This is only my second letter in seven or eight weeks. Sorry about that, but at first I had no Internet connection when things went wrong with my satellite service (I'm now on wireless broadband)
and then I developed a quite serious illness which I'm slowly getting over.
If you want to, you can read more on my forum I reckon you should go there anyway, it's a great community.
Incidentally the forum posts are being indexed by Google, which makes it a good place to get links to your websites - as long as you've got something useful/interesting to say that is :)
Ok, I'll keep this relatively short because I'm still not feeling too good. But I hope that normal "service" has now resumed.
1. Concentrate on what's important...
First of all, it looks like I'm missed seeing a lot of new products since I've been offline.
When I visited my forum I saw a number of programs/software being talked about that I'd never even heard of.
And, do you know what? I didn't really care that I'd missed the products being announced.
There's probably nothing wrong with them. They're most likely useful. They're probably worth investigating.
But... remember this.
It's IMPORTANT to not get distracted with new things all the time. You could spend all your limited web time learning how to use
new tools, when really you should be focusing on improving your sites and your skills and your own business.
I remember David Garfinkel and Mark Joyner saying to me in Vegas that I should focus on what I'm good at (in my case writing).
And that's what you should be doing too.
Play to your strengths.
Work out what you're good at/what your main interests are and give them most of your attention and time.
Don't get sidetracked by everything new that comes along.
Write down your "online business" plan, even if it's only on one piece of paper. And work out the steps you need to take to achieve success with it. Doing this will help you focus on what matters, and it will clear your head so that you know where you should be spending your time.
Once you've mapped out your action steps you need to follow them. Don't make a plan and then not stick to it. Don't let anyone or
anything put you off. Go for it.
Don't sign up for every crappy new scheme that comes along. Don't buy every new piece of software or every ebook.
Do what works for YOU and use the tools that works for YOU.
And just go for it.
2. One of the smartest brains around...
I'm not sure if you've heard of him, but James Maduk is one of the smartest business brains around. He's been working online since 1995, writes monthly articles for Entrepreneur Magazine, and he's an expert at online selling.
Plus he's got more products on the market than anyone I know, even beating the prolific Marlon Sanders.
So why he's not amazingly well known in this field I'll never know.
I'm a big fan, especially of his member only site
If you'd like an introduction to his style and knowledge have a look at one of his free weekly webcasts, where he uses "internet whiteboard" technology to get his messages across.
And when you've finished watching and listening you might fancy signing up for his affiliate program which is looks like turning into one of the best around.
3. Free Amazon Tools...
If you're promoting Amazon's affiliate program here are a couple of useful sites which help you automate the process.
Associatesshop lets you add an Amazon store to your site and sell products of your choice, while Addassociates provides you with code which works much the same way as Google Adsense -
meaning it "reads" the content of your webpage and displays context related products.
Of the two I prefer Addassociate, but you can't use it on pages where you're running Google Adsense ads.
Anyway, they're both free and could be a useful addition to your sites.
4. Beginners Bit...
I get heaps of letters about how difficult it is to build a good looking website. But I get even more letters about the complexities of getting a webhost and uploading pages to it.
One simple way around this is to use Site Build It! (SBI) because it offers an all-in-one solution.
The mastermind behind SBI, Ken Evoy, has been really busy with SBI over the past few months, constantly adding new features and making it easier to use. I've owned SBI for a few years now and it's now a far, far better site building tool than when I started using it. And it was good then.
One thing SBI is ideal for is displaying Google Adsense ads.
To really make big profits from Adsense you need a lot of content pages. Using SBI for these sites makes sense because once you've got over the learning curve it leaves you totally free to
concentrate on providing that content. So you can quickly put out a lot more pages.
Plus the in-built tools help you keep that content on topic, which means that Adsense can read that your pages correctly and display relevant ads.
In fact Ken has put together a very good info site about using SBI with Adsense. You should spend a bit of time reading through it.
5. Stuck for ideas what to build a site about?
Try reading Michael Holland's Strike it Niche.
It's a great place to begin.
Michael's done a great research job, giving you ideas for 70 different sites, and explaining just what you need to do to profit from each
of them. Reading this ebook should leave you dancing with enthusiasm.
6. As a follow on to the stuff higher up...
Do you ever feel like you're drowning in a sea of data?
Well you're not the only one.
I just checked out the online edition of The Guardian, one of the best UK daily papers, and found this report:
"There's a lot of data on our hard disks, and there's more accumulating by the day. The University of Berkeley School of Information Management and Systems has just updated its "How Much Information?" study. In 2002 we created over five exabytes of data, in the form of video, print, magnetic and optical media — an increase of over 30% a year since 1999. That's equivalent to half a million new collections the size of the US Library of Congress — 92% of which was on magnetic media, and most of that was on hard disk."