Using Gmail to publish on blogger

If you’re like me, and I think that you are, you hate publishing posts within blogger.  Their spell checker is terrible, and generally I find the system crappy.  I realize that it works fairly well if you are posting pictures, but for the most part I think it sucks.  So here is a feature I recommend.  You can publish posts directly from your email (I use gmail, it’s amazing).  Just go into your blogger account settings, click on the email tab and set your blog posting email address.  Once you’ve set this address, you can compose and send posts directly to your blog (by sending an email to your blogger email address).  I will probably post more often now that I can avoid the blogger interface.  Check it out.

For more go here:
http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=135&topic=38

updates

This intention stuff really does work! Since my last update (I apologize for the delays, it’s been one of those weeks where you didn’t want to write anything), I have done really well on advancing some of my intentions. I have created an additional $1100 in income in a little over a week towards my extra $1 million within 12 months! I have also made some decisions concerning Call True that I know will move us much closer towards that $5 million revenue goal as well. My mother’s health is improving, although we have a long way to go. I have to remind myself that the condition she is in now is a result of the past, and no indication of the future. If we continue to practice healing procedures, maintain a positive attitude, and continually believe in the intention for her recovery to health, she will recover. The key to realizing your intentions is to truly believe in them. It’s one thing to say “I’ll make a million dollars,” but quite another to truly believe it. It’s amazing how easy it is to doubt personal intentions. I doubt there are few people in this country who can look at themselves in the mirror and say “I’ll make $1 million dollars this year,” and truly, truly believe it. Most people have clouds of doubts swirling within them (either consciously or subconsciously) the second those words come out of their mouth. Why is that? What’s the point? Is that a natural safety mechanism to prevent future let down? I feel like those doubts do way more harm then good. They prevent instead of protect. Believing in an intention is like white water rafting without the paddle. Just throw it out of the boat, and let it go. All you can do is keep believing in your direction, keep your eyes, ears, and guts open for changes in direction, and enjoy the ride. I guarantee you’ll get there, maybe not how you originally envisioned, but you’ll get there.

I plan on phasing out intention only posts, but will continue to have updates on my intentions a few times a week going forward.

My list of intentions (a new one):

I intend for an energetic, fearless, innovative, creative, passionate programmer who shares my web interests, enjoys my vision for a better click to call product, believes in myself and the company, is fun, and ready to change the world one customer at a time by the middle of January 2006.

In a natural way I intend for an experienced, excited, ideals driven, fearless, innovative organizer manager who is obsessed with creating a company that makes the world for customer’s a better place.

In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all, I intend $1,000,000 to come into my life and into the lives of everyone who holds this intention over the next 12 months

For the good of us all, in a happy, easy going, positive, healthy, effective, organic yet rapid way, I intend for Call True to reach $5 million in revenues in the next 12 months.

In a natural, low pain, high growth, care free, happy, healthy, positive way, I intend my mom to make a full recovery to a stronger, healthier, and happier body than she has ever had before in the shortest period of time necessary.

the push towards the $1 million extra income continues

Well surprisingly a lot has happened since my last blog post about my intention towards an extra million dollars in income this year. Following up on a fantastic article I recently read about harnessing the power of online lead generation, I have quickly developed a pretty solid money generating system. Basically what I’m doing is lead arbitrage. A big retailer I have become an affiliate for is willing to pay $x amount for a buyer of this product. As long as I’m able to keep my cost under $x per lead, I’ll make money. And thanks to the power of the internet, even if I’m making $.25 per lead, I can easily do that 100 if not 1,000’s of times a day. Well I’ve been able to do just that, and I’ve grossed nearly $800 since last wednesday, and netted around $400. These numbers aren’t going to always be the case, but the big retailer I’ve signed up to work with is paying double commissions on your first month (if you generate over $100 in sales, which is something I crossed in the first hour and I hit $5265 in total sales yesterday). So I have a lot of wiggle room to learn the system and constantly refine my strategy. I have definitely seen how easily you can make, and lose money on this. It can happen in a flash, especially if you are not careful. But I can also see how quickly trends emerge, and how if you track all the data you can you really will start to develop a system. For example, I thought that it would be reasonable to get 10% of my leads convert to sales. I figured if I was doing highly targeted advertising, I would get a higher proportion of people buying. So I set my per lead cost to slightly less than 10% of my commissions. I was definitely wrong about that number. I’ve found with pretty good stability that the lead to sale conversion is pretty close to always 5%. So as long as I keep my per lead cost below 5% of my commission, I’ll make money (which is exactly what has happened over the last 3 days). Now even though I’ve been reading feverishly over this (not to mention working very hard on Call True’s new year sales plan, 50-50 for 50 in 50), I still have so much to learn. But I can say that internet based leads is a remarkable system, and my brain recently has been buzzing with possibilities for all the industries that haven’t even begun using the power of internet lead generation. I really envision a future where leads can be prepurchased or invested in like options and stocks are traded today. You want to buy leads for “a new ford truck,” you can do so with ease. But an early “investor” is rewarded with a head start in refining their plan, improving CTR (click through rate), and thus paying less per lead than a newcomer. I can see massive companies conducting lead arbitrage where they’ve figured out how to maximize CTR for say “First mortgage,” searches at $.35 cents per click and they’re willing to direct those leads to the highest bidding mortgage company (maybe someone who’d pay .45 or even .55 cents a click). There really are endless possiblities, but they all have the same result. More targeted leads for companies, at a lower cost than ever thought possible, more often.

Isn’t the internet fun?

Intention update

I’m reviewing the intentions I put out last week for any progress. I believe the real power of intentions is that you become more aware of opportunities around you.

Last week’s intentions:

In a natural, low pain, high growth, care free, happy, healthy, positive way, I intend my mom to make a full recovery to a stronger, healthier, and happier body than she has ever had before in the shortest period of time necessary.

My mom has made a pretty remarkable improvement since Wednesday evening. The first half of last week she was really uncomfortable, had difficulty getting around on her own, and had terrible headaches. She has since done a complete 180, walking around on her own, taking care of herself as she always had, and feeling better and better everday (other than losing hair). I didn’t really tie this turn around with my intention from last monday, but I believe I’m already seeing the beginning this intention becoming real. I have to attribute some of her turn around to the homeopathic medicine I purchased for her, and she has been taking religiously. I’ll keep you updated, but we’re on the right path.

For the good of us all, in a happy, easy going, positive, healthy, effective, organic yet rapid way, I intend for Call True to reach $5 million in revenues in the next 12 months.

While we have no new revenues for Call True to speak of, I can say that a clearer picture of the company, it’s roles, goals, and development has become visible over the last week. We’ve developed and are initiating a very aggressive sales campaign starting the first of the new year (50-50 for 50 in 50). I had a great meeting with Rich Langdale who provided some guidance on moving the company forward, and possibly helping us. We’re two steps closer to completing the first stage of product development as well (we’re going to have a completely unique product in the marketplace). Again, steps in the right direction.

I’m also going to add his intention as one of my own:
In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all, I intend $1,000,000 to come into my life and into the lives of everyone who holds this intention

I definitely have seen some action in this intention with my discovery of an amazing article in Business 2.0 detailing a successful online affiliate campaign. I did recognize this article as a manifestion of my intention above, and immediately acted on it. While it took a lot of work to get everything setup, I’m now up and running. I’m running an ad campaign on Google adwords (I love adwords, even though it really can burn through money), and I had over 200 clicks yesterday (my daily budget is set at $60). I estimated my conversion rate would be at 10% (I did highly targeted advertising, only going after people looking to buy the product). Unfortunately for some incredibly stupid reason, my affiliate company takes up to 48 hours to report the results of my campaign (How is this possible? I would think the results could easily be shown in near real time like Adwords). So I don’t know how I did (I may have just blown through $60). I did break even from my first trial on monday where I ran $8.39 worth of ads, and made one sale for a commission of $8.09 (loss of 30 cents) on 34 clicks. That’s a 3% conversion rate (ouch). Based on that, last night I had 224 clicks or 6 sales @ an average commission of $7.50, or $45 ( a $15 loss) (The goal is to hit that 10%, which would put me at 22 sales last night for a total of $165 or a profit of $105) . Well, I guess it will take some tweaking, figuring out which products work and which products don’t, as well as weeding out keywords that are generating traffic, but not sales. Anyway, there is money to be made in this, it’s just a matter of learning, improving, learning, and improving. It sure is fun though.

I guess my point is, when you have intentions, your eyes are more open and therefore you’re more likely to act on things that seem to be in line with your intentions, thus making your intentions more likely to come true. There’s no doubt within you, or the world what you want, which certainly makes it easier to get. Put your intentions out there, listen, and you’ll find your way to it (and it will find its way to you).

a little annoyance

I hate blogger’s spell checker. It really is a waste of time. For instance:

  • blog – it always tries to change the word blog to bloc!! Don’t you think they would’ve figured that out
  • blogger – I can’t believe they didn’t bother adding their company name to the spell checker dictionary. It wants to change it to blockers!
  • Google – The owner of blogger, the worlds smartest company, and their frickin spell checker doesn’t recognize them as a properly spelled word. It wants to change Google to gooogol
  • Microsoft is not picked up by the spell checker!!!!

Been Away

I’m back in Columbus for the week (my mom is doing much better), and trying to get back into the swing of things. Despite some pretty good progress with Call True, I’m once again back in a space where I feel stuck. It seems that most of our target customers are holding off on all decisions about their website until the 1st of the year. This is good in the sense it gives us a chance to get the “stage 1,” of our product completed. But it is bad when you’re very impatient like me. I want people to sign up with us now, and love it. I did have a fantastic meeting on Monday with Rich Langdale, a principal in the venture capital firm NCT ventures. Rich’s story was quite an impressive one. He set out to create a holographic printing distribution company back in 1986 while still in college. True to the entrepreneur inside him, he sold his Honda to raise $5,000 for the company’s startup. While he never found a market for holographic printers, he did build an international digital storage wholesaling powerhouse over the course of 15 years before selling in 2001. The whole key to his success was constant adaptation. He told me that a 5 year plan is a necessity for a startup company, but a good startup will not follow a 5 year plan through. Even google did not complete their 5 year plan (They had planned to license their search technology to companies and other search engines) I’ll admit that the planning aspect of the business is not something I’m really crazy about. It’s way too easy to seek out the activities that have more immediate impacts, such as sales and assistance with developing our program. But on the other hand I’ll do anything I have to do to keep this company rolling. It’s all in my head. I can see this company changing the way companies connect with their customers forever. By remembering that, it’s pretty cool to work out of a coffee shop for now. Everything big has a little beginning.

A matter of perspective

I struggled slightly today with keeping Call True in motion. I made a few cold calls that went fairly well, but my real problem was thinking of people to call. It’s weird problem to have for me because normally I’m overwhelmed with potential customers. So feeling a little down, I did some brainstorming. My friend Tom called to check in with me, and we started talking about Call True. I was feeling a little down and out, but he brought me right back up. “Man I hate my job, and most of my friends hate their job. At least you’re doing something you like, and you’ll make plenty of money later. That’s awesome man.”

You know, it is awesome. Thanks tom.

another intention

Despite some movement this week for my company, Call True, I’m still incredibly frustrated at the pace things are moving. If you asked me two months ago where I’d be with this company at Thanksgiving, I would’ve given you an answer along the lines of “15 customers, revenue of $10,000 a month, 4 partners.” Well, that hasn’t happened, and while I can’t complain that we have been able to build a nice client list (well people who have agreed to use, and are trying our service but no one who has paid us anything), the money has been difficult to come by. The worst part is I believe I’m starting to lose a key part of this business, my partner and head programmer, Jeff. He is very busy, and has never really set out to be a major part of this business, but it’s getting harder and harder to get his attention without money coming in. Which of course makes my job of improving the product, and optimizing it for our customers much more difficult. The goal has always been to remove him from the role he has now, and to bring in some young, hungry, talented programmers who compliment my obsession with the latest and greatest technology. I’m also somewhat stuck on really where to go next, other than to focus on making some more sales. I have pulled back slightly on the throttle on exactly who I’m contacting because our product really isn’t ready for a big time customer. What I really would love, and I’m putting out an intention here, is an experienced organizer. I am an impulsive ideas guy. I tend to go in spurts, so when I think “click to call is the best idea for dating websites,” I go after dating websites. I call and contact all the dating websites I can think of, and dream up how it should and will work for them. This is great when you’re a sales guy, or your developing a strategy, but when you’re overseeing the whole company’s development-this is a major distraction. I want someone who can work with me and do all that “organizational crap.” Someone who I can meet with and say, ok we need to get here-you build the processes and organization that gets us there. So I can continue to create an innovative, complex, yet simple product and chasing after the big guys like dating sites. And my organizer can keep us on the straight path. I’ll be honest, I don’t have really any management skills at this point other than what I was born with. I know that currently I don’t have the skills to manage a billion dollar company. But the truth is, I don’t have any interest in managing a billion dollar, or a 100 million dollar, or even a 5 million dollar company. I just want to create them.

In a natural way I intend for an experienced, excited, ideals driven, fearless, innovative organizer manager who is obsessed with creating a company that makes the world for customer’s a better place.

I’ll let you know how this works out.

PageRank 5?

The weirdest thing happened last night when I was messing around with my blog. I looked down to my trusty pagerank toolbar in firefox and saw that the pagerank for danputt.com was a 5! How did that happen? What is pagerank? Here is a definition:

Google’s patented method for measuring page importance on a scale from 0 – 10, where 10 is the highest. The PageRank algorithm analyzes the quality and quantity of links that point to a page.
www.activemedia.com/online_marketing_glossary.shtml

So without doing any work, advertising, linking, or even commenting on other blogs (some people do this because you can link back to your own blog, thus building pagerank), I have reached a pagerank level of some blogs I read who have monthly viewership in the 100,000s. How can this be? Is it because my blog is written in blogger (owned by google)? Well, I checked out a few other blogs and found that most blogs on blogger did not have a pagerank, or had a pr of 1 or 2. In the 10 random blogs I checked, none of them had a PR of 5. Not that this really means anything, other than I’d like to figure out how I did it so I can do it again.

Update: After some snooping on google, I think I may have found the source of my PageRank. Back in August, I sent a note to the Business 2.0 blog about being able to use Google’s VPN in Columbus. They put my post up on their blog (a PageRank 5) along with a link to danputt.com. So by being connected with a well known, trusted link in Google’s eyes, they have rewarded me with a PR 5. Weird how this stuff works.

Million Dollar Experiment

It’s been a pretty draining week to say the least. My mom’s condition worsened rapidly, which meant that someone (either her Fiance, Tom or I) had to be with her at all times. She has had trouble walking, some terrible rounds of nausea, debilitating headaches, and does a lot of sleeping. It certainly has been scary and hard to deal with. But in situations like these you are constantly searching for silver linings in seemingly endless dark clouds. It turns out all of these symptoms are a result of the radiation, and not of her condition. So we know that after three weeks of radiation, these symptoms will subside and she’ll start to feel more and more like herself. The radiation, although it is helping her fight off some of the tumors in her brain, is brutal on her body and I’ll be happy when it is over. Looking deeper for a silver lining I find the other treatment she is on, treatment sent directly from the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas. Burzynski is definitely a controversial figure in medical community with most Oncologists quickly dismissing his work as nonsense. I have to admit a search for Burzynski Clinic on google can definitely yield some scary results when you’re looking for hope. But I did some research of my own, and actually was able to find some independent success stories of Burzynski patients. They all had some very good things to say, and I’ve actually spoken to a few by phone who came back from some very scary places. They certainly have been sources of hope. If you know me, and the path I’ve chosen in my life (entrepreneur), you know that optimism is a very important aspect of my life. I mean what are the typical odds in creating a successful business? 5, 10%? My mom has better odds than that, so as far as I’m concerned there’s not too much to fear. Odds are only averages, not guarantees. I have no doubt I’ll develop an incredibly successful business with Call True and then go on to do it many times, and I equally have no doubt my mom will recover fully and be stronger than ever.

That is why I’ve chosen to link to the Million Dollar Experiment by Steve Pavlina. Steve has an amazing blog about personal development, and he is a firm believer in the power of intention. He has put out for the world to see his intention of generating a million extra dollars this year. Here is his intention:

In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all, I intend $1,000,000 to come into my life and into the lives of everyone who holds this intention
.

He believes that just by putting it out there, making himself and the universe aware, and without forcing it to happen but instead allowing, it will come true. It’s a powerful thought. And quite frankly, it can’t hurt. So I myself am putting out two intentions for the universe to absorb, and develop:

In a natural, low pain, high growth, care free, happy, healthy, positive way, I intend my mom to make a full recovery to a stronger, healthier, and happier body than she has ever had before in the shortest period of time necessary.

For the good of us all, in a happy, easy going, positive, healthy, effective, organic yet rapid way, I intend for Call True to reach $5 million in revenues in the next 12 months.

I’m also going to add his intention as one of my own:
In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all, I intend $1,000,000 to come into my life and into the lives of everyone who holds this intention

Steve has already generated $800 this week towards his total! Who knows what this week will bring for my intentions. I’m going to write these down and post them on my mirror as well so I’m reminded every morning of these intentions.