A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

A Day in the Life of JonnyQ888

Saturday, April 30, 2005


Case Sensitivity!!! I've spent at least 3 hours trying to get this background to work only to find out that the problem was the fact that "images" had to be "Images". ......You can imagine the string of expletives that came roaring from my mouth.

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It seems like this affiliate marketing website will never get finished. I uploaded all of my files to iPower Web today. The "upload multiple files" option kept giving me error messages so I had to load all of them individually. After spending way too long trying to figure out how to get my images to load properly, I called tech support and the guy cleared up all the confusion. That's when the current snag appeared. My background image won't appear. I tried all kinds of variations on the code, I even attempted using CSS for it. Nothing worked. I really don't know what to do about it. While working on that, I realized that the background image was 50-something kb. I thought it was in the teens. I was going to make a few changes to make it smaller but Photoshop was mad and wouldn't open so who knows what is going on there.

Like the blind man said in "Brother, Where Art Thou", many obSTAKLes have been placed in my path. They are getting really annoying.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Money Is On the Table Now

The metatags are finished. That was incredibly tedious work and I'm sure there are some errors somewhere in the midst of all of the code I've looked at. Again, this is something that will get easier now that the site is up and I won't be putting in metatags for 30+ pages all at the same time. Efficiency. For the next site, I will need to find a way to do the metatags more efficiently. It is the little things that make a difference but content is what you are after; you shouldn't have to sacrifice time on content for time on metatags. We will see what I can come up with.

As the title says, the money is on the table As of 4:32 PM, I have web hosting through iPowerWeb. I now have my first domain. This is my first true post-lemonade stand investment in a business. It won't be the last if I have my way. Remember, everything is just talk until the money is on the table. The cash is there. Now it is time to make this work.

If you want to know when I have made an update, click on one of the buttons below. The newsfeed you choose will let you know when I've made a new post.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Blog Explosion

You may have noticed the Blog Explosion Banner to the right. It gets a "good stuff" rating from me. Since I started using it, the traffic to this blog has done just what the name implies. If you have a blog but don't have a Blog Explosion Account, get one here.

While not all of the blogs on there are necessarily my cup of tea, there have been some interesting ones that I've come across. You can even specify the type of blogs you want to view. Anyway, check it out and see who shows up to your blog.

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Call Me A Control Freak If You Want...

....But I had to do the metatags myself. Yes, Sitereportcard.com could have done them for me but I have a thing about relinquishing control. I don't like it. For the sake of the world, I hope I never become a dictator. I'd be a baaad man. I created a makeshift template for the tags so that I could just copy and paste the info. Even so, it's taking time to get it all accomplished. I finished about half of the pages that will be up at launch. I'll finish the rest tomorrow after work.

I'm already starting to plan my next site. I'm not sure exactly which route to go with it. I'm not even sure I'll stick to a content site for it. While I know that a content site will probably have more staying power than something like a database feed site, it is something that I am going to look into. I am also going to look into different programs that offer lifetime commissions. I plan to steer clear of financial/get rich tomorrow products but I'm sure there are other things out there that have lifetime commission pay structures.

And for the dog lovers out there, Tara just launched her brand new dog site. Go over there and check it out.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005


One thing I overlooked when determining the progress I was making were the metatags. I have not started working on them yet. This part should not take long. I even have the option to use SiteReportCard.com. They have a function that will actually make your metatags for you. I'm not sure how effective they are; I used them to make the metatags for this blog. I also have "Search Engine Optimization for Dummies" believe it or not. It has a few helpful hints, nothing you couldn't find by seaching the multitude of SEO forums out there

The category pages are finished. I found a few things I may want to change but overall everything is looking pretty good. After I'm sure that the site is ready, I'll start signing up for affiliate programs. I already have an Adsense account so that will be ready from the start. Things are starting to come to together. Sorry the post is so short but I'm a working man now and I'm drained.

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Monday, April 25, 2005

First Day of Work and Revelations

Claustrophobia..... I most definitely felt the cell door slam shut in this place. Not that it's a bad job or anything, it's just that I had started to get used to having my freedom. Now that has been stripped from me all in the name of survival. Would I have a job if I didn't need the money? Would ANYONE have a job if they didn't need the money? For the sake of my freedom, I HAVE to make this affiliate marketing business work. I HAVE to get my real estate investing started. If I am still working for someone else in seven years, I did something terribly wrong along the way. There, I've said it. That statement has been hiding behind the expectations society puts on all of us to retire at 65, 70, or whatever the hell that number is now. It's been something that has only been whispered in the shadows. Only spoken in hushed, guarded tones. Not anymore; there needs to be some accountability. 30 years old and I need to be out of the "rat race". That's seven years from now. I can no longer afford to bide my time. It's time to get it done.

Once this first site is up and running, it will be on to the next. I have no time to spare. There are people doing affiliate marketing that are making $100/day, $300/day, $1000/day and everything in between. They have many sites that bring in this money for them. Let's see how many I can get up and running by the end of the year.

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Stompin' the Snags

Sometimes you just need some sleep to solve a problem. This morning, I woke up and deleted the bottom navigation bar that was causing me so much trouble last night. Very simple solution and the pages don't look any worse without it. In fact, it makes the pages look a bit cleaner now and they should load faster without that added graphics.

There is a list of decisions that I have made for this affiliate marketing website that turned out to have a profound effect in the right direction. I have to say that going back and redoing the template (again) is definitely in the top 3. The process of making pages is so streamlined now that it still amazes me hours after I redid all of the articles. Now, all I have to do is copy and paste my content and change the heading tags for the subheadings and the page is finished. The template created with Nvu and the external style sheet take care of the rest. If you haven't read the comments for April 13 Daniel Glazman, lead engineer on the Nvu program, said that it is completely spyware free. I'd like to thank him for posting and letting us all know about the status of the program. Use it until your heart is content. All of the initial graphics, email forms, and copyright notices were finished today. I may add some pictures to the home page because it looks a bit sparse as is.

Speaking of CSS, I have a site that can help you with creating your style sheets. The CSS Validator comes right out of my web resources bookmarks and has been invaluable for finding errors in my external style sheet. It will definitely save you time by showing you what you are doing wrong as well as what has been coded correctly.

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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Hit a Snag

I was putting in a decent amount of work today when the snags started to rear their ugly heads. Everything started out nicely. I started to put in the images. I changed the navigation to the right side of the screen and it actually looks better that way. That's when the problems started. Prior to the navigation shift, everything was aligned properly so that the text was a decent distance away from the borders. All of that went the way of the dodo. After spending who knows how long trying to fix it, I finally got it set perfectly. The only problem was now I had to go back and do it for all of the other pages. At that point, I decided to redo the entire template so that all of the article content could just be copy and pasted. This would eliminate the formatting issue and make it easier to make more pages for the upcoming articles later.

In redoing the template, I put in the email form that I had talked about in an earlier posting and tried to test it. It didn't work. Now, it maybe that it will only send the email if the page is hosted (I have my doubts on this because I have been able to link to other websites from this same page I was working on) but whatever the case I noticed in my html book that some browsers don't support email forms. So I decided to switch from Mozilla to Internet Explorer. Lo and behold, the bottom navigation bar is not on the bottom of the page anymore!! It's about 8 pixels too high. The page looks just fine in Mozilla but is crazy looking with IE. Why don't I just drink poison! So now I'm trying to figure out how to get that damned bar to stay at the bottom of the page. We will see how long this take me.

On a good note, the images I embedded do make the page look significantly better.

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Friday, April 22, 2005

Internet Connection is Up

I'm all moved into the apartment. Now that everything is put away and my DVD player is up and running, I'm starting to like the place. It's actually pretty nice for an apartment. The internet connection is up and things are good so far. I finished the Site Map today and started work on the About Us page before getting serious headache. Of all the pages, this one is turning out to be the hardest. Why, I don't know. It's not like have trouble talking about myself or anything=) Seriously though, it is difficult deciding what information is relevant for the site. You want to present yourself as an expert who's advice and knowledge is valuable while at the same time not coming across as arrogant. Maybe I'm putting too much into this. Wouldn't be the first time.

As it stands, I need to finish the category pages that link to the articles and embed the graphics. I let Tara take a look at the graphic design of the site and she suggested that I move the navigation to the right side of the screen. Apparently this will make your content come up first when your site is crawled by the search engines. So, I need to go back and do that.

I'm a proactive guy, I don't like being passive. It leaves me full of angst and quite honestly I have a tendency to look down on passive people as being weak. So when hackers tried to get into my computer last night I felt more than a little agitated that I couldn't do anything back. Seven times last night my firewall blocked, what it deemed, "high-level" intrusion attempts. Seven times in less than 24 hours. Never before has anyone tried to get into my computer and then last night they decide that it's going to be D-Day. GET A FIREWALL! Do not get on the internet without one. You always think that there are millions upon millions of people on the internet and that the chances of getting hacked are slim. Don't take chances. I just happened to buy Zone Alarm Pro a few weeks ago and I have absolutely no regrets. Especially now that I'm getting into affiliate marketing, I really need that extra protection for my computer. If you don't have a firewall, you can go to the Zone Labs website and download one for free until you can get one. The free one is ok but I paid money to get Pro, so you know how I feel about the difference between the two. If anyone knows how I can be "proactive" the next time someone decides to try to get into my computer, let me know. I have a nasty vindictive streak and that kind of knowledge would put a big smile on my face.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005


After an entire day of driving, loading, unloading, and unpacking the apartment is furnished. I am so sore, it's not even funny. My ankles hurt. How hard do you have to work in order to make your ankles sore?? It's ridiculous.

The apartment isn't a bad place but I can't wait to get out. Seeing this apartment and the expensive one I wrote about earlier (the one where a portion of the rent goes toward a house) makes me want to have my own place and use some of the designs they used. I really enjoy cooking and this apartment has a great kitchen but no pantry. Anyway, there are a bunch of little things like that which bother me about the place and I just want to have something that belongs to ME.

The appointment for getting the internet connection is set for Thursday. I really wanted to get this site up before I started work but I'm not sure if that's going to happen. There is so much to do to get ready for the first day that I'm not sure I'll get all of the work finished for the affiliate marketing site. Only time will tell.

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Moving Day Tomorrow

Well, tomorrow I move into my new apartment. It's going to be an all day affair, too. I have to drive 2 1/2 hours to the place where I left my stuff. Then after loading everything, I have to drive another 1 1/2 to the apartment and unload everything. I am not looking forward to this, I hate moving stuff. The worst is unpacking. Alas.....

New apartment means no internet for a little while. With this in mind, I'm holding off on paying for the hosting until my internet connection is set up. Having the hosting ready and not being able to do anything with it would drive me nuts.

I moved the $400 from the refund into my ING account which is separate from my checking so that it wouldn't evaporate with the rest of my money as I take care of all of the costs associated with moving. Eventually, I want to set up an ING account and a separate checking account that are devoted to the affiliate marketing business. This way, I'd be able to keep my finances separate. Keeping them separate would help at tax time so that I can get all the benefits of owning your own business as well as keep me from inadvertently spending money that is meant for the business. Speaking of ING, they are offering 3% interest on their savings accounts. If you are interested in opening one, let me know. If I refer you, they will automatically give you $25 and me $10. I've had the account for 5 months now and have had nothing but great service from them. The interest rate I started at was either 2.15% or 2.25%, I can't remember for sure. Either way, it has risen to 3% since then. With no fees and no minimums, I think they're good stuff.

Anyway, it looks like it will be a few days after the internet connection is setup before the site goes live. I can't wait until it's up and making money. The combination of Adsense and affiliate commissions will be nice.

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Friday, April 15, 2005

A Baby Step From Going Live

I was able to accomplish a little bit today. The navigation and privacy policy page are complete for the most part. The navigation is a bit rough but it is functional. Not pretty yet, but it is functional. I've decided to go with forms at the bottoms of the pages for people to use to email me. I think this will limit the amount of spam I will receive to my website's email account.

As far as what I have left for the affiliate marketing site, I still need to make the site map, about us page, add the pictures and adjust the background. It seems like no matter how long I make the background picture in the y-direction, some of my articles still make it to the reloop point. I thought about splitting these articles into a page 1, page 2, etc. setup but I think that might cause problems with my keyword density in the articles' current state. I also have to add the Adsense ads but that will happen after the site is live. I may make some adjustments to the home page, we will see what kinds of comments I get on it before I do too much on that. Finally, there is the RSS. I need to have that up from the get go as a supplement for the newsletter. I need some way to get repeat traffic and the RSS will do that for me until I can get a newsletter going. Other than these things, the site is ready to go.

I've decided that iPower Web is going to get my money for hosting. They just added a $25 Adwords credit in addition to the $50 Overture credit. I did receive a very generous offer for hosting from Jonleehacker but with the new Adwords credit, it would really help the site to go with iPower Web. I do want to thank him for his offer though. If you are interested in getting hosted for your own site, let me know and I'll see if he wants some business thrown his way.

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The taxman finally deposited my refund this morning! 'Nuff said.

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Too Much Going On

First thing in the morning, I drove back to Austin to take care of the apartment. I am already seeing the benefits of working for the government, a $20/month discount on my rent. That's a savings of $140 by the time I move out (I'm doing a 7 month lease). I should be able to move in between Saturday and Monday. I was back by 12 and started working on the affiliate marketing site. Most of that time was spent looking for pictures. I'll change most of them once I get approved by different merchants but for right now I need something. I will also create some of my own diagrams and things to add to the site. I think they will come in handy for the readers.

I need to figure out how the navigation is going to work for this affiliate marketing site. I knew how I wanted it but that was with the other graphic design. The old navigation won't work with the new design. I also need to figure out how to do the RSS for the site. Doing it was easy for the blog because the feed is already set up by Blogger, you just have to set it up. I don't know exactly what I need to do to get RSS on the site working from scratch.

I hate the taxman. They said I'd get my refund check BY the 15th. It's the 14th now. If they were going to wait until the 15th, why didn't they say, "You'll have your money ON the 15th"? Is it too much to ask for them to give me accurate information?

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

As He Sits, Cackling Madly......

PROGRESS!! After days of being stuck, there has finally been some progress. I found an html editor a week or two ago and have been trying to learn how to use it. I tried being hardcore and coding with a text editor but its just too inefficienct for me. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who can do it well but I am not one of them. Well, this morning I said enough was enough. I was going to get things done. I learned some of the basics of CSS and threw together an external style sheet. With that in place, all I had to do was copy and paste my articles into the html editor and BOOM! I have web pages. The style sheet makes it incredibly easy to make sure that all of the pages have the same format. I finished coding all 25 of my articles plus the home page in just over an hour. There are some changes I need to make but the content and graphics are finished.

If you are doing your html with a text editor or you want something like Dreamweaver but can't afford it, check out Nvu. It's free and after you get past the learning curve, it's smooth sailing. I don't know about other html editors, they probably have this function too, but you can create your own templates with Nvu. It's good stuff. Also, invest the time in learning how to make external style sheets. Sitepoint has some good articles that helped me get on top of it quickly. Just do a search on their site for "CSS".

BIG NOTE: I do not know if Nvu has spyware or not. I've run Spybot since downloading it and things seem to be ok but I just want to make sure you know that I can't guarantee that it is spyware-free. Just looking out for those of you on the other side of the monitor.

Now that I have figured out how to use Nvu and have some CSS under my belt, things are running smoothly. With a few more changes here and there and getting the navigation elements in place, the site will be ready to go live. The tax man needs to hurry up with my check. Can't get hosted without that money.

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Monday, April 11, 2005

It's So Easy to Lose Your Way

It really is. I went to go look at apartments today. It started out as a max of $500/month. Slowly but surely, that price made its way up to $550 then $575 then $600. Like boiling a frog, the various apartments I visited lulled me into thinking $620/month was just fine. Then I came across one last apartment. $670/month. I was ready to exclude this one outright until the lady said, "And we have a program where 20% of your rent goes toward the purchase of a new KB home!" ........The frog is cooked. KB is a builder in this area. If there were one phrase that they could have used to get me to sign a lease, that was it. And the apartments were nice, in fact I'd go so far as to say that they designed the apartment the way I'd design my house. So a KB home isn't what I had been planning? Who cares, it's equity! Equity from rent!! $134 of equity a month!!

Now, I'm a level headed individual and I had no plans of signing anything today. So after getting a bit lost, I make the hour long drive home. I just ran the numbers and I'm thankful that I did. The whole point of the duplex/4-plex plan was to eliminate the cost of living from my monthly expenses. With the KB home, I may have a few hundred dollars in equity but the cost of living would still be there. By running the numbers, I found that by eliminating the cost of living I would pocket a little over $1200 a month. That's after utilities, taxes, food, savings, tithe, etc. All of it. $1200 to use in any manner I wish. If that's not incentive enough to stick to the plan, I don't know what is.

The numbers also showed me something else. Getting this affiliate marketing business up and running will make a huge difference. All profits (profits being money left over after reinvesting into the business, not the commission) would just add onto that $1200. My goal is to get two sites up to $1000/site/month after expenses. I don't know if that's overly ambitious or not but that's the goal. Let's say that I use $400/site/month to improve the sites (I consider this reinvestment as seperate from the normal expenses). That's another $1200/month for a total of $2400/month of pocket money. Makes your mouth water, huh? =)

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Graphic Rereredesign (Not a Typo)

Yes, I was deep into Photoshop once again. I was ready to do the html yesterday when the fact that my original, final web design was not going to work. Not that it was overly complicated but I'm a novice at html and just could not get the tables to work with my design. With that, I was back at the drawing board and have totally redesigned the affiliate marketing website. This design is superior to all of the others. It's simple, it's clean, and it's organized in a way that will work well with tables.

In all honesty, I am glad that I had to redesign the site. This design fit more closely to the concept I had originally been trying to achieve. I guess it just took me awhile to figure out how to get the statue out of the stone.

Epiphany: this method of building affiliate marketing websites is far too inefficient. I need to create some methods in order to streamline the process. After the site is up and running, I will start looking into methods of doing this without paying for SiteBuildIt. We will see what I can come up with.

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Friday, April 08, 2005

Editing Complete

I just finished editing all 25 articles. I have come to the conclusion that 25 articles before bringing a site live is too much. Next time I will launch a site at 10 -15 articles. Those of you thinking about starting your own affiliate marketing website, go with 10-15 articles. 25 leaves far too much time between those milestones that provide you that positive motivation to keep going. Now its time for the html portion of the project. I hope you don't feel too disappointed but I am going to cut out early. I'm spent and Friday Night Fights is on.

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Articles are Complete!

That's right, they are finished. The first 25 are written. I need to go back and edit them as well as verify that all of the information I have written is correct. I can see how some people don't succeed in this business because it takes A LOT of work up front. If you don't put forth the effort in the beginning you will either write articles that aren't very compelling or you will quit before you even get the website up.

I guess the first 25 can be said to be a milestone because I think that the majority of the work is finished. Yes, I still have to do the html and I will still write articles as updates but the hardcore write till you drop portion is finished. I can write an article every couple of days with no problem. It's not going to be like this writing marathon of the past few days, at least not until the next site=) I probably shouldn't be writing this update right now, I'm not necessarily coherent after all of this. In fact, I'm going to let you go. I'm going to see if I can find some type of equilibrium before I start the editing. Oh, the IRS says that I should have my refund by the 15th so as soon as I have that money I will contact iPower Web for their hosting services.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Nine Articles Left!

That's right, I said nine left. I've been a busy bee today. Not only did I finish and send in my taxes (TurboTax is no joke, I love that program), but I also sent out a bunch of mail-in rebates, wrote five articles and did something else that I can't quite remember. The tax portion of the day was especially good. I'm going to have a nice, little check coming to me from the IRS. Not only will it cover the costs of hosting the affiliate marketing website but it will also take care of an e-product that I plan to purchase. The best part about that is I consider tax refunds free money. Yes the government snatched it from me before I ever saw it but to me its like finding a 20 in your sock drawer. It was lost but now it's found.

I emailed a real estate agent Monday about duplexes and he replied yesterday. I think this guy is going to be of some use. Not only is he an agent but he is also a real estate investor who, get this, lives in one of his duplexes and rents out the other side. When I read that on his website, I almost leaped out of my chair. I didn't but I did seriously consider it.

Even though the Spurs game is on tonight, I am going to see if I can set a record for number of articles written in one day. At least a record for me. Wish me luck.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Affiliate Marketing Websites are Front Loaded

Writing articles is tough. I love to write but this is seriously time consuming. I've finished 8 of the initial 25 that will be ready when the site goes live. You tell me, am I long winded?=) I'm starting to wonder because most of these articles are turning out to be very long by internet standards. I hope people appreciate the work I put into these articles. My fear is that I will write something and get an email from someone saying that what I wrote was all wrong. I do have a bit of a perfectionist streak in me and I want everything to be the pinnacle of accuracy. I had a friend read one of the articles and she passed it on to someone else. This third party said that the article was informative so hopefully I'm on the right track.

The plan for the real estate portion of my multiple streams of income streaks is starting to unfold. I am going to have to rent but I am going to keep that period down to 6 months. By putting a time limit on how long I can live in the apartment, I am forcing myself to get offers out there on duplexes and if possible 4-plexes. In that time I should be able to not only save for a down payment but also find something in the area that will break even while I live there if its a duplex or have positive cashflow if its a 4-plex. When things really start rolling with the real estate, I may consider spinning off a JonnyQ Real Estate blog. We will see.

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Real Estate within 6 Months

Looks like I will be getting into real estate a lot sooner than I had expected. I can't stand the idea of paying rent. It's one of those things that really gets under my skin. You pay hundreds of dollars a month and when everything is said an done, you have absolutely nothing to show for it. Months back, I was approved for an $80k loan to buy a duplex but that was back when I was working for $6.84/hr at the bookstore. I might start visiting mortgage brokers tomorrow and see if I can get a bigger loan with better terms. I don't have the money for a down payment but there are some places that will give 100+% loans. If I could get approved for one of those and get a duplex, that would eliminate my cost of living which is going to be my single largest expense. I REALLY hate renting and I will do everything in my power to avoid it like the plague.

I finished two more articles and about 3/4 for a third one yesterday. I've looked around at other affiliate marketing websites and my some of these articles I'm writing are huge in comparison. That first article I posted about having to cut into 2 articles actually went for a 3-for-1 split when all was said and done. Wish my stocks would do that. Alright, time to do the taxes. One day I'll have a CPA taking care of this for me=)

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Friday, April 01, 2005


I'd have to say that yesterday was a great day. I got the job! They called yesterday and told me it was mine if I wanted it. I, of course, accepted so I'll be moving to Austin pretty soon. This job was the first leg of my multiple steams of income (I did a post on it a while back) and it will give me the opportunity to get into real estate within the year. On top of that, the affiliate marketing business I am setting up just received a huge bump in its budget now that I will be getting a steady pay check. When I interviewed for the position, the guy said that the compressed work week would take effect after six months of work if I wanted to do it. Basically, after six months I can work 10 hour days and have 3 day weekends every week. That free time would be dedicated to building this business. Things are about to get very interesting.

The books came yesterday and I'm about 1/3 through the HTML book. So far its pretty good. I may post a review of it after I'm finished.

I just finished writing my first full article for the affiliate marketing website. Everything I had written prior were just outlines but this is the real deal. I thought that this one would be my shortest one because the outline was very small. I was so wrong. The article was so long that I decided to split it into two articles. While not long in comparison to college papers long, it is long for an internet article even with the split. Just more content for me=) This article is one that I plan to submit to different newsletters and free-content sites in order to get the word out about my site and generate more incoming links. I'll keep you posted.

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