Because I’m itching to get back into full productivity, and get more done in less time, I bought this book “Blogwise: How to do more with less”, released a just a few days ago.
It’s a look inside the heads of nine successful bloggers including Leo Babauta of Zen Habits fame, Brian Clark from Copyblogger, Darren Rowse from Problogger, and Gretchen Rubin the author of The Happiness Project and a Psychology Today magazine expert.
Blogwise is inspiring and had me scribbling lots of notes in the margins of the copy I printed out. And I should imagine it’s going to do the same for you too.
The added bonus is good. It’s a pdf covering 21 common productivity problems bloggers face, with some quick answers from the interviewed bloggers to get you on the right track.
Well it’s obviously worked for me because here’s the second Letter from Phil in a week instead of the one a year I’ve managed for the past couple of years.
It will probably boost the amount of work that you can do in a week too. Recommended.
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More on Curation Soft.
It’s hard to admit this publicly, but in the past week I’ve made a grand total of 5 sales of this excellent tool. And 1 of those came from someone reading my online review ‘before’ I mailed out the newsletter last week
481 of you clicked the link in my email to read the review.
328 people have clicked my affiliate link on the blog (though some of those would have been before I mailed the newsletter)
This tells me one of 6 things.
# you’re not interested in content curation, though obviously interested enough to click-through to the review.
# the curationsoft sales page doesn’t convert (and I’ve got no way of measuring this, but I doubt that’s the case because I believe it’s selling very well)
# you believe content curation is unethical or wrong (but then surely you wouldn’t be one of the people clicking the link)
# you (in the broader sense of you, I probably don’t mean you in particular) changed the Clickbank affiliate link to your own.
# you’re too broke to invest in it / you thought it was too expensive.
# adding content to your site is not a sexy enough subject and I’d be better off writing hyped up promo’s and sending you to sites that sending you promo’s that promise to bring you automated, instant riches.
So which reason is it?
Can you please do me a favour and post a comment about it on the CurationSoft review on my blog, or on this newsletter post. If you tell me that you changed the aff link to your own before buying, use a fictitious name and email address so I don’t get mad at you J
By the way, this week’s stats on the site talked about in my review have risen again this week. They’re already higher than last weeks record high, and look like they’re going to fly past it. This is probably due to 2 new articles being added to the site. One of them connected to a topic in the news, and both of them complete with CurationSoft added tweets and paragraphs from other on-topic sites.
Quite a few people have emailed and asked me to give the URL of the site the stats are from, but the answer is no. For one thing it will warp the stats, and more importantly it will increase the competition.
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Un-boring snippets from a boring book
A few weeks ago, with the thoughts of getting back to action in my head, I lay in bed reading a book about making $100k in 100 days. A thin, printed book picked up in the library, about the methods used by the Aussie entrepreneur Mal Emery.
Even though it was only 60 something pages long, after falling asleep a few times, lost interest in it. Not saying it was boring, but the targeted readers were people operating local businesses like hairdressers, small deli’s, etc.
“I would rather be a WEALTHY MODELLER, than a BROKE ORIGINAL THINKER.”
In other words copy what works, what’s been proven to work. If someone is making decent $ from something that doesn’t need a particularly difficult skill-set, so can you.
Find out what’s selling, work out why it’s selling, and how it’s selling. Copy the ideas, add a twist, modify and try to improve on the sales and marketing techniques they’re using.
“The most stunningly successful entrepreneurs seem to share one special quality – they are profoundly stubborn! Put another way, they are persistent and they take action – and then they are more persistent and they take more action!”
It’s true, you’ve got to slog your guts out. And keep doing it. Keep trying things, tweaking things until they work. And then doing it all over again.
Believe in yourself, and stop watching TV so much and put some work hours in instead. And that doesn’t just mean being on your computer or iPad reading newsletters like this
It means creating. Doing. Perfecting. Marketing. Selling. Then repeating the cycle. It means keep taking action until your eyes burn.
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Kitchens, Amazon, and Pinterest.
Last week ago our ilve electric/gas cooker / range made a loud bang, did something nasty to the house electrical system, and blew up my computer. Well it was time for a new computer anyway, so I didn’t get too worked up about. And seeing that (after previous disasters) I’ve got everything important backed up on 3 separate external hard-drives, including an encrypted one I keep in bubble wrap in my car in case the house burns down, I didn’t get too worked up about it. (I can’t back up to the cloud because of my awful and limited Internet connection)
So the next morning I went out and bought a speedy new laptop (it would have been nice for the stove to have waited for Intel to release their new top end processors, but I didn’t really fancy getting by with just my iPad for a few months, and you wouldn’t have liked it either because my newsletters would have been packed with errors from the iPad’s terrible autocorrect)
Anyway, this computer stuff hasn’t really got anything to do with what I started out to write. We’re supposed to be talking ranges/stoves/cookers here.
A week after the big bang (we got by on bbq’s and eating out until then) I forked out $155 for a man from an appliance repair place to come and fix it. Except he couldn’t. After 15 minutes with his head in the innards he said “you need a new fan mate. It won’t cost much”
Turns out not much was $830, on top of the money I’d already paid. So yesterday, after thinking about it for days, we went out to buy a replacement range instead, and were shocked to find that we’d been boiling our eggs on an $8500 model (It was already in the house when we moved here) and that price is without the $3k plus extractor chimney hanging above it.
“You’re looking at the Rolls Royce of cookers, “said the salesman when he saw us gawking at it “The oil might need changing sometimes, but it’ll keep going for ever.”
Well I quite like the idea of having an old Rolls Royce, so he talked himself out of a sale and I’ve ordered the new fan instead.
And all this brings me, in a long, rambling, and roundabout way, to saying that I did a search on Amazon (and if I lived in the US that’s where I would have looked to start with) and it seems that expensive ranges like mine have potential as a lucrative subject for an affiliate site. An updated version of mine is US$6500, 2 grand cheaper than I’d be paying here.
But what shocked me most of all is that I haven’t got the Rolls Royce after all. Type the word Ranges into the Appliance Department on Amazon and then sort from high price to low, and you’ll find one on sale for a whopping $46,000 with 23 more selling for over $20k each.
A lot of the ultra-expensive ones link from Amazon to external stores, and before you clever clogs tell me that Amazon doesn’t give commissions on goods sold on external sites, I know about that. However, follow some of the Amazon links to those external stores and you’ll see that several of them have affiliate programs of their own.
The one selling my ilve, Ajmadison has an affiliate program, though it only pays 3% which is around $200.
Katom Restaurant Supply, which is selling some ovens for $20k+ pays 6% commission, so sell one of their Wells WVOC models and you’re looking at a tasty $1200 in your pocket (their aff program is run through shareasale).
Instawares, which sells $19k + cookers has an affiliate program with Linkshare. And Shortorder.com with some $15k prices are also though Linkshare.
The appliancesconnection.com store, which sells $15k ranges, run their aff program through Commission Junction. And of course there are quite a few high end models $10-$15k sold directly from Amazon.
And the list goes on. Much better than earning a commission on a $20 toaster J
Thinking about this, expensive kitchen equipment like this could also be worth promoting on Pinterest.
Take a look. Lots of women, and it’s predominantly women, post photos of their dream kitchen’s and the stuff in them. So once you’re an affiliate of a company either direct link using your aff link, or save some of their product photo’s to your own affiliate promo site and then link from Pinterest to the page on your site promoting that particular product.
(not sure what value the search engine’s give to a link from Pinterest, but it can’t hurt)
Personally, if I was going to promote kitchen equipment on Pinterest (which I’m not) I’d go the mini site option, getting the women to click through to my site. The main reason is because Pinterest uses a service called Skimlinks to change affiliate links to their own.
This link change happens almost immediately, but there is a way around it. You can edit the link to change it back to your own aff link, as long as you do so before your Pin has been reppined.
BTW the few pins I’ve made about travel have already started driving traffic to my main travel site, TravelFoodandWine.com. Early days yet, so I’m not sure how much traffic it’s going to send, but clicks from Pinterest are already showing in the stats after several of my travel pins were repinned.
In case you didn’t get to see last week’s issue here’s my Pinterest board, or whatever they call it.
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Blood and Boobs
And now for the bit you’ve been looking for
I read an interesting story in The Times this week, about photos of crushed heads and deep flesh wounds being less offensive than photos of breastfeeding.
On Facebook that is. It seems they’ve come firmly down on the side of violence over nudity. A leaked document called ‘Abuse Standards Violation’ reveals what photographs users can post.
“Deep flesh wounds are OK to show. Crushed heads, limbs, etc, are ok as long as no insides are showing.”
But nudity is banned, including pixelated nudity plus “mothers breastfeeding without clothes”, and “people using the bathroom”
The bit that made me laugh though, said that photographs of ‘snot’ are ok, but not earwax.
A strange world indeed.
Here’s my Facebook page, which I’ll probably get a bit more active on as energy permits. Guaranteed, no snot pictures.
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Ok, that’s it.
And if you want to copy me and get more done, and faster, and also get to sleep 12 hour nights, get that Blogwise book I talked about at the top. For the next few days it’s 25% off making it a real bargain