A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Website Graphic Design Complete!

Still unsatisfied with the previous two designs for the affiliate marketing website, I made a third this morning. With this one, I was finally able to get the clean look that I had been striving for from the beginning. I emailed the three designs to my friend Marcus and was promptly given, "Take the background from #1 and put it on #3, that should be cool." So I did, and he's right. We finally have a winner.

The books should be here any hour now. I checked on the UPS tracker and it said the packages were out for delivery so I'm going to stay put until they get here.

I've decided that either iPower Web or LunarPages will be the host for the affiliate marketing website. I was leaning toward iPower Web because they have templates and a web builder but since I have designed my own that I like, LunarPages is back in the running. I need to look at what each offers and compare the two. I now that iPower Web gives you a $50 credit at Overture which would really come in handy. If any of you have any suggestions on this, leave a comment. I value your opinions.

Link exchanging... I am all for it. Tara and I exchanged links a few days ago and I'd like to add a few more people to that list. If you have a blog or website that is in a similar vein to affiliate marketing or web businesses, let me know and we can swap links.

And finally, the Spurs stomped the Sonics last night. It was great=)




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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Amazon

I called Amazon about my order this morning and it turns out that the situation was my fault. One of the books I ordered doesn't come out until mid-April and I didn't notice this. The reason I missed it was because of this.

The book I wanted: HTML: Your visual blueprint for designing effective Web pages

The book I ordered: HTML: Your visual blueprint for designing effective Web pages with HTML, CSS, and XHTML

As you can see, the titles are almost identical and on top of that they both have blue pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge on the cover. Despite it being my fault, the customer service lady was really nice and even upgraded the shipping for me. The books should be here on Thursday. I like Amazon.

I have a basic logo that I can be proud of but now I'm not satisfied with the look that the affiliate marketing website will have so now I'm redoing it. Eventually I will just have to say enough is enough and live with how it looks. I know myself well enough to know that nothing will ever be good enough.




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Monday, March 28, 2005

Interview Today

I had the interview today in Austin. Don't ask me how I did, talking about such things is bad luck. I should have a yes or no by Tuesday at the latest. I'll be sure to post the results here.

Amazon is starting to irritate me. I ordered the books last week and it said the delivery date was April 28.... Of course, I thought this was a typo and that it meant March 28. Its March 28 today, and the order hasn't even been processed yet. I found their customer service number on Google, they made sure that it was NO WHERE on their site, and they will be hearing from me in the morning. Sucks to be them.

The affiliate marketing website design I made in Photoshop didn't pass the test. It's too plain. I think that with a few touches here and there, it will be fine. We will have to see.




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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Writing Hiatus

I think my hiatus from writing content has come to an end, the initial design of the affiliate marketing website is finished. I still need to put it through the "Do I still like you now that its morning?" test. Its amazing how you can be proud of a piece of "art" that you created one minute only to be struck by the thought, "This is terrible," when you come back to it later on. It passed this morning's test, so we will see how it does tomorrow.

After reading Tara's affiliate marketing blog, I've come to the conclusion that waiting until I reach my goal of $1k/month before starting a new affiliate marketing website is a poor decision. For one ,the more sites I have up, the more revenue the business will create. More money coming in will be a little extra encouragement that I will need as things start to get rough. With two sites up, I will be able to switch back and forth between them so that I don't become too bored as I would with a single subject. So, once I reach an undetermined number of articles I will start on the next affiliate marketing site.

I went to the Spurs game last night and thankfully, they won. It was the first time I've been to the SBC Center, in fact its the first Spurs game I've been to since Coach Hill was fired and Popovich took over. The SBC Center is in a weird location, the Alamodome was downtown but this is in an industrial park area. On top of that, the residential area is pretty rundown. Anyway, I'm no city planner I just play one in my blog.




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Thursday, March 24, 2005

I love Photoshop

I'm usually more decisive than this. I usually choose a course and stick with it but this SiteBuildIt! decision just won't die! At this time, the only argument I have in favor of SBI is that it has tools for search engine optimization. That's it! Not my lack of knowledge of html (the books are on the way), not my lack of tracking software (good web hosts seem to give that to you), and not anything else I can think of off the top of my head. Is their search engine optimization tool, which works behind the scenes so that I may or may not be able to learn how to do it myself, really worth $300? This morning my decision became, "no". There is absolutely no going back on this now. No SBI.

From that fateful decision this morning, I began designing the look of the affiliate marketing website's homepage with Photoshop. I had heard that the level of customization with SBI is dismal, so I am taking full advantage of my new found freedom. I'm actually almost finished with it. While I won't be able to port the picture directly and use it as the homepage, it does give me an idea of how I want it to look. I'm going for a very clean, very minimalist look for the affiliate website; something very much in the vein of Apple's website. So far, I'm very pleased with the way it looks. At least everything but the logo. I can see it causing me many long nights ahead.




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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Ordered the Books

I ordered the books off of Amazon today, HTML: Your Visual Blueprint...etc and JavaScript: Your Visual Blueprint...etc. The HTML one is the book Wohoo19m suggested a while back and I decided to get the JavaScript one too because I thought that it might come in handy.

I think I may have finished nearly all of the outline that I am going to do for the affiliate marketing website. I've decided that putting up all of the articles that I want to include on the site from the get-go would be less beneficial than leaving some for later as site updates and newsletter articles. If I update the site once a week, then I will have plenty of time to add to the list of potential articles before the initial ideas run out. I think I might include one more article before I sign off and say that the initial content portion is complete.

This means the time for the big step, the money step, is coming up fast. The start-up money is that final hurdle before total commitment. Prior to it, you can always bail out but once the money is on the table you have to make it work. Scary stuff, huh?




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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

"Chicklets" Retooled

I just retooled all of the RSS feed buttons through Feedburner. Hopefully this will correct any problems that there may have been from my original attempt. I did see a noticeable increase in traffic today. I know that some of them are from me messing around and trying to get the feeds right but at least half of them were actual visitors. What has caused the increase in traffic, I don't know but I'll have a better idea about it tomorrow.




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The WAVE of the Future

Alright, so I may be exaggerating a bit but not by much. I've spent the day setting up my XML feeds on various directories. You can see some of my handy work, the colorful little buttons you see at the bottom of these posts. The way it works is you, my faithful reader, click on one of the buttons that corresponds with the service you use most regularly. For the sake of argument, we will say Yahoo! After you click on the little Yahoo! button, you will be taken to your "My Yahoo!" page and this site will be added to the various information windows there. In this way, you will know when I have updated the blog while you are checking your Yahoo! mail, reading the news, or what have you. Its actually pretty cool if I set everything up properly. There is absolutely no guarantee that I did, so if you come across any problems let me know. In fact, I believe there may be a problem with the MSN button. Test it out and let me know. The reason I say this is the wave of the future is because I can see this being quite beneficial in bringing in traffic to the website I am working on. If this experiment is successful on this blog, I will definitely include it on the affiliate marketing website I am building for business. I think the benefits will be threefold:

1. Repeat traffic - These feeds could supplement if not replace an email newsletter. I think people would be more willing to take part in a newsfeed than give their email address for an newsletter.

2. Availability in more directories and search engines - There is a multitude of directories and search engines which cater to these news feeds. In fact, it seems like Yahoo! may start promoting this heavily in the near future.

3. More links - #2 actually lead into #3. As some of you know, the more links you have coming into your site, the better because it is one of the criteria search engines use when determining where your site will rank in the search results. This is especially true with Google, or so I've read=)

Last night, I finished 3 outlines so I'm back in the swing of things after this weekend's hiatus. If I continue at this pace and continue to have luck with the topics I am researching, I think I could have all of the topics outlined by Friday of next week. With the outlines complete, I will go back and determine how to go about writing the articles in a manner that will have the necessary keyword density in order to do well in the search engines.




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Monday, March 21, 2005

SWEEET!

I just got a call from a state agency for an interview! I'll have to drive up to Austin for the interview Monday. Austin traffic can be ridiculous so hopefully I'll find everything alright. We will see how everything goes. The steady paycheck will give me the means to fund some of the business costs as well as give me a way to get into real estate. I'll keep you posted.




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Jinx

Well, it looks like I jinxed myself by the last post I made. I said that I'd be able to get 1-2 outlines finished a day and then the weekend comes and I accomplish nothing. Oh well, today is a new day and I've completed one so far so maybe I can make up for lost time.

A few posts back, Wohoo19m from one of the forums I frequent suggested a book on html. On Amazon, I also found one on JavaScript by the same publisher so I'll be ordering those two in the next couple of days. That's all of the new stuff for right now.




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Friday, March 18, 2005

Second Article

I just finished the outline on one of my second-tier topics for the affiliate marketing website. This is the second one I've completed in the past two days. This one turned out to be the longest one that I plan to have on the site when it goes live so the fact that it is finished is great. I was really worried about getting it all together but things are starting to fall into place and are really rolling now. I think that planning on having 1-2 second tier topic outlines completed a day is a very doable task at this point. The outlines will make it 10 times easier to actually write the articles when the time comes.

I must say that
Web Design for Dummies is not bad at all. I have to admit that I hadn't been reading it much since the last time I wrote about it here but for the past two days I've really gotten into it. It doesn't cover much in the area of html but it does offer a lot of information that will be beneficial when the time comes to start designing the look and feel of the site. Its definitely good stuff.

I do have to thank those of you who read this blog. I don't know how many of you there are who come here regularly but knowing that people come here to read this makes me feel accountable for updating it at least every other day. Not only that, I feel accountable for the progress I make toward building the website. I am compelled to make significant steps toward its completion each day and I don't think I'd be as far along with it if it weren't for this blog. So, thanks to all of you who read this.




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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Site Plan

Yesterday I finished the rough draft of the plan for the affiliate marketing website. Its pretty much just in outline form covering the basic pages the site will include. I need to go back and refine it a bit to make sure I cover everything that should be on a website. After that I'll determine which articles would probably bring in the most traffic from search engines and work on those first. At this rate, I should be ready to post content on the site the day I acquire my start-up capital.

In regards to the start-up capital, I've determined that it'll cost me $600 for this site. $300 of that is for the SiteBuildIt! software and the other $300 is to get Yahoo! to list the site in their directory. I know that you can submit a site to the various search engines for free but to get in the Yahoo! directory quickly, it'll cost you. I've also heard that being listed in the directory helps your ranking with the other search engines so $300 seems to be a good investment to me. If any of you have any suggestions, let me know.




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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

SiteBuildIt!

I've come to the conclusion that SiteBuildIt! is the way I'm going to go with this affiliate website. The program will allow me to build a website that is optimized for search engines without knowing html yet. I figure that by the time I'm ready to make a second site, I'll know enough html to go without SBI. I got a suggestion for a book on html which I'll be picking up in the next few weeks. I found it on Amazon for $6 which fits nicely for my barren wallet. As far as the next step in this endeavors go, I should start writing the content for the site tomorrow. I've also come up with a way to raise the startup capital for this business.




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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Affiliate Website

I've decided that the web business I will set up will be from an affiliate program of some type. An affiliate program is a method of advertising that a merchant sets up. Individuals such as myself setup websites which sell the products of the merchant. When a customer clicks on the link to buy, they are redirected from my site to the merchant's site to complete the sale. I get paid a commission which is a predetermined percentage of the sale. With this method I will have no overhead from producing and/or storing products and I don't deal directly with the processing and shipping of the merchandise. My focus would be to bring in the traffic.

My plan is to start with one and get it running successfully, "successfully" being the benchmark of $1k+ per month. After that, I'll make another affiliate website using what I learned from the first to create this one faster than the previous. Four of these would create a decent income.




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Thursday, March 10, 2005

The books

Well, there were a few disappointments last night, the first being the Spurs. In fact, I'm not even going to talk about that. All I'm going to say is that they should have won.

The book about Frontpage wasn't really what I was looking for. I didn't really know much about the program beyond the fact that its used to make web pages but when I got the part where it said, "You can easily add an impressive feature...a scrolling marquee...", I decided that this book was not for me. No offense to those who happen to have scrolling marquees on their web sites, I'm sure your's is a cut-above and really appeals to those who like them. Unfortunately, I will always associate scrolling marquees with those poorly done personal web pages with all kinds of random animated gifs and the multicolored background which threatens to induce a mild seizure at any moment.


To add to the disappointments last night, I realized that Office XP Professional doesn't even come with Frontpage to begin with. I was positive that it was on the disc and it had just been one of the programs I'd chosen not to load but I was wrong. Office XP = No Frontpage. I should have just left the book at the library. The Web Design for Dummies isn't too bad though so I'm working my way through that. I'll keep you posted.




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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Web Design

Now that I've decided on having some sort of e-business as one of my income streams, I guess its time to learn about web design. I just went to the library and picked up two books on the subject, "Web Design for Dummies" and "Step by Step Microsoft FrontPage 2000". I'm not even sure how much these books are going to help me. Unfortunately, these were the only ones that the library had on web design so they will have to do for the meantime. If any of you have any suggestions on books I should read, let me know. I have absolutely no experience with building a website, hopefully that isn't too evident by this blog=)

Happy notes for the day: Spurs won last night against the Nets, always a good thing. I expected more from Vince Carter though after he scored 40 something points last time the Spurs played the Nets. Doesn't matter, the Spurs won. They play the Suns tonight so we will see how that goes. Also Steve from one of the real estate blogs I frequent had his first offer acceptance so congratulations to him!




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Monday, March 07, 2005

A Day of Scheming

I've spent the last day or two coming up with my plans for the immediate future. So far it looks like its going to have three parts, a regular job, real estate, and an e-business.

The Job. This one is self-explanatory. I need something that will not only provide me with the means to pay expenses but also the money to invest with. In addition to that, those mortgage type people seem to smile upon those who are gainfully employed so that will help in the next area.

Real Estate. Like I said in previous posts, real estate is something that I've always wanted to do and is my main focus financially. A few months back, I was approved for an $80k loan but was unable to find a duplex in livable condition for that price. The ones that were in that price range were in areas that the real estate agent said, "She wouldn't get out of the car in." I went to check them out anyway and I have to say that I don't blame her, that place was rough=) Anyway, if I could get approved for an $80k mortgage loan working for $6.84/hr (I was still in school at the time) then I should be able to get a sufficient loan once I have a real job.

The E-business. This part is still in the preliminary stages as far as planning goes. I'm not sure exactly what I am going to do but in the last few days, I've come across the concept of building affiliate websites. I think this has a lot of potential for supplemental income so I'm going to continue to do my research. I'll keep you posted.




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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Multiple Streams

As I continue my search for gainful employment, I've been looking into various methods of supplemental income. I've had an interest in owning real estate since the day I had my first epiphany on the subject. I was about thirteen and my Dad and I were coming home from somewhere and he said, "People will always need somewhere to live." Now this is a known fact but hearing it in that context set off bells. I thought about it and decided that if people would always need a place to live, then its something they will pay for and if they are going to pay someone for it then that person might as well be me.

Jumping to the present, spending time on the Richdad.com forums has opened my eyes to other income possibilities. While most of the things I'm looking into won't sustain me on their own, having several of these along with a regular job could prove beneficial.




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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Feeling Lost

Well, I went out today filling out applications so I can save up money for my move to Austin. This whole not having a job thing is killing me. Some people may be able to sit around all day and not think anything of it but I'm going crazy. I talked to the owner of this UPS Store while filling out an app and he said to me, "With an electrical engineering degree, you'd be wasting your time as a sales associate." I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks so. I was starting to think that too much free time had affected my perspective on reality.

My plan for this Austin move(I'm big on planning and scheming as you will find out) is to get the money I need for a down payment on a duplex or 4-plex in Austin. I'd live in one of the units and charge my roommate and the tenants enough to come out on the positive end of the cashflow line. If anyone has any suggestions on this, let me know.

Oh, on a happy note the Spurs won tonight. It was only the Raptors but its always those scrappy teams that seem to beat the Spurs.




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