Whenever someone asks me to help them fix any php problems with there website the first thing I ask them is what there error logs say. A lot of people don’t keep track of there errors logs which amazes me, so I’m gonna do a little write up on how I keep track or my errors logs.
Most of the time I dont keep track of my sites php errors on wordpress sites like this, however if I am doing any coding work on a theme I usually track errors then. I definitely keep track of errors on my eCommerce and feeder sites. If someone gets an error during the checkout process then they will probably give up and move on to your competitor. It also makes your business look bad when your websites broken or something doesn’t work right. So making sure your website has very few errors is a simple way to increase sales and/or ad sales, and look more professional.
I personally check my errors logs on a daily basis. Actually I have about 10-15 logs that I check throughout the day.. everyday. My F5 button is usually the first button to break on my keyboards.
Simple way to track php errors:
Step 1: Open up your favorite FTP client. Mine is gFTP.
Step 2: Also open up your favorite text editor. Mine text editor of choice is gedit.
Step 3: In your FTP client, log onto the website that you want to track the php errors on. I’m going to use my site survivormanfans.com for an example.
Step 4: Once you are logged onto your websites via FTP, go to the “/public_html/” folder which is the main root directory of your website. Then look for a file called “.htaccess”, if there is a file called that in the “/public_html/” folder then download it onto your computer. If there is no file with that name then move on to the step 5.
Below you can see the “.htaccess” file is already on my server.
Step 5: After you download the “.htaccess” file, open it up in your text editor on your computer. If there was no “.htaccess” file on your server, that’s no problem, just create a new blank file in your text editor and then proceed to step 6.
Step 6: Copy the code below and the paste it in your “.htaccess” file like the screenshot below. It does not matter were you paste the code below, you can put it anywhere on the page, it doesn’t matter.
Copy this code, and then paste it onto your “.htaccess” file.
# enable PHP error logging
php_flag log_errors on
php_value error_log /home/domain.com/public_html/errors.log
Below you can see that I pasted the code above onto the “.htaccess” file in my text editor.
Step 7: After you paste the code above into your text editor, you have to edit it for your website. All you have to do is change the following part of the code below:
Now the code above depends on how your servers folder structure is. Usually you can get away with just adding this “/domain.com/public_html/logs/errors.log” without the “/home/” part.
Obviously you will have to change the “/domain.com/” part to your own domain or user. If you are on a shared server, then the “/domain.com/” part will be the username that you use for your cpanel/ftp login.
My code will look like the below code after I edit it for my website:
php_value error_log /home/survivormanfans.com/public_html/errors.log
Step 8: Save the “.htaccess” file like a boss.
Step 9: Now, in your text editor create a new blank file and then save it as “errors.log”. Do not put anything in the file, simply just create a new file, and then save that blank file as “errors.log” on your computer.
Below you can see a blank new file called “errors.log” which nothing on the file.
Step 10: After you finish editing your “.htaccess” file and you have created a new file called “errors.log”, upload both of those files to your “/public_html/” folder on your website. You will have to overwrite the “.htaccess” if you have previously downloaded it.
Step 12: Now open up your FTP client and select the “errors.log” file which you just uploaded, then click on “permission” or the “Chmod” setting, and then change the permission to “777″ or click all the text boxes like my FTP client below. That will allow the server to overwrite the “errors.log” file.
Below you can see I selected the “errors.log” file and have changed the permission to “777″.
Step 13: You are almost done and ready to start tracking your websites php errors. Now simply go through your website and click on some pages, then after you click on a few pages open up your “errors.log” file up in your FTP client, or you can go to the file directly by going to your websites error page which would be “www.domain.com/errors.log”. If you want you can password protect your error logs page to make it more secure.
If you do not see any errors after a decent amount of time, check the file structure you used in your “.htaccess” file to see if its correct.
Most websites will give out some errors of some sort. Fix the more critical first and work your way down, below are some errors I am getting on survivormanfans.com.
I was not getting any errors on my site at first, so I purposely made a php error for an example. You can check out the logs file here.
How does it work? Every time there is a php error on your website, the server will overwrite the “errors.log” file with what went wrong. You can see the time and date of the error, and also what the error is and usually what line the code went wrong. Its a great way to make sure your websites are working correctly.
I hope you enjoy the blog post, please comment if you have any questions. Thanks3 Comments »
A lot has happened this year for me. I know I have said this before, but I will start blogging on a normal basis from now on. The biggest problem I now face with blogging is that I can not go into too much details about what is actually going on. I’m not sure how many people remember, but back in January I made a blog post about my newest business ww2helmets.com, well one of my larger supplies made me take that off due to the blog post “sharing too much details”. It was a good post which sucks, but I rather make money so I took it down.
When I was 19 and I first started blogging it was pretty easy to go into detail about my new projects, but that was when I ran Adsense websites with no huge responsibilities. I now run ecommerce businesses, have agreements directly with acquiring bank in countries you have never heard of, spend more at USPS per month than what my car is worth, and I always have deals going on that I need to keep on the down low. So as you can imagine, simply opening up wordpress and going HAM writing crap isnt going to happen anymore. Each post I do now has to be well thought-out and reviewed before published so I don’t piss anyone off or breach a contract or fun like that.
My first lawsuit
Yep, the gears are in motion with my first lawsuit. If you know me personally then you all know whats going on, if you don’t, then you are going to have some great reading material over the next 6-10 months. I will be blogging about everything that goes on with this (actually this is one of the reasons I am getting back into blogging).
Meet Rod Gilstrap of the Idaho Falls and Rigby area. This is his bands page thingy. I first met him back in 2007 or 2008 when I helped him set up the business The Antler Patch. Well last year around Sept he came to me and asked if I wanted to go 50/50 with him on buying some antler sheds in bulk so he can sell in bulk and also on theantlerpatch.com website. I have always been interested in that business, so I was very interested. We worked out a verbal agreement, my business partner Sean Duncombe and I would invest $25,000 and he would combine those funds with his half ($25,000) and we would buy roughly $50,000 of grade A, B, and C antler sheds from some dude in Mountain Home, Idaho.
The original deal was that Sean and I would become part owners of The Antler Patch for investing into it, and I would have to redo the website and increase its sales. Sean and I would get 25% each of the business and Rod would keep 50% so he was the majority owner. My part was to upgrade the website and increase its traffic and sales. So I gave Rod a 25k cashiers check on Sept 22, 2012. Then 2 weeks later he allegedly purchased the 50k worth of antler sheds, which is around 5500 pounds of sheds. Selling the grade C and B was suppose to be a fast flip, Rod told us we would get roughly 18k back a month or 2 after we gave him the 25k. Then the grade A would be sold on the website for roughly 30k gross sales.
So… do i need to even write this down.. you probably know whats going to happen next. Yep, he never purchased any antlers at all, and stole the 25k we invested.
So I gave him the 25k on Sept 22nd. Then 2 or 3 weeks later he told me he sold the grade B and C to a antler buyer. I was like.. alright great, bring me over that 18k you owe me… that is when his excuses started. At first his excuses were small/stupid ones, like I’m out of town so I cant get a check today, or something like that. But by November we new something was up. At this time I’m not going to go into all of his excuses he used to not make payment, there are literately dozens excuses he used, I had to write them all down to keep track of them, so I will go into those details later.
During this whole time I spent around 5-6k of my own money on developing the website, SEO, I hired a full time customer support dude (thats 700$ a month alone), packaging crap, etc. Last feb I cut off spending on that business. So right now we have around 30-31k invested into this business. In April I had my lawyer make up an ending agreement, Both Rod and I signed it in front of a public notary, the agreement stated that Rod would give me a 30k check and after its deposited I would give him back his business. Well, that never happened. So technically that business is now ours 100% since Rod is in breach of contract. We basically repossessed that bitch.
The business its self is worth around 12-14k with no stock. Soooo we over paid a tad… only by 17-18k The business should be making 2500-3k per month gross, but we dont have any stock. Rod only brought over 55 pounds of sheds (he was suppose to bring over 2k lbs). Our focus right now is to get stock for that business and get it going ASAP. We also purchased AntlerSheds.Com which will be a sister site. Ill be blogging about this too, ill go into more detail about this later.
Back to Rod. So Rod does not have the 30k that he technically stole from us. We even made him a deal that he can pay 3500$ a month and we wont do the lawsuit, but he doesnt even have that. I am not sure what he did with our money, but it certainly was not to buy any antler stock like we agreed upon. So we are underway with a fraud lawsuit (we are doing a fraud lawsuit because if you declare bankruptcy then you will still owe those funds), everything should be finalized this or next month, there is a lot of random stuff you have to do before you start a lawsuit of this size, it takes time.
Also I want to throw this out there, Rod (your probably going to read this), if you can get us 3500$ per month then we will not file the lawsuit. Ill give you back your business and you give me back the 31k you owe us. I have told him this numerous times before, one more wont hurt.
So a public warning for anyone thinking of working with Rod Gilstrap or his business partner Donald Gilstrap, dont do it, he is a fraud.
World War 2 what??
My newest business is ww2helmets.com, and its been a blast working on that biz. I have only made a few sales so far, the problem I have now is that I dont have much in stock, so I need to slowly build up my inventory this year. With this niche you cant simply call up some sweat shop in china and ask for 100 USA helmets for wholesale. I actually have to work with the factory and make sure the helmets are all historically accurate and shit. Right now I am buying my other competitors goods, which is expensive, so hopefully within the next year I will be able to get my own stuff made up with better prices. Well see.
Below is a photo of some of my inventory, I now have more than that but they are all boxed up and what not, so Ill get a newer photo later.
The websites content is complete crap, please dont read any of it haha. All the content on the site will be redone. I hired someone off of some elance website to write the content, which I wont do anymore. So the content on the website will be completely redone, which should help sales and SEO as soon as I get off my lazy ass and actually do it.
Lets end this
So yeah, that’s what I have been up to this year, kinda of a pain in the ass year for me, hopefully the rest of the year goes by better. My next blog post will be monday or tuesday
Oh and I have to put this out there, my domain unblockwebsites.com has been on flippa for the past 3 months, would someone buy it please. thank you.3 Comments »
Hey everyone i’m back! I’m actually working on a case study of ww2helmets.com (along with ww2uniforms.com) which I will be posting on Wednesday or Thursday, but since I haven’t posted in over a year I wanted to give everyone a little update on where I am with things. My first blog post ever was on May 6th, 2006, it is a pretty pathetic post that I really want to take down, however I’ll be keeping all of them initial blog posts up because it’s fun to see my progress. That’s the whole reason i set up this blog, not because i was bored.
I has been a very very long time since that first blog post, in 6 years I have learned a TON about business and marketing (rule #1 dont be cocky, unlike that first blog post ). I will be restarting my blogging so you guys can continue to follow my progress, I won’t be selling out at all this time, there will be 0 ads and 0 blog post promoting other people or other peoples businesses, and no more guest posts allowed. I’m devoting time out of my busy scheduled to blog, and I wont be making any money from this. This blog will be solely to track my progress and network with other business minded people.
I have to warn you, my spelling and grammar is horrible. I’m not a writer, i’m a marketer, just wanted to give you a fair warning
Ok now that’s out of the way, let me give you a little update on me. During high school I screwed around with website making, I built about 7 websites during the 4 years I was in high school, mostly skateboarding websites, never ever did I think I would make a living doing it, shit i thought i was going to be a welder when i grew up haha. In fact when I was in high school people actually made fun of my “hobby”. I graduated high school (barely with like a 1.5 GPA or something… I never went to school) in 05′ from Blackfoot, Idaho. After high school I moved up to Idaho Falls which is about 30 minutes from Blackfoot. After high school I worked at Home Depot in the lumber section for about 8 months, it was actually a pretty fun job but I recognized that I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life.
During the time I worked at Home Depot I decided I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life, so I started going HAM on website making after work, I made about 20 high traffic niche websites, which took me about 6 months but then I was able to live on my own off those websites. I realized from the start that you have to be leveraged in this type of business, that’s why I made about 20 different sites, some things never change. I was working full time at Home Depot and almost working full time in website development during the same time, did that for like 5 or 6 months, it was hell. But in March of 07 I quit Home Depot and have been my own boss for the last 6 years almost.
I did “content” websites till I got tired of them. It was around the same time that YPN was declining that I decided to get into PPC arbitrage. I think it was 08 that I totally switched from content sites to PPC arbitrage. PPC arbitrage is one of my very very favorite things to do, however the work involved is ludacris, and I don’t think i’m smart enough for it anymore lol. I was doing PPC abri to parked domains with high paying ads. I did that from 08 to early 09. In 08 I also launched buyblogcomments.com, which was the first business to ever sell blog comments, now thousands of people sell them. I started to slowly add other seo services and then I started developerhut.com to sell all the services on one platform. That business made great money but it was a shit ton of work, plus I had bunched of quality issues, to be honest im not proud of that biz i could have done better, but I did learn a ton from that business model so it was good to go through all of that. The biggest lesson from that era was to never ever open up a client based business ever again! Client work is not my cup of tea, I like to sell shit!
Which leads to 2012, since 09 I have been building my own ecommerce backend, I probably have 20k+ invested plus maybe thousands of hours of my own coding time. This baby is a beast trust me, it does everything! Email marketing is automated, the product database works a lot like hayneedle.com, I can easily add new websites into the network and all info is stored on a central DB which is great for customer support, the script also has a sexy sales management script, but one of the best features (that have 4+ taken years to develop) is the accounting part of the script, everything is tracked by date, both retail and wholesale prices, not only that but I can also track different layers of product prices, the accounting part of the script has been continually tweaked over the last 4 years.
I do have about another 6 months left of coding work before I can actually start to build my network of eCommerce sites, but now I have a custom made and tested ecom platform to expand on. I am about to move onto phase 2 of this “big” plan, which is to get a warehouse. I think this is a great time to start up blogging again, I will continue to update you all on were I am at with things. In a few months I hope to lease my first distribution warehouse here in Idaho Falls, Ill blog the whole time. This should be fun.
In 2 days I will start my case study on ww2helmets.com, its a smaller niche Im breaking into, I want to show everyone what I actually do for 10+ hours a day4 Comments »
3 weeks since my last post, god I’m slipping already. Ill work on it For some reason since I started back up blogging I have received a few people interested in guest posts (I allow guest posts), I have about 3 or 4 that I need to post, I will do that in the next few days, they are all pretty good. BTW this isn’t an update or anything, its more of a rant I guess.
Ok so.. “I only work for money”.. what does that mean? This is something I see all the time! Alll theee timeee… People see gurus make good money but they dont see how much actual work goes into making that money. Sure some people can make good money only working 4 hours a day, but that is pretty rare. Usually people who make good money.. work their ass off. That’s nothing new to all you people.
I have always believed that you are an entrepreneur or your not, you either want to push yourself or you dont in the business world. I have told buddies n such countless times how to start there own business, and 95% of them do like a month worth of work then quit. The main reason of quitting in my option is that people have some sort of belief, feeling, or some other crap that makes them not want to work unless they are 100% certain they will getting paid.
Want an example? So I live in a neighborhood that gets hit very hard by those solicitors ass douches, during the summer I get about 3-5 people a day, I usually dont answer my front door anymore haha. The only time I have ever paid for anything was when this kid painted my home address on the curb for 10$. I then saw that kid and his buddy walk down my street and sell the addy curb painting service to like 5 other people… in one hour. So they made 60$ in 1 hour, or 30$ each. They had a system, the first guy would knock on the houses and try to sell the service, then if he made a sale he would text the addy to his buddy which was following behind him a few houses and he painted the address on the curb, thus making it efficient.
30$ an hour is alright! So I had a buddy that was on un-employment, didn’t have a job at all, all day he would drive around town and find something to do. I told my buddy that had a job n such about the curb business, he then teamed up with the un-employed buddy and they started the curb painting biz.. well sort of. I think the plan was to get the business going and then the un-employed buddy would take over 100%.
They tried the curb painting for only 2 or 3 days, and they managed 20$ per hour EACH during that time. They tried something new, they would have different patterns they could paint, they had glow in the dark paint, they painted the american flag next to the address, and so on. If the un-employed one followed through he might have been able to make 1000-2000k profit each month (the other one was to busy with his normal job). But do you think he followed through with this?? Nope..
He had all the supplies to get started, all the paint, the tee shirt, patterns, flyers, training, etc etc. So why would someone NOT want to make 1500$ per month working? IMO its the “I only work for money” theory. Now sure they averaged 20$ per hour, but the keyword there is “average”. One day they could make 40$ an hour, the very next day they might only make 30$ in 6 hours… that’s business. Its just so much more easier to work per hour (or stay on un-employment), rather “risking” working your ass off in the hot summer sun for only 5$ per hour. Everyone knows that when you go to work at Wendys or something you will def get paid. However if you have your own curb painting business, some days you might work your ass off for very little money. So people tend to go towards the more secure job rather then “risk” wasting time or failing. The people that risk failing are called entrepreneurs
[oh by the way feel free to jack this idea if you dont have a job]
I have another example: Back in the day I had a CSS buddy that wanted to make some extra money, so I showed him exactly how to set up a psd to xhtml coding service, like this. It was a real business, so he had to get an LLC, biz bank accounts, he then had to design and code up the business website, he had to write up all the sales letters, he had to intagrate some sort of client management backend thing so manage all of his orders, he had to do customer support and also find ways to advertise his new business. That is what he had to go… but it never happened. I explained to him the basic concept of the business, he took peoples psd files and then coded it to xhtml, that was easy for him. However I didnt mention the part that he will be working his ass off making the website, advertising, getting clients, etc etc.
He didnt realize that he was going to spend 7 days or so just setting up the website (time spent that he didnt get paid for), he would then have to spend another week or so setting up the backend of the business, then find clients to get the work from, etc. Guess how far he made it? He made the website then gave up and went back to freelance.com LOL. Its a lot easier to find work on freelance then it is to start your own service business. Plus he wouldn’t have to spend the crap load of time just setting everything up… that he wouldn’t get paid for, cas he only works for money
The funny thing is that he actually got mad at me, telling me that he isnt getting paid to set up the website and such and that its a waste of his time. He didn’t realize that once he set up the psd to xhtml thing, he could outsource the work and make the biz some what automated… if the business succeeded.
When people like Soum thinks of success he thinks of steve jobs, when he thinks of failure he thinks of Googles+ (I asked him and thats what he said haha, also my designer is from Qubesys, I highly suggest them for designing, magento, wordpress, development, etc, I use them a lot). When I think of success I think of turning a profit on my time, when I think of failure I think of going into the red for my time spent. If you want to start your own biz you have to remember that time is the biggest investment of them all, money is not real it is fake, time isn’t. You also have to remember that you are going to do a lot of work… for NO money
I guess this is a motivational blog post, not sure why I wrote it, but I do want to spread the 2 stories above, I always remember them when I’m working 70+ hours a week with no instant gratification
RIP Steve Jobs, one of the best thinkers of our time!No Comments »
Wow see I let 2 weeks go bye before my lazy ass decided to write up another blog post. I’m already failing at getting back into blogging, but I’ll do better. I have already started a long series of blog posts about starting a eCommerce website, from finding the niche, finding a drop shipper or wholesaler, doing all the paperwork/bank bull crap, landing pages, marketing, etc…. fun stuff!
Last week I did what I call “hell week”, in real life hell week is the start of the nazy seals training. For me its when I basically wake up, work, then go to bed. Last week I put in at least 70 hours of work. I worked all 7 days last week. I have been trying to get 2 businesses launched this week, and then I plan on launching another website next week.
Last week I mostly worked on backend stuff, like coding up paypal ipns, setting up the auto-mailers, had content/sales letters made up, planned out all prices, worked with coders and designers, crap like that. This week I have been focused on the frontend stuff, mostly CSS tweaks/fixes, sales images, content, etc. After this week both bizs will be launched and be operational 100%.
Next week I plan on training the customer support agent that I hired and also start adwords and seo. Next week should be fun Remember that I still have to work on my other main bizs at the same time, which still takes up time, but I dont plan on being one of those ppl that are happy working 20 hours a week so its all good.
I also hired a part time CSS guy starting October 1st, that should help me out a ton, I always have css edits, I dont really have to many psd to xhtml conversions but I always have small css tweaks and/or stuff that I fucked up. Ill let you know how that goes.
Oh and Nico suggested I hire a VA (virtual assistant) in the comments, I have actually been planning on this for a while now. I would train my VA to be more of a project manager, the job would be to work with designers, css guy, developers, etc to make sure deadlines are met and keep me updated on a daily basis. I will probably be hiring one within the next 4 months or so, the biggest thing holding me up is that I want to get a good managing system down before I outsource that aspect. To be honest I probably would still be pretty hands on still, the VA would help me more with deadlines and daily updates. When I hire one Ill do a whole write up about that
So this was just a small post about what im up to, I have one guest blog post ready to be published but I want to post part 1 of my ecommerce write up, its gonna be good, each post will be at least 2k words… at least.
In the meantime, what do you want me to blog about? Any suggestions?4 Comments »
Wow it has been 10 month or so since my last blog post, I need to get back into the game. I have been getting people sending me messages and emails about updating my blog, so I’m gonna work on getting better at it.
So what have I been up to? A lot. If you have not seen I have shut down developerhut.com, I didnt sell it or anything I just shut it down. I do not like client work so I decided to focus 100% of my time in ecommerce. I forgot when exactly I shut the company down but I can tell you that I dont miss that job one bit, too much work. I still have a full team of SEO peeps that do my own work plus some of my business partners, but other then that I dont do SEO like that anymore. If you are looking for good seo work, always check out wickedfire.com!
So I shut down the SEO thing and I now focus 100% of my time on eCommerce, and I am telling you that is were the money is at. Fuck client work, I was getting 40+ emails a day. Well actually its sort of funny, I switched off emails for Skype now, instead of writing emails all day I now write Skype convos all day. I usually have 10 chats open at one time. I now work at night time because most of my team is overseas in India, Pakistan, Philippines, and China. When I ran developer hut I had about 7 full time people working with me (I never say for me, thats weird) and they could work on there own time, most of them were for submissions, but now my team consists of designers, developers, writers, and customer support. I found out fast that not much gets done unless you talk to people and get updates pretty much daily, so I now work at night usually from 9pm-3am my time. I do my busy work during the day like coding, accounting, long ass emails, shit like that, but at night I am talking to people and working in basecamphq, skype and doing normal emails.
Speaking of the devil, basecamphq totally changed the way how I work, I’m kind of pissed off that I didnt use basecamp before. It makes managing work so much easier! I highly suggest it for anyone that uses freelancers. Basecamphq, authoritylabs, clicktale.com, and getclick.com are 4 websites I could not do business without!
I also outsourced customer support for 1 of my businesses to Pakistan, and I am loving it! You cant really tell that they are from Pakistan either, that has not been a problem whats so ever. Currently I have 1 dedicated agent for 8 hours a day, plus 5 non-dedicated agents for 24 hour online chat (adding that increased sales a ton!!). I am in talks to add 24 hour phone support, and then another dedicated agent for 2 of my other businesses. I have found that a lot of people like to talk to someone over chat or phone before they make an order/lead online, adding 24 hour chat is a great way to increase sales and leads!
Right now I am working on a process for commission for them, I cant go into detail but basically the other agents need to get there share of the commissions, but it has to be fair. I cant just give the dedicated agent 10% of a sale, I have to split it up fairly with the others. Once that has been decided I will start with cold calling and such to increase wholesale orders. I also want to test call backs and see the success or fail rate of that.
I need to get customer support down to a science pretty soon, I am launching 3 new businesses in the next 30 days. Two of them all normal eCommerce with both retail and wholesale sides, the other is a deal of the day site. Yes yes I am going to try out a deal of the day website, and I have the script, if you are interested in a deal of the day script let me know we can work a deal (I have access to 2 different ones). I am splitting the 2 normal ecom sites with just 1 agent, I will start interviews and stuff like that probably next week. For the deal of the day biz we will test out the process ourselves at first then hire and train someone when we have the system down, my idea for that is to focus 100% on word of mouth sales, so my thinking is to focus on really good products and deals/coupons, then people will tell there friends and such about the deals. I plan on hiring someone to cold call businesses all day to set up the daily deals, and they would do basic customer support (I will def add 24 hour support on the site as well, I think all bizs of mine will have 24 hour chat support now), but I need to get the process down before we start spending good money on that team.
When I first started this web shit I was 15, so 9 years ago. My very first business was a skateboarding rail company, I had the idea to have a website were people can submit skateboard/snowboard rails onto (like have some pretty flash thing to make your own rail), then the welder (me) would make the rail (during high school hours of course). I loved making websites so much I slowly learned the basics of design, coding, ftp, domains, blah blah blah during high school. By the time I graduated high school I knew html and css like the back of my hand. After high school I hated working at home depot so I worked my ass off to start a network of content websites, thats were I learned SEO and other marketing methods.
I then got into arbitrage, now that shit was fun, but way hard! Then in 2007 I found the love of my life, eCommerce (I did abri and ecom at the same time for 2 years or so I think). Now fast forward to 2011, my job is basically to be the boss now, I hardly ever do any coding anymore for my own money websites (I still do a lot for fun projects and such), I have a team of developers so I can not be switching the code on them because they build everything offline, so they have to have full control of the code so they know whats going on. I don’t do css/html anymore, I’m too lazy. My job now is basically to be a business man, I have to manage everything and make sure everything runs smooth.
A typical day for me is to wake up around 1pm (I work at night), and then make sure all businesses were running smoothly while I was sleeping. I then go through fucking fraud orders (people using other peoples credit cards to make orders), I get about $100-200 a day in successful fraud orders and about $200 or so in declined credit cards every day. Its a big pain in the ass. I never get fraud orders from the states, my biggest fraud country’s are Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, and Mexico. I get orders almost daily to Norway, France, Afghanistan, and Iraq with no problems (Brazil is starting to pick up). I cut out a bunch of other country’s, but a order from the 4 country’s above have a 50/50 chance of being fraud, so I have to sort them. I will probably stop shipping to Mexico and Sweden from now on, to much of a pain.
After I deal with fraud or held up orders I then check all my bank accounts, paypal, and merchant accounts and input any expensie into my accounting set up. Also check out wave accounting, its pretty kool, I coded up my own accounting shin dig but I would use wave if I didnt. After that I tend to emails and basecamp. Then I take a break and then start working at around 9pm or so. The reason is because around 9pm my time, its around 8am in India. I jump on skype and see were everyone is at with basecamp work. During that time is when I usually do some coding work for smaller projects and play around with sales letters. I use clicktale.com and fuck around with sales letters all the time. Want a tip? Make your shipping page as detailed as possible, a lot of people read the shipping page before they make an order, I have lost a lot of sales from bad shipping pages.
If I dont have a lot of work to do, I usually jump on call of duty; modern warfare 2 and have a few beers and pwn newbs…. yes while Im working. People dont believe me when I say “I work and play xbox” haha. But I do. I just make sure Im on skype and check my email very often. Once basecamp is updated there isnt much work for me to do :-s
So there you have an update by me, now thats settled I want to do some blog posts about business and marketing, I have lots of tips for you guys! I have learned a lot in the last 10 months since my last blog posts haha.11 Comments »
I actually got to over worked that I didnt want to work at all! It was kinda of crazy, one week I would not be able to fall asleep because Im to excited to start a project or something, then the next week I sit down at the computer and dont even want to answer basic emails. So I looked at my past and noticed that I was pretty much working every day without really taking any big days off like going hiking, traveling or a weekend trip. I think I went to lake tahoe this year, that was my biggest vacation haha.
I have also been working on a bunch of new projects;
1. redo developerhut.com
2. maintain current ecom bizs
3. work on new ecom biz I am starting this winter
4. a website for a client
5. a ecom website that will sell software
With the work I mentioned above…. I have about 23 people working on different things such as coding, design, integration, etc. So I have to manage all of the projects, plus the employees (well I mostly deal with the project managers, not really each person), and plus I have to do the email marketing for each, plus *some* customer support for each business. Crazy time in my life, but I like it, I did get burnt out but the money is pretty good right now.
So long story short I basically took a little over a week off and I didnt do much work online at all, in fact a few of the days I didn’t even check my email, which is pretty odd of me. I knew I was burnt out, so I gave myself until today to relax, so from today on I will be working just as hard as I used to. Since I knew I was burnt out I decided to change some shit in my life so this wont happen again, the main thing I started doing was working out more, I think that should help with the stress. I have also started eating better, and I dont go out to eat hardly at all, in fact when I do eat fast food now it usually tastes like shit…. I am always thinking to myself… “why the hell would I pay people to make me this bull shit? I can make better stuff at me casa.”.
Other then working out and eating better I obviously have to change the way I work. I am still working on this but I think the best way for me to not get over worked is to only do 4 projects at a time instead of 5+. I just need to focus on the ones that will make the big bucks later and not go after the small bucks that I can make easily in a short time. Like I said before, ecommerce is were its at and I still believe that. Right now (except a few) all of my projects are set up so I will make money in the long run, which takes a lot of work upfront but not much work when its set up. Just like an ecom website, it takes a huge amount of work to get it going correctly, then once its set up just hire someone for customer support and it should make money without much work… mostly SEO and email marketing.
The funny thing is that I am starting a new project with 2 other business buddies of mine. This project is def a long term project and we hope to make good money from this project without much work after the initial work. Its also my first top level domain, but I cant say much more about it yet, we are still working on getting it going. This week I will be finished with 2 past projects so after a week or so I should only be working on 4 projects (all long term ones) so I should be good on my work level after that happens.
Oh and I also bough some new furniture, I have used the same furniture since 07′…. and I paid less then 100$ for it all lol. So I got rid of my old couches and Tv and got a new one. I paid 500$ for the couch set and coffee/end tables, and then I paid $600 for the HD tv. I still need to get a HD theater system and the new xbox connect (that thing will be awesome!!). But first I will be doing some dry wall work so I can hide all of the speaker wires and such, I will be mounting the surround sound in the walls. That will take a week or so. I got the new set up because of being burnt out and because of the new COD haha, the graphics are way better with the plasma tv (I wanted a LED but Im to much of a right ass to spend that much mula on a tv haha).
Here are the before and after pics;
Old (the walls/trim was re-painted 2 years ago)
Also to all customers, biz partners, or people I email, sorry about not working last week.I have been working all day, mostly working on emails.4 Comments »
This is a guest post from Jacob, he talks about outsourcing your work. I will be writing a blog post about how I do my outsourcing soon, seems like everyone is getting more into outsourcing these days. Remember that outsourcing doesn’t mean just India or Philippians. You can outsource to Americans as well.
When you are building a business, you can take two paths to success. The first is the one where you do everything. You code the website, design a logo, write the content, promote it and build links all by yourself. Instead of focusing on one thing that you might be amazing at, you focus on a whole bunch of things you’re decent at. Sure, you are not going to be spending very much money, but you’re also not going to be growing at the speed you might want.
The second path, and the one that I would advocate for almost every time is the route where you hire someone to do work for you. For example, you might be a writer (which I am), but when the time comes for me to get a logo, I go where the quality is. I might have to spend some money, but the quality that I am getting far surpasses what I might be able to do.
The problem people have with outsourcing is the ? Evil? Connotation that comes with it. When we think of outsourcing, we think of companies sending jobs overseas to China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. We think of Americans not having work because greedy corporations want to cut the cost of labor by sending jobs overseas. If you’re going to succeed and increase your profitability, you need to get this mentality out of your mind.
In some instances, outsourcing is exactly what I described above. But, for the most part, outsourcing simply means that you are sending work to someone else because you are not able to do it as effectively. You hire someone to write an e-book because you know that when it is sold, fewer people will return it because the quality is greater. You hire someone to create your website because you know that it will look so much nicer.
Think of it in another way. If you spend $50 for an article on your site, you might be out $50. However, what if, because the quality of the writing is greater than yours, it hits the front page of digg? And, because of well placed keywords, it starts to rank in the search engines. On top of that, it starts to get mentioned around the blogosphere because the quality is great. Suddenly, your $50 spent has turned in to a ton of traffic and notoriety. Would you have been able to do that if you wrote the article yourself when your specialty is design?
We’ve all built businesses where we did a lot of the work by ourselves. However, we need to remember that we don’t have unlimited time. If we want to succeed and we want to make more money, we need to use the time of other people to expand our operations. By hiring someone to handle all of my design needs, I have someone who does all logos for my projects, so I am able to focus on what I’m good at. The same is said about any of you.
When you’re thinking about whether or not you want to outsource, ask yourself one question: does the investment I make using this person mean I’ll make more money? Most of the time, the answer to that question is, without a doubt, yes. Outsourcing doesn’t have to be evil. It just means you’re managing your time and your growth a lot more effectively.6 Comments »
Like the title? I didnt know what to type for the title haha. I dont feel like talking about SEO, marketing, etc tonight, so I will just explain what has been going on with my life.
I have been mostly focused on my seo company developer hut latley. The last 4 months or so I have been more focused on my ecommerce sites and I have been paying less attention to my main company, which sucked because I got a tad backed up on work. I decided that I would add a lot of new products to DH and also improve the backend part of the website. I started by contacting more vendors for more seo services, and I will now be adding a few new products which are; forum link building, managed seo, guaranteed seo rankings packages, wiki links, and web 2.0 profile links. Those 5 products should be added next week sometime, I have had a company working on updating the backend so we can start selling those services (its been nice not to have to do php work myself).
I have also updated the blog commenting product, before we guaranteed 65% of the comments will show up and now we offer 100% success rate. Before the comments were $0.24 per comment and now they are $1.52 per comment. Why the huge difference in price? Well now each comment is written by a professional writer and then an employee will take the comments and submit them to niche related blog posts. We guarantee that you will get 100% of what you pay for now. And since there is more work to be done the price has to go up. But if you research we still have some of the best prices in the industry. The price increase sucks but the product is a lot more better, I use it myself.
I also took off the increase blog commenting product and the article submission product because they took to much work and there wasn’t any big demand for them. Also article submissions dont do shit anymore.
I also am having the same company update the track your order page so that customers can easily track lots of websites. The new page will make it so that you can track each domain, see how many links DH has done, and see the status way easier. The whole page will be redone a ton to make it so large customers can track all of there orders easily (big customers as in the ones that spend 3k+ per month). DH is the only company that lets our customers edit and track there orders, all other seo companys talk to there customers via email.
On the 15th I hope to launch developer hut 2.0. The 2.0 just means that there are new products, better track your order page, way better customer support, and all glitches fixed. On the 15th I will be having a contest of some sort, I havnt decided 100% on what the content will be.. but I am thinking of having a “funnyest slogan contest” were people can submit there slogan via youtube for a chance to win $1000 in SEO services. I think that would be pretty fun to see everyones funny slogan on youtube. But if you have any ideas for a fun contest then let me know and I will look into it
I found 3 niches that I really want to get into, but I need to take it slow because my ecom backend isnt 100% done. So I will start by creating what i call “satellite” websites for the niches. A satellite website is basically a website that is set up to gain leads or traffic for the main website. So say that I have a “baby cribs” website, the first thing I would do is create a “baby cribs review” website and have a writer review all of the completion in an un-biast way. I would then rank the website for all of my completions biz names like “abc baby cribs” and also rank it for as many baby cribs keywords like “baby cribs reviews”. What I find with ecommerce is that most people research the products before they buy them, so owning the review website (or 10 of them in my case) then that will increase your sales.
Satellite websites are not just review websites tho. I call them satellite sites because they can be anything, as long as they get my leads or sales. Another example is creating a ebook and giving it away for free (grab there email of cource) and then telling people how to do something in the ebook, and then include your product links in the ebook. An example would be if you had a website that sells those “bird house kits”, I would create a site that gives away a free ebook that tells people how to make a bird house, and I would have my product links all over that little guy. I would also put there email into my email list and start marketing to them there as well. I would also have banner ads to my ecom website that sells the bird house kits. But if you know me… I would dominate the whole niche by doing this. There are lots of other ways, if you think up some sneaky ways you can increase your sales a ton.
Deal Making & Networking
Ever since I got back into blogging recently I have had a few people email me daily and want to work some how, whether they wanted to do some trade work, guest blogging, SEO questions, etc I always try to get back to people. If you think of some way we can work together so we can both make some more money then shoot me a email. You realize that I dont have any advertising at all on this blog? That is because I make way more money from networking from this blog then I can ever make with advertising. And I also feel like a sell out when I sell ads, I dont like feeling like one of those “gurus” who always have the right answers and always make big money (so they say) from using there super duper secret awesome tricks that never requires work… but they will sell you there secret for $499 haha.
But if you would like to talk or have an idea on how we can all make money then hit me up. Oh and please no more affiliate managers, I dont do any affiliate marketing and I wont but your lifelock banners on any of my websites k thanks bye.6 Comments »
This is a great guest post by Deborah, she talks about how “gurus” sell you shitty products. Its very true, its sad to see so many shitty products being promoted by affiliates just to make some cash. Remember that no product will ever make you rich, you will make yourself rich, its 1% inspiration and 99% perseverance (Thomas Edison). And trust me, all of the methods people are selling these days are out dated and are worn out methods, the “gurus” are making money off of you, most of them dont make money themselves – Jon Waraas
It was only 5 years ago that I began to take a serious look at the online world. A friend recommended
I look at a website that paid writers to submit articles and after a brief period of time I found myself
wondering if I could write for a living. I subscribed to Elance, landed a couple of gigs, and turned one
into a regular job that lasted for more than 2 ½ years. Eventually, I was able to quit my day-job in the
corporate world and write full-time.
Then it happened. The economy went totally sour. I found myself working twice as hard to find work
and, when I did find it, I was working twice as hard to chase payments for the jobs I was finishing.
I became acutely aware of the number of hours in each day and realized I was going to have to do
something other than writing in order to get by.
I began exploring the world of internet marketing and decided to turn some of my personal side projects
into serious ventures. I started taking a closer look at the emails being sent by the online writers,
bloggers, and marketers I had been following for years.
I trusted them. And then things got worse.
In my efforts to build a successful website I scrambled to scrape up the cash to try every new product
that promised incredible sales. I became ill with a disease many have labeled “shiny new object
syndrome.” I bought – I started to test – and I abandoned each product when the next “better” product
I not only failed at making money with my websites but soon found myself broke as well. Before long,
I was spending every dime I was making and had absolutely no savings or safety net. To make matters
worse, I started eyeballing my credit cards every time another new “great” offer rolled in.
Truth? I’m not alone and I know it. Hundreds of new internet entrepreneurs fall into the same trap every
single day. They don’t know where to start and they trust everyone who claims to be a guru. Here are a
couple of things to keep in mind as you get started:
• Stop Trusting People. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? The truth is that even the most successful
marketers make mistakes. I recently considered purchasing a product that everyone was
promoting. I did some research and found that the product was just shy of a total scam. Why
were the people I trusted so much trying to convince me to buy a program that might not
work? They likely had never tried it and – if you read their sales letters carefully – never claimed
that they had. They’d probably never even seen the product in question. It was part of an
affiliate program and they simply wanted to earn the commissions. Go figure.
• Stop Buying New Products. I once purchased a series of products, all within about a month.
One I studied and implemented over the course of a week, and still refer to. One I looked at
and bookmarked, promising myself I’d go back to it. Two I returned for refunds (and thankfully
received) – one because it had too many bugs and one because it was not as advertised. The
reality of the situation is that I did not need four products that month. All I needed was the one
that was working well for me and I could have easily gone back to any of the other later on.
There is no one sure-fire way to make it big on the internet. There are tons of good ideas and you will
need to take the time to determine which ones seem like a fit for your personality and work ethics. But,
please – take the time to do some research before you click the “Pay Now” button.
If you don’t, you’ll be the only one to blame when you aren’t making any money, have no savings, and
find yourself facing the harassing calls of creditors and bill collectors. Tread carefully and you will, in
time, be able to create a profitable online business!
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