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

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Referral to the New and Improved Home Page

I will not be posting on this Blog too much in the future.
I have moved to Working at Home on the Internet on my Own Domain using WordPress as a Blogging Platform.

Please visit me there, it is my New Home... and I update every day to try to provide the quality information and perspective I have in the past.

If you were on the new Home Page and got transferred here through a link in an article,
Please Click Here to Return to Working at Home on the Internet (the New and Improved Version).

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Preliminary Review of Blogger vs WordPress

Sorry, the review is actually on my New Working at Home on the Internet Blog at http://workingathomeinternet.com/WP

For the time being I will post a headline here with a link to the New Blog. It is not being deceitful, it is just that I haven't completed the move yet, and I don't want to get penalized for duplicate content.

By The Way...

If you stop by here and have me in your BlogRoll or any of the Feed or Blog Directory Services, PLEASE Change The Link to http://workingathomeinternet.com/WP

Thanks,

Joe

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

This Weeks Helpful Reads...Week 11


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.

When is the Best Time and Day to Post on Your Blog? by Lorelle VanFossen... A good presentation on what day and time of day to post, and ways to find out.

Wordpress and SEO by The Undersigned... A comprehensive list of tips using Wordpress for Search Engine Optimization (I'm going to re-read this).

Why I Love (and Hate) Being a Work-at-Home Mom by Lisa Druxman... Lisa lists some of the Bad (and Good) things about being a work at home Mom.

7 Steps to Being Recognized as an Expert by Liz Strauss... Liz gives 7 +1 ways to be known as an expert in your field.

How to Increase a Blog's PageViews by Darren Rowse...14 ways to increase views and revenue (and a homework assignment at the end).


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 ~~~


Access Links to Previous Helpful Reads

Don't forget I'm Moving... Check out (and save) my New Address http://workingathomeinternet.com also Titled "Working at Home on the Internet"

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Mostly Moved

Ok, if you haven't guessed yet... I'm moving...

My NEW ADDRESS is http://workingathomeinternet.com

Come on over for a visit and PLEASE Offer Suggestions...

I'm new to WordPress and need all the help I can get.

For now I am going to keep this Blog Live... I haven't figured out how to put a forward address in yet. ;-)

Oh, and I still will have the This Weeks Helpful Reads post here tomorrow, and I'll probably run it on the NEW Blog as well.

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The WP Ordeal

Ok, this is harder than I thought. I got a new Domain http://workingathomeinternet.com That's fine. I got WordPress installed. That's fine.

They only give you 2 templates to use. So, I downloaded one that may be a good choice. Now I can't get it to upload so I can use it!?!

I will be working on this for probably the whole weekend , if not FOREVER...

I will be talking to the help desk for BlueHost more than one time over the weekend, if they happen to be working, I don't know yet, I haven't called today yet.

Tomorrow, I will still have the This Weeks Helpful Reads post, and there are some good links, so enjoy. I will also be updating on my progress throughout this ordeal. So stay tuned.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

HELP!!! Changing to WP and Won't Work

I have broken... I have given up on Blogger...

I bought a Domain http://workingathomeinternet.com

It is Hosted on BlueHost...

I Downloaded Wordpress...

I unzipped the file...

Now, I'm Stuck !@#$%^&*()**(*&^

It was supposed to be one of the easier installations for WP using a host they recommend. Easy installation (or so they say) and in a few steps you will have your own Blog on your own Domain.

Don't believe it...

Chris Cree!!! You just went through this, Please Help. Or anyone else that has had to deal with this transfer of a Blog from one server to another.

I can't afford to pay anything else (this is already costing $166.80 for a 2 year stint) but I would appreciate any help anyone could give.

Thanks,
Joe

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Response to a Good Idea


In response to my request the other day to the Help Build the Community* post, Jesse Skinner wrote:

I'd be interested in learning about different tools available to people working
at home.. like software that helps you keep track of your time and billing,
different ways to communicate with people (video chat, skype, etc.), that kind
of stuff. Not just software but different techniques, even if it's as simple as
pen & paper
.


Ok, here is a start. Normally I would include this in my Weekly Helpful Reads, but since it was requested specifically, I want to share something I found through ProBlogger**.

Brian Benzinger over at Solution Watch*** has compiled quite a list of online services and programs to help in keeping organized with an online business.

~~ To Do Lists... 5 online To Do Lists + 20 other To Do Lists

~~ Online Planners... Only 2, but there are links.

~~ Start Pages... Including Google Module To Do List for your Google Start Page

~~ Calendars... A few calendars that have To Do Lists included.

There are quite a few different ways in which to keep track of things you want to accomplish in your business planning that Brian presents in this well thought out list. Visit his page to get a synopsis of each service.

I am going to try some of these out in the next little while and do some reviews to let you know what I thought. If you write a review of any of these services, please share them with us.


Referenced Links:
* Help Build the Community
** ProBlogger
*** Solution Watch

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

What Time Is It?


Determining what time of day to publish a post can be important. I have always tried to post as early as possible in the morning. Anywhere between 8:30 am to 11:30 am.

The problem is, what time is it when I publish. If I post at say 9:00am here (Eastern Daylight Time), what time is it where the reader is reading? I have people from all over the world visiting and hopefully reading what I write.

The rule of thumb is to write for your readers. But, I have not heard of any suggestions on when to publish for your readers. When to put your content out on the web for best exposure.

You need to look carefully at your Statistics to get any idea of when people actually come to your site. Now, this doesn't take things like RSS feeds and Blog Directories into consideration. But, knowing when people are more likely to visit is a good way to determine what time to post.

Each morning I go through E-mail and see comments from readers from (what to me is) the night before. To them it may be after work, before work, lunch time. To me it is early morning. So, is it really important to think of the time you publish or is the consistency more important.

In my humble opinion, I think it is much more important to post on a consistent basis. The time of day (your time) will always be the same, and so it will be to your readers. As long as they know when to expect something from you, they will know when to visit your site.

Do you think the time of day should be a major consideration? Do you think consistency is more important? When do you post, and why that time?

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Help Build the Community


I have been trying to build a little bit of a community within the World of Working at Home on the Internet. I think, at least to some degree, I have succeeded.

Comments have increased quite a bit in the past few months. I get E-mail from some readers regarding posts. I have even gotten requests for additional information on a particular subject after various posts.

Community is one of the major components of Blogging. Second ,I think, only to Content. Therefore, I will ask again for contributions from the community. No, I'm not going to ask for money, but I will ask you for IDEAS.

If you would like more information on any aspect of Working at Home on the Internet, Running a Home Business or anything else you consider important, please feel free to ask in the comments section.

As always the E-mail and other contact links are available if that is your preference.

I think building the community ever larger is important to keep the dynamic atmosphere thriving. It will take us all to grow and learn the things in which we are all interested.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Service (or non-service) vs Net Neutrality

In the middle of research for posting yesterday, around 8:30 am, Verizon DSL went down. I tried rebooting the Modem, tried resetting it and still no connection. It wasn't the UBS connection or anything simple, it was the internet connection itself.

Went I tried to bring up Internet Explorer, the only thing that would come up was the Set-up page of Verizon, telling me to install the system.

I called Verizon and after going through line tests and resetting passwords, I still couldn't get a connection. Finally, the tech checked their system and found the had a problem at the routing station in my area and needed to change out a card.

I finally got the connection back at 7:30 pm, a full 11 hours later. Needless to say, I lost a full day of work on the internet. I did get some offline work done, but that is usually reserved for weekends, so there wasn't really much to catch up on.

The Big Question...

How are the Telco's going to handle a two tiered internet when they can't even keep the existing DSL service running?

The Cable Companies have the same problem, they are always having interruptions of service with their TV programming. Will they fair much better if they try to handle something so complicated as splitting the internet in two?

Can I charge back Verizon for my downtime or loss of revenue for the day? I don't think so. But if they start charging premium prices for preferred service, I think they may just have to reimburse companies for downtime.

If they start charging Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars to companies such as Google, EBay, MSN, Yahoo for these preferred services and there are outages such as this, you can bet that they will seek reimbursements, refunds, credits, compensation and damages as well as for lost revenue.

But, this is not so much about Net Neutrality as Service.

Service the Telco's and Cable companies already charge for, and have problems providing. What happened to the $600 Billion dollars in tax credits to improve the communications infrastructure? They say they need the additional fees for premium service to provide for a better infrastructure. If they took the tax credit then we should all have fiber optic cables to our homes and businesses already. Why would they need to charge us now?

If you charged your customers for a service, never performed said service, and came back later to install the service and and charged them again, what would happen to your business? You would be out of business, you would be facing legal fees and law suits that would bankrupt you. The Government would levy fines for double-dipping, and conspiracy to defraud. You could even go to jail.

Verizon and the rest are not only going to get away with this, they are being endorsed by the Congress of the United States.

So, instead of trying to stop them about Net Neutrality, we should hit them where it hurts. If we hold them responsible for the services they are supposed to provide, and start holding them accountable for their incompetence, they may figure it out.


Related Posts:
Parallel Super Highways for a Fee
Help Save Internet Neutrality

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Monday, June 19, 2006

A Bad Day

Today has been a bust. I have had problems with Verizon DSL for 11 hours and I'm not sure how long my connection will last today.

If everything works out for the best, I will be posting tomorrow morning about this escapade.

Joe

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

This Weeks Helpful Reads...Week 10


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.

Blog Snobbery 101 by Ara Pehlivanian... How anyone can be a Blog Snob, even with only one reader.

The Ferrari Anology for Organized Writing by ME "Liz" Strauss... Liz compares good writing to a good driving experience as a passenger.

Testing Your Blog on Multiple Browsers is Important by Ben Yoskovitz... Good reasons to test different browsers.

Google, Link Vault and What Not to Do by Aaron Brazell... Why Technosailor doesn't have Blogrolls and Link Exchanges.


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 ~~~


Access Links to Previous Helpful Reads

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Link Spam

Beware: Rant Ahead...

Recently I have noticed a very disturbing change in the Blogs that Link Here search through Technorati. I have long professed sharing links with other blogs that have some reasonable relationship with my Work at Home blog.

I have done the Good Reads links to share work at home information for any visitor or regular reader who is looking for interesting things related to home business on the internet.

I have used links in various forms to share blogs I read and always include the URL for any article I reference.

I have participated in Blogtipping.

I believe sharing links is a good thing for the parties involved.

Until now...

There have been quite a few links to my blog that have absolutely nothing to do with working at home, the internet, blogging or anything else I write about.

It seemed to start with a Headline service I found as a possible way to promote a site or product for the home business owner. Shortly after I posted about it, I started getting links from searches that involved keywords in various posts. None of them had anything to do with the article itself except a quote from the article by "Google search". They do include a link to the post, but that is the only thing in common with my blog.

Some of the examples are:

One is Change My Name. That was picked up from the post Change is Not Easy. Nothing to do with the original post.

Here's a good one. Body detoxification via an ionizing Foot Bath. That was linked to the Results of My Work at Home Business Is... Poll. Not sure how they thought that had anything to do with a foot bath.

This is the one that prompted me to write this post. Vomit Scat. This is a porn site that has an image link to my blog. I can't find the exact post or what picture they link to, but I am PISSED.

I am used to getting Spam in my E-mail. I have even had to deal with Comment Spam. I can deal with these intrusions with various blocks, monitoring and filters.

I cannot deal with people just linking to my Blog with no connection or affiliation, much less as a self promotion for Porn. I want to find these people and put an end to this type of Spam. I know it probably is more than I can handle, but something has to be done.

Have any of you run into the same type of Link Spam? How have you handled it?

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Testing StatCounter vs Site Meter for Review



Speaking of Stats, I am trying something new. I already have StatCounter for my Page View statistics. I just installed Site Meter for a test and review between the two. I will be using both and comparing the similarities and differences to see which serves my purposes better.

So far either the locator is off on one or the other or both. Right after installation I got 2 hits, both showed on each counter. The difference being, both showed one view from a Google search for "autosurfing legit jobs" and landing on the Scam and Legit page.

The other hit shows two different locations and search criteria. The one on Site Meter shows a search from "Blogger Preview" and an IP from Philadelphia. The stat on StatCounter shows the search from Greenbelt MD looking for the 1-800 number from my previous post (at the same time) with an IP from Prince Georges County Gov't.

Neither shows the opposite for the second search showing on the other counter although they were at the same time.

Needless to say, this experiment will take some careful monitoring.

I'm not really sure how long this test will last, but it should be no less than 2 weeks up to a full month.


For additional posts on statistics, browse the Statistics Category.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Stats as a Trend Spotter


You can tell a lot by looking at your statistics. Not just how well your blog is doing by the numbers, which is important, but you can see a little of whats going on by the landing pages.

Most of the lookups from Google, MSN and Yahoo are for some variation of "Work at Home" and they land on the front page. There are some searches that tell you more of what people are looking for and who is promoting what.

Some examples:

For the last 2 weeks I have been getting numerous hits on my Blogger Problems post. This is when Blogger (Blogspot) was having major problems.

I keep getting hits on the post on the Importance of Statistics, which means to me that at least one of the statcounters has a major campaign going on.

Of course there are a growing number of hits on the SuperHighway post with the ongoing controversy of Net Neutrality.

It seems Verizon is running a large promotion for their DSL service on the West coast. I keep getting hits on the Finally Over post describing problems and fixes for their equipment.

There is another major E-Mail campaign by Corporate Solutions, I can tell because the 1-800 number in their promotion keeps coming up in Google searches and they end up here.

My thoughts:

I think these few example tell a lot. They tell me that I'm not alone in my problems with Blogger, they have to work on fixes or start losing quite a few members of their blogging service.

Statistics are becoming more important to other bloggers so they can monitor the health of their blogs.

Internet Neutrality is becoming more to the forefront. More people are becoming interested in the subject and want to know more about it.

Verizon is having g problems still with the equipment they provide to customers and they need to give better instructions or find a new hardware provider.

People are getting more leary of what they get in their E-main and tend to look up information on the internet before even making a free phone call.

These trends may not show anything of importance. Then again, they could be a barometer of what's happening on the internet and business.

Have you noticed any trends in your statistics? Do you think spotting a trend for your business is important?

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Expect the Unexpected


I have been asked by a lot of Bloggers I know, "How did I get the Interview with Darren Rowse?" and "How did it affect my statistics?"

The first question is easy to answer. I asked. Simple as that. I sent an E-mail to Darren requesting an interview for Working at Home on the Internet, provided a link so he could look it over and voila. I am glad he thought enough of my Blog to consent to doing it.

The process was nothing more than a confirmation of the type interview (written or audio) and sending a list of questions to him. Even though his plate is full both in business and personally, he was quite detailed (I thought) in his answers.

The second is something I thought would turn out a little differently. As you can see by the graph, there was quite a spike in page views on the day of the interview. The percentage of increase is... somewhere around 300%. Sounds impressive doesn't it? And it is.

I wouldn't have had that many visitors if I hadn't done the interview, so why complain right?
Well, I can't complain about an increase like that. I think if I would have promoted the interview a little better, more in advance of posting, I may have had even more hits.

Another unexpected result was how few comments there were on the post. There were only 10 comments and half of them were my responses (thanks to those who did participate). I thought more people would have been interested in asking questions of Darren (I know he monitored the post).

For those of you who are interested in how much I made on the post, .37 cents for the day. To the question of any offers... nothing yet.

So, I guess this goes in the category of plan ahead. Prepare for both the good and the not so good. If you promote a project properly, you should see some decent results. But, be prepared for the fact that not everything turns out the way you planned.

I don't want anyone to get the wrong impression with what I am saying. It was worth the effort and the increased pageviews helped. There have been more visitors on a daily basis since the interview. So, overall it was a good experience and I would do it again, although differently.


Related Post:
Interview... Darren Rowse of ProBlogger

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Change is Not Easy


If anyone asks you how many posts it takes to run out of things to write about... It's 300...

I'm just kidding. This just happens to be my 300th post on the Working at Home on the Internet Blog. It started life with at different name, "Self Improvement by Working at Home".

I never really liked that name, but I tried various titles for the blog even before that. Work at Home in any form was taken and I was trying to find a way to fit into the niche. I thought that Working at Home was an improvement over working for someone else in an office, so I grabbed the first name available.

I had registered the Blog with every service that I could under that name, from FeedBurner to Technorati. The problem was, I still didn't like the name. I found that changing the name on Blogger was quite easy, so I made the transition to Working at Home on the Internet.

That's when I found out the hard way that change is not easy. I had a small following... of loyal readers, some of whom I haven't seen since the change. I attribute this to the way I just changed and didn't really promote it correctly.

I made all the changes on every feed and subscriber service I belonged to, but I neglected to do a pre-change promotion. Even thought I didn't change the URL, people had subscribed to various services by the name of the Blog. This lead to a loss of readership for which I was not prepared.

I have more that recovered from that original loss and have actually built a decent following since. The reason I bring all of this up is, I am considering another change. Actually, it is Two Major Changes.

SEO has stagnated. I think the major reason for this is my URL mcbsconsulting.blogspot.com has nothing to do with Working at Home as far as searches are concerned. I do get some results with the Blog name since the Title contains the right Keywords and I have so many posts floating around the internet.

I have found a few possibilities for a Domain Name, workingathomeinternet(dot)com/net/biz that I feel could help in the area of SEO. It doesn't cost too much to buy the domain(s) but it is a Major Change.

The other consideration is that Blogger (Blogspot) has been having major problems with their server, uploading, saving drafts and publishing. This is not a small thing when you try to pre-write posts and publish at least once a day. That leads to another possible problem, will a new hosting service be any more reliable than Blogger?

These have to be addressed, sooner rather than later. I do worry that, since these are such major changes, I would have to start over from scratch. I have invested a lot of time trying to get established. I don't want it all to be for naught.

I also can't see waiting too much longer and just hoping for the best. That will just augment the problems and be worse in the long run.

A Blogger friend of mine, Chris Cree over at CREEations has just made the move from a Blogger Blog to his own domain. I hope he doesn't mind me watching how things go with his move before I make my decision.

Stay tuned for further developments.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

The DO List of Blogging

Quite often I see posts about blogging and the author tells you what NOT to do. I guess they think reverse psychology works better than just telling you what are the best things TO DO.

So, I have complied 10 things I think you should do in order to portray your blog in a favorable light. This is my DO LIST:

~~ Write Good Content... Content is the reason people come to your blog. They are seeking information that you are trying to provide, so give them what you want. In my post Content is King I go into greater detail on the subject.

~~ Post Frequently... Posting at frequently will help expose your blog, the more you post, the faster Search Engines will pick you up. It also helps your readers know when and how often you post.

~~ Use Titles for Links... When linking to other... Blogs, Articles or Previous Posts, use the Title of the Link. It better explains what a reader should expect if they click a link you referenced.

~~ Link to Previous Posts... This serves to give your readers additional information that you have previously written on the subject. It will also draw them further into your Blog and could encourage them to surf around there a little more.

~~ Author Picture... This is something I just recently did myself. Put a picture of yourself in the About Me section of your Blog. Even one as bad as mine seems to make a blog a more friendly place to visit.

~~ About... Use this to describe yourself, your ideas and what you are trying to provide with your Blog. If you use Blogger and have more than one blog, this could be a little tricky to word correctly because it shows on all of your blogs. I have to rework mine to be more descriptive, but remain generic enough to fit all of them.

~~ Domain Name... Your Domain Name should reflect your main objective, mine should be working at home(dot)com or something similar, however my company was named long before I started any of my Blogs. I have been looking for a domain name that fits my profile, but so far nothing fits and I can't see getting the wrong one.

~~ Categorize Posts... If you have been writing for some time on a subject in any niche, you will no doubt write posts that fit in certain categories. If you put posts in a category, people will be able to find whatever information you can provide. This will help navigation and again, draw visitors deeper into your blog.

~~ Link to Sources... If you are providing news or information from another source, Link to It. Be sure to provide your readers with good information and where you found it. This will create a more loyal readership.

~~ Link to Other Blogs... Your readers will probably enjoy knowing what blogs you read since most are probably related one way or another to your niche. This will also help with SEO and Blog Search Engines.

I know there are more than 10 things that can be done to enhance a Blog. What have I missed? Can you add to the list?


Previous Posts:
Content Is King
The Value of Links

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

This Weeks Helpful Reads...Week 9


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.

No-one links to the linkers by Andrew Garrett... Andrew explains his transition from link blogger to a content blogger.

GPL Licensing: Find Your Way Through This Mess by Aaron Brazell... He explains how some people can misuse GeneralPublic License.

Working from Home by Mary Schneider... A nice little story about explaining working at home.

Can't you See I'm Working? by C.J. Hayden... C.J.'s take on how to make working at home work for you.

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 ~~~


Access Links to Previous Helpful Reads

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Handling Nothing


When there is really nothing in your genre that is pressing to write about, there are a few things to try in order to get the creative juices flowing.

Probably the most obvious is go through your archives. There is probably something in there that could or should be updated. If you have been working on the internet for a while, you most likely have many things in there that haven't been touched in a while. Rework them and present them in a new light.

Another thing that might help get things going is to do something else involving the business. You can go over stats to see how the site is progressing. Do your accounting, see where you stand with your game plan and translate that into a post.

If you have Multiple blogs or websites, work on one or more of the others. Often times, I find that working on another project helps kick start my main objective, what's on the table for today.

Pre-write a post set for another day. Again, this could help in getting today's post started, or even turn into today's post.

Take a walk. Just get away from the office for a while, clear the mind and things will begin to flow.

Whatever you do, Don't just sit in front of the computer and stare at a blank screen. If there is nothing there, then there is nothing to inspire you.

How do you handle a slow day for your home business? Do you have any special tips for other readers?


Related Posts:
Writing to Fight Apathy
Battling Writers Block

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Turning Down an Offer


Recently, I was offered an opportunity to write for a Blog that is just starting out as the primary Blogger. Don't worry, I'm not going to do it, and I'll explain why.

My main concerns were twofold.

First. Although I would have only had to write a minimum of one post per day with options for more as the need arose, I thought about what that would entail. Either I would have to spend time investigating subject matter or it would be provided to me to present to the readers.

I spend quite a bit of time already researching and writing for the Blogs I own, so I couldn't really invest much more time doing research for another project. If the content was to be provided to me, then I would be more of an editor than writer. That is not my intention when I Blog.

Second. I would not have final say in what I wrote. The final decision on my posts would have been made by someone else. Not acceptable. An Editor can correct spelling, grammar or any number of things, but not what I write. Either publish the content as presented or not, but I have to have final say on my thoughts and how I present them through words.

I really would have liked to try my hand at writing for another Blog, but I feel I need to put 100% into a project or not do it at all. I need to be able to put the time into a project, and then present it as I see fit.

I'm a Pisces, so I do compromise and try to understand other points of view, but in this instance, I will not compromise my principles. If I can't give it my all, I will give it none.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Three Days in a Row

Blogger is down again today, so if you see this consider that I was lucky enough to get through the problems long enough to post.

I lost the rant that I was writing on the last try.

Maybe later, I will be able to post something interesting...

So, Surf around the Blog, use the Navigation Links in the Sidebar to find something you might like.

Joe

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Interview... Darren Rowse of ProBlogger


Darren Rowse is probably the main reason I didn't give up on Blogging. Long ago, I was searching for various ways to improve my work at home situation. In surfing through different websites, forums and blogs I was continually coming across ProBlogger and some guy from Australia named Darren Rowse. In visiting and reading some of the posts Darren had written, I became a regular reader.

That was back in October, and since then I have found enough information on his Blog to encourage me to continue with my efforts.

So, may I present my interview with Darren Rowse...


Me... Could you give us a short description of your workday?

Darren... I work at home so work generally starts a few minutes after waking up with a coffee in hand.

I’ve experimented with different workflows but am slowly moving towards a new weekly rhythm where I focus upon a different task each day of the week.


Mondays tend to be ‘writing day’ where I leave the house and camp out at my favorite café with my laptop and just write. My goal of Mondays is to write enough quality content for two of my main blogs that I don’t really need to write much else for them during the rest of the week.

Tuesday through to Thursday I tend to work on updating my news oriented blogs in the mornings and use afternoons to... respond to emails, network, work on b5media etc. In the evenings I also tend to do newsy type posts as they are less demanding and I can do them while watching TV with my wife.

Fridays are becoming a day that I try to spend more time with my wife in the mornings. We go for breakfast and sometimes a movie in the mornings and in the afternoons I usually get back to work.

Weekends I work intermittently throughout the weekend depending upon what else we’ve got on and what is happening on the blogs.

For a fuller description of the types of things that are in my workflow you can read my ‘
Day in the Life of a ProBlogger' post. It is obviously a little different these days but the tasks that I try to achieve are all in there.

Me... How many projects do you work on in any given day?

Darren... I have 10 or so blogs that I personally write on at this point. I’m also a director of b5media which is an increasingly large focus for me and am involved in a number of other writing projects. Most days I would do some work on virtually all of these tasks (some of them would only take 5 or so minutes though).

Me... Do you have any special way to schedule so many projects?

Darren... Not really. I am a pretty spontaneous guy and go with the flow a fair bit. I do use the calendar feature on my email client (Entourage) to schedule meetings (mainly for b5 or my collaborative writing projects) but much of the rest of my work is scheduled largely upon what hits my news aggregator (Bloglines). As things come into that I tend to write posts that bounce of it.

Me... Have you had any projects that you gave up on for whatever reason? Not profitable, loss of interest?

Darren... Sure – there are a number of blogs I’ve stopped posting to in the past 6 or so months. This was mainly because the amount of time I was putting into them was not justified by the returns. It probably also reflected my own waning interest in them.

Me... With a baby coming soon (congrats by the way) have you thought about what type of adjustments you'll have to make?

Darren... This has been something that we’ve been pondering for the last few months. I guess as first time parents we don’t really know the pressures that having a baby at home in the same space as a home business will bring.

I’m really looking forward to it on one hand as I’ve always wanted to be quite involved in the lives of my kids growing up. On the other hand it’s a bit daunting as I look at how much I already pack into my life and wonder how I can possibly sustain the levels of work.

My wife’s been at home for a couple of weeks now and we’ve begun to work through how to make that work (it’s odd having someone here all day) but having a baby home as well will be more of a challenge I guess. For one I know I’ll be tempted to want to be pretty involved (a good thing) but also know that there will also be times of real distraction.

I suspect I’ll take my work on the road a little more to give us all some space but am not terribly worried because the nature of my workflow is that my day is very ‘bitsy’ and I’m moving quickly from one task to another all day – I think this could lend itself to having interruptions all day.... But then again I could be kidding myself!

Me... What do you do when you just need a break?

Darren... I’m an avid photographer so a lot of my relaxation happens around that. I also enjoy movies, reading, gardening and some mates and I occasionally have a poker night which is fun.

I should also mention that in my ‘spare time’ I run a small church which we started 3 years ago (it’s how I actually got into blogging). So time each week is devoted to that. I used to be a minister as a job but these days it’s just a voluntary thing.

Me... Any new projects in the offing?

Darren... I started Digital Photography School a few weeks back so that’s taking a lot of my creative energy at the moment. I’m also working on an e-resource and we’re working hard at taking b5media to the next level which will involve quite a few new things.

Me... Do you have any advice to share with people that work at home on the internet?

Darren... Probably the main thing I’d advise is to take a long term approach. While many claim that you can make quick and easy money online I’ve found that it’s anything but quick. I’ve been at it for over three years and have worked very long hours to get to the point that we’re at.

The early days didn’t pay much at all and I could easily have given up – but I’m very glad I stuck at it!


I really enjoyed this whole experience, from asking Darren to do the interview to being able to give you an insight into the work at home life of Darren Rowse, THE ProBlogger.

I hope you found this as rewarding as I have. Comments are always open, so let me know what you think.


Darren Blogs at:
ProBlogger
Digital Photography Blog
Digital Photography School Blog
b5media

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More Blogger Problems


Beware: Rant Ahead

I really wish Blogger would get their act together. It seems every 2 or 3 days, Blogger (Blogspot) is having major problems.

The latest is you can't upload pictures... If you read their account of things on Blogger Status, they say it is fixed. WRONG!!! As of 2 minutes ago, I still can't upload a simple .jpg file. I go throught the process, everything follows through and it says that the picture was uploaded.

Except for one thing, there is No Picture.

This is after spending 3 hours last night preparing tomorrows post. When I saved the draft once all the italics, bold and links were inserted, the draft contained none of what I put in. Let alone the picture, which I was willing to wait until today to do.

I have an important interview coming up tomorrow with Darren Rowse from ProBlogger. I would like to make a good impression because I should have additional visitors. That will be impossible if Blogger can't even get a simple thing like an 82kb picture to upload.

I hope they fix whatever problems they seem to be having lately. I would like to be able to depend on them as I have in the past.

Anyone else having these same issues? How are you getting around the problems?

Update: It seems that the Blogger Logo uploaded OK, we will see about a REAL Picture next... Hold your breath.

Update II: NO Picture yet, I have no idea what to do except to keep trying.

Update III: Still couldn't upload a picture, so I copied one from a previous post and made a couple of adjustments to alignment. At least now I have what I want, no thanks to Blogger.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

A Different Type of Isolation


"Hey, guys did you read the interview I did with Liz Strauss the other day?"

"Who's Liz, who?"

or

"I have this interview coming up with Darren Rowse on Wednesday."

"Darren who?"


Familiar scenario?

If you work at home, especially on the internet, you probably run into the same type of situation. You are so proud of your accomplishments you just want to share it with friends and family. You tell them all about it, and they just don't know who or what you're talking about.

Working in an office or onsight somewhere, you can tell your co-workers and they know exactly what you are talking about. They congratulate you for your success, you may even get an announcement on the intercom.

This is a very different kind of isolation than I wrote about in my Overcoming Isolation post. That was more of a I'm lonely, all by myself, easy to fix situation. This is more about the sharing my day isolation.

It is not easy to share something abstract like an internet business. You can try analogies, using terms other "real world" types understand. Try sharing their day and tell them about what you are doing in reference to what they say. Draw a comparison to their experiences with your own. Don't try to overwhelm them with details.

If you start from the beginning and bring them along a little at a time, they will start to understand. They will be able to share in your accomplishments. But, you have to make the effort. Let them understand what it is you do sitting there all day at the computer.

How do you handle it when no one seems to really understand what it is you do?


Related Posts:
Overcoming Isolation
Explaining Internet Business to Mom

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Special Announcement...


This coming Wednesday, I will have a written interview with Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.

I'm quite sure that anyone who has been around Blogging for even the shortest time has heard of and read Darren's Blog. Even if you are new to working at home on the internet, I think you will find his insight quite interesting.

So, be sure you stop by to get his take on Working at Home.

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This Weeks Helpful Reads...Week 8


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.


How I Blog, Girlspoke Edition by the Girls of Girlspoke... A parody of the series recently presented by the Blog Herald.

Unobtrusive JaveScript by Jesse Skinner... Jesse gives reasons and ways to separate your JavaScript and HTML.

How to get Traffic to Your Blog by Seth Godin... Seth gives 56 ways to attract people to your blog, only some contradict each other.

What's a great design? How much should it cost? by Matt (Blog Herald)... Goes over the reasons for the cost of a good blog design.

Interview... ME "Liz" Strauss by Me... A blatant, self-promotional link, but a really good read if you missed it.


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 7... 5/28/06
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, June 03, 2006

Pick a Pic


Ok, it's time for another change. My plan is to put a picture in my profile. The biggest problem is that I don't really have a good recent picture of myself.





So what I want to do is ask your opinion as to which picture I should use.

1. Top Right is me on the left, rear view (my best side).
2. Top Left is me (on the right) being a smart ass after taking down a Big Oak Tree.
3. Middle Right after work relaxing and laying back.
4. Bottom Left, lowering the head from a Big White Pine, fixing storm damage.

The choice is yours, but my favorite is either #3 or #4. Shortly, there will be a poll on the choices. You can, however, vote in comments from the moment this post is published.

Thanks for your cooperation. Vote Now. Vote often.

Update: The Poll has been added to the sidebar. Please take the time to vote.

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Results of My Work at Home Business is... Poll

Although not very many people participated, I did get some idea of what type employment my readers have. Here are the results:

Self-employed (Internet)
29%
Self-employed (non-Internet)
14%
Telecommuter
14%
Part-time
43%

I was a little supprised that there are more people who read this Blog that are working Part-time. I did think that there would be more Telecommuters than was shown. The difference between the Internet and non-Internet categories is about what I expected, but I did think the S-E Internet would have been higher.

Are these results what you expected? Were you as supprised as I?

I'm going to have an important poll on Saturday, I would like you to pick which picture of me will appear in my profile.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Interview... ME "Liz" Strauss


One of my Favorite Bloggers and Blogging Friend, ME "Liz" Strauss has consented to a written interview with me. I have been reading Liz's Blog, Successful Blog almost as long as I have been blogging. There is always a good conversation there and she has built a Community of Bloggers around her. This can be attested to by the many people who visit her blog on Tuesday nights for Open Mic Night.

So without further adieu... the interview...

Me... What is your typical work at home day like?

Liz... Oh, Joe, It's not like there's anything typical about me. This is my 7 day basic schedule. You could say my vocation is my avocation. That makes it sound less like I am a workaholic. :)

I get up when I wake up, usually before the sun does. The path goes to the coffee to the computer and to the shower to the coffee and to the computer. Unlike most folks, I write before I read. I go to bed the night before thinking about what my morning posts will be so that I can hit the ground writing. By 10a.m two or three are done. Then I get on to my 3-D world work.

When I get stuck on what I'm writing I stop to read a blog, make a comment, check my stats as treat. That usually frees my brain to go back to what I was working on. Emails and comments on Successful... Blog interrupt all day long. I love that part. Folks always apologize. I don't see the need for them to do that. I like the feeling of being connected those little people-interruptions give me.

I stay at my computer until about 3:30 or 4:30, then I take an hour or two to read fiction -- something for me. At 6 or so it's back on the computer to do more 3-D world work and monitor my blogs until around 11 or midnight.

We're talking typical day here.

About 2 or 3 days a week there are phone calls or meetings with clients that interrupt the basic scene. Phone calls last an hour or so. Two or three business trips a month could be normal.



Me... Do you have a separate office at home?

Liz... We have three separate work areas. One is a room of its own. My favorite is a desk in the living room that is it's own space, but still feels part of the scene. Everything that I need, including a few hundred CDs are within reach.



Me... How does it affect your home life, do you have to make concessions?

Liz... My husband and I both like our own space. We're like a couple of three-year-olds in a sandbox playing side-by-side with different things. It's called parallely play at that age. I guess you could call it parallel work at this one.


Me... I know you do a lot of consulting, do you usually go onsite or telecommute?

Liz... I talk on the telephone a lot. Do a lot of writing work. Occasionally I go onsite, but not often. Mostly I meet up with clients to discuss things when we make plans to attend the same trade show or other event.


Me... How many different projects do you work on in a given day?

Liz... Sometimes as many seven.


Me... Given that you write for 3 blogs, and consult among other things, how do you manage to balance everything?

Liz... I only think about one thing at a time. I breathe in between and give that one thing my total attention. Last night I wrote an email to a client just to say that he was still on my radar and I was still going to be doing his project this coming weekend.



Me... It seems every time I visit one of your Blogs, you are always there in the comments, how do you keep up with it?

Liz... See the answer to question one. I live inside your computer. :)



Me... Could you give an example of what you feel are the good and bad aspects of working at home?

Liz... I avoid words like good and bad--that's my textbook teacher/textbook editor coming out--too many ways that people filter those words. So if you don't mind I'll edit the question.

Could you give an example of what you feel are the advantages and disadvantages of working at home?

The advantages for a person like me are that I can channel my ability to be highly focused and intensely involved in what I'm doing without people misinterpreting my intensity. I can transition in ways that are natural to me and not be stressed by the structure of office life -- which doesn't suit my "non-corporate" personality. No one is here to be threatened by me or my ideas or my height, for that matter. :P

The disadvantages for a person like me are that I thrive on change and input from others. I really don't find my own ideas that interesting. The kinds of work you can do outside of a building is limited in some ways. I like to make things grow, especially companies. It takes time to get in a position in which a company will follow a leader who is not on the payroll.



Me... What do you do if you need a break and just refresh your mind?

Liz... I work with pictures and colors -- anything that doesn't involve words. I go for a walk and look at the trees and the sky. It's very hard to be stressed and to take yourself too seriously when you're looking at creation.



Me... Last question, do you have any special advice for people who work at home?

Liz... Know yourself. Know what you need. Know that you do have a job. Know what you'll say when folks act like you don't have a job.

Don't try to do it with one foot in the water. You'll make yourself crazy looking for work and trying to work at home at the same time. It's impossible to make a decision or a commitment when that's your situation.

Find other folks who work at home too and form a community.

And lastly, if you're not having fun, you're not doing it right. Change something.


I found the conversation insightful and appreciate Liz taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions and sharing her work at home experience.

Don't forget to visit Liz at Successful Blog (especially on Tuesday Nights). There is always a great conversation there.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tomorrow... Interview with ME "Liz" Strauss


Tomorrow ME "Liz" Strauss of Successful-Blog fame appears in a written interview with Working at Home on the Internet (me). Liz will share some of her work at home experience and insight with us.

So, be sure to stop by for quite an interesting conversation with Liz.

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It's Blog-Tipping Day


Easton Ellsworth of Business BlogWire started a thing called Blog-Tipping last month. On the first of each month, we should pick three Bloggers we read and give them three compliments and a helpful tip. Since I think it is such a great idea, I thought I would try my hand at it.

Now for my first attempt at Blog-Tipping Day.

Successful-Blog... ME "Liz" Strauss

1. I think the thing that impresses me most about your Blog is the Community I feel when I visit. There is always a good conversation going on and you lead the way.

2. Your posts always have a theme to them, from your Beginning Bloggers posts to the Net Neutrality issue, people know where they are going and how to get there.

3. Since I first started reading your Blogs, I noticed that you were leaking links to other Bloggers you found and gave them your SOB Award (of which I am a proud recipient).

Tip. Proof-read. Spell Check will only correct a word that is spelled incorrectly, not mis-typed.

The Future of the Web... Jesse Skinner

1. Your posts are always full of information and are helpful to even a novice like me.

2. When I visit your blog, I know I will be able to make a comment or ask a question and always get an answer.

3. The layout and navigation of your site is great, that's why I asked for your opinion of my website.

Tip(s). 2 for the price of 1. Post more often, I know you have a full time job, but your information is important enough to post daily. Second, I know you like your site to be clean, but putting an AdSense ad or two won't hurt, and you could make a buck.

Why My Blog Stinks... Steve Remington

1. I like the way you use the reverse psychology approach. You tell people what not to do, then explain what to do.

2. I like the way you involve your readers, using a contest for a logo, among other things. Novel approach.

3. Your approach to writing is very involving. You try to speak to your readers rather than at them.

Tip(s). Another 2fer. #1. Maybe it's just me, but your type face seems very small, a little larger may be an advantage. #2. On your longer posts, you may want to use the (read more...) to save load time of your page.



I think this is a worthwhile project and hope you try your hand at Tipping a Blog(ger) next month. My plan is to continue this project monthly because I like the whole idea of being helpful to other Bloggers and sharing the Link Leak Virus in this way as well.

Have you Tipped a Blog lately? Who was it? How did it make you feel?

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Last 10 Posts...
  • Working at Home on the Internet Returning to Blogg...
  • Just another of the endless tests
  • Referral to the New and Improved Home Page
  • 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
  • What Time Is It?
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