Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some Gifts We Can All Afford

ChristmasImage via Wikipedia

By now you've all seen a lot of email about some of the Thanksgiving and Christmas Giveaways going on this year. You may have also noticed that I haven't been adding any of them to the newsletter and wondered why.

The main reason I haven't is that while I still think they are a good way to help build your list I just haven't had the time.

Besides, many of us who've been online for awhile are tired of them.

So rather than join into the giveaway mania with everyone else this year I've decided to do some things a little different.

The first thing I've done is I've started an Exchange of Cheap Gift Ideas on my personal blog. The purpose of this exchange is to give some new ideas for good gifts that don't cost much. I've started the exchange with 10 ideas from my family however to make the exchange worthwhile we need your inexpensive gift ideas too. Please leave your ideas as a comment and you may include a link to your site.

The second thing I'd like to do is have this post be a digital gift exchange. Rather than have people become members of someone's list to get access and then sign-up to someone else's list to get the gift I propose we just exchange links to free digital gifts. The gifts can be just about anything that is totally free and could be of use to someone.

The only restrictions to our digital gift exchange are:

  1. You must have the right to give the gift.

  2. You may include your link however you may not require someone to sign up to get it.

  3. Neither the gifts nor the links are allowed to promote hate, violence, sex or anything illegal. Gifts and links deemed inappropriate by the publisher for the general audience will be deleted.

Here are 3 gifts to get us started:

I hope you'll take part in our digital gift exchange by leaving a comment with your gift. And if you happen to find either a dead link or an gift that violates the rules please contact me by clicking on my name at the bottom of my newsletter.

To Your Success,

P.S. If you have a list feel free to invite them to participate in our gift exchanges. The more the merrier.

Please rate this idea. Thanks

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

How To Create A Free Opinion Poll

December 2005/January 2006 opinion poll resultsImage via Wikipedia

Opinion polls are a good way to do market research and can make your site or blog more sticky. In fact because they're so popular most blog hosts like Blogger and WordPress have a widget or plugin for adding them.

And because they're so popular there are lots of places to get free and paid-for software to create polls.

However if you want to create a poll and

  • You don't want to register
  • You don't want to invest in either purchasing the software or paying a monthly fee
  • You want your poll in an blog post and not in the sidebar

Then here are a couple places you'll want to check out.

For creating polls for your website you can use You can create multiple polls however they will all look like the 1 I've got at readerspoll.htm and you have to host the page with the poll on your own hosted space.

If you don't have a website and you would like to create a poll you can use anywhere like inside a blog post or in your blog's sidebar you can use You get a choice on how the poll will look and you can place it inside a blog post like I've done here:

Which do you think is better?
another bloghost
a blog hosted on your own domain
none of the above free polls

If you'd like to create a poll where people can leave comments like the one below you can get a free one at They host the poll on their site however you will have to register to use the service and you are limited to 1 poll unless you purchase more.

Chat Rooms

Because all of the above are free services you will have to live with some advertising since they're providing the service to make money. When you're ready to start using some professional polling software where you can make money One Minute Poll is a good choice. One Minute Poll has been providing polling services since 2002, it's easy to use, it hosts the polls and the costs are reasonable. You can see everything it provides and get a 30 day free trial at

Everybody had an opinion about something so why not add a poll to your site and find out what your readers think.

To Your Success,

Please leave a comment or rate this tip. Thanks

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Friday, November 14, 2008

The Answer Is ...

Swedish grocery store where private label prod...Image via Wikipedia

In my last post I added the following in my P.S.:

"P.S. I used an example within this article however the article itself is an example of something that's done often online. However when it's done correctly you usually can't tell. Do you know what it's an example of?"

Well I must have done it correctly since no one ventured a guess.

Now before I give you the answer click here to see another example.

Have you figured it out yet?

Are you ready for the answer?

Here it is -

I used private label rights content for both! No, I don't use PLR content very often however I've used it to get ideas and as the starting place for both articles and free reports.

Did you know that PLR products are extremely popular right now because they make content and product creation so easy. In fact there are 2 very popular PLR membership sites where many savvy PLR users get their content: Simply PRL and Monthly Content. Now I have to admit that I'm not a member of either since I get a lot of PLR products from another membership site, Crazy Membership. And while I can't personally recommend either of the PLR specific membership sites I did do some research and found only positive reviews for both. As for Crazy Membership, I use it as 1 of my primary resources for my own monthly membership site so yes, I do recommend it as a good site to pick up products.

Now unfortunately some people don't know what PLR products are and of those who do most don't know what to do with them. That means they either

  • don't get them

  • get them and don't use them

  • get them and don't use them correctly

However when you use PLR products the right way it means:

  • You don't have to worry about duplicate content

  • You don't have to suffer from writers block

  • You have a supply of ideas for articles, reports, ebooks and more

  • You can reduce the amount of time it takes to create your articles, reports, etc.

It for these reasons that I' m making PLRBrainstorm available here and I'll be adding these video tutorials to the training section of my monthly membership site soon. They're that good.

So now you know what my earlier article was an example of. I hope you learned something both from it and by me revealing my secret about where the content came from.

To Your Success,

P.S. Please feel free to leave a comment.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thinking and Problem Solving

An American Bisque cookie jar using the Funny ...Image via Wikipedia

It seems that everyday we encounter new problems. In fact we have so many problems that most people now take problem solving for granted. And it is this familiarity with problem solving that has in fact created yet another problem for us to solve.

Every day we solve so many little problems we're no longer creative with our problem solving.

Now as a child, you were probably much more creative when you had a problem to solve. Your problems were seen with wonder and amazement and you were persistent until they were solved.

As an adult, you probably aren't amazed by your problems and you just want them to solve themselves and go away. That's why you probably continue to use the same methods of solving your problems instead of trying new things.

So how do you wake up your creative problem solving child within you?

First you must learn to view your problems in a different way. Don't focus all your attention on the negative aspects of the problem. Rather focus your attention on the desired outcome when the problem is solved. Like the child who wants a cookie from the cookie jar that's just out of reach. He doesn't focus on the height of the jar. Instead he sees himself holding a cookie.

Second you must learn to ask questions about the problem. While you might think this will make the problem bigger and harder to solve it actually opens the door to finding bigger and better solutions. The child wanting the cookie may ask why the jar is up so high. And knowing the answer will help him develop a solution that can help keep him from caught.

Third you want to do some brainstorming. That means you come up with all kinds of solutions, even those that are unconventional. The cookie wanting child may imagine himself floating to the jar or using his powers of levitation to get the jar to come to him. He may see himself as a great mountain climber or super thief dangling on a rope from the ceiling. A child knows no boundaries when imaging possible solutions to his problem.

Fourth you'll need to think about your listed solutions. Some solutions may have to be thrown out because you can't see any way to implement them. Others may deserve more thought. While the child trying to get a cookie may wish he could fly or had special powers, he knows these solutions won't work. Instead he focuses on using some of the solutions that can be modified like the mountain climbing or the "super thief."

Fifth you must be flexible and willing to try new and unconventional things. The child scaling the mountain may first have to build the mountain out of things that are handy like his step stool, a chair and upside down kettle. He doesn't limit himself to using things for what they were intended. He inventories what's available and devises new ways to use them to achieve his goal.

Just remember, children are master problem solvers because they are not afraid to try anything. They work and experiment and take their time to solve a problem. If something doesn't work they try again because they have fun trying to solve problems. To a child every problem is seen as a challenge or a game.

You as an adult encounter many problems and probably see solving problems as just one more thing you have to do. You probably see them as work and there is nothing fun about them. And many problems like fixing a tire can be solved by using the same solutions you've used in the past. However there are some problems in your work and life that require some thought and new creative solutions.

So the next time you encounter a new problem or an old problem that keeps coming back try using the above steps to awaken your childlike problem solving capability.

To Your Success,

P.S. I used an example within this article however the article itself is an example of something that's done often online. However when it's done correctly you usually can't tell. Do you know what it's an example of?

Don't be afraid to leave a comment and take a guess because there are no "wrong" answers. And in a day or so I'll post the answer I'm thinking about.


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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Security Alert: Making a Thank You Page

Yesterday I accidentally discovered 1 answer for the question,

how does a hacker hack something like a Digital Download?

Here's what happened.

While doing some keyword research I stumbled across a free video about how to read PDF ebooks online. Now the video showed how to use a downloadable tool to find online PDF ebooks so you could read them free of charge.

And although I wasn't interested in downloading the tool, the video made me curious about the types of advanced searches allowed by Google. So I checked. And sure enough, using Google's advanced search, I could perform the same searches as provided by the tool.

This discovery then made me curious about how secure thank you pages are from Google searches.

Like many online marketers I both sell and give away digital products. However I only want those who have done the desired action, purchase or sign up, to actually reach my Thank You page.

Unfortunately I discovered that many don't take extra security measures to stop internet hackers when they're making a Thank You page and it is very possible to access all types of free and not free digital information.

For instance, yesterday I found the download pages for:

  • Dylan Loh's "Clickbank Profit Machine"

  • Ewen Chia's "Ebook Money Machine"


  • The Webmaster's Gambling Package with 112 products

  • MikeFilsaime "eBook Marketing for Newbies"

All of these products were being sold and the prices ranged from $7.97 to $67.

And while some may call me "stupid" I really do try to be honest. So even though I don't have some of these products I Did Not download any of them. Nor do I encourage anyone else to do so unless they have actually purchased them.

The point I want to make is that you really must take some security measures to protect your digital downloads. And the first step is when you're making your Thank You page.

Here are 5 things you can do to protect your download when making a Thank You page:

  1. Include the following meta code in your Thank You page so search engine spiders won't find your page. This will work for many search engines like Google but doesn't work for all of them.


  2. If you have your Thank You page in a directory with no index.html file then either use the Index Manager in cPanel to keep others from seeing the list of files in the directory or create an index.html file that redirects to another page. You can use this redirection code:

    <META HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" content="0;URL=http://www.yourwebpage.html">

  3. Give your Thank You page and the directory it resides in hard to guess names.

  4. Put your downloads in a password protected directory and email the password to your customers. Then if others find the Thank You page they still can't access the download.

  5. Avoid using common keyword search terms on your download page like "thank your for your purchase" or "thank you for your order." You can use graphics and buttons instead.

Now I can't guarantee that taking some or all of these measures will stop all internet hackers from finding your Thank You page or stealing your downloads. However I can guarantee that if you don't take some measures to protect your digital downloads then your downloads are at risk of being found by search engines.

I know that I've been using 2 of the above measures just like the "gurus" whose products I found. But now that I've accidentally discovered how hackers hack something I have a better understand of how to protect my digital downloads.

To Your Success,

Please leave a comment or rate this tip. Thanks

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