Ending 2006 And Moving Forward In 2007

Looking back, 2006 had been an eventful year in both my personal life and career. There was a good level of personal and business growth as compared to the year before. There was also a lot that happened that was beyond my control. While there were a number of occasions that affected me deeply, it also made me realize I was in many ways, more fortunate than many others.

I started the year as I did with every other year, with resolutions and goals and not knowing what to expect. Along the way, some were either forgotten or dropped as they soon lost priority, and were replaced with those I felt more inclined to work upon. As the end of the year approaches in less than 12 hours, let’s examine some of those I felt made an impact not only this year, but also the years that will follow.

Relationship with Jan - I first met Jan some time in the last quarter of 2005 while socializing with a couple of friends. We didn’t get on to a great start; we barely even had a decent conversation going on. After we got together, she revealed I was nothing but a shadow that night. She has influenced my thoughts in some ways, and made me look at certain issues with a different perspective since, and I am thankful for that.

Health and Fitness - Despite the numerous amount of late nights and irregular diets, I am glad for remaining healthy still. Not taking this for granted however, one of my resolutions in the coming year is hitting the sack earlier, and becoming an early riser. This is not going to be an easy task, and I will blog about its progress soon.

My fitness on the other hand, has taken a slide with my failing of the annual fitness test that every Singaporean cilvilian-soldier must attend. One of the goals in 2007, is to have an exercise regime in place. Irregular diets have also caused my weight to plummet. I get engrossed when I’m at work and thus, have the habit of skipping meals. This is one area that needs to attention as well.

Career Growth - This year saw a 100% growth in the amount of sales generated as compared to 2005. From a business point of view, this would have been great news. Sales are up, and that corresponds to an increase in profits. Well, only to a certain extent. Although sales this year was double that of 2005, expenses were also higher which affected the profit margin.

People-to-People Relations - My work requires me to deal with people. In this aspect, I am fortunate that majority of people who meet and/or work with me have no issues with my personality. Certainly, there will always be a minority that can be a pain in the ass. But human relations have never been a simple task. My emotions get the better of me at times which causes a fog in my perceptions. Although I try to remain as level-headed as possible, I can get easily irritated at the sight of things that do not go well in my book.

Multiple Streams of Revenue - Not to be confused with Multiple Streams of Income, MSR refers to creating different income streams via the main source. Currently, I have 2 streams that contribute to my overall income, and intend to add at least 2 more in 2007.

Marketing and Education - Whatever you do, it is vital that you constantly invest in your education. I have a keen interest in marketing, and I see 2007 as a great start to invest and accquire knowledge that will generate a good amount of returns in the long run. Besides, nobody can take whatever that is in your head away.

So with this, I end my last post of the year. Wherever you are, I wish you the best in health and your endevours in the coming year ahead!

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Adapt And Change Your Strategy If It Doesn’t Work

There is a good reason why military strategists were vital back in the period of the warring states. Their duties were to advice, strategize and actualize. In the days when general-purpose machine guns and semi-automatic rifles were non-existent, winning a battle generally required meticulous planning and precision implementation. So forget about technology, it’s the wit that mattered then.

But even the best strategist met with defeat at times, either due to factors beyond their control or complacency, and often had to review what went wrong from his predictions. The ones that changed their strategy bounced back from defeat and went on to win battles, while those who were inflexible continued getting defeated.

How does this apply to you and marketing your business online? For the purpose of this post, online marketing also refers to affiliate marketing.

There are 3 types of marketers in this world, and whichever type you belong to, determines the outcome of your marketing effort.

The Clueless Marketers - This group of marketers are the ones that begin well, but end up in the middle of nowhere. They start out with market research, planning, budgeting, brainstorming before moving on to reviewing and finally, implementing. When the results turn out to be less than mediocre, they feel demoralized and would say that 1. affiliate marketing is a scam or 2. they lack what it takes and 3. they know something went wrong, but don’t know why it went wrong and thus, decide to give up once and for all.

The Stagnant Marketers - Marketers that belong in this group work like a bull. They are mostly driven, and expect to see results fast. Like the Clueless group, they do their homework before embarking on their project. When results do not turn out as expected, Stagnant Marketers remain confident, believing that things will change for the better. After numerous attempts and time wasted, frustrations are finally felt. They would rather continue to use an unproductive strategy then taking time off to review and improve it; there is no advancement in this group.

At some point in time, experienced marketers may also fall into this category if they do not learn the new techniques and technologies introduced. They feel that it is unnecessary given their years of experience. This is when complacency kills their business.

The Thinking Marketers - Thinking marketers are also referred to as flexible people with drive. They do what is needed at the planning phrase, reviewing at the implementation stage, and if results fall short than expected, make necessary changes before working on it again. If results turn out to be good, they will work on getting better results. They are constantly thinking of ways to stand out, to build their brand, and to be different from their competitors.

They are adaptable to change and adjust easily to fit this ever-changing industry. This is also the reason why they are the winners.

Which group of marketers do you suppose you belong to?

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Income.com To Launch In 2007

Income.com by John Reese

Recently, John Reese made a formal annoucement that he will be selling the bulk of his businesses, and would only concentrate on one. The ONE that he was referring to is Income.com. According to John, Income.com would be the ultimate Internet Marketing and online business community cum training center for anyone serious about building an online business.

I have been on John’s list for some time now, and have also read many of his articles regarding IM. My opinion of him is someone who is deeply passionate about his trade, and that includes teaching others the ropes as well. I know this whenever I receive an email from him, and it contains nothing short of quality information that would have taken him a good amount of time to write.

As I mentioned previously, one of the first things I did when starting out, was subscribe to many of the lists out there. As I soon realized, many were nothing more than sales letters. There was absolutely no balance between sales and content. Have you ever received more than 5 emails from a marketer with no value or whatsoever in less than a day? I said Au Revoir to it immediately and to the rest that followed. Only a handful, I am still subscribed to until today and John is one of them.

In his recent email, John gave a glimpse of how Income.com is going to make an impact to the IM industry.

You are going to see the bar raised SO HIGH in this industry that tons of wannabe gurus and scam artists will be PUT OUT OF BUSINESS.

And one of the things I am going to do to put this in motion is to start…


I’m talking about GIVING AWAY content and strategies that are BETTER than what many people sell in ebooks and paid products.

True to his word, he has made it FREE for anyone to join this community. While we know this is an essential element in marketing his new company, a lot of it has to do with the reputation he has built for himself. So, head on down to watch the video he has made, and get yourself notified thereafter.

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Here Comes The Affiliate Blog List

Now, wouldn’t it be great to have a version of Digg specially just for affiliate marketing bloggers, where newly published content can be voted and shared among everyone in the community at a centralized location?

Just like how SEO has found a home in SEO Yak.com, Scott Jangro has created a page listing the blogs of affiliate marketers. Every 15 minutes, the Affiliate Blog List checks if there are any new posts published from the directory of blogs, and if there is, the headlines get displayed on the page.

Readers can vote on the quality of the post by giving it a ‘bump’ or ‘dump’. Headlines that receive higher votes get priority and appear at the top of the list.

Scott calls his project part affiliate blog index and part RSS reader. If you have an affiliate marketing blog, and would like to have it listed, then drop Scott a note.

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Getting Back To Blog!

Finally! Since my last post 2 days ago, getting online proved to be much more of a difficult task than convincing a client to place his business with me.

Internet connections in Singapore, along with other countries in the neighbouring region have been severely affected by the 7.1-magnitude earthquake in Taiwan. Since early afternoon yesterday, my attempts to get online was futile. And when I finally did, it lasted barely 5 minutes.

Last reported, the estimated duration needed to repair the underwater cables would require at least 3 weeks.

My observation tells me that accessing sites hosted in the US appears to be slower than the locally-hosted ones. For example, it took almost a full minute for Yahoo to load, and less than 3 seconds for SINGOV to show up on my screen.

I’m hoping the slowdown doesn’t affect fellow affiliate marketers and business owners whose sites are hosted offshore. If landing pages take too long a time to load, it could also mean a lost lead or sale.

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Digg’s Spam Policy Needs Reviewing

I’m appalled to learn that Lee Odden’s Online Marketing Blog is the latest of sites to be banned by Digg. But how is it that a site dedicated to social media, search engine marketing and online public relations be considered spam when nothing about it’s content suggests so at all.

As it turns out, Digg users, or Diggers as they are more commonly referred to, play a major role when it comes to getting sites banned. When submitted stories from a particular domain name constantly gets flagged as spam by Diggers, future submission of stories from that URL will be put to a stop.

While such a policy encourages Diggers to play a part in moderating user-generated content, they appear to be doing more harm than good when innocent sites get banned because of prejudice. Online Marketing Blog has become a recent example of what happens when decision-making power falls into the wrong hands.

Likewise, this has also made it increasingly easy to crush your competitors. All you need is merely time.

The worst thing about getting banned by Digg, is probably the impossibility of getting unbanned even if you appeal against the ruling.

When submitted stories are consistently reported as spam and users complain via our feedback email about submission spam, we ban the domain. The domain will not be unbanned. The domain would consistently get reported as spam otherwise.

Think you’re innocent until proven guilty? Well, think again.

Unlike a suspect that is given a fair hearing, Digg’s current policy doesn’t allow you to do so. And clearly, this is something that has got to change. A couple of sites that I enjoy reading has already received the boot, and it is not surprising that others will soon be added to the list if this continues.

What I think Kevin Rose and his team should look at:

Firstly, Digg needs to improve on it’s current algorithm. I read somewhere that the current one buries a post once it hits 10 negative reviews. Is this true? If anyone knows, please drop me an email. It needs to calculate the difference between the number of positive diggs to negative ones, and not just because a lesser number of people disliked the article and voted to bury it as spam, it should do so. Don’t the majority win?

Secondly, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. What is poison to you, might be meat to me and others. Instead of letting users decide what is spam or not, there should be a real moderating team in place that reviews each submission accordingly. I don’t suppose there is one now from the looks of it. I have to say honestly though, that manpower is going to be an issue here. With thousands of submissions a day, it is not going to be an easy task reviewing each and every one but obviously, something has to be done.

Finally, every site deserves to be heard fairly. There should be a dispute resolution center that caters to sites that are wrongfully banned for whatsoever reasons. Even Google attends to such matters, so why shouldn’t Digg?

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Happy Holidays

Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! I will be away until Tuesday, so meanwhile, blogging will be kept to a minimum unless I have time to whip a post up.

Catch up soon!

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Bloggers Slammed By WSJ Editor

According to Joseph Rago, an assistant editorial features editor at The Wall Street Journal, majority of blogs do not provide quality coverage as compared to mainstream journalism. Even prominent blogs are not spared from being called, horrifying.

The blogs are not as significant as their self-endeared curators would like to think. Journalism requires journalists, who are at least fitfully confronting the digital age. The bloggers, for their part, produce minimal reportage. Instead, they ride along with the MSM like remora fish on the bellies of sharks, picking at the scraps.

While this article does not solely reflect the views of WSJ (or does it?), I certainly found it alarming it was given the green light to be published, given that it is after all, rather controversial. But that’s just my opinion. At least I don’t think blogs are written by fools to be read by imbeciles.

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30 Seconds Supermarket Shopping Spree

A company that I represented had a contest running in November, and I was fortunate enough to qualify for it. Qualifiers would then be given 30 seconds to grab whatever they wanted at a local supermarket.

The idea of a supermarket shopping spree is not new, but it’s always fun to be able to participate and walk away with a trolley full of free groceries. Ren participated in one earlier this year, and I saw her walk away with at least 6 months worth of diapers and milk powder.

If you think about it, 30 seconds is a short period of time. To begin with, the supermarket was huge, probably one of the largest that I have ever seen so running from one end to the other doesn’t seem like a good strategy. Needless to say, I have only half a minute to spare. Jan gave a list of items that she would like me to grab, but most of them were placed out of reach from my starting point.

The rules of the game stated that alcoholic drinks were not up for grabs, with the exception of beers. Ren has a Christmas dinner later this evening, and we’ve got a number of drinkers attending, including myself. And since they were placed only a short distance away from the starting point, it made logical sense to aim for that first before moving on to other things.

At the final blow of the whistle, this was what I grabbed in 30 seconds.

Beers and Diapers

Beers in Singapore don’t come cheap. The total cost of 3 kegs of Heineken, 3 cartons of Hollandia and 3 boxes of diapers were $500.34. The bulk of it, coming from the drinks itself.

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Have You Written Your Adsense & Affiliate Will?

Eric Giguere has written a thought-provoking post that I think every problogger, affiliate and internet marketer ought to read, and make plans for it while they are still able to write. Though it sounds a tad depressing, this is an area that must not be overlooked if you are generating a fairly decent income online or consider this your full-time job. Which means to say, your family is dependent on this source of income.

And that’s the key word here: business. What I’ve jokingly called an “AdSense will” in the title of this post is more properly called a disaster recovery plan for your online business so that if (heavens forbid) anything should befall you, your partner/heir would be able to keep the business running if they choose. They might not understand how it all works or why you have 100 domains to your name, but with the right information they could always hire somebody who could explain or manage it for them. Or even sell it, the likeliest scenario.

Eric couldn’t have said it better. I think the last thing we all want, is to make sure our loved ones continue to receive the money from the businesses and/or blogs that we have built online. Though writing a Will with the necessary information is a good way to begin, I don’t agree it should just end there. If I had my way, and provided Jan is keen, I will teach her what she needs to know so she can continue to run the show if she so desires.

Remember you are running a business, and as with business owners, having a succession plan is equally important if there are partners involved. The nitty-gritty details is the confusing part and that’s where your lawyers come into the picture.

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