A Medley of Musings

Serious health and life changes, call for a serious name change to this blog. In the past I tried to research my blog name, so it wouldn't be a duplicate blog name that someone else might have. I won't be researching it this time around, so the name is subject to change without notice. Life is kind of like that.

The hand made toys, Mini-Me Jan, and Rolly the Octopus are also something I have a passion for. Making hand made items, especially toys.

Thank you if you're sharing this journey of written blog words, and various assorted written musings, with me by reading my blog now.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Small things make me happy

Today I found something I thought I had lost. There's a group of people that knit, crochet or sew hand made caps to give away to cancer patients. Since I also like to knit and crochet, and have made hats and other items on the knifty knitter, I'm hoping to join up with this organization. I was able to get a handmade knitted hat, for my own balding head. Since I have a passion for knitting and crocheting, I'd like to help out in this area towards other people struggling with cancer.

I thought I had lost the piece of paper with the contact info on it, so I was very happy to find it sitting near my computer. Guess that means I should get on my old PC more often then I have been. I never know what I'll find sitting nearby.

If you're a knitter, crocheter, or a sewer, or a knifty knitter item creator, and you'd be interested in this site here's the link: http://www.nwilliniosheadhuggers.org or you can send an email to inquire about it to: nwilliniheadhuggers @mac.com. I haven't looked at the web site yet, but am glad I found something to make good use of my various yarn balls, that seem to grow like rabbits.


I don't generally like to shop that much. When I do go shopping, I tend to want to do a lot of it all at the same time, so then I don't have to do it again for quite awhile. I was lucky to find out about shopping for clothes where all the money collected for items, benefits the Jewish Child and Family Services.

So I found great bargains of $5.00 blue jeans and tops, belts, and two piece tops, and a matching top and sweatpants. I came home quite pleased with all the things I had bought for $80.00. And it benefits others too. That's the way I like to go shopping.

An Attitude of Gratitude

Oprah Winfrey and others often talk about getting an attitude of gratitude, or finding things to feel grateful about. Facing a life threatening illness as I have been, I'm finding all kinds of big and small things to feel grateful about. That's also a direction I hope this blog will head towards from time to time.

I'm grateful that the Doctors are willing to let me stay overnight in the hospital to get my chemo treatment, so I don't have to take an ambulet or taxi home. I'm grateful to have that extra day to sleep and chill out, so I can drive myself home afterwards. After having 3 hours of chemo on May 20th, I only had to stay one extra day. Last time I had to stay two extra days. So I view that as an improvement. And I grab on to any improvements I can find no matter how small or insignificant they might be.

So far this time around I'm not feeling nauseousness or like I need to vomit, as I have before. And that indeed is something to be grateful about, and also an improvement I'm adding to my list.

They are spoiling me, and making it difficult to leave to go home!

While staying in the hospital isn't always ideal, still I get fed pretty good meals there, Better than what I would cook for myself. I probably sleep better then I do at home. And I get visited by the nurses and other caring medical people, when I'm starved for attention. Plus I get to watch TV and eat in bed at the same time. Who could ask for more? Whether it's watching Oprah, The View, or classic TV like Ponderosa or Leave it To Beaver. I can play with the hospital bed settings, raising and lowering my head or my feet as need be.

Now if only I could persuade them that their hospital gowns need a fashion upgrade. Has anyone seen my pajamas with the enclosed footies, and you know the ones, they have the back door covering, that buttons and unbuttons for easy access? Snug and warm and comfortable. I'll opt for Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang for my footsie, back trap door pjs that are warm and wonderful.

Blog Interupted

I didn't see the movie Girl Interupted, so I don't know if that can compare at all to my Blog being interupted the way it has been. But with cancer illness, hospitalizations, needing to stay in a rehab nursing home type facility for a few weeks, doctors appointments, overnight stays in the hospital for chemo treatments, sometimes needing to sleep for 12 hours at a time, I guess it's no big surprise that my blog is feeling quite neglected and ignored.

Maybe I should just start all over again. Nah. It'll take me too long to figure out how to set it all up again. So now that I probably have no readers whatsoever well here I am again. So if you want to learn how NOT to build a successful money making blog, try reading this one! :-)

Two months later, I'm finally getting back to putting a blog post up. I've missed my blog! Hope I can remember everything else that goes with it. Still it's nice to know my blog is calmly sitting here waiting for me, when I do get back to it. My blog is far more patient than I am! Well hopefully I can build up my reader relationship, if I had any readers to begin with by starting all over again. Who knows what I'll be blogging about this time around.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Secret Ingredients Please!

So what exactly is in them? Exactly what kind of ingredients, chemicals, tars and nicotines, and addictive substances do cigarettes actually contain that I've been inhaling into my body for over 30 years? I'm sure I could do extensive research, to actually find out, those ingredients, but humor me here. Go take a look at a pack or carton of cigarrettes.

There is NO ingredient list whatsoever on them! I've searched and searched. There's the surgeon generals different health warnings. There's a UPC code, there's the location where they are produced in West Virginia. There's some small stamps on the plastic outer wrapper, thanking me for the monetary contributions I've been making to my state and counties taxes by my buying cigarettes.

There's even a description, that one pack contains 20 Class A Cigarettes. Well thank God for small favors. I sure wouldn't have wanted to have been spending all those years smoking some kind of inferior Class B or Class C addictive substances, now would I?

There's even a description that tells me what smooth rich taste these cigarettes have, and a polite request asking me not to litter. But I can't find an ingredients list anywhere!

Doesn't that seem kind of odd to begin with? No ingredients listed whatsoever? Cigarettes have to contain something don't they?

A box of crackers, a jar of peanut butter, a can of soup, all list some kind of list of ingredients on their labels. Many of those might be some kind of preservative. Many I might not have ever heard of, or know what they are or what they're supposed to do or not be doing for me.

I might not ever make those kind of radical eating life changes where I will never again put emulsifier soy lecithin into my mouth, but at least I know that pack of hard candies, I've been substituting for cigarettes contains that emulsifier soy lecithin, whatever that is. But at least I can still choose not to ever have a butterscotch hard candy again, knowing, that emulsifier soy lecithin, is included on the ingredients label. I might not have a clue what emulsifier soy lecithin actually is or what it's doing or not doing for me, but at least I know they're part of those butterscotch candies, and hopefully emulifier soy lecithin adds to the taste and flavor of those hard candies, I'm enjoying.

I have to wonder how did the makers of Cigarettes get away with listing no ingredients whatsoever on their packaging for so long? Even things that aren't supposed to be swallowed or ingested contain a list of ingredients or poisen control centers or places to contact or things to do if someone swallows that diswashing detergent by mistake.

But Cigarettes have no ingredients listed at all. None, nada, zero, nothing. So you don't even have any idea at all what you've been inhaling, or even if you've been been inhaling the same things over time. Those chemicals could have been removed, replaced, revamped, remade, revoked, reoffered, and I wouldn't know what was in my cigarettes from 10 or 20 years ago, anymore then I know what ingredients there are in cigarettes today.

I know good cooks have their secret ingredients, they might not ever reveal in their recipes, but how is it, that every single ingredient in a pack of cigarette appears to be a secret ingredient? What's up with that?

That original cook, must be some high up official or something, with a whole army of security and intelligence people, hanging around them all the time. All those cigarette ingredients must fall under some sort of category like, "Stricktly Classified Ingredients". You don't have high enough clearance for a "need to know basis", or maybe it's just the tobacco industry's way of saying, "You really don't want to know... what we put in our products. So stop looking for silly things like a list of ingredients on the side of the pack or carton. We aren't about to tell you anyway!"

I haven't ever researched this either but I wonder if any politician in history has ever just flatly refused to accept political monetary sponsorship from tobacco companies, simply because there are no ingredients listed whatsoever on their packages? Or for other areas that produce things of questionable value, such as alcohol, tobacco, or guns.

I'm sounding too much like my late father. Tobacco, alcohol, guns, big money industries, that politicians badly need to fund their political campaigns. But as this old former hippie of 55 years of age, I might not ever get another chance in my life to protest these kinds of things, so I'm taking this blogging opportunity to protest them now!

Even a cleaning product that isn't supposed to be be swallowed, inhaled, or consumed by anybody, contains a list of ingredients, in case that mistakenly happens to somebody. But Cigarettes somehow remain exempt from having to list any kind of ingredient list at all? How did that ever happen, through history, and why does it stilll happen today?

I hope that alone, might give someone something to think about the next time that temptation sneaks up on them to light up a cigarette. So what kind of ingredients did you say are in a cigarette? Oh yeah that's right, you didn't say, did you?

It's not like cigarettes are like a box of cracker jack with a toy surprise inside of them or something. Some unknown surprises we would all be better off living without, especially when we don't have a clue exactly what kind of wonderful chemical surprises that pack or carton of cigarettes contains?

Hope that makes somebody pause for a second, while it's becoming harder for me not to preach from the pulpit about cigarette smoking.

Oh those twisted, tempting, evil, masquerading things known as....

I'm not going to go into preaching mode about the hazards of cigarrette smoking. Most people are aware those health hazards exist, without my having to say a word about them. Most of us so called "adults" don't generally learn much from the mistakes others make before us anyway. Many of us are still stubborn or stupid enough, that we end up having to learn it all the hard way ourselves anyway.

When I first started smoking at 19 years of age, there were no cautions on the packs and cartons of cigarettes back then. There were no indications of just how addicting tobaccco can be, and how hard it can be to quit smoking. There were no dire indications, no warnings from the surgeon general back then as to what kinds of future health problems smoking cigarettes could cause anybody.

I'm not even sure I knew who the surgeon general was, when he did make his presense known to me, or what his words of warning exactly meant to me anyway back then. I wouldn't have listened to him, or to anybody else either at that point, if someone had told me back then the things I'm paying the price for now! So now I'm one of those who is having to go through all of this the hard way. The very hard way!

But maybe I'll say one thing here that will somehow reach somebody out there! Maybe somebody, some young person, someone out there, might read this. Someone might be thinking about trying cigarettes, or maybe someone wants to quit before they reallly get started and get addicted to them, will read something I'm writing here, that gets their attention, that strikes a responsive chord with them. That at least gives them serious "food for thought" about this addictive substance.

Speaking of "food for thought" maybe someone will decide it's better to trade that phyical demanding need for nicotine, for something like a banana, a tangerine slice, or even a chocolate chip cookie, instead of the chemicals that cigarettes provide.

Oh the amazing cravings I'm having now. Cravings for truly "exotic" foods, like baked potatoes, with sour cream, cheese, and green peppers, or apples dipped in carmel. A junk food junkie like me? Suddenly having these cravings for things that might actually have vitamins, minerals and other good things in them, that might actually be good for me to eat? What in the world is going on?

I guess so many years of smoking on those twisted, tempting, deceptive, masquarading little cigarettes must have left my body having these strange physical cravings for all those vitamins, minerals and nutrients, my body must have not ate for way too long a time.

Who knows what will happen if I should start going through some kind of green pepper withdrawal, or I just can't seem to get quite enough of those little cherry tomatoes, that I just want to keep popping into my mouth and devouring. There might be even more "exotic" foods I've never even tasted before, that suddenly sounds good, or even just tempt me to give them a try for the first time ever.

The grocery stores are on alert now! They have been warned! Security is standing by, armed to their eyebrows with avocados or lentil beans.

I might be seen browsing grocery aisles, I never dared to venture into before. I hope those stores can supply with me some kind of lesson plan? Because I might now find myself having to learn for the first time ever, how to actually cut a kumquat, or the only proper way to participate in eating pineapple.

It boggles my mind, at the foods I might have some kind of craving for, that I've never had before, and don't even know how to eat it, let alone how to cut it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Cats Know

My cats know. I don't know how they know, but they know, that something's different. Something's changed with me. But I've often felt animals were smarter then people to begin with.

Skitzy seems like she's gotten her fur trimmed up somehow. And Cole doesn't seem to protest so much if he's left in only the one room with me. Neither seem to protest as much now that they don't get to run through as much of the house as much as they did before. Now it's becoming a daily rotation of what cat is left in what room, instead of an hourly rotation. Somehow they seem to know that's the best I can do for them right now. They don't complain. They just know. I don't know how they know, these things but they do.

Skitzy seems to have more different kinds of protests, as if to say to me, if something happens to you, what happens to us? Maybe it's her way of pleading with me, to try to get better, healthier, stronger. To do what I'm supposed to do, even when I don't want to, don't feel like it, when not doing it seems easier, or not worth the fight ahead for me.

Cole seems to accept it. Sometimes only wanting to put his dignified black head upon my knee, and to watch me carefully and often with his ancient and wise green eyes. He watches me close. They both share their cat blinks with me, guardingly and lovingly.

And I cannot control the splash of angry messy tears, that so often now needs to fall upon my face, unbidden, unasked for, but I certainly cannot say these tears are uncalled for or unwarranted. And not from even a point of needing to feel sorry for myself, but just to get the pain out, the tears out. Because they are there too, and they need to come out of my eyes, to be communicated like so many uncontrolling splashes on my face, just like my words need to pour out of my brain and my heart now. So I write, so I cry, so I blog, and sometimes I smile and laugh, and sometimes there's a glimmer of hope, no matter how small or insignificant it might now seem

My two cats, they know all this. I don't know how they know, but they do.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Birthday Blog Message

Today is My Birthday. Today I'm 55 years old. Today I don't take it for granted any longer that I'll make it to 56 or 65 or 82 years old. Today I'm just happy to have made it to 55 years old so far. Anything beyond that might just be icing on my birthday cake of 55 years old or young depending how you look at it.

In some ways I think I was born to blog. I wrote poems, short stories, and various journals of my thoughts, long before it was popular to call it blogging. Starting at about 16 or 17 years old. I still have those notebooks. Can't bear to throw them away.

Some of those life laments I had at 16 seem so trivial now. I wonder why I was bothered by those things at all back then, but I was. Some of the writing seems poor and trite, and certainly needed growth and development. Has my writing improved in 39 years? I'd sure like to think so. :-)

But my writer's ego probably won't let me view it any other way, though, even if my writing hasn't improved with age, like fine wines and words are supposed to with time.

Here's a poem I wrote about this need to write, to "blog" through the years as I've done, before "blog" was even a recognizable word.


Old and dusty notebooks
That I took down from the shelf
My old forgotten writings
From my younger, yearning self.

Scribbled penciled musings
Of what my life had been about
Words faded now so much with time
That I can barely make them out.

Words in inks of different colors; black, green, red and blue
I’d used to write at different times
Notebooks filled with colored words
To write my youthful prose and rhymes.

Stories and poems from so long ago
The times I felt so misunderstood
Before my older eyes, they seemed so trivial to me now
Back then I must have thought those poems were good.

I look back on those writings
And a pattern now appears
Loneliness, heartache and loss
How often love had left me through the years.

The people that I once had known
In time we grew apart
Reflected and forgotten in those notebooks
They held the secret writings of my younger heart.

Angry letters I’d written
Rants and rave I never sent
Accumulated years of worn out words
I read in awe, surprised, amused
At all the time I’d spent.

My life’s recorded episodes
heartfelt musings, angry feelings, even wit
Pages filled with badly sketched out sweaters
That someday I had planned to knit.

Classroom notes and cartoon faces
Lists of things I’d planned to do
Written reflections that time erases
Were captured in those pages too.

The things I’d forgotten, the names and the places
How my writing had changed over time
Like a lost treasure found, those notebooks held
Forgotten gems of my prose and my rhymes.

Old and dusty notebooks
That I put back on the shelf
Years of written memories
From my younger, yearning self.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Remaining Unlisted

In Affiliate Marketing, one of the things many people recommend doing, is building a list. In fact they say to build two lists. People keep telling me the money is in the list.

One list is supposed to include my prospects. Those people who have expressed in interest in some of the products or services I'm trying to sell and promote. The other list includes those people who have moved from being prospects, or potential customers, to becoming actual customers. Those who have actually decided to part with their money to buy one of those products I've worked hard to promote.

So far both my lists are rather small. In fact they don't exist at all. Maybe I'm missing something here. Lots of people say, building those lists is a requirement, but I don't have specific details how I'm actually supposed to go about doing that.

I've joined two different safe lists. I've unsubscribed from one, and may soon unsubscribe from the 2ND one. In both cases I could only send out my promotional email one time a week.

I can't put these people on my two lists of prospects or customers, because they come from those original safe lists to begin with. Their email addresses, have something like "no reply" behind them. Or they have something that includes the safe list's name in their email address. So it isn't a direct email address, for me to be able to send them anything at all.

The same problem exists from the classified ad and community site that I joined, as a free member there. The people who paid to join that website, can much easier send me and many other people, email marketing messages about things that they're promoting. But as a free member, I don't have the same options as the paying members there have. And the same problem applies. Their email addresses come internally from that classified ad and community site, so I can't add those people to my lists either.

I tried to send something out manually to a number of people. It took some time for me to do that copy and paste thing, and I only sent it out to a small number of people. While I've looked at auto responders, I haven't gotten one yet. I'd prefer getting a free auto responder right now rather than paying for a service, I may later find, I'm not using or seeing any financial benefit from. What's the point of my having an auto responder, if I don't have anyone on my list to send anything to?

I'm not yet ready to develop my own newsletter or email course, to send out to other people. I have enough problems staying current with this blog or trying to write more articles, let alone doing even more writing of on ongoing newsletter to send to all the people on my non-existent lists. See my post about Disappearing Time. Well not yet having an auto responder, will save me time, not having to figure out how to use it.

Where are those names and email addresses supposed to come from that I'm supposed to be placing on my two lists?

Maybe if I had been more aggressive, I should have added the email addresses from the few inquires I received, about the products I'm tried to promote. Those inquiries came from the free classified ads I placed.

How excited I was to open those emails, when the subject line told me, that someone was actually interested in learning more about a product I was promoting. Only to find out those emails were from other affiliate marketers trying to promote their own products to me.

Or how about the few comments I've received on this blog so far? I guess I could have added those names to my lists. But they were also coming from a similar place that I was. One was an affiliate marketer, who recommended a good site for me to join, which I haven't done yet. The other was from a brand new blogger, just as I am. That's been the extent of my prospective customers so far.

It's nice to meet up with people I have something in common with. It just doesn't help my list building skills very much. There's an area, that doesn't seem logical to me at all, to be sending my email marketing promotion to other affiliate marketers or web site owners.

The affiliate marketers are trying to do the exact same thing that I'm trying to do. So while we might make each other aware of new products and services, the chances that we will actually buy anything from each other seem to me to be slim and none.

The web site owners, who are members of those safe lists or that classified ad and community site, are promoting their own web sites and products. Once again I'm on a shoestring budget, so it's highly unlikely I'll be buying any of their products. At least not until I actually make some money doing this, which hasn't happened for me yet,

I don't want to add my friends and family to my lists. My family might start asking me questions I'm uncomfortable answering. Such as how much money have you made? Or how much time have you spent doing this so far? Or they might make comments like, you're doing what? What about all the decluttering you're supposed to be doing? When are you ever going to get a real job? Then their next comments to me will probably be something like, don't email me this stuff anymore. So I'm doing my part to avoid potential family conflicts.

I don't want to email my friends about products, they probably don't need, won't use, and can't afford to spend the extra money on anyway. I also don't want them to feel obligated to try any of the things I'm promoting, just because we happen to be friends. I think that will be a real good way of my losing their friendship or at the very least, having them get good and aggravated with me for emailing them with my promotions in the first place.

Some time back people were commenting, on how you could input your own or other people's phone numbers into Google's search box. Other info would come up, from that telephone number search, like the person's full name, address, etc. The people I learned about this from, weren't too happy, that Google, had put this into place.

Their concern was that the address could then be entered into map quest, and the less desirable people of the world, like criminals, perverts, child molesters, could obtain exact directions to people's houses, from map quest.

My phone number is unlisted, but sure enough when I entered it into Google's search box up popped my full name and address. My phone number is unlisted for good reasons, and I want to keep it that way. It should be my choice, if I want to give it out to anybody, rather then Google deciding they're going to do it for me for anybody in this vast Internet world to look at.

The reach of Google is far greater then my local phone book, where my name and phone number don't appear. Fortunately there was an option to have my phone number removed. Now when I enter it into Google's search box, no information appears about me at all and I like it like that.

With that being said, my phone number remains unlisted now. As for my attempts to be able to place anyone, on my prospect list or my customer list, in those areas I also sadly remain unlisted as well.

Disappearing Time

It's amazing to me that 14 days have passed by, since the last time I wrote anything to this blog. I find myself thinking about Judy Collin's song, "Who knows where the time goes", and how did this last two weeks go by me so fast? It seems as I get older, each year, flies by faster then the one before. I feel time slipping away on me, and I know I waste a lot of it.

So what was I doing the last two weeks? Well occasionally I do need to do things like dishes, laundry, pay bills. Sometimes I just want to relax by watching TV. Often I find myself reading all kinds of things that catch my eye, and before I know it, I've spent several hours doing that.

And of course my game addiction kicked in. There's only one game I tend to play a lot. It frustrates me, that I can only get through 3 or 4 levels each time, before I run out of time (there's that word again). But I keep playing anyway, hoping one of these times, (and again) I'll actually be able to proceed through several different levels. I can't figure out how some people have such outrageously high scores there. I guess I have to accept I'm just an average player and probably will always be an average player. But I still like playing it.

I've also been trying to declutter around here. Don't really want to do that, but I have to get rid of stuff for various reasons.

Why haven't I posted anything at all in those two weeks? Sometimes my writing runs dry. New ideas to write about, seem to be taking a break from popping into my head. I keep a list of articles I hope to write for Helium someday, as well as a separate list of things I want to blog about here. It's a scary thought that my list of topics to blog about isn't growing as large or as fast as I'd like it to. Some of the topics I've already blogged about here.

I'd much rather have a longer list of potential blog topics, then feeling like I'm catching up with it. I think part of the problem is the name of this blog. Since my blog posts are no longer only about affiliate marketing, my blog title of The Affable Affiliate doesn't seem to fit my blog anymore. I'm still working on coming up with a catchy new blog name, that would be a better fit. Eventually I'll come up with something that fits these wide range of topics. But your ideas, or suggestions, comments and feedback are always welcome.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

In Search of A New Name!

It's been suggested that I should focus this blog on the specific target audience I'm trying to reach. I know that's good advice. But I like diverting off on those side roads from time to time. I'm not quite ready to start separate blogs for all the different topics I might want to blog about.

While this Blog started out about Affiliate Marketing, it's now become an assortment of different topics, including posts about my cats, writing, blogging, crafting, and various miscelleaneous musings of my oftentimes cluttered and confused mind.

I have a difficult time believing that some Affiliate Marketers might not also be pet owners, or that they might also enjoy writing. Or that some writers might like to craft. So in that way, one category could be related to another one. Well it's a bit of a reach I admit, but we don't all fit into one little box, or one little category, so why should my blog posts, or published articles have to be categorized that way? Besides if I started a separate blog for all these different categories, I wouldn't get much writing done. I can anticipate a big headache coming my way, at just the thought of doing that.

I like to write or blog about a variety of topics. I've started to categorize some of my different published articles. So if you have an interest in reading my articles about Affiliate Marketing, or cats, or knitting, they now each have their own separate category heading.

Of course that means The Affable Affiliate might no longer be the best title for this Blog. I've yet to come up with an alternative creative title. My creativity in that area, seems to have currently gone on vacation. So if you have any suggestions, as to what a better appropriate title might be here, I'm eager to know what they might be.

You're always welcome to leave your comments and feedback, suggestions and tips here on this blog, whether it's currently named The Affable Affiliate, or some other name that it might become, that is yet to be determined.

The Sting of Rejection

I recently started to submit articles to The People's Media Company, otherwise known as Associated Content. This is another writing site I put off joining. How exciting when one of my very first articles, Knitting Without Needles was accepted for publication there. I even received an offer of $6.04 for it to be published.

This was the first time, that I received money into my Paypal account, except for the small test deposits that Paypal and Google initially made to my account. But I've frequently paid out money of my Paypal account. I hoped to see more money coming in for me, instead of the money that so quickly goes out!

No $6.04 isn't a vast fortune, but it's a start. I've also been writing at Helium, another online writing site for some time. So far none of my articles earned me $6.04 immediately. But at Helium, my articles earn a residual income. That means as long as I stay active on the site and Helium stays in business, I'll continue to receive some small amount of income from all my published articles.

I've finally gotten to my first $25.00 payout from Helium. Granted it took me several months to get there, but now my earnings are building there, towards my second $25.00 payout.

Many, not all, of my articles have received high ratings from other writers at Helium. My very first published article there achieved a #1 rating, and I'm proud to say it has remained at #1 to this day, even though the number of writers, who wrote to that particular topic has doubled, from when I first submitted it.

I was about to rush in and start declaring the virtues of Associated Content. I started thinking if I even made $6.00 on each article I submitted there, soon I would have surpassed that $25.00 much quicker then I was able to do so far at Helium.

With the excitement of receiving my first payout from Associated Content, I quickly submitted 3 more articles. Rejected, rejected, rejected.

I wondered what was so bad about my writing this time around, when Associated Content, had accepted my article before, but wouldn't accept them now.

In comparison, at Helium my articles get published immediately, unless I'm starting a brand new topic, that no one else has written to yet. Then Helium needs to approve it. But articles that I submit to already established topics at Helium, never get rejected. Perhaps Helium has spoiled me because of that.

Still having my articles rejected by Associated Content, isn't much different then if I had submitted them to a brick and mortar publishing house, as opposed to an online writing site. I just had forgotten what that rejection feels like. The possibility certainly exists that the brick and mortar publishing house would have rejected my articles too.

As I looked again at my articles at Associated Content, I couldn't see much wrong with them. It's hard to get my writers ego out of the way and look at things from Associated Content's viewpoint. It's hard not to take it personally when your writing is rejected for various reasons.

But Associated Content will allow me to change the way I've submitted my articles, instead of waiting and hoping for an upfront payment, like that $6.04 I was so excited to receive. They have what's called Performance Payout. For every 1000 views of one of my articles, that I've submitted towards Performance Payout, I'll earn $1.50.

I'm trying to stop listening to my bill collectors laughing at me in the background.
One article that I've submitted for Performance Payout at Associated Content has already gotten me 9 page views, and I haven't yet done much to market it to the masses of people who I know are just dying to read what I write about!

I only need 991 more views to that page before I'll hit that great big payout of $1.50!

Right after I received that $6.04 payout, I was tempted to start singing, "I'm in the money!" I was guilty of counting my chickens before they hatched; guilty of jumping the gun, or putting the cart before the horse. I guess I better not yet count on making my quick overnight fortune from the articles I might submit to Associated Content. The articles that might get rejected.

I supposed I should thank Associated Content for bringing me back to earth, and giving me a reality check, but I'm not yet ready to do that. I'm still feeling that sting of rejection from them.

I sure don't want to believe that it was a fluke that they accepted my first article for publication and for payment. I sure don't want to think that Associated Content won't accept any future articles from me that I might submit there. It might take me awhile to get over this feeling of being rejected from Associated Content. And who can I talk to to protest their actions? How can I try to reason with them, and get them to see the error of their ways in rejecting my three articles as they did?

If you as my reading audience, decide to read any of my published articles at Helium, or at Associated Content, you'll be helping me to earn a little bit more money in either place.

For you it's free to read those articles. Doesn't cost you a thing to go look at them, from Helium or Associated Content. Both sites are free to join, if you also feel a need to write. I'd love to invite you in as a writer at either place, and obviously that might benefit me as well.

But if you read any of my articles from Helium or Associated Content, you'll be helping out this starving writer. You'll be easing the sting of rejection I received from Associated Content. It might take me all of a day or so to get over it!

As for me, I'll try not to spend my $6.04 all at once!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Emails I No Longer Read

When I first joined a safelist, I read practically every email that was sent to me. I found many other sites that are helpful, that I would not have otherwise known about. I spent a lot more time reading then writing. Now there's some emails I just don't look at at all anymore.

Like the ones that tell me I'll make a large amount of money in a short amount of time, with little work needed to accomplish that task. They just have a feeling of unreality to me. Tell me I might make $100.00 and I'll look at your link. But tell me how I'll be making $30,000 or some other outrageous amount, in half an hour, and I'll quickly be hitting the delete key, without reading your email at all.

As I got behind in reading my emails, sometimes I'd sort them by subject. There I could easily see when I had several that had the exact same subject line. Delete, Delete, Delete. I realize these are probably coming from web site owners trying to promote their sites, but after awhile I'm not going to keep reading the same email over and over again. And if I'm not reading it, and I'm new at affiliate marketing, do you really think those more experienced then I am, will keep reading the same old, same old emails?

You need to change things up once in while. You've probably gotten so used to just letting your autoresponder handle things for you automatically, that you forget how boring it can get to me your reader, to see the same email that you just sent me yesterday. If you're not going to change the contents of your email, then maybe you shouldn't send them to me as often. The delete key has now become my best friend.

Then there's the emails that got goofed up. Instead of addressing me as Hi Jan, they address me as Hi Firstname! When did I change my name? Why didn't anyone tell me I did that? And why do I have the same Firstname as everybody else on your list? They provide me with amusement value.

There were also emails, that seemed to be a bit behind the times. They'd say something like now that the holiday season is upon us. I don't think they were referring to Valentines Day. So hello, it's February now! Better pack up your out of date emails about the holidays, so you can start sending them out again next November or December.

Even with another safelist I've joined, I've learned how to work around it. I open my email in Mozilla Firefox, then I open several tabs. As those emails are loading, by the time I get back to the first tab, the 15 or 20 seconds I'm supposed to be staying at that link from that email has passed, and I've collected more credits, for when I send out my once a week promotional email.

I still don't have any kind of list to speak of, but at least I have lots of credits there. They may come in handy some day.

Affiliate Marketers are marketing to other affiliate marketers, which seems to defeat the purpose of those safelists. I don't think too many of them will buy the products I'm trying to promote to them, anymore then I'll be buying from them.

And you have to wonder, if I'm reading less and less of those promotional emails, and I'm relatively new at all of this, then how much is anybody else reading all those emails?

The Abbreviated Version

It’s now become common practice to abbreviate things. I don’t know where this idea first started or why. Perhaps there just wasn’t enough room across the paper, or invoice forms, so a shorter abbreviated version became a more efficient way of doing things. Then there’s all the time that can be saved in reading the abbreviated version.

Maybe if writers had to meet specific minimum word or character counts, it became faster and easier to write things in an abbreviated fashion. If they used the full written word instead of the abbreviated version, maybe they’d go over that suggested character count, and their writing wouldn’t get accepted and published. Or they might appear long winded if they didn't abbreviate some of their words. They might appear like they're trying to fill up their copy or padding their articles.

Think how much more time the cavemen might have had to spend if they had to chisel out the full words on their tablets of stone, or on the cave walls of their homes. Spending time chiseling out words like Doctor, Junior, or even longer words like Corporation, or Television, could have become an all day event back then.

It had to have been much faster, much more time saving for them, if they abbreviated those words to be Dr., Jr., Corp., and TV. Oh that’s right, they didn’t have Television back then. The Corporation of Cavemen, Limited, or should that be The Corp. of Cavemen, Ltd, probably went out of business a long time ago.

You see abbreviations in many different areas, and they become the accepted way of writing things. Refrigerator became fridge. Super Sonic Transport became SST. Long Playing Record Albums got abbreviated to become LP. Those are record albums of music that actually used to get played on record players or turntables back in the day. Then along came 8 tracks, cassettes and CDs.

The abbreviation for CDs could mean either Certificates of Deposit, or Compact Discs. How do you know which meaning someone else is referring to? That depends on the context where you read that abbreviated word of CDs. In areas of finance it would probably refer to Certificates of Deposits. While if you're reading about music, chances are good CDs there would refer to the discs that musicians have recorded their music on.

Maybe CDs actually means music that makes money to be deposited somewhere, to combine both possibilities?

Instructions for knitting and crocheting patterns are written using standard abbreviations for those two crafts. Those instructions might look like a foreign language if you're not familiar with what those abbreviations mean.

In some areas people become so accustomed to using abbreviations, that they start to take their use for granted. They forget, that someone new to that particular area, may not have any idea what those abbreviations stand for. Those readers might be standing there scratching their heads, wondering what in the world is that person talking about or referring to? They might not even be able to understand the sentence, if they don’t know what some of those abbreviations actually mean.

With the growing use of computers and the Internet, abbreviated expressions such as lol, rotf, brb, become commonly used and well known by many who use them in instant messages, emails, message boards and forums.

In the area of Affiliate Marketing, you might see abbreviations such as: html, href, B2B, ROI, CSS, or WYSIWYG just to name a few.

But what if you don’t know what all those abbreviations stand for? As new words become created, the online dictionaries, might not recognize that word as something, that many of us commonly use. Many times, my spell checker will highlight the word blog, or blogging for me. It politely suggests to me that perhaps I meant to type bog, or log, or ogling instead of the words blog or blogging, that I did type, and actually meant to type. So back off spell checker!

If you don’t know what certain abbreviations might mean and that writer hasn’t decided to enlighten you about them, then where do you go to look up the meanings of those unknown abbreviations?

I could perhaps do some research, for the abbreviations I’m not very knowledgeable about, but right now I'm not going to do that. Some people might end up sawing logs, or snoring in the back rows of my reading audience if I did that here. I know you’re out there somewhere, my reading audience that is.

I thought I'd have some say so about where my blog would be located, when those burly blog movers came around to place my blog at it's current location. Who knew, that my blog would be placed on some rural road out in the middle of nowhere, where little if any traffic ever passes by. But I will persevere. It's just a matter of time before you discover my blog on this untraveled road it must have been placed on. I still hold out hope that you will become part of my reading audience.

Back to the topic at hand. If I researched and wrote a post here as to what the actual definitions of html, B2B, CSS, or WYSIWYG, stand for, that writing might be rather dry and boring. That certainly isn't the type of impression I want to leave with my current or future reading audience!

So I propose to write my own creative version of those abbreviations.

Html on my B2B, could mean Hold The Mustard, Lettuce on my Burger to Burger. Or Maybe html stands for Have To Make Land, or Have The Monster Leap or Help The Man Leave. Maybe ROI, really means Relish, Onions, Indigestion or Really Over It! CSS probably stands for something like Could of, Should of Said or Cats Spit Synonyms.

Maybe rotf, really stands for Revenge Of The Frogs, or Right On The Forehead, instead of rolling on the floor. Perhaps WYSIWYG once meant Words You Submit Irritate Writers Youth Groups or Why You Should Instantly Water your Geraniums, or Wrap Your Senses In Wickedly Yearning Gazes instead of What You See Is What You Get.

But think how much time would it take you to read things, or to write them, or to come up with creative versions, like I’ve tried to do here, if we wrote words without abbreviating any of them. Look at all the time I’ve saved you now!

I hope you use that extra 2 minutes and 47 seconds wisely and well.

The After Effects of a Cat Fight

There are times when changing things isn’t such a good idea. After I made the mistake of trying to reintroduce my two cats Skitzy and Cole to each other, I would have been better off if I had left things the way they were.

I have no choice but to go back to my cat rotation system, and my cat separation system. For awhile, after their cat fight, when it was Skitzy’s turn to be out, and Cole was confined behind a closed bedroom door, Skitzy went under my bed, and wouldn’t come out. Before she would freely run through the rest of the place, scampering along the top of the couch, in the living room or she’d plop down in my lap to help me with my latest knitting project, or curl up to nap in the recliner.

I couldn’t even entice her out, when I opened a can of wet cat food. Usually she’s eagerly waiting to be served. The only way to get her out from under my bed, so Cole could have a turn roaming about the place, was to move the bed. Disgruntled Skitzy went to the bedroom, she knew she would be confined in for awhile. Before she’d run in there voluntarily, as if to say to me, ok I’ll let him have his turn at being out and about for awhile.

Of course how many cats in America, or anywhere else for that matter, have the luxury of having their own room? They should both be grateful that they weren’t being confined to the small area of a bathroom or closet or a cage.

Cole is a lot bigger then Skitzy, and more aggressive, towards her, Skitzy would have gotten the short end of the deal if I left them to their own devices.

No when it was Skitzy’s turn to be out and about, she wasn’t taking advantage of it, because the only place she wanted to be now, was under my bed. Cole was becoming the only cat that I could pet or play with, as Skitzy made herself unreachable to me.

One day I was able to get a hold of her, and we watched ice skating together on TV. I think she enjoyed hearing the music that the female skaters, were doing their routines too, as well as the attention she was getting from me. It was a pleasant time for both of us. I had missed not being able to stroke her soft fur, or hear her purrs of contentment.

After their cat fight, I noticed that Skitzy seemed to be walking gingerly. She made sounds of discomfort when I tried to touch her tail, or her back paws. I saw a few clumps of fur on the floor. Then I saw there was a gash on the underside of her tail.

I’m afraid to even attempt to reintroduce them again. Since I had heard that Cole didn’t get along with the cat from his previous home, I had hoped his aggression would be less, with Skitzy, after he was neutered. And I had kept them separated for so long, that maybe it was impossible to reintroduce them now.

Sadly I’m now starting to contemplate that things might be better for all three of us, if I start to find Cole another home. I’ve grown attached to him as well. I hate the idea, that he might have to get shuffled off to yet another place.

He’s a sweet cat to me, and he talks quite a bit. Maybe Cole just needs to be the only reigning cat, of his cat residence. Maybe Skitzy needs to be the solo cat living here as well.

The ironic thing is I got Cole, to keep Skitzy company after Misty died. There was no way of knowing then that things would turn out the way they are now.

If only I could convince Cole, that it would be much more in his own best self interest, to leave Skitzy alone, and to start treating her with the cat courtesy and respect that she deserves to have.

But cats, like humans, don’t always get along with each other or like each other. I wish I knew what they were both thinking about all of this. I wonder if at times, if they had previously been telling me, to stop keeping them separated and let them work things out themselves as cats do.

Still the hissing, snarling, spitting I heard from them both, the keening noises I heard from Skitzy when I did let them out together, never sounded like just a friendly little cat tussle to me. It sounded much more intense to me, then two cats just playing, or having an occasional cat spat or disagreement with each other. Maybe it sounded much worse to me, then it ever was to either one of them.

But if Skitzy was getting injured, from these cat fights as she now appeared to be, I certainly didn’t want that to continue., .

I feel a rip to my heart at the thought of having to find Cole another home, so I’m back to my cat separation system and my cat rotation system. I know it’s not greatest solution for the three of us, though they both seem to accept that at times they are going to be confined to one room for awhile. I’ve read that other people have had to keep their cats separated

I wish I could find another way, to make this a peaceful two cats, one human household for all three of us. Maybe if I hadn’t tried to reintroduce them to each other, it wouldn’t have become as big a problem to me, as it is now.

While often making changes can be a good thing, there are other times when it’s better not to change the way things are, and to just leave well enough alone.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Obsession Is Showing

I vowed I would limit my time on the computer today. I thought I'd only stay on here for a few hours while having my coffee, and then I'd go pursue other things. Of course I tell myself this everyday. But I swore to myself that today, would not be one of those 12 to 16 hour days that I've frequently been spending on this thing.

Right now it's only been about 7 hours or so, but I was hoping to only be spending 3 or 4 hours here today, and so far I'm not sure I'm accomplished a thing. But wait, there's still hope for me! Maybe I actually can escape the tight grasp that the Internet seems to have on me. Maybe I can get off of this thing while it's still daylight, and actually get a few other things accomplished.

You mean, there's more to life besides my computer and the Internet?

The problem is I'm still trying to learn about things, regarding Affiliate Marketing and the benefits of submitting Articles to different directories. Of course as a newbie at all of this, I have to spend some time reading, so I can learn what's recommended, but I can't seem to stop reading.

It's like I'm starved for information. I've become obsessed with reading as much as I can, and obsessed with learning what my next step should be. So who has time, to write anything? Oh yeah, that's right I'm supposed to be doing that to. Since that's the thing I enjoy the most, is the actual writing. But then I've read that you can't just focus on the writing, you have to focus on the marketing part of things too. Something else I have to read about, since I've never done it before in order to learn how to do it.

Maybe it's been so long, since I fed my brain anything new to learn about, that's I've become like a kid in a candy store. The addiction kicks in. The obsession takes over. Give me more info. I need to learn more about how this works, or why that doesn't work.

As much as I like Mozilla Firefox, I think it's adding to my computer addiction and obsession. Because I can open one topic in one window, then open a whole bunch of subtopics in different tabs within that same window, and pretty soon, I've got a whole lot of open windows, with a whole lot of open tabs, that I think I want to read or look at.

It starts with my wanting to read articles other people have written about Affiliate Marketing, or blogging, or writing and submitting articles, or learning what's needed for copy writing. I'm trying to learn from those who appear to have had some success at doing it. Then within one of those topics, I find something else that looks interesting. I click on that link, and before you know it, I've clicked on so many links, that I find myself dazed, and confused, as to what I should look at next. I not only lose all sense of time, I lose focus as well.

I'm one of those people, who tries to read a great deal about a site, to see if it's right for me. I must have a fear of commitment. Today along with all those other links I was opening on different topics I went to explore PayPerPost.com, and Payu2Blog.com. I thought here's a couple of sites where they'll pay me to do what I'm already doing now. Except that no body's paying me, at least not so far. That seemed pretty cool.

Well after looking at several different pages on PayPerPost.com, just as I was finally ready to actually sign up with the site, I discover that they require that my blog be active for 90 days. Well since it isn't yet, there didn't seem much point in signing up with them right now. But of course I learn this only after I've already spent a great deal of time, reading how different things work on the site.

So I move on the PayU2Blog, only to discover that I'll have to wait a few days to see if a representative will approve my blog, before they'll let me join. They might. They might not. If they don't approve my blog, they've already warned me, that I might not hear anything from them, due to the increase in traffic. So why don't you all get off of the Internet Highway. Go take a break, go do something else for awhile, so that I can get through.

Filled with disappointment, that I couldn't get immediate blog gratification at those two sites, I shut down my many open tabs, I closed my many open windows. It was getting pretty cold in here anyway.

I thought I could sign up at either or both of those sites, and then read more of what I needed to read, and within a short amount of time I'd be happily posting my first blog post at one of those sites, and then I might even earn a buck or two. Nothing seems to be easy to set up. In some ways the Internet makes things more complicated, and certainly more time consuming.

In addition I was trying to get an RSS feed subscription set up here, as well as signing up with Technorati which required more reading, and more going back and forth between those sites and my blog. Then I'm trying to link things up to Adsense Ads, get the needed script copied over to my blog, and after awhile I became so confused, I just had to stop doing it.

For all I know I might have linked up my RSS feed to some other site, that will pay me to blog that I can't recall looking at. Maybe I've linked up things that ended up somewhere else. And that web site owner or blogger is now scratching their heads, wondering how in the world did that strange link end up on their site? It's mine. Yep. That's right! I misplaced my links somewhere. Would you mind just sending it back to me?

I may not have any traffic coming to my blog just yet, but when I actually do get some, at least I'll be somewhat prepared, for that overwhelming response I'll be getting of all the people who I know just can't wait to read my words of wisdom from my blog. Mine and how many millions of others?

As they used to say on that TV Sitcom, Friends, it became a matter of my tired brain, just trying to take in "Too Much Information."

All I can say is it's a good thing I like to read. But I didn't expect I'd have to be reading so much, or that so many hours would so quickly disappear while I was stuffing my brain with more information then it could reasonably be expected to handle.

An unseen force must have taken hold of me. Something unknown to me must have convinced me that I needed to read just one more article, then one more after that, and one more after that. Something must have taken hold of me, that said go ahead click on one more link, and when you get to that page, you know they'll be a dozen more that you'll feel it will be absolutely necessary that you must read them all right now.

Maybe I can learn to tame that need I seem to have to learn and read more about so many different things. My brain has rebelled, and said that's it. I've had it. I can't absorb anymore right now.

So if you'll excuse me, I believe my obsession is showing.

Good Site Recomendation

There are quite a few sites where you can cloak your affiliate links. The reason you want to cloak them, is because your customers may bypass you and buy the products you’re promoting directly from the parent company. Other people could cut off your affiliate links, and substitute their own links. Then you might lose your commissions. In adddition, some people are reluctant to buy products from an affiliate marketer.

One of the sites I like a great deal makes it easy to cloak your links. The site gives you options to add a new link, or to manage the links you’ve already set up. You can also create new ads as well as managing your pre-existing ones. Then you can easily edit things, or change the wording of your ads later.

The screens for creating your cloaked links or your ads are set up well. They’re easy to maneuver through, and self-explanatory as to what information you’ll need. Once you’ve typed in your ad, with your cloaked affiliate link in place, you can then preview what it will look like. You want to make sure it will fit into the space provided. If not go back and make more changes or if you like the way it looks, then after clicking a few links you ad will be saved. Newly created ads need to be approved by the staff first. After approval, your ads will start cycling through.

What I like about this site is that you ads are viewed multiple times. This is beneficial as it increases your possibilities of generating more sales, as opposed to a classified ad site, where the ads are static.

The ads are displayed in a flyin window. Your ads cannot be blocked from being seen. The flyin window will display 3 ads and you earn 10 credits from your ad being displayed. The ads you created will then display on the flyin window when other members' links are clicked! You continue building up credits, when you go back to cloak more links, and continue placing more ads on the site.

You can join the site as a free member, or as a paying member. The amount of credits you earn increases a great deal, if you join as a paying member. You also earn more credits when someone clicks on the ads of your referrals.

You earn 10 credits every time one of your ads is clicked on. You earn an additional 5 credits every time someone clicks on one of the ads of your referrals. Then you get an additional 3 credits for each ad clicked for level two, from the people, that your referrals brought in. You can earn an incredible amount of credits this way.

Paid members have the added advantage of using HTML ads, while non-paying members are limited to black text within their ads. As a paid member, you can use different fonts and colors, have graphics on your ads or create banners. Not only will your credits increase as a paid member, and increase even more through your referrals, but also your affiliate commission is twice as much as those who join for free. But it's a good site for those on a limited budget, as you can also build up a large number of ad credits here.

The site has a very good promotional area, which means you can place your cloaked affiliate links on your blog, your website, in forums, or any number of places where you usually promote your products. The site will track the number of clicks you get on each of your links, as well as tracking conversions, and signups for you. Email support has responded to me quickly. You also have an email inbox on the site.

The only negative I have to say about this site, is about the flyin box. While from an affiliate marketer's standpoint it's a great concept that the box which has 3 different ads appearing on it, doesn't close, can't be blocked and just doesn't go away. But I could see how this might get annoying from a prospective customers viewpoint.

In fact that's how I ended up signing up for this Site. No matter what I did, how I scrolled through the main page I was looking at, or how many times I clicked with my mouse, I just couldn't get the flyin box to move, so I could read the initial page I was on. Finally in frustration, I clicked on the different links, in order to get it off the main page I was viewing. Of course then as I started reading more about it, I could see why this would become a very useful product to have.

There have been times, when I've needed to again look at a site, that I was promoting, that I had cloaked with this program. I needed to double check that the price and the bonuses hadn't changed from the last time I looked at it. At times I've had to reload the page using my original link, instead of the cloaked one so I could again view those details.

However, the area where you manage your links shows both your original link and what it became as a cloaked link. You have the choice of having your ads appear in a viral format, or not. For programs that I’m an affiliate member of, it’s at times been advantageous to not have my ads appear in a viral format, as it does block part of the page that I want people to look at.

So other then that one negative aspect of this site, I’d highly recommend this site for cloaking your affiliate links. It’s easy to use, and your ads get viewed multiple times, which helps increase your traffic and your potential sales. It has a good stats tracking area, email support, and other benefits. Whether you join it as a non-paying member or as a paid member, it's well worth joining this site.

Click here to get Viral Link Tracker

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Marketplace: Benefits for Vendors

There is a new online marketing company with thousands of products and services. They carry both digital and physical products. This company was developed by internet marketers, with benefits for both the vendors and for affiliates.

Some of the benefits for vendors are that the site is Integrated with PayPal. As a vendor you’ll have the choice of being able to mass pay your affiliates each month either through PayPal or by check.

You can sell your own products, ebooks, software or services, or have the companies affiliates sell your products for you, or build up your own team of affiliates. You determine your own suggested retail price for your product, whatever you want that price to be.

There is no pre-approval required for your sales pages or your thank you pages. Your products do not become the property of the merchant. There are detailed fee schedules listed on the site, and tools available to help your affiliates. You can place an affiliate sign up page on your website, track the statistics of your affiliates, as well as tracking your own statistics and your campaigns.

There are vendor discounts as well, where you will get 25% more for your money.

The site shows comparison fees to two other marketing companies, and this company’s fees appear to be much lower then the other two are.

There’s an active forum, and help desk support available.

The Vendor accounts are free. If you want to add multiple product lines, to your Vendor account, they are only charging a onetime lifetime activation fee of $29.00. You’ll then be able to get unlimited product lines to add for life. This price may soon be increasing to $49.00.

To learn more about this company, and the other benefits they offer that I haven’t listed here, please click on the link below.


New Marketplace: Benefits For Affiliates

There is a new marketplace that’s 100% free to join! This company was developed by Internet Marketers, with benefits for both vendors and affiliates.

As an affiliate for this company, you can earn up to 80% sales commissions, by linking your customers to the products and services available in the Marketplace. You can place both your affiliate link and the links to the products you’re selling to your customers, on your web page.

Your links and promotional tools are all available from the Vendors affiliate tools when you select the product. From there you can track all your stats. There are quite a few statistics listed including your profits for today, the last 7 days and the last 30 days.

There are both digital and physical products available in several different categories. When you’re looking at the products you want to promote there are several links under each product. You can get more info on the product, see the sales pages, view the Vendors Profile, and even contact the Vendor directly.

There’s an active forum available as well as help desk support.

The Site is integrated with PayPal. Your commissions will be paid each month by the Vendors. The Vendors can do this by a Mass Pay feature where the Vendor chooses whether to pay you each month through PayPal, or by check.

There is a detailed fee schedule listed on the site. It also gives you comparison fees that are charged by this company as compared to two other marketing companies. This company’s fees are significantly lower then the other two they’ve shown on the site.

In addition, you are allowed one free vendor account to sell your product. If you want to add multiple product lines the fee they are charging for Vendors is a onetime lifetime activation fee of $29.00. Then you can get unlimited product lines to add for life. However that price may soon be increasing to $49.00.

To learn more about this company, and other benefits that they're offering, please click on the link below.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Cats Go Round

I thought if perhaps I slowly reintroduced Skitzy and Cole to each other, maybe we could finally have the peaceful two cats, one human household that I longed to have. I pictured myself contentedly typing away on the computer, while they both were free to go into all areas of the house. Then I would no longer have to keep them separated. Maybe I could finally put an end to my separated cat system, and my cat rotation system.

Maybe they'd get along better now. They were both older. They both knew the other cat lived here. They both lied down in front of the closed door the other occupied. I thought they were telling me, why don't you just let us be the Cats we are, and we'll take care of things in our own way.

Cole was neutered now. Much of that testosterone would be gone, and his aggressiveness surely would have diminished by now.

I had to plan this carefully. I closed my bedroom door, because I knew Skitzy likes to go under my bed. If Cole followed her there I wouldn't easily be able to get to either one of them to stop the cat fight if it happened. Skitzy would be let out first to freely roam the house. Then I warned her that I'd be letting Cole out. I had my trusty water bottle in hand. I was prepared to break things up if I needed to do that. I steeled myself for the spitting, hissing noises that I soon might be hearing.

Cole slowly came out, requiring much petting by me after having been left in the bedroom over night. Skitzy was hiding somewhere.

Cole looked at me, as if to say, I'm trying real hard to be a good guy cat here. I'm trying to behave. I was proud of him. He seemed to have no interest whatsoever in seeking Skitsy out. I'm sure that he could smell her, as Cats' have a much stronger sense of smell then humans do.

Cole went on to explore the room that Skitzy's often kept in. He advanced to where her food was. I knew he'd eat it if he got the chance. So there I was standing there with a Spray Bottle of Water in One hand, and Skitzy's food bowl in the other. How was I going to fend off any potential cat attacks like that?

It finally occurred to me to put Skitzy's food bowl down. And if Cole ended up eating it, I would replenish it for her. I wasn't about to let her go hungry, and putting her food bowl in the fridge didn't seem like a good option. I might forget I left it there.

I've now had to keep the bag of cat chow inside a plastic grocery bag. Knot it loosely and then keep it hidden away in a cabinet. Even at that Cole has managed to get the kitchen cabinet open, tear through both bags to get to the cat chow. While I'm certainly not starving him, in fact he's gained weight, if he wants more cat chow, he seems to find a way to get it. I haven't yet been able to stop him.

Cole continued exploring the room, that Skitzy gets kept in. Skitzy made herself visible to me by crouching near the garbage can in the kitchen. So there all three of us were, in this L shaped formation, with me standing in the corner of that "L" between the two of them, armed with my spray water bottle in hand watching the two of them to see what would happen next. I started wondering how long I would have to remain on cat guard patrol like this.

It was if we had some kind of two cats, one human standoff. I started to think maybe this can work after all. Cole had been out for a few minutes, and he didn't initially go after Skitzy or even try to seek her out. Then Cole came down the hallway where I was at. He even ignored Skitzy for awhile and sniffed at other things.

Then Skitzy moved, Cole went after Skitzy and all hell broke loose. I couldn't keep up with them, armed as I was with my trusty spray water bottle.

Maybe it wouldn't have happened again if Skitzy hadn't dashed off. Yeah right. Like that's a natural thing to expect a cat to do. To not move at all, to just stand still! Like that was ever going to happen!

Cole had Skitzy trapped in one of the closets of the bedroom she's often forced to occupy. My spraying him with water, didn't seem to phaise him in the least. He wasn't about to move from the closet. He laid there a foot away from her, just waiting for her to make her move. Skitzy was curled up hissing and starting her dreadful keening noises again. Skitzy was looking at me desperately as if she was saying to me "Help Me! Save Me! You're supposed to love and protect me from this brute of a cat. You're the one who brought him into this house! Do something!"

Skitzy dashed off with Cole in gleeful pursuit. They got my bedroom door opened, which doesn't close very well to begin with, and after more hissing and spitting they both ended up under my bed. Exactly what I was trying to prevent. Both of them in a corner under my bed where I couldn't see them, and certainly couldn't reach either one of them, to grab them or to squirt them to to try to put an end to the cat fight, spitting, hissing, keening noises I was now hearing once again.

My heart was racing like it was about to come flying right out of my chest. I pounded on the bed in frustration, and fear for how this might turn out for Skitzy, and how she'd feel about me in the future at my having left her to fend for herself against Cole. There wasn't much I could do about any of this. I was just a frustrated, ineffective, helpless, scared human after all. Things had not turned out as I had planned.

My hopes for a peaceful two cats, one human household vanished as quickly as they had come. Then Cole casually strolled out from under my bed. He looked at me as if to say, "What did you really expect would happen?" He sure didn't have that look on his face now, that said I'm trying to be the good cat you want me to be. Instead he looked rather smug and extremely satisifed with himself. This time he was looking at me as if he was saying, "Hey, I'm just doing what comes naturally to me! What in the world is your problem, human person, who doesn't seem to have a clue about normal cat behavior?"

Casually he made his way out of that bedroom and into another one. Skitzy remained under my bed.

About a week ago, Skitzy and Cole somehow ended up in the same closed bedroom together. Everything seemed quiet, and peaceful while I went in search of Skitzy wondering where she had ended up hiding. I was very surprised to see her occupying the same room at the same time as Cole. I can't for the life of me figure out how that happened. As soon as I came into that room and opened the door, then the hissing, spitting, snarling started.

So maybe all this chasing, all these terrible noises I can't bear to listen to are all being done for my benefit. Maybe it's some scheme the two of them concocted to have their dubious version of cat fun with me their human counterpart.

I think they've both got my number. I think they both know exactly how to play me, and how to push my soft spots to their fullest advantage.

As I type this, Cole and I now occupy the room with the computer, while I type away with the bedroom door closed. I'll have to entice Skitzy out of hiding, by bribing her with canned cat food. Then her and her food will get placed in the bedroom she is often forced to occupy and then Cole will get his turn to be let out to freely roam the rest of the house.

After awhile Skitzy will get bored with it. She'll sratch at the bedroom door to be let out. Cole will then be placed in the bedroom with the computer, with the door closed and then it will be Skitzy's turn to freely roam the rest of the house, or to go into hiding, somewhere as she now so often does.

And so we're all three carrying on, just exactly as we were before. My Separated Cat System and my Cat Rotation System continues to be left in place. At least until I can figure out what my next move might be, in simply wanting to live in a peaceful quiet two cats, one human household.

Two Cat Household

I own two Cats, or they own me. I got Skitzy my small sweet female cat, as Misty another cat that we had, started getting older. Misty, a tabby, was with us for a good 16 or 17 years. Bringing Skitzy into the house, I felt was about the continuing circle of life. Misty made some unhappy keening noises at times, but for the most part she didn't seem to have a major problem with Skitzy coming into the household.

Skitzy didn't go after Misty, but pretty much just left her alone. They didn't fuss and fight with each other. In fact at times, they were sleeping near each other in the separate cat beds I had bought them.

Skitzy is a tortoiseshell cat. She's sweet, somewhat shy, very gentle and likes to occupy my lap while I'm trying to knit. She's like a ballerina cat, the way she softly, gently puts her paws down. It never got to a point where Misty and Skitzy cuddled with each other, or licked each other but at least they seemed to tolerate each other.

Sometime after Misty died, I wondered if Skitzy was bored being in the house all by herself. I felt she had gotten used to having another cat around. She came to me from a household that had another cat there.

Along came Cole. I thought Cole would keep Skitzy company, and give her companionship that I thought she might have needed after Misty died. I thought they would play together and happily chase each other around from time to time. They were closer in age to each other then Skitzy had been to Misty.

Soon began the snarling, the hissing, the spitting between the two of them. The mad dashes by the two of them through different areas of the house. The disturbing sounds of two cats fighting, that were hard for me to listen to, and even harder for me to ignore. Those noises probably sounded much worse to me, then they might have been to either one of them.

Skitzy then started going into hiding, looking over her shoulder whenever she went to use the litter box, or go to eat. As if she was checking out if it was safe for her to pursue those activities. Cole's a lot bigger than Skitzy is.

Often he seemed to trap her in a corner, though he didn't appear to actually be hurting her. But just sort of waiting, daring her to move, so he could chase after her again. What was worse were the keening noises that Skitzy started making when Cole got too close.

She sure didn't sound like a very happy cat to me, glad to have the company of this new cat I had brought into her territory. At times I think she gave me looks of hurt, confusion, and that I had somehow betrayed her by bringing Cole in.

And Cole seemed to become a type of Bully Cat, towards Skitzy though he is very sweet and affectionate to me. Before I gave him a home I had heard he didn't get along with the other cat residing there. Maybe Cole just needs to be the Solo Cat of his cat household.

People told me this aggression on Cole's part might ease up once I got him neutered. Skitzy was spade, so I couldn't figure out what kind of sexual scent she might be leaving that would be attractive to him. But Cole was just doing what comes naturally to a Young Male Cat, who wasn't yet neutered. Basically going after anything that moved. Skitzy moved. Cole went after her.

I then started my separated cat system. I'd keep one cat in one bedroom, while the other got to roam the rest of the place. I rotated this to try to make it fair to both of them. It was difficult for me to logically think this through, in the mornings before the coffee had kicked in. I'd put one cat in one bedroom, and then realize he or she needed fresh food or water, or their litter box needed to be cleaned out. Then I'd have to sneak in and out to accomplish this task. I'm sure both cats had a good laugh at my silly human disorganization, before the caffeine had its desired effect on my addled brain.

I initially thought about naming Cole, who is all Black with incredible green eyes, Nat KinK Cole, since he had a KinK in his tail. It's a good thing I didn't. Cole started attacking his tail, going after it in a frenzy. He scared me when he started these attacks upon himself. Soon part of his tail became fur bear, and bleeding.

Sometimes he started hissing at it or hissing at me. I wasn't quite sure which. Since Skitzy was in another room. That only left Cole, Me and his battered tail for him to be hissing at. Obviously something about his tail was bothering him.

Off to the Vet, where Cole finally got the neutering he needed, as well as having to have part of his tail amputated. He came home wearing a collar, so that he couldn't go after the bandage on his tail. At that point I was told by the Vet to continue keeping them both separated until Cole recovered from his surgeries. Cole would have an animal hospital smell attached to him when he first came home and Skitzy might freak out at seeing Cole wearing his Collar. I can't say I'd blame her for that, as he looked like an Alien Cat with it on.

Poor guy had a hard time wearing that collar. He bumped into things, or his collar would get caught on something, that I'd have to free him from. He couldn't groom himself with the collar on. At times it didn't seem like he could eat very easily. He'd get the corner of his collar caught under his water bowl, and spill the water.

This wasn't his fault. He couldn't help it. It was frustrating for both of us. Skitzy at one time, looked at me, looked at him, with his collar and his amputated tail, as if she knew something wasn't quite right. I would take the collar off of Cole for awhile so he could have an easier time at eating his food, and give himself a good grooming session. But as soon as he started going after his tail, the collar went back on him.

When it was Cole's turn to freely roam the house, and Skitzy was safely in another bedroom, Cole stayed close to me as he followed me through the different rooms of the house. As if he knew I would need to act as his guide, since he couldn't use his whiskers for that purpose, while having to wear that collar.

Cole being the smart cat that he is, managed to get the Collar off himself, by chasing madly through the house. Somehow with the chair and table legs he came up against, the collar came off, and Cole again attacked his bandaged tail. Back to the Vet we go. Now the majority of his tail had to be amputated.

Cole came home again. He now looks like a small Bobcat, with just a small stub of black tail left. But at least he is no longer having his frenzied attacks towards his tail anymore. This time for his 2ND episode of tail amputation recovery, he had a collar on that would be much more difficult for him to get off, and even if he attempted it, he wasn't able to accomplish this the second time around.

My separated cat system continued. It was as if I owned two cats, but owned them one at a time. Yet each of them would lie in front of the bedroom door that the other cat was occupying at the time. Skitzy voluntarily would dash into the bedroom, that she has to often occupy. As if to say to me, I don't like this set up very much, but at least I know I'm safe in here, and that Cole can't get to me, as long as you keep the door closed. Of course when she's getting bored with that, she's scratching at the door to be let out, and my cat rotation system starts all over again. Cole gets put into another bedroom, Skitzy then gets let out to roam the rest of the place.

This would all be so much easier, if I had some sort of Cat Revolving Door in place. But it's not a great situation for any of us.

If I'm on the computer, which I am a great deal of the time, I can't really keep an eye on the two of them, so I continued on with my separated cat system. I knew I was keeping them separated more for my sake then for theirs. I didn't want the additional stress of having to break things up, if they should get into another cat fight, while I was on the computer. In addition, I couldn't always remembers where I had last left the spray bottle of water to cool things down between them. I think I could have learned how to deal with the hissing and spitting noises in time. But it was Skitzy's keening noises I had the hardest time listening to.

Maybe I just should have enclosed myself in one room, with a good pair of headphones on and let the two of them figure things out. I felt like I would be setting up Skitzy to be attacked by Cole. I wasn't seeing trails of blood droppings or clumps of fur left behind. But those noises...they were heart wrenching to me. They were too difficult for me to listen to, and impossible to tune out.

If Cole and I are both enclosed in the bedroom where the computer is, and Skity's out in the rest of the place, the room that Cole and I are in gets incredibly warm, while the rest of the place seems to get very cold. Now I have to make increased trips to turn the heat down, turn the heat up, or at times just turn the heat off altogether for awhile, until the bedroom with the computer in it cools down.

This was becoming a crazy way for all three of us to live. I had kept them both separated for so long, I didn't know how to undo it anymore. I knew something had to change.

To be continued:

Change or Stay The Same?

It's been recommended to me, that I shouldn't divert off topic the way I have been doing and get my blog more focused to the people I'm trying to target. I know this is good advice. I know it makes sense.

Yet I have a hard time doing it. I don't want to remove my post about my Cat Cole, or the one I wrote about the toys I've created. Neither of those topics might have anything to do with Affiliate Marketing, though Cole taught me that sometimes you have to say no, which I was able to relate to Affiliate Marketing.

It was a bit of a stretch I admit. But that's what immediately came to my mind that cold and snowy night when he was meowing insistently at the back door. Having to say no to Cole and the other cat, as well as having to say no to many of the things being offered to me by other affiliate marketers.

As for my toys, I'm proud of them. I'm proud that I made them, and actually finished them. I'm proud of the fact that I actually got into the 21st Century and was able to upload those pictures that other people might enjoy looking at.

Part of me feels I should remove those pictures of My Mini-Me Doll and Rolly the Octopus from this blog. Part of me feels I won't be taken very seriously with pictures like that appearing here.

Maybe it's the little kids voice in me, that's saying "But I don't want to take them down!" I like seeing them here when I sign in here. They make me smile when I see them greeting me, when I first enter my blog. Maybe they'll make other people who might look at this blog from time to time, smile as well. Maybe there's nothing wrong with a bit of silliness appearing on my blog from time to time, as well as everything else that might end up landing here.

I actually want to add more pictures of my toys here. Maybe it's also the part of me that is generally just somewhat rebellious to begin with. That doesn't quite want to do things the way it's recommended, even though I know it's a great recommendation.

Isn't there room for diversity? Isn't it possible that other affiliate marketers, or other people who might be reading my blog, could also be pet owners? Isn't it possible that some of them might even enjoy crafting in their spare time, and might enjoy seeing a few pictures of my hand made toys here?

Maybe I just don't want to have to categorize my blog posts, other people or myself, into tiny little boxes. I suppose I could say this could be part of my spillover into other areas, not exactly related to Affiliate Marketing.

Besides this might give Google some variety in the AdSense Ads they might be placing here, because of my having different keywords, that relate so far to cats, crafts, writing, as well as affiliate marketing. I wouldn't want Google AdSense to get bored if their spiders have to look at the same keywords over and over again.

OK I'm justifying my diversionary tactics for myself. I admit it!

It was also recommended that I start separate blogs for each different category that I might blog about. Target one blog to cat owners, another to crafters, another to writers, another to affiliate marketers. Or else I should just make my blog a hodge podge of different things that I'm going to be blogging about, which so far, seems to be the direction this one's heading in.

Good Grief! It took me quite a long time to get this blog up and running. I spent hours making up my mind about what colors, fonts, I wanted and the placement of things. I put off starting a blog for quite some time, because I felt it would be a time consuming task.

If I start a different blog for each different category that comes into my overcrowded and disorganized mind, I might not get much writing done. And what if I only end up with 4 posts about cats, 7 posts about crafts and then I can't come up with anything more to blog about on each specific topic? Then I'll have a whole bunch of mini-blogs I'll have to keep track of, each of them perhaps not having much content?

Now it's occurred to me that probably I should change the name of my blog since it doesn't seem to be about The Affable Affiliate, and since it is becoming a hodge podge of this and that. Actually I initially wanted to title it Jan's Promo Place. But when it came to also having to come up with a link name/address for myself, I thought people might remember Jan's Promo Place easier then they would remember The Affable Affiliate.

So as you can see, things did not end up exactly the way I thought they would. If I was having that much trouble trying to figure out which should be the name of my blog, and which should be my http link address, just think how much trouble my brain will have coming up with several more new blog names, and addresses? Not to mention that I'm not that thrilled with the concept of moving to begin with or having to set things up at a whole new location.

If I change my blog's name from the The Affable Affiliate to something else, that could also mean, I'll start getting 404 errors or some other kinds of errors from Google. Because I'll have to make changes in other places behind the scenes. At this point I don't want to spend the time figuring out how I go about doing all of that.

Right now I can't come up with another creative name for my blog, that might be more appropriate for the diverse topics I've already started blogging about. I'm just not getting that light bulb coming on for me right now, or that creative bolt of lightning, that says to me, Aha! This is what you should rename your Blog. Maybe it'll come to me in the future, maybe it won't.

Until it does, this blog will remain titled The Affable Affiliate, it'll still be located at http://janspromoplace.blogspot.com. This blog will probably contain some posts from time to time that appear to have nothing at all to do with Affiliate Marketing. I won't guarantee I can always accomplish it, but I'll do my best to tie in my unrelated blog posts somehow. That might not just be a bit of a stretch, it might become a major reach. Be that as it may.

As the writer of this blog, I obviously feel a need to have those unrelated posts appear here once in awhile.

Should I change things here or have them stay the same? They were great recommendations and I appreciate it that someone took the time to give me that good advice. I know I should be following them, but I just can't yet bring myself to remove my unrelated posts about Cole the Cat, or the posts or the pictures of my hand made toys.

So for now things are staying the same, if and until I can come up with a creative name for this blog that would be more appropriate.

Nothing is Simple!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Hand Made Toys

While this Blog is titled The Affable Affiliate, it's time I diverted off of the main road for a bit. Since The Affable Affiliate is located at Jan's Promo Place. That means I can promote all kinds of things. I think it leaves my niche wide open. I think I can promote whatever I want to promote, and furthermore I intend to do just that.

So I guess in a way I'm promoting me right now. That's right! You read that correctly. I'm engaging in a form of shameless self promotion. Do I hear your surprised intake of breath? Ok you can exhale now.

As you can see from some of the titles of my submitted articles, some of them have to do with the yarn crafts of knitting, crocheting and the Knifty Knitter, so this post is about that particular topic. And since I've already listed articles I've written in that area, I don't think I'm drifting too far off topic.

Or else I'm justifying for myself, the occasional need I have to impulsively travel down some unknown side road. I used to like doing that while driving my car, before the price of gas became so high, so why shouldn't I do it with my blog from time to time?

I'm slowly but surely getting into the 21st Century. I developed pictures in August, 2007. I even had them put on a CD. Well yesterday I finally got around to uploading those pictures from the CD's I got in August of 2007. I sure don't want to rush into these things. Procrastinators of the World Unite.

It was a lot easier then I thought it would be. Then I enjoyed watching the screenshow of my pictures. And of course I got into cropping the pictures, and seeing what all the different effects would do.

Well one of the CD's included pictures of the different stuffed animals, I had hand made. From there I advanced to a group on Yahoo, that I had joined some time ago, but hadn't actively participated in. This group is called Joyful Toys. It's a group of people who make toys by way of knitting, crocheting or using the Knifty Knitter, which is a set of 4 circular knitting looms. I enjoy making all kinds of hand made items. But I think making toys and stuffed animals are my favorite items to make. Those critters come to life for me, once they're all put together and I put the faces on them.

I'm proud to say I got the pictures of my stuffed creations uploaded to a photo album in that group. I've been wanting to do that for a long time. I've often lurked and looked at the cute creations other people had made, but I had never posted any of my own.

I have another printer with scanning capabilities, but it's currently not connected to my hard drive. It also seemed more complicated, and required more reading then I often felt like doing, on that particular topic.

But with a CD, I open up the tray, put the CD in the slot, close the tray, and within a few minutes my pictures were appearing on my computer screen. How cool is that? How simple, how quick, how incredibly easy. Sometimes I just love modern technology, when things go as smoothly as loading those pictures did.

Considering I have a whole gang of computer gremlins that reside in my computer, and delight in making my computer life more difficult, those pictures appearing that easily was like a breath of fresh air to me. Maybe all the computer gremlins were napping at the time. Or could it be they've finally vacated my computer to go mess with someone else for a change? You don't know how many times I've heard those computer gremlins laughing at me in the background at all the mischief they so delight in creating for me.

Right now my computer starts up with immediately wanting to search for something. It didn't do that before. So far I haven't found a way to stop that search from appearing when I start my computer, but fortunately I can click out of the two search boxes that now appear at start-up. I believe my computer gremlins are responsible for making that search request appear so suddenly on my computer. It couldn't be something I must have clicked on, that I don't remember doing, and now I can't find it, since I can't remember what I may have done, so I can change it back to how it was before. So I can only conclude it's because of the computer gremlins that reside in my computer.

I'm grateful that my computer gremlins, gave me a break when it came to getting those pictures on my computer. I enjoy looking at the many stuffed animals I've made. They seem happy that at last they can now be visible to the world.

So this post might not have anything to do, with Affiliate Marketing. It won't tell you how to earn money, it won't give you a free ebook to download and read, it won't point you in the direction of a dozen different web sites or products I'm recommending. It isn't even about the things I find difficult or confusing about Affiliate Marketing.

I'm proud of the stuffed animals I've made. I'm proud of myself for actually getting their pictures on the computer and then into a photo album from Yahoo's Joyful Toys Group at last. I'm delighted that maybe others might look at the pictures of my hand made critters from time to time.

So if you have kids, or if you're a kid at heart, who likes keeping that kid alive within you, then maybe you'll go take a look at my pictures. I'm not sure how it works, if you have to join Yahoo in order to see them.

Looking at the pictures of my stuffed animals, won't earn you more money. It won't get your more downline referrals, it won't be a about a product you need to know more about.

Buy maybe it will awaken the little kid in you. Maybe those pictures will help you forget your troubles for awhile. Maybe my pictures of my cute and cuddly hand made stuffed animals will put a smile on your face and fill you with as much delight as I get from making them.

But you'll never know if you'll get that warm and fuzzy feeling, unless you take a look at them.