2010: Dating, d*cks, and Meat Loaf

December 31, 2010 by · 28 Comments
Filed under: General Chat, Humour 

If you rearrange the words in the title, it will make up a sensible title for the post, it’s a little Christmas game, I hope you enjoy it. I actually had a different title, but I’ve been informed it was quite offensive, so I’m playing it safe.

I thought I’d be normal and write a quick year in review, it seems to be the “in thing” right now, must be the time of year or something.

But I’ll make mine a bit different, it will contain minimal marketing stuff, mainly because I’ve not done any! I will however include some D9 Hosting stuff in there, so anyone looking for anything semi-serious to read wont be totally disapointed with the content.

**START WARNING**

This blog post contains mild references to genitalia, if you are offended by this, please don’t read any further.

**END WARNING**

The year started with January, but it must have been an uneventful month because I’m having serious trouble remembering it. I should point out at this point that I’m useless with dates (date dates, not date dates, more on that later), so if I say something happened in March, don’t take that as gospel, it probably happened in August.

February and March were the same as January.

This blog post is starting to sound like a bad idea.

Instead of doing things by the month, I’ll just think back to a few memorable things and talk about them, they may or may not be in chronological order.

Online Dating

One of the most amusing things that happened to me in 2010 was a foray into the world of online dating with a couple of friends, it’s led to many amusing stories being shared between us, none of which will ever be discussed on this blog.

To sum it up, I’d say a lot of the stereotypes are correct, there are A LOT of really crazy people on there, but some really nice people as well, a bit like life in general really.

So if you live in a village where the number of girls/boys aged between 18 – 26 (insert your own age range there) is less than 5, or if you just fancy meeting a few new people, I’d recommend giving it a go, if nothing else some of the profiles will make you laugh.

My favourite was the bluntness of this one:

“I’ve joined *name of dating site* because I’ve just found out I’m pregnant”

Meat Loaf & Malfunctioning Penises

This happened in December, I’m 100% sure of this because it was only 3 weeks ago.

As a birthday present for my Dad, I bought 4 tickets to go and see Meat Loaf at the Manchester Evening News arena. My Dad’s a bit of a fan, but so am I, so I killed 2 birds with one stone.

I managed to get good tickets, we were in the tiered seating right next to the stage, and around 7 rows back.

During one of the songs (Paradise by The Dashboard Light), Meat Loaf and his sexy (in an older woman kind of way) female singer stopped half way through, and proceeded to bring out 2 big mechanical penises that fired t-shirts into the crowd. As we were near the front, I thought the chances of us having a t-shirt fired at us were quite high.

After a couple of shirts had been fired, the female singer (Patti Russo) turned around and pointed her penis at us. She pressed the fire button, and the penis malfunctioned, she proceeded to take the shirt out of the penis and threw it to someone in the front row, I was disappointed.

It was a very good gig though, and it contained a few more stories that will never be told on this blog, but if you are into that kind of music and he’s in your area, go see him!

I’ll include a couple of Youtube clips for your viewing pleasure, be warned that they contain a little bit of naughty language, if you want to skip most of it, jump to 1m 60s on the 1st video.

Bobby Farrell & The Thompson Curse

Bobby Farrell was the male singer in the 70’s Disco group Boney M, he sadly passed away yesterday from currently unknown causes.

This on it’s own wasn’t enough to warrant a mention in this blog post, but read on, the plot was like the custard my mum put in this years xmas trifle, it thickens.

Here are a list of gigs that either me, or a member of my family have bought tickets to in the recent past:

  • Meat Loaf, 2008
  • Tina Turner, 2009
  • Elton John, 2009
  • Michael Jackson, 2009
  • Meat Loaf, 2010
  • Boney M, 2011

Out of all the above, the following went as planned:

  • Tina Turner, 2009
  • Meat Loaf, 2010

And the rest:

  • Meat Loaf, 2008 – Cancelled, cyst on vocal cords
  • Elton John, 2009 – Cancelled, bad illness
  • Michael Jackson, 2009 – Cancelled, death
  • Boney M, 2011 – Likely to be Cancelled, death

I also have tickets to see Peter Kay in October 2011, so I’d be very nervous if I were him.

D9 Hosting

Yay, a semi serious story from 2010 that doesn’t relate to music!

D9 Hosting has been going well throughout 2010, it’s gone from being a hobby to a full time job. So much so that we took the decision to get some staff in back in the first half of the new year, which allows us to offer true 24/7 technical support.

The first few weeks were obviously a little difficult whilst we got everyone trained up, but we have a good set of customers who were very understanding, and now that the staff are trained up, I’m sure any customers will agree that any technical issues are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.

2010 was really a year of stabilization for us, we wanted to build solid foundations from which we could move the business forward in the coming years, and I think we’ve gone a long way to achieving that. There are still a few little things that could do with some tweaking, but all in all it’s been a very good year.

With a bit of luck we’ll be ready to go on a full on marketing spree in 2011 and take the number of sites we host past 20,000.

Other “D9 Stuff” to happen in 2010 included the launch of our official Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/D9-Hosting/20700629688

We should probably launch our own Twitter account as well, but….I have an intense dislike of Twitter :-0

I Went to Leicester

In November I drove down to a service station in Leicester to pick up a new car, can you tell I’m running out of things to write about?

I Tore my Groin

As you may (or may not) know, I’m a keen football player.

Back on August 15th I tore my groin. It’s now December 31st and I’ve only managed to play 2 games since, I think my football career may be coming to a cross roads.

Christmas

We had a Christmas in 2010, it was around 1 week ago.

Unfortunately my 88 year old Nan got rushed into hospital the day before Christmas eve, we were all prepared for the worst but thankfully after 5 days in Hospital she’s back home and back to her normal talkative whiskey drinking self. But I did spend most of Christmas going to and from the hospital.

That’s a pic of me and her from this past year:

I'm the one on the left

And I know what you are thinking, why on earth is Dan wearing a suit? Well I had to, it was a wedding.

But whilst we were at the hospital, it dawned on me where I get my warped sense of humor from – it’s from my Nan! A couple of quotes from the hospital include:

“You know we were going to have a big party for my 90th birthday, I think we should probably bring it forward a year just to be on the safe side”

“I’m like the Angel of Death, that old dear (looking at the person in the next bed) was fine when they brought her in 2 hours ago, and now her feet are blue and she’s unresponsive”

New Year

Who knows what the new year will bring, I suppose we’ll find out in 12 hours and 5 minutes time.

So a very, very belated Merry Christmas and a very, very Happy New Year to you and your family. I’ll be back in 2011, with (maybe) a more serious and relevant blog post.

Toodle,
Dan

SEO 102

December 6, 2010 by · 14 Comments
Filed under: General Chat, How To Guides 

SEO 102 is a natural progression from SEO 101 that I posted a couple of weeks ago.

In one of the comments I was asked how I know how many times to include a keyword in the body text, how often it should be bold, how to get the perfect description and so on.

So I thought I’d show you how I do it.

I use some software called “Internet Business Promoter“.

It’s not some software that I’ve just started “using” so I can make a thinly disguised affiliate pitch to you, I’ve been using it for at least 3 years now and it’s a great tool – a bit pricey but well worth it IMO.

Before continuing, I know I said this isn’t some BS affiliate pitch for a product that I don’t actually use, but I am going to be using my affiliate link when mentioning the software, I may as well try get a tiny bit of revenue from this blog, not so I can use it to feed my hidden crack addiction (I’m very boring like that, never done drugs, never smoked, only a moderate drinker), but to help me buy shiny things for Christmas.

But anyway, here’s how I use the software.

First of all I write my content and put my site together, I write the content as naturally as possible, but in the back of my mind I’m always trying to fit my keyword/keywords in the content as naturally as possible. At this point I don’t think about the density or anything like that, I merely try and fit them in there naturally.

When I’ve done that, I upload the site to the WWW without any formatting. (Bold, italic, headlines, etc.)

I then open up Internet Business Promoter (IBP for the sake of my keyboard), and run a report on the site by clicking on Optimization > Run Report

Internet Business Promoter

It then analyzes the current top 10 listings on Google (or the search engine you choose) and compares them to your page. It then cleverly tells you what you can do to your page, to improve the on page optimization to take it above your competition.

It presents these findings to you in a nice easy to read report, with a percentage score at the top of the page. The idea is to get your page as near to 100% as possible, I’ve never actually got a page to be bang on 100% but in my experience 80% and above will usually go a long way to help you rank well in the organic search results.

IBP Generating The Report

This is a bad report

You can see from the above picture, that the site I just ran the report on only scored 54% so that’s not too good. So how do we change that?

Well, we read the report of course 🙂

There are lots of things I can change to make it better, but I wont show you all of them as it’ll probably take all day for me to write. So I’ll just show you an example of the sort of things it tells you to do, the screenshot below shows you how I can improve my page <title> to make it more appealing for Mr Google.

Don't worry, it can be fixed!

It tells me that the keyword density in my <title> tag is too high, so what I need to do is have a rethink and come up with a new <title> that isn’t so keyword heavy.

When I’ve done that, I can re-run the report and see if my page score has improved.

It’s basically just rinse and repeat – run the report, implement the suggestions, run the report, etc.

If you keep doing that, then eventually you’ll have the perfectly optimized web page, ready to get you a top ranking in Google.

Don’t believe me, do a search on Google for “Lovefilm Review”.

Number 1, but worthless

You’ll see that the number 1 site in the organic search results belongs to me. I have many sites like that, all with page 1 rankings, but I don’t mind showing you the Lovefilm one – you can compete with me all you like on that keyword, it was doing well until Lovefilm decided to have a change of policy and banned affiliates from using the Lovefilm trademark in domain names, so I’m no longer a member of their affiliate program. So if anyone wants to make me an offer for that website, go ahead, maybe you can make money from it in some other way!

So that brings to an end this blog post, as I said, it’s not a full on affiliate pitch trying to sell you the software, it’s just an insight into what I use. If you want to check it out, then go ahead, there’s a 30 day free trial, if you don’t, then not to worry!

Thanks for reading.
Dan

It’s Back….But Not in Black

October 21, 2010 by · 16 Comments
Filed under: General Chat, Product Reviews 

It looks like a light shade of Orange to me.

I was going to make this post yesterday but I was busy losing tups, no losing them as in “crap, where have they gone”, but losing them as in “go forth and spread your seed you fine chaps”.

I’ll admit that it didn’t take me all day, but by the time you’ve been tossing throwing them around all day my arms couldn’t really take any typing, so I retired to the TV.

But here I am this morning, arms slightly less sore, and able to type relatively coherent sentences.

So what’s back?

The A-Team?

Meatloaf?

Shell Suits?

Baked Bean Rounders?

Blankety Blank?

Gordon Brown?

No silly, it’s something with fewer explosions but more corned beef, something less of a fire hazard but more tasty, something where you just need to fill in the blanks but less useless.

^^I promise you that the above sentence does make sense….if you live inside my head

FREE MONTHLY WEBSITES IS BACK!!

To be honest I wasn’t aware it had gone anywhere, but I’ve now been informed that Free Monthly Websites 1.0 has been taken away by Tiny – only 3 other people will get that joke, and none of them read this blog, what a waste.

So 1.0 has now been replaced, not surprisingly, by 2.0 (I have it on good authority that 3.0 will be the next one)

It’s sad to see 1.0 being turned into dog food but we do have to learn from the past, and we have to admit that 1.0 did have it’s faults.

It was like a cat we once had, it was very friendly, but it kept falling over.

Free Monthly Websites (FMW) 1.0 was friendly enough to snuggle up to, but you did need a bit of HTML knowledge to edit and personalize the websites. Whilst my own personal view is that you really should have some basic HTML knowledge if you are doing anything online, I’m not here to judge you, and if you don’t have any HTML skills then FMW 1.0 would have been a bit of a challenge for you.

It was also limited in what you could do with it, the creators of FMW (John Thornhill and Dave Nicholson) hadn’t really been marketing for all that long, so didn’t have much of an idea about what worked and what didn’t when it came to the websites.

But 4 years on, they are a lot wiser – John has come to realize that it’s not possible for Sunderland to be anything other than a mid-table team, and Dave now understands that Alan Shearer isn’t a bloke that comes to my house to clip sheep.

They are also a lot wiser when it comes to Internet Marketing.

After the feedback they received from FMW 1.0 customers, they’ve put their minds together and come up with 2.0.

The main aim is to keep everything as simple as possible, so FMW 2.0 has been built on an engine that I know a lot of you are already familiar with, it runs the PlanetSMS/Planet Divinity eBook and software websites. So everything is controlled via an online admin area, this means:

  1. No HTML!
  2. No MySQL Databases

I suppose it’s kind of like WordPress, but tailored towards an all in one solution for creating content rich affiliate websites.

I’m getting hungry, and when I get hungry, I tend to fill out the posts with a screen shot. So allow me to introduce you to what the admin area of a Free Monthly Website will look like:

Free Monthly Websites

I was going to take another screen shot of the front end of a site, but I’ve had some Monster Munch and the hunger has subsided.

Plus there are tons of screen shots on the FMW website that you can take a look at, saves me cluttering up cyber space with duplicate images!

I’m sure there was something else I was going to say, but can’t for the life of me remember what it was.

So for now I’ll have to leave you with my closing statement about Free Monthly Websites.

Free Monthly Websites 2.0 is a great update to the original. It takes all of the good points of 1.0 and builds upon them to turn FMW 2.0 into a much better all round system.

If you were a FMW 1.0 customer, then you’ll probably have already signed up, but if you are a newbie and are wondering what all the fuss is about, please go ahead and check it out. It does exactly what it says on the tin – you get a free affiliate website every month, no strings attached!

Thanks for reading,
Dan

P.S. D9 Hosting now has a Facebook page….and we may actually use it, so please feel free to “Like” us!

If It Looks and Smells Like a Turd…

October 4, 2010 by · 45 Comments
Filed under: General Chat 

I should be sat eating a nice ham and egg sandwich now, but instead I’m on here thinking how best I can communicate what I’ve just seen.

I’m not an irrational angry kind of guy, but I’ve just seen a video that made me think to myself “What a couple of *****”

It’s a recorded phone call between two Internet Marketing syndicate members and was recorded in the build up to the launch of a product called “Video Boss”.

The recording includes more heavy breathing than 2 asthmatics making a porno, but the content goes a long way to exposing what these guys really think of their customers (you and I) so stick with it. There’s also a hilarious comment in there about some magic mushrooms (coz drugz iz well cool lolzpmslrofl!!), so at least they are putting all those immoral earnings to good use.

If you want to see what sort of snakes that are behind these massive launches, there you go, might make you think twice about buying anything from them next time?

And I know I may get a few angry unsubscribes for “ratting out” these guys, but come on, how can anyone with any kind of moral compass not feel just a little bit pissed off with the way these people conduct themselves. If you have a blog or a mailing list with any kind of following, would your readers appreciate it if you let them into the kind of crap that’s been going on lately?

I can’t go without quoting the original source, if you’ve never come across the SaltyDroid site before, have a read through, it’ll take you a while but it’s a real eye opener, which side of the fence are you on?

Original Video Source: Strong language warning

http://saltydroid.info/syndicate-shit-storm/

Update: The Salty Droid website is getting hammered by traffic (as you can imagine!) since this video was posted, so getting a connection to it may be a bit hit and miss, but if you keep trying you should eventually get on

I have Nothing To Say

September 7, 2010 by · 11 Comments
Filed under: General Chat 

I’ve got nothing to say, so what should I do?

I feel guilty for not writing anything on the blog for the past few weeks, but without anything of value to write about, I’m stuck.

I’ve had a few JV offers that I may or may not talk about in the future (have any loyal readers or mailing list subscribers noticed how long it’s been since I promoted anything to you?), but nothing that really warrants me spending an hour putting together a blog post containing silly pictures with even sillier captions.

So what I’m going to do is use this blog as the WordPress gods originally intended, I’m going to just randomly jot down a few things as they come into my head about life as a full time marketer and a 25 year old (it was my birthday last week, where were my presents?) company director.

As you will probably already know, I run D9 Hosting with my business partner Paula Brett, and back at the start of the year we had a big meeting to discuss some changes that we’d been mulling over for a while.

One was to look at getting some technical support help in, as I was getting somewhat over run with support tickets, and the 2nd was to look at our entire network infrastructure. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with the existing network, as I’m sure customers reading this can confirm, but there were a couple of nagging issues that could have caused problems in the future had we left things as they were.

So we decided to go ahead and hire some technical support staff, and also started to research options to improve our network.

To cut a long (boring) story short, we ended up moving to a new datacenter in Florida that should (fingers crossed!) allow us to offer more services and provide us with a more stable network – if you are a D9 VPS or Hybrid customer, keep an eye on your mailbox in the next 10 days or so for a cool new feature we are bringing to you at no extra cost!

We first hired our new staff in June, and spent the next couple of months training them, and we also completed the DC migration at the end of July/start of August, but during that time both me and Paula were incredibly busy, and worked stupid hours. I think for a few weeks my shift hours were 9am – midnight!

But I didn’t mind, and I think this is quite an important point.

I actually enjoyed working those hours, because I was working at something I enjoyed doing.

Since the staff training and migration has been completed, the work load has gone down again. The staff are answering support tickets, and the servers are now running smoothly in the new DC, and payments from the 6,000 websites we host are coming in daily, so basically you can say that I’m “living the marketing dream”.

I have a profitable business running on just about auto-pilot.

It’s the thing people dream about, well, I’ve lived the dream and I’m now going to shatter it for you.

No Matter How Much Money You Make On Auto-Pilot, Doing Nothing Is Soul Destroying!

Of course, just my opinion, but for the past couple of weeks my workload hasn’t been enough. The money has been coming in from both D9 and my other marketing stuff, but I’ve been well and truly bored out of my skull – it hasn’t helped that I’ve torn my groin so can’t play football for 2 – 3 months, but that aside, I need to work!!

I was actually so bored yesterday that I went on an 8 hour wagon trip down to Sheffield and back….and noticed that a lot of new wagon (lorry) trailers now have curved rooves to streamline them in an attempt to save fuel, which I thought was a somewhat ingenious idea.

Whilst writing this I’ve remembered a saying my Grandad always used to say, I used to think he was crazy, but he’s right:

Busy Days Are Happy Days

No matter how much money you have, you still need to do something to occupy your time. Look at all the millionaires in the world, if they wanted to they could sit back and do nothing all day whilst they continue to make money on auto-pilot, but they don’t, they prefer working.

I appreciate I may be coming across as a bit of a jerk, I know there will be a lot of you reading this who’d love to be in my shoes but as I’ve said before, it’s just my opinion and I’m standing by it, having everything run on auto-pilot whilst you sit back and relax is a really soul destroying way to live your life, the brain needs some sort of stimulation every now and again!

Luckily I’ve snapped out of “bored” mode now, and am working on setting up a VM master and then converting some existing nodes into slaves as part of our new VPS/Hybrid ideas, so that should keep me busy for the next couple of days. After that I’ve got an eCommerce website to do for a regular web design client of mine, then I may even pull my finger out and create a couple of new sites of my own.

So thankfully the quiet time hasn’t lasted too long, THANKFULLY!

What do you reckon, is the “make money on auto-pilot” dream as good as it sounds when it becomes a reality?

….Or have I just won an A* for writing a load of old bollocks 🙂

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