Twitter Updates 2.2.1: FeedWitter

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Top Ten Companies to Haggle With..................

   According to Martin Lewis, here are the Top Ten companies to haggle with:

  • The top 10 service firms to haggle with. We polled 2,600 MoneySavers to see where hagglers had most success.
  • CompanySuccess rate (1)CompanySuccess rate (1)
    1.AA Breakdown 90%6. Aviva74%
    2.TalkTalk82%7.Virgin Mobile73%
    3. Sky82%8. Virgin Media73%
    4.RAC78%9. Direct Line70%
    5.Admiral78%10. EE67%

    Monday, 7 October 2013

    A Return to Winning Ways

       I am pleased to announce another competition win. This time I have won 2 tickets for the Hobby Crafts show at the SECC in October.

       Nice!

       That means I have now won 4 competitions this year. Call me a sad git but I have been clicking away to keep a count of competitions entered. At the moment I am on c. 550. Roughly speaking then, I have won around 1% of all the competitions I have entered.

       It is just a numbers game.

    Monday, 23 September 2013

    How KDP Let Me Choose Myself to be a Professional

    From the latest Kindle Newsletter:

     

    KDP Author James Altucher:
    How KDP Let Me Choose Myself to be a Professional

    <ember Spotlight
    James Altucher, author of Choose Yourself!, shares his experiences with KDP.
    "I have a confession to make. When I was 21 years old I thought that writing a novel would help me meet women. Then I thought it would help me get a job. Then I thought it would help me make money so I wouldn't have to get a job.
    "Who wants to get a job? Why not write?
    "Four unpublished novels later and 500 rejections later I had to get a job. Then I hated my job so I started a business. Then I started 20 businesses and most of them failed. Then I wrote about it and now I had enough experience in life to actually say something.
    "I was published by traditional publishers for my first five books. Then I switched to self-publishing. I can go into publishing vs. self-publishing but I won't. I have many times on my blog and even gave details on advances, copies sold, etc. and why I made the switch to KDP, which has made me infinitely happy. "What I learned most was not Traditional versus Self, but Professional vs. Non-Professional publishing. With my latest book, Choose Yourself!, I finally decided to be as professional as possible in my publishing effort. Whether or not you use a traditional publisher or KDP, you could easily produce a non-professional book.
    "You might think: a traditional publisher would not put out a non-professional book. This is not true. And with KDP, the beauty and the beast of it is that you can upload anything and now you're published. This is what is great about KDP.
    "But I like to write. That is what I am most professional about. I don't like to design covers. So I hired one of the best cover designers in the world to design my book.
    "I like to write, but every writer needs a good editor. I found an editor by finding which authors I liked and who edited their books. Then I hired him. We went through 20 rewrites where he not only helped me with correcting grammar but helped me with the entire structure of the book. He helped me organize where chapters go, which sections needed to be stylized differently, which sections needed more material to flow more smoothly into the next chapter. And so on. Even long after he was paid the final installment he kept working with me on rewrites.
    "I've never done an audio book before. But I did one and used the same studio President Clinton and JK Rowling used for their books. Then uploaded through Audible, an Amazon company. It just looks good to have an audio and Kindle and print book all on the same page.
    "I find out who marketed some of my favorite best-selling books. I don't know how to market a book. So I used the best in the business to market my book.
    As part of my marketing I offered to do guest posts, speak at conferences, write for other publications, whatever I could do to help other people and get my name out there to their audiences.
    "My book is called "Choose Yourself!" because I feel in every way we have to choose ourselves for success and happiness. The rules we think are "normal" are all man made. If we are not the writer of our rules, then someone else will write them for us and the results will not be pleasant. I feel like Twitter is the new "choose yourself" media compared to the old traditional newspapers and other media outlets. So I asked (which was very difficult for me to do) Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, to write the foreword of my book. He did. Which also gave a feeling of professionalism to my book.
    "KDP is the "Choose Yourself" way to publish a book. You choose the book you want to publish. It's yours completely. Nobody can force you to do "this" or "that" when it goes against your entire gut. KDP is the First Amendment meets Technology. That's why I will always use KDP.
    "Self-publishing doesn't mean lack of professionalism. Professionalism comes from you, not your platform. I chose myself to be as professional as possible.
    "The first week Choose Yourself! was released, it was in the top 100 on Amazon all week. It was #1 for all of its categories. There were even two days in the first week that it was #1 for all of non-fiction on kindle. I'm even wondering if I'm the first person ever to be #1 for both "Religion & Spirituality" AND "Business & Investing" at the same time. The success has continued and it's been a blessing.
    "KDP helped me choose myself for publishing success. I'm really grateful, which at the end of the day, is the only thing you ever want to be."
    --James Altucher

    Monday, 16 September 2013

    How to walk and meditate

       This website interested me. I never thought of walking and meditating at the same time.



    Walking meditation can be just as profound as sitting meditation, and has the advantage of bringing the meditative experience into our activity. There are a number of different walking meditations. Our variation is informal and easy. It allows you to be more present in your body and in the present moment. The simple experience of alternating steps with the left and right foot naturally helps create a meditative state.
    There is a tremendous richness of experience to become aware of as you walk. The body loves movement, and will reward you with pleasure if you pay attention to how it feels! So much of the time we are caught up in our mental worlds — thinking of the past or future, planning, imagining… Paying attention to the body as you walk will help you to enjoy simply being alive. (Although there are sitting meditations in which you pay attention to the body, it is easier to do so when the body is in motion. This is another advantage of walking meditation.)
    Where and when. This meditation is best done outdoors. We recommend setting aside at least 20 minutes for your walking meditation, and not trying to combine it with anything else like going on errands or walking briskly for exercise. Let this be a walk just for meditation so that you can sink into the experience with your undivided attention!
    How to start. Before starting to walk, spend a little time while still standing still. Allow your awareness to be with your body. Take some deep breaths, inhaling deep into the belly. Put your full attention on the sensation of breathing. Then allow the breath to return to normal and notice it going on its own for a little while. Now bring your awareness to your body, noticing how your body feels as you are standing, and becoming aware of all the sensations going on in your body.
    Now begin walking. Walk at a relaxed, fairly slow but normal pace. Pay attention to the sensations in your body as you walk. It is natural to find your attention drawn to the sights around you as you walk, but keep bringing your attention to what is going on internally.
    The idea is to have your attention on the physical experience of walking. If the mind starts getting caught up in thoughts, easily bring your attention back to the experience of walking. Notice how the body feels in great detail as you walk. The entire body is involved in the act of walking — from alternation of the left and right foot to the swinging of your arms and hips.
    Notice how the soles of your feet feel — the contact they make with your socks or shoes, the textures of the fabrics touching them, the way they feel as they bear the weight of your body and the sensations in them as your walk along. Feel the entire foot, being aware of how it moves as the heel is placed on the ground, and then the movement rolls to the ball of the foot and toes. Notice how it feels as the foot lifts and moves forward. Allow your awareness to move up through every part of the body, noticing the sensations as you walk. Gradually scan all parts of your body as you bring your attention to the ankles, skins, calves, knees, thighs, hips, pelvis, back, chest, shoulders, arms, neck, head.
    When you become aware of tension anywhere in the body, let it go. Allow that part of your body to relax. Allow your ankles, belly, shoulders, arms, neck — all of your body — to relax. Let your hips swing loose. As you do this, the walking will become more enjoyable.
    You can scan your body randomly, moving your awareness from place to pace in your body, or you can systematically scan your whole body going from the soles of your feet to the top of your head noticing the sensations of walking. The most important thing is to keep you awareness on the sensations in your body, easily bringing it back when your mind has wandered.
    XXX
    Variation: Keep your attention on the rhythm of the walking — the alternation of left and right foot. Simply notice the experience of left-right-left-right motion. Keep bringing your awareness back to this experience when the mind wanders in thoughts or distractions of the environment.
    - See more at: http://www.meditationoasis.com/how-to-meditate/simple-meditations/walking-meditation/#sthash.7qxlmlzI.dpuf

    Walking meditation can be just as profound as sitting meditation, and has the advantage of bringing the meditative experience into our activity. There are a number of different walking meditations. Our variation is informal and easy. It allows you to be more present in your body and in the present moment. The simple experience of alternating steps with the left and right foot naturally helps create a meditative state.
    There is a tremendous richness of experience to become aware of as you walk. The body loves movement, and will reward you with pleasure if you pay attention to how it feels! So much of the time we are caught up in our mental worlds — thinking of the past or future, planning, imagining… Paying attention to the body as you walk will help you to enjoy simply being alive. (Although there are sitting meditations in which you pay attention to the body, it is easier to do so when the body is in motion. This is another advantage of walking meditation.)
    Where and when. This meditation is best done outdoors. We recommend setting aside at least 20 minutes for your walking meditation, and not trying to combine it with anything else like going on errands or walking briskly for exercise. Let this be a walk just for meditation so that you can sink into the experience with your undivided attention!
    How to start. Before starting to walk, spend a little time while still standing still. Allow your awareness to be with your body. Take some deep breaths, inhaling deep into the belly. Put your full attention on the sensation of breathing. Then allow the breath to return to normal and notice it going on its own for a little while. Now bring your awareness to your body, noticing how your body feels as you are standing, and becoming aware of all the sensations going on in your body.
    Now begin walking. Walk at a relaxed, fairly slow but normal pace. Pay attention to the sensations in your body as you walk. It is natural to find your attention drawn to the sights around you as you walk, but keep bringing your attention to what is going on internally.
    The idea is to have your attention on the physical experience of walking. If the mind starts getting caught up in thoughts, easily bring your attention back to the experience of walking. Notice how the body feels in great detail as you walk. The entire body is involved in the act of walking — from alternation of the left and right foot to the swinging of your arms and hips.
    Notice how the soles of your feet feel — the contact they make with your socks or shoes, the textures of the fabrics touching them, the way they feel as they bear the weight of your body and the sensations in them as your walk along. Feel the entire foot, being aware of how it moves as the heel is placed on the ground, and then the movement rolls to the ball of the foot and toes. Notice how it feels as the foot lifts and moves forward. Allow your awareness to move up through every part of the body, noticing the sensations as you walk. Gradually scan all parts of your body as you bring your attention to the ankles, skins, calves, knees, thighs, hips, pelvis, back, chest, shoulders, arms, neck, head.
    When you become aware of tension anywhere in the body, let it go. Allow that part of your body to relax. Allow your ankles, belly, shoulders, arms, neck — all of your body — to relax. Let your hips swing loose. As you do this, the walking will become more enjoyable.
    You can scan your body randomly, moving your awareness from place to pace in your body, or you can systematically scan your whole body going from the soles of your feet to the top of your head noticing the sensations of walking. The most important thing is to keep you awareness on the sensations in your body, easily bringing it back when your mind has wandered.
    XXX
    Variation: Keep your attention on the rhythm of the walking — the alternation of left and right foot. Simply notice the experience of left-right-left-right motion. Keep bringing your awareness back to this experience when the mind wanders in thoughts or distractions of the environment.
    - See more at: http://www.meditationoasis.com/how-to-meditate/simple-meditations/walking-meditation/#sthash.7qxlmlzI.dpuf
    Walking meditation can be just as profound as sitting meditation, and has the advantage of bringing the meditative experience into our activity. There are a number of different walking meditations. Our variation is informal and easy. It allows you to be more present in your body and in the present moment. The simple experience of alternating steps with the left and right foot naturally helps create a meditative state.
    There is a tremendous richness of experience to become aware of as you walk. The body loves movement, and will reward you with pleasure if you pay attention to how it feels! So much of the time we are caught up in our mental worlds — thinking of the past or future, planning, imagining… Paying attention to the body as you walk will help you to enjoy simply being alive. (Although there are sitting meditations in which you pay attention to the body, it is easier to do so when the body is in motion. This is another advantage of walking meditation.)
    Where and when. This meditation is best done outdoors. We recommend setting aside at least 20 minutes for your walking meditation, and not trying to combine it with anything else like going on errands or walking briskly for exercise. Let this be a walk just for meditation so that you can sink into the experience with your undivided attention!
    How to start. Before starting to walk, spend a little time while still standing still. Allow your awareness to be with your body. Take some deep breaths, inhaling deep into the belly. Put your full attention on the sensation of breathing. Then allow the breath to return to normal and notice it going on its own for a little while. Now bring your awareness to your body, noticing how your body feels as you are standing, and becoming aware of all the sensations going on in your body.
    Now begin walking. Walk at a relaxed, fairly slow but normal pace. Pay attention to the sensations in your body as you walk. It is natural to find your attention drawn to the sights around you as you walk, but keep bringing your attention to what is going on internally.
    The idea is to have your attention on the physical experience of walking. If the mind starts getting caught up in thoughts, easily bring your attention back to the experience of walking. Notice how the body feels in great detail as you walk. The entire body is involved in the act of walking — from alternation of the left and right foot to the swinging of your arms and hips.
    Notice how the soles of your feet feel — the contact they make with your socks or shoes, the textures of the fabrics touching them, the way they feel as they bear the weight of your body and the sensations in them as your walk along. Feel the entire foot, being aware of how it moves as the heel is placed on the ground, and then the movement rolls to the ball of the foot and toes. Notice how it feels as the foot lifts and moves forward. Allow your awareness to move up through every part of the body, noticing the sensations as you walk. Gradually scan all parts of your body as you bring your attention to the ankles, skins, calves, knees, thighs, hips, pelvis, back, chest, shoulders, arms, neck, head.
    When you become aware of tension anywhere in the body, let it go. Allow that part of your body to relax. Allow your ankles, belly, shoulders, arms, neck — all of your body — to relax. Let your hips swing loose. As you do this, the walking will become more enjoyable.
    You can scan your body randomly, moving your awareness from place to pace in your body, or you can systematically scan your whole body going from the soles of your feet to the top of your head noticing the sensations of walking. The most important thing is to keep you awareness on the sensations in your body, easily bringing it back when your mind has wandered.
    XXX
    Variation: Keep your attention on the rhythm of the walking — the alternation of left and right foot. Simply notice the experience of left-right-left-right motion. Keep bringing your awareness back to this experience when the mind wanders in thoughts or distractions of the environment.
    - See more at: http://www.meditationoasis.com/how-to-meditate/simple-meditations/walking-meditation/#sthash.7qxlmlzI.dpuf

    How to meditate while walking

    Walking meditation can be just as profound as sitting meditation, and has the advantage of bringing the meditative experience into our activity. There are a number of different walking meditations. Our variation is informal and easy. It allows you to be more present in your body and in the present moment. The simple experience of alternating steps with the left and right foot naturally helps create a meditative state.
    There is a tremendous richness of experience to become aware of as you walk. The body loves movement, and will reward you with pleasure if you pay attention to how it feels! So much of the time we are caught up in our mental worlds — thinking of the past or future, planning, imagining… Paying attention to the body as you walk will help you to enjoy simply being alive. (Although there are sitting meditations in which you pay attention to the body, it is easier to do so when the body is in motion. This is another advantage of walking meditation.)
    Where and when. This meditation is best done outdoors. We recommend setting aside at least 20 minutes for your walking meditation, and not trying to combine it with anything else like going on errands or walking briskly for exercise. Let this be a walk just for meditation so that you can sink into the experience with your undivided attention!
    How to start. Before starting to walk, spend a little time while still standing still. Allow your awareness to be with your body. Take some deep breaths, inhaling deep into the belly. Put your full attention on the sensation of breathing. Then allow the breath to return to normal and notice it going on its own for a little while. Now bring your awareness to your body, noticing how your body feels as you are standing, and becoming aware of all the sensations going on in your body.
    Now begin walking. Walk at a relaxed, fairly slow but normal pace. Pay attention to the sensations in your body as you walk. It is natural to find your attention drawn to the sights around you as you walk, but keep bringing your attention to what is going on internally.
    The idea is to have your attention on the physical experience of walking. If the mind starts getting caught up in thoughts, easily bring your attention back to the experience of walking. Notice how the body feels in great detail as you walk. The entire body is involved in the act of walking — from alternation of the left and right foot to the swinging of your arms and hips.
    Notice how the soles of your feet feel — the contact they make with your socks or shoes, the textures of the fabrics touching them, the way they feel as they bear the weight of your body and the sensations in them as your walk along. Feel the entire foot, being aware of how it moves as the heel is placed on the ground, and then the movement rolls to the ball of the foot and toes. Notice how it feels as the foot lifts and moves forward. Allow your awareness to move up through every part of the body, noticing the sensations as you walk. Gradually scan all parts of your body as you bring your attention to the ankles, skins, calves, knees, thighs, hips, pelvis, back, chest, shoulders, arms, neck, head.
    When you become aware of tension anywhere in the body, let it go. Allow that part of your body to relax. Allow your ankles, belly, shoulders, arms, neck — all of your body — to relax. Let your hips swing loose. As you do this, the walking will become more enjoyable.
    You can scan your body randomly, moving your awareness from place to pace in your body, or you can systematically scan your whole body going from the soles of your feet to the top of your head noticing the sensations of walking. The most important thing is to keep you awareness on the sensations in your body, easily bringing it back when your mind has wandered.
    XXX
    Variation: Keep your attention on the rhythm of the walking — the alternation of left and right foot. Simply notice the experience of left-right-left-right motion. Keep bringing your awareness back to this experience when the mind wanders in thoughts or distractions of the environment.
    - See more at: http://www.meditationoasis.com/how-to-meditate/simple-meditations/walking-meditation/#sthash.7qxlmlzI.dpuf

    How to meditate while walking

    Walking meditation can be just as profound as sitting meditation, and has the advantage of bringing the meditative experience into our activity. There are a number of different walking meditations. Our variation is informal and easy. It allows you to be more present in your body and in the present moment. The simple experience of alternating steps with the left and right foot naturally helps create a meditative state.
    There is a tremendous richness of experience to become aware of as you walk. The body loves movement, and will reward you with pleasure if you pay attention to how it feels! So much of the time we are caught up in our mental worlds — thinking of the past or future, planning, imagining… Paying attention to the body as you walk will help you to enjoy simply being alive. (Although there are sitting meditations in which you pay attention to the body, it is easier to do so when the body is in motion. This is another advantage of walking meditation.)
    Where and when. This meditation is best done outdoors. We recommend setting aside at least 20 minutes for your walking meditation, and not trying to combine it with anything else like going on errands or walking briskly for exercise. Let this be a walk just for meditation so that you can sink into the experience with your undivided attention!
    How to start. Before starting to walk, spend a little time while still standing still. Allow your awareness to be with your body. Take some deep breaths, inhaling deep into the belly. Put your full attention on the sensation of breathing. Then allow the breath to return to normal and notice it going on its own for a little while. Now bring your awareness to your body, noticing how your body feels as you are standing, and becoming aware of all the sensations going on in your body.
    Now begin walking. Walk at a relaxed, fairly slow but normal pace. Pay attention to the sensations in your body as you walk. It is natural to find your attention drawn to the sights around you as you walk, but keep bringing your attention to what is going on internally.
    The idea is to have your attention on the physical experience of walking. If the mind starts getting caught up in thoughts, easily bring your attention back to the experience of walking. Notice how the body feels in great detail as you walk. The entire body is involved in the act of walking — from alternation of the left and right foot to the swinging of your arms and hips.
    Notice how the soles of your feet feel — the contact they make with your socks or shoes, the textures of the fabrics touching them, the way they feel as they bear the weight of your body and the sensations in them as your walk along. Feel the entire foot, being aware of how it moves as the heel is placed on the ground, and then the movement rolls to the ball of the foot and toes. Notice how it feels as the foot lifts and moves forward. Allow your awareness to move up through every part of the body, noticing the sensations as you walk. Gradually scan all parts of your body as you bring your attention to the ankles, skins, calves, knees, thighs, hips, pelvis, back, chest, shoulders, arms, neck, head.
    When you become aware of tension anywhere in the body, let it go. Allow that part of your body to relax. Allow your ankles, belly, shoulders, arms, neck — all of your body — to relax. Let your hips swing loose. As you do this, the walking will become more enjoyable.
    You can scan your body randomly, moving your awareness from place to pace in your body, or you can systematically scan your whole body going from the soles of your feet to the top of your head noticing the sensations of walking. The most important thing is to keep you awareness on the sensations in your body, easily bringing it back when your mind has wandered.
    XXX
    Variation: Keep your attention on the rhythm of the walking — the alternation of left and right foot. Simply notice the experience of left-right-left-right motion. Keep bringing your awareness back to this experience when the mind wanders in thoughts or distractions of the environment.
    - See more at: http://www.meditationoasis.com/how-to-meditate/simple-meditations/walking-meditation/#sthash.7qxlmlzI.dpuf

    Friday, 13 September 2013

    Hats off to Marc Charles

       Small business writer Marc Charles continues to spin out some great stuff. Here is his latest newsletter:





    Dear Friends:


    I was shocked to learn how much money Karin made each month in this market. 

    But what really surprised me was how little she worked!

    I was introduced to Karin M. at an after-hours meet-up with Internet entrepreneurs in Boston recently.

    I’ll show you how Karin makes money online.

    I’m fairly savvy when it comes to legitimate web-based business opportunities. 

    But sometimes I get blindsided by a new product, service, or market. 

    That's what happened this time! 

    But don’t worry, we haven’t missed the boat. This market is still taking baby steps, so there’s plenty of opportunity.

    What’s more, there are four or five ways to make money in this market, so there a plenty of options for you. 

    I’ll show you how Karin is doing it.


    I Couldn’t Believe My Eyes

    I walked into a room full of woman, music playing, and gourmet food on a table with everyone drinking wine. They were laughing and having a blast.

    They were scrapbooking.
    I’m not kidding!

    The woman were laughing and talking, pasting pictures, cutting stuff out, arranging mementos and putting stuff into beautiful albums. 

    This is one of the hottest trends in the country right now.

    A trend within the market is called "mini-albums." 


    Mini-albums are popular because they're so easy to put together. 

    A full family scrapbook can take weeks, months, or even years to complete. One woman told me some books are never completed, just revised, updated and changed.
    Mini-albums can be completed in one evening.

    My friend Karin noticed this trend and figured out a way to make money from it, without going to an office, sacrificing time with her husband and kids, and it took almost nothing in startup cash.

    Scrapbookers spend a lot of money on blank scrapbooks, mini-albums, and supplies. These supplies are typically purchased at craft or fabric stores. You can even buy supplies at your local supermarket now. This should tell you the “masses” are into this trend big time.

    Anyway, the one thing scrapbookers have in common is shopping for supplies and they know where to get a deal.

    Offering scrapbooking products online is a great way to tap into this $5 billion trend.
    That’s what Karin does. She sells scrapbooking supplies online. But Karin has never carried one cent of inventory, she’s an affiliate.
    An affiliate drives traffic and buyers to a website where they can make purchases. When purchases are made the affiliate earns a percentage or a commission on each sale.
    There’s typically no cost to join an affiliate program.
    Karin told me her key to success as a scrapbook affiliate is two-fold:
    1.    She only partners with a company which is already successful in the market and moving product, such as Walmart.com, Jo Anne Fabric, and Oriental Trading.
    2.    Getting paid accurately and on time is a big deal. Karin said the companies that mess around with affiliates typically don’t last.
    As a scrapbook supplies affiliate your main focus will be on marketing.
    When you join an affiliate program you'll receive a unique URL "link" or image (with the link embedded).
    When someone "clicks" on this link or image, they’ll be redirected to a scrapbooking supplies retailer.
    When a person makes a purchase by using the link you provided ... you earn a commission.
    It’s really simple.
    You're probably thinking it'll take you forever to make any money.
    Not true!
    Karin M. started making money her second full week as an affiliate. At first she used hundreds of cheap “text links” provided by TextLinkBrokers.com.
    When she started making a couple of hundred dollars a week she added Google AdWords and Yahoo! ad word advertising. Karin said this is when her scrapbooking affiliate strategy kicked into high gear.
    If you think that’s neat, you’ll love this….
    Karin is an affiliate with several companies, including Walmart.com!
    When you can partner with a company and brand like Walmart.com – it’s a very good thing.
    Karin started selling actual scrapbooking supplies online this year. She sells on eBay, Amazon.com and Buy.com.
    Karin buys scrapbooking supplies from national wholesale companies at deep discounts.
    But when I told Karin about my new book and course called China Wholesale Trader she almost kissed me.
    China Wholesale Trader shows how to import products easily, quickly and safely from reputable Chinese manufactures and exporters.
    In many cases you can import scrapbooking supplies for pennies or dimes on the dollar.
    Two sites I recommend in my book are Alibaba.com and AliExpress.com.
    Two Search Engine Marketing Tips
    If you become an affiliate, or if you sell on a website or on eBay, here’s an insider tip.
    The top search engines (like Google) rank the relevancy of the content on each web page.
    So, don’t just list hundreds of scrapbooking products on a website. Add a simple description, review or comments from scrapbookers by each listing.
    Think of Amazon.com. They don’t just list products with a picture and a price. Amazon provides comments, reviews, feedback and more.
    Granted, it takes time to write reviews and comments. But you’ll only have to do it once for each product.
    You can do this on any website which is selling products too!
    A site with comments and reviews will ALWAYS rank higher in the search results.
    If your site appears in the first or second page of the Google search results you'll have more traffic and business than you can handle!
    What's more, don't forget about selling scrapbook supplies on eBay, Half.com, Amazon.com, Yahoo! Marketplace, and AOL Marketplace.
    These are monster traffic sites.
    Tip #2 – Thrust Relevant Websites near the Top of Google Search Results
    An SEO tactic I learned three or four years ago is still paying off today. It’s super simple and won’t cost you a dime.
    You can post websites and blogs on the Internet for next to nothing today. You can host them for free at places like DotEasy.com.
    But having a website or blog no one sees is worthless. So….here’s a trick I use to get websites and blog at or near the top of Google search results (and it’ll work in the other engines too).
    Put your domain name in the “title page” meta tag. Put your “title page” name in the meta tag keywords FIRST, and put your “title page” name in your “site description” meta tag.
    If you don’t know what any of this means, just give the instructions to you webmaster. Don’t ask for your webmaster’s opinion or advice, just tell him or her to follow directions.
    Like this:
    Domain name: BestScrapbookSupplies.com
    Title Page Name: BestScrapbookSupplies.com – Scrapbook Supplies
    Keywords: BestScrapbookSupplies.com, scrapbook supplies, etc.
    Description: BestScrapbookSupplies.com offers the best scrapbook supplies at the best price – period.
    When this is done submit your URL into the Google database here
    Make sure you have relevant scrapbook content, articles, links to relevant sites and product reviews.
    In two to three weeks you’ll notice your site at or near the top of the Google search results….and you should start seeing some nice traffic.
    Scrapbooking and craft supplies are a multi-billion-dollar market. You can easily profit from this rising trend!
    Regards,

    Marc Charles
    “The King of Business Opportunities”

    Thursday, 12 September 2013

    In the news..........

       Some news stories which have recently caught my eye:

    "I own my business but I've never met my staff" http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/smallbusiness/article-2339476/Freelance-entrepreneur-I-business-Ive-met-staff.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

    Short feature on a guy who uses People per hour and Skype to manage a digital SME. Nice 4HWW case study.

    "Is weight affecting your employment chances" http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2385658/Is-weight-real-reason-youre-unemployed-How-body-size-plays-bigger-role-resume-job-interviews.html

    The conclusion is that fat folk are 27% less likely to get a job offer than a fit person with the same qualifications. I think there is a bit of truth here. I am a rotund gentleman and I think I'm sometimes not taken seriously because of my belly.

    "Named and shamed: Government reveals first-ever rogue's gallery of UK's benefit cheats" http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396289/Benefits-cheats-named-shamed-Government-reveals-rogues-gallery-UKs-10.html

    This articles was in response to Iain Duncan Smith releasing details on the biggest benefit cheats in the UK. Look at this section here: "He was ordered to pay back £1,031,943 or face five years in prison after being found guilty of 12 charges of benefit fraud. He claimed the dole and housing benefit, despite owning nine properties and running a string of companies." I don't really understand how this works. Even if you claimed the dole and London-strength housing benefit for 10 years it would be hard to run up a £100,000 bill never mind a million one. I think there is more to this story than meets the eye.

    "Bullied into buying something you didn't want? Now you have 90 days to get your money back" http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2385287/Bullied-buying-didnt-want-Now-90-days-money-new-crackdown-cowboy-traders.html
    As well as the change in legislation mentioned in the headline, the article also mentioned that people now have 14 days to return an item that has been bought online. I wonder if this covers Ebay, and in particular the Motors section? If so, if you were an infrequent driver, you could "buy" a car on Ebay, do your journey, and then return the car within the legislated period. Any thoughts?

    "Nurse rents out her breasts to gay parents who want their babies to be fed naturally" http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2385262/Woman-offers-breast-feed-gay-parents-want-babies-naturally-fed.html

    How times have changed? Fair play to the nurse for thinking of this idea in the first place. The interesting thing is that the lady is only charging £17 per hour for the service. Surely she is underselling herself? For such a niche thing I think £50 an hour would be more reasonable.
    "Plans to recycle silt taken from Scotland's canals" http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/plan-to-recycle-silt-taken-from-scotland-s-canals-1-3029552

    The articles states that bodies believe the dredging of the Scottish canal network could be self-financing through sales of the silt as a garden material. I'd be interested to see if this ever comes to fruition.

    "Rocker turned entrepreneur brews exotic soda range" http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/rocker-turned-entrepreneur-brews-exotic-soda-range-1-3008311

    Fair play to this guy. Everything is going "Micro" nowadays and I personally think that's a good thing.

    "A wearable gym? Discreet armband uses the power of magnets to provide the same workout as a 24kg dumbbell" http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2385496/O2-Magnetic-Dumbbell-Armband-uses-MAGNETS-provide-workout-24kg-dumbbell.html

    I'm dubious about these. I'd like to see some positive reviews before proceeding.




    More crap Scottish Businesses

       Last year I ranted about how local Gardeners never got back to me when I left them voicemail. In the last week I have a couple more examples of Scottish businesses not responding. This time it is regarding emails to their website.

       Last week I read a very interesting article online regarding a man who was going to run a "How to Run a Pub Quiz" course at the Wester Hailes Education Centre. This interested me greatly, and knowing the school well I thought it would be something I could get to easily and enjoy. I wrote two emails to the WHEC without a reply. Shit, Shit service.

       Then I saw a deal on Groupon for one-on-one Photography lessons in Glasgow. I thought these would make an excellent joint Christmas present for my Son and my Step-Father who both enjoy Digital Photography. I was worried about the minimum age for the experience though so I emailed the Photography company via their own website. Once again I have had no replay whatsoever.

       Is it any wonder that companies go bust when simple things like replying to enquiries on your website aren't being fulfilled?

    Tuesday, 10 September 2013

    45 Fiverr Gig Ideas

       After being an ardent customer of Fiverr for around a year I've decided it is now time for me to make my way around to the other side of the counter and start taking money from the gullible.

       I'm thinking I am going to style myself as "Taylor Services" or "Keir Services" perhaps. Bright blue writing on a bright yellow background to try and catch the eye. Here are the sort of things I thinking of offering:

    1. Advice to teenagers.
    2. Heartfelt testimonials.
    3. Dream interpretation.
    4. Scottish Accent narration.
    5. Create a Goals Spreadsheet.
    6. Betting Systems
    7. Custom made Crossword Puzzles.
    8. I will answer 3 questions
    9. I will meditate for 45 mins on your behalf
    10. I will write quiz questions for 3 children's books
    11. I will design a treasure hunt for your Scottish town
    12. Business Plan review
    13. Lie check
    14. I will find a leyline and pray for your well being.
    15. Postcards from famous Scottish sites.
    16. Script review
    17. Screenplay review
    18. I will critique the first five pages of your novel, script or short story.
    19. Alibi backup
    20. I will send your boss/ ex-spouse an email.
    21. Anonymous text message
    22. Remail letters from Scotland
    23. Send someone 2 condoms anonymously
    24. Positive pregnancy tests
    25. Clean urine
    26. Budgeting help
    27. Wordsearch puzzle on any theme
    28. Very hard Sudoku
    29. Business coaching
    30. I can name your child
    31. I will donate your money to charity
    32. Review your gambling system
    33. I will give you an 8 week plan to run your first 5k
    34. I will send you a lucky rock from Scotland.
    35. I will make you a list of 10 ideas on any subject of your choice
    36. I will accept a tip
    37. I will make you a 50 question quiz
    38. I will write a joke or humorous description of someone
    39. I will insult you
    40. I will take a screenshot of any website.
    41. I will show you how to massively increase your reading speed
    42. I will review your book on my blog
    43. 20 things you can do in the UK without planning permission
    44. I will ask any question you'd like on the Ouija board
    45. I will provide you with 10 money making ideas given your circumstances
    Obviously I will have to run a couple of accounts - one for serious work and one for not so serious stuff.

    Monday, 9 September 2013

    Make money by holding seances

       Not one for the faint-hearted but I think you could make money by holding séance evenings. Advertise via a website and hold them once you've got 6 skulls paying £50 a pop.

       Lay on the cheese and wine for the guests, get the spooky music on. Bob's your uncle. An hour later you can kick them out and bank your cash.

    Power from your tap?

    From Low Tech Magazine:

    Power from the Tap: Water Motors
    Posted: 08 Sep 2013 05:34 PM PDT
    Water motor smokstakFew people in the western world realize that they have an extra power source available in their household, workshop or factory: tap water.
    Just before the arrival of electricity at the end of the nineteenth century, water motors were widely used in Europe and America.
    These miniature water turbines were connected to the tap and could power any machine that is now driven by electricity.
    Picture: a late nineteenth-century water motor. Source: Smokstack.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Water has been the main inanimate source of mechanical power from antiquity right up to the beginning of the twentieth century. Although most water wheels were located at the banks of the river (or in the river itself), some were set up at considerable distances from a water source. This was made possible by the introduction of hydraulic power transmission -- the process by which water from a stream is led through artificial watercourses to water wheels built on the land.  
    To support hydraulic power transmission, man-made channels ("power canals" or "aqueducts") could be dug into the earth or carved out of the rocks ("ditches"). They could also be elevated structures whose walls were raised above the surrounding terrain ("flumes"). Water reservoirs formed by dams could be integrated into these power transmission networks, regulating water flow, providing power storage for times when water was running low, and increasing the "head" or fall of water for a vertical overshot water wheel. The use of power canals increased throughout the medieval period and became widespread during the 1500s.
    Power from the Tap
    In the mid-nineteenth century, many European and American cities introduced a more sophisticated water distribution system: the public water supply. Although this introduction was an answer to health concerns (it had become clear that reoccurring epidemics were the consequence of drinking contaminated water), it became quickly obvious that the potable water sent through the pipelines of the public water supply could also provide motive power.
    Waterwheels were still the most important source of mechanical power in the early days of public water mains. Most European and American cities had running water before they had electricity, so there was a market for a compact power source that could be used in the city, as an alternative to steam engines (which were too expensive, too dangerous and too unpractical to operate on a small-scale) or hand and foot powered machines.
    Pelton water motor 3
    Pelton wheel 
     Late nineteenth-century water motors. Pictures:   Old Pelton.
    The town mains were no different from the hydraulic power transmission systems built in earlier times.    In public water supply systems, traditional reliance on geological features as a head for the hydropower cycle is replaced by the use of a water tower. Water is pumped into an elevated reservoir, which could be on a hill or on top of a specially built water tower (a combination of both is also possible).
    The height differential between the water level in the reservoir and the water level in the mains determines the pressure of the water. For every 10.20 cm of elevation, a water column produces 0.145 psi (pounds per square inch) of pressure. To produce 70 psi of pressure at street level, a water tower must be 50 m tall.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It became quickly obvious that the potable water sent through the pipelines of the public water supply could also provide motive power.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the town mains, the role of the aqueducts or power canals is taken over by a much more intricate network of pipelines. This prevents debris from entering the water and makes uphill water transport easier. Water piping technology was used in some ancient civilizations, but the nineteenth-century systems introduced some lasting innovations.
    First of all, thanks to the screw type tap (which was patented in 1845), the water supply could be easily regulated. Second, the water could be further distributed inside individual buildings, often reaching multiple rooms at several floors. At any of these spots, all you had to do to receive motive power from the town mains was to connect a small water turbine to the tap. This is exactly what happened.
    Water Powered Household Devices
    In Europe, small motors using the public water supply appeared in the 1840s. In the US, they came into extensive use in the 1870s and 1880s. A water motor consisted of a small water turbine that was suspended in a metal casing. The diameter of the turbine runner could be anywhere between from 20 to 90 cm.
    Water motor 1  
    Hydro electric dynamo
    Above: A 1906 advertisement for a typical American water motor. Below: A hydraulic dynamo. Source: The Museum of Retrotechnology.      
     The smallest water motors were used to run sewing machines, jigsaws, fans, and other similarly mechanized items. The somewhat larger water motors were recommended for operating coffee grinders, ice cream freezers, jeweler's and locksmith's lathes, grindstones, church organs, or drug and paint mills. The largest water motors were used to run elevators or circular saws. In water powered washing machines, the water that was needed to wash the clothes was capable of providing power to the machine simultaneously. 
    Water motors operated machinery by means of a mechanical power transmission, similar to old-fashioned wind, water, and pedal powered machines from that era. The shaft of the water turbine was either equipped with a belt pulley to which different machines could be attached, or it drove one machine directly.
    At the end of the nineteenth century, water motors were also used to power electrical devices, especially radios and light bulbs. In this case, the water motor drove a dynamo that produced electricity on the spot. Compact units consisting of a small water turbine directly coupled to a dynamo were commercially available.
    Output and Efficiency of a Water Motor
    Most water turbines derived pressure by extracting energy from the impulse of moving water as opposed to generating energy via weight, as was the case with most water wheels and some other water turbines. A major innovation was the Pelton wheel, which was invented in 1878.
    This water turbine consists of a series of cups fastened at equal intervals around the periphery of a circular disc (the "runner"). The water enters the casing through an inlet pipe, where it is forced through a nozzle which reduces its volume and increases its velocity, after which it is directed to the cups. By changing the nozzle which influences this fluxuation in pressure, the power obtained from a wheel could vary. The exhaust water is dropped out of the bottom of the casing, or led away by an outlet pipe.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The efficiency of a Pelton wheel is not dependent on its size, which makes it especially attractive for smaller powers.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Pelton turbine is especially well suited for use in combination with the town mains, due to the fact that it requires a high head and a low water flow. A Pelton wheel is up to 90% efficient, which is comparable to the efficiency of a large, modern electric motor. Unlike steam engines, electric motors, and most other water turbines, which become less efficient as they become smaller, the efficiency of a Pelton wheel is not dependent on its size, which makes it especially attractive for smaller powers.
    Water motor 3
    A water-powered sewing machine. Source: Knight's American Dictionary (1881).
    Water turbines (such as the Pelton wheel) are much more compact than water wheels, which makes that a small motor can deliver more energy than one would suspect. The maximum power output of a water motor is determined by two factors. The first is the prevailing water pressure and the second is the water flow rate, which is defined by the pipe diameter and the velocity of the water. The latter factor is rather fixed for narrow pipes, because at velocities above 8 km/h friction becomes problematic.
    Water pressure in the town mains is typically between 40 and 70 psi (2.75 to 4.8 bar), and was closer to 70 psi in the nineteenth century. With a water pressure of 70 psi and a pipe diameter of 1.25 cm (a typical size for individual branch lines running to the taps), the maximum power output of a water motor is 0.33 horse power (or 243 watts of mechanical power). Even after you take into account the efficiency loss in the motor, this is quite a lot of power: Two to three times as much as a human operating a pedal powered machine can sustain for an hour or longer.
    Water Use
    Water motors supplied a need almost entirely unmatched by other new motors from that time, and they exploited a source of energy readily available from centralized systems already built in most urban areas. However, at least in the United States, their succes was short-lived. When electric motors and gasoline engines became available, the water motor lost its attraction. In 1900, the amount of water motors in the US (an estimated 30,000 motors aggregating 26,000 horse power) was about one-fifth of the amount of gasoline engines and one-tenth of the amount of electric motors. [Source: Hunter 1991]
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the end of the nineteenth century, water motors were also used to power electrical devices, especially radios and light bulbs
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The main drawback of water motors was their very high use of potable water. Using a 1.25 cm diameter pipe and a pressure of 70 psi, a water motor consumed 30 litres of water per minute for a power output of 243 watts. This means that it took 7,440 litres of water to produce 1 kWh of mechanical energy. To give an idea: People today in the west consume less than 500 liters of potable water per day, and they consume at least 5 kWh of electric energy per day.

    Water powered fan 1
    Water powered fan 2
    A water powered fan. Found at Smokstak.
    If the water pressure dropped below 70 psi, a water motor's power output decreased with it, while potable water consumption remained the same. The minimum pressure in the public water supply was (and still is) 20 psi (1.4 bar). Below that value, there is a risk of contamination because polluted water could enter the mains through leaks in the pipes.
    If you were unlucky and you got a water pressure of just 20 psi, motor output would have been limited to a much less impressive 0.09 hp (67 watt). You could have chosen to restore the power output by increasing the pipe diameter, but that would have further increased the consumption of potable water.
    There are many reasons why the water pressure in the town mains could be lower than 70 psi: adoption of a lower water pressure by a company, leaks in the pipelines, structural location of consumer residences in relation to the water tower, or use of a water motor on a higher floor. Water pressure drops by 10 psi per mile of pipeline. Water pressure is generally higher when it enters the house than when it comes out of the tap: It will decrease with every bend in the pipelines, and about 5 psi of pressure is lost each time you go up one floor.
    Irregular Water Pressure
    Water consumption was further increased by the irregularity of the water pressure. The use of a water tower is advantageous from an energy efficiency viewpoint, because you can create water pressure with low capacity pumps. The pumps only have to meet average demand. A higher than average demand (for instance, when everybody takes a shower in morning) can be dealt with by a decreasing water level in the tower. The reservoir will be filled again when demand is lower than average (mostly at night).
    On the other hand, if you choose to create water pressure by pumping water directly into the mains (a modern approach that is gaining popularity), you need high capacity pumps that can meet peak demand, and they will be running inefficiently most of the time.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While the use of water motors in the US came to an end early in the twentieth century, the Europeans took hydraulic power transmission one step further
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Irregular water pressure is not a problem for the distribution of potable water, but it is very disadvantageous for the use of water motors. If the water level in the tower decreases, so will the water pressure in the pipes. To insure enough motor output in the event of lower water pressures, water motors had to be larger and use larger diameter pipes than strictly necessary, further increasing the use of water, and wasting energy. Irregular water pressures lower the energetic efficiency of a water motor because it achieves its highest efficiency only when it is optimally adjusted to the prevailing water pressure.
    Water powered mixer in the box
    A water-powered egg-beater. Source: Smokstak.
    In Search of a Better Solution: the Hydraulic Accumulator
    As we have mentioned before, the maximum power output by a water motor is determined by two factors: Water pressure and water flow. Increasing the pipe diameter (and thus the flow rate and water use) is only one way to increase the power capacity of a water motor. The other way is to increase the water pressure, which yields much more interesting results. For example, we could produce much more energy with much less water.
    With a water pressure of 700 psi (48 bar), which equates to ten times the pressure in the public mains, a water motor connected to a 1.25 cm pipe could produce a power output of 3.3 horse power (or 2,500 watts of mechanical energy). That's ten times more power for the same 30 litres of water per minute (or ten times less water use for the same power). To create a water pressure of 700 psi, it would be mandatory to build a water tower of almost 500 meters tall. Unfortunately, this is not practical to build.
    While the use of water motors in the US came to an end early in the twentieth century, the Europeans found a solution for the high water use of water motors and took hydraulic power transmission one step further. Firstly, they set up special power networks which distributed water under pressure for motive power purposes only. This eliminated the need to use potable water. Secondly, Europe switched to a much higher (and regular) water pressure, which was made possible by the invention of the hydraulic accumulator.
    The hydraulic accumulator and the rise of power water networks will be addressed in the next post. Receive updates from Low-tech Magazine? Subscribe via email, feed, facebook or twitter.
    Kris De Decker (edited by Caylen Cole-Hazel)