Monday, March 15, 2010

Horoscope and Zodiac Jewelry - a lens turning into a blog

One of the advantages of having a hostgator webhosting account is that you can set up as many blogs as you want without having to switch to a more expensive plan. That is: you do of course have to buy the domain name, but the various sites (blogs in my case) are all hosted under one account.

One of the least intuitive things you can do with that system is set up a blog ONLY to promote a lens. I know, weird isn't it? But that's what I just did. I spent two days setting up a blog, creating content, building links on something that I expect will only make me money through the promotion of a squidoo lens or two.
Here's the lens: Astrology Horoscope Jewelry 

It does OK selling zodiac jewelry and it gets decent traffic, but I want it to move up a notch in both search engine traffic and sales. And since I'd already bought the domain, I've set up a blog. It's called, not unsurprisingly:  Horoscope Astrology Jewelry. 

Normally I'd have turned the lens around at this point: linking it to the blog wherever reasonably and perhaps toning down on the content on there. Instead I've done the opposite: linked to the lens and used this as part of my link wheel around that lens.

Why? It has to do with being an international publisher. Amazon makes it real hard to get to their money, because they only pay out by check internationally. And guess what: it's expensive as hell the change them into actual money. So one of the reasons I'm active on squidoo is that for me it pays to have a middle man that pays out through paypal.

Of course, if ever Amazon starts paying out directly to my Dutch bank account, or in some other way where I can get to the money without having to jump through hoops, I can always turn the blog around too: link to the blog from the lens and turn the blog into an online 'hub' or the center of my 'link wheel'.

In the mean time though, that blog is going to get older - and therefore more trusted by Google as well. So it makes sense to host and own it myself, not put it on some free account. All thanks to hostgator.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

If sitting makes you fat... then get off your rear and start walking

I've been wanting a treadmill desk for months, every since a friend sent an email with pictures of hers. There was a recent article in the New York Times:
If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting — in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home — you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you.
The last straw for me: I painted my ceiling beams and after stepping up and down off a kitchen chair more times than I can tell you, I jammed my knee and could hardly walk. I got mostly better, then got on my elliptical trainer and the knee got terrible again.

So in a fury I went out and bought an inexpensive home treadmill from Walmart, set it up, and - since I'm a make-your-own type - built my own "work station" for free. Since then I've spent quite a lot of happy time on the treadmill, mostly reading books I've wanted to "get around to" for quite a while, but also working on my laptop, which fits securely on the treadmill desk.

Want to read how I made this simple cheap DIY laptop treadmill desk and see pictures of my workstation and my friend's too? Visit Make your own treadmill desk for free! (BTW, It's only free if you have woodscraps lying around or can scrounge some.)