but not today.

I have looked at my statistics and although they have been increasing recently, as of late they have grown static. They just don't seem to move. So, I ask myself if it is worth continuing to beat my head against the wall?

Today is one of those days, I am APATHETIC. I hate being this way, but I can't even go sit outside in the Sun, there is no Sun. It's cold, damp and cloudy. I think it's going to rain again. I don't like to be a complainer, but today I will.

"There is no joy in Mudville tonight".

In order to fight the culprit, I decided to write about it. This is the one way I have found to fight the demon. Writing about something, getting it all out, so to speak, helps me get back on track. As I mentioned in more than one post, I usually go outside to rejuvenate, take in the sun, but even then I will write down my thoughts.

Today, the weather is not cooperating, so I thought a post about my apathy would help me, and hopefully, give you an insight into another aspect of working at home.

How do you handle days like this when your normal outlets are not available?


Related Posts can be found in:
The Category... Attitude

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Be Professional


When dealing with clients, customers or people in general, there is one thing you must remember. Be Professional. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". I am not the preachy type, but I feel in business the only way to treat each other is with Respect.

The recent debate regarding an "unnamed" Blog and Designer shows what Not to do. I'm sure most of you have an idea of the situation.

The Blog Owner contracted the Designer to revamp the look and feel of his Blog. He put his own 2 cents in until the Blog looked nothing like the New Design the Designer intended. That being the case, the Designer respected the Blog Owner enough to follow his wishes. (even though she wasn't happy with his decisions).

After the launch of the New Design, commentors on the Blog dissed the New Design. Enough so, that the Blog Owner made disparaging remarks about the New Design himself. He even went so far as to run a post on his personal Blog highlighting another Designer and suggesting that this design would be better for his Blog.

To me this shows nothing but Disrespect for the Original Designer.

This whole fiasco could have been avoided by taking a few things into consideration:

~~ Work together to get a satisfactory Design. The Designer apparently wasn't happy with her own work because of the restrictions placed on her. The Blog Owner doesn't seem to be very enthused with the New Design, as attested by his recent post.

~~ If you're not happy with the Design, Don't launch the New Design until you are satisfied that it is what you want.

~~ Discuss any wanted modifications in Private. Don't launch the New Design then decide that you don't like it because you get a few bad reviews by readers.

~~ If you are not happy with the New Design, part company with the Designer, pay her for the work she has invested, and go your separate ways.

~~ Always act in a Professional manner. There is No Reason to try to embarrass someone publicly whether you are unhappy with their work or not. As long as the other person acted professionally, then all your business, beginning to end, should be conducted that way.

~~ If you were so concerned with your readers response to the New Design, then you probably should have had a contest or a vote on various designs Before the actual launch.

The only way to have a successful business relationship is to always be Professional. If you act professionally, and treat your client/customer with respect, you can expect the same in return. This will be an advantage in any future dealings, and will build your reputation as a Professional.

I know you know the parties I am referring to, so, how would you have handled the situation?


Related Post:
Respect Your Customers

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Explaining Internet Business to Mom


Yesterday being Mothers Day, I naturally called Mom. We went through all the normal conversation, how is everybody, everything is fine, all's well in the Hauckes clan.

Then the conversation turned to what I am doing for work. I told Mom a while ago, when I was home because Pop was in the hospital, that I worked on computers and left it at that due to the situation with Pop. So this time I decided to go into a little more detail in explaining what I do for a living.

Mom is in her 80's, so trying to explain about Blogs, Websites and writing as a business venture is extremely difficult.

I tried the Magazine Article Analogy. "I write articles that are published on the internet." I explained. "How do you make money from that?" was her reply.

I told her that there are companies that pay to advertise if someone clicks on an ad I have on my pages. Further, I made the comparison to ads in newspapers and magazines, trying to explain how advertisers pay for space to promote their products.

She started to get more confused the more I explained. So, I changed the subject back to family matters. She still doesn't understand how I can make money on the internet.

I run into this quite a bit with friends who are not savvy to the ways of the internet as well. Usually, I end up just telling them that I write for a living and leave it at that. I found that trying to explain too much just confuses them.

How do you explain what you do on the internet to your friends and family?

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

This Weeks Helpful Reads...Week 5


This is an ongoing series of interesting and helpful reads that I have come across on the Internet.

I try to include the most helpful articles and links each week to provide the widest range of information for the home business entrepreneur.

Sick of Spam? Want to Fight Back? by DavidC... David has found a new free download to actively fight e-mail spam.

How To: Boost Your Blog Traffic by Paul Stamatiou... Great insight into one of the biggest questions of business blogging.

8 Reasons Why New Media is Growing by Darren Rowse... Just as the title says, Darren goes into detail with his thoughts on the subject.

Getting Your Name Out There by Martin Neuman... The Number One tip on how to spread your own word.

Think and Get a Job by Lyman Reed... Lyman's take on the Think and Grow Rich theory.

Don't Ever Make Small Changes by Steve Remington... Steve uses a bit of reverse psychology in Blogging.


I hope you find some of these articles informational and helpful. I think they will be enjoyable reading nonetheless.

~~~ All the above can be considered infected with the Link-Leak Virus ~~~


Previous Links:
Week 4... 5/7/06
Week 3... 4/30/06
Week 2... 4/23/06
Week 1... 4/16/06
Today's Good Reads... 3/22/06

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

International Flavor


Yesterday Liz over at Successful Blog* had a post referencing David Sifry's statistics** on languages being submitted to T-rati.

According to Dave's post the state of the Blogosphere is changing quite a bit. Where English was the primary language used in Blogging a few years ago, it has fallen into 2nd place. You should read Dave's post to find out some of the possible reasons for this and for full stats. At least one of which is the frequency Japanese Bloggers post and using their cellphones to post.

As it stands now:

Japanese 37%
English 31%
Chinese 15%
Spanish, Italian, Russian, French, Portuguese, Dutch and German between 1% and 3%
All Others 4%



What I would like to do is add a little different flavor. In communicating with Liz, she as agreed to share some of her statistics by country at one point in one day. These statistics change by the hour as people around the world are waking up, going to bed, going to work and getting home at different times (or the same time).

Liz's Stats by Country at 2pm Chicago time

48% Sweden
32% US
9% UK
7% Germany
2% Bulgaria
1% Italy

My Stats by Country at 3pm EDT (2pmChicago)

67.39% United States
5.43% Norway
5.43% United Kingdom
4.35% Philippines
4.35% Canada
4.35% Malaysia
3.26% Australia
2.17% Indonesia
2.17% India
1.09% South Africa

This may be comparing apples to oranges since both Liz and I are in the US and English is our primary language, but it is meant to show the International Flavor of Blogging. No matter what language you use, Blogging and reading Blogs has and is continuing to grow.


Referenced:
*
Successful-Blog
** Dave Sifry's Post

Previous Post:
wwwtheworld.com

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Page Views vs Unique Hits vs Return Visits


Statistics are the way to measure how well a business is doing. This is true of any type of business whether it is online or offline and any combination of both.

When you Work at Home on the Internet as I do, some of the best ways to take the pulse of the business is through some type of Stat Counter. These services, usually some type of plug-in, measure Page Views, Unique Hits and Return Visits for the most part.

All three work hand in hand to give you an idea of what your visitors are doing once they find your page.

Page Views... These are important because they will give you an idea how people navigate your site. They let you know which pages are the most viewed, how long they stay on each page and when (in some cases where) they go. This can tell you the most popular pages and help in focusing your efforts.

Unique Hits... These are something that you need to watch as well because they will give you an indication of how many New Visitors you are getting. You need an influx of unique or new visitors in order to generate revenue. This is one reason people concentrate on SEO as this is a major way to get people who are looking for your product.

Return Visits... They are a good indication of the popularity of your site. If people have been there before and return, they probably left with a positive response to what you have presented in the past. Again, this can help in knowing where to concentrate your efforts used in conjunction with Page Views.

I have personally focused on the Navigation portion of my site in the recent past. This has raised my Page Views quite a bit. Although the Unique Hits have not gone up quite as dramatically, the amount of time people stay on the site has.

This shows me that I have succeeded in making the navigation easier for the newcomer as well as the return visitor.

Through the use of my stat counter package, I also know that I need to concentrate on improving my SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and improve the content of my posts to enhance the readers experience and hopefully turn them into Return Visitors.

Which statistic do you most need? How does it help you know where to focus?


Related Posts:
Statistics Posts
SEO Posts

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Distractions While Working at Home


Beware: Personal Rant Ahead...

No matter what you do in your work at home business, whether it is strictly writing, researching or any combination of tasks, the last thing you really need is distraction.

If you are in the middle of a project and you get one of those annoying phone calls, knock on the door or a jack-hammer banging away, you lose whatever train of thought you had going.

Today, a good semi-retired friend called. He seems to be having problems with his computer. Nothing major, just that he can't figure out how to get online with his new service. The first phone call wasn't a problem. I answered his question. Thanks and goodbye.

The second, I was in the middle of setting up a post on one of the other blogs. Stopping in the middle of that, I answered another stupid question. Thanks and goodbye.

By the third call, I was on yet another set-up on something else. Again, I had to stop what I was doing to answer the same stupid question for the third time. I started to get upset, raising my voice and asking if he could ever think for himself or is this just a recent problem. Goodbye.

It's not like he is paying me for the information, then I probably would be a little more receptive. This is all done as a favor, gratis... at least he says thank you.

I hate to get angry with a good friend, especially when he needs my help. The one thing he has to understand is that just because I am here all day, doesn't mean that I have nothing better to do than answer his questions.

Although I have done favors in the past, he has more than done his share for me. So, I try to let him know that when I am working, only call me if it is important. Not to call just because I know the answer and it's easier to call me than to call his service provider.

I am trying to think of a nice way to tell him, unless he wants to pay for my services like everyone else, don't call me while I'm working. As I said, I don't mind doing favors, but not when it costs me money, or time when I could be making money.

Update: The same friend called twice (caller ID) while writing this, I ignored the calls.

How do you handle good friends or family disturbing you when you are trying to work?


Related Posts:
Overwhelming Work Load
Unwanted Solicitation Calls
The Balancing Act... Work and Home

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Buy Working at Home on the Internet, only $5M


Of course this is a joke...

I got the idea from Darren over at ProBlogger*. Some of the people who saw it actually believed that he was selling his Blog for $5 Million Dollars. People requested interviews from the MSM in Australia as well as some well known Bloggers. I don't know if anyone actually made any counter offers, that would be too hard to refuse for a Blog.

To be honest, I really think this may have some Work at Home possibilities.

~~ If you have an E-mail campaign, this could be an attention getter. Announce new products or services. Promote sales or specials. You can show just about anything in a "News" format.

~~ The same type of promotions and product announcements could be shown on Websites and Blogs.

Since the "Newspaper" downloads as a .jpg file (pictures) it doesn't take much time to download or upload to your sites and is just as easy to use for E-mails.

Provided by foday.com, it is one of a variety of services in their portfolio. Here is the link for the Newspaper snippet generator.


Disclaimer:
I have no affiliation with and am not compensated in any way for promoting this product.

Update: If you want a real hoot check this out. http://home-generator.generatorblog.org/1443/ It was picked up as a real sale through Google. Let's see if I get any bids. :-)
J.


Reference:
* ProBlogger by Darren Rowse

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Blogger Problems Are Getting Old


I tried to start working today at 8:30 am and it is now 12:16 pm and I am just getting access to my Blogger Blogs.

Today is not the first time these problems have come up. I wrote about a major outage back in February, but couldn't post it here because of those same problems. I had to write and post it on my Webpage. I can't link to it for you as I had archived it on my backup WAH Archive page (also on Blogger) and I still can't access that page.

For the past few months these outages have been recurring at an annoying rate and are really interfering with my work.

Even when you try to look at the status on the Blogger Status page, you can't get any information because it seems they can't update their own page either. If the platform is not reliable enough for their own Blog, how can they expect anyone to have confidence in their service?

I do want to wait until I get my own domain to make any major changes for all the Blogs and Webpages, but Blogger is making it more and more difficult to wait. If people cannot view your pages and you cannot even access them yourself for updates, you will not make any money.

Pageviews=Clicks=Revenue

Without the first you can't get the second or third part of the equation.

Has anyone else run into these problems? How are you handling it?

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Mahai's Work at Home Story


A couple of weeks ago, I invited readers to Share Their Work at Home Stories*. This one is from Mahai a Freelancer from Romania. He has started his own Work at Home Website Web2earn.com** and has a Blog of the Same Name*** I'll let him tell you his own story, but visit his site for a better insight into what he is trying to accomplish.

At 5:02 AM, Web2earn said...

Hi, nice blog and thx for the info.

Working from home used to be something utopic for me just 2 years ago, as it probably is even today for 95% of all people. However, I found out that while you won’t get rich overnight on the Internet, you can generate some nice income.

Now, I live in Romania, which is a rather poor Eastern European country, with an average wage of about $300 per month. You can imagine what a huge impact my discovery of online money making possibilities meant – especially since I am now earning constant 4-figure USD earnings each month, through various online activities (hosting ads on my websites, freelancing as a content writer and graphic designer).

I tried to put all my knowledge to good use and summarize it in a new website, which I invite you to check out if you have the time. I tried to cover the most profitable and reliable home based business opportunities and categorize them in 10 main groups.

I would, however, be very interested to obtain more perspectives on the topics I wrote about. So, if you would like to share your opinion on any of the things I analyzed on Web2earn or if you have a suggestion regarding the site, I would be more than happy to hear it.

Regards,
Michelle R.


I appreciate Mahai's story and wish him luck in his new endeavor.

My only suggestion to him would be to utilize his Blog more for promotion of his website. Write articles on upcoming ventures. Put content relevant to what he is trying to do with the website and use the various blog promotion tools to help get exposure for the Blog. That in turn should help drive traffic to his website through his blog.


Mahi's Sites:
** Web2earn Website
*** Web2earn Blog

Related Posts:
* Share Your Work at Home Story
Blog Submission Sites

Oh, and Mahai, consider yourself infected with the Link-Leak Virus... Pass it on.
J.

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

This Weeks Helpful Reads...Week 4


This is an ongoing series of interesting and helpful reads that I have come across on the Internet.

I try to include the most helpful articles and links each week to provide the widest range of information for the home business entrepreneur.

The myth of "keeping up" by Kathy Sierra... Do we really need all the journals, magazines, and everything else we "plan" on reading?

Getting Customers to Stop by to See You by Liz Strauss... Liz gives some insight into the similarities of customers at trade shows and blog readers.

Making Money While Others Do the Work by Darren Rowse... Darren explains how good business relationships early on, pay off in the long run.

Benefits of Working From Home by Dominic Foster... A worthwhile article on the benefits of working at home.

How to Make Money From Your Blog by Steve Pavlina... Steve explains in detail how he went from $4/day to $200/day without all the paid marketing and promotion.

I hope you find some of these articles informational and helpful. I think they will be enjoyable reading nonetheless.


~~~ All the above can be considered infected with the Link-Leak Virus ~~~


Previous Links:
Week 3... 4/30/06
Week 2... 4/23/06
Week 1... 4/16/06
Today's Good Reads... 3/22/06

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

LLV... The Good Virus is Spreading


Link Leak Virus, Link Leak Project, Link Love, Blog Tipping... Whatever you call it, giving is as good as getting.

I really don't know how it all started, but I know it is picking up speed. I'm not sure how it is really supposed to work other than giving links to other Blogs. I'm not sure if you are supposed to use the names of the Blogs or Authors, but I will.

Liz Strauss at Successful-Blog (link-leak) has an article about it. As does Martin Neumann at Small Office Herald (link-leak) who calls it the Link Leak Project. I think it started at Simplenomics (link-leak) by Mike Sigers back on April 26th (that's as far as anyone knows).

It could really go back to Easton Ellsworth from Business Blog Wire (link-leak) starting Blog Tipping on the 1st of each month.

It seems, no one really knows... but the idea is really simple. Most of us are not A-Listers. They all link to each other for their own purposes. We as B, C, and D Listers have to do what we can to give each other some exposure to new readers.

Apparently, I have been doing that unknowingly by trying to give you some additional information to help in your Work at Home endeavors. I had hoped that the links would just be helpful to you and that they would give you new sources of information.

What is it really called? I still have no idea what to call it other than a Good Idea.

If you use a Blog in your Business, make sure to share IT, whatever IT IS.

Update:
I don't think Keith Dsouza (link-leak), of the Blog by the same name, wants to be the only one not infected today, so I hope he likes Swans. I know it's supposed to be three, but since I was already at four, why not five?

If you feel left out, let me know and I will add your link. But remember, there is always tomorrow or the next day.
J.

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Another Venture for Working at Home's Author


I will be launching another Blog in the near future. Nothing at all to do with Working at Home, or the Internet, or Politics.

Every once in a while, depending on what's going on at the time, I contemplate alternate realities to different situations. I have always been a Science Fiction reader/watcher. From JRR Tolken to Gene Roddenberry, books to movies, I always look at how I would have had characters act and think of different endings.

The new Blog will be in the form of Short Stories. I have yet to decide on actual length and whether to use multiple posts for a single story. I guess that will depend on the individual tale.

I think the biggest consideration will be the way all blogs are laid out, most current entry first. How do you portray a story that has the ending as the newest post? That is why I may just use one post for an entire story, which is also one reason for them being Short Stories.

Also, since there have been a lot of problems with Blogger lately, I am going to try out Word Press as a platform. It seems they have a bit more flexibility in the templates and layout of Blogs. If it works out, I may transfer all my Blogs there. But, I will probably wait until I have my own domain for any major changes in that area.

Once I have written a couple of stories and have them posted, I will make an announcement here. I may even try some of the ezines and article submission sites.

(Looks like I am starting my own little network, this will make 7 sites I maintain).

Update:
I may end up using Blogger for the new venture after all, it seems that WP doesn't allow AdSense or any other type advertising. Since that is my only income stream at this point, I may have no other option but to stay with Blogger. Even though I really like the template I picked for the Short Stories Blog (nice and dark, but not too much so), I may not be able to use their service.
J.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Spring Clean-up


As probably everyone else but me did on May Day (5/1), the rearrangement has finally been completed.

It's not meant to be a totally new look, but to be more functional as a source of information about Working at Home. I make changes periodically, but I think the overall usefulness may improve for different screen resolutions as well as being easier to navigate for everyone who visits.

Let me know what you think, should I keep the new setup or revert to the old look.

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Customer Care


We all have to deal with customers. No matter what type of business you run, they are the only way to success. Without them, you don't really have a business at all.

What brought this to mind was: I have a friend who knows very little about computers. He did something that I told him not to do, order something without asking me about the service. Unfortunately, the service will not work with his system. Since I already knew his system(I set it up), I could have saved him a lot of aggravation and money.

The next step was to repair the damage he had done by trying to install the new program (over the phone). If I didn't know the way he does things and how is system is set up, we never would have gotten through the process and still be friends.

It is the same in dealing with customers. You have to know their requirements and needs in order to best serve them. Here are 5 ways I have found to better care for your customers.

1. Get to know the customer. Engage in conversation. The more you know about them and they about you, the easier to transition into a business relationship.

2. Understand that customers don't really care about your business, they want to know how you can help Them. Don't sell what you can do, let them know how you can help improve their situation or business prospects.

3. Existing customers already know the advantages of using your company. Make sure you keep in contact and keep up with existing and future needs of the customer so you will be in a position to help them when required.

4. Treat everyone as a potential customer, you never know if and when that sales clerk will be the buyer. If you are fair to everyone in your transactions, it is more likely that they will be more receptive to you in future dealings.

5. Don't trap the customer. If they really don't want what you are selling at that point, leave them an option for getting out. If you leave them on good terms, you have a better opportunity the next time because they will remember how well you treated them.

These are only a few pointers that should help with customer relations. Did I miss anything? Is there anything you can add that would help in this area?

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

It's Nice to be Noticed


As you may have guessed by now, one of the bigger aspects of my work at home business involves writing. I realize I am not the best writer, but nonetheless it is really nice to be noticed.

It has only happened a couple of times so far (hopefully, many more). The first was by Liz Strauss of Successful-Blog* fame. She awarded me a "SOB" which is the Successful and Outstanding Blogger award she gives out weekly to people who contribute to the Blogosphere.

The second was of a different sort. It was not an award per-se, but rather being quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer. (That is the major newspaper in my area).

On my political blog, I wrote a rebuttal to an article by Robert Litan of the Brookings Institution in the Washington Post** after reading a post on Blinq*** by Daniel Rubin of the Inquirer. It all evolves around the Net Neutrality controversy.

Daniel read my post and updated his original entry to include part of my post in rebuttal to the article by Mr. Litan of the Brookings Institute.

It was a good feeling to read my own words being quoted by a respected journalist. And it doesn't hurt that he linked to my article on the Blog either.

As I said: It's Nice to be Noticed.

Do you have an example of being recognized for your work that you would like to share?


Referenced:
*
Successful-Blog
**
Robert Litan's Article
***
Blinq by Daniel Rubin
Net Neutrality Threatens Grandparents/Vets (My Article)

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Suggest a Series


Since Blogger is having problems today and posting is a hit or miss proposition, I'm not going to try to post anything that could be lost (it has happened before).

Instead, I am going to ask you if there is any particular subject that you would like me to write a short series about?

Anything work related, especially as it is affected by or with the use of the Internet, I will try my best to comply.

So, leave a comment or E-mail me with any suggestions.

Joe

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Check Your Source Code


In my post Technorati, AdSense and Me* a few weeks back, I explained that I had too many occurrences of the AdSense code.

I think I have resolved that problem satisfactorily. I have had to make some minor changes in the lay-out of the Blog overall. Originally, I had the ads by google link placed within the post itself. I did like the way it showed in the first three posts and not subsequent entries.

What had occurred was that in the source code the link would loop into each post on the page, and since I had shown a full weeks worth of entries... add that to the new link bar in the header and I had eight occurrences.

Another "problem" I had run into is that the link bar in the header has become a better source of revenue than the ads by google link within the posts.

Of course, I didn't want to give up either of my best revenue sources, so I shortened the page to only showing three days and moved the ads by google link to the foot of Contents. I also moved the Google Search to the footer of the entire page.

I did receive a favorable response from the people at AdSense, and they checked all of my Blogs and Webpages for compliance. They all passed.

My suggestion to anyone who uses AdSense is to make sure that you are in compliance with the Terms of Service. Don't depend on your eyes, you can only see what is on the page. Make sure to check your source code, that is what Google checks.

On Internet Explorer, open View in the toolbar, click on Source. Once the new window opens, open Edit, then Find. Type in "pub" to find out how many times it actually occurs. Since "pub" is where your AdSense code embeds your publisher number, you will know where each occurrence is located.

If you have questions as to whether or not you are in compliance, contact Google within your AdSense account. They are very good at responding, and will try to work with you as well. They know that if you make money, so will they.


Related Post:
*
Technorati, AdSense and Me

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  • Just another of the endless tests
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  • Preliminary Review of Blogger vs WordPress
  • This Weeks Helpful Reads...Week 11
  • Mostly Moved
  • The WP Ordeal
  • HELP!!! Changing to WP and Won't Work
  • Response to a Good Idea
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