I WILL make it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Grand Unveiling

So here goes: my new dog site. Constructive comments/criticism/suggestions are welcome. Mean/nasty/snarky remarks can be kept to yourself. Feel free to buy from the links if you like too ;)

I look foward to hearing what you think!

Comments can be sent to support AT a1-travel-accessories DOT com (unless you prefer the comments button)

Tara :)

As if there weren't few enough hours in the day

I went and joined Blog Clicker now too. It's almost identical to Blog Explosion, but the counter is shorter. I'll let you know how it goes :)

Tara :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

To Ladyshark

Hi, I have no other way to contact you as your blogger profile is hidden, and I couldn't find your nickname in that Yahoo group.

Thank you very much for the offer, it's sweet and I appreciate it. However, I voluntarily quit my job, I didn't lose it :) And while I cast no aspersions on "cyber-begging", I wouldn't feel right about it as it was my own choice to be unemployed.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your endevours.

Tara :)

On another note folks, if you like affiliate marketing blogs (such as mine, BJ's or JonnyQ888's) take a peek at the new link I placed, Mark's affiliate marketing blog. He's got some great tips in there, and I've added him to my FeedDemon RSS feeds. At least I can say that Blog Explosion was good for finding new AM blogs, since it's eaten up a sick amount of my time.. lol

Take care folks - and hopefully the next post (barring needing to reply to comments) should be the unveiling of the new site!

Tara :)

PS - has anyone taken their blog from Blogger and moved it to private hosting? Any tips for me? I'm thinking of doing that so I have better control of my stats.

I'm back!

Thank you readers for bearing with me and the long delay in posting. I didn't have a very good weekend, but thankfully it's over and I can properly move on.

So here's where I'm at with the dog site. Finally banged out 5 articles last night... and wow did they flow. I swear I had all 5 done in about 1.5 hours if not less. A couple are even well over 400 words! I'm now just waiting until a merchant approves the style of one of my links, and once they give me the go ahead, I will go live. Cross your fingers that it will be today or tomorrow. I'll give it until tonight I think. Worse comes to worse I'll go forward with SE submission without their approval and remove their link if they don't like it.

Rest assured that I will link from here as soon as I'm ready to go :) And if anyone has a dog/pet related site, let me know, we can exchange links!

Still having Adsense problems on the other site, and undecided as to what I'm going to do with it. I will still go forward, no doubt there, but I may just leave Adsense off and wait for Yahoo's version to come out - I hope that will be soon!

I'm loving the WAH part of this. I'm getting a lot done, but not overdoing it. My house is slowly getting cleaner and laundry that's been waiting for ages is getting done. If I'd had to work this week, there's no way I would've been ready to go camping this weekend. Not that I'll be staying down there yet, it's too cold still for that, and I still haven't worked out 100% what I'll be doing for an internet connection yet. It will either be my cell phone (once I establish how good the coverage is at the campground) or I'll go dial-up with a landline.

Just cross your fingers for me that I'll be able to sustain this for a while and I won't need to go after another job!

Tara :)

Friday, April 22, 2005

Moving On

In the spirit of "no matter how clear I am, some people will never get it and there comes a time to move on", here's my last post as an employee of Fido/Rogers.

Done on their internet connection and their computer while I'm supposed to be working! lol

Just over 2 hours to go, unless I get to leave early. It's fairly quiet, so that is likely.

The exit interview was interesting. I gave a lot of suggestions - here's hoping my conversion rate will be good! ;) And he liked my answers (in terms of what I said and how I said it) so much that he'd like me to come back for a kind of focus group, just me and some directors, to repeat what I said to try and maybe make some changes. I thought that was awesome!

So, goodbye Fido. It was mostly fun. I wish I could take everyone home with me. Since I can't, I'll remember you for when I have no specific time to get out of bed and pyjamas are my dress code, which is only slightly more liberal than here actually.. lol

On to bigger and better things!!!

Tara :)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

To the anonymous commenter

Here's the comment:

Couldn't yr last statment here also be construed as doing essentially the same thing as the person you wrote about did. It just is a lot less blatant.

Um, do you have problems reading? Or just English comprehension? Let me refresh your memory:

"And please, I hope no one who visits my blog clicks on the Adsense to help me - only click if you are interested in the site being advertised!"

Did anyone else think that I meant "please, click on my Adsense ads, I WANT to steal from generous Google and the advertisers"???

LET ME BE CLEAR: please, DO NOT click on Adsense UNLESS you are GENUINELY INTERESTED in the advertisement. This applies to ANY website you visit, not just this blog. I hope that was easier to understand, though I can't understand where the misunderstanding was to begin with. I also don't understand why someone with an IDtenT problem bugged me that much, but I have a problem when my integrity is attacked.

Heck, I've gone so far as clearly explain what Adsense is to close friends and family and TO NEVER click on it unless they have a sudden urge to purchase some kind of travel accessories.

I have personally clicked on Adsense on one or two sites because I was interested in the product. I'm not ready to buy yet, and won't be for a long time (a new R.V.) but that site is bookmarked for when I will be ready. I don't click on it willy nilly, because I know what it's about.

In conclusion, I do NOT endorse what that other blog said in the SLIGHTEST and avidly encourage everyone to follow the example of what I wrote above and in yesterday's post. Or you may find yourself losing all your earnings. It's up to you.

Tara :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

An Example of what NOT TO DO

If the owner of this blog, http://davesinfoblog.blogspot.com/ would like to contact me, I have no problem with it, as I looked for a way to contact him and couldn't find any.

For anyone who's not clear on Google Adsense's TOS, DO NOT TELL PEOPLE TO CLICK ON THE ADSENSE! Especially don't say:

"Google's adwords are also a good way for your readers to reward YOU for running a good blog, without spending any of their own money. For instance, if YOU click one of the ads in the Google block on the right, I will earn a small amount of money. You don't actually have to SPEND any money to give me this small reward. Your users will be able to do the same with your blog."

This is the best way to LOSE the money you get. Let alone the ethical ramifications - this guy is essentially TELLING people to steal the advertisers' money. Don't get me wrong, it's crossed everyone's mind to suggest that (for a split second), but then we realize that it's wrong. Dave, if you're reading this, I would take that post down IMMEDIATELY unless you want to forfeit all the money you've made, even if it's a little. Because Google WILL catch you. I'm not doing this to be nasty, if I was, I'd have reported you to Google directly.

And please, I hope no one who visits my blog clicks on the Adsense to help me - only click if you are interested in the site being advertised!

Tara :)

Blog Explosion part deux

E-Beth said...
blogexplosion is like crack. I'll be so tired and wanting to go to sleep but I can't because the timer is clicking down and it won't kill me to stay for 30 more seconds...

I must say I agree! lol Did you find me through BE? Hope you blogmarked me! If you prefer, drop me an email, support AT a1-travel-accessories DOT com.

I haven't started today because I have other stuff to do, but I'm just itching to get back over there! lol

Thankfully I'm off work today so I can get more website work done. I haven't written an article in probably a month, other than product pages. I'm also having issues with Adsense on one site, most likely due to stop words, which I have to work on today. I also won't have much time until Sunday to do anything else, as I'm going to work early tomorrow and Friday to say goodbye to some of my friends. Then Saturday is my Grandmother's burial and memorial service and Sunday is a brunch with family who's come in from out of town for this.

So please don't get upset if there aren't any updates in the next few days :)

2 more days to go until I'm job free! One more week till camping, woo hoo!

Tara :)

Monday, April 18, 2005

Blog Explosion

I meant to talk about this yesterday, but got caught up in other stuff. Most of you probably already know about BlogExplosion, but for those who don't, it's a decent way to get more traffic to your blog.

The concept is kind of like reciprocal linking. You submit your blog to their directory, and then you surf other people's blogs. In return, you earn credits which go mainly towards other people surfing YOUR blog. As long as you have credits, your blog will be put in a random listing that other people will see. It has shot up my traffic like crazy.

Obviously, it's not all targeted traffic. But, since you can specify preferences on what topics you like to see, one would assume that people coming to your blog have done the same. You can also "blogmark" a blog to look at again later. I've added at least 15 blogmarks already, so I'm assuming at least 1 person has done the same to mine. Hopefully I'll start seeing some repeat surfers soon. And I know one person looked around a bit because they ended up on my travel site. So, I think it's worth surfing other people's blogs :)

If you want to try it out, see the button on the right. I think you'll find it worthwhile too :)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Interesting Article for All You AM'ers

Just found this in Feeddemon, and I thought it was a fantastic article with a very good point. I don't think I've done this yet, (other than the title tag) but I'm sure I will! lol


Busy Few Days

Unfortunately, none of it was really related to work. I got a ton of article outlines done at work though at least. 4 working days left, woo hoo! Yesterday, right after work, partly because I was sick of my hair and partly because of road work (i.e. bad traffic) being done, I decided to head to my parents so my mom could cut my hair. It was down to my butt, I kid you not. It was giving me neck aches from being so heavy, mainly when I sat at my computer, which as you know, is alot. So, now it's 1 inch past my shoulders. And nope, didn't cry this time! lol I wanted to go short for the summer, especially with being down at the trailer. With hair that long, I needed a ton of products to manage it, and mosquitoes LOVE hairspray.. so, off it came. I think it looks ok. Not spectacular, but it'll do.

And now that I've bored you all stiff with the trials and tribulations of my hair (not exciting, I know, but interesting to me, and hey, it's MY blog!) here's what's going on today. I either am suffering from the world's worst allergy attack or I have a cold, so I'm a bit on slo-mo. I was hoping to finish the last tweaks to the templates and then submit to some directories and engines, but I doubt I'll get all that done. At worst it'll be Wednesday when I'm off again. I promise I'll let you see the dog site as soon as I feel it's ready for public viewing :)

Still no commissions yet unfortunately, but the last couple of days of Adsense has been going quite well. Yesterday I got my coffee (but no doughnut) in Adsense. So far nothing today, but then again, by this time yesterday, I had nothing either. Only when I got home from the 'rents at 2:30 am (we stayed for supper and cards) did I check all my stats. Mind you, I can't go that long (10 hours) if I'm at home, I'm just too darn impatient.. lol And yesterday was my highest day in a while for uniques. Strangely enough as well, Google is sending me a few searches. Some of them are weird, like eaglecreekluggage (no spaces) where I do VERY well.. lol But some are legitimate, where I seem to be on the 3rd or 4th page. Not fantastic, but I'll take it, especially if I'm supposedly sandboxed.

Something to remember, which James mentioned in the last Buzz, and I think it's so true. You have to believe in what you're doing. And keep believing, even when people NOT in the business scoff. I was THRILLED with my great Adsense day - but my parents laughed. I shrug it off. I know that that was income from ONE site - and a new (comparetively) site at that - and that it will get a lot better with my 2 new sites. And keep someone who's positive about your experience close to you. My husband (though he's not nearly as positive as I am) does see the potential in this. He doesn't know that it will ever make enough for us to both quit our jobs, but he thinks there's definitely money to be made - and that helps me stay positive, when it's been 2 days and no Adsense income.

Food for thought....

Tara :)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Home Again Today

As I post this, I should be on my lunch hour at work. Sadly ;) I am not. I slept so badly that I am barely functional, so I called in sick. I swear every time I rolled over (which is often for me!) I woke up. I tried to take a nap earlier, and I may have been about 5 minutes away from sleep when the phone rang.

Turns out it was the tech support from eMax. I'm not sure if I've mentioned them before, other than under the links on the right. I have to say what an amazing company. I purchased 2 domains yesterday and upgraded my hosting package to $8.95, which includes 1 gig of storage, 60 gigs bandwidth, unlimited add on and sub domains, unlimited emails (POP3 and web), unlimited autoresponders and so much more. I decided to get one big package (60 gigs is WAY more than I need for a long time) and that way I'd just buy domains as I went. Oh, and their domains are $8.95, not a bad price. Of course, being a strict follower (unwilling) of Murphy's Law, something had to go wrong.

Now, even though the templates aren't finished with their tweaks yet (getting there though!) I decided to do all of this buying and upgrading so I could see them live (only so much that FrontPage can show you) and test the links and such, since I was having a tough time with the CSS. And here the problems start. I went into the CPanel and followed the instructions to add on the domains. I thought it went well. Then I tried to configure the publish feature. Un-uh, no go. So after playing around for a while, I decided to check my travel accessories site settings. Oops, couldn't publish that either.

Thankfully, eMax has 24/7 support through online tickets, and if necessary, they will call you. So, off I went to open a support ticket. In less than 10 minutes, I had a response. The shortest response time I saw (and I was taking a while, as I was watching Revelations and then Law and Order at the same time) was 2 minutes. It went back and forth until after midnight, and then my support guy went home, and (good idea) no one else got involved, as at this point, we'd already exchanged about 15 emails. This morning when I unwillingly got up, I faithfully trotted downstairs to my puter, and saw it should be fixed. Nope, it wasn't. So, it went back and forth again for a while, until (when I was taking my nap of course) I got a phone call. It was Chris, my amazing tech support guy (dealt with him when I had another problem, totally my fault too) to tell me he was sure this time and could I try it with him on the line.

What a patient guy. Because though the issues were on their end (I had made one tiny mistake on one domain, but it shouldn't have caused this much havoc) he had gone to the trouble to install FP on his computer and play around with publishing so he could walk me through my configs. And even though I still made a few more stupid mistakes (which he kindly fixed on their end) he was polite, friendly and not at all condenscending about my ignorance. All of this to say, go sign up with eMax! Their customer service is unmatched. I've worked in customer service for 11 years and I've never done this much work for one customer. And personally, I haven't found as good prices as them, which is of paramount importance when you're cheap and almost out of a job. (Yes, I know it was my choice!)

As for the domains, when they are a bit more user friendly, I will publish them here. Or maybe only one, I'm not sure how public I want to go. One of them has no affiliate marketing competitors that I've found, and I'd like to keep it that way. I'll probably figure out a way to password protect it so only people I trust can see it, or only send it out via email. Funny, when I started this, I was pretty adamant I would be completely open about what I was doing. Now I realize that while I would NEVER steal someone's stuff, I know other people will. Not suggesting my loyal readers of course - but now that I'm in a few directories, you don't know who will show up.

Anyway, since I'm stuck being awake for a while now, I should go do some work. One last little happy dance for you - I've got tomorrow's breakfast (Tim Horton's extra large mocha and apple fritter) in USD of course with Adsense today. In 4 clicks. I'm a much happy camper. If only every day could be like this!!!

Tara :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Off Work Today - And THANK YOU

Not that I'm done there yet... but only 9 days to go!! It's funny, but when everyone knows you're leaving, and they hear the reasons why, you suddenly hear they all feel the same way. And CSR's are dropping (their jobs) like flies right now at Fido. Don't get me wrong - it's a great job, both Customer Service and Wireless Technical Support. It's just not what I want anymore. Not only the schedules, because I could go back to CS *shudder* and have whatever I wanted. It's always the company as it is now - it ain't the same place. Try explaining that to a brainwashed manager, who thought I was leaving on a bad note. Um, NO, would I have sent a long email 2 weeks before leaving?

And the kicker - my supervisor pulls me to her desk on Monday and says, so the 23rd is your last day? I said, NO, 22nd. So she says - I don't think that will be a problem. I said well, if it is, I can always come in on the Wednesday (the 2nd half of my weekend) instead of the Saturday. She says, I'll check. Then she says, yeah, no problem, we're overstaffed on Saturday anyway, so you don't have to come in. Uh - HELLO - I gave NOTICE! It's not a negociation - I CAN'T work on the 23rd - hence the reason the 22nd is my last day, like I had said last week! Can you imagine trying to negotiate my last day with me, as if I'd go along with that?!?! But that's typical of this company.

Anyway, we'll stop talking about the stressful job. lol

I swear this entry was only going to be about AM and the two wonderful comments I got yesterday from Jean-Rene in New Brunswick and Louise in Ottawa. I have to say thank you (the title is for both of you) for saying such nice things. I have just scratched the surface of both your blogs, but it's on my to-do list to read them in full. It's so nice to get some validation that more than 2 people are reading this :) Even better to hear that you enjoy this blog! This is me, myself and I that I pour into these entries, so it's lovely to hear you like them, because it means you'd probably like me! And both of you have been bookmarked as well :)

So on with the business side of this entry. With my day off today, I have lofty goals - I know I won't get everything done (not defeatist - just realistic) unless I can squeeze another 12 hours into this day, but hopefully I'll get a bit of everything done. I would like to finish the big tweaks on the 2 templates I bought. I think I'll get one done today, the other one I haven't touched yet, so I'm not hopeful I'll finish today. I also want to get some research done for some articles so I can write them between calls, especially on Saturday. For me, this basically involves (strictly for research) copying and pasting all the information I can find on my topics. You may have noticed I'm fairly verbose, so the filler part of articles isn't too difficult for me. The hard part is talking intelligently about my topic. So this way, when it comes to describing specific products, I can look at what I'm describing, and use the merchant's description (in my own words, never plagarize!) to my advantage. I'm probably going to get more into RSS feeds for research as a friend described to me. She swears by it, and gets tons of information that way. That's a big priority once I'm done with work.

Here I've gone and written a book again - so I'll let you get back to work now, since I should too!

Tara :)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Learning CSS is fun... or NOT

Ok, I'm a learning junkie. When I WANT to learn something, researching, etc, I am a sponge. I can spend literally 12 hours on my 'puter surfing the net 7 days in a row if that's what it takes. (Yes, I HAVE done that before.) When it's something I HAVE to learn on the other hand, the time it takes to do so is considerably longer.

Imagine my joy at learning that CSS wasn't QUITE as easy as anticipated. I bought 2 templates (only cracked one open yet) that are simply gorgeous in my opinion, and suit my niches to a T. However one or both are CSS based. Now, I'd had every intention of learning CSS when I had more time.. say April 25? (Last day at work April 22nd, but my Grandmother's memorial service (died in January) is the 23rd and then a family brunch on the 24th are keeping me busy that weekend.) But - I need to get these sites up ASAP (duh, need money so I don't have to go look for another job at the end of the summer!) and so the time has become NOW. Yay.

Honestly though, I'm extremely entertaining to watch when I'm learning something new. I swear like a sailor (keep small children away) every time I screw up. I tend to like to learn on my own too, which can add to the frustration factor. Then, like a ray of sunshine, I figure out a tiny component of what I'm doing. Then I start giggling, saying "YAY ME!" and clap my hands. It's compulsive. I swear I can't stop doing it. The hubby loves it though - he gets SUCH a laugh out of my learning curves.

So, I should get back to it, but I thought I'd give y'all an update, and like BJ (see her blog to understand what I mean) this is starting to become how I take breaks.. lol

Take care,

Tara :)

Friday, April 08, 2005

Wow, it's been 5 days

Sorry about that my dear blog readers! Time has gotten away from me - what a surprise! lol

So, it's now official, I gave my notice at my job yesterday. April 22nd will be my last day. Didn't exactly get an overwhelming "we'll miss you" though my coach did say it. She might've been a bit more convincing though.. lol Whatever, I know she doesn't like me, and I'm not crazy about someone who is blatantly preferential to penises. I just hope in the next batch they hire another woman comes in. There are few enough already, 4 with me, in a group of 27 or so. To all the women reading this - you TOO can do tech support! It's not only for men. Just to prove it, and toot my own horn - to get in the tech support department at Fido you have to pass a test, and I got the HIGHEST score ever. Beating all of my male coworkers. So THERE.

Anyway, off THAT particular high horse.

Here's what's doing this 3 day weekend: finish the product pages for 2nd pet site and try and get some articles written for both. I've decided to write 5 articles before going live. I think I've finally decided on the templates (that was an ordeal in itself) and I have some good ideas for domains. Have to decide on hosting. I think I'll stick with eMax for now. I'm happy with their uptime and service and you can't beat the price ($3.95 US per month) for my needs. I'll have to call and see if I can order through my affiliate link.

Tomorrow we're hoping to head to a Sugar Shack with some friends and then down to our trailer at Monty's Bay, make sure it's still there, see how the ground looks. Then head to Plattsburgh to do some shopping. It's just not fair how much more selection there is in terms of food in the States compared to here in Canada. But it makes food shopping fun at least!

So cross your fingers I'll get all my work done. I have 5 product pages and 10 articles to write this weekend to get things going.

Have a fantastic spring weekend!

Tara :)

Sunday, April 03, 2005

I think I'm becoming an addict

I know I have an addictive personality - always have. I smoke, I can binge drink on occasion, I get addicted to songs, tv shows, video games - it's almost like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) but more for fun things.

My current game addiction has actually lasted a while, probably because it strictly involves clicking at a very fast pace, which seems to relieve stress. Stress from trying to come up with more articles, stress with my job, stress with trying to fit more hours in the day and still function. Anyway, the game is a free one, Insaniquarium Deluxe, you can get it popcap.com. They have tons of free cool games to keep me occupied. (Sidenote - one very drunk night after coming home from our favorite bar, I stayed up until 5 am and finished the then beta version of Typer Shark - it was up to level 17 at that point. I haven't really played it since, figuring if I could beat the game fall down drunk, sober wouldn't be much fun.)

And now, I'm becoming addicted to this blog. My hubby will laugh when he gets around to reading this, because he knows it's true. I'm an addict. I've purposefully never tried any drugs more serious than weed or hash, for fear of becoming addicted to something WAY too expensive for my wallet. Like e-books aren't bad enough! lol

So, here's an update: after having to redo all my research (totally worth it so far) I am now almost done with my product page outlines. I have the 2 home pages to do and 3 product pages to go. I wanted to get tons more done, like maybe FINISH the outlines at least, tonight, but it won't happen.

The problem is, I've totally thrown my body's sleep pattern off with starting work @ 8:30 this morning. I usually don't get up until 10 or 11 am, so 7 am HURT. I thankfully got to leave an hour early, but between shopping for supper and catching up on email, I was tired. So I took a nap at 8 pm. I then slept too long (but it was sooooo nice) getting up at almost 11. Probably not the wisest idea, especially since daylight savings kicked in tonight and I've now lost an hour. And the icing on the cake? Sleep is NEVER great for me, I have a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. I stop breathing 40-60 times per hour and wake up over 100 times per night of sleep. So any day of the week, I struggle to get things done due to lack of motivation, which is directly due to my lousy sleep.

That's one of the biggest reasons I want to work from home. Without a set schedule, I can let my body get as much sleep as I need, and work at better times for me, which is generally late evening. I often will stay up until 5, 6, 7 am with no problems. So cross your fingers folks that I get everything done tomorrow, maybe if I do really well, I can have both sites live by next weekend! I've decided to wait on going live until I have at least 5 articles. I think it just makes sense for my (hopefully) future visitors.

So, all that being said, since it's TECHNICALLY now 4:42 am and I won't get that lost hour back, I should probably haul my big butt into bed and get some sleep.

Good night!

Tara :)

Friday, April 01, 2005


If you had the misfortune to be visiting my blog in the last hour... I've been playing with Adsense and was publishing every 2 seconds - and it looked mighty strange for a bit in there. I think I'm done for tonight - thanks for bearing with me!

Tara :)

Early Friday Morning, And...

Well, I doubt very much I'll make my goal of the skeletons of the 2 sites. I bought Keywords Results Analyzer and after reading the manual, I realised that while my research at Wordtracker wasn't BAD, it just wasn't going to work with KRA. So, I went back and redid ALL my research (tried to use what I had, and after several hours, finally figured it was faster to start over) and also did a competition search, which is really the basis of KRA.

So, I'm a little behind schedule, to put it mildly. I'm hoping to get the home and products pages done for my dog site tomorrow. And I don't think there are any network integrations on Saturday (I have to work, hence my current 3 days off), at least I sure as hell HOPE not, so maybe I'll get more done at work on Saturday if it's quiet.

And since I talked a bit about KRA, I should mention that I think it's a great tool, but like BJ says, if you are very proficient in Excel, you could probably set up a similar spreadsheet yourself. I, however, am NOT, so this tool is very worth it to me. I'm still not sure how brutal I'm going to be when it comes to what the minimum KEI (see Wordtracker's website for more info) and maximum competing sites numbers, but it's sure fun to play around!

I think that's about it... Except it SO should've been Chris fired tonight on the Apprentice! And good riddance to Ibrahim on Survivor.. though Bobby John or Steph would've been just as good. I'm finding this season lame.. how boring - 7 tribal councils IN A ROW - what special kind of idiots do you have to be?!

Tara :)