Monday, February 28, 2005

This Site is New Breed of Online Betting Sites

Before I was introduced to I was unaware that such a thing as a "betting exchange" even existed.

Betfit's customers are not limited to the fixed and discretionary odds of the traditional bookmakers. Instead, you can place bets with your own odds or you can accept bets placed by other customers at the most favorable odds offered. Moreover, you can act as a bookmaker laying bets that other customers wish to back.

For more information, see the more extensive write up at

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Your Website Featured on 25 sites

Advertisement - Linknet Links and Web Advertising

For one small price - $24.99 - you can have a short promo for your website placed in our feature blog called Business Webs. This blog is then syndicated across all 25 of our Linknet sites on high visibility pages.

These posts include a live link pointing back to your website, and we guarantee that link will remain in place for at least a month. We also throw in another link from each of our sites from one of our "Priority Partner Pages".

That gives you 25 permanent inbound links to your site along with the promo for your site running on 25 different sites.

For more information go to Linknet Products.

Friday, February 25, 2005

SEO Toolkit definitely worth getting

Here is the best free SEO Toolkit I have found. The 21 part "kit" includes sections on how to build web pages, how to create your titles, metatags, etc., how to get indexed by Google, and much more.

It is available online, as an ebook, and as a CD. Here is the link:

RLRouse SEO Toolkit.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Publishing and Organizing Articles with Blogging Software

After many months of messing around with different methods of publishing and organizing articles on my various sites, I have decided (as of last night) to go whole hog and just use blogging software for my articles.

The biggest reason is that blogs will automatically create an RSS feed. Once you get hooked on this RSS thing it is hard to think in any other terms. RSS is absolutely the easiest way to make your articles available to other sites. And blogging software is the easiest way to do RSS -- at least as far as I've found.

After checking out and experimenting with different blogging programs I decided to stick with the one I am already using on two sites -- b2Evolution. The biggest reason is that b2e lets you create a number of different blogs within one shell. And each of these different blogs can have its own RSS feed.

What this means is that I can view each different blog within a specific installation of b2e as a "super category" which can have its own feed. So, for instance, at I have created what I call The Linknet Marketing Resource Library which will have five or six different categories of articles. Each category will be its own blog, and each will have its own feed. So there can be a category (and feed) for "Marketing Articles", "Linking Articles", "Affiliate Marketing Articles", "Blogs and Feeds Articles", "Search Engine Optimization Articles", etc., etc. Once these feeds are set up, I (or anybody else) can post one or more of these feeds on any number of other sites.

In other words, I can post the feed for "Web Design Articles", or "Web Tools", or "Search Engine Optimization" on my web design site. The same goes for all the other feeds. This will make it possible to "segment" the feeds so potential users can pick and choose.

What really got me going in this direction was my use of RSS feeds to fill out a couple of sections throughout my Linknet pages. For example, my News Section consists of feeds from major news media around the world, along with a few of the more interesting current affairs blogs I've stumbled on. And my Online Betting Section consists of sports lines from various betting services around the world -- everything from horse racing to boxing to Nascar and tons of soccer and basketball (but no NHL hockey!).

I am gradually doing the same with many of the other categories -- Real Estate, Mortgages, Insurance, Small Business, Personal Health, Golf, etc. -- finding interesting content from blogs and websites dealing with the kind of subject matter I am after, and then picking up their RSS feeds to fill out my pages.

Now I will be able to do the same thing with my own collections of articles.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005 featured in Marketing Best Practices Newsletter

Along with four marketing websites David Frey has a high circulation marketing newsletter called Marketing Best Practices Newsletter. He recently featured

Thanks David.

At his four web sites David focuses on marketing products, and has a very active series of Audio Tips called Marketing Audio Minutes.

You can subscribe to his newsletter here:

Marketing Best Practices Newsletter

Saturday, February 19, 2005

On Being "Moralistic" about Self Promotion

Here is an excerpt from a more extensive post I made over at e_Marketing. In that post I comment on the tendency for practitioners of internet marketing (including but not limited to marketers, SEO practitioners, and editors of web directories) to get all "moralistic" about their jobs. We are, after all, just ad men, and while I think it is important to be honest about what we do, it is equally important (in my opinion) to be honest with ourselves about the importance of it. In short, it is not very important. Like everybody else we are just trying to make a buck.

This excerpt is from e_Marketing...

What I call the "moralistic" attitude towards self-promotion is reflected in at least two other areas of "earnest" web activity -- getting listed in directories, and chasing after SE rankings (better known as SEO). The moralistic attitude to these things is that there are correct "ethical" ways to do them, and then there are manipulative, unethical ways to do them. And since we all want to be "ethical" that means we should very strictly follow a set of accepted rules that have been laid out by some important authority figure -- like Google, or the editors of DMOZ, or the well-meaning webmasters of some particular article archive sites.

Lest I be accused of promoting unethical behaviour let me say that I agree there are right ways to do things, and wrong ways. But I would just draw the line in a different place. I would propose the important line is the one between truth and deception. In other words, as long as you're not lying or intentionally trying to mislead or deceive, then I say go ahead and self-promote.

For the full article go to Some Thoughts on Writing Articles for Promotional Impact...

I welcome your comments.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Blog Promotional Tips and Tricks at Blogger

Here is an excellent article at about tricks for promoting your blog, getting noticed, building traffic, how to structure your posts. This article is by Biz Stone who is on the staff, so he should know what he is talking about.

There are a few other blog-help articles linked at the same address.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Index of News Feeds at Linknet

A couple of days ago I received a Linknet order from a "news" related site. Since I didn't have a category for "news" sites, and since there is an abundance of material out there, I decided to create one. Of course this meant creating 50 new pages devoted to different kinds of news content.

Now where to get easily posted content? Answer: RSS News Feeds. All major news organizations (and many minor ones) have about 20 different "feeds" for things like "World News", "Entertainment News", "Politics". So I made a list of 50 and with the aid of "Carp", the software I use to integrate feeds with my sites, I had 50 unique pages. These were the fastest totally unique 50 pages I have created.

Here is an index to the News Feeds in the "News" Section at Linknet:

1. MSNBC-Newsweek

2. Washington Post - Front Page News

3. Washington Post - Middle East News

4. Washington Post - Religion Newsl

5. Washington Post - News of the Americas

6. CBC - Top Stories

7. CBC - World News

8. CBC - Health & Science

9. CBC - Sports

10. BBC - Front Page News

11. BBC - UK News

12. BBC - Politics

13. BBC - Science News

14. BBC - Entertainment News

15. Yahoo - Business News

16. Yahoo - Top Stories

17. Yahoo - World News

18. Justice for the World

19. Ziff-Davis - Windows Tech

20. Talking Point Memo

21. Guardian - Front Page News

22. Lessig Blog

23. Israel Peace Blog

24. Is That Legal Blog

25. Pendagon

26. Washington Post - Science

27. Washington Post - World News

28. Washington Post - European News

29. Washintgon Post - World Opinion Roundup

30. Washington Post - Politics

31. CBC - Canadian News

32. CBC - Business News

33. CBC - Arts News

34. CBC - Hockey News

35. BBC - World News

36. BBC - Business News

37. BBC - Health News

38. BBC - Technology News

39. BBC - Week at a Glance

40. Yahoo - September 11 and Terrorism

41. Yahoo - US News

42. Yahoo - Politics

43. Ziff-Davis - Tech News

44. Political Animal - Washington Monthly

45. Informed Consent

46. Guardian - Film News

47. Afronetizen

48. WarBlogging

49. The War in Context Blog

50. TechnoPuritanism

Monday, February 14, 2005

Free 25 Link Exchange Made Easier

Now that I have had several webmasters take me up on my Free 25 Links offer I have been able to fine-tune it a bit to make it easier to take advantage of.

All it involves is copying the contents of this site description page to an active page within your website. The page must be linked no more than two steps from your home page.** If you have more than one site, just copy the page to all your sites. We can even supply different versions of the site description page to avoid the appearance (horrors!) of duplication.

We will then put your link(s) on a specially designed page within each of our sites. These pages will not have more than 25 outbound links.

Of course if you don't want to mess around with exchanging links we can give you the same 25 links for just $14.99. This is what I call our .

**If you don't understand this try the following: first, you have link from your home page to a link directory index page. Second, you have a link from your link directory index page to the page with our links on it. Two steps. One step would be even better -- linked directly from your home page.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Blog Focuses on Corporate Blogging

In my regular search for interesting blog sites and marketing information I stumbled on to The article that tweaked my interest is called More Than Links to Blogs' Search Engine Success written by the blogmaster of the site, Fredrik Wacka.

Fredrik draws on more than four years experience of blogging in business environments, so knows a bit of what he is talking about.

His main points:

Blogs are usually tightly focused, the posts are straight and to the point, and usually keyword rich, and structured in a way that is SE friendly. And they are usually linked in SE-friendly fashion as well -- to other resources that are closely related.

While on the topic of the "structure" of blog posts... one thing I've noticed: blog commentators tend to emphasize that blog content is short and to the point -- different from "articles" in this sense. Then they often go on to turn their post into a 500 word article. I am sure there is a good reason for this... and it probably has to do with the unrealistic expectations the theorists (including myself) have for "short and to the point" posts. Sometimes you just need more words.

You can find the article here: More Than Links to Blogs' Search Engine Success

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Great Article About Getting Effective Links

Yesterday I posted one of the best articles I've read in a long time about getting high value links. It was written by John Gergye and is called How to get 50 High PR One Way Links Each Month.

In the article John lays out a very detailed strategy for posting articles on high impact sites. What is unique about the strategy is that John recommends you post your articles on regular websites not on article archive sites. As he says,

Typically article banks, directories and the like are NOT going to be your best bet. Sorry. I’m not saying you shouldn’t submit articles to them as part of an overall article marketing scheme. Just don’t do so in the hopes of snapping up many high PR one way links is all.

Instead he suggests you do a search for your most important keywords and find some sites that rank for those keywords that accept articles. Then make a list of the sites that have articles with a PR3 and above.

One of my own best examples of such a site is BF Printing. I have a couple of articles on this site on pages with PR4. And they are highly relevant for the keywords I emphasize in these particular articles.

Another similar site is my own where I post golf articles which are mostly my own.

The best example in my own stable of sites is my Linknet Pages. These offer a perfect opportunity for authors across a wide range of topics. Surprisingly I have not received many direct submissions. I get the impression that marketing article writers talk a good game, but in the end, most either do not have the time or the motivation to do the hard slugging. They are content to submit through a service like, or send their articles out through a group list like Publisher_Network at Yahoo Groups.

You can find John Gergye's article at this address: How to get 50 High PR One Way Links Each Month.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Changing Website Hosts Can Be Easy

It used to be that making any change to your domain configuration was complicated and confusing. I remember trying to change DSN servers for one of my first websites. Since everything back then went through "InterNIC" (or maybe it was Network Solutions -- it was never clear who was who), you were pretty much at the mercy of their ridiculously cumbersome system. And it usually took at least two days to finalize any change at all.

Now things are very different. You can make changes to your domain registration and configuration without ever having to talk to a real person or wait more than about 10 seconds.

The most serious change a webmaster has to make is moving a domain from one host to another. Even this procedure is pretty straightforward these days, although you'd better be prepared for some glitches along the way.

How the Process Works

Here is the bare minimum you should understand before starting:

- Your current host - This is the company that "hosts" your website -- the location where your website actually resides. It is likely a third party, but you could be hosting your site yourself. Either way your host will have assigned an ip address to your site, and will have DNS (name server) entries that relate your domain name to the actual (ip address) location.

- Your new host - This is the location where you want to move your website.

- Your domain registrar - This is the outfit that tells the world where your domain name servers are, and spreads this information around the web. When you registered your domain you might have used a 3rd party site like, or NetworkSolutions. Or you might have used the registration service of your original host. Either way your domain registrar is separate from your host. To change hosts you have to logon to your domain registrar and tell them who your new host is going to be.

Step 1. Get Your Information Together

The first thing you should do is collect the information you are likely to need along the way, and keep it handy -- preferably in a print out of some kind rather than in an email message or series of webpages scattered over three or four screens on your computer. Here is the minimum you will need:

- The address and logon information (id and pw) of your domain registrar. This is where you point to your host's DNS servers. Everything starts here.

- The address and logon information of your current web host. You may not actually need to make any changes here -- other than to eventually cancel your account -- but it is good to have this information available.

- The address and logon information of your NEW web host. If you have not already chosen a new host, you must do so before proceeding. Check out possible hosts. One good source of information is one of seveal web host "review" sites that compare web hosts in terms of cost, reliability, customer service, and so on.

Step 2. Sign Up With a New Host

Once you have selected a new host, sign up with them and create an account. Normally this involves selecting a "plan", registering your domain name with them, and paying them an initial amount.

"Registering" your domain in this case is not the same as the original registration of your domain name with your registrar. Here all you are doing is telling them to create a spot on their servers for this domain. At this point there will actually be two locations for your domain, but since you have not officially switched your host, only your old one will work.

Once you have registered with your new host you should be able to logon to the Control Panel for your new site. This is a good time to connect to your Control Panel and configure your new site. Normally you will be able to do things like enable Front Page extensions, and add email accounts even before you officially switch. But if your new site is not yet fully accessible, don't panic. I give you a method of "tricking" your computer to let you in even before your new location is completely made public. (see below)

Step 3. Back Up Your Site

Before you proceed you want to make sure you have the most up-to-date version of your website files. If you work with a program like Front Page, you should "publish" your entire site to a location on your local computer. If you work on your pages locally and then upload them by using ftp, your local version should already be up-to-date. If you are not sure, then just connect to your site and download all the files to your local hard drive.

Be sure to maintain the same file names and directory structure when you create your backup. Your new site should be an exact copy of your old one. The pages should all have the same file names and directory structure. If it doesn't then chances are many of the links will not work, and -- just as important -- you will have lost all the Page Rank and Search Engine rankings you have built up over the years. And searches will point to pages that no longer exist.

Step 4. Upload the Files to Your New Host

Ideally, you should upload all your files before you tell your domain registrar to point to the new site. That way there will be absolutely no downtime.

The problem is, however, that you may have no straightforward way of connecting to your new location. When you try to connect to (for example), you will be connected to your old site. Many hosts will give you a temporary address that will get you into your new site. But if they don't you will have to make the official host change before you can proceed.

Step 5. Make the "Official" Change

Now you are ready to make your change "official". Don't be intimidated by this. All you have to do is make one change -- you have to point your registrar's name servers at the new host rather than the old one. Your new host should have given you this information when you signed up with them. There should be at least two name servers and you should have both a name and an ip address for both of them. They should look something like this: ip address: ip address:

(Note: Don't use these names. Thye are just "dummy" names and addresses, but may actually exist.)

Once you have made this change it will usually take a few hours to spread the change around the web. During this period web surfers will continue to access your old site (which you left intact), so you have a few hours to get your new site into shape.

Step 6. Tricking Your Own Computer to See the New Address

At this point you will still not be able to access your new site using ftp or Front Page. Until your new host address is "propagated" you will still be pointed to your old one.

One way to get immediate access to your new site using your domain name is to change the primary name server entry on your local computer to point to one of the name servers of your new host. They will already have the change (assuming you have already registered your domain with them), so there should be no delay.

To do this (with Windows), find where your "connection" information is configured. On my system it is called "Local Area Connection Status", because I am on a small network behind a firewall. Once you find your active local connection, click on "Properties" and then "Internet Protocol". There should be a place where you can enter "DNS Server Addresses".

Now enter one of your host's name server addresses in here. Then close it up and test to see if it is working. With XP and NT/Win2000 you don't have to reboot to make this change effective. It might be good to close all browser windows before trying your domain. You may have to "flush your dns cache" as well to get rid of references to your old host address. To do this, open a "Command Prompt" window and type at the prompt:

ipconfig /flushdns [Enter]

Now type:


...where "" is the name of your domain.

This will "ping" your domain -- send a little message to it and ask for a reply. You should get a reply telling you which ip address it is sending the message to. If it is sending the message to your new host (you recorded this information earlier), then you are in business.

You should now be able to connect to your new site with ftp to upload your files. You should also be able to connect to your Control Panel using your domain name. Now you have a few hours to upload all your files and get your new email accounts working.

Good Luck!

Friday, February 04, 2005

So Much for My SBI Site

After a year of using Ken Evoy's Site Build It for one of my primary ecommerce sites I decided a few days ago to move the site over to a conventional server. Today I got the deed done -- with no serious hitches, no downtime (so far), and no lost ranking or PR (as far as I can tell).

The site in question, namely was set up as the primary vehicle for promoting our company's trade show display and trade show graphics business. When I set the site up just over a year ago (in December 2003) I did it partially as an experiment. I told myself I would set up using SBI, and my other primary site --, set up at pretty much the same time -- using a conventional host.

I was impressed enough by Ken Evoy's pitch focusing on the Search Engine Optimization and submission tools built into SBI that I felt it was probably worth the difference in cost. After a year of head to head comparison I would be able to make an informed decision.

The difference in price is not insignificant. You can get a normal site up and running these days for around $5 a month. That's $60/year. Ken's package costs in the range of $300 (I'm not even sure what he is charging now). The justification is that SBI helps you select a "niche", holds your hand while you build it, and then helps you promote it by submitting on a regular basis to the SEs.

After a year of working with the SBI site, and building about 25 others on normal hosts, I have concluded that there is no significant advantage to SBI. I say that from the perspective of someone who has approached web building in a very serious manner. On all counts -- traffic, SE ranking, PR -- my SBI site has not done any better than 4 or 5 of my other main sites. And that, in spite of persistent PPC promotion for the entire year drawing traffic directly to my SBI site.

Here are my conclusions:

1. The claims for constant and regular "submission" to the SEs are overstated. I have concluded that submission is unnecessary. If you are interlinked with other sites, and if you keep your content updated often enough you get spidered automatically. No need for resubmission. I could be wrong about this, but, as I noted above, I could not see any effective ranking or placement difference.

2. The site building tools built into SBI are restrictive and clunky. I never used them anyway. I built my pages in Front Page and then uploaded them, one at a time. I found this process aggravatingly restrictive.

3. At least two important technologies cannot be used (as far as I could tell) in SBI sites: SSI (server side includes) and dynamic pages such as .php or .asp. Both of these things make building a dynamic site much easier, and both have become important for the kind of sites I am currently building. I think the SBI claim is that not allowing these things keeps their sites cleaner and more SE-friendly. I suspect the real reason is that they cannot easily implement these technologies in the restrictive hand-holding "modular" environment they use to build their sites.

4. The cost is not justified. Yes I know there are many tools made available to SBI subscribers, but I could not make use of any of them. It would be interesting to know how many SBI sites really make money for their owners. I can't say that I have ever seen one that looks like it has significant traffic.

5. One thing I will say is that I have never had any problem with my SBI site going down. Virtually every other site I own has had serious and very annoying downtime. It is hard to say how much this reliability is worth. I also find it hard to believe that there aren' at least a few reliable hosts out there. I assume it's just a matter of finding a couple.

The SBI package is probably a good investment if you don't know anything about web building, have no design experience, and need serious help formulating a business plan. But I suspect anybody with this many strikes against them isn't going to make it in online commerce anyway.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Wear the Right Golf Shoes - Bite the Turf

Product Feature from


Mechanics and golf shoes. We have all heard the term mechanics applied to golf and particularly the golf swing.

A slight change in mechanics by any part of the body can adversely affect the way the rest of the body performs during the swing and thus affect the swing itself. The term also applies to golf shoes and their importance in controlling the mechanics of your game.

If you are even slightly familiar with how Kurt Schilling’s ankle affected his pitching during the playoffs and World Series, and how special footwear was designed to help stabilize his foot, then you will understand the importance of proper golf shoes to the golf swing.

During a golf swing, weight and torque are being transferred from the upper body to the lower body and, simultaneously, from the right leg to the left leg.

This weight shift is stabilized by the golf shoe that is biting the turf. Prior to beginning your downswing, most of your weight has shifted to your right leg. When you start the swing, you are swinging along the centerline of the right leg. This creates torque.

Without proper support of the right ankle and foot, stability is lost and that centerline will fluctuate. This leads to a loss of power from your stroke.

During impact with the ball, weight and momentum are abruptly shifted to the left leg. If the left foot and ankle are not properly supported, you’ll get a swaying motion in your body’s movement that will cause an over compensation by your upper body as it tries to assist in your overall balance. This leads to an exaggerated swing that typically causes a hook.

A good pair of golf shoes is important to provide the added support necessary to stabilize the feet during the golf swing.

Of course, you also want them to be comfortable when walking the course, bending to retrieve the ball from the cup or, if the case may be, hunting a ball in the woods.

For more information and to explore your options, go to