Is the Pen mightier than the PC

I’m talking productivity here. The question is… Is digital actually better or worse for brainstorming, organising, and planning your thoughts into actionable processes?

As technology abounds in today’s society and everyone is using word processors, spreadsheets, mind maps, and slide presentations to communicate ideas, it’s not a matter of choice anymore. Digital is it, but is it really the most effective way to explore your own thoughts and achieve the highest productivity out of your own time.

I don’t know about you but I keep a simple notebook on my desk to write down a list of tasks that I want to achieve every day. It’s a great way to keep focused and I’ve been doing it for a few years now, so it’s something that I’ve developed into a habit and find it very useful.

I find writing with a pen is much more intuitive and thought provoking than typing on a keyboard. I guess because it’s a little more creative, a little faster, and it produces a greater mind-body connection. The problem is that you can’t just copy and paste that text, format it, and transfer it to another application. Of course there are various new hardware devices like the Livescribe pen making this idea more of a reality today, but that is topic for another post.

Today I did something a little different than just writing tasks in my notebook. I decided to write down everything I was thinking. I would be half way through writing a list of action steps and then I would hit a step that would spur a new thought process. Instead of trying to keep focused on the bigger picture and bury those new thoughts, I wrote them down and continued that thought process until it was resolved. I found this actually helped me to work through a lot of things that my brain would usually not be able to focus on, either because the thought was too large and I needed to break it into smaller chunks or because it might be an area that my subconscious was avoiding. That is also topic for another post but I found instead of letting my mind go cloudy, I would write questions to myself, and then I would answer them. Once I had answered or eliminated all my objections, I was able to return back to my action step list and proceed.

In just half a day I had already written 10 pages of scribble, which is something not really worth doing in digital form, or something that you wouldn’t bother doing in digital form because it’s all about concise, to the point text, and reducing the number of words needed to express an idea. Creating digital content definitely has it’s advantages as you can easily segment content, add new content to previous sections, and create a document that’s easy to share with others, but if you are stuck on a idea and can’t seem to work out the steps you need to take to make it happen then definitely try just writing in a notepad.

It’s a great way to establish that mind-body connection and really explore your deepest thoughts and objections that may be holding you back from achieving your goals. Even though it can take longer to write every thought out on paper, and then rewrite some of that content into digital form, you might just find that your actual productivity level shoots through the roof.

How To Get Started In Domaining – Interview With Kenny Goodman

Domaining is something that is becoming a hot topic among online entrepreneurs. Not just internet marketers, but big corporate enterprises as they are noticing a huge trend toward the online sector.

One of the “go to” guys when it comes to domaining is Kenny Goodman. I managed to jump on a call with Kenny and interview him on exactly what he sees as the future of domaining and how he has managed to build a solid business through lead brokering and buying aged domains.

If you’re not familiar with the term “domaining”. It’s simply the acquisition of multiple domains.

You can either “park” those domains or develop them into content sites, or as Kenny points out on this call, you can get really creative and do things like lease options on your domains. This definitely takes things to a whole new level, and some of the concepts Kenny alludes to on this call are absolutely fascinating.

Some of the things Kenny talks about on this call, I have never heard before, and it’s always a refreshing change to hear real world business strategies applied to online marketing and website development rather than the typical gimmicky stuff about making thousands of dollars overnight through the latest spam technique.

This is big business, and has the potential for huge paydays in the corporate market.

I also get Kenny to run through his latest online software called DomainFace. I must admit, when I first started using this software I was a bit lost, because if you don’t know what to look for when finding an aged domain then all the stats don’t really mean much. So, on this call I got Kenny to run me through exactly what criteria he looks for when searching for an aged domain, and that has made a huge difference for me. I’m sure it will make a huge difference for you too.

I hope you get as much out of this call as I did, and please leave your comments below to let me know if you enjoyed the content.




How To Setup Google Analytics Conversion Goals

Here is a quick walkthrough video of how to setup google analytics conversion goals. Most internet marketers have google analytics installed on their websites, but few actually go to the length of setting up conversion goals to measure what percentage of their site visitors actually complete the desired action steps needed to reach the end goal, being purchasing your product.

This is a basic walkthrough of analytics and the typical scenario that most internet marketers will have. I detail exactly which options to select inside google analytics, how to setup google analytics tracking code on your wordpress blog, and how to setup your analytics goal funnel.

Enjoy 🙂

How To Setup A Custom Facebook Page For Your Product Or Service

As I was going to setup a new Facebook page for my new product “Domain Digger Pro”, I realised I had totally forgot how to do it. I setup my last page with the static fbml application and used the hidden content fb tag to require users to like my page before they could see the hidden content. It’s a great way to get more “Likes” on your page, but I had to research everything about how to do it all over again.

I have made a quick screencam video so that if you’re looking to setup a new Facebook page, this will make things a walk in the park for you, and also for me next time I setup a new page.

Hope this helps you out.

I have included the actual html content I used in the static fbml box below so you can copy this layout for yourself. You’ll notice I have linked to some external images on my own domain. If you want to use these generic images, that’s cool, just please upload them to your own server first. Don’t leach off my server. Thanks!

<style type="text/css"> <!-- .signup-box { background:#fbf6de; border:solid 1px #d9ce9a; border-radius:10px; -moz-border-radius:10px; -webkit-border-radius:10px; padding:20px; width:350px; } .border-box { border: dashed; padding:10px; } label { color:#0060c2; display:block; font-weight:bold; margin-bottom:5px; text-align:center; font-family: Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } --> </style> <h1 align="center"><strong><font color="#CC0000" size="+3" face="impact">&quot;Like&quot; This Page</font><font size="+3" face="impact"> - And Download Domain Digger Pro Free Trial Below </font></strong></h1> <h1 align="center">&nbsp;</h1> <h1 align="center"><font size="+2" face="Courier New, Courier, monospace">Just click the &quot;Like&quot; button at the top of this page and you will instantly see the hidden download links for Domain Digger Pro Free Trial Below. </font></h1> <table align="center" width="360px"> <tr> <td> <div align="center" style="margin-bottom:-20px"><img src="http://www.easiestaffiliatewebsite.com/images/arrows.gif" /></div> <div class="signup-box" align="center"> <fb:visible-to-connection> <div align="center"> <h3 align="center"><a href="https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/pokckeeaaghdocnkhilldllmdboikimp?hl=ene"><strong>Google Chrome</strong><br> <br> <img src="http://www.domaindiggerpro.com/images/googlechromelogo.png" border="0"></a> </h3> <p></p> </div> </fb:visible-to-connection> <label>Click The Like Button <br> To See The Hidden Download Links Above</label> </div> </td> </tr> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> <table width="95%" border="1" align="center"> <tr><td> <div class="border-box"> <h3 align="center"><strong> About Domain Digger Pro:</strong></font></h3> <p align="center">Domain Digger Pro is perfect for you if you are interested in buying a keyword targeted domain for your new website. If you are looking to build your portfolio of domain names or simply just doing keyword research on your market then you are going to love Domain Digger Pro. </p> <h3 align="center"><img src="http://www.domaindiggerpro.com/images/chromextensionscreenshot2.jpg" width="400" height="275"></h3> <p align="left">This extension takes any input keyword phrase and searches the top keyword research sites to find relevant related keywords. It then checks to see if those keywords are available to purchase as domain names. You can quickly check 100 high volume keyword phrases relating to your target keyword phrase in less than 3 minutes. </p> <p align="left">You can also do further research on your keyword phrase by switching back to the tabs Domain Digger Pro automatically opened to gather related keywords. Their is a wealth of information that you can source using this software, but that's not all. </p> <p align="left">Domain Digger Pro automatically collates the highest volume keywords into a table so you can see exactly which keyword phrases get the most searches each month, and you can also see if those phrases are available for purchase all in one place.</p> <h3 align="center"><img src="http://www.domaindiggerpro.com/images/chromextensionscreenshot.jpg" width="400" height="275"></h3> </div> </td></tr> </table>

Did this help you out? Let me know in the comments?

How To Setup and Manage a Profitable Outsourced Team – Interview with James Schramko

Have you noticed the number of people in the internet marketing community talking about outsourcing?

I wouldn’t exactly call it the latest buzz word, because it’s something that has been widely adopted as “leveraging your time” for quite a few years now, but the concept is definitely becoming more and more talked about.

It seems as though everybody knows about it, and a lot of people have tried it, but very few are successful at it. I think this is primarily because a lot of “internet marketers” haven’t come from a high end management job or position that required them to manage a team so they lack a lot of fundamental skills needed to actually manage other people effectively.

One person that has successfully put together a highly productive team of outsourcers is James Schramko. James came from a high end management position at Mercedes Benz where he was required to manage up to 100 people at one time. He has excellent management skills which has obviously helped him grow his online business to a 7 figure per year income in just 2 years.

I’ve been picking up on a few of the things James has said about the way his team works and his approach is very different to the way the internet marketing community has taught how to outsource in the past.

James was kind enough to let me interview him on exactly how he has managed to grow his team, establish a great camaraderie between his workers, and basically put together an effective system where he only needs to chat with his team for 5 minutes each day. It’s truly amazing what he has accomplished and I get new inspiration and knowledge from James every time we chat.

I hope you enjoy the interview below… and let me know if this interview was helpful to you by leaving your comments.



The Simplest Time Management Technique

I thought I would start off with a uniquely simple time management tip that has helped me get a surprising amount of work done in a short period of time. I’ve come to hear of this technique from 2 different sources over the last 3 months. I first was introduced to it by Ed Dale in his mentoring program. He calls this CFT or Critical Focus Time. I was also told about this technique just last week from Nic Lucas, a good friend of mine who was talking about the Pomodoro technique. They are basically the same thing. The Pomodoro technique was coined by Francesco Cirillo in 1992. I’m not sure when Ed coined the CFT.

Here’s how it works:

The idea is to time yourself in 30 minute intervals. 25 minutes of Critical Focus Time and 5 minutes break. Ed explains that he knows this technique is used by some of the top internet marketers and business people in the world. Critical Focus Time is specific though. You have to be doing something in that time that directly grows your business. This could be writing a blog post, contacting JV partners, developing a product, or anything that will directly grow your business now or in the future. It doesn’t include things like reading a book, learning about social media, chatting to friends on Skype, or browsing on the net. The idea is to do one CFT or Pomodoro per day, or if you can’t manage that, do one per week. The main focus is consistency and committing to it.

It takes a little while to get used to this technique. Ed stresses the importance of taking a break for 5 minutes. For me, I use this technique for writing blog posts. I set the timer on my iPhone to 25 minutes. I do find it hard to stop at 25 minutes though. I usually just take 10 seconds to write an entry in my CFT document and then start the timer again. Being a coder, I’m used to working in 2-4 hour blocks focused on completing a particular feature or entire program but I find just the task of timing myself gives me a goal and I know that I’m going to complete a blog post without interruption. I will usually do 3 CFT sessions per day back to back. That’s usually how long it takes me to write a blog post, but I’m noticing that I’m getting quicker at it, which I wouldn’t know if I wasn’t timing myself.

I think Ed specified one CFT per day to accommodate most people doing his Challenge who might have a full time job and can only put aside 30 minutes per day. I believe he also sets a benchmark of 5 CFT sessions to get out 1 blog post. So, that’s one blog post per week. For me, I aim to get out a new blog post every day. I think once a week is not enough, but it’s a good benchmark to aim for if you haven’t done anything like this before.

I find doing 3 CFT’s and getting out one new blog post before I start working on other things is a good way to get a sense of accomplishment for the day. I’m usually in a better mood for the rest of the day when I feel like I’ve definitely achieved something. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve been working all day on programming, site design, and sales copy but still haven’t achieved much. This technique helps to give me a sense of achievement.

What do you think of this technique? Are you using it already? What sort of things do you plan for your CFT sessions?

Are you managing your business… or is your business managing you?

Something I’m going to focus on this year is building effective management skills. Predominantly people management, but also time management, idea management, process management, and systems management. I think this is something that a lot of people in the internet marketing community lack, because you don’t need a business degree or any formal training to jump into internet marketing and call yourself a business owner. It’s so low cost to start a website and call your website an online business, but do we really have the skills to effectively manage this online business and take it to great heights.

This post stems from my previous post about The New Era of Internet Marketing.

Certainly in the offline world, you wouldn’t consider starting a business if you knew you had no management skills, but an internet marketing business is treated entirely different because the barrier to entry is low.

I’m looking at James Schramko’s business and noticing one of his great strengths is management. This is something he learnt in the offline world, and has transferred into his own online business. The way he has built a successful team of “ninjapinos” as he calls them, is nothing short of amazing and no trivial thing to achieve. A lot of us have trouble managing just one freelancer, let alone 16 of them! I’m waiting for him to release a course on outsourcer management, but until then, I’m going to be researching the web, reading books, and posting about the strategies and tips I find that work for me.

With such a big emphasis on leverage in the online community we are all looking to outsource, but when we go to hire outsourcers we often fall flat on our face because we don’t have the skills to effectively communicate to them, motivate them, and manage them.

Myself, like many others nowadays being younger and launching my internet marketing career at a young age before I really had a high paying, prominent job, and stature in the offline world, I need to work on some of these fundamentals.

I have been making a full time income from internet marketing for 2 years now and I’ve had my share of successes and failures. My initial success was purely due to persistance. I didn’t start off with any mentor or friends in the industry that I could talk to or learn from.

Now that I have both, I’m noticing some key fundamentals about what it takes to not just make a 6 figure income, but 7 figures and beyond.

What’s your thoughts?

Making Money Through Google Chrome Extensions

One of the best things about Google Chrome extensions is that they are so easy to develop. All you need to include in your build is an easy to configure manifest file that details how the extension should operate. Then you simply use the chrome browser to pack your extension into a .xpi file and you’re good to go.

You can either serve the extension from your own server or you can distribute it through the Chrome marketplace.

Google has not yet implemented a solution to sell extensions. The only reference to being able to sell extensions is through a thread found on the Chrome help forum.

One person “Blair” who seems to be a Google employee, has commented on that thread saying that “Google is very interested in enabling web developers to earn income from developing extensions, but they’re still investigating the best way to make this happen”. The last post from Blair was the 8th of May, 2010, so it doesn’t seem to be a top priority for Google to make this happen at the moment.

At present, only free extensions are included in the Chrome marketplace, but is there still opportunity to create an income from creating a free chrome extension?

You will have no doubt caught on to the fact that the “free” online business model can be quite profitable. Just take a look at sites like facebook or even google. If you can get the eyeballs, you can get a lot of advertising deals and the online world opens up to you.

So, let’s look at some of the most popular extensions in the marketplace and their stats. AdBlock, which is currently the most popular extension shows stats of 1,799,503 current users and 143,952 new weekly installs. These are pretty phenomenal numbers but what’s interesting is the developer says in his product description that he is relying on paypal donations to generate an income from this app. This suggest either that Google is not allowing monetization, or that users are going for apps without monetization ads, or simply that the developer has no idea how to monetize his extension.

What’s encouraging is the developer is obviously just a single person and not a huge company, which suggests there is room for the little guy in this marketplace and he must obviously be getting a decent amount in paypal donations as he says he has quit his full time job just to focus on it.

The question is, how much traction can a new app get on the marketplace?

It would seem there is some delay in google’s stats because I am finding quite a few apps with reviews and comments but no indication of number of users or download stats. I’ve found over 20 new extensions released just today in the “Most Recent” category and some of them have up to 15 ratings which indicates that there is some good activity possible for newly released extensions and quite a few new extensions being created everyday for Chrome.

I’m going to be looking further into Google Chrome extensions in the next few blog posts, so keep your eyes peeled for updates as I explore if it’s possible to make a decent income from Google Chrome extensions.

If you want to chime in about anything I have discussed or just to express your interest, please feel free to leave a comment below.