Sunday, 29 November 2009

Squidoo gets tough with spammers - but gets it wrong

One of the things you absolutely MUST do on Squidoo is to hang around in the forum and see who wants their new lens reviewed.  You can then post a comment which can include a sig. In my case, I put my principal business link - to my Xocai website, my lensography lens, my latest lens, and this blog.

You get to see the best of the best, and to start recognizing the Giant Squids and why they have got such a good reputation but also you get to see the worst of the worst,  that is to say lenses that have one aim and one only, to get you to visit an affiliate page, an ebay item etc and have very little informative value. Typically this type of lens will have the affiliate link repeated over and over in huge type and next to nothing else.

This is, deservedly the type of lens that no-one wants to see and can be consigned to the bin without any great loss. However, as they who must be obeyed at Squid HQ have tweaked this module, some sinister effects have crept in.

My lensography lens mentions all my blogs - like you would - and three of them are here on Blogger. And, as you would expect, it mentions all my lenses too. They are presented in a format encouraged by Squidoo - the featured lens module. When I publish this lens I get a nag saying I have too many outbound links to the same domain - UH???

Till today, this was OK, I could simply hit the 'publish anyway' button and not worry about it. Then I got a second message page saying my lens was suspected spambait or had something that broke the rules, and I couldn't get past it.

I read the rules and realised red-faced that yes it did. Squidoo frowns on gambling in all its forms, even buying a lottery ticket or participating in a business that is linked to a lottery is a no-go area. OK, it's a nuisance not being able to promote VWD along with my other affiliate businesses but it isn't the end of the world.  So I went through the lens with a fine-tooth comb and removed all references to VWD, its website, the tags that said lottery, VWD and win and tried to re-publish. It refused to co-operate, no matter how many times I edited, took out tags or whatever.

So the lens is sitting there with the code in that they don't want and I can't complete the work to correct it. In the meantime I apparently run the risk of having not just that lens locked or removed, but losing my entire Squidoo output. Doesn't seem very fair.

I have filed a Squidoo bug report and will report back on the response. However, it would be nice if a site of Squidoo's size and reputation did 'what it says on the box' and made sure that when they made a change that potentially hits a large chunk of their community, they did their testing with a little more care.

To redress the balance I would like to say a big thank you to Paul Duxbury, a Squid Angel who blessed my new lens today and has got traffic going to it even before Squidoo has promoted if from a work-in-progress to a complete work. He has a good blog which is worth bookmarking and rss'ing

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Squid goes to the movies!

Squidoo gives you a number of options to monetize your lenses. Some of them are shared revenue like Amazon and ebay, but others can bring you direct affiliate commissions.

One of these is Allposters and Squidoo is not the ONLY place that it can make you money - how about this blog for instance.

First step is to sign up with Allposters  then I can put a link to their posters or other merchandise in my lens or blog post.

Allposters expect your content to be broadly relevant to the merchandise you are linking to - here, because I am talking about their site and affiliate program generally, I can link to pretty well anything.

For instance - I could write reams and reams of stuff about my favourite movie 'Casablanca' - the stars, the plot, when and where it was filmed and so on - but today I'm just using it as an illustration - literally. Allposters is a good way of getting some pictorial content into your posts without falling foul of any copyright issues.
What I did today was to get some pics for a lens I wrote recently that features the books I'd take to a desert island - along the lines of the famous BBC radio programme 'Desert Island Discs' - I am sure Roy Plomley would approve though.  Several books have had movies made from them so I got hold of the links to the posters and automatically pulled in the images.

The basic HTML you get doesn't come out quite like the above - it needs a bit of tweaking - this Squidoo lens explains how.

Displaying merchandise is not the only way to make money either - you can give out your Allposters affiliate link and anyone who signs up with you as their referrer will also make you money when they do.

I'm also going to add a sidebar item linking to Allposters, so whatever blog post is on top, it will be available.

Friday, 9 October 2009

I'm a SQUID !

Was chatting to an online friend recently and mentioned that I was enjoying the more creative writing I did during the Havant Literary Festival whose Wordpress site and blog I maintain.

She asked me whether I had considered writing for sites like Squidoo and HubPages. Now to tell the truth I HAD heard of them, but had pushed them to the back of my mind.

So, I set out to re-discover at least one of them and this post is about Squidoo as that is what I have been learning about this week. Now I am not going to pretend that this is going to put thousands in your bank account overnight. However there are some very definite ways that you might add to your online income by creating articles on these sites and there ARE folk out there who earn a very considerable income this way.

Squidoo articles are called 'lenses' and you can write lenses about pretty well anything. Before you read on, take a moment to open these links in a new window so you can see for yourself what a lens looks like and to see how the moneymaking modules are incorporated.

Google is good at indexing lenses provided you title them well and tag them properly. There is plenty of good information ON Squidoo about writing for and making money from Squidoo. This is just a summary and I am not claiming it's complete either - but it will give you an idea whether it is for you.

Squidoo income streams
  • Ad revenue sharing - there are Google ads on Squidoo pages and lensmasters (anyone who writes for Squidoo) shares in what they earn.
  • Amazon links - You can choose to add items from Amazon in modules included in your lenses. For instance, I wrote a lens that detailed one of my favourite cake recipes and I incorporated some links to Amazon books about making and decorating cakes. If someone clicks through and BUYS from those links, I'll earn some of the shared commission. I am also a personal affiliate for whereas the commissions are coming from the US site. You can create links from all your featured Amazon titles to the UK site too.
  • Ebay links need a little more looking after because items are sold and auctions end. However, if you already run an ebay shop, write some good lenses about what you sell, your shop will get more exposure and you'll sell more. A good idea is to link to a relevant seller and the module and ebay will decide which items are listed and you don't have to worry about finished items at all.
  • Zazzle and Cafepress - your own items on these sites can also get more exposure via your lenses, but other lensmasters don't get commission from them.
  • Clickbank. If you are already a Clickbank affiliate or you write e-books and sell on Clickbank, you can increase your revenue by lens-ing about what you write or what you sell.
Blogging and writing lenses can march hand in hand - you are reading this, and hopefully you'll wriggle over and take a look at my Squidoo lenses to date. I referred to my foodie blog on one post and it was clear that some of my visitors were also interested enough to go take a look at the blog. Now the blog makes money for me already, so I'm happy!

I've really only skimmed the surface here, hopefully it will give you some good ideas! Since I started on Squidoo, I have two pages of one-line ideas for lenses and my hope of ever catching up with myself is a dot on the horizon!

Oh - and did I mention you can also get a referral fee if someone joins Squidoo on your link and creates a lens? And an extra bonus if they earn more than $15!

Here's the link

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The message gets through!

Just a brief post from me.

It seems at last that my message about duplication is getting through. I have had a couple of comments here directly on my blog, but have had a whole lot more as DM's on Twitter, emails and messages via social networks, skype and so on.

This is going to hurt a lot. All those marketers out there that tell you that all you have to do is buy THEIR course, or e-book or whatever are pulling the wool over your eyes.

Learn to read between the lines and don't waste any more money. This is the way they trap you. You sign up for a 'free' or very cheap e-book. When you confirm your email and click through, you are put on a page with another tempting offer. Statistically a lot of people weaken at this point and buy the extra product. That's just ONE hook.

You might or might not read the e-book. Lots of people never read half of what they download. You crazily start promoting something else. What HAPPENED to the original product you signed with?

Keep focussed. Choose a product - a simple, great useful product like a domain and hosting from GDI. Join GDI with me and I'll teach you, at no additional cost why you needn't spend money on extra e-books and courses and what these guys are REALLY doing to get your money.

I'll show you that the tiny amount of money you spend when you first join GDI will rapidly turn into profit AND how you then build on that profit.

It's taken some time, but it IS working. Even if you NEVER made money online before, you can now.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Let's PROVE duplication works - together

In network marketing, one of the most frequent things you will read or hear is that to be successful you have to DUPLICATE.

The word duplicate means copy exactly, but from what I’m observing, a very large number of marketers don’t listen and don’t do it!

To be fair, when you go into many opportunities, the first thing that happens is that your upline goes OFFline and you never hear from him or her again. In several of the opportunities I have joined and abandoned, and a couple I am still in, I know that my uplines aren’t even in the business any more.

They have moved on, probably joined something new, and abandoned a whole new set of people to flounder on for themselves.

A great marketer who I had the pleasure of working with recently, gave me a lot of help and good advice. He was prepared to take it down to the wire and tell us in training EXACTLY what advertising he used, where, what to say and how to sort out the people who came out of that process. I HAVE been using his techniques and been better for it, and now I want to stress it to you.

In one sense, it doesn’t much matter what your product or service is, but I could NOT become involved in anything that was just a money game, albeit with a thin veneer of a few ‘information products’.

The point is this. Whichever of my primary businesses you come into – and they are all described here or on my other blogs – I will HELP you to duplicate – on one condition. You have to join, listen, learn and above all DUPLICATE – copy me in the type of advertising I use, what I say and so on.

No going off at a tangent thinking you know better!

Just to prove to you that if you do it right, you WILL make money, I’m going to conduct an experiment. In the last couple of days I have found a couple of fledgling businesses, one already launched and totally free, the other in pre-launch and free for the time being.

If you join these AND do what I say, you WILL make money. When you have enough in the kitty, I’ll offer you the chance to join other businesses in my portfolio.

By that time, you will know me well enough to get on skype and chat to me, or even pick up the phone if you are in the UK, send me a text or talk.

To compare and understand WHY this works, just take any real-world job. Let’s say working in a supermarket filling shelves. To do that job successfully you need to be able to know where to find items in the warehouse, how to load them onto a trolley safely and where the items should go in the store.

It’s also nice to know where the staff restrooms and cafeteria are, where you can get your uniform laundered and a host of small things. It could take you weeks or months if no-one helps you and if they don’t you’ll probably be so upset and depressed at your colleagues’ lack of helpfulness, you’ll be scanning the vacancies for a new job.

On the other hand, if everyone helps you, encourages you and shows you where things are and what to do, you’ll be off to a flying start AND your team leader will probably get a few nice words said by THEIR supervisor for being good at training new people. You’ll enjoy it, the job will be done well and ultimately the customers will be happy too, and when YOU get promoted to team leader, how will YOU train your newcomers?

Network marketing is NO DIFFERENT. It is often portrayed as being a ‘closed world’ where a few people at the top make all the money and everyone else feeds them. In reality the only reason that they are making money and you aren’t is that you aren’t copying their success recipe.

You know this all makes sense – so this time you WILL DUPLICATE won’t you!!

Let’s test the theory. Join these two freebies, and I’ll be in touch as soon as I get your contact details with your next steps.

The Power Bar Club – no cost to you ever -
Teamwork Revolution – free in pre-launch – your choice to pay later, but likely to cost you the equivalent of a pizza – not a big ask is it. -

Monday, 13 July 2009

Product Review: Web Traffic Juggernaut

Web Traffic Juggernaut is a new site that says it guarantees more web visitors and online advertising with very little effort or cost. So I decided to put it to the test...

My first impression was the site looks professional and clean, with an attractive look and feel. It is easy to read and understand. Joining the site was easy and painless--they do offer 2 upgrade options but they are not required to gain the benefits.

The Members Area is very well laid out and intuitive--I could figure out what to do after only a few minutes and was able to get up & running in less than 5 minutes. Inside the site, you create links and ads--the links you simply enter any URL links you use into the generator and it transforms them into "Juggernaut" links. You create ads for anything you want to promote using the Juggernaut Ad Generator, which is very easy to use. You can create as many links and as many ads as you like. And they are organized in a logical way--links are displayed in the order you create them but also your 5 most recent links appear on the main page for quick reference. Also, since the link generator is the tool you'll use most, it is also right at the top of the main page when you login. Very smart!

After you've created at least 1 link and 1 ad you can start to generate traffic. Just use and promote the new Juggernaut link instead of the original source link you had. Every time the Juggernaut link is clicked, the page loads followed by a small ad window in the lower right corner. It displays 3 ads PLUS an image with your affiliate link that goes back to Juggernaut. So if anyone clicks the Juggernaut image they see the site, and if they signup they become your referral. It's a great viral feature because you can build referrals without even trying to just by using the site.

Now every time the ad window displays (your Juggernaut links get clicked) you earn credits that get YOUR ad displayed in the ad windows when other members' links get clicked. So the more clicks, the more times your ads get displayed.

And this works virally--meaning as you make referrals into Juggernaut (either by promoting it or just using it and visitors click the Juggernaut image on the ad window to join) you also earn ad credits on THEIR link clicks. And this works up to 5 levels deep. So you can create a massive amount of free ad views and web traffic by referring others to Juggernaut also.

I didn't get to test the full effect of a big downline yet (I just got the tool) but I can tell you the rest of the site works exactly as stated--my links got clicked, I earned credits, and my ads got displayed. Juggernaut even tracked my results so I know how many clicks and how many ad displays. That was an impressive unadvertised extra feature.

There is one more benefit and feature which might be the best of them all--downline emailing. You can email your downline with offers, promotions, or whatever you like, and here is where Juggernaut really shines. They took time to make the emailing often enough that it's valuable as a user, but no so often that it's a burden to your downline. But the best part about this feature (and actually the credit earning too) is that they use a unique dual-matrix technology that builds your downline in 2 ways. First is the typical way--you refer members, who then refer members, etc. But the 2nd matrix is a "forced matrix" that places all new members in a downline in sequential order. Without getting technical, what it means is that if you join and just stay a member (even if you don't do anything) your downline will grow automatically because new members will fill in your forced matrix. And you earn credits on them too. Now THAT's really great.

Overall I have to say I am impressed with Web Traffic Juggernaut. It is simple yet powerful, and delivers on its promises. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to increase traffic and advertising.

See it & join here:

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Join online businesses without a credit card

I had a sad little Twitter message today from a student who was interested in my online businesses but thought she couldn't do so because she didn't have a credit card.

Well, thinking about it, this could apply to a lot of students, in the UK and around the world.

The best alternative seems to be the prepaid or stored-value cards. I did a quick Google and this type of card is good to go for online purchases or anywhere you would normally use plastic.

There is plenty of information and advice out there to help you choose a card that works where you are.

In view of the fact that many university students are looking at huge debts before they ever get into the normal paid jobs and professions that they hope their studies will lead to, a way of getting into lucrative online opportunities could be a real help.

In the UK, you can look at these websites for some help and advice. There are more, and outside the UK, you are sure to be able to find something in your location.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Always on the lookout

Today I am celebrating some great blogs and bloggers I have found links to on Twitter.

This isn't because I am too idle to write something myself, but because unless you follow these particular people on Twitter or subscribe to their blogs, you might otherwise miss them and they really are important topics.

The first blog is dedicated to giving its readers good tips about using Twitter to the best effect in their marketing. The blog is edited by Darren Rowse, but includes guest writers. The post that caught my eye is by Crystal N Woods who demonstrates how Twitter helps to identify and reward good bloggers and those who have particular skills in specific areas of internet marketing. See
here. This is the second in a series and you'll find the links to the other one at the end, along with some excellent basic tips for Twitter beginners that you should also read and absorb.

The next blog I want to mention covers an area that I've never got into - video marketing. Most opportunity websites you visit these days has one or more videos, so at some stage I may have to.

This post is a useful and intriguing reference to how to use a bit of psychology to do it and make your production stand out from the crowd. This will make you think a bit - how could you promote your business or product without actually MENTIONING it? Find out
here. Kudos goes to Andy J Hunt - link is to his Twitter page.

The last is a site rather than a blog. Most of us will now be members of a whole variety of social networks - OpenNetworker is a useful way of tying all your networks together and 'cross fertilising' so that your friends discover new networks when you do.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Discounts, coupons and an income

So many things hit my inbox every week, I don't have the time to read most of them, and to be honest I can't recall why the email introducing me to MyWorldPlus made such an impression.

I've flirted with opportunities before that have a powerline and promise you that your upline's recruiting efforts will make money for you, but the results have been disappointing and I've left, having made very little.

Within a few hours of joining MWP absolutely free as a pre-enrollee, a constant stream of notifications arrived that promised me that I had money coming if I would only upgrade. I looked at the payplan and did the maths. It certainly looked like I was on to a winner, so decided to give it a try.

The payplan actually consists of a number of different income streams. Let's say you upgrade (and you must go for Member/Associate or you get no income). Then you don't do anything, just wait for your upline to carry on recruiting people into your line. There is a cut-off every Thursday at midnight Pacific Time. If at that point you HAVE upgraded, you will jump above anyone in your powerline who has not done so. They will carry on getting emails from MWP for everyone who joined the powerline after them who upgrades.

So the persuasion to join is very good, and it isn't just YOUR direct upline whose efforts you benefit from. The 74 people who I am earning on (as I write) who are not my personal enrollees were originally recruited by a whole load of different people. The percentage you get for each of those people every month, depends on your rank, and that depends on how many personal enrollees you have.

Another very attractive income stream is the retail bonus. You get a one off $25 for every person you bring in who pays the first month's $19.95 subscription and the one-off entry fee, so it only takes 3 people to come into your personal line, to be in profit. At that point your rank increases and you get a higher residual every month.

There are other bonuses too, which increase your income monthly and weekly. Retail bonuses are paid down several levels and they get paid weekly which is really good for putting you in profit fast. Other income is paid monthly. All income is paid by check in the US or GlobalXchange outside, and there is a low-cost ATM card so you don't have to worry about bank transfers.

That's the income side, but I didn't even mention the discount card yet. The main product you are paying for is a discount club. Now I have to be brutally honest. Inside the USA, the discounts you can get are wide and varied. In the UK, they are very limited, and if you don't play golf or stay in USA-based hotel chains, there really isn't much for you at the moment which is disappointing. Again, only inside the USA, you can also get money off coupons for the sorts of things families buy every week. Hopefully the range of benefits outside the USA will increase. The card is claimed to be worldwide, so look on the relevant page at what is available where you are.

However, if you look as the discount as a kind of icing on the cake, then any savings you make will be a nice extra, rather than the whole reason for joining. I can see in the USA, you could very easily make $20 worth of savings a week just on the sort of shopping and casual eating out you do now, which would cover your monthly sub more than 4 times.

I'm really impressed with the speed that you can earn money in this opportunity and the fact that you can sign up as a pre-enrollee and upgrade when you know you will be earning, and on that basis I would thoroughly recommend it. - visit my MWP page, sign as a pre-enrollee and take a tour

And if you are looking for leads for your new MWP business, look below at the Orangeleads post - have a great Independence Day weekend!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Time for Twittertime

Apps for Twitter emerge almost daily, but I found one today that really floats my boat.

Twittertime, written by Howard Mark Mandel gives you the possibility to set up any number of tweets to fire off when you want them in the future. So, say you are on holiday and want to keep on tweeting without having to text them in or spend time promoting your business when you want to be relaxing by the pool and sightseeing.

You can set up tweets before you go, no limits about how far in the future! You could be on the 'other side' but if your Twitter account didn't get cancelled, and tweets are scheduled, they'll happen - spooky!

The app is still in beta, and Howard is keen for people to use it and email him about any bugs. The only one I have found so far is that the membership confirmation URL didn't work, but I could schedule tweets anyway.

Thanks Howard, well done.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Shortening URL's with benefits

For some time now I have been getting free leads for all my businesses through my membership of OrangeLeads

Just recently they added a new feature to their site which is proving really useful.

You are sure to have used or at least seen URL's shortened with and on Twitter, I was really pleased with to begin with because it gave me click stats, however what it DIDN'T do was to let me correct or change a target URL if I mistyped or simply wanted to change it.

Tinyurl is now also being rejected by firewalls and security systems such that you may not be able to use it at all.

Let's say for instance you've worked really hard on Craigslist, OLX or similar to put out a load of ads and you've used the same shortened URL, then you find that it is going to a 404 page because you typed the destination wrong.

With OrangeLeads new URL shortening service you get click stats AND the opportunity to correct mistakes, so all your work won't be wasted.

OrangeLeads is a free service (premium option available) so join today and get several useful services along with your URL shortening.

I mentioned OLX before, this is a worldwide advertising service that you may find very useful - this is the UK site, but you can choose where to post your ad.

I also came across this great report on using Twitter effectively for promoting your business. - and another one free

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Send your Dad a real card from your PC

Father's Day is less than a week away, but you still have time to send your lovely Dad a card.

Sre you can send him an e-card or a text on his phone, but there is nothing so nice as to get a REAL card in the post on your special day.

Whatever the occasion, SendoutCards has something for you - over 10,000 different cards in their catalogue in fact.

You can choose how you use the service - a light user can choose an annual account at $25 and just buy card points and postage expenses as needed. It will cost you just under $2 US to send a card anywhere in the world (excluding your annual charge) and you do it all right from your PC.

For folks with lots of friends and relations, there is an upgraded retail account that puts 20 card points in your account each month and you can still top up. This works great for businesses too, why not thank your customers for their loyalty or tell them about new products and services.

Add-ons include a facsimile signature and the ability to upload your own images - so businesses can use any company brand images and logos.

Why not try it all absolutely free with a gift account - just go to and you'll reach my SendoutCards page. To find out more about becoming a distributor go to and get the details from SEO Kody Bateman.

And if you want to be a distributor, Sendoutcards will really look after you, train you and keep you up to date - definitely the most caring and personal online business I have encountered to date - you'll feel like family, especially with me as your sponsor!

SendoutCards motto is 'Changing the world, one card at a time' - now isn't that nice!

Have a great day.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Do you tweet? Do it profitably

Revtwt (recently re-named from Twtad) is a great way to do a few extra tweets a day and get paid for them when people click on your ads - kind of Adsense for Twitter.

If you have lots of Twitter followers, this could be a fantastic earner for you.

Plus, if you refer other people to Revtwt, you get a percentage of their earnings.

Signing up is easy, just go here

Rex Harris, who is a very well known and reputed networking expert recommends that you use the Twitter hashtag feature to boost your marketing efforts.

By watching the 'Trending Topics' in the Twitter sidebar AND using popular search terms, you can reach a much bigger audience, and find people who may be interested in the products you offer.

If you really have something to say that might help them, you can use a 'reply' with their name in and including something about YOUR topic and YOUR promotional URL.

For instance when I finish this post, I'm going to post a tweet with the words #blog and #marketing in it.

Have a profitable Tweeting week!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

New helpful blog for you

Just a quickie, I wanted to share this with you all.

Was 'tweeted' and followed by Jimmie Schwinn who writes a great blog about home biz and network marketing.

Check it out here

You'll find training, advertising tips and some great businesses.

Put it on your feeds list today.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

EI42 - Your FREE online shopping portal

If you live in the USA or UK, and love to shop online, you could save yourself some money here and even end up in profit if your friends shop with you and/or open their own portals.

You earn from your referrals down an amazing SEVEN levels!

The idea is simple. Instead of directly visiting online shops and sites like ebay, Next, Argos, PC World, and loads more (1338 in all in the UK), you visit them VIA your EI42 portal. When your spend is confirmed, you get a cash rebate in your account - simple. When you reach £20 worth of rebates, you get paid to Paypal.

The site is customisable and colourful and very easy to use. I actually joined this last year, accidentally deleted the email address associated with it and forgot all about it! Just think of all the rebates I could have earned - what a pity - still got it now and can share it with you all.

Please visit and join via the link appropriate for where you live

UK -


I would also like to give a mention to fellow 'tweeter 'bloggirl' - some excellent moneymaking links on her blog at - visit it soon.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Some you pay for, some you get free

A few weeks ago I mentioned Me2Everyone which is still happily giving away free shares pre-launch, although the site doesn't look terribly pretty yet. I would still recommend signing up though, you never know how it might turn out.

A similar offering popped up today -

The website is once again a pre-launch one and says that it will be offering a combination of all the things we know and love about our social networks, search sites, chat, music and even dating all under one roof.

It offers the chance to earn free Euros for your sign up and from your referrals. Once again, worth a try just for curiosity's sake.

Xocai chocolate is taking the UK by storm and is now about to hit the rest of the Euro zone. If you are a keen network marketer, definitely do not miss this one, and read about some of the benefits of the product on my sister blog Hot Choc Profits.

Adgitize had a lot of technical problems a few weeks back and may have put you off placing an ad with them. It all seems to be sorted out just fine now, and it is such a bargain for blog advertising you really cannot ignore it.

Still doing very well with Twitter and its partners as in my last blog. Not just about the number of people that you can get YOUR message out to, but who you meet and what you learn, and of course the entertainment value.

I never thought of myself as a celebrity watcher, but have been amused by some of the things that Jonathan Ross (wossy) and Stephen Fry tweet about.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Twittering Tentacles Batman!

I was somewhat wary about joining Twitter. I have totally abandoned Facebook and Myspace as timewasters. However, after barely a week I’m hooked on tweeting and I have discovered some very useful add-ons which are letting me get to a whole world of potential customers.

Number 1 add-on has to be Twitterhawk - this invaluable little gadget enables me to sniff out what the Twitter world is tweeting about and tweet anyone who uses my designated keywords in their tweets. There are limitations of course, or Twitterhawk would probably be the world’s biggest spammer. Basically you are supposed only be able to send 6 messages per day, one for each of your keyword sets.

You are allowed 6 keyword sets and 5 different messages per keyword set which auto-cycle. You can auto-send the second, someone uses your keywords or the Twitterhawk system will queue your messages for approval. However, there seem to be some dodges around this. I queued my outgoing tweets and found that it seemed to have multiple messages for the same keyword set and it let me send all of them.

Also, if you use up all your 6 messages for the day, it appears that if you delete them, and set up new ones, you can do it all over again. There are ingenious ways that you can query what the world’s Twitterers are saying.

Setting a keyword of ‘tuna ?’ for example will pick up a message that has the word tuna in it and is also a question, as in "Did you have tuna sandwiches for lunch ?

"prawn salad" near:"Baltimore" will detect a message such as "I’m having prawn salad for dinner" which was sent within 15 miles of anywhere called Baltimore. Don’t ask me how it distinguishes between different Baltimore’s - I have no idea. Does it know the difference between multiple Portsmouths in the USA and Portsmouth UK for example - I’m asking!

Tweetergetter gets you what amounts to thousands of free leads by a viral method. I set it going this morning, but I can’t tell whether the people who joined me today as followers came in that way or not. It seems like a great idea and requires no effort anyway so take a look at the linky.

Now Tweetdeck. I’ve downloaded this and I am trying to figure out whether it is a more efficient method of managing my Twitter feeds or not. Jury’s out.

So, what was it about tentacles then Robin?.

Ages ago, someone showed me a diagrammatic method of managing your time and organizing your ideas. For instance - you are working out what your priorities are for the day. You have an idea that one particular topic is the most important for you to concentrate on. So take a blank sheet of paper and write your topic right bang in the middle of it. Let’s say you have a new business opportunity or promotion method you want to get out to all your friends in different social and business network. Draw lines outwards from your original topic and write in the group names.

As you do this, you will find yourself thinking of links from those, which might be other things to do related to that group, but not to the original topic or subdivisions. You’ll end up with first of all something that looks like a creature with lots of tentacles, and then spawns other multi-tentacled creatures.

You can also use this method for developing ideas and projects. I even used it as a therapy for my depression to see where different thoughts were leading me and identify solutions and antidotes. That was really helpful. It is a very useful technique and I can recommend.

It has a proper name, if anyone can tell me, please comment- thanks.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Twittering away ... and Foodbuzzing

Can't understand why I have never Twittered till this week.

It's proving to be a great source of traffic, particularly for my Love of British Food blog which pays me per unique view.

Better still is TwitterHawk. Now let's suppose someone I have never met, has never read an of my blogs or come across any of my websites, tweets the words 'healthy' and 'chocolate' in the same message to their Twitter followers. TwitterHawk will recognise that I could usefully send a message to them about my Xocai business and sends it for me. Not only that, it makes them one of my followers. They can choose to ignore or block me if they wish, but my message, with my Xocai marketing site URL is on their tweets page. That's pretty good.

To avoid being accused of spam, TwitterHawk only lets me send one message per 24 hours, but if only a tiny fraction of those 365 tweets results in some interest in my message, I'm happy. I can set up a number of messages with the same, or varying trigger words, and automatically rotate to test which message works the best.

Foodbuzz is another food related community which is now feeding traffic to Love of British Food blog and I have picked up a whole load of new followers for the blog in just 24 hours.

It's going to be a profitable week I think!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Quick, Easy, Free to Join, NOT to be missed

Something incredible has arrived!

I just became a shareholder in Me2everyone and I never had to pay a single penny for the shares! It can only be described as the gold-rush for 2009. This company is going to be huge and shares will soar in value over the coming months! You can register for free and it never has to cost you a single penny!

Me2everyone is going to be a cool new virtual world where you can meet friends, chat, shop, play, watch videos, create an art gallery, open a virtual newspaper, play the free inworld lottery and make money from your own online store!

You and everyone you know make the decisions, shape the world, create real incomes and share in the profits. It’s a new place where you meet new people or invite your friends. Learn new skills or expand your business. Find the love of your life or help the planet.

Membership is free and every member automatically becomes a shareholder in me2everyone Limited. Personally I have 2500 shares in the venture and I'm going to increase my shares very soon. Plus, I get extra shares when YOU register with me and you will get extra when you sign up YOUR friends.

The T&C changes for the share opening offer so do this today January 11th if you can. I'll update this post when the T&C change. This is an excellent chance for all of us to make some real progress in 2009 and beyond!

Please don't miss it.If you are looking for something really good in 2009: something that changes your view on the world, then you really have to spend just one minute and look at this website.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Link and Drop Luvvies

I've been very remiss about doing this before, but it really is time that I said thanks to those people who regularly drop on my entrecard, visit all my blogs via Adgitize and give me link love in other ways.

I'm saying thanks here on behalf of all of my blogs (even those Entrecard doesn't like - sticks out tongue ) so if you are wondering why you're here when you've only visited the others - now you know. The list is in the sidebar if you haven't seen my other blogging efforts.

Broadly speaking, those who Adgitize have Entrecard, although not necessarily vice versa. These are the names I see most frequently when I analyse who has visited and who I am pretty sure stays around longer than the 5 seconds it takes to find the widget and record your visit.

In no particular order.....

Greg Matthews likes to rant
Raging Rev
Orient Lodge
Girls Business
Bring Home the Dollars
Adsense Addict
Fire and Glass
Emm In London
Qiwoman's Click Corner
Annie's Savvy Cafe
A Redhead Ranting
A Second Cup

....and lots, lots more - you really are appreciated and more so if you comment, so I can improve and write stuff you will like.

What was particularly satisfying is the number who visited my new foodie blog For the Love of British Food on when I launched it recently. I reviewed as a blogging platform a few days ago.

Apart from my BIG Entrecard whinges, I had a little one in their forum. I keep getting ad requests from people who haven't even checked out my content and dropped - I've stopped approving them and they get a rejection and little 'love note' to say drop first then ask again. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Watch out for the Entrecard style police in 2009

This is a follow-up to my earlier post about one of my blogs that was removed from the Entrecard system. Following an acrimonious dialogue in the Entrecard forum, they now say that they plan to 'clarify' their quality rules and remove large numbers of blogs that don't meet their standards and I am just the tip of the iceberg apparently.

What they say in their reply is that they are so overworked and understaffed that they don't have the resources to review every blog as soon as it is added, and that new blogs cannot regard themselves as 'accepted' just because they aren't immediately explicitly rejected and removed (and are still there after 6 weeks).

I would warn all Entrecard users that promote any affiliate links of any kind in their blog to watch their step. What I considered to be informational links - because they were not directly promoting my PERSONAL affiliate link - were still regarded by admin as being 'paid posts'.

No Entrecard user is safe now. If you don't keep a watch on any new rules and measure them against your blog, you could have your entire account removed overnight by their style police and don't bother appealing, it isn't just worth the stress and aggravation.

As users of the system, everyone needs to say once and for all that provided a blog meets the basic commonsense guidelines that everyone would want and expect, any further definition of quality opinions should not be driven by Entrecard's admin. but by the community.

The ideal situation is that some blogs might get visited and dropped on by the compulsive droppers but anything that the Entrecard community don't like or can't be bothered with, won't get the kind of quality traffic that stays, reads and follows.

I have some suggestions for Entrecard. Make every blogger pay just a few dollars for every blog they have on the system. Not as a monthly subscription, just when you join or add a blog to your list. It might deter some we don't really want in the system anyway and pay for them to take on some competent and technically qualified staff who aren't totally up their own ****.

Secondly, put any new definitions and guidelines in front of the community and let them decide whether the changes are needed. Whose community is it after all?

Let the community decide democratically whether the entire category of online moneymaking should disappear because according to how I've been treated, most of the blogs in there would be for the chop. My thread is now closed, but if you object to what has happened to me and the proposals, go to the forum and start a new one - now - today.

Thirdly, dramatically reduce the total number of drops you can do from each account per day. This will deter the people who ONLY drop for ec to buy advertising for themselves, build automated systems to help their excessive drop habit, and have no interest whatever in reading your content. Allowing 300 drops per day from each blog does not encourage the creation of quality content - you can't be spending time thinking and writing if you are just surfing from blog to blog and never even stopping to read a headline!

Now - an example of the most astounding hypocrisy from Entrecard! If you have a VIP blog and post on, you receive $1 for each post (1 per day) and every view to your page is paid for. Entrecard users are allowed to join bloggers can carry an Entrecard widget although other kinds of advertising widgets are not permitted. Even more hypocritical is the fact that Entrecard actually carry advertising for on their front page!

And, incredibly after all my efforts to get an answer, no-one at Entrecard was able to supply one to the original question - did a 'sticky post' with a date in the future draw the blog to their attention in the first place. They say they can't be expected to be experts in every blogging platform - I'm not asking them to be, it's their own system I'm enquiring about! They should be expected to know about that, shouldn't they? Hmm.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Every post pays me

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned another blog I run on, called For the Love of British Food.

I've been doing some hard thinking about how I'm going to maximise my blogging profits in the coming year, and this blog will definitely be a key part so here's a review of what it's like to run a blog in this location.

The most attractive part of the deal is being paid for 1 post per day and every unique view in a month. You don't get a lot for the views, but you get $1 per post and a whacking $5 for referring a new blogger to Looking a little deeper into the rules for referrals, the new blog will need to meet some fairly stringent conditions, such as having 10 posts within a 3 month period - even more than Entrecard! There are some very generous monthly bonuses for referring large numbers of new blogs, but the target of a minimum 300 is unrealistic and I'd be surprised if they'd ever have to pay out on this.

You don't earn through your own Adsense account, but claim they share Adsense click revenue with you. I can't find anywhere in my earnings stats that specifically identifies what I earned this way though.

One thing they really do need to work on is the user interface. There are two different account/blog control areas and they are only linked one way. The menu you get to when you login has a further link to your blog control panel and once you are there you can't get BACK to the login menu, so I recommend opening in a new tab or window. The login menu untidy and ragged in appearance too.

Help is a bit sketchy. There is a Help 'wiki', but a lot of topics don't have anything in them. However the forum is a good source of information and there is a very helpful user blog called 'The Answerman'. I'm planning to do some investigation to see if users can help build the help wiki.

You won't be able to use as full a range of moneymaking and traffic-gathering widgets as you can on Blogger or other platforms, and the guidelines for what you can and cannot use are in the forum in a sticky post. Entrecard is apparently OK, but Adgitize is not allowed as a widget which is rather disappointing. However, Adgitize does NOT require you to carry an advertising widget on all blogs in your account, so although this rule may change in the future, I will be adding my For the Love of British Food blog to my account.

Creating widgets is a little confusing and not very elegant. There isn't a specific HTML/Java widget, you need to use the text one. To set up a feed link you can either use the Meta widget or find a suitable image and create your own in a text link. Some of the themes already include feed icons. The widget list optimistically says 'Tag Cloud', but it's just a plain old list. You can move your widgets around in the sidebars the same way you can here in Blogger.

There are a reasonable range of attractive themes and templates available including 2 and 3 column options, and on a number of them you can customize and replace the header image with one of your own, which I did.

I frequently prepare my blog posts in Word so I can spell and grammar check beforehand, but it seems that there are conflicts when you paste into the editor, and line and paragraph breaks can get corrupted. A forum post recommends doing all your checking, then pasting it as plain text. A bit annoying as you then lose all your hyperlinks and have to re-add. If you are good at HTML, it may be quicker to take the risk that you'll get some odd formatting after pasting from Word, and fix it in the HTML editor view.

Finally, the payment lowdown. You have to reach a minimum of $50 to get paid at all, so daily bloggers with a very high readership and a referral or two might hit the target in a month, two months is more realistic.

You can only have one 'VIP' blog qualifying for the paid programme, you can't REFER someone else in your household, but it says nothing about spouses, partners, housemates etc having a NON-referred account, provided they have their own Paypal account or a bank account to pay a cheque into. Presumably the cheques are issued from a US bank in $.

I'd recommend it with the above warnings, but do make sure you are aware of all the exclusions and restrictions or you could end up frustrated and annoyed that the only way you can actually earn and monetize your blog is through themselves.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Site Review - Marketing Opinions

Have been catching up with my Entrecard and Adgitize dropping and clicking today and came across Marketing Opinions .

I have seen some of the techniques for making the most of Adsense and other SEO topics scattered across half a dozen different blogs, but this has a lot of info in one place which is handy for anyone just starting out as a paid blogger.

As well as being a good reference, it has a nice layout, good choice of fonts and invites comments and enquiries giving a direct email address.

Just a couple of minor gripes - I couldn't find a profile of the author - it is always good to know the credentials of those giving advice. Also, there are places where the grammar is bad or the words don't make sense at all. This is irritating and so unnecessary. If you are not 100% confident about your spelling and grammar, compose offline in Word or similar and use all the checking tools.

The blog also lists tools and moneymaking sites that you will find useful, such as the backlink checker, DoFollow Blog finder and the paid survey directory (you DON'T have to pay to get the info and it's good - I use several of the sites in the UK section myself) but some of the 'links' in the tools list did not go to the sites indicated, one ending up on a rather sleazy chat site.

If I was scoring this site, I'd probably give it 8/10. Not perfect, but a good addition to my list of blogs to follow.