Burts AIS, osCommerce & More Blog
New URL: www.osworld.biz

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New Website Address

osWorld - I won't be posting on Blogger anymore. Obviously need to update the new site (in terms of functionality and look), but I'll do that as and when.

Blogger -> Wordpress

OK, I made the executive decision to swap from Blogger to Wordpress. Domain Name is registered and hosting is set up. Next up is to wait for DNS to resolve, then I will play with Wordpress (I have very little experience of theming WP) for a while to get a layout that I like. Then I'll attempt to import all the posts and comments from here into my new WP set-up. That should be fun. I expect to have it completed sometime next week. In the meantime, I shall be looking for a WP theme (I can't be bothered to create my own) - anyone know of a good looking theme repository. Don;t mind if it's free or paid-for. Ta.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Anonymous Comments

Due to silly people who would rather play games than post properly, I have enabled comment moderation. Anonymous comments will simply not be shown, unless those comments include your name or URL.

Google Referrals - More Options

If you haven't already noticed, here's a heads-up that Google has introduced "text link" links for the referral programs (adwords, adsense, firefox). So now you can have inline links that llok like a normal link. As an example of inline text: - it's a great internet explorer that's twice as good as Internet Explorer and three times as good as sliced bread. Here's how the "wizard" looks: Basically choose the text you want to use, then copy/paste the javascript into your page. What could be simpler? Nice one Google!

Keyword Avalanche Forum appears to be open again

I just found out that Keyword Avalanche Forum appears to be open for new people - I don't know how long it'll stay like that for though. Scroll to the bottom of the sales page and click the credit cards, this should take you through to Paypal at $57 per month. In recent weeks I've found that Keyword Avalanche has been of less use to me, I think that this is because I have now (after 8 months) read the whole of the forum). There is an interesting ongoing thread entitled "What Do You Want From Your KA Membership?" in which everyone is encouraged to post what they would like to see more of (or less of!)...

I still highly recommend the site and service, but will temper that by saying that you will probably have a 6 month shelf-life (unless some changes happen based on peoples wants and needs)...
I recommend that you sign up if you have at least a passing interest in AIS niche building. Not for the actual product (Keyword Lists), but for the Forum itself. Link: Keyword Avalanche Forum

Monday, April 24, 2006

Blogger just gets crapper and crapper

I've not been able to post for the last 4 days. I'm about to move to a Wordpress set-up I think, as I read that WP 2 has a good blogger->Wp converting script...

Viral Instigator - avoid this one!

Viral Instigator is a new service set up by an australian based entrepreneur named Peter Drew. It basically allows you to set up hundreds or thousands of Blogger Blogs (and lately it's own blog system) easily and quickly. You can then use these blogs with the likes of RSS2Blog to post to in order to build up a Blog Farm quickly and easily. They also offer an upgrade service so that anyone who does not own a Blog posting tool such as RS2b can pay extra to have their blogs populated by Viral Instigators "Internal Posting Service". Anyway, I was intrigued to find out more so decided to sign up. Not really for the purpose of using the service, but more to provide ancilliary services such as templates - and to find out more about the type of people who use these services. Anyway, I signed up using Paypal on 28th March. The terms of service: $50 non-refundable set-up fee and $59 each month. OK, so far. Paid up via the site and then... nothing. No thank you email, no email with log-in details. Absolutely nothing except for the Paypal receipt. I waited a few days then sent email to the Paypal address that I signed up to. No reply. As Peter Drew is a member on Keyword Avalanche, I then contacted him through the Private Message system to let him know that I had signed up but had not received any emails from him. He obviously looked into it, as I shortly began receiving mail from him, but not the important details about my account! I then took it upon myself to cancel the paypal payment myself. To cut a long story short, he refunded the monthly payment, but will not refund the $50 set up fee. This even though my account was never set up. Problems: 1. There is no forum for the product. 2. There are no published email addresses to get in contact. 3. The "helpdesk" will only help people who have been sent log in details. 4. The owner seems to talk the talk when it comes to sales, but not walk the walk when it comes to customer service. My view: avoid this one - however, there are many people within the Keyword Avalanche Forum who use and like the program. Link: Viral Instigator

Thankfully not all Australians are as poor at customer service as this bunch => my Kath & Kim DVD's turned up in less than 72 hours. Look at moiye, look at moiye.
Having said all this, this type of tool does look to be quite useful if you are into creating many hundreds of sites with least amount of effort. I am considering going straight to Paypal to dispute the service offered. However, they did say the $50 was non-refundable, and even though I consider them to be 100% at fault (ie, take a set-up fee, then set up nothing) there's really no way I am entitled to that $50 back.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The beauty of being self employed

One of my friends called me up earlier - I hadn't seen him for a couple of years. We just spend a nice couple of hours in a nice country pub having a bite to eat and a couple of pints. Catching up on old times and so on. It was nice, and this is the beauty of being self employed (particularly in the AIS field) - you can just take off whenever you like without having to worry about what your employer will say or earning money etc etc. I highly recommend not working ;)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Article Miner is closing it's doors

A few months ago I spoke of the need to use articles on AIS sites, and recommended a program called "Article Miner". I usually use articles that I have purchased which are known as PLR articles - this type of article allows you to change the text and add your own attributions. The other type of article is the type that "Article Miner" scans through and presents in a good format ready for use on AIS sites. These are the type of articles found at the likes of articlecity and ezinearticles (amongst others)... I have just learned that Article Miner is closing it's doors to new customers as of May 1st. If you did not already purchase it, now is the time to do so. Link: Article Miner

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Emails received on Easter Monday

Hello I'd like to have one UNIQUE NPB TEMPLATES! Please tell me the price for 1 Unique templates. Thanks bye
A few hours later
HELLO LOOKING FOR NPB UNIQUE TEMPLATES PLEASE WRITE BACK!
And today
HELLO THIS IS THE 3RD MAIL THAT I SEND YOU AND THE LAST! I CANT WAIT ANYMORE, I WILL PURCHASE IT FROM ANOTHER SITE. BYE
My reply
OK!
Impatient people I have no time for people who cannot understand that the world does not revolve around what they want. I'd prefer to lose a $500 deal than have to do work for people like this.

Adsense as time goes by

I was working out a few figures over the weekend, and started delving into my Adsense history. Basically I am still making progress, though this has been halted in recent months as I've been working on product AIS sites rather than Adsense based sites. Still, it's interesting to view some figures: March 2005 Adsense Earnings: $29.14 Daily Average: $0.94 March 2006 Adsense Earnings: $824.40 Daily Average: $26.60 Over the course of 12 months, I increased my Adsense earnings 28-fold. This is due to a number of factors; ~ I have more sites which have adsense on. ~ I have honed the way that these sites show adsense. Had I been more willing to build many hundreds of sites, I know I would have been earning much more by now. My next aim is to build a network of good content sites which will carry adsense and a product to sell.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Extra Monetization Methods for AIS Sites

Whether you are an old AIS'r or a new person to this world, you'll most likely have realised that you need to give your sites extra income streams over and above Adsense. There are many ways to do this, I've found that writing eBooks is one good method. Only problem is that an eBook takes a lot of time to research and write. I ended up paying someone £99 (about $180) to write me one eBook to suit one of my sites, as I did not have the time or inclination to do it. Anyway the point of this message is to make you all think about what would happen if your Adsense account was terminated tomorrow - would your sites survive ? By adding extra monetization streams you can go some way to at least make your sites viable whilst you look for an Adsense replacement. Here's the pitch Get 8 eBooks with Resell & Rebrand Rights - the first 3 are downloadable immediately, 1 will be available next week, and the remaining 4 will be available next month. The seller is limiting this to 250 sales, so if you are after a very easy income stream to add to your sites, have a look! There are also some nice extras such as articles, a guide showing how the author make niche sites, sales letters and so on. It's good value! I've bought the package and can tell you that the eBooks are very well written - it would be worth you spending an extra hour on each to customise them to your liking, but once done, you'll have a nice little earner. I can tell you that eBooks (in general) sell very well! If you would like to see an eBook before you purchase, please feel free to buy an example eBook from the pack; The Natural Dog eBook Every day thousands of people do things to their puppy that they think are GOOD for their puppy – and the vet says so too! Then when their pup gets horribly sick they find out the hard way just how wrong they were...

This is payable via Paypal at just $5, and is instantly downloadable (for verified Paypal buyers). If you go onto to purchase the full eBook pack through my affiliate link, I will refund the cost of the eBook you bought directly from me (so long as your order shows in my login of course!). Can't say fairer than that! Please note that I have not modified the text in this eBook at all, so it is exactly as supplied in the download...if I was building a true site, I would pretty the eBook up by adding in pictures, pretty borders and so on. I would also create a Box Cover to use on my sales page as this has been proved to increase the buying ratio. Affiliate Link: 8 eBooks with Resell & Rebrand Rights

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Apprentice

I haven't posted as much on this season of the Apprentice as I usually do, let's right that wrong, by at least providing some websites for this bunch of no-good, good-for-nothings; Seem OK so far Tuan Le I like Tuan - he is too quiet by far, and seems reticent to take the lead. He needs to start getting busy with his plans for World Domination. It also helps that he's a local boy, Weston-s-Mare apparently. Ruth Badger I really like The Badger. She has balls. Paul Tulip This guy could win it overall, I think. Not shy to make his point known at all. Sharon McAllister Fired. Michelle Dewberry A bit wishy washy, needs to assert herself more. OK though. Karen Bremner I thought she was ultra business-like. I cannot remember why she was fired though. Could not organise a piss up in a brewery Samuel Judah Useless, useless, useless. Would you like a bottle of water? Fired. Praise be. Alexa Tilley Fired. Ansell Henry Why he has not yet been fired is anyones guess. Dire. Just plain annoying - make me want to punch the Telly Jo Cameron Fired. Nargis Aga Fired. Syed Ahmed This guy is just unreal - the weakest contestant on at least 3 tasks and yet he survives the Boardroom. This guy is less use than Samuel Judah. And two more, both fired (and rightly so). I couldn't find websites for them; Mani Sandher Ben Stanberry

Friday, April 14, 2006

Blog Top Sites

You might have noticed the small "blog top sites" button in the very bottom of the right hand column. It's basically a counter which shows me how well my site does compared to other sites in the same genre (marketing/seo). What Blog Top Sites does is count the number of times the button is loaded, then put your site into a league table. The count is reset each week, so the values are meaningful - everyone gets the same starting line each week... I added mine on April 12th and it's at #15 in the league table so far - which is not bad for 3 days results. Why not add your sites? It's free and is a useful indicator of how your site fares against other sites; Blog Top Sites Mainly, it's a bit of fun :)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Exercise Your Body And Mind

I got my MTB out and did a 9 mile ride. After around 6 months of no cycling, I was pleasantly surprised: 42' 06" last Friday, then 42' dead on Monday. Yesterday I really pushed it and got down to 36' 29" - mind you I felt really bad afterwards, almost to the point of vomiting. Maybe I won't push it so hard again, so early in my schedule. I bought some aero-bars and slick tyres (I've fitted the bars and the front slick today), I'll do the back slick later on tonight. Then tomorrow, I'll do the same route and see how much of a difference slicks/bars will make. I'm thinking I should manage at least a 10% difference in my time, we'll see. Often, when I'm cycling I get my best ideas for business. Seems to me that sitting at a desk or doing the "usual" routine dulls your mind. Anyway, my MTB looks very strange now I've converted it to a (cheap) road bike. I might have to buy myself a proper road-bike soon so I can really start training hard again.

Are You A Dead Fish ?

Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream. Malcolm Muggeridge, 1903 - 1990
It's a good quote. If you don't come up with your own ideas and methods, you're a dead fish! Think about it for a moment...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

TZ Rant

Why is it that some people think that the whole world is on their own Time Zone? I woke up this morning to 4 emails all from the same person, basically moaning about the fact that he didn't get a reply immediately. He was interested in an osCommerce site build; this morning I decided not to take him on as a client, due to him being so impatient. I'll email to let him know in a few days ;-) I'm sorry to say, in my experience it's mainly Americans that think the world revolves around them, I wonder why that is?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Does your blog need more readers?

My online buddie Yaro is about to launch his new adventure, Blog Traffic King. ~ Which blog system Yaro recommends and why ~ How to easily come up with content that will bring in the most readers ~ Yaro's unique blog traffic methodology including the "Pillar" concept ~ How to use trackbacks and pingbacks effectively ~ How to get more RSS subscribers ~ And loads more blog traffic tips and tricks Well worth looking into, and of course, the price is right: free of charge! Link: Blog Traffic King

Business Idea - SEO blogging

I think that anyone who blogs knows just how easy it is to write content and press "publish". We also know that Search Engines love the simplicity of Blogs, thus ranking them relatively highly for SEO searches. Business Idea Start up a service which offers blogs, with content written (by you) on a regular basis. You could charge by the article, or a set fee for 6 months/12 months worth of blogging. Each blog post will point back to (a page on) the companies website. Abandon traditional SEO methods I can foresee companies abandoning traditional SEO methods - after all what's the point of having a website SEO'd when it's far simpler (and probably more productive) to simply write up a Blog - in addition a blog brings a "face" to a company... Costing Traditional SEO firms charge anywhere upto 20k or more for an ongoing promotion. I can envisage companies even halfway serious about SEO paying a few thousand pounds for 6 months of quality blogging. Work involved? Sure, this is not an AIS by any stretch of the imagination. A lot of work involved, I would say at least 1 hour per day...to research the article and type it up. The Concept The concept is valid - the problem would be finding a company that is willing to; ~ take a chance on SEO blogging, and ~ does not have the knowledge (or time) to do it themselves What are your thoughts on this? Valid idea, or waste of space?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sea Change in my Adsense AIS

I've never really been in love with creating sites just for adsense revenue - my sites have to give value. It's probably why I have only around 20 such sites and earn only about $900 to $1000 per month from Adsense...some of the so called "big boys" have thousands of websites and earn upwards of $50k per month. These people have systems in place to enable them to automate most everything. Count me out After quite a lot of investigation (and loads of $$$ spent) I have decided not to go forward with this type of site/system. Such programs I found for doing this include "Blotto Blog Maker", "Viral Instigator", "PG Insider", "RSS 2 Blog", "Blog Solution" and so on. With the advent of these new tools, I am seeing people brand new to Adsense create 1000s of sites/blogs per day, in the hope that a few of them will make a decent amount. To me, this is no better than email spam. A Sea Change My own (adsense style) AIS sites are now 5 to 10 page websites, ultra-targetted, with proper content on each page as well as adsense and perhaps a product to sell (or an Affiliation). Because I've used so many site creation programs over the past year, I know what works and what doesn't - I have been tinkering & tweaking these tiny websites and have decided that it's a viable way to earn an Adsense Income; with CTR above 40% and earnings coming in at an average of $4 per site per day - more importantly, I feel happy that my sites are adding value to the Internet, rather than simply adding more spam.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Possible Bird Flu in Gloucester

Apparently, 3 gulls ahve been found dead on a boating lake in Gloucester. They've been sent off to DEFRA for tests. The dead swan found in Scotland is an english breed apparently, this means that there are definitely other birds with bird flu in the UK (migratory birds)... Will be interesting to see the reactions of the popular press...already on some forums people are taking this very seriously. As yet, the H5N1 strain cannot be passed from human to human. The only humans to have died are those in very close (and prolonged) contact with poultry. If H5N1 mutates, then we have problems... Interestingly, I own an AIS site about Bird Flu. Doing OK too! The more bad news about Bird Flu, the more visitors it gets!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Automated Site Building Script: PG Insider

I recebtly joined "PG Insider" as I felt it would be interesting to see how the people who churn out site after site do it. Pretty simple: automation The cost of this is $47 per month, and I am quite sure that this is an absolute bargain for what you get. I am uninterested in gaining Affiliate cash (as it is not a service I would use) so here is the direct link PG Insider/ Usually I only give Aff Links if I like/use the product. I like this one (particularly at the low price), but wouldn't personally use it, thus you get an either/or choice. To sum up, it is a suite of tools and eBooks. The eBooks detail the site owners methods to raise adsense income. The tools allow you to replicate his methods.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Google Related Links

A new service brought out by Google, is Related Links, here is an example: As you can see, it is somewhat like the Chitika Layout, I am quite unsure what this could be useful for at this moment. Perhaps an Adsense interface merged with this could be an interesting addition to Googles (and the adsense publishers) armoury...

Chicken Egg, Egg Chicken

I noticed that suring the past few months my local tabac/newsagent has been closed more than it's been open. Today I popped in to speak to the (lovely) owner - she's been having some problems recently and has had to take a lot of time off. Because the shop is closed so often, her customers are shopping elsewhere; takings are down so much that she cannot afford to employ anyone to cover her down-time. Because she cannot employ anyone, the shop loses more and more customers. It's the classic Chicken-Egg scenario. It must be a difficult situation to see your business failing, knowing that she can do little to halt the slide into oblivion :(

Monday, April 03, 2006

Online Income, How?

Let's imagine that you wanted raise $1000 online income over the next 4 weeks. You could do that many ways, amongst them: 1/ Build a website, monetize it using adsense etc. Consider that it would take hundreds, thousands of clicks to earn $1000 from Adsense - you'd be crazy to rely on Adsense to make decent cash. 2/ Build a website to promote someone elses product (in other words, be an Affiliate). Consider that selling someone elses product means you get only a small cut of commission. Take for example a $100 selling price, on which you get 33% commission - you therefore receive about $33 per sale. You also need to consider all those other affiliates that you have to fight with to get the person to buy from your link. It's plain madness to sell as an Affiliate - there's little money to be made in my opinion. The answer is staring us in the face; 3/ Build a website to sell your own product. Consider that you would be keeping 100% of the profits! This is obviously the way to go, why are not more people forging their own path in this way? Well, they are slightly more work, but the rewards are greater also... For me, I like to set up sites which sell downloadable products, eg eBooks, website templates and the like. Making and Selling your own product can only be good for your pocket. You are likely thinking "sure, but I don't have the knowledge to build a product" - that's OK - get someone else to build the product for you...pay them a fee upfront, or cut them in on a % of sales - whatever it takes. It does not take skill or experience to set up a site selling a product - all it takes is the belief that you will cover your costs. The last two large AIS sites that I set up both have products on that were not created by me! I paid to have them built - and I did not pay an extortionate amount of money... Final Say Of course, it is also possible to realise a profit when/if you decide to sell up - this is almost impossible with "adsense sites" or "affiliated sites".

Saturday, April 01, 2006

$137 per day - is it achievable ?

The answer is patently "yes". I just looked back through my last 6 months AIS earnings, it works out to an average of just under $162 per day. Is 6 months long enough to gather data, I'd say yes. Now, assuming I keep at around $162, this equates to a yearly income of around $60k - now I am unsure if $60k is a decent wage in the US, but in UK Sterling that's almost £33,000 which is a very nice wage (or €50000). Particularly for doing very little work to earn it. So, the next step is to sit back and decide which areas need more development - for me this is simple as I have kept a very detailed spreadsheet since October 1st 2005, which details every cent and where/how it was earned. I can already see that Adsense Income makes up less than 15% of my (6 month) income - this is good in one respect, eg if adsense stopped tomorrow I'd be OK. But it's an area that I need to concentrate on in order to build this up to nearer 25% - it's quite simple to build sites with adsense on! I can also see that eBook income drastically dropped off after I sold the oscbooks site to Paul - this is another area which I need to work on, as I want to start selling my own written eBooks once again - I need to find some good subject matter. Template sales are still going well, not only for osCommerce, but also for the other pieces of software that I have an interest in. Affiliate Income is still quite small, as I do not recommend products that I have not personally tried (unlike most other marketers!), thus my recommendations are few and far between, meaning my earnings are also quite low. I am quite happy with this however.