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2 “Must Know” Copywriting Secrets that Guarantee Success!

Copywriters often disagree on whether a short sales piece with lots of white space is better or whether long and detailed is the way to go. The long and short of the debate is this… what type of buyer are you targeting? There are basically 2 kinds of buyers. 1. The Impulsive Buyer This is the kind of guy with “places to go and people to see” and not a whole lot of time to do it in. Typically, he’ll skim the headlines and subtopics, glance at the photos and captions, and make a snap decision. 2. The Analytical Buyer This group of buyers believes that the proof is in the details. They’ll read everything… including the fine print. It stands to reason that successful copy will address the needs of both buyers… regardless of length. Let’s look at what you need to do to reach both buyers. How to reach…. The Impulsive Buyer 1. Use attention getting headlines and sub headlines. 2. Capitalize of graphics that enhance your message… Photos Captions Varying fonts and font sizes Shading Use Bold Headlines Highlight with shaded areas or bullets The Analytic Buyer 1. Use the headlines, sub headlines, and graphics for the impulsive buyer as guides. Add the detailed information the analytic buyer needs under the proper heading, and you’ve got a winning marketing piece that is guaranteed to be successful Inside knowledge of how your potential buyers react is the key to getting their attention… and extra income. The fact that the needs of the impulsive buyer and the analytical buyer overlaps is a bonus for you, the copywriter!


5 Must Have Questions In A Sales Letter - Must Know

People have included all kinds of sales pitch in their sales letter but sometimes still wouldn’t achieve the results they want. The importance of a sales letter is likened to having a shop to sell cars. If the looks of your shop isn’t delivering a good impression, no one will be going to buy your cars. Thus, you must make sure that your sales letter have answers to the most basic questions, and instill interest in your visitors towards your product just with these five specific questions: 1. What’s in it for me? The number one rule of salesmanship – people only buy for one reason, which is for getting the results from a product, what they will receive out of it. To achieve this, you must be quick in catching their attention since the beginning with your headline. Create a very convincing headline and tell your visitors what they will get in one shot through your headline. 2. How will my life be better? This is where you have to understand the emotional appeals that attract your prospects like moths to a flame. Do they want to become richer, smarter, better looking, thinner or more popular? Do they want to save time, money or effort? Study your niche market until you know what emotional buttons to push and you’ll see a huge increase in your sales instantly. Use their desires to attract themselves, that’s where you will get them nodding their heads and continue reading right until the end. 3. Why should I trust you? People are skeptical when it requires them to take out their wallets in order to buy a certain product. You need to clear their doubts by providing positive testimonials from your previous customers and emphasize the benefits of your product. If you don’t have testimonials for your product, search for forums related to your niche and offer to give a complimentary copy in exchange for a testimonial – usually you will get a hot response in no time. 4. What will happen if I say no? You are not going to let them say no, that’s it. Remind them about the problems that they are having, the frustrations, how much money will they lose, or how sad their lives are currently – and tell them how they can change all of them in one shot, just by a small investment in your product. 5. Will I be stuck with your product? This is where you seal the deal. Tell them that you provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee, they must get it now. The most important thing is to make them buy, and the rest depends on their choices. 70% of the people who purchase a product will not refund it unless they have seen something similar before or they’ve planned to only “borrow” it since the beginning. When you have all these points to answer your prospects’ questions in your sales letter, not only will you gain an unfair advantage over your competition but also let your prospect know that you care about their problems and you have the solution that they need.


5 Must Know Tips For A Better Looking Landscape

There is no doubt that when landscaping one wants to save money, as well as have an attractive property. Not only can landscaping help you beautify your home, but it can also provide a source of satisfying exercise in the fresh air. When you take care of your yard on your own, it is possible to save money and to improve your physical conditioning. But if the landscape turns out to look bad, then that is so much time and money wasted. However, it is possible to ensure a better-looking landscape by following a few tips that can help you take better care of your yard. Know your soil type. Some plants thrive in soil with more acidity, and others prefer a little more alkali. Additionally, sandy soil and clay soil, as well as the presence of a loamy soil, can make a difference in what types of plants will thrive in a landscape. You should have your soil evaluated in order to determine what types of vegetation should be planted on your property. When you purchase plants that will succeed in the soil conditions present in your yard, then you make a wiser money decision, and you end up with a more attractive landscape. If there are plants that you would like to use in your soil, but the soil is not quite ideal, it is possible to improve the soil to proper conditions. You need only add mulch or peat, or to add crushed limestone or clamshells, depending upon what you hope to accomplish. As long as there is not a great difference in what you have and what you hope to achieve, it is possible to make soil adjustments to be more accommodating. Understand how much space each of the plants need. There are some plants that require more room for their root systems than others. If you choose one plant that tends to grow everywhere, and you do not have adequate space, you will find that your other plants may be crowded out or that they may choke and die. Also, make sure you understand the spacing requirements for between plants. Many shrubs and small trees need to be planted at least three to four feet apart to have enough room to grow. Use native plants in your landscape design. One of the most effective things you can do to ensure a good-looking yard is to make use of native plants. Find out what plants grow best in your area, and what plants are indigenous to the region. This way you will already be ahead, in that you know that the plants you choose are adapted to the climate. You will not have to struggle against natural inclinations to keep your landscape looking beautiful. If you due use non-native plants, assure yourself that they come from a place that shares a climate similar to the one in which you live. Plan your landscape around different blooming times. Different plants bloom at various times throughout the year. If all of the plants in your landscape are at their most attractive all at the same time, then your yard will look beautiful for a few weeks each year, but quite possible ugly the rest of the year. One way to help avoid this is to choose attractive bushes and shrubs that look good green, but also have some sort flower. However, it is a good idea to stagger plants among each other. Plant tulips and crocus among later-blooming plants so that in early spring the bulbs bloom, and then when those flowers’ time is up, the next plants will be in bloom. In this way the cycle of your landscape is in keeping with the seasons, and looks attractive all year round. Use wood chips around shrubs, bushes and trees. Wood chips can help the ground around shrubs, bushes, and trees look more attractive. Not only do the chips cover the ground (often looking better than dirt), but they also help keep in moisture, repel weeds, and provide natural food as they break down. Likewise, attractive groundcover like chicks and hens placed around trees and shrubs can make the area more interesting and pleasing to the eye.

6 Reasons Why Case Studies Are A Terrific Market For Freelance Writers

I remember the first time a client offered me a case study writing assignment. I was petrified. It was early in my freelance writing career and I didn’t even know what one looked like. I had a lot of questions. “What the heck is a case study?” “How long is it?” “What is the format?” “How much do I charge?” I didn’t have a clue. Of course, these days, I know more. A lot more. In fact, I write dozens of case studies for clients each year. Case studies now rank high on my list of the most fascinating — and lucrative — projects I handle. (I’m sure glad that client offered me the job all those years ago!) If you’re unfamiliar with case studies, don’t worry. They’re really quite simple. A case study is just a fancy name for a success story – the tale of a happy customer and his or her experience using a product or service. Lately, I’ve noticed that more and more companies need case studies written, yet have difficulties finding writers who can do the job. That spells OPPORTUNITY for you and me. And it gets better. Consider the following: 1. Case studies are not difficult to write. They are similar in style and format to a newsletter article. So if you can write one of those, you can write a case study. 2. Case studies are relatively short Usually about 400-800 words in length. Once you’ve gained a little experience, you’ll be able to knock one off in less than a day. 3. The formats are standardized Unlike ads and direct mail, you won’t get stressed out by having to come up with a dazzling new concept or killer headline. The basic structure of a case study is remarkably simple. All that’s required of you is to get the facts and write a good piece. 4. Case study writers are in demand More companies are scrambling to get case studies written today than ever before. I can’t give you an exact figure but, in my opinion, the demand for case study writers has increased significantly over the past couple of years. 5. There is little competition I’m not sure why, but few copywriters go after this market. Some may not know it exists. Others may mistakenly think that case studies are dull or technical. Not true! Case study writing is storytelling. It’s fun. 6. Case studies pay well Surprisingly well. Now you won’t get the superstar rates paid to big-league direct mail copywriters. But most clients do pay handsomely for case study writing. Earning $100 per hour is not an unreasonable expectation for an experienced writer. I know many who earn a lot more. Right now the case study market is booming. Why not jump in and get your share of these fascinating and lucrative writing gigs?


Energy Conservation Puts Money in Your Pocket

How can homeowners save money just by sitting on their couch? It’s simple, by conserving heating and cooling energy just before you sit down. There are a number of easy and inexpensive things that can be done as do-it-yourself projects that will save hundreds of dollars per year. The easiest money saving strategy is to weather strip doors and windows with a “V” seal type weather stripping. The opening of the “V” should face towards the outside of the home. This will reduce draft in the house and retard heated or cooled air from escaping the house. And the longer the treated air remains in the house, the less the cost to treat the air. Caulking around window and door frames and caulking around base boards will also retard the loss of treated air from the house. This strategy again will reduce the homeowner’s heating and cooling bill. Both of these techniques can be accomplished as one weekend project. Do yourself a favor and save money, then grab a refreshment and sit down on your couch. To ensure that you save energy and money, there are a number of other things that the homeowner can do. Removing the door and window frames and removing the baseboards will expose small and seriously large gaps in the building fabric. By holding your hand over these gaps or using a smoke pencil, you will likely feel and see the extent of the draft. Filling these gaps with fibrous materials and/or caulking will drastically diminish uncomfortable drafts, reduce homeowner heating and cooling costs and therefore save you serious money. This project will likely take two to three weekends at minimal cost to you. Window glass is also a significant source of heating and cooling loss to the homeowner. You could replace your present windows with high efficiency windows at a great cost, or you could cover your windows with commercially available clear plastic sheeting. This is especially great in the winter; and you will achieve a substantial reduction in heating costs. With the savings in energy costs attributed to these easy to do strategies, you could probably by a new couch.

Free landscaping Ideas for You

Free landscaping ideas available in various sites in the Internet have somehow paved the way for people to get into landscaping their own spaces. This is because many of these free landscaping ideas are easy to understand and seems easy to do on your own. If you are one of those who are planning to do you your own landscape but don’t know where to start with, the best thing to do is surf the Internet because this is the perfect place where you can get lots and lots of free landscaping ideas. Here, you can get free landscaping ideas that include bits or lengthy information all kinds of landscaping and what are the elements related to these. Free landscaping ideas available in the Internet are not only limited to a specific type of landscaping but to any kind of it. Background information and step-by-step procedures as well as detailed elements of landscaping that include patios, front and backyards, water features such as swimming pools, and other decorations for garden can also be found. If you are new to landscaping and you need free landscaping ideas, all you need to do is to take time off work to learn the basics elements needed in implementing various concepts. Here are some free landscaping ideas available in the Internet. You can do your own variation using these free landscaping ideas: 1. Using a wide variety of plants. In any landscape idea, plants always play a big role because it serves as charming accessories for the space. The most ideal to use would be cyclamen plants because they don’t really need special caring and regular watering. They will always look good despite often trimming and watering. 2. The use of various trees. A good landscape idea should always involve the use of trees. In landscaping, American chestnut trees are ideal because it can be a great accessory to the garden. Aside from that, it can also provide practical benefits like serving as a shade during summer or rainy seasons. 3. Redefining the use of bleeding hearts. Bleeding hearts is a staple for most landscape designs because it is used by those homes that have shaded areas. But since the foliage of this plant die it has bloomed, vacant spots are apparent in planting bed. To keep your planting bed always in style, surround the bleeding hearts with other types of plants so the bed can still look stylish despite the vacant spot the bleeding hearts left. 4. Revolutionizing the use of creeping plants. In the Web, there are so many free landscaping ideas that involve the use of creeping plants such as thymes. Since most of them can stay short, creeping plants are now used to cover grounds, making it among the top lawn alternatives out there. 5. Install water features. Water features such as fountains are definitely one of best features your landscape can ever have. Being one of the latest trends in world of landscaping, water features are being installed by more and more people because they make the garden more visually appealing. It is not only pleasing to the eye but also helps aid relaxation through the soothing sounds it creates. Aside from the mentioned above, there are still so many free landscaping ideas out there. All you need to do is to plan carefully the landscape design you have in mind and list down all the things that you need before searching them online. By doing this, you are maximizing your time in researching and improving your design.

Some Of The Most Common Landscape Design Features

If you want to build an attractive landscape, but do not where to begin, there are plenty of common landscape design ideas and features available for you to gain inspiration. You can use the ideas yourself or add a little twist to make the landscape design all your own. There are any number of conventional landscape ideas that can help you get started on your own projects and provide inspiration for future projects. Some of the most common landscape design features are decks and patios. These can either be professionally installed or you can build one yourself. Patios and decks provide a great deal of enjoyment on many levels as part of the use of space in the landscape design. You can use decks and patios for family gatherings or for entertaining. They can also be used to great effect as places to just sit and relax and enjoy. While a basic square shape is the most common of these landscape features, it is also possible to get them in different shapes, depending on your preferences and your needs. However, if you care for your landscape yourself, the square is very convenient for other activities, such as mowing and trimming the lawn. Rock gardens are features that are rising in popularity as well. These landscape features can provide a great deal of attractiveness, but make use of fewer plants. Landscapes that include rock gardens need less water and less attention. Additionally, the plants that often go with rock gardens are usually hardier and need a little less care. These are easy to care for, and can save money. Additionally, it is possible to build your own rock garden in the landscape, saving you even more money. English cottage gardens are known for their lack of formality. There is no rigidity in their designs, and because they are more or less allowed to “just grow” require less maintenance than some other types of gardens. These are common gardens because they evoke a sense of charm. They are most common in backyard landscaping, for those who want to enjoy the garden and show an informal sense of elegance while entertaining. In the United States, of course, the lawn remains the most dominant landscape feature, especially in the front. But an English cottage garden can be very fine due its riot of flowering plants. Most landscape features of this sort include rose bushes, perennials and vines. Sometimes they are even allowed to go across pathways. Because perennials are so used, they grow back every year, without much effort.


Promote Your Lawn’s Health

You don’t have to use chemicals to have a beautiful lawn. In fact, your lawn will be much healthier if you ban the use of chemicals. In addition, chemicals can poison soil and contaminate water. Use the following tips to get your lawn off drugs. • Remove weeds by hand. It’s the best type of weed control. Eighty percent of all weeds are annuals. If you remove them before they go to seed, you will be rid of them. If some weeds in your lawn are perennials, dig out the entire root system to ensure they can’t grow back. • Tolerate beneficial weeds, such as clover. Clover is a nitrogen magic plant that will enhance the health and beauty of your lawn. • Test your lawn’s soil, using a soil test kit. This will tell you how much organic matter is in the soil, the ph balance and what nutrients to obtain a perfect soil balance. • If your lawn has bare spots, reseed with a mixture of grass varieties. Most diseases that infiltrate your lawn are very selective. By using a mixture of grasses, you will ensure that your lawn will not be totally wiped out by disease. • Aerate to prevent the soil from becoming compacted. You will also break through heavy thatch. This allows nutrients and organic matter to reach your lawn’s root system. The best aerators in the world are earthworms. • If the thatch layer is more than a half inch thick, it’s time to de-thatch. Thatch prevents air, nutrients and water from getting to the soil and promotes a wide variety of problems. If you aerate and rake your lawn briskly, most of the thatch will be removed. Some thatch is beneficial to your lawn because it promotes decomposition of grass clippings and organic matter. • Grass should always be two to three inches high. Only cut one third of the height at one time to prevent grass from going into shock. It’s imperative that the mower blade is always sharp to prevent grass damage. Tall grass grows longer roots, shades the soil and prevents weed infiltration. • Always use natural fertilizers. They release nutrients into the soil and allow it to retain them longer. Organic fertilizer decomposes thatch and grass clippings quickly. Sheep manure is one of the best natural fertilizers available. • Water only when your lawn requires it and then water deeply. If you water frequently and lightly, your lawn will have shallow roots, which makes it more susceptible to disease and insects. If water runs off easily, it’s a sign that you need to aerate. • Do not remove grass clippings. Not only does your lawn require less raking, but the clippings act as natural fertilizer when they aren’t coated with chemicals. Assure grass clippings are not clumped to promote the decomposition process. • Do not use herbicides or pesticides. Chemicals kill birds, insects and earthworms that are beneficial to your lawn’s health. If you practice natural lawn care, you will discourage pests. • Invite beneficial micro organisms and earthworms to your lawn, as well as dragonflies, ladybugs, spiders, toads and frogs. These creatures are the secret to having a healthy and drug free lawn.

Tips To Keep Teak Furniture Looking Its Best

To survive rain, wind and sun outdoor furniture has to be tough--and no material is as prized for its rugged beauty and legendary durability as teak. Made to last for decades with absolutely no maintenance, upkeep is more a matter of personal preference than a requirement. While some people prefer the golden color of new teak, others prefer the distinguished silver-grey that teak becomes as it weathers. Regardless of your preference, just a few steps will make sure your teak furniture stays in tip-top shape for decades. Here are a few tips from Jeremy Smith, president of Wood Classics, a U.S.-based teak furniture manufacturer: • Make sure you have a top quality product to begin with. Pay attention to the wood quality and construction techniques used in the furniture, as this can affect furniture's longevity. • When looking at teak products, make sure they are really teak, not "teak-like" or "as good as teak." • Consider the grade of teak being used. First European Quality (FEQ) is the top grade without knots, cracks or pits. • If you prefer the natural look of weathered teak, you can look forward to virtually no maintenance. If your furniture is left outside, you will want to clean off mildew, sap and pollen annually with Olympic® Deck Wash. • If you prefer the original rich honey color of teak, there are several steps you can take to preserve this golden color. After thoroughly washing the teak you can treat it with specialized teak cleaners and restoration products. However, using these products is time-intensive. We usually recommend that our customers either allow the teak to age naturally, clean it with a deck wash or hire a professional teak maintenance service to apply the more specialized products. • If you're using the furniture indoors, consider finishing it to protect it from stains by sealing or varnishing it. Don't use teak oil, varnishes or sealers on furniture if you're using it outside, since this may cause it to turn black with mildew.

What is Landscaping?

While a lot of people have already come across the word landscaping, not a lot of them actually know what the term stands for. This article is tailored for those who want to learn about landscaping but don’t know where to begin. For starters, landscaping is the modification of a landscape such as a lawn to make it more aesthetically pleasing or to make it more functional. A lot of homeowners landscape their homes primarily because they want to make their surroundings more attractive. But more than that, a landscaped house usually has a higher real estate value than one that isn’t. People who want to have their properties landscaped usually acquire the services of professionals. Landscaping is a time and labor-intensive task, so in order to do that in no time at all, homeowners invest in landscaping services to turn their vision into reality. But there are also those who want to take a hands-on approach to landscaping. Again, this is a task that requires a lot of time and energy on the part of the homeowner so the results may not be visible immediately. A well-landscaped property is one that is well-planned and the plans should also be well-executed. However, the great thing about going through all this trouble is that it brings a great feeling of self-fulfillment to the homeowner after performing such a difficult task. Depending on what the homeowner wants, the landscape design could be simple or complex. Simple ones make for easy maintenance while complex ones make for a lot of room for trees and flowers.

With more options to choose from, homeowners can decide on a roof color that complements their siding or other exterior accessories.

Things are looking up for homeowners who want to customize their curb appeal. Thanks to vibrant new colors now available in asphalt roofing, there are more choices than ever to boost a home's image. And that's good news since design experts say that 40 percent of a home's exterior is the roof. In recent years, asphalt has become the preferred roofing material over the more traditional wood or slate. Much of this is due to its higher fire resistance, durability and new shingle styles with authentic, classic appeal. Asphalt shingles can replicate the look of wood shakes, and some, such as Centennial Slate™ by CertainTeed, even simulate the natural beauty and color variations of blended slate at a fraction of the cost. The new color palettes go a long way to enhance designer or architectural roofing and complement the bolder curb appeal that is becoming so popular. The array of roofing on the market allows homeowners to coordinate roofing with siding, accessories such as shutters and trim, and even fencing for appealing and distinctive looks. Such advancements in building materials provide homeowners the same freedom to customize a home exterior and reflect individual preferences through interior design. In other words, don't get stuck in the brown and beige rut. Go for the bold new generation of asphalt roof styles and make your neighbors green with envy.

Water Features Can Transform Your Backyard

How do you take a boring backyard and transform it into something special? Add a water feature. Water features can transform the ordinary into something incredible as well as hide road noise creating a peaceful and tranquil environment. So all you have to decide is what kind of feature you want. Here are some of the options. Fountains;
Garden fountains are one of the easiest water features to add to your yard. Most home improvement stores and garden centers will carry do it yourself kits. Choose from a large variety including stand alone fountains and those that hang on your wall. All you have to do to install it is position the fountain, fill it with water and plug in the fountains pump. If you want to get creative, you could even make your own fountain out of new or old pots, a little bit of plastic tubing and a small water pump. Ponds;
Ponds involve a little more work but are still easy to do in the hands of a competent do it yourselfer. Once again, kits are readily available from your home improvement or garden center. To put in a pond you will have to first dig a hole in a suitable location. Ponds are normally only a few feet deep but it is still a lot of work to dig out all of that soil. Next you will either line the hole with a flexible pond liner or insert a formed hard plastic liner. Then add rocks and a pond filtration system. After treating the water, you can then add plant life and even fish if you so desire. Waterfalls;
If you want more than a basic pond, you could try installing a waterfall. This installation is a little more complicated and you might want to consult a professional landscaper. It does take some experience to plan out the flow of water on a waterfall. Waterfalls are also an excellent feature to add to an existing swimming pools landscaping. They will make an ordinary pool a sight to behold.
With all of the options, it can be hard to decide what type of water feature to add to your yard. Go over your options and choose the type that best fits your budget and your do it yourself experience level.

Things You Should Consider When Buying Your First Garden Leaf Blower

Want to save yourself some time? Collecting leaves with the aid of a garden leaf blower is considerably less time-consuming and less back breaking work when compared to using a garden rake or other such tools. The general idea of a leaf blower is pretty straightforward. A high-speed fan is surrounded by a cover. Tubes are then connected to the side of the fan to focus the air current (up to around 200 miles per hour in some units) in the direction you want to move the leaves. What do I need to consider? First of all consider the size of your garden and your exposure to fallen leaves. Do you have a large yard? If you have only a small garden and no trees or bushes then you will not need a garden leaf blower, but if you have a large garden and wish to have it looking clean at all times then a garden leaf blower would be a wise investment and a great time saver for you.You will want to bear these factors in mind when you consider the features of the different models. Garden leaf blowers come in all shapes and sizes depending on their use. Leaf blowers include both small one-hand models and powerful, professional types which can be carried in a harness on your back.Consider one with a harness particularly if you suffer from back or neck problems, as the harness will take a good deal of the load off your shoulders and arms. Consider too, the blowing speed and air volume the different models put out, as a high blowing speed would cut down the time needed for the blowing operation. Most garden leaf blowers will have a rating of 350 to 600 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM). A low vibration level would also be preferable with ergonomic handles and harnesses to help you to work more efficiently with less strain on the hands, arms and shoulders. Handheld garden leaf blowers can be generally divided into two groups: those that can collect leaves and those that can't. With a garden leaf blower you can do much more than just move leaves. It can also be used to collect rubbish, grass clippings, hedge clippings, and empty tin cans. Your choice of garden leaf blower should have an efficient system to minimise vibrations in the parts of the machine that you or the user comes in contact with. Make a note of the weight of each type of garden leaf blower too, as some blowers can weigh as much as 25lb or 12kg. You'd have to be doing an awful lot of blowing to be needing the 25lb model! Consider too, a model with the ability to vacuum all you leaves into a bag rather than blowing them all away. Another great time saver when it comes to disposing of the leaves. An extra mulching feature is available on some leaf blower/vacuums. Mulched lawn debris can be used in compost piles or bagged for disposal. Most of these convert easily from blowing to vacuuming mode. Making your choice between an electric or gas-powered unit isn't always easy! Gas blowers are more powerful, but electric ones are quieter.The engine should be powerful and easy to start if you choose a gasoline model. Do you live in a busy neighborhood where a quieter operation would be appreciated? Or is your yard massive with lots of trees, making a powerful unit the only real option? Choose a model within your price range with the best selection of features. You can expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $500 for a decent garden leaf blower, depending upon the specifications you choose.

Tips on Choosing Plants for Landscaping

Choosing the right plants for your landscaping project is one of the most important aspects of landscaping. First of all, the plants are the ones which people will see immediately so their impression of your lawn will depend much on how you choose your plants. Below is a list of some tips on choosing the right kind of plants for your lawn. 1. Know thy plants - being familiar with the plants that you are planning to grow in your lawn is important because it will immediately tell you whether or not they will grow in your area. Aside from that, it also tells you how large it will grow (which is important when you have a small lawn) and how much care you would give to it. 2. Choose your color combination - ugly lawns are those with terrible color combinations. You should therefore be mindful of the plants or the flowers’ colors before you even buy them. Otherwise, you’d be in for a disaster. 3. How well can you maintain them? - this is another important consideration when choosing a plant for your lawn. There are plants that need extra care and attention while others can grow with little maintenance. If you’re the busy type, you might want to opt for the low-maintenance plants. On the other hand, if you have extra time or are considering getting the services of a gardener, then opt for those that require a little more effort from you. What’s important is that you have a plant that you can maintain.

5 Tips for Online Shopping

Shopping online has become more and more popular in America as we are all looking to save a little time and money. E-commerce sales are growing at astronomical numbers ranging from 20-25% per year. And according to Forrester Research, 40% of households are using coupons in their web shopping. The huge increases are obvious: the online savings and discounts are impossible to match by traditional stores constrained by the overhead costs of employees, rent, and insurance. By using some of the tips and tricks mentioned below, you’ll be able to take further advantage of a new American pastime: saving with online shopping! Tip #1: Don’t buy Ebay. We all know online auctions seem like such a great deal, and it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of auction. Thing is, auction sites like Ebay and Ubid have become saturated with buyers AND sellers, so virtually any discount found is quickly sought by re-distributors who then add their own markups to your purchase. The online marketplace has enough people out there that you can end up spending hundreds of extra dollars for the same things found in your local mall! Don’t let your emotions get involved – these are not the right places for the aware shopper. Tip #2: Never pay retail. Take this scenario: You find something you want to buy, maybe the latest craze or fad such as the Ipod. Should you really pay the price that Apple is offering? No! You can find many deals and coupons for the same purchase just by typing, for example, “ipod coupons” into Google. Spend a little time searching through the top ten to twenty results, you’re sure to find the same product for a significant discount. Sometimes, by filling out a survey or signing up for an email list, you’ll get additional savings and many times you can even get your product for free! Tip #3: Get over your instant gratification desire. Just admit it, buying something always gives you a good feeling and you can’t wait to take pleasure in that new purchase. Anything you’re buying at the mall for that same good feeling can usually be found for a huge discount online. You just have to be willing to wait for the short 2-5 days that it takes for shipping. It’s definitely worth the savings to able to control your emotions and hold off until it arrives via UPS! Tip #4: Watch out for excessive shipping charges. Many times retailers slash their costs to get the sale but then charge more for shipping. Make sure to check the final cost to ensure you didn’t receive any unwarranted charges. You should also find a free shipping deal at any of the online coupon sites. Sometimes the shipping can cost more than your purchase! Tip #5: Online Coupons: Were you aware of online coupon websites like www.couponchief.com that have discount and promotion codes to nearly all internet stores? These types of websites always have up to date discount offers arranged by category or store, so you can always find something on sale. It’s not only a way to get a good deal but you can also find some of the free shipping offers listed in tip #4. Just be careful to check for a coupon code before making any internet purchase. It’s a simple way to find extra savings. -Melanie Breeze.

5 Ways To Make Money Online Today

If you are not sure exactly what you should be doing online, don't worry! In this article I'm going to show you some of the best ways to make money online in the year 2003. Become an affiliate: This is probably the easiest and the hardest way to make money online. It's easy as it cost's you nothing to join an affiliate program, but it's hard because so many affiliates fails. The stats are 95% of all affiliates never make a cent, but there is help. With the following resources, you will be a step ahead of the rest. Allan Gardyne's Free Associateprograms.com is a brilliant site to start with. His newsletter is the best in the business. Phil Wiley's Free Ozemedia.com and newsletter is great, if you can, I would buy his book straight away. Rob's Free Profitpuppy.com is a hard hitting guide to affiliate programs, straight from the trenches Create Your Own Software: This could probably be a bit over your head if you are just starting, but software is selling like hotcakes online. A few examples of what I mean would be, Headergenerator.com and Ecovergenerator.com. These basically just allow you to create your own graphics for your website with out having to hire it out to others. You can learn more about software and programming from the following resources. Ben Praters Softwaresecretsrevealed.com is a great guide from someone who is actually making his fortune with software. Ryan Deiss's Deadsoftware.com is another great site to learn about using pre existing software for your own profits. Create Your Own Ebooks: This is the easiest to get up from the ground as you don't need a lot of expensive resources or knowledge. While it seems every man and his dog are creating ebooks and selling them online, it's still a very viable business, and very profitable if you can come up with a topic for your book that is in great demand. There are only 2 resources you should be checking out if you are new online, (there's a lot more later on down the track). One is Terry Deans Netbreakthroughs.com which is the ultimate marketing site online. It doesn't matter what you are creating or selling online, you need this site. He shows you exactly what to do with real life examples. This is the most highly recommended site on the Internet to my liking. The other is Bill Myers Bmyers.com. This site is great for coming up with product ideas but I'm still a little dubious on his online marketing tactics he suggests. Either way, the cost of his membership site is nothing to the amount of ideas you will get for potential killer products. Create A Members Site: This is becoming the most popular method of making money online now. Membersites that pay you monthly is where the money is at. Why work your butt off to write a book that's only going to pay you once, when you can write content that will pay you month after month. The best place to learn about membersites is Paidmembersites.com run by Terry Dean and a few other marketing experts. Sell On Ebay: I can not see selling on Ebay ever fading to the point where it's unprofitable to do so. While it may seem everyman and his dog are selling on Ebay, and it's true, it's still very profitable. All you have to do is find a target niche market and give them everything they need. Don't even think about trying to sell electronic goods on Ebay unless you can get them at super cheap prices and have a large quantity to sell constantly. The best way to learn about Ebay is to get a few products together and sell them. There are plenty of guides on selling on Ebay, most of them you can get from Ebay itself. I also recommend, if you are going to sell on Ebay, that you have another look at Bmyers.com. He talks quite a lot about Ebay, and it's good information. Well, there you have. Those are probably the most profitable businesses on the Internet right now. Good luck! -Roger Mayne.

10 Steps To A Safe, Smooth Running PC

These ten steps will help you increase your computer's security. From discovering viruses to learning how to avoid them, this article is a must read! Windows password This is the easiest way to make sure you know who is using your pc. Choose a lengthy password that contains capital and lower case letters. Including a number or two will greatly increase your security. Having a Windows password means that the only people that can log onto a Windows session are people that you have granted access to. Password manager You should never write your passwords down. Using the same password all the time will also make it very easy for hackers to reach your personal information. So if you can’t write it down and you’re not supposed to use the same one – how are you supposed to keep track of all of your passwords? The easiest way to do this is to use a password manager. We prefer to use Roboform. Roboform is an easy to use password and profile manager that docks neatly into your Internet Explorer toolbar and keeps track of all of your passwords for you. Roboform also uses a master password system. You will have one password that accesses all of the passwords in the program. This way you can keep all of your information safe and secure. You can download Roboform for free by http://www.roboform.com. Spyware Remover Next to spam, spyware is the internet’s biggest annoyance. By definition, spyware is “any software that covertly gathers user information through the user's Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.” The amount of spyware that exists on your pc is dependent on the amount of internet surfing you do. A good rule of thumb here is to scan for spyware once per week or whenever poor system performance surfaces. If you don’t have a spyware scanner, we recommend http://www.webroot.com. Antivirus This should go without saying, but if your computer is connected to the internet you need antivirus software. With weekly scans and program updates you should be protected from most threats. For added protection, we recommend using more than one anvtivirus scanner. Firewall A firewall will keep unwanted visitors out of your computer. You can obtain a firewall either by using software application like ZoneAlarm or Black Ice Defender, or by using a router with your internet connection. For more information on routers plese visit http://www.Linksys.com. File sharing Basically, file sharing programs are the single biggest security risk you will come across. This is because the only facts you have about the files you are downloading are the file name and the file size. It is quite simple to change a filename to dupe someone into downloading a virus or other malware like keystroke recorders. Our advice – stay away from file sharing at all costs. If you need to use it, make sure you have updated antivirus software installed and running. Research In a sentence – know what’s out there. http://www.Symantec.com has a section on their website that will serve you well. Knowing what types of viruses exist and how to avoid them will make you a much smarter internet user. Email protection Most of the antivirus applications available offer email scanning. If yours does not, you will want to get one that does. Email scanning will make sure all of your incoming and outgoing emails are safe for both you and the recipient. Email viruses spread very quickly by using your address book to propagate. Never read email from people you don’t know and always make sure your email scanner is active. Network security Another way that viruses spread is through computer networks. We have a few quick tips to keep your network safe. Always scan any files that come in from other computers. Even if it’s a file you have brought from home. Never allow a file to be placed on your network until it has been scanned. The main server should be the only computer with file sharing enabled. By not allowing computer users to transmit files, you can quickly neutralize a threat. Maintenance Performing weekly virus and spyware scans will go a long way to keeping your computer safe. Defragmenting weekly will also greatly improve performance. If you put in the effort, you will be rewarded with a safe and smooth running pc. Not to mention less headaches! By following these ten guide lines, you will greatly improve the performance of your computer. You will also generate peace of mind as you gain a new sense of security. -Michael A Silva

21 Search Engine Terms Every Web Marketer Should Know Part 1.

1. Search Engine - Is a database of web sites that is ranked according to the computerized criteria that the programmers decide upon called an algorithm. Various search engines determine ranking on their own different factors of importance or relevancy. For the last few years the Google search engine was the most popular search engine supplying the search results for Yahoo and to a lesser extent MSN and AOL. This all changed recently after Yahoo purchased different search engine companies and developed its own search engine. Soon MSN will enter this market with its own search engine algorithm. Searchers input keyword queries into search boxes and are given results from the databases of the search engines in accordance with the ranking algorithm from whatever search engine they are using. In other words, search engines index sites it feels will be of value to its customers, which are Internet surfers searching for information. The most important concept to grasp with a search engine, is that it uses an automated computerized system to find and rank the sites within its database of web sites. 2. Internet Directory - An Internet directory is a large listing of categorized web sites - however the concept that should be understood with the Internet directories, is that they actually have editors that decide what goes into the directory. Remember an Internet directory is decided and managed by human editors, while in contrast, a search engine is ranked by a computerized algorithm or system. Directories are important to get links from because, they will raise your rankings in the Google algorithm (which is based on PageRank™ or links from other sites to a great extent). 3. SEO - Search Engine Optimization From the Tao of Search Engine Promotion represents the Ying or Female Principle in that it is more fluid and receptive to the algorithms of the search engines, which of course you - do not control. SEO promotion is using known conventions and in some cases deconstructing the algorithms of the developers of the search engines and working with them. In other words it is like Judo where you use the momentum and power of the search engines to build your business. You will have to be constantly vigilant, in order to try to stay abreast of the latest developments in SEO promotion. 4. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising with the search engines is bidding for particular keyword phrases or search terms used most frequently by Internet users related to information on certain niches and sectors. Overture was the first great pay-per-click advertising sales channel for the search engines. It presently represents Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Alta Vista, Hot Bot, and related partners allowing advertisers to bid on particular keywords. Google presently runs its own PPC Search Engine advertising branch called Google's Adwords Select. Since PPC advertising is so expensive use it in moderation by setting daily and monthly budgets (otherwise for high volume searched keywords you could go broke). After setting budgets, which you do in the Overture and Google advertising interfaces, use PPC to test your conversion rates for subscribers, sales, etc., and constantly monitor it and fine-tune it. You want to increase your conversation rates. This is critical because as we alluded to the expense of PPC in earlier in this article the typical major ad agency or corporate brand only spends $5 - $15 dollars to reach a thousand people (CPM). Although they may go higher for a responsive direct mail lists like $100 or $150 to reach a thousand people. In PPC advertising small business are usually paying at least 35 cents on the dollar (for any word with any real competition) to reach a thousand people or $350 dollars. I have seen and experienced people paying $2.50 a click or $2250 dollars to reach a thousand people. The true expense of PPC is never discussed by experts in that industry. Any small business using PPC should have an outstanding product ready for prime time, to see any return in investment. Alternately, they should only use it for limited testing or to get a product quickly to market on-line. Given the expense of PPC some small business people might be better off buying classified direct response advertising in a niche publication or obtaining ad space in ezines. Another point to discuss in PPC is how the major companies hurt their advertisers (stab them in the back) by using pop-up blockers, which hurts the advertisers ability to collect email addresses on the front end, and with spam filters block even legitimate marketers ability to reach opt-in subscribers on the back end. Google is more of a front end pop-up blocker, AOL is more of an email blocker, while Yahoo is both. There are better ways to stop email and web site spam. What is important is that small business, if it is not careful with PPC could be paying AOL, Google, and Yahoo/Overture to put them out of business. 5. Pay Per Inclusion is paying to be included in the database of a search engine or Internet directory. Presently it is free to be included in the Google search engine. You just need a link to your site from a few other sites already in the Google database and your site will be spidered in many cases. Recently it has been announced Yahoo will charge a fee to update your new content into their search engine database. From what I understand if you are already listed in Yahoo its all well and good, but any new content that you put on your site will not be indexed. 6. Search Terms (AKA Keywords or Keyword Phrases) - Search terms and more specifically keyword phrases are words searchers put in a search box to find information on a particular product, service, or item. Keywords and Keyword phrases have different tiers. For instance the top tier keyword 'business' probably receives 500,000 searches a month. But it is so general that it would not be a good keyword for which to optimize your site. However, the second tier Keyword phrase 'small business' would have less searches, but it is more of a targeted search. The third tier keyword phrases are even more targeted and would be ideal for persons to optimize their sites for although there are less monthly searches for them. 7. Search Engine Algorithm - Algorithms are sets of rules according to which search engines rank web pages. Figuring out the algorithms is a major part of SEO. The thinking is that if you understand how they calculate relevance, you can make specific pages on your site super relevant for specific search terms. -Kamau Austin

A Brief History of the Book

"The free communication of thought and opinion is one of the most precious rights of man; every citizen may therefore speak, write and print freely." (French National Assembly, 1789) I. What is a Book? UNESCO's arbitrary and ungrounded definition of "book" is: ""Non-periodical printed publication of at least 49 pages excluding covers". But a book, above all else, is a medium. It encapsulates information (of one kind or another) and conveys it across time and space. Moreover, as opposed to common opinion, it is - and has always been - a rigidly formal affair. Even the latest "innovations" are nothing but ancient wine in sparkling new bottles. Consider the scrolling protocol. Our eyes and brains are limited readers-decoders. There is only that much that the eye can encompass and the brain interpret. Hence the need to segment data into cognitively digestible chunks. There are two forms of scrolling - lateral and vertical. The papyrus, the broadsheet newspaper, and the computer screen are three examples of the vertical scroll - from top to bottom or vice versa. The e-book, the microfilm, the vellum, and the print book are instances of the lateral scroll - from left to right (or from right to left, in the Semitic languages). In many respects, audio books are much more revolutionary than e-books. They do not employ visual symbols (all other types of books do), or a straightforward scrolling method. E-books, on the other hand, are a throwback to the days of the papyrus. The text cannot be opened at any point in a series of connected pages and the content is carried only on one side of the (electronic) "leaf". Parchment, by comparison, was multi-paged, easily browseable, and printed on both sides of the leaf. It led to a revolution in publishing and to the print book. All these advances are now being reversed by the e-book. Luckily, the e-book retains one innovation of the parchment - the hypertext. Early Jewish and Christian texts (as well as Roman legal scholarship) was written on parchment (and later printed) and included numerous inter-textual links. The Talmud, for example, is made of a main text (the Mishna) which hyperlinks on the same page to numerous interpretations (exegesis) offered by scholars throughout generations of Jewish learning. Another distinguishing feature of books is portability (or mobility). Books on papyrus, vellum, paper, or PDA - are all transportable. In other words, the replication of the book's message is achieved by passing it along and no loss is incurred thereby (i.e., there is no physical metamorphosis of the message). The book is like a perpetuum mobile. It spreads its content virally by being circulated and is not diminished or altered by it. Physically, it is eroded, of course - but it can be copied faithfully. It is permanent. Not so the e-book or the CD-ROM. Both are dependent on devices (readers or drives, respectively). Both are technology-specific and format-specific. Changes in technology - both in hardware and in software - are liable to render many e-books unreadable. And portability is hampered by battery life, lighting conditions, or the availability of appropriate infrastructure (e.g., of electricity). II. The Constant Content Revolution Every generation applies the same age-old principles to new "content-containers". Every such transmutation yields a great surge in the creation of content and its dissemination. The incunabula (the first printed books) made knowledge accessible (sometimes in the vernacular) to scholars and laymen alike and liberated books from the scriptoria and "libraries" of monasteries. The printing press technology shattered the content monopoly. In 50 years (1450-1500), the number of books in Europe surged from a few thousand to more than 9 million! And, as McLuhan has noted, it shifted the emphasis from the oral mode of content distribution (i.e., "communication") to the visual mode. E-books are threatening to do the same. "Book ATMs" will provide Print on Demand (POD) services to faraway places. People in remote corners of the earth will be able to select from publishing backlists and front lists comprising millions of titles. Millions of authors are now able to realize their dream to have their work published cheaply and without editorial barriers to entry. The e-book is the Internet's prodigal son. The latter is the ideal distribution channel of the former. The monopoly of the big publishing houses on everything written - from romance to scholarly journals - is a thing of the past. In a way, it is ironic. Publishing, in its earliest forms, was a revolt against the writing (letters) monopoly of the priestly classes. It flourished in non-theocratic societies such as Rome, or China - and languished where religion reigned (such as in Sumeria, Egypt, the Islamic world, and Medieval Europe). With e-books, content will once more become a collaborative effort, as it has been well into the Middle Ages. Authors and audience used to interact (remember Socrates) to generate knowledge, information, and narratives. Interactive e-books, multimedia, discussion lists, and collective authorship efforts restore this great tradition. Moreover, as in the not so distant past, authors are yet again the publishers and sellers of their work. The distinctions between these functions is very recent. E-books and POD partially help to restore the pre-modern state of affairs. Up until the 20th century, some books first appeared as a series of pamphlets (often published in daily papers or magazines) or were sold by subscription. Serialized e-books resort to these erstwhile marketing ploys. E-books may also help restore the balance between best-sellers and midlist authors and between fiction and textbooks. E-books are best suited to cater to niche markets, hitherto neglected by all major publishers. III. Literature for the Millions E-books are the quintessential "literature for the millions". They are cheaper than even paperbacks. John Bell (competing with Dr. Johnson) published "The Poets of Great Britain" in 1777-83. Each of the 109 volumes cost six shillings (compared to the usual guinea or more). The Railway Library of novels (1,300 volumes) costs 1 shilling apiece only eight decades later. The price continued to dive throughout the next century and a half. E-books and POD are likely to do unto paperbacks what these reprints did to originals. Some reprint libraries specialized in public domain works, very much like the bulk of e-book offering nowadays. The plunge in book prices, the lowering of barriers to entry due to new technologies and plentiful credit, the proliferation of publishers, and the cutthroat competition among booksellers was such that price regulation (cartel) had to be introduced. Net publisher prices, trade discounts, list prices were all anti-competitive inventions of the 19th century, mainly in Europe. They were accompanied by the rise of trade associations, publishers organizations, literary agents, author contracts, royalties agreements, mass marketing, and standardized copyrights. The sale of print books over the Internet can be conceptualized as the continuation of mail order catalogues by virtual means. But e-books are different. They are detrimental to all these cosy arrangements. Legally, an e-book may not be considered to constitute a "book" at all. Existing contracts between authors and publishers may not cover e-books. The serious price competition they offer to more traditional forms of publishing may end up pushing the whole industry to re-define itself. Rights may have to be re-assigned, revenues re-distributed, contractual relationships re-thought. Moreover, e-books have hitherto been to print books what paperbacks are to hardcovers - re-formatted renditions. But more and more authors are publishing their books primarily or exclusively as e-books. E-books thus threaten hardcovers and paperbacks alike. They are not merely a new format. They are a new mode of publishing. Every technological innovation was bitterly resisted by Luddite printers and publishers: stereotyping, the iron press, the application of steam power, mechanical typecasting and typesetting, new methods of reproducing illustrations, cloth bindings, machine-made paper, ready-bound books, paperbacks, book clubs, and book tokens. Without exception, they relented and adopted the new technologies to their considerable commercial advantage. It is no surprise, therefore, that publishers were hesitant to adopt the Internet, POD, and e-publishing technologies. The surprise lies in the relative haste with which they came to adopt it, egged on by authors and booksellers. IV. Intellectual Pirates and Intellectual Property Despite the technological breakthroughs that coalesced to form the modern printing press - printed books in the 17th and 18th centuries were derided by their contemporaries as inferior to their laboriously hand-made antecedents and to the incunabula. One is reminded of the current complaints about the new media (Internet, e-books), its shoddy workmanship, shabby appearance, and the rampant piracy. The first decades following the invention of the printing press, were, as the Encyclopedia Britannica puts it "a restless, highly competitive free for all ... (with) enormous vitality and variety (often leading to) careless work". There were egregious acts of piracy - for instance, the illicit copying of the Aldine Latin "pocket books", or the all-pervasive piracy in England in the 17th century (a direct result of over-regulation and coercive copyright monopolies). Shakespeare's work was published by notorious pirates and infringers of emerging intellectual property rights. Later, the American colonies became the world's centre of industrialized and systematic book piracy. Confronted with abundant and cheap pirated foreign books, local authors resorted to freelancing in magazines and lecture tours in a vain effort to make ends meet. Pirates and unlicenced - and, therefore, subversive - publishers were prosecuted under a variety of monopoly and libel laws (and, later, under national security and obscenity laws). There was little or no difference between royal and "democratic" governments. They all acted ruthlessly to preserve their control of publishing. John Milton wrote his passionate plea against censorship, Areopagitica, in response to the 1643 licencing ordinance passed by Parliament. The revolutionary Copyright Act of 1709 in England established the rights of authors and publishers to reap the commercial fruits of their endeavours exclusively, though only for a prescribed period of time. V. As Readership Expanded The battle between industrial-commercial publishers (fortified by ever more potent technologies) and the arts and craftsmanship crowd never ceased and it is raging now as fiercely as ever in numerous discussion lists, fora, tomes, and conferences. William Morris started the "private press" movement in England in the 19th century to counter what he regarded as the callous commercialization of book publishing. When the printing press was invented, it was put to commercial use by private entrepreneurs (traders) of the day. Established "publishers" (monasteries), with a few exceptions (e.g., in Augsburg, Germany and in Subiaco, Italy) shunned it and regarded it as a major threat to culture and civilization. Their attacks on printing read like the litanies against self-publishing or corporate-controlled publishing today. But, as readership expanded (women and the poor became increasingly literate), market forces reacted. The number of publishers multiplied relentlessly. At the beginning of the 19th century, innovative lithographic and offset processes allowed publishers in the West to add illustrations (at first, black and white and then in color), tables, detailed maps and anatomical charts, and other graphics to their books. Battles fought between publishers-librarians over formats (book sizes) and fonts (Gothic versus Roman) were ultimately decided by consumer preferences. Multimedia was born. The e-book will, probably, undergo a similar transition from being the static digital rendition of a print edition - to being a lively, colorful, interactive and commercially enabled creature. The commercial lending library and, later, the free library were two additional reactions to increasing demand. As early as the 18th century, publishers and booksellers expressed the fear that libraries will cannibalize their trade. Two centuries of accumulated experience demonstrate that the opposite has happened. Libraries have enhanced book sales and have become a major market in their own right. VI. The State of Subversion Publishing has always been a social pursuit and depended heavily on social developments, such as the spread of literacy and the liberation of minorities (especially, of women). As every new format matures, it is subjected to regulation from within and from without. E-books (and, by extension, digital content on the Web) will be no exception. Hence the recurrent and current attempts at regulation. Every new variant of content packaging was labeled as "dangerous" at its inception. The Church (formerly the largest publisher of bibles and other religious and "earthly" texts and the upholder and protector of reading in the Dark Ages) castigated and censored the printing of "heretical" books (especially the vernacular bibles of the Reformation) and restored the Inquisition for the specific purpose of controlling book publishing. In 1559, it published the Index Librorum Prohibitorum ("Index of Prohibited Books"). A few (mainly Dutch) publishers even went to the stake (a habit worth reviving, some current authors would say...). European rulers issued proclamations against "naughty printed books" (of heresy and sedition). The printing of books was subject to licencing by the Privy Council in England. The very concept of copyright arose out of the forced registration of books in the register of the English Stationer's Company (a royal instrument of influence and intrigue). Such obligatory registration granted the publisher the right to exclusively copy the registered book (often, a class of books) for a number of years - but politically restricted printable content, often by force. Freedom of the press and free speech are still distant dreams in many corners of the earth. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the V-chip and other privacy invading, dissemination inhibiting, and censorship imposing measures perpetuate a veteran if not so venerable tradition. VII. The More it Changes The more it changes, the more it stays the same. If the history of the book teaches us anything it is that there are no limits to the ingenuity with which publishers, authors, and booksellers, re-invent old practices. Technological and marketing innovations are invariably perceived as threats - only to be adopted later as articles of faith. Publishing faces the same issues and challenges it faced five hundred years ago and responds to them in much the same way. Yet, every generation believes its experiences to be unique and unprecedented. It is this denial of the past that casts a shadow over the future. Books have been with us since the dawn of civilization, millennia ago. In many ways, books constitute our civilization. Their traits are its traits: resilience, adaptation, flexibility, self re-invention, wealth, communication. We would do well to accept that our most familiar artifacts - books - will never cease to amaze us. -Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

A Closer Look at Image Resolution

Image resolution refers to the size your image appears on a computer monitor rather than the physical dimensions an image will print. The pixel dimensions of an image identify the resolution. Many digital cameras let us change image resolution. So, before we take a picture, we must determine the quality of an image first by using the highest quality setting available on the camera. Therefore, set your camera for the best image quality if you want to obtain high quality photos. According to the article “Image Quality – An Explanation” by Julian Foster which was posted at www3.teleplex.net, a truly high-resolution digital photo can be anywhere from 12MB (for a 4-by-5-inch image) to 70MB (for a two-page-spread photo). The CD ROM photo collections currently on the market have files ranging in size from 500K-22MB. He added that image resolution, the amount of information in a digital file, is measured in dots per inch. Screen frequency, the density of the lines of dots used to print a continuous-tone photograph, is measured in lines per inch. Newspapers typically use a coarse line screen of 85 lpi; in-house publications, 100 to 120 lpi; and glossy magazines & good quality offset lithography, 133 to 155 lpi. Proper resolution is truly important for good printing. And to achieve this, you must always remember some rules that include the following: the text must be 400dpi at the final size in the layout; the images must be 300dpi at the final size in the layout; the dimensions of the resolution and size are inversely proportional to each other so, if you enlarge an image, you lower its resolution and if you reduce an image, you increase its resolution; how an image is originally acquired will determine its resolution and thus, the size it can print at for clear and crisp printing; and low resolution images print with jagged edges and appear fuzzy. Indeed, when deciding on the print size of your image, you must choose a size that is appropriate to the resolution of the image you are supplying. The size to which your image can be printed without a loss in quality depends on the resolution of your image. Remember that the higher the resolution of your image is, the better the quality of the image when printed. Most digital cameras allow you to select a combination of resolution and quality from the settings menu. In order to obtain an optimal print out, you must set your digital camera at the highest possible resolution and quality. Always remember that the higher the quality, the larger the image file will become. So folks, make sure you have sufficient room on the memory card!

How to Make Compost

Creating your own compost isn’t difficult to do. You likely already have all the tools and ingredients you need to start composting in your own yard. You can use the compost to improve garden soil for planting. It’s the best way to make the richest garden soil and the healthiest plants. Using your own compost to make your own soil is an amazing experience. What you get when you’re done is rich, black soil that smells fresh and new. It’s nature at its finest, breaking down the materials into the basic building blocks of life. Step #1: Gather Carbon-Rich Materials Shredded newspapers, fall leaves, straw, dead flowers and other brown matter from your yard will work great as brown materials. Spread carbon-rich materials around at least a 3-foot by 3-foot area, making it at least a few inches thick in a sunny location of your yard. If you’re not using a container, use big sticks and fallen branches to create a base area. Step #2: Add Nitrogen-Rich Materials Now take green materials like grass, plant-based kitchen waste, and barnyard animal manure from non-carnivore animals. Chicken manure works great and yes, it’s not “green” in color but it has lots of green stuff in it. Layer this mixture on top of the brown materials a couple more inches thick. The ratio to remember is three times as much brown material as green material. Step #3: Add Garden Soil On top of the green and brown materials, add a thin layer of garden soil. Use a soil mix that is organic, free of fuel-based ingredients and peat moss. If you already have prepared soil from your garden, it will work better to add some of that into your compost mixture rather than packaged soil that could have ingredients in it that you don’t want to use. Step #4: Prepare Area Now you want to make another layer with brown materials. Moisten the layers, then add several more layers until your pile is at least three feet tall. Again, you’re looking for a ratio of three parts brown materials to one part green materials. It doesn’t matter how many layers you put, just keep in mind this ratio as you make your layers. Step #5: Have Patience Over the next few weeks, turn the soil with a fork or shovel every couple of weeks. You want to move the materials from the inside to the outside of the pile. Keep the pile moist but avoid allowing it to get soggy. If you need to tent it or cover the pile to avoid rain washing it away, this is a good idea. You can also put all the ingredients into a special container called a compost bin to protect it if you prefer. This will make the best soil for you to grow healthy plants in. Plus, you won’t harm the environment; in fact, you'll improve the environment by avoiding adding more stuff to landfills in the form of kitchen waste, yard trimmings and so forth.

Watering Your Garden the Climate-Friendly Way

Saving water is important to the climate-friendly gardener - whether there is a drought or not. You can conserve water and keep growing in your garden if you use the following tips for watering your garden the climate-friendly way. Start with the Right Soil Pretty much all gardening successes start with using the right soil. You need to build up your soil by testing it and adding to it the nutrients that you need. You’ll want to use a lot of rich compost that you can make yourself. You also need to add mulch and cover your garden between growing seasons to help reduce evaporation and keep down weeds that also compete for water in your garden. Spend the time necessary to improve your soil before you even start planting. Plant Strategically to Fight the Heat You can plant your garden in such a way that you can create microclimates. For example, the right plants planted together can create shade for the soil and reduce water evaporation. Put plants together that need similar amounts of water and that produce abundantly, avoiding water hogs like broccoli and cauliflower. In addition, if you have a particularly hot and sunny area, you can plant trees and shrubs strategically to provide shade and wind blockage, also reducing the need for watering. Use Planting Methods from Native Americans Native Americans plant different plants together based on their water needs and the nutrients put into their system. For example, planting legumes to help boost soil nitrogen levels, and corn which acts as a support for the legumes as they grow up. Then you can also plant squash because the bristles on them protect the corn from earworm and act as shade for the soil. Water When Plants Need Water Time planting when it’s not hot and sunny so that your plants can establish a root system prior to the hot and sunny time. When the roots are deeper into the soil, they’re stronger and can fight against drought easier. Plus, it helps to know what stage your plants are in because their water requirements depend on the time it is. Many gardeners overwater a lot of their crops due to not understanding this. Many vegetables require watering only when they’re flowering or fruiting.

16 Tips for Giving a Successful Interview

There are a number of ways to conduct an interview on your podcast that can contribute to its success. 1. Be organized Know how long the interview will take and how many questions you plan to ask. When inviting your guest, you can then give them an idea of how much of a time and effort commitment they will have to make. 2. Know your guest well Be sure to do research about the person before you invite them, and again once they agree to come on. Make sure you know how to pronounce their name correctly and why they are important in your niche; that is, their major accomplishments. Knowing them will help you formulate questions that will be most relevant to them and therefore to your audience. 3. Ask for a biography This will also help you get to know them. In addition, use it at your site in order to entice people to tune in for that podcast. 4. Template a list of basic questions first Create a list of questions you will ask any guest that appears on your show, so you don’t have to start from scratch every time. Then, dig deeper, with particular questions to ask each guest based on their biography and background. Stay on topic related to their niche. Don’t get personal unless it’s to ask what inspired them to start working in your niche in the first place. 5. Send your questions ahead of time Once you have formulated your list of questions, email it to your guest for pre-approval and preparation. You want the podcast to be spontaneous, but not catch them out with any surprises. This will help your podcast flow much more smoothly. 6. Be clear about the technology requirements If your guest will be coming in to meet you face to face, be sure you have two good microphones and that your recording software is set up for this. If you are interviewing them online, be sure that the technology is compatible and you can hear them at an easily audible level. Practice a couple of times if you can with your guest as a sound check prior to the event, or with a friend. 7. Go online early If you are going to stream a live podcast, get online several minutes early to greet everyone as they come on the line, and test that everyone can hear. If you are calling someone for a one-on-one interview, be ready to call at the appointed time - make sure you are not late. 8. Chat informally to break the ice Greet and thank them for coming or agreeing to participate in the interview. Be polite and help them to feel at ease. 9. Script your introduction Be sure to script your introduction to make sure you cover all the important points, make the guest sound exciting to listen to, and don’t sound too nervous when you start. 10. Stick to the question list Work your way down the list. Don’t jump all over the place. 11. Do follow up on any interesting points If something comes up that sounds like it is really interesting, ask another question about it. 12. Don’t talk over your guest Give them time to speak, and really listen to what they have to say. Don’t interrupt them unless you need them to clarify something they said. Also remember that your guest is the star of the show, so let them take center stage as much as possible. Make sure they have finished speaking before you start again. 13. React to what they have said before going on to the next question Don’t just fire one question after the other. React with sincere expressions of interest, like "Wow, I never knew that", or "Thanks for sharing that, it was so interesting." 14. Keep an eye on the clock Be sure not to overrun your time. 15. Allow time to sell Build in about 2 to 5 minutes to mention whatever products or services you both want to sell. 16. Thank them for coming Successful interviews for your podcast aren’t difficult to conduct if you follow these tried-and-tested tips.

Cloud Computing versus Cloud Storage

Cloud computing provides various IT services in the form of application to the end-user via the internet. Cloud technology is defined as a set of networks, hardware, services, interface and storage that are combined to deliver all aspects of cloud services. Some of the cloud services include infrastructure, delivery of software and virtual storage. Below we will look at the difference between cloud computing and cloud storage. Cloud Computing Cloud computing entails the sharing of software with different computers over the network. That means the software does not necessarily need to be stored on the local machine. A good example is when a computer user wants to write a report but he has not installed Microsoft Word. The user can purchase Microsoft Word service through cloud computing from another computer on the network. Cloud computing is comprised of four characteristics that include elasticity and being able to scale up and down, application programming interfaces, automatic de-provisioning and self-service provisioning, and finally the ability to offer metering and billing of service usage. Cloud computing services have become popular because they are convenient and affordable. With cloud computing, you will be able to keep your contacts, email and calendar. This will also allow you to view your content, edit and share with other devices that you’re using. Google Apps 2013 is one of the cloud computing services that allows the user to view, edit, create and collaborate any office style documents including spreadsheets, presentations and word processor docs. Photos can easily be managed at Picasa and videos can be shared and uploaded through Google Video. Cloud Storage Disasters can be as a result of human or natural causes, and can easily fry your computer. Some of these disasters include floods, fire or power surges, and all can destroy your precious files. Beyond these natural calamities, locally-stored data is faced by many other threats that include hard drive failure, accidental erasures and theft. It’s hard to predict when and where the disaster will strike, but you can now store your data in the cloud through a storage management service. This data storage service will ensure that your files are safely stored and they can be retrieved anytime. Cloud storage can provide unlimited storage at a flat rate fee. This means that the user can store a large number of files since the service will not cap his limit. Cloud storage provides some useful features that make it possible to share and upload files in an easy and convenient way. The service will provide offline syncing, folder sharing and file versioning. With online storage, you will have an opportunity to store digital files and access your data from various devices such as mobile devices and multiple computers. Cloud storage is a powerful service but simple enough for most customer to use. This online storage is supplemented with support and help options. Direct customer support is offered via email, live chat and telephone. Cloud computing technology can be used in different forms that include private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds. This technology can change the way businesses apply technology to serve clients, suppliers and partners. Cloud technology can eliminate many constraints that are common with a traditional computing environment, such as space, power, time and cost.

Top Cloud Storage Services

Cloud computing is becoming very popular in society, even for individuals. People are realizing the merits of going this direction. There are so many possibilities in the cloud and the most significant one is the ability to store files and data safely. This way, no matter where you are in the world, you can access your information as long as you are connected to the internet. Better yet, you can connect to your files using a smartphone. This saves a lot of time and money, making things easier. All this has been made possible by cloud storage services. The following is a look at the top cloud services. It is also worth mentioning that many of the top storage services offer free storage and people who need bigger capacities or space can then purchase it. Google Drive This cloud storage service was launched in 2012 and it is a great way to organize your files in the cloud. Here, you have a chance to share and store spreadsheets, documents, files; the list is long. You can do this in a completely safe manner. Your online file storage is very secure. It is also versatile because you can edit your documents as you desire. The best thing is that you can do this together with your workmates. To begin with, you will have 5GB space to do all your stuff and you can increase your capacity as you wish; the maximum space being 10GB. Chrome, Android, Apple and Mac devices are all supported by this cloud storage service from Google. Dropbox This is one of the most popular cloud storage services and it was launched in 2007. It is a great place to store your files and photos as you like. Share all your documents with your friends as well. To start off, you will have a space of about 2GB and upon successful referral to others, you can increase your space. It is a free service that has gained a lot of popularity in the market. For PC, Mac, Android and more, you will be in a position to use Dropbox without any hassle. Here, you can upload many files without any limit. You will find both desktop and mobile applications. Microsoft SkyDrive This is yet another cloud storage service that is provided by Microsoft. It makes file hosting possible with an initial space of about 7GB. You can store unlimited files and if you need any additional space, you can consider a paid plan as desired. Here, you can expect to find office applications like Excel, Word, One Note, PowerPoint and more. Within a browser, you can create, edit and share documents as you desire without others. There are many options when it comes to cloud storage services. The great news is that you can use these platforms free of charge. It is a chance to see how well you can integrate your business or work to the cloud. If you are pleased, you can roll out a bigger capacity and purchasing plans will be well in order. There is no question that this is the future of the internet. It makes work much easier and saves you lots of time, money and heartache.

Auto Insurance Advice That Anyone Can Follow

Many places will offer to give you the best auto insurance information available. This is just not the case. Some places offer you poor or useless information. Luckily, we have compiled here some of the top auto insurance tips you can get anywhere. Read the following tips for the best results. Knowing what coverage you have with car insurance can help you to understand what exactly you're paying for. Things like collision coverage can cover damages to your car but only up to its book value. This kind of insurance carries a deductible. Your premium will be higher if you choose a low deductible. Saving money on auto insurance does not have to be a difficult thing, especially if you are loyal to the same company. Most policies are only for a term of around a year, so make sure you re-up with the same company. If you show loyalty to the insurer, you will be rewarded with lower monthly premium payments. A lot of people have speeding and parking tickets that they're not even aware of until they attempt to get a new auto insurance policy. To avoid this money trap, be sure to check with your local state office to receive a copy of your full driving record. This will let you know if there are any unpaid tickets you need to handle. Insurance companies offer a wide range of coverage and services that go beyond what is legally required. You will have a higher premium with these, but they may be worth it. One important coverage to carry is coverage that protects you from uninsured motorists. People with clean driving records, will pay the least in auto insurance premiums. Keep your record clear of tickets, moving violations, and accident reports if you want to lower your premium or keep it inexpensive. A single accident or ticket will likely increase the amount you have to pay. If you have an alarm system or immobilizer installed on your car, your premium may be reduced. Prevention from theft has a main role in calculating your insurance coverage. To further reduce your premium, you can install a tracker. This will provide more theft protection resulting in an even lower premium. Never inflate your vehicle's value when you sign up for insurance. Doing this only costs you more money, in the form of higher premiums. In the case that you would need a replacement vehicle, the insurance company would only use their value for your original car, not what you initially quoted them. For older vehicles, remove comprehensive and collision coverage. These options are best saved for newer vehicles, as they pay for repairs and damages caused by accidental damage and other issues. If you remove them, your premiums will be much cheaper and you will still be covered in the event of an accident. The above is solid information for you to take into your future dealings with car insurance. Remember, it is not as complex as you may think. Educate yourself, and you have all the tools you need for success. These tips will assist you in any auto insurance situation when you keep them in mind.

The Best Advice On Working With Home Mortgages

Pursuing a mortgage is almost like a right of passage for adults. When the time comes to move from renter, or parents' home dweller, to home owner, you need to do some research. For example, the article below gives you some handy pointers which will assist you in the mortgage search process. Before trying to get a mortgage approval, find out your credit score. Mortgage lenders can deny a loan when the borrower has a low credit score caused by late payments and other negative credit history. If your credit score is too low to qualify for a mortgage loan, clean up your credit, fix any inaccuracies and make all your payments on time. There are loans available for first time home buyers. These loans usually do not require a lot of money down and often have lower interest rates than standard mortgages. Most first time home buyer loans are guaranteed by the government; thus, there is more paperwork needed than standard mortgage applications. Avoid fudging the numbers on your loan application. It is not unusual for people to consider exaggerating their salary and other sources of income to qualify for a larger home loan. Unfortunately, this is considered froud. You can actually be criminally prosecuted, even though it doesn't seem like a big deal. Know your credit score before going in to get a mortgage. Your potential lender will do their own homework on this, but you should arm yourself with the intel as well. Knowledge is power in terms of the negotiations to follow. If you aren't clear on your strengths and weaknesses, then a lender can more easily use the knowledge against you. Get mortgage loan estimates from at least three different mortgage lenders and three different banks. By shopping around, you may get a lower interest rate, pay fewer points and save money on closing costs. It's almost always preferable to get a fixed interest rate. With variable rates, you may not know from month to month what your mortgage payment will be. Always read the fine print before you sign a home mortgage contract. There are many things that could be hidden inside of the contract that could be less than ideal. This contract is important for your financial future so you want to be sure that you know exactly what you are signing. When you decide to apply for a mortgage, make sure you shop around. Before deciding on the best option for you, get estimates from three different mortgage brokers and banks. Although, interest rates are important, there are other things you should consider also such as closing costs, points and types of loans. You should look around to find a low interest rate. The bank's goal is to lock in the highest rates they can. Don't let yourself be a victim of this. Make sure you do some comparison shopping so you know your options. Whether you are moving out of your parents' basement or an apartment you've lived in for a decade, the time is now to become a home owner. As home prices continue to increase, you'll see your investment grow. Use the tips you've read today to help you find a great mortgage soon.

Change Your Lifestyle To Lose Weight For Good

Although it may seem like a long, arduous process, a little determination and patience can go a long way when it comes to weight loss. Maintaining a healthy weight has several benefits, including decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Read this article for some tips on how to lose weight and keep it off. Have soup for supper when you are working at losing weight. Since this is the last meal of the day, it is important to keep the calories lower because your activity level is reduced at night. Soup has such a high content of water that it fills you up with fewer calories than other foods. Just be careful to avoid creamy soups or ones with high sodium content. Diets don't work all the time. Instead of starting a fad diet, watch what you eat. Make small changes, one at a time and go from that point. You will start to lose pounds when you cut out foods or drinks that are not healthy for you. If you want to get a handle on weight loss, it's important to understand the concept of nutrient density. Traditionally, nutrient density has been spoken of in terms of nutrients per unit of weight or volume, i.e. calories per ounce, etc. Of far more use, however, is to think of the nutrient density in terms of nutrients per CALORIE. Measured by that standard, a head of romaine lettuce, which has about 100 calories, is many times more loaded with nutrients per calorie than almost any other food. It's just that most of us don't think of eating an entire head of romaine lettuce. These findings, based on research suggest that focusing on the most nutrient-dense foods (by calorie, not by weight) will help people lose the greatest amount of weight. To keep from overindulging when eating out, plan what you're going to eat ahead of time. When you look at a menu, it's easy to be tempted by the fatty appetizers or high calorie deserts. Instead, decide on what you want and avoid spending time on the menu. Make sure to pick something you enjoy so you aren't tempted by the meals of the people you're dining with. To aid in your weight loss, then look to the color blue. Blue, as a tranquil color, works as an appetite suppressant. You could use a blue tablecloth, eat off blue plates, or even dress in blue. Stay away from colors like red, yellow or orange because these will increase your appetite. To avoid being hungry while on a diet, split up your calories into as many small meals and snacks as you can. If you eat the same 1500 calories broken up into six small meals, you will be less hungry than if you eat 500 calories at each of just three meals. It is important to realize that there will always be setbacks in weight loss. You will not be able to lose weight every single day. Some days your body may retain water or your metabolism may not have burned as quickly that day. It does not mean that you should give up on your weight loss goal. A great way to help you lose weight is to hop on the elliptical machine at your gym. The elliptical machine burns more calories when compared to other machines, such as, the recumbent bike or even the stationary bike. The elliptical machine is also low impact, so you aren't putting that much strain on your joints. Whether you want to lose weight to feel better about yourself or to become healthier, maintaining an appropriate way is very good for your health. Simply exercising and changing your diet can help you become slimmer. Remember the tips in this article if you would like to lose weight and keep it off.

Google Adsense For Blog Monetization

Chapter 1 Adsense Money AdSense is Google’s program which allows you to sell space on your website to host other people’s advertisements. Hosting AdSense ads on your website or blog is completely 100% free to you as the host and a great way to earn some money. How do you earn money with Google’s AdSense? Simple, every time someone clicks on an AdSense ad on your blog Google pays you. Someone clicking on your ad is called “click through.” Your visitor is clicking through your webpage to another webpage via the AdSense link on your website. Google pays you for these click through visitors because their advertising has successfully reached a visitor on your blog. You get paid because you agreed to host the ads and you provided good content which got a targeted ad and a resulting click on that ad. AdSense is a very popular way to monetize a blog because it is simple to set-up and use, especially on a blog which is hosted by Blogger. Why? The answer to that is simple; Google owns both Blogger and AdSense so the two have been programmed to work very well together. Google wants you to host their AdSense ads on your blog so they have made it very easy for you to ad the ad blocks, and has made it simple to make them look great and blend in with the theme of your blog as well. They understand this makes for a higher click through ratio and want to help work with you to earn as much revenue for both of you as possible. AdSense is also very popular because it makes you money without you having to go out and find your own advertisers for your site. Imagine all of the work you would have to go through to find other businesses to advertise their products that would interest your specific visitors on your website. Rather than you having to go out and find other companies to advertise on your website Google brings them there for you to advertise on your site. This saves you loads of time and has the potential to make you loads of cash in the process. It also brings your blog some seriously high quality advertisers. Most all of the biggest companies in the world advertise through Google! AdSense is intuitive, meaning that it reads your website or blog and then chooses ads which are relevant to the content it has found. This means that if you have a blog on cats, then AdSense will not put ads about working at home on your blog. The AdSense ads are great because they will be relevant to your topic and content which means you have a better chance of your readers clicking on them. How AdSense works is that if, for example, you have a blog about dogs, AdSense will place ads for things like pet supplies, dog training and other relevant goods and services likely to get the visitors of your blog to click on them. You will not see ads on a dog themed website for irrelevant things like weight loss products or make tons of money at home stuffing envelopes schemes. The ads will fit the topics you are writing about. What additionally makes AdSense ads great is that they can be made to blend in with the theme and look of your website or blog. This makes them less “ad” looking and they genuinely look like a totally natural part of your blog. While visitors to your website or blog don’t want to see blatant advertisements, they see the AdSense ads more as a part of your content or other links. This is good for two reasons. Number one, you do not want to appear to be trying to make money from your readers of your blog. Number two, your blog does not end up cluttered looking with a bunch of very obvious looking advertisements. You do not want your visitors to see a bunch of billboard type ads but rather ads which blend in with both your blogs colors and topic. AdSense does this very well and by using Blogger to host your blog the process is very simple. AdSense does not allow you to select the specific ads which appear on your site, but it does an amazing job of keeping them in line with the content on your site. AdSense also allows you to exclude ads from your direct competitors on your website if for some reason they happen to appear on your site. If for example you have a blog on which you sell your own goat cheese, the last thing you want in advertising is your competitor who also sells goat cheese coming up on the ads. Google understands this and allows you to easily exclude those ads from your AdSense ads. This is done on the AdSense console and we will cover that later in this eBook. How Does AdSense Know What Ads to Send? The AdSense engine at Google sends its bot, called Googlebot, out to visit your site on a regular basis to examine your pages. This bot is simply a program which reads your pages. Googlebot looks at your key words, the structure and formatting on your web pages, the native language of your site, etc… Using the information gathered by the Googlebot, Google then sends AdSense ads to your site which are the most likely to entice your visitors to click on them. The Googlebot will even tell AdSense if your blog is in a language other than English, so that your ads come to you in the language of your site. It wouldn’t be very good to see English ads on a Spanish site or vice versa. AdSense is available in many languages and regions around the world. And, the ads you will receive on your blog will be from your own region and in your native language. The longer your website is up, and the more you are scanned by the Googlebot, the more tightly matched the ads become to your content. At first the bot might misunderstand the meaning of your blog if you have not done a great job of using lots of relevant keywords. If you have a blog about coffee yet you talk a lot about your children in your blog message posts, then you might end up with ads which would interest readers of a children’s blog. If you want to monetize your blog it is important to stay on topic, most of the time, so that the Googlebot reads your blog and serves up the ads which you want to show up on your site. Knowing what standards Google is looking for on your website with their Googlebot, and keeping your blog to be compliant with those standards, makes AdSense work it’s best for you. For some unknown reason AdSense prefers pages with lots of text and not too many graphics. Googlebot also sees larger or bold text as having more importance than regular text. This means that posting large and bold key words can help AdSense zero in on the subject of your blog better. It also means that you will want to keep the photos and graphics to a minimum and make sure you stay on topic a large percentage of the time. If you want to have a blog with a lot of photos you might consider starting a second blog and hosting them all there and then link the two blogs together. One valuable tip for all bloggers is to make sure you start all of your blog posts with a large, bold, title at the beginning of the text section of each blog message post. It is very quick and simple to do this and yet it is very effective with AdSense. If your blog is about frogs and you mention frogs in your title and then again as a bold title at the beginning of your blog message post, the Googlebot can better understand that your blog is about frogs. Taking the time to do this simple thing will insure that the Googlebot understands more quickly what your blog is about and serves you up relevant AdSense ads. It also looks natural to your readers and isn’t distracting to them. It is also less time consuming than dealing with special tag words or any other search engine games bloggers play. Another good tip with AdSense is to make sure you use your topic’s keywords often in your blog post titles, and use them again within the content of your posts as well. For example, if you have a blog about chickens you will want to make sure your post titles mention the word “chicken” in them. You will also want to make sure you mention chickens, eggs, and other related words as much as possible within your posted messages. The more you can post relevant titles and content loaded with keywords, the better AdSense will work for you and send you relevant ads. You have a much higher click through rate for ads which are relevant to the topic of your blog. Think about the times you have clicked on the Google AdSense ads on a website you were visiting. Generally speaking, was it for something related to the topic you were already reading about? Of course it was. However, all of that being said, you do not want to overload your posted messages with keywords. Your reader wants to know that you publish your blog for them to read, not to make money from them. By posting a sentence which reads; “the chickens in my chicken coop are working on having more chickens in the spring...” looks like a sentence I tried to use the word “chicken” in as much as possible. There is definitely a balance to be struck between pleasing your readers and pleasing the Googlebot who serves your AdSense ads on your website. Instead of stuffing in those keywords try making more sentences or using them in the title and adding a bit more text to your message posts. You also do not want it to appear that you set-up your blog with a bunch of keywords simply for AdSense. You also do not want to copy content from free sites like wikipedia and then paste them into your blog. These blogs are called splogs (short for spam blogs) and doing this can get you kicked-off of AdSense and Blogger as well. You need a blog with good original content, not just a bunch of keywords. By creating a splog you can get a high search engine ranking temporarily but why would readers want to visit or return to your blog if all it offers them is some keyword garbage and ads to click on? It can take a bit of time for the Googlebot to visit your website and determine what its main topic is. If your website is new to AdSense, Google will not guess about your topic, it will simply place ads on your blog for charities or public service announcements as to not waste the advertising dollars of its AdWord clients. This is good for you the blogger as well. The last thing you want to do is to see ads on your blog which have nothing to do with its topic. By putting up the neutral ads Google has solved this problem. Where do the Ads Come From? It is logical that at this point you might be wondering where the advertisements Google puts on your site come from. Google has another program called AdWords where businesses and individuals can pay to advertise their websites via AdSense. These companies and individuals are assured by doing this that the websites their advertisements end up on will be relevant to the goods and services which they want to sell. Just as AdSense saves you time in looking for advertisers for your site, AdWords saves a lot of time, energy and money for those businesses who want to advertise on relevant sites without having to go out themselves and search for the sites to host their ads. Using the AdWords program, businesses and individuals buy AdSense advertisements in large blocks by bidding on them. Generally a business will pay for 500-1000 ads at a time. Based on their specified keywords, a business allows AdSense to put their ads on sites which would likely interest people who would be their potential customers. For the example above of the chicken blog, if you were a hatchery, or a supplier of chicken accessories, then you would want ads placed on blogs such as the above one for chickens. This is exactly what AdWords and AdSense do. And, they do it very well for both the advertiser and the host of the ads. The hatchery wants to find chicken lovers and the blog about chickens is the place it can easily find them. The blog wants ads which will appeal to chicken lovers, and the hatchery is one of those ads. Just as AdSense can be a good way to make money from advertising, AdWords can be a good way to advertise your business or even your own blog! If you are looking at driving targeted traffic to a website what better way than to use AdWords where it will place ads on similar websites to yours? There simply is no easier way. If you have a blog on a unique topic and are struggling to bring it traffic, you can buy AdWords advertising and your blog link will show up on similar sites to yours, and this will bring you added traffic. From this added traffic you will get more clicks on your AdSense ads and will likely make more money from those than you paid to advertise with AdWords. Using AdSense for Monetization Many websites and blogs use AdSense to monetize their sites. AdSense is good for monetization because it tailors the ads to your site content. AdSense also allows you to sell space on your site by setting it up once and then not having think much about it ever again, other than tweaking a bit the location and side of the AdSense ad blocks themselves on your site. Passive income is always the best form of income to have because it frees you up to be working on other things and sits there in the background making you money. If you spend a bit of time placing the AdSense ad boxes on your site when you build it, and then keep your titles and content inline with the topic of your blog, you can make money with AdSense without much further thought. AdSense is a great source of passive income. Passive income is very important and valuable. Passive income is money which you receive without having to do daily work for it. It is simply something you set-up once and then sit back and collect your money from it over time. One way to publish a successful monetized blog is to find a blog topic which is fairly unique. Find a unique topic means you do not have a lot of websites to compete with in the search engines. By doing this you can generate a lot of natural visitors through search engine listings and then from those visitors a lot of clicks on your AdSense ads as well. There are entire books written on how to find “the” topic to publish the best monetized blog. However, the easiest way is to simply search for topics that interest you and see how many page hits sites like Google return; the lower the number, the better the topic. Understand however, that everything you search will have a ton of hits. Any search with results lower than about a two million is probably a great option for a blog topic. Any search over about ten million is probably not the best topic to choose. Trying to get good search engine rankings with a topic like chickens is much easier than trying to get a high ranking with a topic like computers. With a topic of computers there are literally millions of websites; some are very large sites, dedicated to the topic. All of whom you will have to compete with for rankings! Why try and compete with IBM and Dell when you can simply find something easier to blog on? It just doesn’t make sense to try. Stick to the lesser keywords and you will see better traffic and AdSense income. Rules of AdSense When you sign up for Google’s AdSense, you will be asked to agree to their “Terms of Service” agreement. This is one agreement which you should read and make sure you fully understand everything on it. Google has very specific rules as to what you can and cannot do with their AdSense ads. And Google is very serious about their rules. For instance you are prohibited from asking your readers to click on the AdSense links. You are totally prohibited from clicking on the links on your own sites. You are also prohibited from putting Google AdSense links in pop-ups, pop-unders, or websites with any type of pornographic material. You are only permitted three AdSense boxes per website page. By understanding the terms of the AdSense agreement it will go a long way towards helping you to stay both ethical and profitable with their program. Ignoring their terms of service will only cause you problems and likely get you kicked off of the program forever. Google tracks websites which are created with a bunch of junk content specifically to get AdSense clicks. Google does not like splogs and goes after them with a vengeance even encouraging other bloggers to report them when they find them online. These sites generally copy content from other websites or free content sites, and then post it on their site solely for AdSense revenue. This is against Google’s policy and they will pull their ads from these sites when they find them. As an ethical blogger this is actually a good thing for you and your success because it can keep the splogs from getting higher search rankings than your real and valid blog which you put your time into creating and keeping up to date. AdSense for Search Google also offers a companion program to AdSense which is called “AdSense for Search.” The AdSense for Search program allows you to host a Google search box on your website or blog. When a visitor to your website searches via that search box you will be paid if they go on to purchase something online from the search. In other words, Google does not pay you for the search itself, but does pay you from any revenue earned from the search which originated on your website. AdSense for Search can be a great income generator for you. Assume for a moment that your blog is about appliance repair. Someone finds your site that is looking for information on the problem they are having with their washing machine. You have a Google Search box on your blog. After the visitor is done reading what you have suggested the problem might be, they decide to go on to search for a new washing machine. Maybe you had a review on your blog of a good washer they might consider buying. If they buy this washing machine from the search then you will get part of the revenue from that purchase because the search started on your blog. How entirely cool is that? All you did was simply host a search box on your blog! How Much Money Can I Make from AdSense? So, this all sounds easy so far and you want to know how much money you can earn through AdSense and AdSense for Search, right? The answer to that question is that it depends. Sorry, I know that’s not a great answer, or the one you were likely hoping to hear, but that’s the best answer anyone can ever give you. Anyone who gives you a different answer is lying to you! Google does not release how much it pays for various clicks. The money you can make from AdSense and AdSense for Search depends largely on the volume of traffic to your site and how often you get clicks on the Google ads. Obviously the more traffic to your site then the more potential clicks you will receive. No one knows how many visitors you will have an no one can tell you how many of those visitors will click on your ads. It is simply impossible to know. What most people do know for sure about AdSense is that some clicks pay you mere cents and others pay a few dollars for a single click. It all depends on the specific topic and very specific keywords for the ads. For obvious reasons, Google does not release which clicks pay more and which pay less. This is one of those things you have to try and guess about. The single absolute best thing you can do to insure that you make the most amount of money possible with AdSense is to set-up a quality blog with a good topic, post quality information on it regularly, and promote it to get the maximum visitors possible. Using this model you will make the most money possible from AdSense without having to play games with Google or your readers. Chapter 2 How To Work With Google Once you have your blog created in Blogger, signing up for AdSense is a very easy thing for you to do. The first thing you will want to do is go to the AdSense Console located online at: https://www.google.com/adsense/ On the AdSense starting page you will want to click on the “Click Here to Apply” button. Clicking on the “Apply” button will take you to a second sign-up screen where you will enter the URL of your blog, your name, address, phone number and the other usual basic information about yourself. You will also have to check the boxes agreeing that you will not ever click on your own Google AdSense ads, that you will not put ads on sites which include incentives to click on the ads, that you will not place ads on sites with any pornographic content, that you can have checks made out in your own name, and that you have read and agree to the AdSense Program Policies. Remember to take the time here to read and understand the Program Policies! The last selection, the AdSense Program Policies, is very important for you to read and make sure you fully understand it. Google is very vigilant about compliance to their rules and regulations when it comes to AdSense. You cannot ever click on your own ads, you cannot ask your readers to click on the ads hosted on your sites, and you need to understand where you can place the ads and where you cannot. Understanding the AdSense policies and rules will potentially save you a lot of hassle in the future. Once you have applied to host AdSense on your blog you will be asked to confirm your request via the e-mail address you have provided on your application. To do this, simply open your e-mail client, and click on the link to confirm that you did indeed apply for AdSense in the message Google has sent to you. This step insures Google that you are who you say you are. Once you have confirmed your request by clicking on the e-mail link you were sent, then you will need to wait to be approved by Google. Google generally takes about two to three business days to get back to you. Generally AdSense is approved for anyone who applies. They are mostly just making sure you have the site which you say you do and that you do not have another AdSense account already. They are not really looking at your site itself and what’s on it. Even if your blog has a single post on it that’s fine and they will approve you for AdSense hosting. During the waiting period there is nothing you can do with AdSense other than think about where you would like their ads to show up on your blog. Because of this waiting period, it is best to apply for AdSense right after you have created your blog – even if you have yet to post a single message to it. After you have applied then the first thing you should do is make a post to your blog so that Google can see you are making a blog and what it is basically about for the approval process. Once You Are Approved for AdSense Once your blog has been approved to host AdSense ads on it, you will want to add in the three blocks of ads into your Blogger template. How and where you do this is vitally important as to how well you will generate income from AdSense. You want the ads to blend in with your template and you want them to not look like obvious ads to your readers. Reading the terms and conditions of AdSense you find that you are allowed to host three separate AdSense ad blocks per website. For a Blogger blog, you will want one at the top of the page, one within your message text and another on the sidebar with your links. These have been proven locations for many bloggers and are generally the known preferred places for anyone who wishes to make money from AdSense. Your number one goal with these three ad blocks is to make them blend in with the rest of your blog and not appear to your readers as ads. Google has helped you out with this by providing you with the ability to “blend” your ads with your chosen template. To do this you will go to the Dashboard in Blogger and click on Settings -> AdSense. Notice where it says “Blend Template” under “Select Colors,” this is the selection you will always want to use! It is very important to have your AdSense ads blend in with the rest of your content. While other colors might look better, people will not click on them as often if they scream “ads” to them. Better to stick with what has worked for other bloggers and just blend the ads into your template. To the left of that is the “Select Ad Format” drop-down box. This allows you choose the size of your AdSense ad block. The size of the block you choose will be determined by where you want the AdSense ads to appear on your blog and how you want them to look arranged on the page. AdSense Block Locations You will want to place all three blocks which Google allows you to have onto your blog. The best location to place the first ad block is at the top of your message. In the “Select Ad Format” field choose the “468 x 15 Horizontal Row” format. This format will blend in nicely with your blog and will appear as if it were a menu bar of a traditional website. Google will automatically place this ad block for you at the top of your blog. Leave it where Google puts it. For your second AdSense block you will want to place it on the sidebar of your blog. (You will need to generate this code using the AdSense Console, which I will show you how to easily do, in the next chapter of this eBook.) Generally, right under your “links” section is a good place to put this second block. If you choose the same font and text size as your links you can make your AdSense look just like additional links for your blog. To ad in this block choose a vertical rectangle, whichever works best for the space you have, and paste content you will put it in the reader’s view enough that they will invariably click on the links. This can be the most profitable place of all for AdSense ads to appear. If you do not like the ad block in your posted message area, consider adding it in right above the footer of your posted messages. By adding the ad block here your readers will see the links and assume you are offering them suggested reading on the same subject of your message. And remember, the more they look like your recommendations, the more your readers will respond and click on them! And ultimately the more clicks you get the more money you will make. Graphics and AdSense Another good AdSense money making trick of experienced bloggers is to add a picture or graphic file directly above the Google AdSense ads. Google requires you to have a border separating the image from the ads and to make them not look like they belong together. However, by placing the ads directly under the graphic your reader’s eye is drawn to the graphic and then naturally to the ads. This can be one of the most effective ways to place AdSense on your blog! Just make sure you adhere to Google’s requirement that you clearly separate the ads from the graphics. Chapter 3 Your Control Center Once you have created an AdSense account and added your ad blocks to your blog, you will want to learn a bit about the AdSense Console, what it is and what it can do for you. To logon to your AdSense Console simply go online to: https://www.google.com/adsense/ Enter your e-mail and password for AdSense, which you used previously to create your AdSense account. AdSense Report Tab The AdSense Console is very easy to use. The first page you see is the “Overview” page of the “Reports” tab. Here you will find the number of page impressions your blog has had, the number of clicks on your ads, your page click-through rate, and your earnings. You can view today, this week, last week, all time, etc… Using this simple overview you can start to adjust your ad block locations and see if your revenue improves or declines based on the location of your ad blocks. One good thing you can try here is to look at your click through rate for a day. Move your ads and then see if your click through improves or declines. Look at the content on various days and find out if one topic seems to get you better click through than another. If so then you might want to create more content based on those keywords. Your goal is the highest click through rate possible. As you can see in the graphic above, Google holds AdSense payments until you have reached a total of $100 and have specifically told Google how to pay you. This helps to keep Google’s overhead down and your earning potential higher. In addition to various simple to use reports, Google offers you a Site Diagnostics page. This site will alert you if there is anything on your site that the Googlebot has issues with. It is a good idea to view this from time to time and make sure everything is okay with your site. AdSense Setup Tab The AdSense Setup tab located in the AdSense Console allows you to create the customized text blocks you will need to paste into your Blogger template, get the code for AdSense for Search, and also an AdSense referral button which you can put on your blog to generate income through referring other sites to use AdSense on their own sites. From the “AdSense Setup” tab you can easily generate the code for your ad blocks, change the colors and look of your ad blocks, update your channels and use the “Competitive Ad Filter” to filter out any ads from you competitor websites which may be showing up in your AdSense ad blocks. My Account Tab Under the “My Account” tab you will simply find your personal and financial information. This is where you would update your payment choices or address, e-mail account, etc… Need More Help With AdSense? One of the best things about Google is that they assume everyone needs some clear helpful explanations and easy to navigate help pages. They have done an excellent job of creating their “Help” pages with regard to AdSense. Reading the help screens in AdSense can help you to get the most out of the program with your blog. It is well worth taking some time to familiarize yourself with these pages and the information contained within them. Chapter 4 Generating More Adsense Money Forum Signature Files One way to increase traffic to your blog is to post messages on internet forums. An internet forum is simply a message board where people gather to talk and form their own online communities. There are forums on just about any topic you can think of. Seriously, you would be surprised what topics you can find forums on! You can find forums on anything from childbirth to finance, from politics to world history, and literally every other topic in between. Most online forums allow you to have a personalized signature file. Within this personal signature file you can generally put a link to your blog, a link to a website you own or frequent, your name, the city you live in, or any other basic information you choose to have visible to anyone who reads the forum messages. When you post a message on the forum, your signature file will automatically post the information you entered into it, at the bottom of each of the messages you post. Using a signature on forums can be a great way to get people to come and read your blog while being able to reach your target market easily. What you will want to do first is to sign-up for forums which either relate directly to your topic, or where people with similar interests to your topic hang-out online, and then include the link back to your blog in your signature file. You want to make sure to only post good quality and more important relevant messages to the topic of the forum. You should aim to become a valuable participant in the forum. If your messages add value to the forum for the other community readers, and you get to know some of the other posters and build an online friendship, then they will likely check-out your blog and start reading it. When they find that they like your blog they will also post messages on their favorite forums about it and bring you more readers. They will begin to advertise your blog for you. What’s better than some passive advertising? Nothing! What you do not want to ever do is join a forum and simply post about how great your blog is and how everyone should check it out. This is considered spamming and will result in you being banned from most forums, and might even get your blog itself shut-down. You will not gain any meaningful traffic from doing this. All you will do is irritate people and possibly get some nice rude comments added to your blog. People will not check out your blog because you say it is great. Finding Forums of Interest Finding forums which are relevant to the topic of your blog is a very easy thing to do. Suppose for a moment that you have a blog with a topic of “trout fishing.” You can simply go to www.google.com, or any other search engine you prefer to use, and type in “trout fishing +forum” and you get back 258,000 possible locations to visit for forums relating to trout fishing. The list which Google returns to you will include some duplicates and some other junk, but you will also find that there are more trout fishing forums than you ever imagined! Because of the way search engines work, you will find that the most popular forums will show towards the top of the search result pages. Those are probably the best to join and get to know people in. Because they have a high search engine ranking tells you that they have a large membership and a good grasp of the topic of your interest. They are the most likely places where people who enjoy trout fishing are hanging out online. As well as searching for “trout fishing,” you might also consider searching for other topics which would be of interest to other people who trout fish. Some of these topics might include subjects like backpacking, camping, fishing, fly fishing, hiking, outdoor life, outdoor recreation, living off the land, etc… Think about all of the other things you are interested in and think about whether or not others who trout fish would also be interested in those things. From there you can come up with relevant words to search and a whole new batch of forums to introduce yourself on and participate in. If you think outside the box a bit you can come up with unlimited options of where to share links to your blog. The more ideas you can come up with then the more readers you can bring to your blog. The more readers to your blog then the more potential AdSense clicks and the more money in your bank account. E-Mail Signature Files Most every e-mail client these days offers you the ability to create a signature file. Even free e-mail accounts, such as Yahoo or Hotmail, allow you to create a signature file. Exactly the same as on an online message board or forum, this signature file is attached to each and every message you send out from your e-mail account. Think of all the people you send e-mail to each day and all of the possible new blog readers you can gain from this one simple signature file. If you attach a link to your blog in every e-mail message you send out people will invariably click on it whether it has to do with what you e-mailed them about or not. People are very curious creatures and they want to know what’s up with other people and what they are thinking. Your blog allows them into your brain a bit, so they will click on the link to your blog and look it over. These e-mail contacts may be potential blog readers who you would not have reached with online advertising in any other way. Using signature files allows you to easily reach a large variety of people yet not spend more than the couple minutes it takes to initially set up the signature file itself. And, if you have a good quality blog then it is entirely possible these new readers will pass along your link to all the people they know as well. If you have multiple blogs and multiple e-mail accounts you can put links to all of your blogs in the signature files of each e-mail account or your can put one link per account. Try to think what will generate you the most traffic to the specific blogs you choose. You should always take the time to promote your own blogs and your own sites through your other blogs and sites; even if they are not directly related to each other. Your goal for any blog or website should always be to have the most visitors possible and you can do this through promoting your sites wherever you can both online and off. Back-links Bring Traffic to Your Blog One of the best ways to bring up your search engine rankings, and bring traffic to your blog, is by having a lot of back-links. A back-link is a link on someone else’s website to your blog. There are many ways to get back-links to your blog, you can write and submit articles to directories and other websites, you can write and submit a press release online, or you can simply post comments on other blogs which will then link back to your blog. Other ways to get back-links is to link all of your blog to one another and to link up with other blogger’s sites for the mutual benefit of all of you. Article Submissions There are many places online where you can submit a short (400-600 word) non-fiction article about something you know. This article could be your first blog posting, it could be something you come up with just to post on an article directory website, or it could be an article you have someone else ghostwrite and then publish under your own name. This is one time where having other people write for you probably isn’t a bad thing. As long as the article is good and sound it really doesn’t matter if it was written by you or a ghostwriter you hired to write it. Submitting an article to an online article directory is free, simple, and easy. Simply turn one of your blog posts into an article which can stand alone, and then submit it to the article directory of your choice. (Some popular ones are articlealley.com, contentdesk.com, ezinearticles.com and goarticles.com.) There are also automated submission programs you can use to submit your articles to many article sites all at one time. Attached to your article will be a “byline.” Your byline will contain information about you and a link to your blogs and other websites. You could have your byline read something like “Jane Smith is a programmer by day and blogs on horses at night. See her amazing programming website at www.iprogram.com and read her blog at www.besthorseblog.com.” This example byline just created two back-links for every time you publish the article; one to the programming site and another to the horse blog. If you post this article five times on the web you have ten back-links to your sites. Also, many article sites allow you to publish non-exclusive rights articles on their sites. This means that you are free to post the same article on other article sites as well. Each time you submit the article you build links to your site. In addition, other bloggers and webmasters will link to these articles on their own relevant sites and that creates even more links for your site as well. By submitting articles to article directory websites you can build links easily to your site to increase your search engine rankings. Press Release Submissions If you were to start a small home business, one way to receive free advertising for it would be to send a press release to your local newspapers. Online there are a few press release websites where you can submit a free press release about your new blog or website. (The two most popular are prweb.com and prfree.com.) To make a press release, simply write up a short statement about how awesome your newly launched site is and post it on the free press release websites. Make sure to have a link to your site in your press release and you have just created one additional back-link for each site you submitted your press release to. Press releases are a great way to get links without a lot of work. They can be short and to the point. Blog Directory Submissions Just as there are directories online for e-mail address, phone numbers, and other information, there are also directories which contain blog listings. These blog directories are websites where people can go to find a whole list of blogs on any specific topic of interest to them. The search this directory, just like a search engine, and the results page is one of blogs which are on their topic. Submitting your blogs to directories will help you to get both back-links and more readers to your blog. Both results will help with your search engine rankings as well as your AdSense ad revenue. Comment on Other Blogs Another way to create back-links to your blog is to post comments onto other people’s blogs and websites. If you leave quality comments then people just might want to find out what else you have to say on your own blog. If you leave comments on another Blogger blog, then your account will show up and your comments with automatically link back to your own blog. Readers of the blog will read your comments and click on your link to see what your blog is all about. Some people will post a short message about enjoying a blog and then ask the blogger to check out their own blog and include the link to their own website. By simply leaving a spam message of “hey check out my blog” you will likely irritate people and not gain readers. Leave quality information and people are much more likely to check out your blog. You always want to make sure you are adding value to the web, not just out advertising your own blog to make money. Team Up With Other Bloggers Teaming up with other bloggers can be a great way to get links to your blog. You can have a one-way back-link to your website, or you can have reciprocal links. A reciprocal like is where you link to someone’s site and they link back to yours in exchange. Search engines prefer back-links over reciprocal links, but any link is better than none. And, the more links to your blog, ultimately the better. Many bloggers have formed what is called a “blogroll.” A blogroll is a list of links to other blogs with similar topics of interest. This allows blogs to have back-links to them and also allows you to advertise your blog to the readers of all of the similar blogs. Blogrolls can be a great way to get new readers to your blog and to raise your search engine rankings at the same time. Another thing bloggers will often do is trade posting message with another blogger. This trade of message posts is called “guest blogging.” Suppose for a moment that I have a successful blog on work at home opportunities. Another blogger who I found online has a blog on stay at home parents. We could trade posts where I would allow her guest post on my blog about stay at home parents in exchange for my guest posting about work at home opportunities on her blog. We swap “guest” posts and each includes a byline with a link back to our own blog or website. I have a back-link and she has one as well. By teaming up with other bloggers and guest blogging in this way you can have access to the loyal readers of another blog and they will have access to your blog. Because, in the example above, our blogs do not directly compete with each other for readers, we can be an added service to each other and to our respective readers. We can both build up our readership and also create some links to our site at the same time. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved in it. Finding other bloggers to guest blog with is not difficult. If you take the time to develop a good blog, with quality content, then other bloggers with good quality blogs will want to exchange links and posts with you. The better your blog, the better guest opportunities you will have! Chapter 5 Even More Exposure How Does a Search Engine Work? Before we can talk about search engine optimization you need to know and understand the very basics of how a search engine works. While the process is very mathematical and way more complex than most people care to know about, I will try and give you a very simple explanation. A search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc… sends a “spider” to a new website. This spider is simply a bit of code, or a program if you will, which “crawls” the website. Crawling the website is simply a matter of copying the pages and then downloading a copy of them to the search engine’s web server. Once the site has been crawled by the spider, the search engine then indexes the information from the pages it now has copies of. The indexing is all about keywords, tags, and what the site itself is all about. When you go to www.google.com and put in a keyword to search for, your “search results” page is based in the indexed pages from this process. So, a search engine basically sends a spider to your pages, crawls them, copies them down to their own server, indexes the information on them, and then uses their index when someone does a search. It’s not really that simplistic of a process, but as far as what most of us need to know that is basically what happens. Search Engine Optimization Once you have your blog established and are working to get the most traffic to visit it as possible, you will invariably hear about search engine optimization, or as it is commonly referred to - SEO. While search engine optimization sounds pretty daunting, it really is a pretty simple process to understand. Being mindful of SEO can bring your blog more visitors, and thus generate more income for you by those visitors clicking on your AdSense ads. This eBook will cover the basics on SEO, but know that just like the actual workings of a search engine; entire books can be written on the topic! And, as an added frustration, the search engines do not release exactly how they process their information and index. This means that everyone trying to optimize their sites for the search engines is doing a fair amount of guessing and trial and error to see what works for them. When looking for something specific online you invariably go to your favorite search engine and put in the keywords to search for whatever it is you are looking for. For example, if you want to buy a new golf club you would likely go to www.google.com and type in “golf club” in the search box. Google, the search engine, would then return you a listing of probably a million or more pages of possibilities. The first website you see on the search results page is the page ranked #1 with Google; the second result has the #2 ranking, and so on down the list. With search engine optimization your main goal is to get to as near the top as possible of the results pages when someone searches on the keywords for your blog topic. You want to be on that first page of search engine results. When a visitor does a search through a search engine and then clicks through to your site from there they are referred to as “natural” or “organic” visitors. They got to your website by a “natural” search engine search and not through another form of advertising you have done. Search engine optimization is all about getting you the most natural visitors to your site as possible. Why? Because these natural visitors come to you without you doing any work and then click on your AdSense ads. This gives you the best form of passive income possible! The key to good search engine optimization is getting the highest ranking possible with the least amount of extra work on your part. When someone searches Google for the keyword which is the topic of your blog, you want your blog to show up on that first page of results, nearest to the top as possible. While the search engines use very complicated and secret algorithms to create their rankings, there are some simple things you can do to help get your blog up nearer to the top. You should be posting on your topic and often, building links, using good keywords and keyword density, tagging your posts and pinging regularly. Let’s take a moment and look at each of these suggestions in more detail. Stay on Topic & Post Often Search engines naturally prefer blogs over static websites. They appreciated that they are frequently updated and that they generally stick to one topic. This makes it important for you, as a blogger of a monetized blog, to stick to one specific topic on your blog. It is also vitally important to update your site regularly. These are the two easiest and absolute best things you can do for search engine optimization. Stay on topic, and post quality content regularly. Simple. Links Links to your site from other sites helps to raise your search engine rank. The search engines see links to your site as meaning that other’s value it enough to link to it. They do not see if those links are created by submissions you have done yourself or others have linked to you on their own. We have already discussed how to get links to your site through forum postings, articles, press releases, guest blogging, etc… and the reason you want to spend some time and energy gaining links is simply to improve your number of readers and to help out your search engine optimization efforts. Keywords Keywords are essential to getting your blog(s) seen and ranked well by the search engines. In a previous chapter of this eBook we talked about writing keyword rich content, using your keywords in titles, and using special formatting like bold to attract the Googlebot to your topics. The reason for this is simply for search engine optimization. You want to use your blog’s keywords often because this will help the search engine better index your website for your keywords. Better indexing is equal to a better ranking on the search engine results page when someone searches for those keywords. Suppose for a moment you have a blog about living in Podunk. The more times you mention Podunk in your titles and posts, the more Google and the other search engines understand your site is about Podunk. This means that when someone goes to search for Podunk on Google, your page will return with a higher position than other sites on Podunk which uses that word less on their websites. One of your main goals with search engine optimization is to have your blog’s content have a lot of keywords contained within it. In other words you need to make sure that within the words on your page, you make sure that a lot of those words are keywords. This is commonly referred to as “keyword density.” Assume for a moment that you have a blog on laptops. You write an article of about 500 words and you mention the word “laptop” 10 times in the article. This would give you a key word density of 2%. That means that 2% of your words in that article are “laptop.” If you changed that same article to have the word “laptop” in your article 18 times, use a title of “The Best Laptop For Your Money” and then include the second title at the beginning of your blog text, you would then have used the word “laptop” 20 times. Using the word “laptop” 20 times in your 500 page article would give you a new keyword density of 4%. The examples above are very simplified examples, but enough to understand why keywords, and how often you use them in your writing, are important. Your goal should be to have a keyword density of between 5% and 10% but not much higher than that. Adding too many keywords into your blog will make it hard to read for your readers and the search engines start to think you are building a splog if you get much higher than 15-20%. Again this is an area where you will want to strike a nice balance between what will be comfortable for your readers and what will be okay by the search engines as well. META Tags META Tags, or simply referred to as “tags,” are small hidden pieces of code which tell the search engines what your blog is about. Basically tags are just a listing of keywords which your visitors don’t see but the search engine’s indexers do. Tags are used to help the search engines index a website better without being visible and distracting to your readers. If for instance you have a blog on photography, then you might want to add a group of tags such as: photography, photo, photography studio, pictures, prints, portrait, camera, film, etc… You want your tags to stick to your specific topic of your blog, but you also want to include all the possible words someone could search on and find your blog. These tags help get your blog indexed for all of the words included in the tags. Unlike other blogging software, Blogger does not contain an easy way to add tags to your blog. Some blog formats do, Blogger happens to be one which doesn’t. However, it is possible to generate tags for your Blogger blog by using another website and then cutting and pasting a bit of code into your template. (Similar to what we did for AdSense.) It is very simple and free to do. And it is advisable that you do put tags on your blog posts. Anything which will help with your search engine optimization you should spend the time and make sure you do it. Some popular tag sites include de.licio.us and www.technorati.com. Signing-up for either site is very simple and free. Once you have registered then you can generate the tag code for your Blogger blog and simply paste it into your blog template. Once you have the code you will want to paste it into your template by going to your blog’s template. First back up your blog’s template just in case you do not like the changes, and then paste the tag code after the place in your template which says: "----< / title > < $ Blog Meta Data $ > By pasting your tag code here, each time you post a message to your blog the search engines also get a copy of all of your tagged keywords added on to the bottom of it. Even if for some reason your blog post doesn’t mention your keywords the tags will! This means that if you have a blog on Christmas but you choose to talk about your family pets in your post, the indexers will still get Christmas as one of your keywords, because they get it from the tags. Ping The search engines send their spider, or bot, to your site on a regular basis. They schedule their visits based on the size of your website and how often it appears to be updated. However, if you want to send a message to them letting them know you have updated your site, then you can do something called “pinging.” Pinging, in this context, is simply sending a code string to the search engines which says “hey come look at my site again, it’s updated, and I want it indexed again.” All you have to do to ping the search engines is to go to a ping website, enter the URL of your blog, check the boxes of where you want to ping (generally do all of them) and then click “Ping.” It really is that simple and quick. The two most popular ping websites are www.ping-o-matic.com and www.pingoat.com. It is generally advisable that you ping each time you update your blog, or each week at least. This makes sure your site is getting seen by the search engines and that it is being indexed as fast as possible. SEO and Marketing Your Blog Search engine optimization is a very important part of making your blog successful. It’s important to understand how the search engines see your information and what they do with it. By understanding how they work you are better able to create your blog as a “search engine friendly” site. The easier the search engine can work with your site, then the better rankings you will receive from them. While search engine optimization is important, you cannot rely solely on natural visitors to your website from the search engines. It is great to have some of your readers come from there, but you will generally want your blog’s name to get out there in other ways as well. You will want to do all of the other things suggested to help drive traffic to your website. The search engines, even if you get a great ranking, will not do it all for you! You need to market your site and market it to your target audience.

Your Enemy in a Feature Film Budget

It is very important as you are creating feature films to understand what your enemies are. Aside from the obvious things like technical difficulties, you need to be aware that there are other problems that you can encounter which will adversely affect your budget, and possibly hurt your film as well. Knowing in advance what these problems are is critical to making sure that you are successful even if the problems appear. Your budget will always be prone to problems, but your worst enemy is likely right in front of you and you are just overlooking it. If you stop and think about the various aspects of your budget, you are probably thinking about salaries, and equipment plus perhaps even location fees and permits. These are all aspects that can eat at your budget, but because they are accounted for, they generally do not hurt you too badly. The biggest threat to the budget will be those expenses that are not accounted for. This can include anything that you forget to include, which will undoubtedly be extremely expensive, no matter how minor it might seem. One such example of an unexpected expense could be a damage charge. If you have rented equipment that has managed to be damaged somehow in the shoot, you can look forward to a charge for the damage. Additionally, if you are late returning the equipment you can look forward to a late charge being added onto the rental. This can often be as much as 100% of the rental costs, which will really impact your budget. Looking to curb these expenses obviously means you need to stay on time for your schedule, but it also means taking very good care of the equipment that you have rented. Many filmmakers are unaware of the need to rent a location until they have been hit with a fine. These expenses have to be taken into account as well and will often throw your budget completely off track. Typically speaking it is best to save at least 10% of your budget for these unexpected expenses so after you are all done, you will still have some money left over. Many budgets need more than just 10% to handle these unexpected expenses, and other budgets do not even use the whole 10%. Determining exactly how much you will need is often flexible. Typically speaking the larger your budget, and the more equipment you need to rent, the larger the amount that needs to be set aside for the unexpected expenses. If you are able to avoid all of your budget overages, you will be able to save a ton of money that would otherwise be blown. Filmmakers who are working with a zero budget typically are much more careful about unexpected expenses. This is the type of dedication that you need to take into account anytime you are working on a film so that you can reduce costs. One way to really help keep tabs of the budget is to continuously keep a running tab of expenses. This will be helpful if you are starting to feel like you are getting close to your limit. Knowing when to start getting really tight with the budget is important. You should always avoid spending the unexpected budget on anything that is not considered an unexpected expense since the money will most likely be needed at some point.

Doing Business in Dangerous Countries

With the turmoil many countries of the world are in there may be times where you are faced with danger when traveling on business. But in some cases, there may be some real travel threats on your route to your business destination. This is especially true today in the age of terrorism where a trip to Europe or the Middle East can mean some very real danger may loom as you travel. It is our job as responsible adults to think about the dangers that could happen on an upcoming business trip and assess that danger and either approach the business objective differently or prepare accordingly. The first step if you suspect that your next business trip may be hazardous either from political unrest, bad weather or other reasons, is to do an honest review of the importance of this trip. If you can accomplish he goals of the trip without putting yourself or your business associates in harms way, that would be preferable to a potential disaster on the road. If it looks like the trip is still a go, be sure you learn all you can about your destination, recommended safety precautions and the nature of the potential danger. The US State Department keeps their web site up to date on the nature of potential security risks at http://www.travel.state.gov. The next step for preparing for a business trip that may be hazardous is to double and triple secure your documentation. You can make copies and scanned images of your important personal documents such as your passport, visa, driver’s license and other crucial identification cards that you must have overseas. By leaving copies of these at home where a contact person can access them and uploading digital copies to a public folder that you can access anywhere you can find the internet, you give yourself a safety net should those documents disappear. Also review the status of your travel documents and get y our renewals done now if there is any chance one of them will expire as you are out on the road. If you are traveling to one or many foreign countries, make yourself familiar with the location and phone numbers of the US embassies in those countries. By having that information on your person as you move from country to country, you are ready to move swiftly should you need to call on them to help you out of a jam. If you do encounter trouble and require medical help, you should have on your person your crucial personal data that can be used to quickly get you help. You can print up a card with your name, names of who to contact in an emergency, blood type, medical details such as allergies that should be noted, important medicines that you may have that can help you if you are in physical need and anything else a lay person might need if you are in a far away place in critical need. For even more security that this card is able to communicate your critical data, you can have it translated into the language of the country you are visiting so there is no delay as local health or public service persons work to get you help. The more you do to prepare for your trip, the better prepared you will be to respond to trouble or even avoid trouble entirely if it occurs. By understanding the local customs and what to do in an emergency situation overseas, you can respond calmly and quickly to crisis and secure yourself, your business associates and property early and quickly. Being prepared is always good because you never know when you may need to react quickly when traveling in foreign countries.

Choosing an eBook Compiler

What is an eBook compiler? You've written and revised your ebook, hired an artist who has produced outstanding graphics, and now you're ready to actually put together your ebook. What you need to make an ebook is software called an ebook Compiler. There are many different compilers to chose from, but first, you need to know exactly what an ebook Compiler does. Here is the simple explanation: An ebook compiler is a software program that converts either text pages or HTML text into a single executable file or an ebook. If you or someone you hired has created a file with graphics in HTML, you will need an HTML ebook Compiler. This type of compiler requires a working knowledge of the HTML tag language. You can also use software to do this for you, such as Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver. How do you choose an eBook Compiler? There are a large number of ebook Compilers available on the market, all with glowing sales copy and tekkie language. It can get very confusing and overwhelming very fast without some simple guidelines to help you figure out which compiler is right for you. Choosing an ebook Compiler depends on a number of factors: 1. How did you create your pages? Did you use HTML or PDF format? There are many more compilers available for HTML, but you can find some very good compilers that will covert your PDF files into an ebook. 2. Consider how easy the program is to use and the thoroughness of the software's instruction manual. It is absolutely necessary that the compiler you buy have an instructional manual, documentation, or online "wizards." If it doesn't, your chances of figuring out how to correctly use the program are compromised, and the time required doing so is going to be significant. Many manufacturers of compilers offer a free trial version so you can play around with it and see if it suits your needs. Download the trial version and ascertain that it actually does what it claims to do. 3. Security features. If you plan to sell your ebook, check out the security features of the compiler software carefully. Security features should include: prevention of the reader from modifying text, access only to the pages you assign or by entering a password, different ways of generating passwords such as secure passwords, user-friendly, and open passwords. 4. Supported scripting. Find out what scripts the software supports. Scripting allows you to create special effects, customize menus, and create and modify other user interactivity. Choose a compiler that permits you to include graphics, search windows, hyperlinks, forms, surveys, etc. 5. Pricing. This is a factor that is not always easy to gauge. The highest priced compilers are not automatically your best choice. Choose your compiler based on the necessary requirements for your Ebook. That means you need to know exactly how you plan to use your Ebook and what functions you require. Let's look at some of these factors in more detail. First of all, make sure you have the correct browser to run the compiler. The majority of HTML compilers use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape. Check out the version that the compiler supports. Compilers that require a browser will not run on a computer that does not have the required browser installed. However, there are ebook HTML compilers that don't require you to have any browser installed on your computer. These compilers run on any Windows system. If you choose a compiler that requires a browser, check to ascertain that the browser is installed correctly and that it is properly configured to the specifications of the compiler. Check to see if certain functions are turned off or on, and make any adjustments according to the compiler instructions. Security is an essential element of any compiler, regardless of whether you plan to sell or give away your ebook. One of the main reasons for using a compiler is to prevent the reader from modifying the contents. A secure compiler allows access only to the pages you want the user to access unless they enter a correct password. To find out how secure an ebook HTML compiler is, open an ebook on it. While it is open, check the temporary directory of your computer. This can usually be accessed by typing in C:\Windows\temp. If you see a bunch of files when your ebook is open or running, it means that your computer is decompressing the secure data from your ebook before showing the ebook to the viewer. This method is not secure! It means that anyone with the knowledge of how to access these temporary files can steal the secure data and then they can fiddle with your ebook to their evil heart's desire. Remember, one of the main purposes of buying and using an HTML compiler is to protect your property. Next, let's discuss passwords. When trying to choose an ebook Compiler, check out the type of passwords that the compiler supports. Almost all compilers offer some kind of password protection that insures that the user can only access the contents they have purchased from you. However, the best compilers offer varied ways to generate different types of passwords. Choose a compiler that gives you the options of secure, user-friendly, and open password generation. Another important factor when it comes to passwords is how the compiler generates them. A compiler that has internal password protection generation built into the software is more secure than compilers that link to live Internet password control systems. Find out if the compiler generates passwords online. If it has this option, it allows you to choose any payment processing system you want or to do the payment processing yourself. Next, look into the size of ebook the compiler supports. The best compilers can create ebooks up to 2 GB in size without decompressing the HTML pages or images to your hard disk. Usually, ebooks that are 2 GB in size can easily support 6 GB of compressed data. The catch here is that only text files will generally be compressible. You do not want a compiler that decompresses this amount of data when the user attempts to open your ebook. This would mean that anyone who purchases your ebook will have to wait for all the data to decompress before they can access your ebook right after downloading it. So look for compilers that only decompress temporarily files that are NOT HTML to the local hardisk. Non-HTML files include Flash, Word, and Acrobat files. This type of compiler is more secure and certainly faster. Make sure the compiler you choose is compatible with your system software. Check out what version of Windows it requires, and make sure you have that version before buying your compiler. Support issues are extremely important. Choose a compiler that includes an installation program. This program allows your user to choose a number of different places on their computer to install the ebook, to place a shortcut on their desktop, and to add the ebook, if they choose, to the Start Programs menu. You also want excellent and accessible vendor support. Make sure you can access quick technical support! At three o'clock in the morning, this factor will be VERY important. Also, check to see the terms of free technical support offered. Unlimited technical support is obviously the best option. Check to see if the company that puts out the compiler software offers a service level agreement. This agreement is to assure you of their quality response to your questions or problems. A good thing to consider is how long the compiler has been on the market. Usually, the version number will give you an idea. The longer the program is on the market, the higher the version number, the more bugs have been worked out. When choosing an ebook compiler, do not be swayed by incredible promises and dazzling sales copy. Do your homework first, and then consider all the above issues and factors before choosing an ebook compiler.

Why Write an eBook?

It's not true that everything that has been said has already been written. Since that unfortunate axiom came into use, the whole universe has changed. Technology has changed, ideas have changed, and the mindsets of entire nations have changed. The fact is that this is the perfect time to write an ebook. What the publishing industry needs are people who can tap into the world as it is today - innovative thinkers who can make the leap into the new millennium and figure out how to solve old problems in a new way. Ebooks are a new and powerful tool for original thinkers with fresh ideas to disseminate information to the millions of people who are struggling to figure out how to do a plethora of different things. Let's say you already have a brilliant idea, and the knowledge to back it up that will enable you to write an exceptional ebook. You may be sitting at your computer staring at a blank screen wondering, "Why? Why should I go through all the trouble of writing my ebook when it's so impossible to get anything published these days? Well, let me assure you that publishing an ebook is entirely different than publishing a book in print. Let's look at the specifics of how the print and cyber publishing industry differ, and the many reasons why you should take the plunge and get your fingers tapping across those keyboards! Submitting a print book to conventional publishing houses or to agents is similar to wearing a hair shirt 24/7. No matter how good your book actually is, or how many critique services and mentor writers have told you that "you've got what it takes," your submitted manuscript keeps coming back to you as if it is a boomerang instead of a valuable mine of information. Perhaps, in desperation, you've checked out self-publishing and found out just how expensive a venture it can be. Most "vanity presses" require minimal print runs of at least 500 copies, and even that amount will cost you thousands of dollars. Some presses' minimal run starts at 1,000 to 2,000 copies. And that's just for the printing and binding. Add in distribution, shipping, and promotional costs and - well, you do the math. Even if you wanted to go this route, you may not have that kind of money to risk. Let's say you already have an Internet business with a quality website and a quality product. An ebook is one of the most powerful ways to promote your business while educating people with the knowledge you already possess as a business owner of a specific product or service. For example, let's say that you've spent the last twenty-five years growing and training bonsai trees, and now you're ready to share your knowledge and experience. An ebook is the perfect way to reach the largest audience of bonsai enthusiasts. Ebooks will not only promote your business - they will help you make a name for yourself and your company, and establish you as an expert in your field. You may even find that you have enough to say to warrant a series of ebooks. Specific businesses are complicated and often require the different aspects to be divided in order for the reader to get the full story. Perhaps your goals are more finely tuned in terms of the ebook scene. You may want to build a whole business around writing and publishing ebooks. Essentially, you want to start an e-business. You are thinking of setting up a website to promote and market your ebooks. Maybe you're even thinking of producing an ezine. One of the most prevalent reasons people read ebooks is to find information about how to turn their Internet businesses into a profit-making machine. And these people are looking to the writers of ebooks to provide them with new ideas and strategies because writers of ebooks are usually people who understand the new cyberspace world we now live in. Ebook writers are experts in Internet marketing campaigns and the strategies of promoting and distributing ebooks. The cyberspace community needs its ebooks to be successful so that more and more ebooks will be written. You may want to create affiliate programs that will also market your ebook. Affiliates can be people or businesses worldwide that will all be working to sell your ebooks. Think about this? Do you see a formula for success here? Figure out what your subject matter is, and then narrow it down. Your goal is to aim for specificity. Research what's out there already, and try to find a void that your ebook might fill. What about an ebook about a wedding cake business? Or an ebook about caring for elderly pets? How about the fine points of collecting ancient pottery? You don't have to have three masters degrees to write about your subject. People need advice that is easy to read and easily understood. Parents need advice for dealing with their teenagers. College students need to learn good study skills - quickly. The possibilities are endless. After you've writtten your ebook Getting your ebook out is going to be your focus once you've finished writing it, just as it is with print books. People will hesitate to buy any book from an author they've never heard of. Wouldn't you? The answer is simple: give it away! You will see profits in the form of promoting your own business and getting your name out. You will find affiliates who will ask you to place their links within your ebook, and these affiliates will in turn go out and make your name known. Almost every single famous ebook author has started out this way. Another powerful tool to attract people to your ebook is to make it interactive. Invent something for them to do within the book rather than just producing pages that contain static text. Let your readers fill out questionnaires, forms, even crossword puzzles geared to testing their knowledge on a particular subject. Have your readers hit a link that will allow them to recommend your book to their friends and associates. Or include an actual order form so at the end of their reading journey, they can eagerly buy your product. When people interact with books, they become a part of the world of that book. The fact is just as true for books in print as it is for ebooks. That's why ebooks are so essential. Not only do they provide a forum for people to learn and make sense of their own thoughts, but they can also serve to promote your business at the same time.


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