Archive for January, 2008

Monetise Your Website

Monday, January 28th, 2008

So, you got yourself a website.

After reading our piece on webhosting reviews and the pit falls and pot holes of selecting a webhost, you now have your hosting that suits your website.

This website might be specific to your business. It might be an homage to some celebrity somewhere. It could just be a site you started to share the joy you get from your hobby, or you decided you wanted to have your own blog to speak your mind.

So the question is, now that you ”own” some web real estate, is there a dependable way to earn money from your website other than selling your own goods? The answer is, YES!!!.

One of my personal favourites, and more importantly a global network is ClixGalore. By becoming a publisher, or affiliate, of ClixGalore you get access to a large range of affiliate programs that you can promote on your website. If you sell products, have a healthy margin and would like to have other webmasters (your affiliates!) promoting your goods, you can join ClixGalore as a merchant.

Now this is a great program because you might be selling hand made dog collars. On your website you could find complimentary products – dog food, dog clothes, doggy treats as examples – to advertise on your site. Since you are selling a “pampered pet” product, you can imagine how keen the surfers to your sites would be to spend on other treats for their pampered pets. By being a member of ClixGalore you can increase your income potential without taking sales away from your business.

The real bonus in using a network like ClixGalore is that they already have hundreds of thousands of affiliates ready to sell your goods or services for you. They take care of paying your affiliates for you, so bottom line to your business is less paperwork and less headaches than installing your own affiliate program – with increased profits from exposure to a large network of affiliates who already have websites with traffic and are ready to send spending customers you way.

If you understand this can benefit your business, but would like experience and guidance to help you set it up and avoid potential problems, I offer a consultation service for web businesses looking to set up affiliate networks. 

Use my contact form here to start the ball rolling.

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Web Hosting Reviews

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Web Hosting Reviews – Just how honest are they, and can you believe all you read?

Basing the selection of a website hosting provider solely on a web hosting review can be a trap for the unweary. The majority of these so called “hosting review” sites earn their income from advertising the biggest paying web hosting affiliate programs on their websites. Some of these programs pay up to $100 a lead, so it is easy to see why there are so many of these review sites operating, and why when you type “web hosting” into google you get 300 million plus results returned.

If I were to also reveal to you how much companies are willing to pay to advertise in the “sponsored links” section of any Google results page I can guarantee you are going to mutter an expletive.

$37 was the top bid per click when I checked this morning! Again, so many of those ads are for these “review” sites, so are they really giving you honest opinions on the quality of the webhosting?

So, as a consumer, how do you choose the webhost that will best suit your needs? The first thing you need to do so you get the exact web hosting package you need is identify what it is you need. A site with up to 10 000 visitors per month, about 330 per day is going to fit comfortably on any of the basic plans that you can get from around $5 a month. Even on these plans you won’t go close to using the transfer (bandwidth) that comes with your account.

If you’re looking to run an online store and use some sort of shopping cart, again a simple plan with 1 MySQL database is all you are going to need. I know quite a few online stores with about 10 000 visitors per month who use less than half a gigabyte of transfer a month.

Once you start getting 10 000 visitors a day, it would be time to look at dedicated hosting. Then you can run lots of nifty scripts, have multiple domains and email accounts and run them all from the one hosting account.

I recommend you spend 20 minutes or so looking at web hosting providers and compare what they offer. This step in launching a web business is the most critical, yet it is the one people pay least attention to.

If you are looking for a good list of reasonably priced web hosting companies, I can recommend you click here for a list with plenty of options. Grab a pad and pencil, or open an Excel web sheet and jot down what they offer, then pick the one that gives you the best options for the price offered.

Again, remember 99% of these web hosting review sites are not looking out for your best interest. They are only interested in making quick money from you by selling you the products that they get paid the best commissions on. Take your time, compare apples for apples and then make your decision to purchase. Again, a decent list of the most reasonably priced web hosting companies is available here.

This article is licensed from and copyright of dotcomcontent.

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Installing Internet Security

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Why do you need some form of comprehensive firewall, anti virus, anti spam, privacy protection and anti-phishing software?Stay protected with Norton Internet Security

Like many people, you’ve come to learn that the internet is a fantastic medium in which you can shop, do your banking, pay bills, chat with friends and of course “surf” for things that interest you.

The internet is the single largest unregulated phenomena of the last decade. Easily accessible and useful everyday for good honest folks like yourself. Likewise, organised crime also has it’s hooks into the internet. There is mounting evidence highly skilled and well funded cartels in Eastern Europe are responsible for multi billion dollar fraud rings operating through the internet. These rings operate by sneaking software, called trojans, onto the victims computer. This software then takes control of what should be a safe and enjoyable experience by redirecting you to ads and sites that they want you to see. This software is also capable of harvesting your banking details, credit card information and other username and passwords you use to access all sorts of sites on the internet.

Other sites you come across, and indeed are encouraged to visit through spam email, look to fool you into giving up banking details and credit details. These phishing sites are set up and can be moved around with literally a couple of mouse clicks, evading useful tools like Google’s well intentioned “bad site” messages it returns in search engine listing results.

This guide is written in 3 parts, Free vs Paid, Installing and Upgrading and Maintaining. 

Free vs Paid Software
Now, I know very well that people hate spending money on computer software. Afterall, you can get all your software “free” by downloading it from one of those torrent sites.

Yes you can. Want to know why you should not?

All of todays software uses registration techniques to prevent unauthorised copies being distributed (pirated) so that they can protect the time and money spent on developing their software. When you download the pirated, registration free versions, you are trusting that the clever hacker that removed the registration requirements from the software did not decide to add some extra code of his own. This extra code could cost you many times more than the software, by stealing your banking username and password, by recording your credit card details or by stealing enough information on you to ruin your credit for life.

Another reason is updates. My personal choice, Norton products from Symantec, update almost daily so any new threats are able to be dealt with almost immediately. I’ve had Norton Internet Security protecting my computers for more than 10 years. I keep at least one computer plugged into the internet 24/7/365, so when I say it has never let me down, that actually means something.

Installing and Upgrading
You may have downloaded and installed any number of free antivirus or firewall software and installed them on your computer. As I mentioned in the last section, you might have even “borrowed” software and installed it. Even if you have a previous version of the software you just bought, you need to follow these steps.

The first step to installing your new software is to remove the old. To do this, switch off your modem so you are not at risk while you do this. Then shutdown any security programs that are running and visible in the task bar.

 Next, click on the Start button, find a sub menu called Settings, click into this and then click on an item called Control Panel. From here, double click an icon called Add/Remove Programs. Find all the security related programs in the dialog box, click on them to highlight them and click the remove button on the right hand side of each. You might find you need to shut down some of these programs by using the Task Manager. Simultaneously press Ctrl Alt and Delete keys to access this.

Once you have killed and uninstalled all the old programs, reboot your computer.
Insert the CD that came with your new software, and run the setup programs. If you downloaded your software, find where you saved the file and double click it. Allow it to run through its setup routine. When the software indicates it needs internet access, switch your modem back on. Remember, you are not protected until you have installed the software AND all the updates, so refrain from surfing at the moment.

When the software is done with installing it will ask you for your registration details. Fill them out, go through whatever the software asks you to do, then run an update to get the latest antivirus definitions, security threats and so on.

When the software tells you it has no further updates to download, consider yourself to be protected.

Having this protection in place is mute if you fail to maintain and update the software. New threats are discovered almost every day, so software that is not updated often is useless.

All the security suites I know of allow you to schedule when you want to check for new updates and definitions. Set a time each day for the updates to run, a time when you are likely to be connected to the internet. It doesn’t matter if you do not use the internet every day, so long as the software has the opportunity to connect and check for updates every time you are on the internet.

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Installing a new printer.

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Installing a Printer.

Your shiny new box with that whatsyoucallit that prints copies and scans is sitting on the floor. You bought it and got it home, what next?

All printers are different animals, however if you bought your printer in the last 3 years, they all use much the same method for installation.

If you happen to be female and your male partner is currently ripping into the box, find something to distract him, now!

I have 5 easy steps for installing a printer, here we go.

1) Unpack the machine AND the instruction manual.
Layout all the bits and pieces. Find the place in your installation manual where it tells you what comes with the printer, and make sure all is present. Carefully inspect the new printer for bits of cardboard used to cushion it in transport, for bits of tape holding up doors and flaps and so on.

2) Drag the box you call your computer out of it’s nook. Look on the back of the computer for the corresponding port you need to plug your printer in. Plug the cable in, AFTER you are sure the machine is turned off. Poke the printer cable back through where it needs to go to hook up to your printer. While you’re at it, run the power cable for the printer to where it needs to go as well. Return the computer box back where it belongs, and switch it on.
DO NOT plug any cables into the printer in at this stage.

3) Unpack the installation CD that came with your printer. Put it in the DVD/CD drive and then run the installation program to install the printer drivers. The on screen instructions are almost fool proof. You will need to install the software, then at some stage the installer will ask you to plug your printer cable into the printer and turn it on.

4) If all is well, your computer will now tell you it has found a new device and it is installing it. Congratulations, you have a brand new shiny printer ready to run.

5) Run a test page. The printer will normally have its’ own special diagnostic page, find out how to run this in the installation manual. This particular pattern will easily show up problems like blocked jets, misaligning print lines and so on.

If you encounter any problems, turn the printer off, unplug it and go back through the installation step by step again.

Common problems that will stop a printer from working are, in most common order:

1) Printer is not turned on. Yes, as a troubleshooter that gets paid by the callout, this is a common problem that earns me money.

2a) Printer is not plugged in. Again, people plug power in and forget the printer cable itself.

2b) You were scared of breaking something and didn’t push the cables home.

3) Having diligently read all the instructions up to where you put the ink cartridges and/or toners in……..

4) You already have 1 or more printers connected and the default is set to one of the others. To fix this, go to start, control panel and open the printers and faxes dialog box. Right click the new printer and click on set as default.

5) That cable port that sort of looked like a phone jack, was infact the network port.

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