Friday, November 21, 2008

My first site--and my second--and my third, how easy it is!

Just what you want to be saying, right? Well, after having built my first sites in a free site builder, I was wondering if there was an easier way. Turns out it wasn't an easier way I should have looked for but rather an easier to use web host. Frustrated with a literally hand built site in Yahoo, add slow response to support questions and overpriced hosting plans, I made it my mission to find better.

And I did. The host I have now has been very helpful, easy to use and even though the time difference is four hours, they do get back with meaningful dialog and answers in record time. Their setup includes a shopping cart--something that has thinned my hair considerably while trying to find and understand how those suckers work! Whoever invented "fill in the blank" should have a monument dedicated to them.

I have chosen both free templates and purchased templates that my host loads for me. Not only that, but at any time I can change the template for the whole site with a button click. Great for holiday motifs. With the shopping cart installed (by them), I just enter the price, description and upload pics. I can assign the products to a multitude of categories, which I create by "fill in the blank". I can set up a sale price, discount, coupon code, gift registry, post articles, even offer an affiliate program!

Oh, I tried ZenCart and OsCommerce and lost a lot more hair struggling to get the look I wanted and still did not have a shopping cart solution.

Then I found everything I needed at PappaShop. Having come across a site I liked, there in the footer, was a link to PappaShop . The demo does not do it justice but they had tons of links to sites that had been built in their program. It took only minutes to get started and it has been so much more versatile, customizable, quickly updating and much more attractive than other site builders I have used. For as little as $9.95 a month ( or $4.99 hosting only), you can't beat the quality and the service. And as I add sites, they have plenty of servers to separate my businesses.

It's not often I sing the praises of anything to do with the internet (maybe not "evil" but frustrating and quite necessary), so this rare moment is one I have to pass on. No one else should go bald when there is a solution like PappaShop hosting.

PS be sure to visit my blog at

....and for a peek at the sites I have built so far go to:

Stumble It!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Time to Get Serious about Your Internet Business

Derek Gehl, of the Internet Marketing Center has publicly released the newest edition of his famous "Insider Secrets" online wealth-generating system... this is information I highly recommend you have at your fingertips.

I want to make absolutely SURE his system will work for you.

So here is what he is proposing:

Derek will ship you (via Federal Express) a 10 lb. box.

In this box you'll find 3 resource CDs, 4 guidebooks, and 2 thick binders containing in excess of 1,385 pages explaining the step-by-step instructions on how to start and grow a wildly profitable Internet business.

Just follow the instructions. If you do this, one of two things will happen:

The system will work for you, and you'll start living the dream of "passive" income with your very own Internet business. You'll be literally making money while you sleep!


The system won't work for you. If this happens, Derek will personally write you a check for $200 as our way of apologizing for wasting your time.

In other words, the absolute WORST thing that can happen if you take us up on this is that you'll come out $200 ahead!

The best case scenario is something far, far more exciting... luxury vacations, new cars for you and your family, paying off your mortgage... It's up to you!)

All you need to do today is tell Derek where to send your package by clicking the link below:

I personally make my living on the internet. With help from mentors like Derek Gehl, I have made my online businesses not only profitable, but learned how to repeat the process again and again in multiple markets. You will learn how that is possible once you have these materials.

P.S. By the way -- how about a few examples of the people who are *already* using Derek's system?

-- Rory M. from Ireland made over $1,000,000 last year selling a VERY strange gizmo from his simple little web site. (I still don't understand exactly what it does!)

-- Barbara J. is making a steady $8,500 a month telling people how to rearrange their old furniture. (She's a 60-year-old grandmother, and she works LESS than 1 lousy hour a day!)

-- Chris E. must be the envy of his Australian surfer buddies down at the beach... He makes over $200,000 a year working about 9 hours per week. Not bad for a 23-year-old kid!

If you're at all serious about making money with your own online business, then it is essential that you carefully consider this offer ("too good to refuse")...

You can read more of success stories, and find out all the details of how YOU can get started too by visiting:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Business Survival in Today's Retail World

Chicken Little never had such a wonderful week--seems for a lot of us, the sky really is falling...

Case in point, after ten months in a retail location, our brick and mortar gift store is closing its doors. The economy was a big factor but so were a lot of tedius obstacles such as limited to no signage allowed in or in front of the shopping center, a two story wine store pops up in front or ours after the lease is signed (no visibility from the street), other tenants have totally unrelated markets than ours, and a few more I wouldn't want to bore you with (unless you need good advice on what NOT to do).

Our store wasn't the only one--five others in town with the same market focus folded before we did. Ours was the last to go---but guess what? We are the only one of those five who will still be in business! What's the big difference? Our busines is ONLINE--has been for three years. So we can happily announce to our customers "We are not going out of business--just moving it to our website". That's where they are shopping anyway, so goodbye landlord.

Businesses see the crunch of gas shortages--even ours made the news:

Now more than ever---a business online just makes a lot of sense. Beyond the savings in overhead over a brick and mortar store is the ability to own lots and lots of internet "real estate". More websites, more businesses and business formats to pursue. Physical products, digital products, drop ship, affiliate programs, referral commissions--what a plethera of options! And only one electric bill to pay...

Getting started with a business online is on the mind of people of all walks of life. Many a grandmother would shock you with the sales they make online. Why not you?
If getting that first website up is a challenge, read what I had to say about it on my blog at A really great tool is offered there that you just might want to check out if you are curious about where to start and need the right "toolbox".

Monday, October 6, 2008

Are your site visitors vanishing without a calling card?

Cart abandonment? Visitors leaving your site without saying goodbye? Can you really entice them to stay a little longer and reconsider and/or tell you why they are leaving?
This subject is addressed at I invite you to get the information there and don't miss out on your next sale!

You Can Learn From the Pros--Video Courses Make it Easy

Have you ever been faced with the task of having to write
an email promotion to your list,and then realized that you
didn't know what to say or how to say it?

Michael Rasmussen's new video course "Email Promos Exposed"
promises to solve that problem for you by walking you through
the actual process of creating killer email promos step-by-step.
I decided to see if Michael's videos live up to their promise
by trying them out myself. Here's what I found:

The first thing I noticed when I opened up the first video was
the stunning production quality.
These videos were made by someone who KNOWS what he's doing.

I also liked how Michael divided the videos up by section,
and then again by sub-section. For example, one video is all
about the subject line,and then there are different parts
of that video that each cover a certain area of crafting
a killer subject line.

It's impossible to list every single thing here,
but I want you to get a feelfor what each one covered,
and how well it covered it.

Just go ahead visit this URL to get instant free access
to these videos:

Monday, September 29, 2008

Selling on the Internet--Who Knows What They Are Doing?

Okay, did you raise your hand? I recently read a thread on an internet marketing guru's blog and as clear as he was about the product he was launching, there were still comments posted that asked the very most elementary of questions--what is PPC, what is a thread, I am broke and have no credit card--can you help me make money? It would seem a bit pathetic at times but I applaud the ones who asked anyway. At least they are trying to better their situation.

But what if you don't know even the simplest, most taken for granted education we have in this medium of internet marketing, it is so very hard when you don't know and often very easy once you do know. Every day there is someone who wants to know what you already know. A character on TV made the comment that I found so simple but true: "The more you know, the more you don't know." Don't shake your head in confusion--say it a few times and really think about it.

It is at this point I am asking you to post your questions, no matter how elementary they may be to anyone else, and let's "get a thread going" on the subject of What is......

As a writer, it is tremendously important to know who to write for, who is the audience. Why write about subjects no one relates to or cares about. Post your questions so anyone can benefit from the answers.

Coming soon-- a glossary of internet terms for your reference. Ignorance is a word that has gotten a terrible rap---it simply means a "lack of knowledge". Don't ever be embarrassed by a lack of knowledge. Ask and you shall be educated.

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Is Your Tank Empty?

Today I had to drive past eight gas stations before finding one that had gas to sell. A customer in my store told me about waiting 45 minutes in line to get ten gallons. Maybe my family in upstate NY aren't seeing what we are here in Atlanta but I can tell you that in one way or another, they will feel it.

Remember the phrase "trickle down theory"? It is alive and well and affecting every sector of our communities. But you already know that. So what is my point?

We have taken a lot for granted in our lifetimes. Change has been either good or mostly a bad experience to talk about once we got back on track. And we have always seen a track to get back onto. But in the years since 9/11 (and I use that only as a significant starting point, not as the only reason for our calamities), we have seen natural disasters--hurricane after hurricane, floods, earthquakes--and financial disasters ad nauseum. We aren't as resilient in our thinking about change for the "good"--about being optimistic. Those brave souls who use change as an opportunity are finding it harder to do so. While I have had inspiration in those people in the past, I am afraid to look across the boat I am in and see them there, too.

As competition falls, there will be few who will weather the hard times and still have the heart to remain. It is at great cost for all -- even the strong are only as strong as the economy that keeps them afloat.

It is no consolation to know that a wake up call to our way of life will make us more conservative with our spending, less wasteful in all areas, more appreciative of what we have. In the stock market it is called a correction. Something that was wrong should be corrected. But suffering, nonetheless, does occur.

If we wait until the tank is empty to find a gas station, we may be going nowhere. Maybe you don't have to sell a house right now. Maybe you aren't in danger of losing your job soon. Maybe your debt is manageable or nonexistent. But you would be in the minority and what happens to your neighbor affects you, too.

These changes affect buying methods. A business/entrepreneur will have to adapt and create new ways and new products to accomodate the changes to survive. New and creative means to maintain income will come from all this. While some products will suffer and die (SUVs ?), others will flourish (Smart Cars?) because of the changes. It is so important now more than ever before to be able to take charge of your income, even if it's only a supplemental income. The internet has become reachable for the everyday person. In its simplest forms, the internet can make money for "ordinary" people. It may seem like it would take a degree in rocket science (believe me, I have my days...) to create a business online, but the truth is even a 10 year old can blog. (Maybe even younger...) So why doesn't everybody do it?

Their tank is empty. They just don't have it in them emotionally or financially to look at and learn another way. The economy has taken its toll. Don't let this option be the one you regret not having tried. The opportunities are so vast, so creative. It is truly an economically equal opportunity for those who use it best. Don't wait until your tank is empty--chances are, the way things are going, you may need a way to get somewhere else.

Sell Online--Get your products from the most trusted wholesale resource

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Writing those Darn Articles a real Pain?

So if you are savvy to the workings of getting your site/product/name/links all over the internet, you are aware of how important having articles posted everywhere possible can be. But who the heck are the writers? Someone you hired at, what, 20 bucks an article? Maybe a few cheap ones that were pretty bad? Who knows better what you want to say and what market you want to reach than--well, YOU. But you say you don't know HOW to write an article.

Look, I got straight A's in English and grammar but there is just so much (shouldn't that be "so little"?) I can churn out when quantity is the goal.

Even writing a blog post can get a bit intimidating.....

Truthfully, and believe me when I tell you, the reason for this post is that I just came across something (look out, here comes that word I hate...) uh......amazing. There, I said it. After seeing that overworked word so often, it would take something truly.....*amazing*...for me to even use the word. But this time it fits.

Struggling to write yet another paragraph on a particular subject and make it sound fresh is a major obstacle to online business owners. You can't make money online if there aren't any links back to your ecommerce website. We know how important articles are to our business.

Well, today I found Instant Article Wizard and as skeptical as I am about automated systems (maybe not "skeptical" but certainly intimidated!), this one was well worth a look. So good, that I am buying it today and will keep you updated on what a useful and valuable tool this should become to me. You are encouraged to have a look at the demo videos here and be just as --amazed--as I was. Finally, something that really is worth so much more than the few little bucks being asked.

The name is just perfect, too---Instant Article Wizard..................and presto! You have the article written is as little a 8 minutes! I know, 'cause I watched them do it on the video.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Warning: Internet Marketing gets Black Eye

If you are an online marketer and have value to offer your clients looking for real information on earning money, whether it be online or offline, you will cringe at this news story.
Two brothers who were selling "money making secrets" from their websites were charged with making false earning claims and were barred from making any more work at home websites.
Story here:
We have seen so many claims from internet marketers that give the illusion that we can be found sitting on the beach with our laptops, raking in the money, drive expensive cars, after working unbelievably short expanses of time to earn "millions", even while sleeping. Only the brain dead would believe this but even the brain dead seem to have money in their pocket to shell out for these programs and then have the gall to sue just because they didn't make tons of money sitting on their butts.
Remember when "in your face" jokes were cute? We laughed because they were different, irreverant, and just plain shocking. But we reached a point where they no longer seemed so cute and funny. We became desensitized by the genre. I believe we are seeing an out of control, out of date method being used when internet marketers copy old methods and exaggerate them beyond reason. This is the work of amateurs. Promises of wealth have a great responsibility for the speaker. The top names in internet marketing are wealthy because they consistently deliver valuable information and make it clear that is up to you what to do with it.
As a retired professional photographer, I have always detested the stereotype of the sleasy photographer, unkempt and lewd, but given the same title "photographer". It is unfortunate that individuals like the brothers in this news story give a bad name to the profession of some of the finest individuals I know in internet marketing.

My parting shot:
And it would seem that the top name internet marketers don't have to take these shortcuts to get this message across: wealth CAN be made, it CAN be easy (when you have learned and USED their methods), and that, more often than not, you have the choices of DO, DON'T DO, or ask for a REFUND.

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Big Idea in your head--now what do you do?

You are considering opening a small business. Congratulations! You have taken the first step in a process of being in charge of your own income. Scary doesn't begin to describe it but think back to when you first learned to drive. That was pretty intimidating, wasn't it? All those big, heavy metal machines able to crush you at your first mistake. But you mastered it, right? Well, it takes practice, experience, and motivation to learn how to accomplish your goals so if you have begun to ask questions, you will begin to get answers.

Start with a checklist--
pack your entrepreneurial back pack and be prepared for this journey!

There are some very important tasks you must address (whether for a home based business or a small retail business or an online business). Once in place, you can truly concentrate on your ultimate goal--making your small business succeed.

You will hear that you must create a "business plan" as the very first step. Don't get too intimidated by it. It is more of a "rehearsal" for the business you have chosen to launch. The following check list will open your eyes to the absolutes in starting a business--a business plan will fill in the blanks of questions you never knew were to be considered.

A business plan is never straight forward--you must let it evolve as you explore this wonderous idea of yours. It can help you make real choices on paper before hanging out that shingle. You will evaluate everything and find answers for yourself and for those invested with you. Think of it as a roadmap but with detours and scenic routes that will all take you to your destination no matter what turns you take. Start with sample business plans from other similar businesses and get an idea of what to expect.

Before you get too overwhelmed by the business plan,

put it aside and come back to it after doing all the "must do" tasks we will cover one by one in this blog. Post your comments and questions about each step so we may cover the subjects in more detail.