Monday, August 24, 2009

Blogging 101

I've been blogging for a little over 10 months and its been fun. I started the blog to maintain an online diary of trying to develop a business idea and escape the rat race. I've read everything related to SEO (search engine optimization) and optimizing traffic. I'm learning through a lot of patience and trial and error (you can't get rich overnight). If you're thinking about starting a blog, be sure to write about things that interest you or things that you know a lot about (so you have a constant flow of content). My blog focuses on travel, food, sports, and entertainment (books, movies, TV shows, and music). Here are a couple of suggestions of applications and affiliate programs that I use:

1) Google AdSense: is essential if you are looking to make money online. You get paid based on two formats: CPM (cost per thousand page impressions) and PPC (pay per click). Google AdSense scans your page and places ads according to the content (FYI: real estate, jobs, cars, and personals ads generate the most revenue). It takes time to build consistent traffic, so don't be discouraged.

2) Google Analytics: a free tool which shows you how traffic gets to your page (referring websites, google keywords used), average time spent on your website, most visited pages, and a number of other useful stats. Surprisingly, my most popular blog postings are videos. Reno 911 - I Won the Lotto!" is my most popular link.

3) Amazon Associates: is's affiliate program. If I'm going to reference or promote a book, TV show, or movie, doesn't it make sense to make a commission off of sales? Typical commissions paid are 4%-6%.

4) AddThis: is the most underrated promotion tool (I'm upset that I didn't add it sooner). It allows you to add a "Share It" button so people can bookmark, email, Digg, Delicious, share via Facebook / Twitter, etc. It can get you countless links and it's a simple HTML code.

To promote your blog and drive in traffic, add your link to your email signature, request backlinks on other websites, and promote new blog entries via social networking sites. Stay patient, enjoy yourself, and results will follow.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fantasy Football for Dummies

Ask any guy how many Fantasy Football leagues they belong to and you'll be surprised by the answer. I try to limit myself to two teams a season to make it manageable. A few friends have as many as 10 teams with different scoring formats (head to head, rotisserie, keeper leagues, salary cap, etc) and smack talking opponents (coworkers, ex-coworkers, friends, etc). Keeping up with their schedule of live drafts in August and September is a part-time job in itself.

The best way to prepare for "Draft Day" is to have a cheat sheet (ranked by position and average draft position), knowing key news (like which player is suspended for 3 games: Marshawn Lynch), and having a strategy (I live by: "2 Running Backs as your first two picks" and "Kickers in the last round" mantras). Here's a tip that will help you easily import and organize fantasy football stats into an Excel spreadsheet:

1) Go to your Fantasy Football provider's (Yahoo, CBS.Sportsline, or ESPN) players stats page. Copy the URL.
2) Open an Excel Spreadsheet. Click on Data -> Get External Data -> New Web Query. Paste the URL and click OK.

All of the players' stats should neatly populate onto the spreadsheet for easy sorting. Keep repeating the steps until you get all of the players you want to rank (you can only get 25 at a time on Yahoo). I keep three tabs for Offensive players (QB, WR, RB, TE), Defenses, and Kickers. Enjoy this time saving tip and feel free to pass it onto friends (non-opponents in your league).

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