I WILL make it!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Almost done

Both home pages and all product pages are now done. Meta tags and most tweaks as well. All that's left is about 10 articles (Eric's agreed to write 5, yay!) a few final touches, and by the end of next week, these 2 sites should be live. Then I think on to the next 2. I'm hoping with all these sites live (and the 5 jobs I applied for today) I'll be generating enough money to outsource the rest of the articles for all my sites. Not all at the same time, obviously; there will be bills to pay - but a good start. These are my small dreams at the moment, anyway...

I also hope to start having enough time to actually clean my house. I don't think it's been FULLY clean, the whole house at the same time, in over a year. After closing the trailer last year we had so many other things to catch up on and then after Christmas I started looking for, finding and working like a mad woman on my business. This hasn't really stopped yet. So maybe, JUST MAYBE, my house will be clean enough that I can actually have people over to visit. It's been a long while.

Well, I suppose my 5 am ramblings have bored y'all enough now. I think just one more game of poker and then bed. Happy Thursday!

Tara :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

It's funny

Yesterday's title was "I'm so not in the mood" which was true. I'm not again today. The thing is, I wrote 2 home pages and 10 product pages yesterday... lol I have 5 product pages to go, then 5 articles each site and then I go live. So if I keep the hustle up you might, MAYBE see the new sites this week. Of course, I'm much anal retentive and must perfect everything first so it's more likely gonna be next week. Still exciting though - I'll have 6 sites started! Just need to find a job now so I can hire writers!

Financially, the sites just aren't doing as well. I'll be quite lucky to break $200 in Adsense this month - strike lucky, it would take a miracle! I have a few sales between the sites and da blog but it's no where near enough to get me up to what I made last month and July. Hence the rush to go forth and multiply. Sites that is - not children ;)

Did anyone check out Netshops? What do you think of them? I look forward to promoting them, especially on my 2 new sites. I could go with just a couple of their stores if I really wanted to, but I can't help adding a little variety. I will admit though that so far, both sites should have no more than 3 (some 2) merchants per product page. It hurts me, it really does... but too much choice and they won't buy. I know that. I just want to cover every possible product my visitors might want. See - anal!

Guess that's it for now! Another question for y'all - did anyone take a free pass from Shawn Collins for eComXpo? Just wondering who I'll "see" there. Also, is anyone planning on attending The Affiliate Summit in Vegas January 8-10?

Have a great day!

Tara :)

Monday, September 26, 2005

I'm so NOT in the mood

But, I have to press on. No more excuses - I've figured out which merchants I want to use, got NetShops approval to join their program, now I just have to WRITE. One of my least favorite things.. lol About Netshops: if you listen to the Buzz, you'll have heard JM talk about them. It's a very very cool concept that I don't find anyone has satisfactorily explained, at least in brief.

Basically, they have a bazillion stores (well, over 70) that are completely nichefied. For example, Adirondack Chairs sells only Adirondack chairs, perhaps 1 or 2 complimentary products like a table in the Adirondack style. ALL their stores are like that. A few more examples: daybeds, desk lamps, bar stools, filing cabinets, etc. You get the idea. Plus, what no one seems to be saying (except the site itself) is that all the stores are owned by NetShops and they all have the same commission - 10%. Not bad at all - alot of similar merchants are well under 10%. Plus, since they own them all, they guarantee quality - and if you were to use 5, 10, even 70 merchants - ONE affiliate manager. I LOVE that!

Anyway, I suppose I should get to the writing that I don't feel like doing.. lol Hope your weekend was nice, have a lovely week!

Tara :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Not much new


So I thought I should mention eComXpo one last time, since tomorrow is the last day to get the great discount price. Here's the top 5 reasons to attend as per the website (though I agree 100%, and please remember even before I got the free pass I was thisclose to buying my own pass, so I am very serious about encouraging you to attend.):

Top 5 Reasons to Attend eComXpo

1 All the benefits of a top tradeshow, from the comfort of your home or office, for as little as $19.95! (Tara's note: go for the $49.95 pass though since then you'll get to see a bunch of cool people's presentations, including James Martell!)

2 View presentations and enjoy interactive Q&A with top industry speakers including Seth Godin, John Battelle, Shawn Collins, Fredrick Marckini, James Martell, Dana Todd, Kevin Lee and Declan Dunn, plus 70 others, including executives from Google, Yahoo, Commission Junction, Linkshare, Performics and more. Learn cutting edge, practical techniques in SEO, PPC, contextual search, local search, affiliate marketing, multi-channel retailing, blogging, legal, branding and interactive advertising, without the cost, travel or hassle of traditional events. Click here to view the full speaker list

3 Over 130 leading product, service and merchant exhibitors in one place at one time, with booth staffers ready to answer your questions and cut special deals. Click here to view the full exhibitor list

4 The ability to easily find and network with hundreds of peers, prospects, customers and experts using instant messaging, email, business card exchange or simply picking up the phone.

5 Lot’s of free stuff including
** $400 in PPC credits from Google & Yahoo Search Marketing*
** Annual subscription to Revenue Magazine
** $50 coupon off concert/sporting event tickets
** Plus a chance to win over 100 prizes including trips, big screen TV’s, iPods and more.
(*Requires booth and/or presentation visits. New customers only)

Ok, off that horse now - but I hope you're thinking about it! Anyway, spent all day yesterday fixing up TONS of stuff on the 2 related site templates. I was creating all the permanent links like the menus, fixing the footer, the exchange links pages, I created the article template for EZ Article Publisher (another tool I absolutely ADORE, saves me SO much time, I can't wait to save even more when I outsource articles) and figured out which merchants I'm going to be using, providing they accept me, of course. I guess it doesn't SOUND like much, but it sure felt like a lot! lol So now, I think those 2 templates are just about ready to go live, except for that pesky content I need to write.. lol

I think I'll be going with obviously the home/product pages plus 5 articles each to go live. Then I'll move on to 2 more sites probably, if not the other 4 at the same time. And because the topics of these 2 sites I'm working on now are fairly guy friendly, Eric is gonna help out. I'm going to get him to write a couple articles at least - because the sooner they're live, the sooner I'm making money!

On another note - while writing this entry, I just found out I have a complimentary pass to give away to eComXpo. It's not the full pass, but it will get you access to the following:

*Visit the Affiliate Marketing and Search Interactive Marketing Exhibit Halls.
*Participate in keynote presentations as well as group panel discussions.
*Win great prizes like a trip to Las Vegas, ipods and much more!

And if you decide to upgrade today or tomorrow, you should be able to get the full pass for around $30. Don't hold me to that, since I'm not 100% positive, but it SHOULD. So - the first person to email me that they want it, gets it. Send me an email with the subject "ecomxpo" and I'll forward you the pass right away. Email addy: support AT a1-travel-accessories DOT com

See you there!

Tara :)

Monday, September 19, 2005

In answer to a question

A couple of people have asked me how I get Adsense to display at the end of every blog entry. It's actually just putting the Adsense code into the Blogger template. I don't know if it will work in other blog programs like it does with Blogger, since for some reason it automatically removes itself from older entries to make sure there are no more than 3 adsense blocks per page. I hope that helps. If you want more help, let me know :)

In personal news, I'm home now. We'll still be going to the trailer on weekends for another month or so, but since my camping friends have closed up for the season and it's getting cooler at night (plus they were predicting crappy weather for this week) I decided to come home. To mitigate those factors, there was a job I applied for last week which would have been perfect for me - 11-8 Mon-Thur with great pay. I didn't get it because they wanted the person to start today and I couldn't get to an interview last week. And with my income SUCKING this month (my daily average WITH sales is lower than last month's Adsense average alone) I have no choice but to get a job. I'd figured as much back in April, but I'd so hoped I wouldn't have to. Oh well, at least this way I'll be able to start outsourcing like the rest of you. Keep your fingers crossed that I can find a decent paying part-time job!

In my usual fashion, whenever I come home, my first day is a write-off. For some reason when I come home I'm either exhausted or don't feel great and end up taking a long nap. Oh well, back to work tomorrow. I'd like to think I'll get some/all of the home/product pages written for 2 of the new sites, but realistically I know myself and if I get ONE page done I'll be thrilled.. lol I'll tell you something though, I'm tickled pink to be back on DSL!! If I can do this again next year, there WILL be high speed internet at the trailer! I'm not doing the dial up thing again, that's for damn sure.

I guess that's about it, nothing earth shattering to talk about today. Hope your weekend and Monday went well!

Tara :)

Friday, September 16, 2005

What I’ve been up to

Well, a LOT. Which I was why I haven't posted in a week. I've been working from the time I roll outta bed till I fall back in it. Like I said, I bought 3 templates from Golden Pine Cone last week, so I’ve been working on creating headers (banners) for them to match the theme of the sites. I was also playing with the colours a bit. Played with the links too.

Then I pulled up all my keywords associated with the first 2 sites I’ll be launching which are closely related, and put them through Keywords Results Analyzer. I did this to sort them a bit more into categories for the product pages. I also went back into Wordtracker to pick up a few more keywords to fill out the list. Basically – nothing that interesting to share with y’all.

Of course, it all had to start out with issues with Front Page. Thankfully the great folks at eMax hosting were able to help me sort it all out and in record time too. I just love that company! They have amazing customer service combined with fantastic prices, which is always my main concern... lol

On the financial front this week has gone from so-so to great to lousy. I had a couple of double digit days in Adsense, but yesterday and today are sucky again. Had a couple of sales, including my first one on Clixgalore (I was SERIOUSLY starting to wonder if they were fraudulent, but it was just my sites sucking I guess.. lol) so even though they were small, at least it makes me feel better! Oh, and the Clixgalore sale was from my Gourmet Food Gifts site! Kinda cool 1.5 months in!!!

And lastly – I noticed a few people visited the EcomXpo site, but no one seems to have signed up. Whether or not you do it through my link (which I’d prefer obviously, but I'll forgive you if not) you should really consider “going” – especially those of us who can’t afford to fly out to something like CJU. Just a thought. If you’re still thinking about it, just remember that you only have 6 days left before the early bird prices fly away.

So, with that wordy post done, I will bid you adieu and have a great weekend! Oh, and if you're going to CJU - I hate you, but have a good time, and learn lots!!! ;)

Tara :)

Friday, September 09, 2005


Ok, so I'm not sure if you remember my long post about the free online conference ticket I got. Well, that's what I'm going to talk about today. Now, just so there's no accusations of hiding anything, this IS an affiliate link - eComXpo - but I still think it's an excellent concept, with an affordable price tag.

I know a lot of us would love to go to CJU for example, but the entry cost alone is often too much for those of us starting out. For as low as $19.95 however, you can get a lot of the benefits of an affiliate marketing conference, without many of the expenses, like flight, hotel, food, etc. Honestly though, I would go for the $49.95 option. It gives you full access to all the presenters and booths. Consider just a few of the big names who will be doing presentations: James Martell, Shawn Collins, Paul Colligan, Patrizio Spagnoletto from Yahoo! Search Marketing, Declan Dunn, Emily White from Google (she manages a team of Optimization and Client Services professionals who support AdWords advertisers) and many, many more. It's on from October 6-8, and if you register before September 22nd, you can benefit from the early bird prices which I mentioned above.

There is also a 3rd ticket you can get. I'm debating about getting it myself, since the free pass I received is the 2nd level. It gives you everything the 2nd level does, plus access to the archived presentations for 90 days. If you get it before September 22nd it's $149.95. I think it may be worth it, though you can replay the presentations during the conference, if I understood correctly.

If you do decide to go, there are v-card exchanges possible, so you may want to make one up to have ready to give to all the great merchants. Who knows, you might be able to negotiate a better deal than what you have now! Let me know if I should expect to "see" you there!

Tara :)

P.S. The link takes you directly to the sign up page. If you want to explore a little bit, once you're AT the page, you can go to www DOT ecomxpo DOT com.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

New site mode - on steroids

So, here we go again. I've decided that I'm going to create 3 or 6 (haven't decided yet, but got 3 templates for now) sites at approximately the same time. Or at least, work on them all at the same time. They probably won't go live all the same day though. I have 5 domains ready to go, and the 6th site has a general idea, but I need to nichefy it more.

So today I picked up 1 template and 2 licenses from the ReFresh series at Golden Pine Cone to start work on the new sites. Just another reason why I love Golden Pine Cone templates - besides the fact the templates ROCK and Andrea is so nice and helpful - with this series of templates, the 1st is $67 and the licenses for multiple sites are $37 each. So basically you get one full template, and when you're ready, you go back and buy the extra license. Which, by the way, includes a new graphic and styles based on the available templates. For full details, go to the Golden Pine Cone website. Why don't more template companies do this??? (so cheap I mean!)

So here's this week's article for the gourmet site:
Give A Gift Of Gourmet Meat!

So, I guess that's it for today... Made a couple sales this week - 1 big one, 1 small one. Adsense got a little better by going into the double digits yesterday, but no news as to what today's like with the stats being down for another 1/2 hr. Hope everyone's sites are doing MUCH better than mine right now!!

Tara :)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

And how was YOUR long weekend?

Personally, mine was great - though the live band on Saturday night sucked. Other than that though, it was a nice weekend.

Business wise... ICK. I made a couple sales on the 1st, and since then, let me say it again - ICK. If this was JUNE maybe I'd be happy, but for SEPTEMBER I'm thoroughly disgusted. As Jenn said - blame it on whatever you want, but holy crap, the last week is killing me. At this point, even if I carry over the little bit left from my bonus and last month's earnings I'll just barely cover my half of stuff on October 1st. A job for October is looking very very likely.

Here's August's earnings - a caveat though - I have a couple of sales that are from independants and they don't list each individual sale, plus with Emax I'm including recurring sales. So this is approximate, not down to the penny.

$420 - not at all where I was hoping to be. But hell, it's more "side" money than I was making just a couple months ago, so I shouldn't complain.

No articles for the last few days - too many people around and not enough time at the puter since Thursday morning. That feature should return tomorrow. I think I'm going to temporarily drop it to 1 or 2 a week per site that I have articles for. Partially because I'm running out of already written articles, partially because I'm starting to do design and keyword research for my next few sites. I would like to attempt to start up (at least) 3 at the same time. I may also go with an idea a friend is doing right now, see if it will work - using only (or mainly, for now) reprint articles. So many ideas - so little time.

Hope everyone had a lovely long weekend - if you aren't in North America, then at least a lovely weekend :)

Tara :)

P.S. - within 10 mins of posting this entry, I already had 2 spam comments. So, after fighting it since I started the blog, no more Anon commenters. Word verification is now on too. I hope that my regulars will deal with working around it :)