December 2006 Archives

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Here are two methods I am using to blast through my time use "issues" for 2007.

One of these I have been using sporadically for over a year and am now applying religiously.  The other is new to me but is making a HUGE difference in my productive time and sanity.

Both of these have to do with controlling your focus and eliminating non-productive interference.

The first tip is one I got from Alex Mandossian over 2 years ago.  This may feel a little strange at first but it works wonders.

Go out and pick up an inexpensive count-down timer.  I use a KitchenAid unit that is simple to use (and even fit with my office "decor") and cost just under $20.

All you do is use the timer to set defined periods of focused time.  I use 1 hour periods.  The key is to do nothing else at all but your chosen task from start to stop in that time period.  Do not get up to get a drink, answer the phone, check email etc.  Focus only on the task at hand and work at it as hard as possible.

Once the timer hits zero, stop working, get up and take a 5-20 minute break.  You’ve earned it.

You may want to start out with periods of 40 to 50 minutes initially and then work up to longer stints.  Here’s an interesting tidbit… Eugene Schwartz (author of Breakthrough Advertising and one of the greatest copywriters ever) worked in 33 minute stints, no less no more.  He was extremely productive during those periods.

Before you start doing this you may want to actually document exactly how you use your time over the course of a few days.  You will most likely find that you are nowhere nearly as focused and productive as you’d like to be.

Once you’ve seen how you currently use your time you can then apply the timer technique to bring about some important changes.

In a short time you should see some dramatic differences in your productivity levels as well as the length of time you spend "working" at your desk.

The next tip I have just recently employed has proven to be even more liberating and was born out of my documenting what I do all day for a 3 day period.

When I took a close look at how I spent my time I found I was checking email constantly.  Even worse, I was spending much of my email time sifting through the 500 plus emails I receive each day, most of which is crap or Spam.  This adds up to an serious waste of my very valuable time.

What am I doing to change this?

The first thing I did was turn off the auditory and visual alerts that tell me I have new mail.  These are just too distracting and are the first step in weaning yourself from constant email checking.

The next thing I did was sign up for a SpamArrest.com account.

This has been one of the smartest things I have done in years.

Now, before I go any further I have to give you some background here.

You see, I receive mail through 14 different accounts at this point because of all of the web sites and services I operate.  This leads to an incredible amount of Spam eventually.

I’ve tried setting up web forms on sites so my email addresses can’t be picked up by Spam spiders but I still get hit.  Heck, I even get Spam sent to addresses for which I’ve done nothing more than set up a coming soon page and nothing more.

With SpamArrest I load in my address book of already acceptable "from" addresses and then let it do the rest.  As mail from unconfirmed addresses comes in a confirmation message goes out and the email is saved in an "unverified" folder.

Once a day I go into that folder and scan through.

Any emails that should get through get checked and "authorized.  All else gets trashed.

This has even made me reconsider many of the subscriptions I have and has led me to unsubscribe from most of them (another great time saver!)

I love it.

A basic account can handle up to 5 addresses for under $6/month and you also get a 30 day free trial to kick things off.

You can add blocks of 10 more addresses for a one time fee of $50/ten addresses.

The next step I’ll take will be to outsource my email handling completely.  I’ve spoken with a number of the "Big guys" who do this and all say it was the smartest thing they ever did for their businesses.

Here’s to a highly profitable and enriching 2007!

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

Filed under Blog, General Musings by  #

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My friend,

I have a simple little gift for you today.

I say it is simple because it is made up of a short special report and an even shorter video.

What you will find inside the two is a very unique technique I discovered that you can use to identify affiliates and even super affiliates to help promote your specific product or service.

Affiliate marketing, Joint Ventures or whatever else you wish to call then can be the fastest and most profitable ways to rapidly promote a product or service on the Internet.

The first problem one runs into when attempting to work with this is how to locate the best potential partners.

Not long ago I stumbled across what really is all to simple a way to identify highly targeted Super Affiliates using nothing more than a $5 Google Adwords account.

I documented the technique in a brief report and then shot a screen capture video detailing it as well.

I recently sold the Master Resell and the Private Label Rights to this, both of which were snatched up in pretty hefty numbers.

Now you get the info for your own use simply for being a reader of this blog.

That’s the way it works here!

The following link can be used to download your Personal Use copy of the Google Super Affiliate Finder Report & Videos… On Me.

Now, you will have to be patient because this is a big file (14MB).

Here’s to a Great and Prosperous 2007!

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

2

Yes, yes, I know by now you’ve heard, read and seen that video on the Internet is HUGE!

The predictions are that in the next few years Internet TV is going to start pushing out television as we know it.

Supposedly the big 3 television networks are all worked up because they are seeing diminishing levels of viewership.  There’s even talk that they may fall by the wayside like huge old media dinosaurs.

Do you think that is really going to happen?  Will television end up being delivered solely via the Internet?

It is possible if you think about it.

You can already get a 50" monitor through which you can view your computer as easily as your favorite prime time shows.  As the quality and distribution of broadband continues to grow it will become easier and easier to broadcast information via the Internet that in the past would have only had the standard television option.

Now let’s take this a step further…

The movie and music industries are also concerned and working hard to utilize Internet video via normal distribution channels and through viral marketing.

They’re starting to see the potential in streaming media as the number of successful viral type marketing video campaigns continues to grow.

Beyond the ability to reach a huge, highly targeted audience, they also see that the costs associated with doing so are a pittance of what they would normally spend to kick off a new production.

One of my favorite ones was done for the movie "Wedding Crashers".  This one is over a year old and could probably be improved on from a tech standpoint but the bottom line is it still works.

This featured an interactive system that enabled you to insert a digital head shot of one or more people in place of the normal actors and actresses faces.  Then the trailer would play with these new heads in place, talking and moving around while the normal audio streams.

I set this up myself with a number of different combination of people.  The scariest was my two young sons in place of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.   I realized I am not at all ready to see those two  partying away for a good number of years yet .

(NOTE: This really is one of the funnier things I’ve played with in a long while.  You really should check it out.  Here’s one with good old Sam Knoll in it.)

All kidding aside, Internet video is huge and becoming huger.

I’ve done a fair amount of work with it myself and have even produced two different concepts centered around and built upon it.

My site FlashVideoRevealed.com provides instruction on how to capture, edit, encode and stream flash video on the Internet… using all free tools.  We even provide a great single and multi-track player that you can use.

If you want to check it out simply go to FlashVideoRevealed.com.  Scroll down to the bottom and click the VIP link.  Then enter flashvip as your code and you’re in for free.

The other place I’ve employed Internet Video is in my InternetHowToVideos.com site.

This is a membership concept providing hundreds of Internet business How To videos, free web site hosting, a huge library of marketing materials as well as a slew of products and software with a variety of resell, master resell and private label rights.

The entire thing is built upon Internet Video.

This site is actually getting expanded as I write this so that in the next two weeks it will relaunch with over 400 videos, an open affiliate program (with a 59%  commission rate) as well as a variety of other enhancements.

I also have a lot more coming in 2007.

So again, it is becoming quite obvious that Internet video is here and here to stay.

Now at the start of this I mentioned my having a secret weapon for Internet Video and I do.

This is the service that I’ve been using for over a year now to stream all of my video content.

It offers a wide variety of players, is easy to use and is incredibly inexpensive (shoot, it’s been free and will remain so until March of 2007.  At that time it will run $50/month for streaming with no advertising or if you want it for free you’ll have ads mixed in with your content.  They’re even working out a rev share situation for those folks allowing the ads.

The name of this service is Brightcove.

I recommend it highly as would Reuter’s News, Yahoo News and a bunch of other heavy hitters that use the service.

Once again, Internet video is huge and is only going to grow.  Now is the time for you to hop in and add it to your marketing and product portfolios.

Here’s to a great 2007!

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

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