Lynn M Dot Net

Any idiot can do what I do to make $ online. It's not rocket surgery, it's cake. Also, I like pie.

Wow, I really hadn’t realized how long it had been since I last posted here. One of my mentors several years ago (who is never seen around TE Land anymore), Mike Paetzold, was known as “the WordPress Guy” and made part of his living operating literally hundreds of blogs, mostly all in different and extremely varied niches.

Between this blog (the one you’re reading now), my Win 10 With Lynn blog, and my bi-weekly posting over at the Lucky 13 blog, I can barely keep up lately when it comes to blogging. I can’t even imagine trying to keep up with hundreds of blogs.

So here it is, the last day of 2014, and I guess one of my New Year’s resolutions should be to try and make a post here at least once a week, if not more. We’ll see how that one goes!

And even before the old year has ended, already there’s been one big change in my life, having now taken on the leader role of the Lucky 13 team in CTP Teams in the wake of the resignation of our first and so far only team leader besides now me, that fine fellow Tom Wacker.

I really can’t even hope to truly fill those very big shoes, but I’ll strive to do the best I can do, and I figure Lucky 13 (which came in second for the yearly/first season prize) in 2015 will just do what we’ve always done – same things we’ve been doing consistently since CTP Teams began last spring, and maybe a little better. (Key word there being consistent – that’s exactly why our team finished in the top three.)

Anyway, as usual, I’m behind and chasing my tail so I’m gonna try to wrap a few things up and get caught up today (or at least attempt to), so off I go. I hope you all have a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year in 2015 – see you back here then!

So you probably already know that these days in online marketing, you really need to have a blog. Maybe you’ve been thinking about blogging, or already have a blog of your own – and that’s great if you do. You should!!

Blogging is easy… for some people. Don’t hate me because I’m one of them! Part of the ease for me comes from coming from an academic and literary writing background, and part of it’s just because I’ve been doing it so long, since back when I started writing about personal stuff nobody really cared about except for a few friends and family – back before blogs were even called blogs (lol). I don’t always blog every day like I should (I can see you shaking your head “no” in agreement over there, Mike Paetzold!)  :-)

Blogging can be a little bit more difficult and a daunting task for others and require a bit of a learning curve, but there’s another aspect of blogging that can often be a stumbling block for old school and newbie bloggers alike…

How do you get traffic to your blog???

What if I told you there are a relatively small number of free and easy to apply methods you can use to magnetically draw tons of traffic to your blog? And not only traffic – but super highly ultra-targeted traffic?

You’d like to get a hold of something like that, right?

Well, if you’re a struggling blogger, a newbie blogger, a thinking-about-starting blogger, or just a blogger who’d like to get more traffic streaming into their blog – it’s your lucky day.

It just so happens that the ace team of Jerry (Master Copywriter) Reeder and Mike (“The WordPress Guy”) Paetzold just released 21 Ways to Beam Traffic Directly to Your Blog the other day, and now you can get it too.

With 21 Ways to Beam Traffic Directly to Your Blog, you’ll find out:

  • How to get complete and total strangers to advertise your blog posts
  • The traffic siphoning methods the gurus use to ethically steal traffic from the biggest and most heavily visited sites online
  • Back doors to getting your blog on the first page of Google
  • Lots more!

The valuable methods in 21 Ways to Beam Traffic Directly to Your Blog are broken down into bite-sized pieces that are easy to follow and anyone can put this info into practice and make it work for them. All of the 21 ways may not apply to you and your situation, but there is definitely something in here (and likely quite a bit of the methods useful and applicable) for everyone.

I’m not just talking out of the side of my mouth pitching this report (and it’s free anyway).

I’m pitching it because it works.

I was given an advance copy of this report, and I don’t reckon it’s a secret that Mike has been helping me break some of my bad blogging habits lately (heh, when he can get through my blonde roots anyway) and try some new things blog-wise. After reviewing 21 Ways, I was pleased to see that there actually were a couple of methods that I had already been doing, but there were several others I hadn’t even thought about or ever heard of.

Between the new strategies suggested in 21 Ways that I’ve been putting into practice and all the good blogging advice that is free to be had at Mike and Jerry’s weekly List Building Conferences, I have seen a pretty dramatic and tremendous upswing in both traffic and results over the last month or so.

In a way, I’d kinda like to know what my results would have been had I been using some of these methods all along – on the other hand, I don’t think I wanna know because I’ll be kicking myself for not having thought to or looked into doing this stuff sooner!

And I still have some of the methods from 21 Ways left to get started on putting into practice – so there are surely more good results ahead! Thanks to Jerry, Mike, and Jay Hines (the cool dude in the group who takes ideas and makes them real) for putting 21 Ways together – it will surely help a lot of people find their way (and get tons more traffic!).

In any case, this stuff just plain works. It’s a very brief report and an easy read (and again, free) – and full of very, very useful stuff.

So whether you’re just thinking about blogging, just started blogging, or been blogging – check out 21 Ways to Beam Traffic Directly to Your Blog and get ahead of the blogging game – and get ready for rivers of ultra-targeted traffic when you put some of those 21 ways into practice!

Friday’s Traffic Exchange Live was inexplicably canceled, though most of us regulars showed up and hung out for a bit anyway. A cancellation notice mail was sent out around start time and that was pretty much that for Friday.

So, let’s talk a little about hosting and domains today – something I’ve been wanting to write about for a few weeks now, but wanted to wait until I had some settled some things, and moved two of my domains out of the clutches of a prior host successfully, before I started ranting about that.

If you don’t feel like reading the rest of this, the moral of the story is basically DON’T buy cheap hosting + free domain deals just because it sounds like a good and inexpensive way to go.

Here’s what happened to me when I was too new and green to serious affiliate marketing stuff to know any better and hadn’t really done enough research first…

Everybody everywhere – at Affiliate Funnel conferences, in all kinds of “get started online” literature, everywhere I went – kept telling me I needed hosting if I was going to have my own site. This was early in the year last year, and (mistake #1) before I really took the time to thoroughly read everything Affiliate Funnel has as far as learning material to read, and related such stuff from other sources and e-books and reports.

I already knew – even though I really didn’t (mistake #2) have a plan or a direction set, and it would be several more months ’til that really came to me – that whatever I was going to do, I’d probably be setting up a blog because, well, that’s what I’ve always done. I had a blog before blogs were really blogs (lol) – all the way back to 1997 – and I had plenty of early-Internet-era website creation experience too, but that knowledge wasn’t translating as well to modern-day terms. So I already had in the back of my mind that whatever kind of initial presence I made for myself online once I got serious about marketing, that yeah – it’d probably be a blog.

So I went searching around for hosting, which had not really been an issue for me before since I’d mainly used free blogging platforms for my personal blog, and the other one didn’t really need hosting either. I knew what some of my blogger friends who were using paid hosting were using, or had used, and had some of their recommendations in mind (most of which probably wouldn’t have turned out any better than what I initially wound up with) – but then I was looking at some more advertising I was seeing around the traffic exchanges, safelists, and otherwise on the ‘Net for hosting too.

I looked at some of the ones I knew had been mentioned by the “gurus” in TE Land, but then (mistake #3) got to looking at others and finally wound up settling on one (mistake #5, actually) because I had Googled and found some “good reviews” mentioning this one and they were listed as a so-called “top pick” on several recommendation sites I found while Googling (and that would be mistake #4 before the #5).

What it all boils down to is that I got all starry-eyed over the relatively inexpensive (less than $10 a month) hosting PLUS the two free domains that came with it, for a year. I thought, wow, I got myself a good deal, saved myself some money on domains, yada yada.

Well, here’s the thing:

  • You can get hosting for less than $10 a month anyway with either of the two hosting companies I’m going to recommend a little later in this post. And I should have done so (read on…).
  • Really, it’s just not the best of ideas to have your domains and hosting under the same umbrella – that whole “don’t put all your eggs in the same basket” kinda thing.

As for that second one, there’s a few reasons for this, but I can give you one really good example personally from way back. I’ve lost control of some domains I had in the past due to a dispute with that particular hosting company (which sucked about as much as the one I stupidly first picked last year, and are liars and thieves, in my opinion, but certainly have poor business practices). I may never get them back, but that’s okay, they really weren’t all that important anyway.

Just about any TE Land veteran/guru/etc. will likely recommend you go get your domains somewhere like Namecheap or GoDaddy and get your hosting elsewhere, though I have some registered a few other places. I mostly prefer Namecheap for domains myself, and as for getting good deals and saving money, you can pretty much find a discount coupon every month for Namecheap if you just Google a little bit.

Anyway, yeah, early last year I thought I’d really done myself a favor going with hosting with this particular host. I actually paid for hosting without using it for a little while. When I started getting really serious with what I was doing with my marketing and buckling down, I realized my mistake almost immediately.

I got ready to set up my blog (the one you’re reading now). Once I started working with this hosting company’s system trying to get my blog up and running – well, some four or five hours later, I still didn’t have a blog. Their system was SO un-user-friendly and clunky and just such a major pain to mess with, it was next to impossible.

And I’m a veteran blogger. Granted, it was the first time I’d tried to set up a blog on a paid hosting service, but still – it just shouldn’t have been that hard.

So, fed up and put out after four or five hours of banging my head on the desk, and determined to have a WordPress blog up and running before the sun came up, I went straight to Mike (“The WordPress Guy”) Paetzold’s blog to confirm who he most highly recommended for hosting (I was pretty sure I knew, but wanted to make sure):

I ended up going with HostGator because Fantastico installation of WordPress is so incredibly easy, like click a couple of buttons and fill a couple of boxes out and you’re done. If you’re wanting to set up a WordPress blog, that’s probably the easiest way to go – and though I do pay a bit more for my hosting plan there because I wanted some extras, if all you’re doing is a blog and you don’t need a lot of extra stuff, you can easily start out at the $4.95/month plan and then upgrade later if you need to.

ZootHost is run by the fabulous Jon Atwood (a frequent visitor to TE Live), has great word-of-mouth performance and customer service wise among pretty much all of TE Land and beyond, and a large number of your favorite traffic exchanges and related programs are hosted at ZootHost, so you can’t really go wrong there either.

Anyone can tell you Zoot’s service is impeccable, and I can sign off on that too because I don’t pay Jon very much money (yet), and still he and Chris have gone far and beyond the call of duty to help me with some issues. For shared or dedicated hosting either one, it’s great, and you can get shared hosting with Zoot for under $10 a month too ($9.95).

So yeah – let’s just pretend there are NO other shared hosting companies out there if you’re needing to set up your first website or blog, because you don’t want to have to go through what I went through. (Oh, yes, there’s MORE… keep reading.)

And that’s all not to say there aren’t some smaller hosting companies out there that don’t have worthwhile service – but they’re probably also not the ones that are going to pop up when you Google for “best hosting”/etc. either. Most of the ones that pop up on those “top lists” are the ones you’re going to want to avoid.

Do your due diligence and research, and ask around about the smaller ones. I can pretty much mostly – with maybe a very few exceptions – guarantee you that most of the ones you’ll find Googling “best host” or “top host” are the ones you likely want to run away from, and fast.

I had my blog (the one you’re on) set up with HostGator in mere MINUTES, after having frustratedly fiddled with the clunky and complicated system of that other misguidedly purchased hosting for hours and hours and getting nowhere. Minutes. Less than ten minutes, probably more like five.

I ended up paying for that other hosting – even though I never actually used it but for that four or five hours I was unsuccessful at getting a blog up and running – for a year, since it came with the “two free domains”. Yeah, I could have transferred the domains elsewhere at any time, but that would have just been more money plus I had already agreed to keep the hosting account for the year. I could have canceled that, but there would have been big early cancellation fees involved so that just would have been even MORE money.

But still, I ended up basically paying nearly $120 for two domains (which was all I used, since I didn’t use the hosting itself) over the course of a year. Two domains that I could have gotten for less than $20 a year elsewhere, if I hadn’t bought the stupid hosting plan in the first place.

I’ll not bore you with the gory details of how teeth-grindingly frustrating and aggravating it was trying to get my two domains transferred away from them – which, at least I was able to finally succeed in doing so, unlike my previously mentioned old domains from way back, which are still being held hostage by the aforementioned less-than-desirable and lying/cheating hosting company with poor customer service issues.

But talking to these more recent people on the phone was something I never want to have to do again, as my dogs probably know more with their little dog brains about domain service than these people do. A transfer initiation process which should have taken about an hour or less wound up requiring four phone calls over the course of over fourteen hours in one day – and on one of those phone calls, their own domain services representative gave me the WRONG code to initiate the transfer with. The whole thing just turned into a comedy of errors that lasted over half a day and really should have taken only a few minutes, and if I’d been beating my head against a wall, I would have been a bloody mess.

So in essence, what looked like a really good deal on the surface turned out to be a huge, HUGE mistake, and cost me a lot more money in the long run (and gave me tremendous headaches, especially when I started the process of transferring those domains) than it would have if I’d just done the right thing in the first place and gone with HostGator or ZootHost for hosting, and Namecheap or GoDaddy for my domains. A new person just starting out who doesn’t need dedicated hosting yet or just wants to toss up a blog – you can’t go wrong with those.

And if I’d been really and truly listening and reading, and paying attention to others like I should have at the time, it would have saved me a whole lot of trouble (and about a hundred bucks).

So that’s why I’m sharing my hosting and domain horror stories with you today, so hopefully you won’t make the same initial mistakes I did. Those “get (two, five, whatever) domains free with a year’s hosting” deals and some of the other garbage offered by some of those “top (five, ten, twenty, whatever) hosting companies” you’ll see when you start Googling is mostly just that – garbage – and you’ll likely live to regret it. Especially if you ever need quick (or intelligent, or trustworthy) service about something.

And while it may look very convenient and easiest and like such a good deal on the surface to get all such things in one place – it’s really a much better practice to just not keep all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. If that proverbial basket tips over for whatever reason – something doesn’t go right, or you want to cancel and/or move, or whatever – you may find yourself wanting to chew your arm off dealing with their service reps in the fallout, and wishing you’d done something else in the first place – like I wished I had.

So if hosting and domain names are on your to-do list now, save yourself the trouble and check out HostGator or ZootHost for hosting, and Namecheap or GoDaddy for domains – and don’t even look at any of those other “great specials” or convenient “super deals”. I’m still trying to stop the twitch I get in my left eye every time I think about that 14+ hour long and four phone call ordeal over my last big hosting and domain mistake, and I wish I’d just done it right the first time and saved myself that torture.

Hi, I'm Lynn M & this is my blog.

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