Monday, October 01, 2007

Working Web Site Serenade

Ten Basic Steps For Building A Web Site That Works

1. Assemble a web site development plan that is integrated with your overall marketing processes; the content should be consistent with offline materials, the graphics/images don't have to be identical with traditional media, but should be consistent with your overall branding, style guide, usage of colors etc.

2. Hire a web site design firm that understands your market position and one that won't get "geek crazy" - meaning they are so in love with their own design capabilities, your site gets bogged down with graphics, plug ins, GIF garbage, etc. But, conversely, check your ego at the door when you work with your design firm - I've see so many good web site designs get ruined by clients who can't or won't listen to what we tell them!

3. Pay attention to "load times," how long it takes a web site to load on a 56 KBPS modem (this is an industry average), if its more than 12-18 seconds you may experience the "click of death" - the site doesn't load quickly and the surfer is gone. Of course, if your targeting broadband customers who are reaching your site via ISDN or DSL then you can build a site that incorporates multimedia-ready content that may include streaming audio or video, or Shockwave or Flash capabilities - go ahead and let those digital geeks get carried away with cutting edge content!

4. Dare I say it, "keep it simple" - make your site easy to move around in, build a menu structure that is consistent with industry standards, local menus (for a page or section) on the left and global menus (overall site navigation) at the top and/or bottom of each page, keep as much information "above the fold" (above the cutoff point at the bottom of a monitor), don't make people use horizontal scroll bars unless absolutely necessary.

5. Inculcate "digital speed" into your overall site design, your client/customers should be able to get to their desired area of your site within one or two mouse clicks; they will quickly get frustrated if they have to click-through multiple menus to find information they are seeking.

6. Develop content that is web-enabled, people don't read web site content like they do offline media, keep your paragraphs short no more than two to three sentences, build in white space with your content, include links in your pages - don't try to tell your whole marketing story on your site - get people to call you (hello the telephone still works!), e-mail or fill out a profile form (see below).

7. Make your site permission-based marketing ready - I love Seth Godin's "Permission Marketing" book,, and we recommend it to all of our clients - he champions building a long term relationship with a customer by asking their permission to continue to market to them and incorporating value/information in all marcom processes.

8. Ensure your site is optimized for Search Engines by identifying 8-12 keywords that people will use to find your site, then incorporate these keywords in your site content (to drive relevancy with s/engine spiders/bots) and then manually submit your site to the top ten search engines. We don't' recommend most of the free or $19.99 specials available; yes, all will get your registered with the s/engines, but getting listed on page 75 of 350 pages (for example) won't really drive qualified traffic to your site, you need page 1-3 listings on the top ten engines to really drive qualified traffic.

9. Delve into your log server files to uncover "digital tracks" made through your web site - your log files are raw files that show how and from where (in most cases) people accessed your web site, where they went on your web site, how long they stayed, etc. Web Trends is the defacto industry standard,, but we use and recommend a market-experienced firm in Europe, Fantomaster, Ltd. to our clients - they have a suite of Search Engine products that can be downloaded for free or purchased.

10. Think global in your overall site design - the greatest Internet growth is occurring outside North America, so it is essential to build a site that can be accessed easily by people around the world. What issues do you need to look at? Load times are very important (again), develop content that avoids colloquialisms that may not be understood by others who may not speak the same language, you may want to make your site content available in diverse languages, there are a number of emerging applications that will facilitate this process, ensure your e-commerce capabilities can be utilized by all.

Lee Traupel has 20 plus years of business development and marketing experience - he is the founder of Intelective Communications, Inc.,, a results-driven marketing services company providing proprietary services to clients encompassing startups to public companies.

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Uncle Sam's Wallet Verse

Want to Loosen Uncle Sam's Grip on Your Wallet?

Talk About Money
With Jim Larranaga!

The average person pays more than $6,000 in federal income tax, according to the Congressional Budget Office. If you cringe at sending a big chunk of change like that to Uncle Sam, you may be looking for ways to keep a little more jingle in your pocket. I'll give you some tips, but, like me, you should consult a tax advisor before taking steps that could affect your tax status.

Maximize deductions

Give to charity. Support your favorite cause or clean out the attic and donate items you don't want to charity. Be sure to get a receipt for donations exceeding $250.

Deduct qualified medical expenses. Consider scheduling elective medical and dental procedures if you think your bills will pass the threshold for deducting medical expenses (7.5% of your adjusted gross income). Don't forget, long-term care insurance premiums may qualify for the deduction.

Add up miscellaneous expenses. These and many other costs may be deductible if they exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income: union dues, subscriptions to professional journals, tax preparation fees, costs for a uniform you wear at work, expenses incurred looking for a new job and continuing education expenses.

Plan for Your Retirement

In addition to being a great way to save for retirement, employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, offer savings on your current income taxes. Generally, the money you contribute to your plan is taken out before taxes, so your taxable income, and thus your tax bill, is lower.*

If you're eligible to make deductible contributions to a traditional IRA, the same principle is at work.* But instead of making pre-tax contributions, you make a contribution with money that's already been taxed, then claim a deduction for the amount on your income tax return.

Accept Your Losses

If you have both winners and losers among your investments, you might consider selling some losing investments to offset the capital gains of the winners. Capital losses can be used to offset capital gains, dollar for dollar. In addition, you may use up to $3,000 of losses to reduce your ordinary income. If you have losses exceeding $3,000, you can carry them forward and apply them to next year's taxes.

Be Smart about Higher Education Costs

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created a number of tax-advantaged ways to pay for college. Many of these tax benefits are subject to income limitations and, in some cases, may not be combined.

Education IRAs, set up for children under age 18, offer potentially tax-free growth.

The HOPE Scholarship Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit may help you lower taxes with a tax credit.

Deducting interest paid on a student loan is another possibility.

Withdrawals from a traditional IRA before you reach age 59 1/2 are allowed without the usual 10 percent penalty if you use the money to pay higher education expenses.

Since tax laws are complex and change frequently, it's important to consult a tax expert to help you plot a strategy for trimming your tax burden.

* Taxes will be due upon withdrawal at ordinary income tax rates. Withdrawals made prior to age 59 1/2 may be subject to an additional 10% penalty.

Jim Larranaga is Executive Vice President of Priority Publications, a Minneapolis-based publisher of financial newsletters.

Courtesy ARA Content,

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Traffic Rules Ode

The Rules of the Road

With road rage being so common these days, we should all take a step back and review a few rules of the road. While not taught in most driver education classes or state driver's manuals, these rules will help you be a better driver.

The left lane is for passing. If you are going to pass, do it quickly and safely. Some states have laws that prohibit "driving" in the left lane, leaving it open for passing only.

If someone is trying to merge onto the highway and you have room, get into the left lane. This can help avoid an accident or at the least make someone's day a little brighter.

Be aware of large trucks and their driving styles. Tractor trailers, dump trucks, and other large vehicles can not stop as fast as you can. Keep that in mind the next time you squeeze in front of a truck at the stop light. Also, heavy trucks while on the highway will slow down while going up large hills but pick up speed on the downhill side. This can lead to a game of leap frog which will frustrate you and the truck driver. If possible get far enough ahead of the truck to avoid excessive passing!

Use your turn signals. I swear they were an option in some cars, considering most people do not use them. They are there as a signal to inform your fellow drivers where you plan to go.
I guess this has been a list of my pet peeves, but I hope it will help you have a safer trip down the road. Remember, we all share the road and together we can make it safer.

Take care and safe driving!

Kevin Schappell maintains where he gives advice on car maintenance, buying, selling, insurance, and financing. A mechanical engineer and car guy, Kevin has decided to spend his online time helping others learn about automobiles.

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Internet Marketing Poem

Internet Marketing - A Leap Of Faith

Do you remember as a child having to do something you really didn't want to do because it was difficult?

Was it music lessons? Or dancing? Or some kind of sporting activity? I am sure you can remember something that your parents really wanted you to do, but you rebelled against!

With almost everyone there is something they tried, and failed to do as a child.

Can you remember how good you felt, when finally your parents gave into your demands and let you 'give it up', but that feeling didn't last forever, did it?.

Ten or fifteen years later didn't you look back and hate yourself, for making that decision to quit all those years ago?

Do you remember looking at your friends, the one or two who did continue, with envy at what they managed to achieve?

Don't you remember thinking 'that could have been me..' Don't you remember feeling angry with your parents for letting you give up, when you could have made a success of things, if you had just kept going when things got tough.

But it is easy to blame others for decisions made when you were young, and as a child you were too immature to see the big picture.

Yet as an adult there is no-one else to blame, and many adults take up things later on in life, everything from scuba diving to hang gliding, to internet marketing! But surprisingly, most people still give up after a short time.

But why? You would have thought that the benefits of maturity and hindsight would have told them to keep going.

Sadly the fact is most people give up on everything in life when it becomes difficult.

Most people, even as adults, can still not see the 'Big Picture'. They fail because they do not like doing the mundane, boring and time consuming tasks, that everyone who has ever succeeded in anything has to do initially.

It they don't achieve success immediately, they start to doubt themselves, and doubt that what they are doing will ever make them successful.

They can not make that leap of faith. Faith in themselves, and faith in what they are doing.

Today, in my new career helping people to make money on the internet, I see people trying to achieve financial independence, and it really saddens me when they give up after just a short time.

Most people start off by trying to go it alone, to teach themselves.

They get themselves a free affiliate/associate website, they then put in a few ads on free classified sites, and soon become disillusioned after failing to make any sales. Most quit at this stage.

Of the people left, some decide that it must be the product that is wrong, so they sign up for ten or twenty more free associate sites, but they then find that their problems are magnified ten or twenty times, since they now have to promote all of these different sites individually.

They put ten or twenty ads in the same free classified sites, but still end up with no sales. Most of these people then quit at this stage.

A few enlightened people however don't give up. They look around for a 'teacher', or 'mentor'. They look at the people who have become successful, and are making money, and they decide to learn off of them.

As a former teacher, I try to show people the correct way of doing things in order to succeed.

For example, contrary to what the companies themselves say, you will not make much money by directly promoting just one free affiliate site.

You need your own website, which has been professionally designed so that you can feature all of your programs at once. You then need to drive traffic to your one site, and there are lots of different ways of doing this.

Also, whatever you are selling, most people will not buy anything the first time, in fact they need to see the same thing seven or more times, before they decide to buy. You need an autoresponder system to keep reminding prospects over and over again about your products and services.

I explain to people that it is essential to remain in contact with your customers, so that they keep buying from you, and that you need to run a daily/weekly/monthly, newsletter or e-zine.

To do this you must have a listserver which allows you to send an e-mail to hundreds, or thousands of people all at once.

On my website I give away tons of FREE E-books and Software to help people succeed.

The point I always try to get across is that there is always a solution, to every problem, you just have to keep going until you find it.

Every single person who has ever been successful know this.

Problems are the food of success. Each problem or set back that you encounter, pushes you a bit closer towards achieving your goal!

Yes or course there is a lot to learn, but the average person with a bit of determination will succeed. Don't 'give up' just because things occasionally get tough.

Remember the lesson you learnt as a child, if you give up now, then in a few years time you will be bitter and angry with yourself for not going the distance.

Just remember it is impossible to fail, as long as you keep on trying.

So why not look at things again? It's not too late, even if you have 'given up' on the idea of making any serious money.

You owe it to yourself to make that leap of faith.

Start to believe in yourself, just one more time, and have faith in the people who really have made a success out of the internet, and want to help you succeed.

Paul White is a 42 year old former teacher. He now helps people all around the world to become wealthy online. Whatever you are selling, visit the popular site:

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Online Dating Don'ts Serenade

The 6 Don'ts of Online Dating

In previous articles on Internet dating, I outlined what you should do when writing your personal ad, how to exchange e-mails with a woman who has replied to your ad, how to conduct an effective IM (Instant Messaging) conversation and what to do to land a first date.

In this article, I'm shifting gears. I'm going to tell you about the Six Don'ts of Internet dating.

These are things you should never do when it comes to picking up women online, regardless of how much coffee you drank.

1 - When conversing through e-mail, don't write your life story

Nothing turns off a woman more than a man who can't shut up. If you don't believe me, the next time you're corresponding with a woman you've met online, write a one-page e-mail about what you like to do on weekends, and see what kind of response you get. Nine times out of 10, a woman won't even reply to you. She'll simply delete your e-mail and move on to the next guy. Why is that?

First, women usually perceive a long-winded man as needy. And most women want a challenge. Needy men aren't challenging. Second, quite frankly, women want to do all of the talking. And they want you to listen.

What to do: Keep all your e-mail replies short (i.e. no longer than three sentences). The first two sentences should be used for answering a question (or questions) she may have asked, and the last sentence should be reserved for asking her a question. Remember: Questions keep the 'dialogue' moving, and give her the sense that you are thoughtful and interested.

2 - Don't initiate sexual talk

Many women think men have nothing but sex on brain. Though there is some truth to this statement, you'll get further in the game by not hinting at or talking about sex.

Besides, in this politically correct world, who wants to take the chance of offending women with sex talk, especially if you don't know them well?

What to do: Just don't do it. In fact, you'd be surprised by how many women will actually initiate a conversation about sex. When a woman initiates talk about sex, consider that a green light, though I suggest that your comments be very well thought out. Besides, if you're looking for aggressive sexual dialogue with a woman, there are plenty of 'adult' oriented personal sites that cater to that.

3 - Don't lie

It's a known fact that a significant percentage of men and women lie about themselves, whether it's about marital status, income, education level or occupation, when it comes to creating an online profile of themselves.

I'm a true believer that the lies will catch up with you -- sooner rather than later. And if you find a woman who is really interested in you, and you've lied to her, it's just a matter of time before she finds out the truth.

What to do: If you think your income is too low, or if your occupation isn't exactly exciting, simply 'up-sell' other qualities about yourself. Focus on the good instead. Never lie to impress a woman. Ever.

4 - Don't send too many e-mail or IM messages

Again, you don't want to appear needy.

One way to appear needy is by sending a woman three or four e-mail or IM messages a day.

Of course, if the e-mail or IM conversation is moving along at breakneck speed and is interesting and stimulating, then by all means, have a full-fledged dialogue with her. In other words, don't hold back. You may even try to close the deal right there and ask her out on a date.

But if you're in the early stages where you're still in the process of getting to know each other, then I suggest keeping your interactions to a minimum.

What to do: I know it's difficult, especially if the woman is hot, but you have to be disciplined. Limit yourself to two e-mails per day, and keep streaming IM conversations to no longer than 15 minutes. If the dialogue exceeds this time, then excuse yourself and end the conversation, saying that you have some things to take care of -- and don't go into detail about it.

By doing this, you'll remain mysterious, something that turns most women on.

5 - Don't spread yourself too thin

One of the better problems to have with Internet dating is corresponding with too many women.

Yeah, I know exactly what you're thinking: What man doesn't want to be chased by dozens of beautiful women? But truth be told, having an effective personal ad that generates a lot of responses can backfire on you if you're not careful.

For instance, in the past month, I've received 56 responses to my personal ad. That's a ton of women to e-mail. In fact, it's too many. Way too many.

If you try to reply to every single woman who responds to your ad, you'll soon find yourself spending your days writing e-mail. More importantly, you'll start forgetting what you've said and to whom.

I can't tell you how many times I've been embarrassed because I asked a woman the same question four or five times.

What to do: Though I encourage you to be polite, you may find yourself physically unable to reply to every woman who has responded to your ad. In fact, I recommend that you don't reply to every woman who responds to your personal ad.

Instead, if you're getting dozens of responses each week, only reply to the women you wish to pursue further. Furthermore, if these leads don't work out for you, then you can always go back to the other women you didn't reply to originally.

6 - Don't appear too eager to go on a date

Unless a woman immediately asks to meet you (and some will), a rule of thumb about asking a woman for a date is to wait at least a week after the initial contact before asking her out.

If you ask her out too soon, when she's not ready and comfortable, she'll disappear.

If you wait, one of the things that will go through her mind is, why isn't this guy asking me out?

When that happens, you'll instantly become more attractive to her.

What to do: Let her make the first move. If she's the kind of woman who wants to be pursued, she might be a high maintenance princess, and that's the last thing you want to deal with.

Play it safe, play it cool

Now, we're all a bunch of macho men, but you can never be too safe. The last thing you want is to be involved in a real-life fatal attraction.

So in addition to these six 'don'ts,' I also advise against handing out your telephone number or your address. Take your time to get to know the woman before revealing your personal information.

Now go score!

Jack Conway,

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Guitar Tuning Opus

Guitar Tuning Guide: How To Tune a Guitar

Many beginning guitarists struggle when it comes to tuning the guitar. It's a major stumbling block for them. Some end up quitting altogether because every time they start to play what comes out doesn't sound right. A beginner should understand that guitar tuning is something you get better at with practice. Ear development takes time.

A beginner should practice tuning the guitar so that he can become better and better at it. Your friends won't be around all the time to tune your guitar for you.

How does one tune the guitar?

Well firstly, here's the standard tuning of a six string guitar:

6th string: E
5th string: A
4th string: D
3rd string: G
2nd string: B
1st string: E

The first string being the thinnest, and the sixth string the fattest.

Relative tuning: tuning an electric guitar by ear.

Let's assume that your 6th string is already in tune (an E note). You can tune your 6th string by using another guitar that is in tune, a tuning fork, a piano, an electronic tuner or even a midi file on your computer. Then, all you have to do is match notes on the adjacent strings.

Play the 6th string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 5th string open.

Play the 5th string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 4th string open.

Play the 4th string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 3rd string open.

Play the 3rd string at the 4th fret. It should match the tone of the 2nd string open.

Play the 2nd string at the 5th fret. It should match the tone of the 1st string open.

You can also tune your guitar by octaves.

An octave is the interval between two notes with the same name. In the scale: C D E F G A B C, the two C's are one octave apart.

Play the 6th string open. It should be one octave apart with the 5th string at the 7th fret.

Play the 5th string open. It should be one octave apart with the 4th string at the 7th fret.

Play the 4th string open. It should be one octave apart with 3rd string at the 7th fret.

Play the 3rd string open. It should be one octave apart with the 2nd string at the 8th fret.

Play the 2nd string open. It should be one octave apart with the 1st string at the 7th fret.

When your ear is sufficiently developed you should be able to tune your guitar by using chords. Just play a chord and tune the strings so the chord sounds right.

Learning to tune the guitar is very important. A must! But it is so much more convenient, faster, and more accurate to make use of a guitar tuner. Particularly in live situations and noisy environments. You will find an electronic tuner for 10-50 bucks online easily. You can order one today.

Mantius Cazaubon offers a buying guide to helping you choose an electric guitar that meets your needs on his site,, also visit site for electric guitar lessons, tips, and reviews.

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Online Home Business Verse

One Giant Leap for Mankind

Those Oldies amongst us who can actually remember Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon never think of it as just history. We were there. It was live, and we were all part of it.

Practically everyone on earth who could, was huddled around a TV set watching the shaky black and white pictures in awe.

It was something that united the whole world like nothing before. First stop the moon,then onwards to the stars! They talked about tourist trips to the moon within 5 years. Hotels on Mars within 10 years, and a passenger cruiser to Jupiter by 1999!

But harsh economic and scientific realities meant a rapid slow down in our race to the stars, the space program was downgraded, and dreams of space travel for everyone were pushed aside, and all but forgotten. But then something else came along, even bigger than the moon landing in the history of the World - The Internet.

Now there really was no limit to what man or womankind could achieve.

With the internet, you could make your own personal journey to the stars! Untold wealth for everyone we were told, just pick up your free site, and wait for the money to roll in. Not just to the stars, but to heaven itself!

At least that's what we were all led to believe just a couple of years ago, when Amazon introduced the first affiliate sites. But sadly, just like the little boy playing with his space toys, excitement, and expectation have given way to frustration and disappointment, and a general feeling that it just isn't possible for normal people to go to 'infinity and beyond!'

So is it time to take off your play spacesuit and give up? Is it time to shrug your shoulders and resign yourself to the fact that yet another of your dreams has been jettisoned out of orbit?

NO! In fact the space race has only just begun!

Even though your experience with the internet may be a disappointment so far, just stop and think. Can you imagine what disasters would have happened in the early Apollo missions if the astronauts had not been such highly trained professionals with the best possible equipment and resources.

Why should the internet be any different?

The journey to the stars is not just for the elite few. It is for everyone who chooses to travel. But you must have the right resources. You must have the knowledge, expertise and equipment necessary to survive. Quite simply, your business will die without it, just like an astronaut without life support.

For example, did you know:
- You must have your own Website. It should be professionally designed with links to several affiliate/associate sites. A free affiliate/associate site is not enough on it's own.
- You also need to have your own domain name, not a free site name with a really long URL that no one will want to click on.
- You need to read everything you possibly can to learn how other people have done it. I now have a collection of dozens and dozens of Free e-books which I give away on my site, which contain all of the knowledge you will need.
- You can get thousands of people to your website by offering freebies and other things. Just spend a few hours surfing all the freestuff sites for things you can give away on your own site.
- You must have a constant source of traffic going to your website. Only a tiny fraction of people visiting your site will buy anything, so you need to get thousands to visit. Once you understand and accept this, and know how to get them, then you are on your way!
- You will never make any money by only advertising on free sites, even with submission software. Let people place an ad free on your site. You will get far more response than placing your own ad on someone else's free site.
- Once you start to become successful, then you can become even more so, by writing your own articles and submitting them to some of the thousands of e-zines and getting free publicity.
- Definitely the best way of doing business is to have your own newsletter to communicate with your customers to build up a relationship with them. For this you need a listserver. This is software which enables you to communicate with thousands of people at once.

I used to be like one of those poor monkeys in the early space flights, being led blindly into oblivion by their masters. Believing all the hype about instant riches, and not being able to do anything about it. Luckily I realised before too late, that instant riches is just fantasy. But with an investment of time to learn what to do, and an investment of money to get the right tools, anyone can be in control of their own flight to the stars!

Paul White webmaster of http://www.profitmountain.comis a former teacher who now dedicates his time to helping ordinary men and women to recapture their dreams and make money online.

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Hiring Babysitter Ode

The Top 10 Tips on Hiring a Babysitter

1. Encourage your babysitter by keeping their favorite foods/snacks on hand.

Write a thank you card to your babysitters a couple of times a year. Experienced parents always say, "When you find a good babysitter - keep them happy!"

2. Hire a "mother's helper" to come in to your home to play with your child.

This extra help will enable you to get those unfinished chores done - while knowing that your child is happy. Since you are in the home it is possible to hire a younger, less expensive babysitter.

3. Consider letting a teenage babysitter watch your child in their home instead of in your home.

If an emergency occurs, there is a greater likelihood that the sitter will be able to get assistance from a family member or a next-door neighbor.

4. Learn to express your desires in the form of concrete requests, such as, "Could you put Emily on the potty for two minutes tonight?," if you use the same babysitter regularly.

Many parents develop resentment towards their babysitters and forget that a simple request might remedy the problem.

5. Leave the number for the poison control center by the phone, both upstairs and downstairs.

Show the babysitter where you keep the ipecac syrup in case vomiting needs to be induced.

6. Remind your babysitter that safety is your primary concern while the child is in their care.

Otherwise, you babysitter's focus may be scattered among their many responsibilities, and safety issues may not get enough attention.

7. Tell you babysitter that your child must be in view at all times.

It may be helpful to remind the babysitter of specific dangers, such as swallowing a popped balloon that the child is trying to blow up, chasing a ball into the street, etc.

8. Instruct babysitters to ignore the phone if the child is in the bath tub.

9. Take seriously any signs that your child has been molested, such as a child demonstrating sexual behavior in their play or a teror of a certain babysitter.

Child molesters come in every age, size, and gender. Young adolescents may have less of a handle on understanding the intensity of their sexual impulses than adults do, leading a young adolescent to feel tempted to explore their sexuality with your child.

10. Keep an open mind. Cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents who babysit have all been known to molest children.

Being a dear relative does not exempt someone from molesting a child.

This piece was written by Dr. Clare Albright, Psychologist and Parenting Coach, author of "100 Tips for Parents of Two Year Olds", which can be downloaded for only $5.77 at

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Coin Collection Price Opus

Coin Collecting: How To Grade And Price Coins

As with most collectibles, rarity and condition usually determine the price of coins. An acknowledged, standardized system of determining the state of preservation, or grade, of a coin is therefore pretty important.

Early on in the game there was a time when coins were described with any old biased adjectives the seller could come up with. Eventually standard definitions and a numbering system, ranging from one to seventy were adopted.

Ever since collectors began to show a preference for well preserved, versus worn, coins, grading has been controversial. Getting the two sides in a transaction to agree on condition has always been a problem. Here is a basic breakdown of how coins are graded by the collector:

Good - 4: A worn coin with designs visible but usually no remaining detail.

Very Good - 8: Worn with few fine details remaining.

Fine - 12: Design and lettering clearly visible but showing signs of wear.

Very Fine - 20: Uniform light wear, but lettering and major elements are sharp.

Extremely Fine - 40: Very slight wear with all details sharp, some lustre may remain.

About Uncirculated - 50: Traces of wear on all surfaces, at least 50 per cent of the original lustre remains.

Mint state coins are free from any signs of wear. Their grading is based on the quality of the strike, condition of the coin, and lustre.

MS-60: Showing some bag marks and edge nicks.

MS-63: Few surface marks and most lustre remaining.

MS-65: A quality coin, appearing almost perfect, minor flaws only appearing on later examination.

Numismatists put coins into two groups. Coins in your pocket are known as "Business Strike" or circulation coins, "Numismatic" coins are minted in precious metals (silver, gold, platinum) and are not mass produced.

For more information on this exciting hobby, and ideas on what to collect, visit the Royal Canadian Mint website at

News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

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Online Dating Poem

Online Dating, Internet Dating

An Introduction To Online Dating And A Glimpse Into Why It’s So Popular And What You Need To Do To Succeed At Internet Dating.

If you’re bored of regular dating or you’ve heard of this thing called online dating and you’re curious to try it out, why not? Similar to dating you can still meet women, make friends and perhaps even more! But online dating is not all fun and games and there are a lot of things that a person has to know about online dating before one gets into the intricacies of it. Online dating may seem to be the simplest thing in the world but it is not. It should be viewed in all earnestness or things could go hay wire. Every game has its rules and unless you know all the rules you just can’t become a good player and eventually a winner.

Online dating is, to put is very simply a free dating service that with the help of a machine namely the computer via the Internet. That in itself makes the idea and the process a very novel one indeed. Hundreds of happy single people across the globe have been successful in finding suitable partners by the means of online dating.

The reason is pretty simple. It is very much the same reason that the internet itself became so popular. The Internet opens up a whole new world of communication and contact. Online dating is fast, you can have as much privacy as you want and it’s cheap!

In order to enjoy it and succeed at online dating there are a few rules to remember and they are:
- If you don’t know where to start internet dating, just hit some chat rooms of your interest. There you’ll be able to meet interesting people who have the same hobbies and preferences.
- You can either write your own personal ad or get a dating service to do it for you. It’s of course better if you can write your own personals to give it your special touch. Feel free to embellish on certain details but as much as possible be honest with what you put in it. It is of course important to remember that people will judge you depending on what you write so you might want to be careful about that.
- After you’ve met someone you think you’re interested in, get to know them better by moving into a private chat room with them. Women also enjoy conversing through email and the quicker she replies the better your chances are of getting a date. Do note though that women hate waiting so its best to return her emails promptly.
- Don’t worry about making mistakes and goofing up when you’re trying out online dating. You are hidden behind the anonymity of the internet and you can erase your mistakes a lot easier than you could if you had goofed up in real life. So just go out there and chat up a storm with anyone who seems remotely interesting.

Cher Sern Lim, Visit now to get more FREE tips to double your dating success overnight! Discover the players’ secrets to meeting, dating & seducing women.

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Web Traffic Serenade

Traffic Equal Sales???

Everything being equal, more traffic to your website translates into more sales. Hence you read a lot lately about ways to generate more traffic to your website.

I'd like to begin by saying that more traffic does not necessarily equal more sales. Your website can attract tons of traffic for the freebies and if it is not conducive to making sales, you will probably not make more sales. Being conducive to more sales means offering quality, needed products at a good price, and making it easy to order these products. This point must always be kept in mind.

Everything is not usually equal - especially if you are offering the same affiliate products as everyone else. The one thing that distinguishes your site from all the others is the relationship you have with your site visitors. Given the chance to buy the same product from hundreds of sites, most people will buy from someone they know, trust, and feel some type of connection with. This is true for me and I am sure it is true for most of you. So part of your focus everyday must be on being responsive to customers reaching out to you. They reach out with questions, comments, requests for help, and other notes. If you are not responding promptly to these little notes you are missing a very big part of the picture.

Assuming you are busy building relationships with your current customer-base, then your next focus should be on attracting new visitors to your website. Techniques that have proven themselves to me include ezine ads, signature files, banner exchanges, links exchanges, notices on bulletin boards, news and discussion group postings and ezine articles. You should be using as many of these as practical.

Targeted ezine ads work great. However, you must constantly refine and test your ads. Change the headline and see what the difference in response rate is. It is a never-ending process of improving and refining. However, when you get an ad that works great, be very slow to change it.

Banner exchanges are the same - you must constantly work to improve your banner. A good attention grabbing banner with a compelling message will produce click-thrus. An animated banner will generally attract more attention, and with the right message will compel the reader to click on it. With banners - the old warning - no more than 2 banners per page. More than this will probably slow the page down and you won't benefit from the click- thrus since the surfer won't wait for your page to finish loading.

I also exchange a few links from time to time. After all - your visitor is going to eventually leave, so you may as well trade traffic with complimentary websites. Just make sure that the trade benefits both webmasters, and your visitors. Trading links with a disreputable or questionable site harms longterm customer relationships.

While on links, free-for-all links pages also produce traffic to your website although not the flood that many hope for. The key here is to post to as many sites as possible since it is a numbers game. For this reason, I recommend using automatic submission software or programs such as linkomatic. The drawback with posting to hundreds or thousands of free-for-all links pages is that many of them will send you an acknowledgement message. To handle this flood of email, I recommend having an email address that you use just for this purpose. That way, you can sort through these emails at your leisure. Some of them do contain worthwhile offers.

Posting to discussion groups and newsgroups pulls in some traffic too. The key is to offer helpful information and then a signature file with a compelling teaser. Vary your signature file until you find one that works. Think of your signature file just as you do any other headline. It should tell the customer what benefits he will gain from clicking through to your website.

The final method of driving traffic to your website that I will touch upon is writing ezine articles. It's no secret that a well-written ezine article establishes your experise and can generate many visits. Getting an article published in one of the larger ezines will generate hundreds of quality visitors. Many of these will bookmark your site and become repeat visitors. This is what you are really aiming for. Look for a topic that you do not feel is adequately explained. Do some research and write an article explaining it better. You have produced a very valuable article and your readers notice this. Readers notice the difference in the quality of articles, and hence your level of expertise.

Do all of the above things and your will increase traffic to your website. Keep in touch and work to build relationships with new and repeat visitors. Work to constantly refine your website and you should see a steady increase in sales. It is a process of gradually building up steam - while constantly improving.

Willie Crawford is a marketing consultant, promotion specialist and popular writer. His website contains over 180 articles on internet marketing as well as a very active discussion forum. Visit today and begin learning what really DOES work in building your business

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