How Important is Passion in Business Success?

I was reading a great article earlier called “Why Following Your Passion is Bad Advice”

The article was perfectly written and made a ton of sense. But still, I couldn’t help but feel something more deep inside. This was the comment I left:

I’m one of those that believe it starts with passion. But I also see it the other way as well, it’s a tough call.

  • Basically, you need motivation one way or another. Motivation keeps you going through the tough times and gets you past all the challenges and obstacles. It doesn’t matter how logical or how easy your business fits together because nothing stays easy and simple over the years. Competitors show up, markets change, people change, times change, everything goes…and if you don’t have the motivation, your business won’t make it.

If you’re the kind of person that’s only motivated by money and can’t dream of anything else other than how rich you’re going to be and how nice your big house and car will look, well then yes, money motivation is all you need.

On the other hand, if you’re motivated by your passion, that can be all you need. It’s true that you might not make as much money as a dollar-oriented person, but you certainly can make a big difference in the world and leave your imprint on your passion. You can change things forever and give yourself something to do for years to come. Or you can be a serial entrepreneur and keep jumping ship from one start-up to another.

At the end of the day, you can decide for yourself if you want to make a ton of money, or actually make a difference in the world, or even both. But it’s silly to think you can live a fulfilled life without passion in what you do.

Popup Domination or Not?

I’ve been an internet marketer for some time and pretty much torn between using Pop-up Dominator or not. Many websites have used it with great success and boosted their email newsletter sign-ups tremendously but still, I resist.

PROS of website pop-ups

  • it actually works
  • builds your email list very quickly
  • can help you increase profits

CONS of website pop-ups

  • annoying

 

My verdict?

I’m not going to annoy my customers. I think my content is good enough for them to come back and eventually buy my products after investing themselves in my site over time. I don’t see bigtime corporate companies using pop-ups and why should I? I can see smaller blogs and smaller businesses/websites that fail to make an impression in a crowded market but I don’t think I have that issue…at least not yet.

How to Make Subtitles for Your Videos

I’ve been recently involved in tackling international markets for one of my websites. And the task of creating subtitles came up. I went looking around for software and ultimately decided they were too much work.

  • The software loads up your video, then has you typing the text and duration out. 

 

Like I said, it’s too much work. So I found another option that’s much faster.

  1. Load your video onto youtube (put it in private if you don’t want people to see it)
  2. go here and enter in your youtube video address: http://www.serpsite.com/youtube-subtitles-download-tool/
  3. Download the transcription as SRT file
  4. Now open up the SRT file in a text editor and fix the words to match what’s being said in the video.
  5. Get a translator to edit and save the SRT file into other languages.

 

That’s it! How easy was that?!

Should You Build a Forum?

I used to do that with every website thinking I would somehow magically capitalize on site traffic but it never turned out that way. It turns out I missed one simple detail: ONLY BUILD ONE FORUM! That’s like the golden rule of starting a forum.

I got it from reading this: http://www.affiliatebible.com/general-seo/building-a-profitable-forum.php

  • awesome guide for building a forum!

 

The key question you should ask yourself is:

  • Can I build a profitable forum?

 

Forums take time and money to run so if you’re not going to be profitable, it’s quite difficult to have a successful forum after you pay for hosting. Some thoughts for my website:

  • Hmmm, I can definitely build a forum to promote my products. (Also enhances and strengthens the community, builds material for new traffic.)
  • I can think of 1 forum to start with, which then splits to 3, and then later to 4.
  • Do I have to do this now? Are there other ways I can grow my community first? (YES)
  • Yes, I’ve got more products to build and release.
  • Ok, so I guess I’ll build a forum later.

nSphere.net is a Scam

nSphere contacted me in the Fall last year offering some sort of revenue partnership. They offered to take over a subdomain on my website by building a spammy looking directory on “local.mydomain.com” where they would post regurgitated content from my original site along with ads. They promised to share a certain amount of revenue from the ads while helping to attract search traffic to my site.

It sounded like a good deal…

…WRONG!

At first I had one account manager who seemed really nice and friendly. But then my emails would go unanswered. A week later she had quit before my directory was even built. By the time the directory went up, I had already been passed through 2 more account managers.

The subdomain was running for a while but I hadn’t received any payment. I emailed my latest account manager and all she would say was “Oh I’ll check on that and see what they’re up to. Oh, you have to wait 30 days after the end of the month.” She finally sent me an email with a login so that I could see my accumulated earnings which I realized was supposed to be sent to me when I first agreed to this “partnership”. Anyway, upon logging in I realized I was at least 1-2 months overdue for a payment. I was a new account so I figured it might be good to be patient. Maybe they’re a growing company or something.

3-4 months into this, I couldn’t stand it anymore. My account showed I had earned a few hundred dollars of revenue and still I received nothing. After emailing the AM again, she promises to have a check sent out asap. Well I DID receive a check but weeks after I deposit the check I find out it BOUNCED.

What a freaken scam. On a side note, I should add that the sub-domain directory thing they put on your site isn’t effective. The latest Google update doesn’t send much traffic to those kinds of sites and I would advise against having that on your domain. If this company contacts you, well at least you know what happened to me. Avoid these guys.

VPS.net Hosting Sucks! – Bad Review

Here goes my bad review of VPS.net (owned by UK2 group). I use to be a shared hosting customer of ANhosting.com for several years — which I still am. They offered good service and good support which was far better than Dreamhost. ANhosting was my savior when one of my websites got popular and I matured to VPS.

Who better to trust than the company that offered me the best shared hosting I could find? And so I opened an account at VPS.net. I went with their un-managed VPS hosting (which was surprisingly affordable), purchasing 1 node at first and later upgraded to 3 nodes. After 18-20 months of terrible service, I decided to finally pull the plug and take my business elsewhere. Below is a series of events ultimately leading to total frustration.

  • July 2010 – bought new VPS. Setting up everything was fairly simple. I knew nothing about the command line but was able to get by following guides on the web. The server was awfully slow and the support said it was because I was running cPanel and so I upgraded to 2 nodes by their recommendation.
  • 2010 (constant issues) – The server would go down here and there without anybody telling me my site was down. Sometimes it would restart, other times it would be down for a whole day until I realized. Half of these times, I was able to restart the server and get it up and running. Other times it was completely unresponsive which they would explain to be issues with the server, or cloud, or SANS, or whatever other reason. Sometimes the support was fast and other times it took hours for a response. What I hated was that they never really explained anything, it was just, “Sorry for your trouble. It’s running now.” I figured it was a new service and they needed time but things would only get worse. I was a big fan of ANhosting and so I was loyal to the company.
  • 2011 (MAJOR issues) – Every month, the server would go down for hours. During the most critical moments, it would go down for 5-20 hours. Late in 2011, I had instances where the server went down for 20-30 hours. There was nothing I could do and the support never replied. The best explanation I got was an update on my support ticket the next day saying “everything working now”. They never offered to reimburse or anything.
  • 2011 (SHADY support) – there was a case where my server again went down. When I submitted a support ticket, they kept saying they were looking into it. But every support guy was simply rebooting the server and saying, “I just restarted the server, will keep you updated.” Next they said, I was running out of memory and needed to purchase more. I added more nodes and rebooted the server with no luck. Finally, the ticket escalated up to Level 3 support. The guy there said, “You have major problems with your server, you need to purchase on-demand ticket for instant support.” So I paid the $10 option, the guy there says “You need to buy the $50 option.” And so I did…with no refund for the $10 one. All I wanted was my site online, it was down for over 30 hours at that point with no end in sight. Keep in mind that I was never fooling around with anything; it just went down. Finally, my site comes back up. When I kept asking the support guys, they offered “Another customer on your server was hogging resources and took down the whole server. Your site is ok, no problem at all.” No refunds, no apologies, nothing.
  • 2012 (FINAL STRAW) – constant outages. After being hit with 2 major outages (both over 20 hours of downtime), I asked a knowledgeable friend to look through my setup and he told me, “Your server is way too slow for the amount of resources you have. It’s underpowered, etc, etc, etc.”

Don’t use VPS.net. They gave me bad advice, told me to spend more money, didn’t really fix my problem, and offered no explanation. I’m not knowledgeable at managing servers so I delayed the move for this long but I can’t take it anymore. I can understand server issues due to unforeseen circumstances, but I don’t want to deal with a company that lies to its customers.

Here are more bad reviews of VPS.net:

I found a new VPS host and never looked back. New article and review on them soon enough.

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