Monday, January 26, 2009

Unlimited Unique Content with Wp Spinner

Ok, so I've got a little ritual going for the past few months ...

Sometime between the 15th and the 20th, I get my eBay commissions deposited to paypal. A couple of my stores have actually done quite well leading up to Christmas. Since my main source of additional income is still my candle business, I try to use the eBay money to "reinvest" in my business by purchasing useful tools.

This month, I purchased a product called WP-Spinner.

Over the past year or so, I've been fortunate to gain access to quite a bit of PLR article content. However, being on a Mac, none of the "spinning" programs out there will work on my machine (which may actually be a good thing, as I've heard the articles come out pretty mangled). That's why I got WpSpinner. Since it's a word press plug-in, it really doesn't matter what type of machine I'm on.

What the program does, is when I write a post, I just provide alternative words, sentences, paragraphs, or even entire articles. Then the program randomly chooses different versions from each set of variables. It does this Every Time the page is loaded. Obviously, it takes a little longer to write an article this way, but with enough variables, it's possible to come up with hundred (and maybe even thousands) of each article I write. Not only is each post on my blog unique, but it's unique each and every time it's visited ... even by the googlebot ... talk about "fresh and updated" content.

Anyhow, I spent most of yesterday updating many of the pages on my CandleMonkey blog.

This plugin was a little expensive at $97. But after using it, I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Here's a quick demo for you. The following couple of sentences just took me a couple of minutes to throw together ....

{[Tom|Dick|Harry|Joe|Ben|Chris] and [Craig|Jim|Gary|Tony|Eric] love to [go bowling|play cards|shoot hoops|wax their cars|watch the game on tv] every [Friday|Saturday|Sunday]. And when they're not doing that, they [enjoy|endure] [taking|accompanying] their wives [Cindy|Allison|Sheila|Kim|Lisa] and [Tammy|Betty|Wilma|JoAnn|Hillary] [shopping|out to eat|to the movies|to the theater].~Little [Jacob|John|Issac|Aaron|Freddy|Harold] was the most [handsome|funny|evil|cruel|rambunctious|hyper] kid [on the playground|in the neighborhood|on the block|in the whole town]. [Jasmine|Haley|Jordan|Heather|Amy|Amanda|Harriet] was his [girlfriend|best friend|sister|cousin|neighbor]. They were [constantly|always|inevitably] together [on any given day|at any time of day|all the time]}.


Ok, so you're not impressed? Here's the thing; If you hit refresh on your browser, these sentences will be slightly (and possibly dramatically) different every time you come back. I'd almost be willing to bet that you could hit reload 100+ times and never see the exact same version twice.

lol, anyway, that's my new toy. I'll be having fun with it ... and I'll do some more posts later to report on the results I actually get from using the plug-in.

Keep havin FuN!
Todd

p.s. please don't actually try to hit refresh 100+ times ... lol, after 3 or 4 tries you should have seen enough to take my word for it, the sentences will always be different ;-)
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Baby Jaiden Has Her Own Blog

Actually, at the moment it will be mommy's new blog. JaidenMorris.com will be all about baby Jaiden (imagine that), with pictures and stories about her life as a baby in the Morris household.

JaidenMorris_com.png
photo by alohateam



I started this blog for several reasons:

  1. I have not been very good lately about getting out my camera and taking pictures. Ana (mommy) will be much more likely to get pictures almost every day

  2. I wanted to find a good excuse to get mommy to start a blog of her own ... this is obviously a topic that she's interested in.

  3. I thought it might be cool for Jaiden to have her very own domain name. And if she decides that she wants her own website when she gets older, she'll have a great big head start.



Not too much over there just yet, but if we get the chance this afternoon, I'll be (trying) to teach Ana how to upload pictures and videos to her new blog. Once she gets a few posts up, I'd very much appreciate if you'd stop by and say hello (you know, encourage the new blogger).

Thanks in advance ;-)

Todd
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quality Content vs Relevant Content

Almost from the moment we become aware of the idea of being a "blogger", we are told that Content is King.

The problem is, most of us have no idea exactly what that really means.

Way too many of us set out into the world with a goal of becoming a "professional" writer. We strive to write quality content so that our readers will come back again and again ... and more importantly, recommend our brilliant writing to others.

Most of us fall flat on our face in this endeavor.

The biggest problem isn't that quality content isn't worth striving for, or that it's necessarily hard to write. No, the thing that leads many of us down the road to mediocrity is that the pursuit of "quality" is a perfect recipe for writer's block.

We all have many many great ideas in our heads; but most never see the light of day, because they never make it out of our heads ... What if my article isn't "good enough"? What if nobody reads it? Or even worse, what if they read it and laugh?

photo by monkeyleader

So what kind of blog content should we be trying to write?

I guess ultimately, it depends on what type of blog you're writing for ... and what your goals are.

If we're talking about a social, and/or "flagship" type blog, such as tmtips.com, then obviously quality should be a goal ... I want you to come back to read more of my writing ... and I want you to recommend me to your friends (hint, hint).

Where I (and I'm sure others) run into problems is when I try to take the same writing approach with my niche blogs ... you know, the ones that help pay the bills. Whereas here on tmtips.com my goal is happy readers. On a niche blog, my goals should be different ...

The ultimate goal of a niche blog is to have people arrive via search engine; after enter one of a specific set of terms, then leave via a click on either adsense, an affiliate link, or signing up for an email list. Whether or not they like (or heck, even read) the articles is means absolutely nothing.

Knowing this, that I only have to write relevant content, why is it that I still find myself getting "writer's block" and sometimes going days or even weeks without adding new content to some of my niche sites?

Does anybody else have this problem?

... and if so, what are some things that you've done to make writing easier?

Til next time,
Todd


photo credit: monkeyleader
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Easy Running Tips

Ok be honest, how many of you made New Year's resolutions to get in better shape?

I didn't really make a resolution. However, despite the fact that we do a fairly intense workout up at work a couple of days a week, I've pretty much always struggled when it comes running. I'm slow, and to be perfectly honest I never really enjoyed it.

Well, I'm finally getting to the point where even though running is still not "fun" for me, I do actually look forward to getting out and just relaxing my mind for 45 minutes or so. Obviously I'm not any kind of an expert when it comes to running, so take the following advise for what it's worth. I just wanted to share a couple of things that have helped me improve my endurance and speed, and even lose body fat, over the past couple of months.

Zatopek
Creative Commons License photo credit: Holton Gallery


  1. Get a good pair of shoes - In addition to giving your feet better support and cushion, a quality pair of shoes is also likely to have a psychological effect ... you've got fancy shoes, might as well get out and use them.


  2. Drink lots of water - This one was tough for me, because I pretty much drink diet Mt. Dew from sun-up to sun-down. Unfortunately, in addition to being a stimulant, caffeine is also a diuretic ... which means it may tend to dehydrate you ... which is not a good thing when you're drenched in sweat and 2 or 3 miles from you house.


  3. Run Every Day - Make yourself a promise that you will get some sort of a workout (even if it's just a quick 20 minute jog) every day ... no matter what. Don't give yourself a set "workout time". If something comes up, and you don't get your workout in at the prescribed time, you end up skipping a day ... which can easily become 3 days ... a week ... etc. Try to get your run over with as early in the day as possible. But if need be, I've been out for my run, literally after midnight on some days.


  4. Don't Cheat - This the last but not least, and most important tip. When you get out to run, and especially in the beginning when it's hard, every time you feel like stopping to walk, say or think to yourself: "I'm not going to stop, I'll only be cheating myself". And really, that's the truth. You want to improve. It will get easier with time and effort. However, if you don't put in a little bit of sweat equity, you'll never get to that point ... you'll have cheated yourself.



Well, that's what I've got for today. I'm just on my way out for a run (seriously, I'm not joking).

Catch up with you again soon ... til then, keep havin FuN!
Todd
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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Money ... It's Not How Much You Make ... It's How Much You Keep

My step-son Johnathan loves to go around telling his friends that we "have a lot of money".

Now, to an 11 year old, I suppose that could very well feel true. And in a way, he does have a point.

However ...

The more money you make, the more money you spend



As illogical as that statement may seem to some, I honestly don't think a more true sentence has ever been uttered.

I got a first hand view of this concept just last night when Justin (my 16 year old), had a school assignment to make a budget. It was suggested that he ask his parents to estimate their own expenses.

At first, he was utterly amazed by how much money we make each month.

Then, just a few minutes later, he was equally stunned by the relatively small percentage that was actually left after savings, taxes and paying all the bills.

... unfortunately, I wasn't as surprised as Justin.

I think I actually have a pretty good handle on bringing in additional income.

However, much like our own US Government, it's the spending part of the equation that tends to get most of us in trouble.

As luck would have it though, I have a few "financial advice" type sites in my feed reader. And one of them recently made a post that could very well keep me busy for days (in a good way).

I’ve compiled a comprehensive collection — organized by category — of 110 personal finance calculators and helpful tools. They’re free, found online and designed to help you find fast answers to your financial questions.


I hope you find it helpful ... or even better, you're already so financially savvy that you don't need any of these tools
;-)

Keep havin FuN!
Todd
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