Letter from Phil issue 396

A while between newsletters again. Sorry about that.

Just as I was starting to get better from my increased medication, fate and my shattered immune system decided to have a laugh at my expense and give me a nasty case of incredibly painfull shingles in one of the worst places possible.

To put it politely, I couldn’t sit down for weeks. Walking also hurt, so most of the time I lay in bed using my iPad to stay in touch with what’s happening in the world of online business.

Actually, staying in touch is the wrong word. What I’ve really done is plunge headlong into developing more of a presence in social media.

“Developing a presence” is the wrong phrase really. All I’m really doing is sharing all the interesting things I’m reading. So I’d like to invite you to join me on


Make me happy and give the Facebook page a like. Even better, a few retweets on Twitter will have me smiling 🙂

BTW, if you’re not already my friend on Facebook come and join in the conversation

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Shorter Newsletters

After today the newsletters will be shorter because they take far too long to write and I want to devote my energy to a training course I’m writing. More info on that later.

So my plans, for now, are to mail out much shorter newsletters, which you should receive weekly.

Some content will go straight to the blog, so I’ve added a ‘subscribe to blog updates’ form under the Facebook image in the right column of this blog.

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Gaming Pinterest

In the previous issue I promised an article about whether Pinterest is working  as a traffic driver, plus how some people are ‘gaming’ Pinterest to display Adsense ads.

But the world has moved on since then and it’s probably outdated. Just in case you’d still like to read it you can find it here.

Actually you should go there and see if you can spot the 3 incredibly popular Pins in the short quiz. Leave a  comment saying whether you managed to pick them or were a dismal failure. Personally I reckon that very few people will guess even one correctly.

The number of repins one of these images is getting is unbelievably high. Massive is probably the word to use.

While on the Pinterest topic here are a few quick tips for getting more exposure:

1. When you’re naming your boards use Keywords.

2. Add keyword rich descriptions to your individual pins.

3. Add hashtags (just like on Twitter) to the images you pin, as in #Keyword because this adds your images to open galleries using that term so many more people will get to see your pins.

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Selling Undesirable Products.

Lot’s of us have niche sites promoting products that people don’t particularly desire. So we’ve got to use good copy to persuade them.

I’m mainly thinking medical products here. Head lice treatments, genital warts, and all sorts of weird and un-wonderful things that can latch onto our bodies.

Such nasties are getting a mention here because I just read an article by a Behavioural Economics Expert talking about successfully marketing an undesirable product – in
this example a flu vaccination.

Medical niche sites have long been a favourite of mine  (and many other people earning a crust online) especially the embarrassing to buy face-to-face products.

And my favourite affiliate program for these types of offers is Market Health.

Give it a try if you haven’t already. You’ll probably find things you can promote that you didn’t even know existed.

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Is curating content stealing?

A journalist got taken to task a few weeks ago, on a ‘media watch’ tv show in Australia, for ‘stealing’ content.

Ross Gitten’s, the journalist, argued that he was, in fact, reporting.

Quoted in The Australian newspaper,  Ross said

“As is often my custom, it will consist largely of direct quotes, indirect quotes, and paraphrases of his paper. This practice is known as reporting. If I misrepresent
his views, feel free to criticise, but dont be silly and accuse me of stealing them.”

This led to thinking more about curation, and to sum up I reckon it’s ok to do it the way software such as Curationsoft does it, where you just use a paragraph and then link to the article on the site the software found it on.

What swayed my thinking was the enormously popular Flipboard and Zite apps on the iPad, where ALL the  content is ‘curated’ in the sense that a segment is used linking to the rest of the content on the original site.

Plus online ‘curators’ have become legit and have big followings. Flipboard, used by around 5 million people even has a popular section called “Cool Curators” who find interesting stuff, use maybe 10 lines of it, and an image and then link to the rest of the content. Basically they find work they like, and draw your attention to it. That’s all curation is really.

Really it’s just what I’m doing with WatchingWiley on Twitter. If you use Flipboard on your iPad or cellphone add me to your feed and you’ll see what I mean. Plus it looks great visually.

So to sum up…it’s not stealing. You’re just sharing.

Using someones full article without permission IS stealing and you are leaving yourself open to lawsuits.

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Everyday I get people wanting to write guest posts for my travel site. ( if you’re interested email me with your ideas, or use the contact form on http://travelfoodandwine.com )
Here’s one I got a few days ago from a person who sort of fails to make the grade 🙂

Hi Dear Webmaster,

I thought I would share some beneficial word with you,
my reader, since you are interested in travel writing.
We have unique and attractive content that we like
to share with you and give you opportunity to purplish
quality and unique content on your blog. If you would
like to share your response to our offer please email us
and we will love to provide you totally free content, I
would enjoy hearing from you.Thanks you, for you time!

ok, that’s it until next time.