Tuesday, December 30, 2008

5 reasons to decline paid blog post assignments

I became more active lately in joining paid blog post and reviews website as I assess on how to maximize each of my blogs in terms of revenue abilities without compromising its content. This is to support as well my further sharing at Blogging from Home and will discuss the various programs explored in my online workshop soon.

Here are my lessons learned so far in this area that partly zooms in when I start declining blog post assignments:
  1. Choose the right blog
    When joining blog advertising and marketing networks, one of the requirements is for your blog to be submitted, reviewed, and a rate is assigned. If my blog has traditional Google AdSense type of ads, I submit blogs that have low ad clicks revenue despite high reasonable ranking.

    Although it would be great to enjoy the best of both worlds. I have come to accept at the moment that you can't really have both without getting at least one compromised.

  2. Set a reasonable rate range
    Advertisers pay differently but I find that one should set a rate and not accept assignments below it. At least you have to make it worth your while.

  3. No to excessive links
    The last ad I declined lately request for 7 keywords to be linked. However, the advertiser stated linking to both its singular and plural form. Then that would meant 14 links in total. That is too much for me and therefore declined.

  4. Advertiser representation
    There's one blog network I joined and encountered an advertiser whose ad instruction were poorly written and refers to a site that is hosted in a free blogging service platform. I partly got worried on the advertiser's authenticity.

    There are also advertisers who tends to use keywords that may put your blog in a totally different rating or insinuating adult content. So choose your advertisers well.

  5. No to confusing linking instructions
    There was an ad I did before where the client requested for two pages to be linked. I mentioned the site name, without linking to it, and got declined. After 2 revisions, it still got declined and so I decided to cancel it.

    Earlier, I also declined another ad. The client mentioned two key phrases that has a brand name as first word. Then next sentence said that it is not necessary to mention the brand. It gave two more key phrases similar to the first two without the brand this time. Then next sentence again said that the adjective need not be used. For me, I felt that this is the kind of client who will take advantage of bloggers and may end up rejecting the ad made for supposedly not following instructions. By the time the blogger decides to cancel the task, the blog juice has already been generated.
I'll update this further as I get to experience more lessons learned. You are encouraged to share your thoughts as well.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sexy Sunglasses Online

As we get more involved with the work that we do, our eyes get exposed to a lot of stress and sun. My very first sunglasses was a Ray Ban. It had a dark brown glass color where the eyes remain visible to the person you are talking to. Looking at the site Sunglasses Online made me amaze as to how the Ray Ban brand has evolved through the years.

Another brand line that caught my attention is the very sporty Arnette sunglasses. Some of them come in full sizes that allows you to cover the eye area properly too.

I always find mens sunglasses as one the easiest to give as a gift to the men we love. You can pick different looks reflecting their personality and lifestyle.

With so many imitations spread through various store outlets, it is important to buy from reputable establishments to ensure that you are getting the real thing.

You can also purchase it online from sites like Sunglasses Online that carries a wide variety of brands including Anarchy, Angel, Arnette Sunglasses, Body Glove, D&G, Gargoyles, Ray Bans, Vogue, among others.

They also have stocks on clearance sale if you are a bargain hunter.

Sunglasses are available in a wide variety of style. This includes designer brands. Others are:
  • Polarized
    For those who love the outdoor as it cuts down the glare usually associated with regular sunglasses.

  • Aviator
    Popularized by Ray Ban in the 1930s. This style is popular to wide range of people from pilots in the military, NASA astronauts, police officers, movie stars, among others. The sunglass usually has a wire temple that hooks behind the ear.

  • Performance
    Designed for the most extreme lifestyle.

  • Oversize
    It is must have especially for women as they fully cover the eye area. This provides the necessary eye protection for the wearer.

  • Wrap around
    A top choice for those who have an active lifestyle, including extreme or professional athletes, and can work while you go jogging or rock climbing. It blocks out the sun at all angles therefore the problem with sun hitting the side of your eyes is not an issue with this one.
They also segmented the sunglasses for men, women, and unisex for easier selection.

If you would like to send a gift to a friend in the U.S., Sunglasses Online also offers free shipping via UPS. I think that is one great deal worth availing of.

Daring a Snail

Usually, after a heavy rain, I will find garden snails popping in our garden crossing here and there. As I'm so engrossed with our Busby SEO Test entry, I thought of daring the snails to pose for my camera and show their long tail keyword glory. (Ok I know that snails couldn't care less about SEO but just bear with me. LOL!)

Of course, I'm glad that the snails did not disappoint. As for our Busby SEO Test entry, slowly, we are picking up the pace.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Free Wifi at Italiannis Trinoma

Italiannis is one of my favorite restaurants and that is where I usually invite close friends to have lunch or dinner as I also felt at home with. My favorite is its Greenbelt branch (although I don't like the dinner service there).

Last month, I got the chance to visit its Trinoma branch for a meeting with a prospective client. I took my chances and inquired if they have wireless Internet as there are nearby outlets that have one. To my surprise, the waiter said yes. That is when I felt bad for not taking a photo shot of the food I got earlier. At any rate, at least we still have the desert photo above.

I think I'll be holding more meetings at Trinoma because of this free Internet available from a lot of the restaurants there. I just have to make sure it wont ruin my diet as the Busby SEO Test competition makes me want to binge at times.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Wifi at Dome Edsa Shangri-la Mall

Last November 8, I went to Edsa Shangri-la Mall in Mandaluyong to catch up with my sister. We went to Dome coffee shop as this is our regular meet-up place.

I'm glad that Dome now provides wifi for free to its customers. You can also plug in your laptop while doing some work.

This made the meal we had then all the more enjoyable. I ordered a Caesar Salad with Smoked Salmon while my sister got their Tuna sandwich. Great treat!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Celebrate with a Cigar

We often encounter movies with characters smoking Cigars and usually reserved in special occasions. This happens oftentimes whenever a deal or major game is won or secured.

I am not ignorant to cigars and had my share of trying them. The most unforgettable one is from an elderly retired friend, whom we all fondly referred to as "Daddy", who brings his cigar and share it. It has this chocolate after taste and comes in a much smaller size.

It also leaves a certain aroma, like brewed coffee, that stays with you that makes it a bit exotic, in terms of experience. Of course, smoking cigars is a rare experience as there's a unique circle of people who loves this kind. Well "Daddy" has already passed away but his advise on career and life were most unforgettable. His most unforgettable quote to me was, "Act like a Lady. Talk like a Man. Work like a Horse."

Back to the topic, there are many variant of Cigars to choose from. The popular ones often searched by Internet users according to WordTracker are:
  • Cuban cigars
  • Jr. cigars
  • Thompson cigars
  • Acid cigars
Other interesting variants worth checking as well are Cohiba cigars and Macanudo cigars.

You can buy cigars from your favorite store or visit websites that ships the variant you like (e.g. Famous Smoke Shop). If you are inexperienced, it is important to buy from legitimate outlets to ensure that you are buying the real deal and not some knock off copy cat of the brand.

Of course, don't forget to smoke Cigars moderately.

Criminal Background Check

In rare occasions, we encounter foreigners, sometimes even Filipinos who grew up abroad, coming to the country seeking for opportunities either for employment, business, settling down, among others.

I always believe, however, that doing a Background Check before sealing any important deal is critical. This is especially true on the following instances:
  • Marriage
    Before marrying a foreign national, it is important to find out that they have properly divorced and have no pending offense. Else, their current partners will suffer for it.

  • Business partnership
    Entering into a business requires dealing with partners with good credibility. If you try to secure a loan later on, all board members get checked and one partner's past may end catching up and harm your chances for securing important loans, deals, among others.

  • Employment
    Employers hiring foreign nationals must take the necessary diligence that they are hiring the right people especially if their work includes travel to other parts of the world.
There are sites (e.g. Sentry Link) that allows you to perform a Criminal Background Check. This is where you will find out if they have records committing felonies, misdemeanors, and other offenses.

The investment required for a Criminal Check I believe is way worth it compared to the problems you may encounter later on.

Toitoi Facebook Fluff Home Page

One thing I love about Facebook is the Fluff application that allows you to keep a pet and interact with friends through it.

In real life, I have a pet, Toitoi, a turtle. In Feng Shui, they are considered as guardians of wealth. Through Facebook Fluff, I was able to create a home page for Toitoi and virtually feed him whenever I like and enter into races, get freebies, among others.

Of course, Toitoi does his share also of promoting my book online. LOL!

So if you have a Fluff home page for your pet, I encourage you to post it here and will visit, pet, feed, and have my Toitoi give it a race match whenever time permits.

Iriga City Anti-Truancy Program, Poor Power, Bad Cell Phone Signal, & Dirty Bus Terminal

Once in awhile, I get to visit the Bicol region either for a speaking engagement or do some important errands for my partner. My visit there last August, particularly to Iriga City, was partly a disaster due to the following:
  • Power interruption.
    Yes, not much has change, they still have it regularly.

  • Poor cell phone signal
    My Smart cell phone was unreachable for a couple of hours on that day. No wonder some of the relatives were hard to reach.

  • Poorly maintained bus terminal
    It is hard to describe it but I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

However, if there's anything positive in that trip, that would be this campaign that got posted in the Internet cafe center I was in.

It is the city government's anti-truancy program that warns Internet cafe operators and establishments, be penalized, from allowing under-age drinking and computer gaming during school hours.

Buy a New Home or Build Your Own Home?

When planning to finally invest in your own new home. There are two ways to go about it. This is either you buy a new one or build your own. Here is my perception on the advantage and disadvantage of each alternative. My partner had a discussion about this when we were planning to move to the U.S. a few years back.

Build your own home:

Plus points
  1. When you are on tight budget, be able to prioritize the resources needed for your New Home Construction.
  2. Get the right people for the job and may even cost cheaper.
  3. Execute your own design preferences. Like a 3-floor house with attic.
Minus points
  1. Underestimate resources required and won't be fully finished as you originally projected.
  2. Hired contractor not able to do the job - like the smooth wall finish you desire.
  3. Design not feasible. Discover later on that what you like is not possible or will prevent you from doing other stuff.
Buying a Home

Plus points:
  1. Explore as many options as possible through various websites (an example is NewHomeGuide.com). First Time Home Buyers can go online and search for the option.
  2. Deal with professionals who already have the experience with this.
  3. Explore alternatives pre-made already by the developers.
Minus points:
  1. When what you see is not what you get. Review the contract well and protect yourself.
  2. Not all terms are discussed. Consult friends or professionals that had experience in home purchasing and get "what they wish they knew" kind of advice.
It was 1998 when we moved to our Quezon City residence. Unfortunately, I never really got the chance to take a picture of it and was never really proud to do so as it wasn't finished yet. A major paint job and it should all be done. Instead, I end up buying the land next door, acquire a day care business, and publish another book. I don't think that house of ours will ever get done.

With that experience, I guess saying that you can build a house from the ground up and spend less is an understatement. Although our relatives in the U.S. can use various websites to get the best quote. In Australia, the same can be said as the place we are living in right now was also searched and found online.

If I'll ever get the chance to buy a new home again, I'll be more practical about it and get properties where houses or condominiums have already been built and be spared with all the hassle related to construction. (Obviously, there was still no public Internet when we got our first land property)

I love Korean Food (but not on a date night)

Ever since I got the chance to visit Korea in 2003, my appreciation for Korean food has increased. When Korean restaurants start popping all over our neighborhood, due to an increasing Korean nationality population, all the more excited I get.

You see, not all Korean restaurants are the same. Some, in my opinion, bring shame to what Korean food is all about. Worst, some of them are even big names and can be found in prestigious malls.

However, for a real deal Korean food treat, I go to a restaurant near our house and that is Jeon Won (I hope I did not misspell that). It reminded me of a restaurant that I get to visit whenever in Korea. I wish I had been more diligent in taking photos then.

Some of the simple things I like in this restaurant:
  • The kimchi-infused side dishes and other surprises
    Simply extravagant, refillable, and free. So if you order grilled beef good for 2 pax which cost like 500 (I think), I'm sure you'll be full already with the nice kimchi-infused side dishes and others that they serve (there's just too many).

  • Dolsot bibimbap
    I don't think anyone will get to appreciate what Korean food is really all about until they get to try Dolsot bibimbap. Well it is actually a simple rice topping dish with veggies (sometimes with meat) served in a stone bowl that keeps it hot. The red bean paste (and add spices) adds flavor to it. If I'll ever decide to become a vegetarian someday, this dish will definitely make me say, "with pleasure". LOL!

  • The desert
    After the meal, they also serve free desert or their home made cold ginger honey tea. To be honest, I knew that Jeon Won is the Korean restaurant of choice for me because of this tea that got served at the end. I felt that it really brought me back to Korea because this is what my favorite restaurant there serves too.

  • The staff
    Yes, all Pinoys and you'll see its Korean owners taking time to greet and chat with you too despite their limited English language skills.
Well, if ever Korean food is a passion for you, Jeon Won is definitely worth the try. To get there:
  • Go to Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City and make a U-turn to Don Antonio (where Petron gas station is - across Ever Commonwealth).
  • Once you reach Coffee Bean and Tree House (BPI at the corner), turn left and you'll immediately find Jeon Won at the right side of the street.
On a last note, I don't recommend eating in a Korean Restaurant on a date night. I've heard enough funny and embarrasing stories about it that I don't encourage you to take the risk. LOL!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

5 Reasons Why I Prefer Cathay Pacific

Whenever I get to travel, Cathay Pacific is my primary choice over any other airline. Here are some of the reasons why:
  • They offer free upgrades to business class, on the spot, that I have never experienced with any other airline.

  • I like their duty-free products offered. I am biased towards practical non-messy and healthy stuff. I remember buying an ionized jewelry pair plus skin care products (picture above).

  • The noodles. I know it is funny but I always look forward in eating noodles whenever in a Cathay Pacific flight. You just request for it and they serve it to you.

  • The Marco Polo lounge. When I was still a Marco Polo vip cardholder (that was the 2 year period when I went out of the country almost 1x to 2x per month), I always look forward staying at the lounge. The noodle bar and facilities was just so perfect.

  • Online check-in. Cathay Pacific remains to be one, or if not the only, airline that offers a well-organized online check-in facility where you can pick a preferred seat ahead.
Of course, nowadays, we have to be practical. If another airline offers a cheaper rate, I will likely go for it. During travel rush, try to avoid the situation where one has to stay overnight in an airport facility.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

5 Options to Get Out of Debt

I am the kind of person who is not afraid to take risks and even use credit cards when necessary just to push through with an idea or project I have in mind. Knowing that I have this risk-taking courage, I decided not to have my own primary credit card and just resort to being a supplemental cardholder.

Different countries have their own approaches in collecting debt. In the Philippines, due dates are important. You'll get calls and warnings for missing payment whether it is for credit card, direct selling, and anything that has a due date marked on.

In Australia, I noticed that collection policies are more considerate. In direct selling entities, you have the option to pay only what you can at the moment although this hampers your ability to make successive orders. Once fully paid, you can resume doing business again.

In the U.S., there are debt consolidation companies can be tapped to help out in managing your payments and create a re-payment program that will work best for you. A good scheme ideally should have low monthly payment, low interest payment, and friendly terms in case you'll be able to fully pay it off early.


The site, Bills.com, has advice on bill consolidation and options that I find interesting. This includes options worth exploring such as:
  1. Use your assets, like home, to shift your credit card bills from unsecured to secured debt. This allows you also to re-negotiate the rates and terms.
  2. For properties, another option will be to re-finance and get better terms
  3. If you don't have your own home or equivalent equity, you can still avail of credit counseling and debt settlement options.
  4. There's nothing to stop you as well from making calls and inquire of options available to reduce the interest you are paying now.
  5. If the above does not work, debt settlement entities can be tapped for the task.
The amount of information on the site is more than helpful. I think the use of videos, images, and illustration can help the site better in sharing more information about the subject.

Hire a Filipina Maid - Transit at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia International Airport

Last November 22, I left the country to visit family members. Part of the trip is to transit at the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia airport.

I have been traveling for more than a decade now and the airports feel like the same wherever you go. However, once you have decided to make a photography adventure out of it, suddenly, everything looks different.

I hardly bought items at the airport for they are usually expensive. Although I recall buying a Blubrry blouse once at the airport as I have a presentation two hours after landing.

There is also an incentive buying duty-free while onboard a flight as mileage credits can be earned with your frequent flyer card. I must admit a few items caught my attention during the shoot but I find it pointless to wear or carry such expensive stuff if it is worth like a laptop already and you prefer commuting most of the time.

Inbound (October 19)

What was memorable during this trip was my stay at the Premiere airport lounge where part of the package is a 20 minutes chair back massage. It was a very good one.

One unforgettable note I have at that time was while surfing the Internet in KL, if you visit anything that is Philippines-related, I saw ads popping up about "hire a Filipina maid". I wish I had taken a screen shot of it. I guess that is the reality of life as most Filipinos go abroad to pursue better lives.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Century Tuna Diet

Last October 20 to November 22, I experimented with my eating program and ate Century Tuna, my favorite is the hot & spicy variant, and hot Spanish sardines whenever I am home. While outside, eating meat became a rare thing except when it is unavoidable and indulgence is given way in few occasions.

There are many ways you can eat tuna meat like this one. The most common one would be just plain saute with garlic and onion. If I'll be cooking myself, will add tomato too. If it is meant to be shared with others, egg can be included. You can eat it with rice, bread, salad, or even pasta.

Admittedly, the weight factor didn't change that much although friends noticed some improvement. It is important to take vitamins or supplements to augment nutrients you get deprived on as a result of the diet. This has an effect on your brain processing power, mood, and vitality.

At this time, being with family abroad for the holiday season prevents me from the following the diet I started. They also don't have the hot & spicy variant so I stick to the tuna in olive oil or vegetable oil or water whenever I get the chance. At times, I just skip dinner. So we'll see...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

5 Steps in Video Production Service

In the course of organizing events and developing e-learning programs, I have more and more came to realize the importance of having video production as a must in these endeavors.

Chicago Illinois-based Richter Studios is an entity that can be tapped by companies based in the U.S. although they can go to almost everywhere in the world to do their work. What I like about their website is the sense of excitement and being proud that they convey in the kind of work that they do. This I find lacking for those offering services.


They also took the effort of explaining the process when availing a Video Production Service that includes steps such as:
  • Conceptualize
    Using pencil and notepad paper to churn out the basic ideas of a project.

  • Script writing
    They collaborate with the client and come up with a script flow that reflects their needs.

  • Capture
    Shoot the videos and get it done.

  • Edit / Animate
    Video gets worked on and audio is improved.

  • Output
    Finished product is ported to its target output media or platform (online, high definition video, mobile devices, cd or dvd, among others)
I think the video production service field will keep on growing as the Internet and mobile devices trend on becoming video-friendly continues.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Relationship Heartache, Breaking Up, & Rebound Rituals

I'll be attempting to make a post every now and then about relationship as I often get exposed to younger peers who go through emotional turmoils once in awhile. I also visited a blog lately where the blogger was asking for advise on how to heal a broken heart.

So let me kick this off by tackling the subject of heartaches, breaking up, and getting into a rebound ritual.

I believe that heartache begins while most of us are still in the relationship or just a day after the split or termination. It is funny when the weather jives with you that day. You look outside hoping to find an area in the big sky to throw what you are feeling away. Then all of a sudden, you see dark or polluted clouds everywhere that just cracks you further.

It is also a matter on how the relationship is ending. At times, it seems you can't agree to anything and almost at each others neck especially if you work together on projects. Then until one makes a proper goodbye and both parties agreed.

In some cases, a communication block occurs because you were both tied up. After a week or two, the concern will be raised on the state of the relationship, the answer is given, then both agree to end it there.

Not all endings are clean. Some go through the point of a heart-to-heart talk. Others end abruptly with tears while parting ways. While some terminate it like a date or bid cancelled.

If you are unlucky, your feelings may be ignored altogether to the point that it gets mocked, disrespected, belittled or humored upon. But you can't judge that soon - as much as a lot has been said, there's also everything that was not said. I guess it partly shows the best and worst in us as a person.

Nursing a heartache can be a difficult stage. However, those who love themselves more can get through far more quicker. That is why such is an important prerequisite, in my opinion, before one can be ready getting into a relationship. Take time out, pull yourself together, and become a better person. If you have been put down by a lover, that is only because you allowed them to. It is also your right to decline any further discussion about your heart or feelings if the intention is not clear.

Get ready to rebound!
Alright laugh out loud, the above was so serious already. The point of this post is this girl book - Rebound Rituals by Kerry Colburn and Jennifer Worick that tackles 50 ways to bounce back after breaking up. Some of the tips I like and my thoughts about it are:
  • Fly solo
    Take a break and yes you should. Get that feeling back that all you need is well - you!

  • Make a hate letter
    Yes, because we are too polite to curse or express our anger. Of course, the hate letter is not meant to be sent but just vent that negative emotions out if you have to.

  • Consult the cards or zodiac
    Have fun and find out what the stars or cards have to say about you. There are also mental affirmations to end a heartache and reclaiming your stolen heart. This option may require you to burn some of the items he has given you.

  • Get a hobby or new adventure
    Anything you like to do. Maybe start a food blog, get some dancing lessons, start a business, read more, among others.

  • Assemble the worthy
    Make an album or photo collection of great men in your family and those you admire. There are still a lot of good men out there.
There are 45 more tips in the book that you will surely find entertaining. Check it out!