Gabi Wilson; What A Talent!

Taking a quick break from the rat race to bring this young lady to more people’s attention. Her name is Gabi Wilson, and now she’s 11 years old. But what a talent. She plays piano, drums, and bass guitar, as well as sings. And she can sing; this is no 11-year old singer, this is a singer, period.

I just learned about her this week, but, based on the video below, it seems she was on the Today Show when she was still 10 years old last December. Just a fantastic talent, someone I both want to promote and don’t want to forget. So, as something a little different, here’s Gabi Wilson:


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What Will You Do To Get More Traffic?

A few years ago, I did something that I couldn’t conceive of doing again, but I figured it was worth a shot. I paid a company for traffic. It said it would be targeted traffic, and though I wondered how they would know, since I had a feeling they wouldn’t even be able to determine what my traffic would be, I went ahead and paid for it.

I've Been Out Walkin'
Thomas Hawk via Compfight

I believe it was around $13 for a guaranteed 10,000 visits, which sounded good to me. After I paid my money, the company wrote and said that I’d purchased during a special period, and that I’d earned another 5,000 visits.

I tracked the traffic for the month, and I didn’t quite get to 15,000; as a matter of fact, I didn’t get to 10,000 visitors for the money. I did get an increase, though, of about 8,000, and I figured that wasn’t bad.

However, I didn’t get any business from it. No one called to ask any questions. No one purchased any products. No one booked me for any speaking engagements.

This was back before Google Analytics, so I didn’t even get a sense of which pages anyone was visiting when they came to the site. Truthfully, I’m not even sure there were actual visitors. My ISP reports traffic statistics that say I’m averaging over 18,000 hits a month, but Google Analytics doesn’t come anywhere close to that number. My thinking is that most of it comes from a source that kind of “pings” your site, like the search engines do, only this is more deliberate, to throw off your stats.

I don’t remember the name of that company, and I’d pretty much forgotten about it until the last couple of days. The first one is that I came across a website that now does what that one did back in the day. It’s called Get Web Traffic Here, and for as little as $14.34 a month (I wonder how they came to that figure), you can get upwards of 200 visitors a day of “targeted” traffic. The best package, price-wise, will run you $154.95 for 2,500 visitors a day, plus a bonus of some kind.

It all sounds good, as far as getting visitors, but is it effective?

Well, if you research online and read articles on the subject, it would seem so, but everyone writing the articles has a vested interest in your possibly buying from them. Nope, can’t quite trust that, can we? One guy did make an interesting point, that being that if you purchase the traffic and make some sales, it may help build your confidence up and motivate you to try harder. That would be a more compelling argument if it had worked for me on my other sites a few years ago. Just a couple of sales would have gotten me there, I believe.

As I said, the big question on this is just how targeted the traffic can be. One example I read was a travel site looking for traffic geared towards that industry. What the article said is that companies often just purchase old domains that get some type of traffic, and then point those visitors your way. But they’re not as targeted as you might hope they would be, because, based on the numbers, it would be inconceivable for some businesses to be able to attain the type of traffic numbers for that particular field. So, some niches will work better than others.

Of course, there are some other ways to do it for free. Ben Pei of Make Money Online had this particular post that gave a list of free traffic exchanges, which was a pretty nice list, but to tell you the truth I’m not into that either. I’ve done it a few times, where you sign up with a site and basically trade visits. You visit so many pages and build up points, then people will visit your site. However, if you’re not interested in their stuff and they’re not interested in yours, then you’ve wasted your time and theirs; it’s not targeted traffic once again. Still, give it a look and see what else is there, because you might find something you like.

So then, what else do we do for more traffic? Blog commenting seems to be working fairly well lately for me, as well as mentioning my new posts on Twitter. I couldn’t tell you if I’m getting any new traffic from Facebook, and based on the fact that you have to “friend” people before they can view your site, I’d doubt it’s getting me far.

There is always commenting on forums to see if that drives more traffic, but that takes time. I also had a brief interaction with Lynn Terry (man, she’s real people; gotta love her!), getting her thoughts on article writing to drive traffic, and she says that, plus good SEO for your site, would work very well.

And, of course, there’s always your own bits of advertising through services like Adwords or purchasing other advertising. Link exchanges are always good, as well as getting listed on someone else’s blogroll if you’re writing a blog, which of course I am here.

For a website, something you might want to think about is SiteSell’s Value-Exchange program. Basically, you go in, give information about your site with your keywords, and if they approve your site, then they’ll send you webpages from time to that that seem to be a match for your site, and you get the opportunity to review them to see if you believe they’re a match, and then you can choose to contact them, whereas they’ll also get a chance to take a look back at you. Of course, you have to have a valid links page, and in my mind, if your links pages are hidden and hard to find, I’m not exchanging with you because it’s inherently unfair. But the program itself is great, and it’s free.

So, what am I going to do? I think, for now, that I’m not going to pay for more traffic, but I’m going to continue my posting on other blogs and getting back into forums, which I was doing a lot for awhile, but I’ve gotten out of it lately. I’ve enjoyed commenting on blogs, though, and having people come by for a visit is invigorating in its own way. I’m also thinking about starting two more pages on this site, which might help bring more traffic to the site eventually. Stay tuned for that, though; I don’t want to give it away just yet. 🙂
 

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Blog Action Day – Poverty

As I decided to participate in this event, I sent a message to many of my friends and business associates, asking those who had blogs to participate in some fashion, and asking those who didn’t to read about it and possibly find another way to be a part of it.

Ethiopia
Steve Evans
via Compfight

I had one of my friends write back and ask me not to send her things like this, saying she didn’t believe in things like this, calling people who do anti-liberal-democrat crazies. I was sort of stunned by that, because I don’t see the topic of poverty as a political one. However, knowing her background, she’s someone who’s never had to struggle, nor worry about whether she was going to miss a meal or not be able to buy something she wanted, and probably has never known anyone who has. I’ve been there, but we hadn’t spoken for a long time when I was going through my little period of near poverty, which I wrote about on this post awhile back.

I’ve had periods of financial strife in my life, but I always knew that I could find a way out of it in some fashion. As a last resort, I could always decide to give up my freedom and my pride and live with my parents; at least back in the day I could, while I was still single, which is when I had my problems. I don’t think it qualifies as true poverty because I always had options; some people never have that option in their entire lives, so even at my lowest point, I had opportunities that would never be afforded them.

On my other blog, in my post on this same subject, I said that I haven’t volunteered as much as I probably should have in my life. I may not have volunteered, but I have worked in a place where many of the people who came live in poverty, and worry every day about whether or not they’ll have meals for their children, or clothes to put on their back, and wonder if the schools they send their children to are sufficient enough to give them a chance that they themselves never had.

I worked at a community health center for 2 ½ years. It was one of the jobs I got to help me get my life back in order back in 1993. The health center is on the edge of an area that’s not quite known as a slum or ghetto, but it is impoverished in its own way, and a very dangerous place to be at night. At an event back in 2003, while giving a presentation, I asked every participant in the room who had been four blocks south of our present location to try to do business, and not a single one of them raised their hands. In a way, it’s the forgotten area of town, only five blocks from the beginning of downtown.

The health center caters to everyone. However, the overwhelming majority of the people who come don’t have much money, if any money at all. Most of them are on Medicaid, which is a good thing. Many physicians across the country won’t see Medicaid patients, which leaves the health center with an almost exclusive clientele. At least 10% to 15% of those who come don’t have any insurance at all; at least half of those either live in one of the missions or is homeless in some other way. I know this because I used to register many of the people who came in.

Many of the people who visit the health center don’t come in cleaned up as if they were going to church. Odd as that sounds, when I was a child, even when I was really sick, my mother made sure to take the time to bathe me in some fashion, even if it was an alcohol bath, put me in clean, ironed clothes, and made me presentable before I could see a doctor. Yet, the directive of the health center is that every patient who comes in gets treated the same, with dignity and fairness, as if they were rich enough to go anywhere in the city or the country. Sometimes it was hard; there are a lot of people who have chips on their shoulder and don’t want to be treated nice. Other times, all they want is for someone to listen to them, give them a little bit of courtesy, and if you can make them laugh or feel comfortable in some way, you may help to make their day and week seem just a little bit nicer.

That’s pretty much the point I want to make in this particular post. Statistics say that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Truth be told, it really doesn’t take a lot to help those who don’t have as much as others life a better life. Even in our presently bad economy, there are some things that could help.

One, there’s plenty of food in the world, so much so that a lot of it is destroyed to keep prices regulated. Scrap that; pass it on to nonprofit organizations around the world to get people fed.

Two, let’s do what we can to stem the tide of poverty as it pertains to education. Without education, almost no one will ever have the chance to be something better than they are. Not everyone needs history and the like, but everyone needs to know how to read and how to do math. Even without homework or without enough books, this can be done.

Three, let’s get people working, and not slave labor jobs either. Every major city in the world has projects that need to be worked on. Contract with companies that agree to have at least 25% to 50% of the workforce on these projects coming from certain neighborhoods of the city, and give them a bonus if they provide childcare.

Four, hire people who work with and help those in need that have some compassion in their soul and a real yearn to install a sense of honor in people who may not be used to being treated with respect in their lives. Tone down the rhetoric against those who don’t have much; they didn’t ask for it.

I’m glad to have this opportunity to have my say on Blog Action Day. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to write for this blog, or how I wanted to end. So, I’ve decided to end with this little video:

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Blog Action Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow is Blog Action Day. Its purpose is to highlight the problem and issue of poverty around the world. A Blog Action Day, at http://blogactionday.org, has been set up to help track everyone who says they’re going to participate in this action.

I’ve decided not only to participate, but I’m going to write a different post for each blog tomorrow, which is the 15th, in case you’re reading this from elsewhere. One might think this would be a hard topic to address, but I’ve seen poverty, even if I can’t honestly say it’s in my personal background. But some family members have had to deal with this, and I was actually personally touched by it in my life, so I’ll have my say, and hopefully it’ll help make a difference in some way.

For an idea of what your page might look like, though I’m certainly not going to this kind of extreme, check out this post. By the way, you can also donate money to the cause or help promote it in other ways also. Just click on that first link above.

Why not take a stand and have a say? I hope all of you participate in some way.

Waterman Elegance Rollerball Pen Ivory Gt






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Feedburner & Feedburner Feed Smith

Although I first mentioned it here, I didn’t talk much about either Feedburner or Feedburner Feed Smith, so I’m going to talk about both of them now.

First, most everyone has heard about Feedburner, but that doesn’t mean everyone. Basically, if we have blogs, or webpages that will be constantly updating information in some fashion, it’s a good idea for us to have some type of RSS (random simple syndication) on our site so people can subscribe to our content. That way, when we update something, they can receive it in some fashion, most probably through a reader, instead of having to constantly come back to our site to see if we’ve added anything new.

Your blog may already have something set up for you using RSS1, RSS2, or Atom, and that’s fine. However, the problem you have is that you don’t have any way of tracking to see if people are actually subscribing to your blog. That’s where Feedburner comes into play. What you do is put in your web address and it will create a unique Feedburner address that you can put onto your site, and it will then track and calculate statistics for you. What you can also do is add a way for people to subscribe to your feed by email, something I’ve just recently added. Now, if you want it coming from different email addresses, you’ll have to create multiple accounts. I decided that I’d rather track all my Feedburner accounts from one place rather than having to sign into two different accounts, but I might change that up later on down the line, because people will receive my feeds from my business email account, though they’ll know which blog it’s coming from and should probably click on the blog link if they wish to leave a comment.

If you already have something else, one of the other RSS types, you’ll still have no idea how that’s performing for you. That’s where Feedburner Feed Smith comes into play. Now owned by Google (who also now owns Feedburner), this WordPress plugin takes all your feeds and combines them into one place, so that if someone decides to pick one of your other feeds, Feedburner will still track it.

Most SEO experts and internet marketers will tell you that you need to know what your traffic figures are and where they’re coming from, and Feedburner will tell you that and more. They have some extended statistics that you can subscribe to for free if you choose to, and since it’s free, why wouldn’t you. To me, this is a must have feed and plugin to have.

Amazing But True Golf Facts Book

Price – $9.95






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