Andy Green's Blog

A web-workers world…

How to Create Your First Podcast

If you are interested in creating a podcast it is really simple to do. If you have never created a podcast, follow these brief instructions and you will have uploaded your very first for distribution. The steps involved in creating a podcast include creating the audio, converting the audio, and publishing, creating a feed, and publishing your news feed.

A podcast is an audio file that you can distribute across the web or upload to your website. This type of file is similar to radio content in a way. Audio content is very important to online viewers today. It provides a way for you to give a feeling to the customer as if you are right there in the same room to the listener. You aren’t forcing an online user to read a bunch of material because you are offering it in audio. Many people would very much prefer audio files rather than read pages and pages of content.

The first thing you want to do when you create a podcast is to create an audio file. You do have certain computer requirements in order to do this. You will need a working microphone on your computer. If you do not have a built in microphone then you will have to purchase one. You will plug a microphone in the back of your computer on the sound card microphone input slot.

You should have software that will give you the opportunity to record audio files. Today, most Microsoft operating systems have integrated software that will allow you to record a short audio file of you talking. This will be called ‘Sound Recorder’ or something similar. This is what you will use to create your audio file.

Your podcast is going to be an audio file. You should write out exactly what you are going to say. You might want to have the text on your screen so you can read it as you speak. This should be professional. Be sure you do not say a lot of ‘ums’ or it will not sound professional but amateur. You might have to record yourself reading the content a few times until you are comfortable with the way you sound and read your copy.

Be sure while you are reading that there are no distractions or loud noises in the background. Many cheap audio applications, like the one integrated inside of the Window’s operating system will pull in the background noises. You should create these files with no television, radio, or children playing in the background. It should be silent. Open the recorder when you are ready. Press record and say aloud into the microphone your copy that you want to tell the world. When you are done click on stop. You have now created your audio file.

Once this is complete you will need to convert the file into an MP3 format. The best way to do this is to use a converting tool. If you don’t want to go through all of the work. Save the audio file to a thumb drive or a CD. Put the CD back into your computer and let your Windows Media Player automatically convert the file.

You have to have a website if you want a podcast. These instructions are upon the assumption you have a website and a web host. The next thing you will do is log into your web host and publish your audio file. This will require you to upload the file to the server. The next thing you will do is create a podcast RSS news feed to the location of your podcast. This is really simple. On your hosting tools you will click on the button that says create RSS feed. It will automatically generate a link that will be the destination of your website RSS feed.

Now all you have to do is publish the RSS feed and you are done. This means click on the save button or publish with your web host. Not all web hosts are the same. Some only require you to click on save. When you go to your website you will see an RSS link and your podcast file. When you click on it you will immediately begin to hear your audio file that you have just created.

You can create a podcast in just a couple of minutes if you have the right tools to do it. You will need audio software, a converter or a media player, and a web host. You can immediately begin blogging and distributing your podcast upon the upload of the file.

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Podcasting | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Customize Your MySpace Profile

It seems that everybody who is anybody has a MySpace page so that they can keep in touch with everyone that is important to them. Whether you are an actor, a business professional, or a stay at home mom, MySpace is the tool to use when you want to keep your friends and family up to date on with what is going on in your life. Besides being a communication tool it is also a way for people to express their individual personality through using different profile layouts and custom pages.

Upon first glance at a MySpace profile page you can get a good sense of what that person is into. Whether it is the style of music they like, their favorite basketball team, or their favorite kind of art, the profile is the page to display who you are and what you like to represent yourself as to the world. It is sort of an unspoken message about your personality and that could be the very reason why most of the users on MySpace are so particular about the layouts they use. Some people will literally spend hours selecting and creating what they feel is the perfect MySpace layout.

The great thing about this is that whether you were born with a computer in your hands or you are just getting on one for the first time in sixty years, the MySpace site is one that is extremely easy to use. Step by step directions will walk a person through setting up their profile for the very first time. Entering in all of your personal data is done with ease by clicking on the appropriate tags in the edit profile section. After all of that is said and done you will probably want to add some personality to your page.

By visiting different MySpace layout sites you will be able to pick from a never ending variety of layouts. Customize your own through their navigation system or select from one of their hundreds of choices. Once you have created the MySpace profile page that is to your liking the site will generate what is called HTML code. You simply want to highlight that code and copy it. This code is all of the information that is needed to get that fancy layout on your page so make sure that you do not erase it before setting it up or you will have to start all over again.

Now all you will want to do is head over to your MySpace page and click on the tab that says edit profile. Go directly to the box labeled “About Me” and paste your HTML code right into that box. Click the save button and then you may have to type in a visual verification code to make sure that you are not a robot. After all of that is said and done your MySpace page will have its brand new look. Change it as often as you like or never at all. Since it is your page you can do whatever you want with it.

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Social Networking | , , , | Leave a comment

How to Use Social Bookmarking and Networking to Sell Your Digital Products

Among the most preferred tools used by Internet marketers are social bookmarking and social networking. We are all aware of the popular social bookmarking sites like Digg and networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, etc. These and a number of other social bookmarking sites let the user create the contents on the website instead of the webmaster. By social bookmarking, you can leave the address or the link to your website or articles or even the affiliate product on social networking websites.

Lots of people are using social bookmarking and networking to sell their digital products. There are millions of people on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Isn’t it common sense that more people mean more prospective customers? In order to attract more customers to the website that has your digital product; you can also use these methods. These are tried and tested and very effective methods to sell digital products.

But how is it done? Let’s use these examples to it understand better.

Suppose you join groups on MySpace with your marketing account. MySpace allows the users to create niche groups. These groups are generally free to join but there are some that are private and have a limited number of members. Your next step is to look for groups that have similar niche marketing interests to you. Once you have found such groups, you can make posts there. This will guide many potential clients to your site and that can help you sell your digital product. Be very careful in doing this, as you would not like to look like a spammer. If people feel that you are a spammer then there is a very good chance that you will be banned from MySpace and then all your dreams of using networking will never get fulfilled.

Lets see what happens when you join another popular bookmarking site called Digg. In Digg, you will be allowed to submit an article from anywhere on the Internet. Other members of the site read these articles. You can easily do social bookmarking here that will help you sell your product. All you need to do is place a link to the website through which you are selling your product in your article. More and more people will visit your site and this will increase the chances of sale of that product. It may sound a little tricky but most of the Internet marketers are using this method to increase the traffic towards their site and to sell their products.

Social bookmarking and networking have become the most popular methods for Internet marketing. You can use both separately however, when you use both in conjunction with the other, the results may pleasantly surprise you. It doesn’t require a lot of hard work and the results are amazing. There is a lot of information on the Internet about different social bookmarking sites, so choose the site that will offer you the best options for your needs. Once you start using social bookmarking and networking, it will not be long before you have plenty of customers willing to buy your digital product.

December 24, 2008 Posted by | Social Bookmarking | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Avoid the Google AdWords Email Scam

With the vast increase in scams going around on the Internet these days, we have to be careful. Even the best of us have been scammed at some point. Hackers are becoming more and more advanced in their scamming processes. You might think you’re at the actual site of a big name company only to be at a fake site. You could enter your credit card information into a form and the hacker now has what they need. One of the biggest and most dangerous scams going around is related to search engine giant, Google. What is involved in the scam and how can you prevent it from hurting you? Let’s look at the basics of the scam.

You get an email from what appears to be Google AdWords. AdWords is Google’s contextual ad branch that allows you to put ads up on their network of sites. If you are a webmaster you pay Google each time someone clicks on an ad. You happen to be a webmaster that has a Google AdWords account and you’ve been advertising with them.

The email that you receive tells you that there is a problem with your account. You read on to see what is going on. The email tells you that they are having a problem processing your payment with your credit card. It tells you to go to a link with “Google” in the address to enter an alternative credit or debit card. They warn you that your AdWords account will be shut off soon if your payment is not received. This worries you, as AdWords is a huge part of your online business. Without AdWords, your sales would basically be non-existent. You click on the link without thinking about it and follow the prompts. You enter your login information and then follow that up with your credit card. It tells you that your payment was accepted and you go on about your day.

Then a few weeks later, you get your credit card statement and there are many unauthorized charges. The hacker took your credit card number and went on an online shopping spree. Since it has been so long, you might be liable for some of the charges, depending on your credit card company’s policy.

This is obviously every Internet user’s worst nightmare. They thought that they were receiving a simple email from Google. As it turns out, they were being scammed by some of the best in the business. If you don’t watch out, this could happen to you.

The Google scam email is just one of many that go around the Internet from time to time. Many large companies have been targeted as a potential means to scam customers. A really dangerous scam went around with PayPal as well. These hackers can make their “dummy sites” look exactly like the real thing. If you get a suspicious email, don’t be afraid to confirm it with the actual company. Never click on a link in an email if you are unsure. Open a web browser and type in the URL yourself. Make a phone call to the company’s help desk and get some answers. When it comes to your money and your identity, you can’t be too careful.

December 5, 2008 Posted by | Online Security | , , , | Leave a comment

How to Social Bookmark Your Articles

So you have some articles and you want to learn how to do social bookmarking for your articles. It is actually a very simple method that guarantees a lot of traffic to your article and increases not only your page views but your popularity too. It also increases the profit for all the Internet marketers. It is undoubtedly the most used tool to generate more traffic and storing, searching and organizing bookmarks of web pages or websites.

When you write an article, the first thing you want is to make sure is that more and more people read it. How can you do such a difficult task? Well! All you have to do is use social bookmarking for your article and the rest is all taken care of. Use the right keywords to describe the article and there will be more and more people reading your article and visiting your page. This way social bookmarking will increase the traffic to your article.

Steps required for social bookmarking:

• Lets now know more about the procedure involved in social bookmarking. The very first thing you need to do is make a list of all social bookmark sites. You can get a lot of help from Google for this by searching for “social bookmark list”. Some examples of popular social bookmarking sites are digg.com, del.icio.us, reddit.com, etc. The next step is to sign up at these sites. Don’t lose patience if it takes some time; just remember that you have go through this process only once.

• Once the sign up process is complete, start submitting your article. For this you can type your article URL, title, description and tags in separate windows. Notepad, Article Notepad or Wordpad, all are perfect for this job. Now open the list of all the bookmarking sites that you have registered with and open the created Notepad. Open the sites one by one (or more if your computer permits) in your browser by right clicking on them and submit your articles to these sites. Now you just have to click on the information and drag it to the site. When all the required information is transferred, close this site and move to the next one. Keep submitting your articles to all the sites in your list in the same manner.

These two steps may take some time but then it will bring a lot of traffic to your article. In fact as soon as you submit your article to the book marking sites, you can expect the increase in traffic within 24hours. Be regular in submitting your articles if you want a good response. With the help of these social bookmarking sites, your article will have a great advantage of moving up rank rapidly in the search engines for your selected keywords.

Now that you have understood the concept, you can immediately get down to start using social bookmarking for your articles and gain profit. Just make sure that you submit your articles regularly and use good content in your articles and within a few days you will realize the power of social bookmarking.

December 4, 2008 Posted by | Social Bookmarking | , | Leave a comment

How to Find Online Circumventors

There are many different reasons why you might be interested in online circumventors, which is another way of referring to a web proxy. At the most basic level, you will find that a circumventor allows you to look at a site which, for one reason or another, that you are blocked from. Finding a good one can be very important when you are looking at making sure that your online browsing is both free from restrictions and secure.

In the first place, you will want to think about the reasons why you might want to use a circumventor. For instance, there are some websites that are banned in some countries. In countries that have more strict obscenity laws, there are definitely some sites, some of them completely innocuous, that you may not be able to access, and this can be a problem for a number of different reasons. Going through a proxy server will make sure that you can access the site and that it will be more difficult to detect when you do so.

Circumventors can also ensure that you are able to get around security locks or protections that have been put on your computer. For instance, if you have a young child in the house, there is a good chance that you have programs on your computer that essentially make their browsing safer or that will keep them from objectionable sites. On the other hand, you will find that it can be pesky to have to turn the securities off and on whenever you need to browse yourself, and using a circumventor can help keep this straightforward for you.

When you are looking at circumventors, you will find that they can also hide where you have been. When you go through one, it gets significantly harder to track the sites that a certain browser has been using and you will discover that this something that can be quite attractive. If you have an interest in keeping your browsing private and in making sure that your family or your co-workers can’t get into your private affairs, you will find that the use of circumventors can be quite important.

As you can see, the benefits for using circumventors can be immense; now you just need to find one that works! When you start looking, you will find that there are quite a lot out there, so make sure that you find one that will meet your needs. Are your interests in simply making sure that people can’t see where you have been, or are you more concerned about getting to sites that might have otherwise been blocked? This can tell you what kind of circumventor you are looking for.

In the first place, you may be interested to know that there are some circumventors which are very subtle. Some circumventors function in the background quite well; for instance there is an add-on on the Firefox browser that allows you to do all of your browsing through a circumventor. You will find that you can easily download this application and forget about it, and you will also find that this can be very convenient for you. You will also find that there are a number of different options that will allow you to simply type a website into a web form and pull it up.

You will find that doing a simple search on a good search engine will give you plenty of different circumventors to work with, but keep in mind the fact that you need to filter for the ones that will be most handy to you. Remember to think about what your needs are when it comes to security or convenience. There are plenty of them out there, but remember that they are not all intended for the same thing. Choosing the one that is right for your needs is quite important.

When you are looking at making sure that you get the right result in your search for a good circumventor, remember to first assess your needs and then to find a circumventor that will meet it.

December 3, 2008 Posted by | Online Security | , , , | Leave a comment

How to Reduce Fraudulent Transactions

Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, is one of the largest and fastest growing types of business today. Millions of people buy and sell products and services over the Internet. As with any type of system involving transactions of money, there are pitfalls and scammers that are just waiting for a chance to get away with theft. In order to have a productive and workable business over the Internet, you are going to have to make sure that the right steps are being taken to protect yourself.

The first step to helping reduce the chance of fraudulent transactions is to verify the customer. This means getting enough information so that you know you are going to receive payment. Some of the things that you need to be sure of is what the potential customer’s real name is, a home address to where the product is being shipped, the IP address of their computer, and a valid email address.

Though some customers may find it invasive, these types of questions need to be answered in order to protect yourself. One special part to be aware of is the email address. Free email addresses can be set up with almost no credible information needed, so being able to use it to trace a customer can be pointless. It is a better idea to deal with customers who have specified domains for their emails.

Another reason to get into so much detail is that you will be able to compare the country that the IP address is found in to where the customer says they are located at. This will be able to lend credibility to the customer if this information matches. Also, there are some countries that are actually known to have more problems with scammers and frauds. By getting a list of these countries, you will know when to require more information.

One more point to remember when looking at the customer’s address is whether it is a PO, or Post Office box or a publicly rented mailbox. Both of these can make it virtually untraceable when trying to run down customers who have committed a fraudulent transaction. Do keep in mind that when shipping a product to a company or business that they may indeed work with a PO box, but that it is verifiable that it is actually theirs used for company business.

The basic rule of thumb is if you are just not sure about the transaction, then cancel it. If there is any question about false credit card information, then do not mail the product. When a person sends a check, be sure that it clears for payment before sending the product. Another reason why it would be important to have payment in hand first is to make sure that the cost for shipping and handling is paid. Since the person who is ordering is responsible for the charges, it makes sense that you would need that payment before sending the merchandise.

November 14, 2008 Posted by | Online Security | , , | Leave a comment

Social Bookmarking Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

If you are looking for ways to get attention online, and if you are looking to make sure that you are providing your browsers with the information that they need, you will find that one way to show people that you really know what you are doing is through social bookmarking. Social bookmarking, at the most basic level, is a way to save links to various different internet sites in one place and to let make them available to other people. You will also find that social bookmarking is a great way to really touch base with other people and get yourself some favorable attention. However, there are many traps that many people new to social bookmarking fall into. Make sure that you are aware of them, and how to avoid them!

Bad Labeling

It is a mistake to believe that you can simply take your personal bookmark list and paste it up online. People use social bookmarking as an alternative towards using an imprecise search engine, and chances are, they are looking for bookmarking lists that will give them results on a good topic. They are not going to be as interested in what you have to say if you have links to World War II tanks, medieval folk songs, snake care and Japanese language, so make sure that you sort and label your book mark lists very well.

Improper Spelling

When it comes to making sure that you can get the right kind of people looking at your bookmarks, remember that first they have to find you! If you have misspellings on your keywords, you will find that it will be much harder for them to locate you on a simple search. Take some time to spell check everything that you put up, and remember that you should always use the proper spelling for any given topic.

Not Using Subcategories

When you are looking to make sure that you are getting the most out of your bookmarking, remember that you should use subcategories. This helps people narrow down the search and find you a lot easier. For instance, say that you see a tag for “dogs.” You can further refine your search down to things like “grooming” or “husky” or “raw diet” or anything else that will help them identify your listings as useful to them.

Not Identifying Spammers

In social bookmarking, as with many things online, you will find that spammers ruin things for a lot of people. Spammers will bookmark their sites over and over again, largely to improve their linkbuilding, and they will drive searchers away in droves! Whenever you see someone spamming, see about reporting it to the moderators or the site maintainers. It can keep your site from being overrun and you will find that it essentially improves your neighborhood.

Take some time to think about what you can do to make sure that your social bookmarking gives you the results that you are looking for and that it remains a viable tool for the people you are looking to service.

November 4, 2008 Posted by | Social Bookmarking | , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Detect a Scam

The Internet is a great tool that has revolutionized the way we do business. While it offers a lot of good things for buyers and sellers, it also has a downside. Although most products are from a reputable source, some people are out there trying to scam you out of your money. Regardless of how you do business, there will always be certain people that are dishonest. There’s really no getting around that fact. So how can you protect yourself and make sure that you’re not scammed? Let’s look at a few ways that can help.

Most of these tips are pretty much common sense to most people. If you keep your head at all times, there’s no reason that you should be scammed. However, many competent people make the mistake of being careless. Sometimes it comes back to bite them.

Buy from reputable companies whenever possible. If you know the company, like Wal-mart or Target or something like that, you’re obviously going to be ok. When you can’t buy from them, be careful of the companies. If you’ve never heard of the company that you’re going to buy from, check them out on Google. Usually if there is a scam to be found, it will come up on Google as soon as you type it in. Others have usually been scammed by the same company and you can avoid them right off the bat. You can also visit scam.com and see if the company is listed on there. If you think it might be a scam, many other people have probably been scammed as well. Use the experiences of others to your advantage.

If it sounds too cheap, then you should probably steer clear. Let’s say that someone claims that they’re going to sell you a brand new Mercedes Benz for $500. Would you actually believe that? Of course not! However, there are claims that ridiculous being made by scammers every day and people believe them. No one is going to be able to give things like that away for free on the Internet. Always ask yourself how the company is going to make money from this transaction. If you think they’d be losing money in order to make it happen, you should probably stay away.

Another steadfast rule that you should always obey is staying away from unreachable companies. An even better rule should be to stay away from companies that you can’t call and talk to on the phone. If they only have an email address, they still might be shady. It’s too easy to come up with a fake email address these days. If they don’t have any contact information then stay as far away from the deal as possible. This has scam written all over it.

Overall, scams are usually easy to stay away from. However, sometimes an exceptionally talented scammer gets through and comes up with one that is hard to spot. If this happens, just use caution. If you always use common sense and keep your personal information guarded, you’ll usually be fine.

October 15, 2008 Posted by | Online Security | , , | Leave a comment

How to Avoid Online Fraud

Whether you have been burned in the past by online fraud, or you are simply interested in never being in such a situation, you will find that the more good information that you have under your belt, the better. Online fraud can take many forms, and you will find that the consequences can range from being mildly inconvenient to being extremely damaging, so take some time and make sure that you have protected yourself as best as you can.

1. Be aware of phishing

Phishing is a technique that is used by many people who are attempting to scam money online. You will receive an email that seems completely sincere that will direct you to a site where you will enter your bank information, credit card information, Social Security Number or some other designation. The truth is that while some of these attempts are quite crude, others are extremely sophisticated. They might pretend to be from your bank, or from some another trusted source, like a business that you have previously dealt with. Whenever you are asked to divulge information like this, contact the organization and ask why.

2. Check your bank balances regularly

One way that many people become victims of fraud is when their credit cards are skimmed. Skimming involves someone taking the numbers from your credit card and using them in online transactions. Stay up to date on how much money is in your account and figure out what you have been spending your money on and where. Whether you trade with a lot of small merchants or you have worked with larger retailers, this is usually an inside job, so be aware of where you use your credit cards.

3. Know what you are buying

One of the most common types of online fraud is where you will simply buy something and what you receive is not what you expect. In this, your only defense is to be a savvy consumer. Read up on who you are buying from, and figure out what their track record is. While you can and should read their testimonials, spend some time researching them online as well. Are they trusted merchants, and do they deliver what they say that they will? When you are on auction sites, always check their buyer reviews.

4. Shopping securely

Whenever you are on a page that asks for your personal information find out if it is secure. A secure page is one that is protected from incursions by non-authorized persons. An indication that the page is secured is a small lock icon somewhere on the address bar and a URL that begins with “https” rather than “http.” If the page is not secured, find another way to order.

Take some time and make sure that you are dealing with a reputable party. The more that you know about the people that you are dealing with, the better off you are going to be. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way, so be sure to be as safe as you can when you are shopping.

October 15, 2008 Posted by | Online Security | , , | Leave a comment