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New Savings and Making Money Website

Posted on: June 22, 2009 I Written By

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I have a friend that is really good at scouring the internet to find all sorts of ways to save money or even make money in many cases. His wife would always make fun of him for how much time he spends online looking for deals and ways to make money.

My favorite is when he combined a whole bunch of deals from credit cards and ended up with a stack of cash, miles and other benefits. Although, the funniest one was when he made his wife wait 30 minutes to go to dinner so that he could get a discount which would save him $0.80. Shows you how serious he is about saving money.

Well, I was talking to him the other day and told him he should start a blog about all the various deals he finds. After our discussion, I helped him out and setup Mound of Money. He’s already created a post talking about getting discount hotels and Obama’s Cash for Clunkers program. Watch that site and I think you’re going to really like what he posts.

Also, if you like what he’s written do him a favor and stumble some of his posts. Thanks!

Confessions of a Stats Addict

Posted on: June 19, 2009 I Written By

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Yes, I’m sad to admit it, but I have a problem. I enjoy looking at my stats far too much. I’ve kind of known it’s a problem before, but now it’s just going overboard. Don’t believe me?

I’m absolutely addicted to the WordPress.com stats package. I hit refresh of that screen far too often. With over 12 blogs that I like to watch their stats, I never have one that hasn’t changed. However, I have my 5 favorites that I watch far too closely. I almost wish the stats weren’t real time.

You’d think that would be enough. Nope, I relatively frequently go and check out some of the same stats on Google Analytics. It’s far too fun. I love seeing the traffic grow.

However, that’s not the worst of my problems. Yes, I also have to constantly check Google Adsense to know how much my ads have paid. Yes, this is real time also. Yes, I am absolutely addicted. By day, by channel, by month, by site. Oh brother, the things I could tell you about Google Adsense.

Nope, that’s not all. All my affiliate programs. My favorites are iTunes, Amazon, Ticketmaster and eBay. iTunes being my most common stats checking. Buy.at (which runs that iTunes affiliate program) has the worst reporting of any affiliate program I’ve seen. Luckily, that’s good for me, since there’s less for me to check. Plus, it’s batched at really weird times. However, since it’s weird times I check it too much as well. Ticketmaster has a nice little widget that sits on my desktop like an IV into my veins, pumping stats before my eyes constantly all day. Do you think that’s a problem?

Ok, you thought you were done, right? Not even close.

Yes, I have to watch my feedburner stats too. You’d think just checking the main page to see how many people have subscribed to my feed would be enough. Nope, not for me. That only wets my tongue to get at more stats. Yes, I have to dig into each feed to see how many views it has and how many clicks for my most recent posts. Thankfully this is batched daily too instead of in real time. See the above comment about my 12 blogs and you’ll realize this is really starting to add up.However, I’m not done with the feedburner stats either. Yes, I have to also check how many people have signed up for the email subscriptions as well. I love watching that number grow since how many people really give over their email? They must really like what you’re doing to give you that.

Nah, maybe I don’t really have a problem checking too many stats. It’s probably just a misconception on my part.

Oh wait, how could I forget? Did you know I passed 3000 followers on my @TVBlog twitter account? Watching follower accounts grow isn’t really a stat is it? Just because I look at follower counts on my 4 different twitter accounts doesn’t mean anything does it?

What do you think? Do you think I have a problem?

Yeah, bring on the comments about how much more content I could create on my websites if I stopped checking stats or how much more promotion I could do for my website if I didn’t check my stats. Certainly this is true. However, just think about this for a second. I’ve done nearly 5000 blog posts over the past 4 years. Guess how many posts I would have done, if I didn’t have stats?

Vonage Thinks Their Sly in Raising Prices

Posted on: June 17, 2009 I Written By

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I got the following email today:

Dear Customer,
At Vonage, we’re committed to providing our valued customers with the best experience possible through meaningful updates to our services. To ensure that we continue to deliver top-notch service and quality, we will modify two of our existing fees as follows:
The Emergency 911 Cost Recovery will become the Emergency 911 Service Fee, which ensures we maintain nationwide E911 service in compliance with FCC regulations. Our customers’ safety in an emergency is our primary concern and this update allows us to continue delivering reliable emergency services.

The Regulatory Recovery Fee will become the Regulatory and Compliance Fee, which covers our regulatory-related and legal compliance expenses. For example, this fee pays for charges associated with benefits like procedures to ensure customer privacy, identity theft protection measures and phone number porting.
These fees will each increase from $0.99 to $1.49, effective July 15, 2009. This change allows Vonage to maintain our commitment to safety, innovation and customer service.

If you have any questions, call 1-VONAGE-HELP and speak to a customer service representative. We’re always available, 24 hours a day, everyday.

Thank you for your business,
Vonage

Does Vonage really think I’m that stupid? They aren’t raising prices in order to “deliver top-notch service and quality.” They’re raising the prices so that they can make more money. Call it what it is. Don’t try to blow wind up my skirt.

WordPress.com is Utter Genius

Posted on: June 13, 2009 I Written By

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I’m a huge fan of WordPress.com. I’m amazed at the platform they’ve created. There are some amazing benefits to using WordPress.com which I’ll save for another post. However, you can be sure that it’s a big part of my marketing strategy. I just wish they’d open it up and allow users to show ads on it already.

What is so amazing about WordPress.com is how they monetize traffic on the site. I’ve been using it for a long time and driven quite a bit of traffic to the site. However, I’d pretty much forgotten that WordPress was putting adds on my blog. At least when they launched, they said it was only a small percentage of the pages on WordPress.com and ads are only shown to people that aren’t logged in to WordPress.com (or was it just users of that blog that weren’t logged in?). Either way, it’s a genius plan.

See, since they don’t show any ads to logged in users (which the owner of the blog is almost always logged in), then owners of the blog forget that the content their creating is being monetized by WordPress.com. How smart is that?

I imagine Matt Mullenweg back there with a little percentage setting that he can change at any time. This week it might be set at 10% of the pages getting ads. Then, next week he decides to double the revenue of WordPress.com and so he changes the setting to 20%. Best part is that users of WordPress.com won’t even notice the difference.

It’s not quite money growing on trees, but pretty close.