What Is Amazon Spark (and Should You Bother)?

Staying on top of any emerging or growing social media trends is an absolute must for any successful Internet marketer. You need to know how to best utilize Instagram Stories to build your brand, for example, or how Facebook Live video can be immensely useful in reaching out to your audience on a much more authentic, genuine level. Things don’t always work out, of course — does anyone still remember Ello? — but even if you don’t hurl yourself deep into these new channels, it pays to know about them in case they do take off… even if it’s just to squat on your preferred username or vanity URL. And it’s even more important when these new platforms are backed by some of the biggest names online. A somewhat perplexing example of this is Amazon Spark. It was quietly announced to the world in summer 2017, but barely anyone has […]

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What Google AMP for Email Means for Email Marketing

It may surprise you to learn that the very first incarnation of my blog, if you want to call it that, didn’t even have a webpage. It had no monetization and zero graphics whatsoever. Oh, and it was distributed only via email. In fact, I didn’t even know of the word “blog” way back in 1999 and I referred to my humble online blurb as just an “email newsletter.” Somewhere along the way, even though we continued to use email the entire time, the notion of maintaining a mailing list fell to the wayside, eventually favoring social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to better reach our audiences and distribute our content. However, you’ve likely noticed in recent years that email marketing has experienced a significant resurgence. Maybe it’s because email, unlike today’s social networks, is not subject to same kind of heavy-handed algorithms that act as gatekeepers for what […]

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Tips for Sharing YouTube Videos on Facebook

When it comes to video sharing platforms, they don’t get any bigger than YouTube. And when it comes to social networks for individuals and businesses, it doesn’t get any bigger than Facebook. And while you shouldn’t rely on rented land to build your business, you’d be foolish not to leverage their tremendous reach and power when it comes to distributing your content and reaching both new and existing audiences. Of course, the easiest way to share your YouTube video with your fans, followers and friends on Facebook is simply to share your YouTube video on Facebook. You plunk in the URL to your YouTube video in your Facebook status update and click the blue “Post” button. That may be the simplest way to do it, but it may not be the best or most effective way to do it. Here are some key tips for getting the most out of […]

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How to Get Your Money to Work for You

So, you’ve decided to go into business for yourself online. That’s great. Maybe you’ve already purchased your domain, set up your web hosting, designed your website, and nabbed all of the important social media handles. Maybe you’ve already converted on your first affiliate offer too. Or maybe you’ve converted on your 50th affiliate offer. That’s all terrific. Now that your online business is generating some positive cash flow, you may be tempted to go out and treat yourself to something nice. Maybe you want to take your significant other out for a fancy seafood dinner or maybe you want to splurge on that big screen TV you’ve been eyeing. You deserve it, right? Even if we were to ignore the profound pitfalls of lifestyle inflation for just a moment, we’re already sweeping right past a much more important lesson to learn. The profits that your online business are not yours, […]

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The Best Way to Tackle Your Long-Term Goals

I’m going to hit you with a pretty hard truth. Are you ready? Brace for it, because here it comes… You aren’t going to achieve the dot com lifestyle overnight. Hopefully, you’re not too surprised by this. Realistically, you really shouldn’t be all that stunned at all. The appeal of the so-called “get rich quick” scheme is understandably alluring, but it’s a myth. Unless you win the lottery, you’re not going to be rich overnight. And even if you do, it might not last. You’ve likely heard the stories of how some lottery winners end up declaring bankruptcy just a short time afterward. Why? If you’re bad with a dollar, you’re going to be that much worse with a million dollars. You have to realize the “typical” kind of person who would buy lottery tickets in the first place. But I digress. The long and the short of it is […]

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Facebook: Don’t Even Think of Trying to Bait Our Users

Wherever you find an algorithm at play on the Internet, there’s a good chance that some people (read: a lot of people) will try to game the system. On some level, this is nothing more than strategy. This is where we find all sorts of perfectly permissible search engine optimization techniques. And then you’ve got the “black hat SEO” people who try to exploit the system for their own benefit. Google inevitably catches on their antics, adjusting its search algorithm accordingly, and lays the smack down with a new update. That’s how so many people came to despise penguins and pandas so much. That’s just the name of the game and the cycle just keeps renewing itself. The exact same thing happens with social media. And no conversation about social media would be complete without at least some mention of Facebook. Way back in the before times, Facebook’s news feed […]

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Why You Need to Make Money Online (Even If It’s Not Full-Time)

Let me start by saying this. At a fundamental level, it doesn’t really matter if you want to be a professional blogger, web developer, affiliate marketer, freelance writer or anything else. If you want to grow your online business to the point where it can fully replace the income you’re receiving from your day job, then you need to quit your day job. It is only when your online business becomes your sole professional focus that you can grow it to its full potential. And yes, it’s true that not everyone is going to succeed. Sometimes through no direct fault of their own, nothing works out. Or maybe they give up too easily. Or maybe they didn’t have the right business strategy for the current market. It could be any number of things. But you also can’t wait for all your ducks to get in a row before you decide […]

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How to Get to the Bottom of Why

It’s good to have goals. It’s even better to have the drive and ambition (and perseverance) to follow through on pursuing those goals. Goals can empower you with a sense of purpose, a sense of direction. You know where you want to go and it’s just the “simple” matter of figuring out how to get there. “I want to move to California,” you might tell yourself. “I want to own a million dollar mansion,” you might say. (For context, a million dollars won’t get you very far in many parts of California.) “I want to quit my job and live the dot com lifestyle,” you might exclaim. These are all valid and they are perfectly reasonable goals that you can set for yourself… but they’re ultimately empty until you can answer the question of why. Why do you want to move to California? Why do you want to own a […]

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Understanding the Two Types of Passive Income & Why You Need Them

One of the most important components to living the dot com lifestyle is the ability to leverage of the incredible power of passive income. So long as you are stuck trading hours for dollars, you’ll never be able to avoid the bottomless pit of the 9-to-5 rat race. You are far too integral to your actual earning ability. To live the dot com lifestyle to the fullest, you need to remove yourself (at least in part) from how you earn your money. You need to figure out a way that you can continue to generate income even when you’re not sleeping. You need to keep making money even when you’re sleeping. That’s mission critical. It won’t happen right away, but it should be your end objective. You’ve likely heard that the most common attribute among millionaires is that they have multiple sources of income. Some reports indicate that they typically […]

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The Automotive Efficiency of Running an Online Business

We had made dinner reservations for 5:30 pm, because we really wanted to try this restaurant and it was the only time slot they had available. Yes, it was definitely on the earlier side of things, but we were also going with our three-year-old daughter, so we didn’t want to stay out that late anyhow. No big deal. Punching the restaurant’s address into Google Maps earlier that afternoon, the estimated driving time with traffic would be about half an hour. This was a few hours prior to leaving and driving just before 5:30 pm would mean we’d be hitting the busiest part of rush hour too. Given this, we’d want to leave the house no later than 5 o’clock if we wanted to be on time. That was the plan. And it was while formulating this plan that I remembered the car needed gas, something I had meant to do […]

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4 Free Android Apps for Cool Smartphone Videos

Video has become a very big deal, particularly on social media. If you’re still only posting plain text tweets and status updates, you’ve fallen far behind the times. And yes, if you’re only posting static pictures, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do too. Plain text status updates and pictures definitely still have their place, but you definitely need to include video as part of your overall social media plan. And this is true even if you have no interest in launching a YouTube channel or putting together a regular vlog. Video should be just as much a part of your strategy on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as the rest of your content. And while you certainly can invest in more expensive equipment, the smartphone you already own is already a remarkably powerful content creation tool. But if you’ve only been using the default camera app on your […]

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Here Is What You Can Control

Before he decided to throw his name onto what would becoming a very popular brand of processed meat products, Jimmy Dean was a popular American country music singer and television host. In fact, it was on The Jimmy Dean Show on ABC in 1963 that Jim Henson got his first big nationwide break and we all know how big Sesame Street and the Muppets have become since then. So, what does any of this have to do with professional blogging, Internet marketing, making money online or the dot com lifestyle? After all, Jimmy Dean made his fame and fortune well before the Internet was even a thing! Well, you have to realize that certain lessons in business (and in life) are timeless and you just have to know how to adapt them to your current circumstances. This is one of those times. I make use of a Google Chrome extension […]

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Boost Your Motivation and Morale With This Simple Trick

No matter who you are, where you live or what you do, it’s pretty safe to say that we all want to be happy in our lives. And while it may indeed be the case that money cannot buy you happiness, it is a fundamental requirement in order to provide yourself with basic human needs and to survive in modern society. A great meal, a new toy or a nice vacation every now and then certainly don’t hurt either. There’s no shame in liking nice things. You Want to Live the Dream And so you choose to pursue the dream of living the dot com lifestyle, a life that can provide with both time and location freedom. This way, you can live your life on your own terms, uninhibited and unrestricted by the conventional confines of a 9-to-5 job for the man. That’s admirable. In your efforts to achieve the […]

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AdSense Alternatives to YouTube Monetization

In a move that even out-shadowed the whole demonetization controversy of 2017, YouTube announced significant changes to its partner program in early 2018. As a result, many smaller YouTubers got booted from the YouTube Partner Program because they no longer met the new requirements. As a refresher, the new requirements called for at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours watched in the last 12 months. And no one was grandfathered into the program either. It’s through the YouTube Partner Program that video creators could monetize their videos using Google AdSense. This includes the pre-roll video ads and the banner ads shown in the video themselves, among other possible placements. Without this revenue source, many YouTubers felt distraught… but maybe they’re forgetting about all the other opportunities to make money on YouTube too. Here are a few that you may have left on the table (that you should now pick up […]

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Why Online Success Is Not a Spontaneous Experience

The dot com lifestyle is one that is defined by its freedom. You are free from your boss, manager or supervisor, because the only one in charge of your business is you. You have no one to answer to and every decision is wholly your own. You are free to work from practically anywhere in the world, so long as you’ve got reliable access to the Internet on the device of your preference. Have laptop, will profit. And you are free from the confines and restrictions of the conventional Monday to Friday, nine-to-five rat race, because you don’t have to hold conventional office hours. But should you? It’s true that time and location freedom are the two greatest things about making your living on the Internet. It means that you are free to attend your daughter’s ballet recital without the worry about being called into the office. You are free […]

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Awesome Alexa Skills for Work-at-Home Professionals

Even though you don’t necessarily need the latest and greatest in technology in order to be successful as a professional blogger, Internet marketer, or other online professional, it’s definitely not a bad idea to leverage technology in your favor if it means you can be more productive and your business can be more profitable. The Amazon Echo family of products isn’t exactly new anymore and that’s a good thing, because there are more developers than ever before who are interested in creating excellent Alexa Skills to go along with Amazon’s smart voice assistant. It can be really daunting to select which Alexa Skills to enable, so here are several that should help you make the most of your dot com day. Find Your Phone with Tile Our phones are so much more than “just” our phones these days. They’ve become our lifeblood, the thing that connects us to the rest […]

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Do You Keep a Procrastination List?

It’s a pretty standard practice at most supermarkets and grocery stores. I think the only place where I haven’t seen it (yet) is Costco. You mosey your way through the aisles to pick up a carton of milk, a box of cereal, a pack of chicken thighs and a loaf of bread. These are all pretty typical items on the shopping list for most families. No big deal. The Cheap Temptations You make your way over to the checkout and you’re immediately hit by a variety of celebrity gossip magazines. There’s a bit of a lineup, so you catch yourself skimming through the headlines for some of the latest scandalous dealings. The line moves a little bit and you’re hit with fully stocked shelves of candy, chocolate bars and chewing gum, along with more magazines. There may be some cold beverages in little fridges there too, sold for at least […]

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Tomorrow’s Big Win Starts Yesterday

One of these days, you’re going to be the head of one of those newsworthy Internet startups that eventually goes IPO or gets bought up by Facebook, Apple or Google. One of these days, you’re going to be one of those big, successful online influencers who rakes in thousands of dollars for a single tweet or Instagram post. One of these days, you’ll be sipping on umbrella drinks on some tropical beach somewhere, as your autopilot online business generates consistent passive income to sustain your elaborate lifestyle. One of these days. But you can’t today, because you’ve got to go and pick up the kids from band practice or you need to go to the grocery store to pick up some oranges or you need to catch up on the latest season of Black Mirror on Netflix. Seriously, Black Mirror is such a great show. And then the next day […]

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How to Think About Productivity as a Dot Com Pro

The basic concept of productivity likely rose to prominence some time during the Industrial Revolution. Sure, people who worked on farms up until that point were probably interested in how much their fields could yield each season or how many eggs they could get their chickens to lay, but the rise of manufacturing really got the bosses interested in how much they could produce each day. Remember that the root of the word “productivity” is “product.” In the context of manufacturing, the number of units a factory worker can output in any given shift is instrumental to how much money that company can make. If every widget you sell brings in five bucks, you’d certainly be making more money if the factory worker manufactured 100 widgets in a shift as opposed to 10 widgets. Let’s just set the complications of supply and demand aside for the sake of simplicity. Today, […]

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Exploring ROI Beyond the Numbers

If there is at least one thing you can learn from television shows like Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank, it’s that you should always have a great handle on your numbers. Whether your business is online or offline, physical or digital, you need to know your numbers. How much revenue did you pull in last year? How many units were you able to push last quarter? What is your profit margin on a per-unit basis? Can you get a better wholesale price? These are all important figures to keep in mind as you determine the overall profitability of your business, because you need to know where you have opportunities to grow your revenue and reduce your expenses. You need to know what ventures or projects are worth investing your time and money into, and what opportunities are better off being pushed aside. What does your year-over-year growth look like? Now, […]

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