As most of you can see I’ve tweaked my theme a little to give it a little Christmas feel about it. This was really easy because I use the FlexSqueeze theme and to help others using the same theme I posted a little tutorial on how I made the changes.

Still I don’t feel as if I have done enough to set the stage and so I think it’s only fitting that I entertain you with a Christmas poem of mine. Even though I wrote this last year, this is the first time it’s appeared on this blog.

I hope you enjoy it.

It’s almost Christmas, the day is near
Everyone prays that there be good cheer
The meaning of Christmas differs for all
Not everyone puts holly in the hall

Businessmen think of the money they’ll make
Terrorists of the lives they may take
Children of gifts they will receive
Parents of the mess it will leave

So many of us on this day we forget
The child that was born and the kings he met
The man that grew with peace in his heart
With love for all till the day he did part

Oh that this day could bring joy for all
That terror and hate from all would fall
To be left behind and be seen no more
That each and everyone we may adore

That poverty would cease to exist
That peace would rein in our midst
That rulers learn to live in harmony
That less importance be placed on money

Turn each to the other and clasp their hands
Though we live in far strung lands
We must make a stand for what we believe
Let’s think no more of how to deceive

Now, I know that not everybody likes poems and that perhaps one or two of you may have completely skipped this post because of that. Well  I reckon I may have a little something extra for those of you who managed to read it to the end and beyond.

While the most important part of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and everything that he has brought to the world, you can’t escape the fact that it’s probably the one season when people are quite happy to open their wallets in search of that special gift for family and friends. This being the case most bloggers should have made preparations to capitalize on this seasons potential for increasing their blogging income.

Personally I’ve left it a little late, as I should have done some posts promoting products way before today. Even so, perhaps there is something in that old saying better late than never.

Usually when promoting a product I will shove a banner in the post somewhere in the hope that someone will click on it. Sure it works sometimes but generally it’s been a little disappointing. So, it left me wondering as to what I could do to increase peoples willingness to click on a product and perhaps making a sale.

I’ve done several posts blaming it all on the landing pages as they were not converting the customers I was sending them to actual sales. Perhaps people are more aware of online shopping these days and are a little untrustworthy of a lot online stores.

I then came across this post by two grouse Aussie sheilas :smile1_ee: , a post that gave me a whole new perspective on how I should tackle online marketing. Their post, How Much Did We Make on Amazon This Month?, shows how they managed to make a whole lot of cash and all because Amazon was able to convert the people they sent over to buying customers. And guess what? No banners, only text links.

So, perhaps people are virtually blind to banners these days, but are more willing to click on a link if that link is relevant to what they are looking for. Perhaps these same people trust Amazon and are therefore more likely to make a purchase. Sure their payout isn’t all that crash hot, but the more you sell the greater the commission. Sounds like a bit of an incentive to me.

I’ve tried the text links over banners idea on my Top Sexual Aids blog. The post A Special Gift For The Person Who Has Everything uses links instead of banners. I haven’t had time to see whether Amazon has any products I can use and I’m not expecting many sales as the blog is new and hasn’t got much traffic yet. Perhaps next year.

So, have you done anything to cash in on the prospective Christmas customers, and if so what have you done and how is it working for you?

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The New FTC Guidelines, How Fair Is It?

If there is one thing that I hate it’s those bullshit commercials that go on and on. You know the ones, they’re promoting a product and if you buy it now you get some other crap thrown in. Then it goes on a bit more about how cool the stuff is, and then you get the old, ‘and there’s more’ line if you do this or that. The end result of buying into the whole sales line is that you have so much more shit to throw away.

Well, that is what the old squeeze page is like. You’ve all seen them. You land on a page that is promising to show you how you can tell your boss to shove his job because it’s going to reveal how you can make thousands of dollars a month. The problem is that no matter how much you scroll down, it seems you’re never going to get to the end of the sales jargon, and when you do, instead of telling you how much they’re going to fleece you, all you get is a link to click on, and 9 times out of ten you have to divulge your email address, and possible some other details. No worries though, because you’ve just been given a link to some crappy ‘free’ ebook.

Well, it’s quite possible that the new FTC guidelines which came into force on Dec. 1st is going to put a stop to all that. If you haven’t heard of these new guidelines you should check out the FTC website, and if you’ve got a lot of time to kill you may even want to read the 81 page guide.



Anyway, the problem is that the only ones it will affect are the Americans. I’m not 100% sure but I think everyone else around the globe is FTC safe. So, the question is how fair is it to the average American?

Let’s look at paid bloggers as an example. Most bloggers are already doing the right thing, by having a disclosure policy on their blog, and generally speaking, a lot of them do not make false claims in their paid posts. These new rules will now force those other bloggers to lift their game, but only if they are American.

So, what will the advertisers who paid for these posts do now that the new rules are out, and bloggers have to divulge, via the post, that they’re getting paid for it? As the majority of advertisers do not want bloggers to divulge such information,  I put it to you that they could possibly look to overseas bloggers for these paid posts, thereby restricting Americans from a legitimate form of income. If this is the case, instead of solving the problem, the FTC guidelines is simply relocating it.

These guidelines are possibly flawed in that the majority of scam sites and blogs are in the control of non Americans who don’t give a hoot about these guidelines.

Kristi raises a good point when she says in her post covering the FTC Guidelines;

Does there need to be fine print disclosures under every affiliate link on a website if someone is going to be paid commission on a purchase originating at that website, or does this only apply to written testimonials and reviews?

And if it is necessary to apply it every time someone writes a post promoting an affiliate, is that really fair? And who is to decide if someone has broken the guidelines? A blogger in good faith may have written a post promoting an affiliate thinking he’s abiding by the rules only to find out that some official disagrees and cops a whopping fine for his efforts. Sounds to me like the whole thing is flawed.

What say you guys? Will it do what it’s claiming to do? Will the Net be a better place because of it, or is it just another piece of bureaucratic crap who’s only intention is to show that the pen pushers are doing something to justify their exorbitant salaries?

Why is it that as bloggers we love to share a bit of link luv with other bloggers? Sure we do it because we found a particular post to be interesting, and therefore worth sharing with our readers, but I put it to you that another reason is that, deep down, we hope to get some recognition from that blogger. A simple visit to our blog with a quick thank you isn’t too much to ask now is it?

Yeah, I can hear some of you mumbling in the background that the likes of Darren Rowse and John Chow are way too busy for such common courtesies and I understand that. Seriously, I do. Let’s look at it another way.

Have you ever been in a room with people who are engrossed in a conversation? You’ve got something that you think will be of interest to the rest of the group but they just don’t seem to be listening? Well that’s how I feel when I visit most problogger’s blogs, whether I leave a comment or whether I link to one of their posts. I may as well be in that damn room talking to myself for all the good it does.

Well no more! From this day forth I won’t be linking to any of their posts. OK, I’m hearing that nagging voice somewhere saying, ‘But what if I find something interesting that I want to share with my readers?’ Well, that’s not going to be a problem either, because I’ve unsubscribed from their blogs. No more notifications, especially those annoying ones from Chow every time he visits a restaurant. Honestly I don’t really care what he’s shoving down his throat.

As far as I’m concerned it’s no great loss, because there are so many other great bloggers out there. They may not be as well known, but that does not make what they have to say any less important or interesting. Sure Darren and Chow have a huge readership, and I’m not arguing that they are not good at what they do. What I’m saying is that they are not the only good bloggers out there.


There are so many other great bloggers who are not as well known, and who have a greater need of my link luv than any of the probloggers. These are just a few of those bloggers who are great at what they do but do not get the recognition of the so called ‘big boys’.

Of course there are many more, too many for me to name here. What I am trying to show is that because there are so many really talented bloggers out there, men and women who cover almost every subject imaginable, I don’t need the likes of those so called Probloggers. I have a pool of bloggers that I enjoy reading, ones that I know recognize my presence when I visit their blog and are not afraid to pop in on occasion to say hello by leaving a comment.

As far as I’m concerned blogging is more than sharing your ideas or ideals in a blog post. It’s also about conversing with them and dropping in on them once in awhile to see how they are going.

It seems that this post has created an interesting discussion over on David Risley’s blog titled, When Commenting Begins To Hurt Your Blogging Success. Perhaps you would like to add your thoughts to the discussion.

For those wondering how Darren got to where he is today.ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

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