Thursday, 27 August 2009

Free website traffic.

How many times have you heard tha phrase "Free website traffic"
Most MLM, Matrix schemes and E-Books tell you to join safelists or surfer sites and get free visitors to your website/affiliate link.
Being an affiliate marketer I have seen countless ads and links all claiming to get you guaranteed traffic.

How free is free traffic ?
That depends on the value you place on your time. If you have ever used these methods then you know that to get traffic you need to click other advertisers links. This can take a while if your a member of a few free traffic generators. So if you value your time at say $10 an hour and surf for 2 hours a day to get credits then you just spent $20.

Another problem is these sites are all geared towards affiliate marketers. These people are trying to sell you a product so it's rare they will buy yours.

The quality of this traffic is extremely low, I know I have tracked ads from these resources and received very little sales.
They really are not worth the time and effort put into them.

If your looking for quality traffic that is interested in your product then you need to start blogging and social networking.
If you can write some good reviews on a blog making it look like your an expert then you gain trust in your potential customer. Trust and expertise will equal more sales.

If you set up a blog or have a website then why not write some articles and get them published online. Theres plenty of article websites out there.
Each time you publish an article you can add your blog or website address at the end of it (usually you can not add an affiliate link).

If you take a look at Surefirewealth you can get a free one ear silver membership.
You can download tons of e-books and programs to help you totally free.
Most of them are crap to be honest, one I like is the article submitter which is totally free and will help you submit your article to hundreds of directories across the net.

Surfer sites or free safelists can leave you frustrated, start getting less traffic but higher quality by blogging and writing articles.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Norwegian Jade.

Me and my family decided to go on a cruise and after a thorough internet search booked a 2 week cruise on the med.
As this was our first cruise we had little idea what to expect.

My first shock was discovering the service charge, this was a charge of $12 per person per day. As a family of four this meant almost $50 a day, $700 for the 2 weeks. I also discovered that all bar bills had an automatic 15% gratuity added to them.
I am not a skinflint but I do prefer to tip after the service.
Working out the cover charge at $12 per person per day which went to the behind the scenes staff. There were 3000 people on the boat and 1000 members of staff, equating to $36 per member of staff per day.

After boarding the boat and seeing the jobs done by the staff in ensuring the boat was meticulously clean and all your needs are met I forgot about the service charge and just accepted it.

We looked through and checked all the reviews, as ever there is good and bad.
Most relating to either the cost of things on board the cruise, the cost of the cruises excursions or the amount of people taking over the areas around the pool.

The food:
There was food available 24/7 if you wanted, most of this was served in the garden cafe which operated a buffet of just about everything you could imagine. This area was always busy with people eating.
There was also a variety of speciality restaurants, we managed to try a few and found the food to be very good. We have a child with special needs and although the kids club were happy to have her she never stayed too long, we were lucky if she lasted 2 hours. This meant we were unable to book a restaraunt as we never knew when we would get a call.

The staff:
Every member of staff was there to ensure our needs were met.
We know when it comes to bar services or restaurants that they are looking for the tips, but wether it was a cleaner or chef they always had a smile.

The excursions:
The excursions were expensive compared to local transport.
The 2 things we liked about the excursions were if the excursion was late back the ship would wait, if you go it alone and are not back on time then bye bye. This did actually happen in a couple of ports and people were left.
The other thing we enjoyed was the information given by the tour guides, this was invaluable when alighting the bus and taking a walk around.
The knowledge the guides have is a great bonus when visiting foreign cities.

The Drinks:
The drinks were expensive but this was to be expected. If you did not want to pay then you could always go drink the free water or breakfast juices.
The bar staff and drink servers were all fantastic, when they had a little time they actually stopped and had a little chat.

The Cabins:
The cabin was bigger than we imagined, as a family of four it was a little tight but a couple or family of three would easily find them comfortable.
The cabin attendants had the room cleaned impeccably and were always ready to greet you. Of course they were looking for a nice tip at the end but that is how they make up their wages.
They even made our daughter some towel animals and left them on the bed for her. She loved it.

Pools and sun loungers:
The front of deck 12 and 13 was the pool and sun lounger area, to us this area was butlins on the sea. Not being a fan of the crowded areas with kids running around having fun and trying to find a sun lounger we usually went to the rear of deck 12. Although sometimes this area was crowded it was generally a quieter area where you could sit comfortably and enjoy a drink while watching the boat chug along.

As with the restaraunts we were unable to attend these because of our little girl. We overheard others talking about it and it was a mixed review. I suppose it depends what you like.

Kids Club:
These were great like I mentioned before one of our children has special needs. They gave us a phone so they could call us whenever there was a problem. Our other child is 12 and loved going in there.

Overall we loved the cruise. If you are constantly worrying about money your gonna have a lousy holiday. I know we have got to be careful with our money these days but there is a difference between being careful and being stingy.
If your going on a cruise it's a time for relaxation so sit back relax and enjoy all the hospitalities a cruise has to offer.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Big businesses need to get a grip.

Recently my mother in law lost her husband after 53 years of marriage.
She is 74 and not in the best of health, especially mentally. Suffering from OCD (extremely annoying) she also needs things explaining to her a few times before she fully takes it in. This has obviously worsened during this tragedy. She is currently staying with us and we have been helping arrange all the funeral and paperwork needed.

Why do big businesses lack common sense and compassion during times like these ?

Let's take the insurance company, the insurance was not a huge amount. It was set up to cover funeral expenses. They were informed of the death through the correct claim forms. Why on earth did they send a letter two weeks later to a person who has died wishing them a happy birthday, and would you like to increase your premiums ?
Laughable aren't they ?
No internal communication whatsoever.

Next comes the bank.
A simple matter of changing a joint account into a single account. No it's not simple over half an hour and countless forms to fill in, oh well it's done now isn't it ?
3 days later 5 new cheque books arrived at her house, 4 of these had simply changed her husbands name to her name. She now holds a joint account with herself. The 5th cheque book was in her name alone, she now has to go back to the bank and cancel 4 cheque books.
What a waste of time and money.

And of course we have council tax, housing office etc.
My father in law recieved disability living allowance, this entitled them to reductions on housing, council tax etc. He also had a couple of personal small pensions, with all these in place they managed to live comfortably. Not rich but able to maintain a reasonable standard of living.
With his death all these stopped and my mother in law was faced with the standard government pension. It was not long before the letters began rolling in saying that she needed to pay this that and the other. She sat down and worked it all out and basically could not afford to live. An income of £75 a week and outgoings of over £100 a week before food or any thing else.

She managed to get in touch with a very nice lady from the local housing office who helped her fill in all the forms she needed and explained fully what she could expect to recieve. This put her mind at rest except there was an 8 week backlog in their claims office so she would have to wait.

2 days later another letter arrived stating she must pay this that and the other. She phoned the number on the letter and explained what she had done and how she was waiting for a response from the form she filled in. Not good enough for the guy on the phone he wanted a whole load of different stuff. The conversation ended in stalemate with my mother in law saying she would go back to her local office and speak to the woman who helped her originally. Yet another waste of time and money.

The utility companies had no problem changing the name over. Then again they don't really care who's name it's in as long as they are getting paid.

Big companies seem to lack any communication skills between different departments. Seems to me they need a good shake up it would definately save time and a whole load of money. They could then pass all these savings back to us and make everybody happy.

Tons of useless forms and letters all cost and are completely unnecesary. Especially to a 74 year old woman who is grieving and has little ability to think clearly.
It is a good job she had the support of family to help her through, many don't get this help and struggle silently till at last they worry themselves to "DEATH".

Saturday, 22 August 2009

50,000 Free visitors

 Your probably thinking the same as I did when i came across this headline. Yeah right 50,000 free visitors.
So I clicked through the link and entered my details (false phone number)

I was met with a live monitor and some bloke talking to me asking me to type hello so he knew I was a real person. I typed hello and he put me on a VIP list for some live seminar later on in the day then instructed me to click a button and watch a 20 minute video.
After watching the video I returned to the main screen where the bloke was offering me bonuses to sign up in the next 2 minutes.

Yeah right these guys want me to shell out $100 without even checking out their business.

I left the live monitor on where the CEO Dr Lant appeared and began talking to me and others in the room.
They claimed to be a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) which when I checked it out they do have a A- rating with the BBB.

The business sounded good and there was a lot on offer for $100 a month but always the sceptic I wanted to get a full overview of the company before parting with a dime.
When the time came I watched the live broadcast and this was basically Dr Lant going over the business plan and what you get for your money.
After the broadcast I returned to the main screen and was given my 50,000 free visitors so I added my website.
24 hours later I have received about 50 hits.

I also received 1 credit for attending the live broadcast, this credit can be redeemed for an e-book or 20,000 credits at their sister site dragonsurf which is basically a safelist they run.
OK they lived up to their promise and I got 50,000 credits and a free e-book.

I also found another link (read-for-cash), this is a paid-to-click area of their website. I clicked on 104 links all worth $0.01 each. This cash can be redeemed at $50 to your paypal account or you can exchange them for credits to get your own site viewed on a 1 to 1 basis.
On the second day there was again over 100 links in the read-for-cash area.
I changed them all into credits for my own website so have no idea if they actually pay when you get to $50. I have no reason to doubt this as so far they have lived up to their promises.

The site is pretty full of areas to explore, I leave my sound on as I like to listen to the live operators although it does get a bit annoying after a while.
You do recieve extra credits each night you view the live broadcast and these credits can be redeemed for the E-books or credits etc in the goody bag area of the site.

As of writing this I have not joined
The reasons I decided not to join is the way the monitors spoke to their possible customers, especially Dr Lant he even spoke down to the other live monitors. Their spiel is rather dull with no real personal interaction, they are on a constant drone to get you to buy (to me this cries out desperation) if they interacted with customers more it would give me more assurance that I could trust them.

Also Dr Lant claims to be a self made millionaire, when he appears on screen he looks as though he's in a bedsit somewhere rather than an office or large home. They should really think about their surroundings when going live on the net for whoever to see.
The professionalism of the on screen monitors leaves a lot to be desired but the company has given me everything they promised.

Worth taking a look at to get your free visitors and other freebies, can also be humourous listening to the on screen monitors especially when they get a disgruntled customer.

The outline of the business is:
Pay $100 a month to join.
Get customers to visit the website and recieve %20 of sales(5 sales would equal your stake back)
Get a website promoting their company and countless number of E-books which you earn 80% of the profit.
A 7 step millionaire bootcamp training.
Numerous other bits and bats which they hype up to amazing values.

The business itself sounds reasonable but I can set up my own website and sell countless E-books for a lot less.

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