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When Urgency is NOT Urgent

Okay, so here’s another one of my pet peeves – marketers who put the word “Urgency” in their email subject line.

I have received eight such emails in the last week alone, from different people on different topics.

UrgentWhenever I see the word “urgent,” my heart skips a beat or two. I’m sure that it’s related to the reaction I’ve  still had to anything emergency-related since Brianna died, but nevertheless, it’s still uncomfortable.

What’s worse is that when I open up the emails, there is absolutely nothing URGENT about it. To me that means that something must be done immediately to prevent harm or mishap.

I appreciate that fact that someone wants me to attend their upcoming webinar, but if I miss it, I’ll watch the replay.

Yes, your product launch window may be closing at midnight, but if I haven’t bought it by now, I’m probably not going to. If I am, I’ve probably made a note somewhere to remind me.

As far as that special download access link, it’s not really going to expire, so don’t try to trick me into thinking otherwise. I’ve seen your tactics for far too long. I only stay on your list to keep on top of the latest gimmicks in the internet marketing world.

I am a firm believer in expanding one’s vocabulary whenever possible, but it’s always a good idea to make sure you are using the most appropriate word.

P.S. – If someone comes to this post down the road looking for a way to prove that I don’t follow my own advice – hey, I’m not perfect either!

Protect Yourself – Check Your Search Phrases in Awstats

I’ve been in the internet marketing niche long enough to recognize some of the BlackHat techniques people use , and I discovered one that someone used on one of my sites.

As I was looking through my Awstats to see what kind of statistics I had so far this month, I looked at the Search Phrases section to see what people where typing in to find my site.

I found three phrases used by some nefarious character who was trying to find a way to download my product for free. The phrases were:

  • intitle thank you for your order! intext download
  • site .com intitle “thank you for your order” intext click here to download
  • thank you for your order download

There are many variations that someone can use to find pages on your site that you want to keep hidden but this gives you a good idea of what people may type. Now, I don’t put this here to give hints to people who want to steal products illegally, but rather as a warning to those who have worked hard to produce quality products and deserve to earn money for their time and efforts.

There are several ways to decrease your chances of having your product stolen. Here are just a few:

  • Avoid the phrases listed above in your download page title or on the download page – be creative.
  • Add a line to your .htaccess file to hide your download page. (Not totally effective but will at least help.)
  • For WSO products sold through the Warrior Forum, use WarriorPlus system.
  • Use a paid product like DLGuard or SmartDD (there is a free version.)

I hope the person who found my site wasn’t too disappointed – I haven’t set the product up yet so they only found a blank page – but thanks for the reminder to protect it before it’s live.

There is still no iron-clad guarantee that your product will be protected, but there are ways to make it more difficult. Find out what way works best for you!

intitle thank you for your order! intext download 1 33.3 %
site .com intitle ”thank you for your order” intext click here to download 1 33.3 %
thank you for your order download

GoDaddy Winter Special – But Hurry

GoDaddy domains go on sale several times a year, but it’s unusual to see that at this price:

$1.49

GoDaddy Coupon Code: WINTER149

GoDaddy.com offers a new 1-year domain name registration for $1.49 via coupon code “WINTER149”. This offer applies to .com, .org, .net, .biz, and other domains. An 18-cent ICANN fee applies. Coupon expires after 10,000 uses or February 16.

The offer rarely lasts more than a couple days at most, so don’t delay!

New LG Optimus S Cellphones

My Sprint phone was due for an update about two years ago. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who does not enjoy change, so I’ve been living with the sticky non-working buttons for most of that time.

Dave, on the other hand, has been eyeing the smart phones for quite a while now, drooling over them, researching which is the best – typical man behavior. I guess the Android platform is going to be taking off and give the iPhone a run for its money.

Jim Cockrum told me how great having a smart phone is, so we finally decided to make the plunge since the phones would be free and all we would have to pay for is the data pack. We decided to go with the LG Optimus S and stick with the 3G network since we don’t get 4G up in the boondocks where we live. Dave got the charcoal version, and I, of course, got the purple one – yeaaahhhh! Jared lucked out and got a charcoal one as well since his contract was due. Annika will be eligible for her purple one soon. Even Aimee benefited because Sprint forces you to have the data pack on every phone, so she even has internet access now. Poor Bonnie is the lone sufferer, but at nine years old, what can she expect? To borrow Aimee’s phone, of course!

Phone arrival day was every bit as exciting as Christmas. If only you didn’t have to charge the darn things first! Getting the phones switched over and set up was kind of a pain, but eventually we got everything worked out.

Then…

Dave discovered the wild world of apps and I didn’t see him for a week!

Now when you consider all of the cool, helpful apps that are available, you absolutely first go to the game section, right?

Dave’s latest passion is playing Paper Toss, a simple little game where you throw a crumpled wad of paper at a wastebasket. The catch is, there is a fan blowing right next to you, so you have to account for windspeed when aiming. It gets even better – you can play not only in the office, but at the airport, in your basement, or in a public restroom as well. Wahoo!

I’ve got to admit that I really enjoy playing a couple of games of Andoku and Word Wrap right before I drift off to sleep.

I was watching the evening news to see what kind of snowfall we were in for the next day. The newscasters and weatherman were bantering back and forth about apps and one mentioned getting an aquarium app. What? I didn’t even think of it – that’s right up my alley – fish that don’t die! I actually paid $1.99 for an aquarium app and I love it! An added bonus is that whenever I need to occupy Bonnie, I just let her feed my fish. I’ve got the growth setting set to 10, so my fish grow at 10x their normal speed. It’s very cool to wake up in the morning and see how much bigger those darn fish are. (Dave says I need to get out more!)

It’s the small things in life that make all the difference, isn’t it?

Change Uncategorized Category to General

One of the things that drives me crazy when I visit blogs is posts that are place in the “Uncategorized” category, which is the default category unless the setting is changed.

To me, that is just plain lazy. If someone took the time to make a post, why couldn’t they take a few extra second and actually place it in a relevant category?

I have the solution – simply edit the Uncategorized category and call it General. Be sure to change the slug as well.  This way, if you forget to pick a category, it will at least show up in General. Maybe a small thing, but every bit of professionalism adds up to a polished site!

LastPass for Storing More than Passwords

One of the tools I use every day is called LastPass – I wouldn’t want to be without it. I don’t even use the paid version – the free one works quite well.

Not only does it remember all of my passwords, but I can set up custom fields as well. It comes in very handy in filling out all types of forms.

Another really nice feature is that it is web-based. In other words, if you are visiting your grandparents out of town and need to access a site, but forgot your laptop (how could you do a thing like that?!)and your password (I do that all the time!), you can just go to your LastPass account and find all of your information securely there.

Many online marketers like to use another program called RoboForm, but LastPass works just fine for me. Check it out: http://lastpass.com/ (not an affiliate link.)

Update Your Site Copyright Dates to 2011

Yes, it’s that time of year again – take a look at your site and see what you need to update for the new year.

One thing that you always want to have is a current copyright date at the bottom of your blog. Seeing a site with a copyright date of 2007 does not instill a sense of confidence in the author.

When changing the copyright date, you can either just list the current year, or you can include the date range that you have had the site. For example: ©2011 or ©2004-2011.

At the same time, take a look at your site’s navigation and graphics – could they use some updating as well?

How about your content – anything that needs to be removed, updated, or expanded upon?

People enjoy coming to a current site – and they will be back more often if it is!

Adding a Post to Your WordPress Site

I created this graphic to easily show how to add a new post to your blog:

Blog Post Instruction

(Click on the graphic to see a larger size)

1. Add New Post
2. Add unique, keyword-rich title
3. Add and format text –  bold, italics, blockquote, alignment
4. Add appropriate picture – I like to add a 1 or 2 pixel border on most
5. Choose 3-5 tags from article – use keywords
6. Choose Category
7. Publish post – backdate or postdate if necessary

You may use this graphic for your own personal use – I would love for you to give me credit and a link to my site!

Setting Up a WordPress Website

I recently had one of my students ask me about starting his own website. I wrote out some instructions for him, so I thought I would share them here.

I’ve been using the WordPress platform for a few years now, well before it became the Internet Marketing standard. I rarely design HTML sites anymore, because WP is so easy to use. My clients are now able to update their own sites instead of waiting for me to get to their requests – makes it much easier for both of us!

I’ve had my own hosting company for several years now. My step-by-step list is going to include setting up the hosting account as well, because I am sure if people haven’t ventured down this road, eventually they will.

I can go through all of these steps in about 20 minutes total if the domain resolves quickly enough. I used to have to wait 48-72 hours before a could access a new domain name, but now it’s almost always instantaneous.

Okay, here goes!

  1. Purchase new domain.
  2. Set nameservers to point to the hosting account during the purchase.
  3. Go to main hosting control panel and add new account
    • Choose a unique username
    • Choose a password.
    • Choose a hosting package.
  4. Log into domain cPanel.
    • Add email address
    • Set forwarder to a general email address if desired.
    • Go to Fantastico in cPanel.
    • Install WordPress – remember username and password.
  5. Go to domain.com/wp-admin
  6. Update to newest WordPress version
  7. Choose Theme
  8. Go to Settings – General
  9. Site Title – use your main keyword in the title
  10. Site Description – use a sub keyword in the description
  11. Email – the address where you want site visitors to contact you
  12. Add www in front of domain
  13. Change time zone to UTC Chicago (or whichever time zone is appropriate)
  14. Change first day of the week to Sunday (if desired)
  15. Go to Settings – Permalinks
  16. Choose Custom Structure and add this code to the blank: /%postname%/
  17. Add Plugins and activate – there are many plugins to choose from – these are just some that I use.
    • Akismet – get unique code
    • All in One SEO Pack – requires configuration
    • Plugin: Contact 7 for Contact Page
    • TinyMCE Advance
    • Plugin: Google XML Sitemap
  18. Delete the default Hello post and comment
  19. Delete the default blogroll links
  20. Set up main site pages:
    • Home
    • About
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Site Map
  21. Set up categories – change Uncategorized to General or your main keyword
  22. Update your footer to include current year and copyright message

This is the first version of my installation list, but I will tweak it as I perfect my system.

You are ready to make your first post! I’ll show you how to do that tomorrow.

Happy New Year 2011

Happy New Year to all my readers!

Happy New Year 2011

May we all be blessed this coming year with properity, peace, and happiness!