I am preparing for a very important job interview. This one isn’t my first interview by any means, but it is for a really good job for me (if it were my first, would I have any advice to give…?). To be fully prepared for the interview, I have a set of 5 go to essentials; and not just any essentials, but 5 P’s. And while you don’t need to bring the exact same kit that I do, I feel that many of these items and tips are useful.
A leather notebook is the most essential thing to bring with you on the interview. It will literally be your lifeline. Almost all of the rest of the 5 P’s will be stored in this handsome case. Always keep a notepad along with a couple of pens in here. Even a calculator may come in handy.
Pages of Notes
Exactly what kind of notes? Well, everything that you need for your interview, of course. These can include:
- Directions to the office
- Info about the company
- Questions you want to ask
- Answers to Common Interview Questions
And by the way, you can use the pages to take notes! Another tip, for when you are stumped, is to tell the interviewer that you are taking a note down; meanwhile, you will have time to think of a reply!
Alright, now don’t go making pens and gift bags covered in your name to give to interviewers; that is borderline bribery. Instead, be sure to bring plenty of good clean copies of your masterpiece resume. The fact is that you have only 30 seconds to make an impression with you resume, so make sure it is bullet proof. Don’t forget to have some form of business card as well; although I wouldn’t go too crazy!
This is something that I feel is often overlooked. It is not just enough to wear a suit or the equivalent for a girl. It needs to be crisp, clean and well put together. Now, you don’t need to get a sweet Armani suit from Saks, but it is a good investment to take your older suit or clothes to a skilled tailor who can really get the fit right. And accessories do really matter; nothing too glitzy. A watch is all that a guy needs and for the ladies, a watch and a conservative earring and necklace set will do.
Personal Digital Assistant
PDA’s are essential for any serious business person. Combining calendars and contacts is a great enough feature, but now when you throw in email and phone calling, you have the ultimate scheduling and productivity machine. You will have a hard time forgetting where you interview is, or what the name of the interviewer is. Anything Blackberry or iPhone like will do. Of course, if that is too high tech for you, there is always the famous hipster PDA!
Bonus Essential: Thank You Cards
While sending a thank you card may not land you that dream job, it will help the interviewer remember you. And the main reason I use them is to build up my network. It will keep you fresh in the mind of the recipient and they will be more likely to call you if something opens up. The Simple Dollar has a great post telling when and how to write great thank you notes.
Do you have anything uniquw that you take to an interview? I would love to hear about it!
Four dollars a gallon! Four dollars a gallon!! I can’t believe how much I paid at the pump today! I drive a Lexus RX 400h; the h standing for hybrid. Yet, I am still hit just as hard in the wallet as anyone else. Sure, it doesn’t help that my hybrid SUV only gets decent mileage (about 25 mpg’s), but things are still horrible. The question I asked myself and the question it seems that everyone is asking themselves is, what can I do about gas prices?
Well, the short answer is nothing. There are market and political forces at play here that are beyond any individuals control. At the same time, there are ways to alleviate this pain until prices (hopefully) settle down at a more comfortable level.
50 Ways To Save Money On Gas
- Change your oil.
- Make sure your tires have proper air pressure.
- Don’t constantly haul around large items.
- Change your air filter.
- Take off your bike rack when you aren’t using it.
- Avoid things like drive through to stop idling.
- Avoid braking hard.
- Avoid accelerating too fast.
- Plan your trips in advance to avoid wandering.
- Get a GPS navigation system.
- Take off slowly when you are at a complete stop.
- Park in the shade.
- Walk whenever you can.
- Park in the first spot that you see.
- Join the gasoline company loyalty clubs.
- Sign up for credit cards that give your cash rewards.
- Use the lowest octane gas for your car.
- If your car requires a higher octane, try mixing it with a lower one to save.
- Keep your eye out for gas deals while you are driving.
- But don’t go crazy driving around for deals.
- Check out the web to find low gas prices (see below).
- Don’t fill the tank until you are really low on gas.
- Fill your tank completely full.
- Use the radio to avoid traffic jams.
- Stay on the highway as much as possible.
- Try to average 55 mph.
- Buy gas on Wednesdays (statistically the cheapest gas prices fall here).
- Buy gas a few days before a holiday to avoid the price hike.
- Go to your dealer for a tune up.
- Anticipate slowing down by keeping your eye on all traffic.
- Carpool with you colleagues.
- Make use of the carpool lane while carpooling.
- Avoid gas stations that are right off of the highway.
- Some club stores and grocery store offer gas discounts.
- Ride the bus or subway at least every once in a while.
- Use your car’s cruise control.
- Don’t shop at gas stations that charge extra for credit card usage.
- During the winter, don’t warm up the engine for more than a minute.
- Make sure your gas cap is on securely.
- Bring lunch with you to work, to avoid going out to lunch.
- Buy a smaller, more fuel efficient car.
- Buy a Japanese car.
- Buy a hybrid!
- Buy a scooter.
- Buy a motorcycle.
- Buy a car with a manual transmission.
- Get rid of your car.
- Sign up for ZipCars.
- Move closer to your work.
- Replace your car’s fuel injector.
Short Term Gas Saving Solutions
Long Term Gas Saving Solutions
Website’s That Help You Save Money On Gas
- My Mile Marker
- The Top 10 Highest Gas Mileage Cars
- Motor Trend
- Gas Buddy
- Gas Price Watch
- MSN Autos
How are you weathering the storm of high gas prices? Do you have any other tips for saving money on gas? Are you any closer to buying a hybrid?
One of my all time favorite web designers, Steve Smith, along with his partner John Nunemaker have posted a survey on their website, Ordered List. It is a short survey, so if you wouldn’t mind filling it out, I would really appreciate it.
It seems like the folks over at the Microsoft Internet Explorer development team have started a kind of tradition. When Firefox 2 shipped, the development team at Mozilla received a cake with a giant IE logo. Now that Firefox 3 has shipped, low and behold, the offices at Mozilla received another cake…
Photos courtesy of robceemoz at Flickr.
Nowadays, in order to get yourself a decent Wordpress theme, it seems like you need to pay for it. And some of these premiums will cost you a pretty penny. But besides alliteration, what advantage do they have? Well, I am glad you asked. I plan on answering that as well as showing my picks for the creme of the crop.
Why Pay For Wordpress Themes?
This is in fact the million dollar question. With such a vibrant theme making community within Wordpress (including my very own creations), why should anyone bother paying? Well, the answer lies in market forces. When there is proper incentive like a price, more times than not, the end product will be of higher quality. Now, this is not always true and in some cases there are superior free themes (something I may have to post about later…). But my point is that you usually get what you pay for. Not only are you buying a better designed theme, but you usually also get support, free updates, and sometimes even the original PSD’s for your editing pleasure. So without further ado, lets get to the themes.
The Best Premium Wordpress Themes
Polaroid Press $49
Portfolio Press $49
Magazine News $49
Mimbo Pro $90
Fresh News $100
The Market Theme $55
Would you consider using a premium theme? Are they even worth the premium to you?
It has now been 3 weeks since I have been in Dallas looking for jobs. Up until just a couple of days ago, I was constantly striking out (reminds me of my single days). But now, someone has finally given me a shot! At least, sort of…
I don’t want to mention the name of the company yet, but it is a Dallas based financial firm. And so far, I have only gotten through their first filter of resumes. But I never would have gotten that far without my survival kit and a well timed follow up call.
Hopefully this job will work out, but if not, I have also applied to Best Buy…
As part of my new life makeover, I need to get myself fit; because right now, I am the exact opposite. Yet, the time has never been better for me to get in shape. I have plenty of time to exercise, I have just come off repairing my ACL, and I am extremely motivated. In my hunt for a routine, I have come across this one hundred push ups challenge. And boys and girls, I have taken it!
What Is The Challenge?
Here is a little intro from the website:
If you’re serious about increasing your strength, follow this six week training program and you’ll soon be on your way to completing 100 consecutive push ups!
Think there’s no way you could do this? I think you can! All you need is a good plan, plenty of discipline and about 30 minutes a week to achive this goal!
No doubt some of you can already do 50 consecutive push ups, but let’s face it, you’re in a big minority. Most of you reading this won’t even be able to manage 20 pushups. Actually, I’m sure many of you can’t even do 10.
However, it really doesn’t matter which group you fall into. If you follow the progressive push ups training program, I’m positive you’ll soon be able to do 100 push ups!
My Personal Benchmark
In order to get started with the program, the first thing you need to do is gauge where you are in terms of strength. To do this, you simply need to do as many push ups in a row as you can. The number of good form push ups that you can do at one time is your starting point. From there, you look at the chart on the initial test page, and then start your 6 week workout!
I completed 14 push ups in one session. How many can you do? Will you start the program?
So the other day I was really wanting to be on a vacation. I am talking, anywhere. I could care less. I would go to the beaches here in Texas if I had to. But later that night, after I really thought about it, I came up with a short list of places that I really want to go to someday. Hopefully, I will eventually have this elusive money stuff so that I can go on quite a few great vacations. But until then, I will just post beautiful pictures on my blog…
So those are the places I would go to if I had the money. I don’t yet, but eventually, I will. Where would you visit if you had the money?
Having recently been sent off on my own financially, as well as own my own living (in Dallas), it was time to form my own personal banking setup. This is exactly what I have done and I want to share with you what decision I have made and why. I have opened 1 checking account along with 2 savings accounts to form the foundation of my financial life.
Choosing a checking account is, in my opinion, the most important decision. It is essentially the gateway to all of your finances. It should be linked to all of your savings and investments, which are inflows, and then also linked to your bills as outflows. Either way, all of your money flows through it. With that in mind, I set up some criteria to choose a checking account:
- Has to have physical branches
- The branches and ATM’s must be conveniently nearby to me
- The bank should be a national if not international chain
- It should have an in house investment division
After considering the options (and according to my girl friend, doing quite a bit of irritating middle of the night research) I have decided to go with Chase. Now I can hear people screaming, “they hardly offer any interest at all!” But if I were interested in interest rates, I would have obviously gone with ETrade or some other kind of online banking company. However, I don’t plan on keeping a significant amount of money in the account at any one time. Like I said before, it is a gateway. There will only be enough to pay what I need to pay. When you add the fact that I like the convenience and customer service of brick and mortar locations, it becomes much more obvious why I chose it.
The first savings account I opened was a Chase money market account. The reason I chose to do this is so that I had an in house solution to draw from in case I accidentally overdrew my checking; Those fees hurt a lot more than the laughable interest rate. However, I only plan on keeping $500 or so in this account.
The second savings account I went for was an online solution: Savings Square. Now to be frank, the choice of your online savings account isn’t always that important. They all offer variable rates that are roughly the same (currently around 3%). I chose this one, basically because I thought their logo was great. All you should look out for is a FDIC insured guarantee and you should be set. The cherry on top is of course, unlimited transfers and a really high monthly dollar amount transfer limit.
So there you have it! My financial foundation is in place! It is time to start building a fortune (even if it seems like right now things are only getting smaller; I suppose landing a job will alleviate that situation). What does your foundation look like? Does it need a bit of a remodeling?
All good bloggers have a formula or basic framework for putting together posts. Think of it as a post template. This should go beyond breaking an entry into paragraphs and throwing in a few gratuitous pictures. It should not only incorporate the theme of the post but also the individuality of the blog’s design. Today, I would like to share my blog’s framework with you.
My newest part of the template is to lead with an image. People are very visual and I myself find it most appealing when there is an image to start the post. It kind of puts me in the mental mood to read it. I especially like the way Nate Whitehill handles it on his blog. My own style involves adding a thick black line to a sizable image.
Going Big In The Opener
My next formatting tactic involves the opening paragraph. I like to increase the size of the first paragraph, which has the effect of bringing the reader into the main body; or at least, that is what I like to think… Anyhow, the inspiration for me to use this method comes from Steve Smith over at Ordered List.
Incorporate Images Intelligently
Of course, adding images to a post is a great idea. But there are two keys to doing it with blogging class:
- Use images only when necessary
- Incorporate the images into you blog’s design
I do my best not to throw in unnecessary images (although some may argue that the lead image falls into that category). As for integrating them into my design, I make them all black and white and try to make sure that they fit in, in terms of size and shape.
Add Affiliate Links
This method may not be for everyone, but I like adding amazon links to products that I mention in my posts. I don’t hardly ever make money off of these links, but if someone wants to buy the product I mention, I feel like it is very useful to the reader to be able to link directly to it.
Close With A Question
This little tactic I picked up from David Airey. He always closes a post by asking the reader a question. It invites participation in a direct personal way, and as far as I can tell, it works very well for him.
I opened this post by saying that all good bloggers have a formula or basic framework for putting together posts; what makes a blogger great is when they know when to mix it up a bit, you know what I mean?
When hunting for a new job, whether it is your first (as is my case) or you are pursuing a career change, it is important to have a certain set of tools to help you. These tools, along with a core skill set are what I call the “Job Hunter’s Survival Kit”. I have broken down the essentials into Job Searching tools and Interviewing Tools.
Job Searching Tools
These are the tools for your kit that will help you seek out jobs like a laser guided missile. In a sense, they are the basics, but somehow it seems like people often overlook their importance. In my experience (however short it may be), I have found that getting an interview at all is the hardest part of the job hunting process. Perfect these tools, and you should be well on your way to landing the interview.
Build A Bullet Proof Resume
- How to write a masterpiece of a resume
- Easy Ways to Improve Your Resume Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Resume
- How To Make An Impression w/ Your Resume in 30 Seconds
- 9 Resume Tips That Should Be Screechingly Obvious (But Apparently Aren’t)
- 25 Words That Hurt Your Resume
- 10 Things That Get Resume s Trashed
Writing A Rock Solid Cover Letter
- One Cover Letter to Rule Them All – Differentiating Yourself
- How to write a killer cover letter [PDF]
- The Resume Cover Letter
- Cover Letters : The Do’s and Don’ts
Searching For Jobs
- 70 Tools for Job Hunting
- 25 Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Own Job Search
- How much money should you be making? Use Salary Search to find out
- Ten Job Hunting Myths
- Job hunting online gets trickier
In this section I will give you more than just links. I will also throw in my personal favorite materials to bring along with you on a job hunt. But besides what you bring with you, your composure during the interview is of supreme importance. After perusing these links, you should be ready for whatever weird question your interviewer can throw at you.
- Moleskine Notebook: I used a section of my pocket notebook for taking notes during an interview. I also like to write notes before the interview, including facts about the company and other tidbits. The pocket in the back of the notebook is perfect for storing business cards you get as well as a few of your own to hand out.
- Business Card Organizer: Ok, so you don’t have to bring this along with you on the interview, but it is still a must have. Keep the business cards you collect organized somehow (alphabetically or otherwise) and build up a list of contacts. Sure you can digitize your collection, but I like having something tactile.
- Bookmark Pens: I recently purchased these based on a recommendation from David Seah. They are perfect for putting into your moleskine notebook as a bookmark, of course!
- Your Resume: This one is obvious, but seriously don’t forget it! Even if you emailed a copy ahead of time, be sure to bring spare ones. And if you can, carry them in a handsome case as well. Keep everything professional looking.
Tips For The Interview
- How to Ace Your Job Interview : 88 Surefire Tips and Tricks
- 5 Job Interview Bear Traps
- Top 7 questions to ask in an Interview
- Top 10 Worst Job Interview Blunders
- Killer job interview questions and answers
I have settled into my temporary home in Dallas and will be using this “kit” myself. Hopefully, I will soon be reporting about my new job! What essentials do you use for job hunting?
I was totally ready to fall in love with Apple’s latest and greatest gadgets. Well, it turns out that there was only one gadget… But that’s cool! I would love it, right?… Can someone say “2 megapixels” for me?… Also, I want to share with you, my reader, my all-encompassing conspiracy regarding Apple.
A Lot To Like?
So, there is a great deal to like about the updated iPhone. I mean, high speed, cool apps, GPS; it should be a windfall. The only problem is, this is how the original iPhone should have been released. These shouldn’t be called new features, but rather requirements that other phones have had for years!
What possible excuse could they have for keeping a 2 megapixel camera? And still not have video capture?! It just seems like we will have to wait for iPhone v.3, but then again, we always have to wait when it comes to Apple, don’t we?
There Were Announcements Other Than The iPhone?
I almost missed these products, because nobody really seems to interested in them. The new MobileMe service? I could care less. I mean, Gmail along with a suite of other free online services can entirely replace the service, but more on that later.
The other bit of news, or lack thereof was about the elusive cat known as Snow Leopard. I didn’t hear much about it other than it is slated for release in one year and that it will just barely be incremental. It sounds to me like Apple is admitting that their latest release didn’t cut it when it came to polish, so this next release will just be that; polish. I hope they won’t be charging full price, if anything at all.
The Apple Conspiracy Theory
It just seems like Apple always introduces a product, but leaves out critical features; not because they were too dumb to think of them, but because they planned it that way. In fact, this is a really brilliant business model; they hold back features so that they can release “new features” at about an annual rate! This is exactly how they run their OS business. Is there a crucial difference between the iterations of OSX? I don’t think so. A couple of the releases should have been free service packs! Think about it; if you have bought every version of OSX since it has come out, at $150 a pop, you have spent $750!! Vista Ultimate whatever-the-hell isn’t looking so bad right now, eh?
I know that many businesses hold back features, but Apple does it differently (pun intended). They hold back critical, basic necessities (think how long ago they should have had virtual desktops!) so that their next release seems necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I love their products, but I am not a fan boy; I am one of those self-hating Apple addicts. Rather than parade my new gear around, I would rather hide it and keep it a secret; much like sitcoms do with their Apple stuff by putting a sticker over the logo.
All that being said, I still will be picking one of those bad boy iPhones up myself! What about you?
So I have finally made it! I am in Dallas, Texas! And I am living in an amazing million dollar home! The only problem? It belongs to my girlfriend’s mother… So I haven’t quite made it yet. But I have started looking for apartments and a job.
The Moving Part
This move was relatively stress free for me. Basically, my brother is still living in Boston, where I started out, so I didn’t have to be super careful when combing over for my stuff. In fact, I left a good amount of my crap back in Boston; sure some of it was important stuff, like my knee brace and printer… But it will all make it here eventually.
Now to actually move the boxes, we chose to ship everything with DHL. We weren’t bringing any furniture, so we just shipped boxes. For about 15 boxes, it ended up costing around $300, which is a great price in my book. Unfortunately the service matched the price. The first shipment of 3 of the boxes was fine. The man rang the doorbell and brought them in for me. But the second shipment with the rest of the boxes was a little… let’s say, below par. Have a look for yourself:
As you can see, several boxes were badly damaged. I may have lost some items, but am not sure yet. The real kicker here, is that I think the driver wanted to avoid my wrath! Several of us were home all day, but the doorbell never rang. We later discovered the boxes behind the house in front of the garage. There was no notice, no email notification, no courtesy phone call; just a pile of heavily damaged boxes in the back. If you can, I would avoid using DHL, unless you can find awesome, indestructable boxes (I used standard, USPS approved shipping boxes).
So now I am here. Living with my girlfriends mom… but I see it as a leaping pad, more than a hole. I have given myself a dealine of 3 months. By then, I should have saved up enough money to start renting my own apartment and really get on my feet. Hopefully it will work out! Anyhow, here are some things I learned during this move as well as other resources:
6 Tips For Moving
- Make an inventory list of your items in boxes (in case they break or get lost)
- Consider using a container service, where the container is left at your house, you pack it, then the company picks it up and drives it (see UPack below)
- For extremely delicate items, consider UPS’s packing service; they guarantee the safe shipment of your items.
- Buy 3 more rolls of tape and 5 more boxes than you think you need. Chances are, you will need even more than that.
- Use your luggage. Several of my boxes were actually pieces of luggage and they came here fine; they are already designed to take a beating.
- Pack well ahead of time. I didn’t. I chose not to sleep the night before… This is not the best idea, nor the first time that I did that for a move.
Do you have any moving tips of your own?
It is time to roll out one of the new features here at J David Macor.com; my Financial Month In Review. Think of it as sort of like John Chow’s Blog Income Report, except hopefully I will be making much more money from my real job than from my blog income! I will detail where I am getting my money from, how much of it I have accumulated and what I have done with the money. I won’t be telling you when I buy bushels of strawberry or bulk packages of contraceptives though… Just general categories. Eventually, I will also be sharing my own investment plan. That is, when I have money to invest with…
The Start of Something Financially Beautiful
That’s the plan at least. I want to share with you guys what I am doing with my money, and then get some feedback. In the end, hopefully I will be wise enough to teach you, my knowledgeable readers a thing or two about finance.
Now, I will not be advocating a get rich quick scheme, nor a get rich slowly one. I am shooting for that middle ground. Not because getting rich quickly or slowly is a bad idea, but because those strategies don’t fit my risk profile. I won’t just sit here with high yield savings accounts that barely keep me above inflation forever; I also don’t want to invest in your new pancake puff maker. I want to invest and make a comfortable amount of money.
My Starting Point
- Checking Account: $2,000
- Savings Account(s): $9,000
- Federal Student Loans: $29,000
So, last night I gave birth (so to speak) to my new blog; a blog focused on life development. And to go along with the new theme, I thought it appropriate to give the site a new logo. It had to be simple and more mature, keeping in tune with the blog’s new feel. Have a look see at my process:
So, first things first, I needed a source of inspiration; in this case several. I perused the many logo sites out there, including Logo Pond, LogoSauce, and lo8os. But it turns out that I had the most help from an old friend, David Airey.
In an entry from about a month ago, he redesigned the logo for the famous blogging site, Dosh Dosh. I absolutely loved the logo. David has always been one of my favorite designers, but this one really did it for me. It was simple with a touch of cleverness and worked well with both dark and light backgrounds:
So I had some inspiration and a basic idea and color scheme for what I wanted. Now I needed to add my own touch and style.
The Logo Design
Now for the actual design of my logo, I wanted to incorporate several elements. First I wanted to make the design feel symmetrical; almost grid-like. Next, I chose to use the font Franklin Gothic, because of its symmetrical, but smooth appearance. And finally, I wanted to keep the “J” in a box or something along those lines, because that is kind of like my trademark.
When it came time to put the elements together, things just seemed to click. Although, I originally did have the square with the “J” attached to the “D”, but my girlfriend pointed out that it made it look like a coffee cup. I agreed, so I put a little space between the elements. By the end of all the tweaking, I had the logo you now see in use. Maybe in the future I may want to work in the coffee cup theme, but not yet…
What do you think of the new logo?
This post is dedicated to my most desired achievements. Since changing the focus of this blog from web design and development to life success and development, I have decided to come up with a list of goals to aim for.
The point of this list is not to be some kind of nitpicky daily achievement type drible. This list only has the proverbial “big ones.” These are the things I want more than anything else. Now that I have graduated and am officially done with school I know that I really need to focus; this list of goals is my focus. Whatever I am doing, I want as much as possible to be working towards these goals. So in case you didn’t catch them on the front-page, here they are again:
- Get a job
- Love the job
- Make $150k+
- Live in Italy for 1 year
- Get married
- Have at least 2 kids
They seem simple and a bit obvious, but the best way to truly be successful is to first visualize your goals. I will be keeping this list with me in my notebook wherever I am. I will constantly be aware of them and can reflect on them whenever I want.
What are your goals? How do you keep them fresh in your mind?
Its about that time again. I have had a huge break from writing, but am now ready to come back. It is also about time for my focus to change. In the last year I have grown up a great deal and my interests have changed significantly. This blog will now have a new focus: life development.
What does this all mean?
Basically, I want to start covering more things on this blog. This includes job hunting, personal finance, goal orientation and other current issues for me. Now every blog adviser out there will tell you to make your blog laser focused, but in a sense mine still will be. Like I said before, this is all about life development. I want to take you, the reader, along with me as I move up in life. I have just graduated with my masters in finance and am starting fresh on my own. I want to offer lessons as well as hear advice from you. Hopefully, this experiment will be successful and enjoyable for everyone.
What about web design and stuff?!
Well, I will not cut out web design entirely. I am still interested in it as a hobby and to that end, you will still see some features on the subject. I also plan on staying up to date on Wordpress and all of the good stuff that goes along with it.
So I hope you will come along with me on this ride. I will take any comments and suggestions below.
One of the greatest sources for inspiration is Flickr. I mean, we all know that. But how many of you use it as an inspiration source for typography? Well, until recently, I know that I didn’t. Apparently, this is a Flickr group dedicated to typography. It is definitely worth your time to check it out. Here are just a few samples of the ones that I liked.
I am sure you have all been hearing a great deal about BlogRush, the latest blog buzz topic. In fact, according to Technorati, BlogRush has been mentioned 2,000 times already! But the question is whether this new darling service is worth the hype. Of course, John Chow has adopted it, but he is also Agloco’s biggest supporter and there has been much written about how that program may be worthless. So I want to look at the bottom line here myself. I have installed the widget on my blog and have had it running for about a week and would like to share my initial thoughts with you.
The BlogRush Concept
Well, with all of the hype and mystique about BlogRush, the idea is actually quite simple. The underlying goal of the service is to give you readers. Basically, you install their widget on your blog, then it displays headlines from other people who have the widget installed. You, in turn, will have your posts promoted on the other blogs in the network. The more credits you generate, the more times your headlines are shown. So, you may be wondering, how do I get these credits?
The more pagviews that your blog receives, the greater number of credits you get in return. The other method to gain credits is to refer a friend, and whenever they receives pageviews, you also get credits. This method of referral earnings works through 10 generations! So, you can easily bring those credits in by the thousands!
BlogRush has now multiple color options so that you can match it to your blog’s theme! This feature will be available in a few days.
My BlogRush Experience So Far
To be honest, the widget has not driven too much traffic for me. I mean, I generated plenty of credits and was displayed about 5,000 times, but have only received 2 clicks. However, I think that this has more to do with my headlines as opposed to the BlogRush system. You really have to make your headlines attractive. In fact there are plenty of tips to increase your BlogRush click through rate:
- Do You Make These BlogRush Mistakes?
- How To Control BlogRush Headlines
- 5 Ways To Increase BlogRush Traffic
- Blogrush Visitor Statistics: Who Gets Traffic, Who Does Not?
To put it simply, optimize your headlines, encourage others to sign up, and become an early adopter (they are doling out free credits for people who sign up early). Speaking of which, sign up for BlogRush now and give it a shot!
The entire SEO field is fixated on Google. It is all about improving your PageRank and getting listed in Google’s search results. The other search players are secondary in the minds of the experts. And of course, this is with good reason. Google is the dominant force in the industry and not just because it is well know. It became well known thanks to its reliability and speed. But is the age of search engine parity upon us?
The Competition Makes A Push
Yahoo may have been in trouble for a while, but has been making a push as of late. It is has massive amounts of traffic and is beginning to leverage it. Ask has reinvented itself and even put on that strange marketing campaign with the Russian guy. But are those really sources of competition for Google?
Quite frankly, Yahoo is a bloated company that has overstretched its reach and Ask is just… silly (even after they dropped that Jeeves fellow). The interesting company, as far as search engine optimization is concerned, is Microsoft’s Live.
Up And Coming Or Flash In The Pan?
Out of all of these potential competitors, Microsoft has the deepest pockets and the user base to tackle a search giant like Google. And honestly, I think that the Live search engine is quite good as far as results and its interface is concerned. Now, its stats are catching up with its usability.
Looking at the numbers for month to month growth for Microsoft’s search engine, it was growing at a little over 13% from May to June. Then from June to July, they grew even faster, at nearly 18%. During those same periods, Google barely grew at all from May to June, while achieving only 8% growth from June to July. But as recently reported by Compete, Google has taken back the momentum. Nevertheless, this obviously gives us something to think about.
Google may not always be on top. Most SEO tactics are geared towards perfecting our results in Google. But just running a quick search on my own first name (J David), I didn’t turn up until the second page on Live, while on Google I was in the second overall position. I also tried it for the phrase “best myspace overlays” and I was the first result in Google, while on Live I was on the 5th page! My point is that, while we can get away with things like that now, these tactics may end up biting us in the butt.
Google Is Still King… For Now
Pronet Advertising has declared that we are back to our regularly scheduled searching. Google is still the dominant engine, but competitors may be coming up fast. John Chow didn’t put all of his eggs into the Google Adsense basket, so why are we doing it for their search engine?