Finally got myself a dedicated server!

Well I finally switched over to a dedicated server instead of this shared hosting nonsense.  I didn’t expect things to get to the point where I would need to switch over but that day has cometh.

I would encourage any of you who are on a shared account to upgrade to a VPS or dedicated server if you plan on being in this business for some time.  Its much easier to start out right instead of have to migrate a bunch of stuff over and adapt to the new environment.

I noticed that when I started pushing some really large amounts of traffic, my shared account just couldn’t cut it.  I was getting load times that were much slower than before and we all know that is something we DO NOT want in our industry.

I also was having trouble running certain php scripts because of restrictions in place at my current host.  I would run scripts and they just didn’t run, or would produce errors.  Now that I am on a dedicated server, everything is running smooth.

Anyways, I would love to hear any stories of why you have switched over to a better solution…and how it went for you.

UPDATE: I would like to add that I now have a private network with multiple dedicated servers.  The upgrade was mostly because I needed a much more powerful server for my tracking script’s database.  I was simply pushing way to much traffic for the dedi I had….so now I have a few servers, each for different tasks.  The nice thing about all this is that I get my servers from Softlayer and you can upgrade very easily there.  This is BY FAR the best company I have ever dealt with when it comes to this kind of stuff.  Any problem I’ve ever had I submitted a ticket and within minutes recieved help from Softlayer.  If you are looking for somewhere to get solid hosting/servers from…this is the place!

My Thinkpad “keyboard beeps” bug made me think…

The other day my brother was down for a visit and we out of the blue decided to trade laptops.  He has a Lenova Thinkpad T61 which is actually a pretty decent little machine.

After having it a few days I noticed that certain things trigger the computer to beep at me.  What I had found was anytime you would press 3 keys down it would beep…but not ALL of the time.

After googling a couple phrases I came across Elliot Lee’s blog where he had written a post about this problem.  He also posted a fix to this problem which DID fix the problem for me.  After reading through the simple fix and what EXACTLY causes the problem….I realized this MAY be useful information for us internet marketers.

What actually causes this crazy beep to happen is when you press any three key combination all in the same row including at least two of these keys: 4567rtyufghjvbnm.

I noticed other posts on other blogs and forums about this problem…and EVERYONE was wondering why would Lenova have something like this integrated into the thinkpad.

My guess is that it is something to alert you when you are possibly making a typo.  I have done extensive studying into misspellings and typos and have made quite a pretty penny from applying that information into the keywords I bid on and even the domains I buy.  When looking at this information, it seems to apply to many of the typo rules or theories that I have found.

If a company like IBM knows that sort of information and actually integrates it in to alert the user (if that’s really what its for)…it is something I think we can learn from even more.  I now know that a very common way to figure out and find new typos is to follow that little “algorithm” that is bolded above.

Hopefully this can help some of you brainstorm some new keyword or key phrase for the current campaigns you have up and running.

If any of you want MORE info on typos and misspellings, please do comment and let me know… If you have anything to add to the table…also…please do comment!

ChaCha sends answers straight to your cell phone!

Quite some time back I had checked out this human run search engine called ChaCha.  It was ok but in my opinion somewhat of a flop, if anything it was useful only for complete internet newbies.

More recently I found out that ChaCha changed the way they work.  The way ChaCha works now is that you send off a text message with the question that you need answered to ChaCha (242242).  ChaCha is run by paid human searches to find the answer to your texted questions.

In case text messaging isn’t your thing, you can also call ChaCha at 1-800-2ChaCha (1-800-224-2242) and ask your question.  ChaCha will follow up with the answer to your question in a text message.

I wanted to pass this on to some of you because this service actually does come in pretty handy for me.  I mean come on its like having a personal assistant that you can text any question you have to and he will reply back with the answer!

If anyone knows of any other similar services to this please comment and let me know!

Blog Monetization using OpenX

I have recently been getting more into doing media buys.  I think its a great way to open the floodgates of traffic, and you can go barter a deal with ANYONE who has space on their site.

One thing that has bugged me is the fact that all the 3rd party ad servers are quite expensive, like $500/month to rent.  I wanted a solution so that I could still do professional media buys, but by hosting the ad server platform myself.

After doing just a bit of research and asking around, I came to the conclusion that OpenX would be the best route to take.  OpenX is a free open source project so you don’t have to worry about any hard hitting costs when starting fresh with this stuff.

I dug through OpenX the last few days playing around with it and I would have to say its a pretty powerful script.  One of the things I wondered was if it could handle tracking pixels, which I was a bit surprised to see that it does.  This will help me automate some of the things I’m doing right now even more.

I decided to test out OpenX a little bit by adding some "zones" to a few of my websites.  One of the sites I integrated this into is this blog.  The reason I added this ad section was to start to do some testing with AdSense and some of its competitors for a case study that I will be conducting.  The adserver will keep track of all the data and optimize the ads according to the best performer.  I will be testing quite a few different things, but I had to get started so I got the adserver setup and two different companies in rotation: Google AdSense and Bidvertiser.

If you use OpenX and have any good resources or tips, please post a comment and let me know!  If there are any companies similar to Google’s Adsense that you would like me to include in this monetization study, please also comment here with the company name and any other info!

Thank you Google!

I noticed today that Google has done another Pagerank update this year. 

Since I had started my blog days before the first PR update, Google gave me an initial PR0.  However…after Google’s new update I am now up to a PR2.

Site Pagerank

It is nice to see a bit of pagerank spreading through my pages now.  It also gives me the ability to start structuring how I want my link juice to flow 

On a side note, I figured while I was grabbing a screenshot of my PageRank, I would also grab a screenshot of the blogs Alexa rank incase anyone was curious.

Site Alexa Rank

Last of all, I know I will get a ton of emails asking what I am using to show the PageRank and Alexa rank in these screenshots so I will answer the question now and save us both some time.   This is a firefox plugin called SearchStatus that can do things like highlight nofollow links, check keyword density, show indexed pages or backlinks, and many many other things.  SearchStatus is a free plugin so give it a go if it looks of interest to you.

Hope everyone else had a great experience from Google’s PR update.  Please post with your comments and let me know what happened with your site!

Maxbounty for the win!

I know finding a good CPA network to work with can be one of the harder things to do.  Its tough telling who you want to expand your business with and who will treat you right when it matters.

I HAVE been screwed around with by some CPA networks, so nowadays I like to just push SOME traffic but not nearly what I can.  I continue to do this for awhile and see how that network pans out, if they pay on time, if they have good affiliate managers, if they work more for the advertisers or publishers…just get to know how the network works.

Once I get an idea how the network performs, then I choose to expand what I can do with them.

One of the networks that has been great from the start, and who has been there to help me out more than once, is Maxbounty.  These guys rock!

When I was in Vegas for Affiliate Summit, I made sure to get to know the Maxbounty team a bit better and I’m really glad I did.  Both of the affiliate managers, Adam and Jessica, are really rockin.  Adam is definitely one of the best affiliate managers I have had, and is always working his tail off for me.

Anyways, the whole point of this post was that I wanted to thank Adam and the Maxbounty team for a gift they just sent to my son Dyson.  They shipped him a pair of skates so he can partake in some ice hockey this upcoming season.

Maxbounty Skates

If you are still looking for that great network who is there to work WITH you, check out Maxbounty and get signed up right away.  They work hard at keeping out the scammers so they can give you the attention you need.  Because of this, make sure you mention that I referred you over and Jessica or Adam will get you approved right away.

Now GO MAKE SOME MONEY!

Skype conflicts with Apache from XAMPP… What?

Well this post may sound like nonsense to some of you, but I’m guessing a lot of my audience will understand exactly what I’m talking about.

On my venture to learn php/mysql I decided to install a http server and mysql server so that I could do things locally instead of always uploading it to my server and then running the files.  So I checked out XAMPP which is what I had used previously.  After installing XAMPP the Apache service wouldn’t start up.

Ahhhhhhh…..

So it was reporting something was running on port 80 or 443.  I knew I wasn’t running anything on either of those ports that I was aware of.  Sooooo I whipped up a command prompt and ran netstat to find which port was using port 80 OR 443.  I scanned the entire list of ports being used and found nothing using either of those ports.

I then started closing down any programs running, trying to restart the service as I moved along closing programs.  Luckily one of the first programs I closed down was Skype, which was the culprit of my problem!

Well once I closed down Skype then the service started right up, so I dug a bit deeper…

Next thing I found was kind of surprising… Go into Skype –> Tools –> Options…  Next, click on the Advanced tab, then the sub tab Connection.

 Skype conflict with XAMPP

Click here for the full picture.

 

Notice the area where it says "Use port 80 and 443 as alternatives for incoming connections".  Well this is by default checked when you install Skype.  This is what was causing the conflict.  Once I unchecked the box as you can see in the image above, and restarted Skype, my problem was fixed instantly.

Just thought I would pass this along since XAMPP is one of the more popular ways to get everything you need running for learning php/mysql, and most internet marketers use Skype, so I can see this being a semi common problem.

Hope this helps some of you!  Until next time…

teh mad haxor skillz

I realized that if I truly want to reach the goals I plan on reaching in life, that one way to quicken this process up a lot would be to broaden my knowledge on certain server side skillz.  To be a bit more specific, I plan right now on really hammering down on php and mysql.

I am big into automating what I do and have realized more and more the last year that knowing php can help me automate almost everything I do.  This is the number 1 reason I am going to further my knowledge in this area, and a very good reason why you should to!

I have started going through some tutorials online, I’ve also got some books laying around that I will dig into.  This is another great thing about working for myself….I can just dig into this stuff for as long as I want without any worry of having to "go to work" or going to bed so that I can get up in the morning.

Anyways, if any of you guys know any great resources, tutorials, script walkthroughs, just anything really great php/mysql related, you should definitely comment and let me know!

Digsby: Finally a good IM application!

OK, so I know anyone who uses any instant messaging clients has got to hate the fact that there are so many different methods and protocols used out there.  About 90% of the people I talk to use msn messenger. However, almost all of my affiliate managers use AIM!

Now most of you will say well that’s not a big deal, check out trillian, pidgin, or one of the many other multi protocol instant messaging clients…

The answer I have to that question however is…these clients SUCK!  I know they are trying their best, and most of them are open source…but what matters is that none of these programs do what I want……until recently.

I had a friend recommend that I try Digsby, a really new instant messaging platform.  Its a bit different than the most though.  Not only will this control and organize ALL of your instant messaging accounts, it also works for your facebook, myspace, twitter….and other accounts!

The best thing I can tell you is to go check it out for yourself, since I imagine you are thinking to yourself right now, how can you incorporate facebook and twitter into a instant messaging app.

Oh yeah, AND digsby offers this sweet widget service where you can embed "live chat" boxes into any website.  As long as you are running your digsby client, you can offer live chat on a website and have instant communication with your prospects.

I know this may not be useful in every one of your campaigns, however if you have any high cost leads or your own products and they really matter, you actually CAN offer a form of live support…for free!

If you want to check this feature out, check out my contact page, I have embedded a live chat box there so you can take a look.

Buying Traffic with Media Buys.

The last few weeks I have been going bezerk with attempting new ways (or ways unfamiliar to me) with purchasing traffic.  One thing that I have been playing with much more is Media Buying.  I wasn’t aware of how many people you can get your ads out to with meda buying.  I also like many things about it like you can cut deals to get better advertising prices.  You are also getting loads of traffic compared to one of the many other routes out there…

You may be wondering why I’m worried about such mass amounts of traffic more lately?

Well, there is a simple answer to that, I have now actually entered a few "niches" and have had some actual physical products manufactured for these niches.  I was getting tons of traffic just using the simple means of promotion I had used earlier, but since everything was rolling a good profit at that level, I wanted to ramp things up with a few insertion orders.

I would have to say that so far, I am liking this media buying process.  The only downfall is you need to have some money to put down at first.  Some of these buys can be pretty expensive compared to throwing up some campaigns with just PPC or whichever way you are promoting offers.

If anyone has any decent info or tips related to media buying, please leave a comment, I’m interested to hear others opinions in this area!

Until next time, best of luck guys!