notepadJust bear with me on this one, OK? Content is often the key element for many online business owners, that we know. And it’s not hard to see why because it’s, well … difficult (to say the least) to attract any traffic if you don’t have anything interesting on your site … perhaps even impossible. This makes writing (as an activity) an essential part of every online entrepreneur’s existence.

For quite some time now I’ve been mentioning one specific writing/blogging advice I got from somewhere, can’t remember where, unfortunately. Anyway, the advice is to write two separate drafts of one post.

Here’s how it works. You write the first draft, from top to bottom, and then immediately afterwards you start over – you write the second draft without looking at the first one. You simply try to come up with the complete post for the second time.

And it’s not about reproducing the initial draft. It’s about writing the second one in whatever way you find suitable. You can write it by following the same thought process and reaching the same conclusions, but you don’t have to. If a new and interesting idea strikes your mind then by all means put it on the screen.

What’s the point?

At first, this approach seems like two times the work, and that you end up with two articles on the same idea looking almost exactly alike. Only this is not the case…

First of all, it’s not two times the work. More like a 1.5 times the work. Chances are that you’ll get the second draft done much quicker than the first one. You already have the mindset, the information, and a precise plan in your head as for what path you want to take with the post. This will likely make you write faster.

Secondly, the drafts will be far from looking exactly alike. The second draft will be at least slightly better if not significantly better. Because now you have the right mindset, you can write more smoothly and make the whole story more reader-friendly. The second draft will seem much more natural – as if you were talking to a friend, not writing an emotionless article. Which brings me to my main point…

The ultimate benefit

By using this technique you simply end up with this mysterious “quality content” that’s so important for every blogger and online business owner.

I’m not implying that without using it you can’t end up with equally good piece, but from my experience, it’s a lot harder to write something you’re truly satisfied with at the first attempt.

Of course, this technique takes time, and it seems counterproductive. You may be thinking that the time is better spent on writing something completely different. But consider just this one thing: would you rather write one truly valuable and enticing article, or two that are good but not quite at the “great content” level?

I’m going to leave you with this question to answer on your own.

One more thing. Maybe you have some pieces of “strange” writing advice that are similar to this one? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Related Posts:

Be More Productive by Writing TWO Versions of the Same Article! – Wait, What?! |

It really is something that just won’t die. Seems like every day there’s someone who thinks they’re good at multitasking … they aren’t. No one is.

I admit, this is an easy trap to fall into. It sounds perfectly reasonable. Why wouldn’t you be able to do many things at the same time, right? This is what I was thinking some time ago, before I realized that multitasking is KILLING my productivity.

Multitasking is actually so bad that even weed smokers doing one thing at a time are still more effective than multitaskers. Check out my guest post at Alpha Efficiency to find out why:

Who is more productive? Weed smokers or multitaskers?

What’s your opinion? Do you agree?

Related Posts:

Multitasking – The Oldest Productivity Myth That Refuses to Die |

The latest and greatest version of the WordPress software — 3.3, named “Sonny” in honor of the great jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt — is immediately available for download or update inside your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress has had over 65 million downloads since version 3.0 was released, and in this third major iteration we’ve added significant polish around the new user experience, navigation, uploading, and imports. Check out this short video that summarizes the things we think you’ll find are the cat’s pajamas:

For Users

Experienced users will appreciate the new drag-and-drop uploader, hover menus for the navigation, the new toolbar, improved co-editing support, and the new Tumblr importer. We’ve also been thinking a ton about what the WordPress experience is like for people completely new to the software. Version 3.3 has significant improvements there with pointer tips for new features included in each update, a friendly welcome message for first-time users, and revamped help tabs throughout the interface. Finally we’ve improved the dashboard experience on the iPad and other tablets with better touch support.

For Developers

There is a ton of candy for developers as well. I’d recommend starting your exploration with the new editor API, new jQuery version, better ways to hook into the help screens, more performant post-slug-only permalinks, and of course the entire list of improvements on the Codex and in Trac.

Roll the Credits

The Credits tab on the new About WordPress screen in the WordPress dashboard provides recognition for contributors to each release, but we like to thank them here as well.

Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, Adam Backstrom, Adam Harley, Alex Concha, Alex King, Alex Mills (Viper007Bond), amereservant, ampt, Andrei Freeman, Andre Renaut, andrewfrazier, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Ryno, Andy Skelton, Anthony Atkinson, Austin Matzko, Bartosz Kaszubowski, Benjamin J. Balter, Brandon Dove, carlospaulino, Caspie, cebradesign, Chelsea Otakan, Chip Bennett, Chris Jean, Coen Jacobs, Curtiss Grymala, Daniel Bachhuber, Daryl Koopersmith, Daryl L. L. Houston, David, David Cowgill, David Gwyer, Da^MsT, deltafactory, demetris, Derek Herman, Devin Reams, Digital Raindrops, Dion Hulse (@dd32), Dominik Schilling (ocean90), Doug Provencio, dragoonis, DrewAPicture, Dylan Kuhn, eduplessis, Eightamrock, eko-fr, Elpie, elyobo, Empireoflight, Erick Hitter, Eric Mann, Evan Anderson, Evan Solomon, fonglh, garyc40, Gary Jones, Gaurav Aggarwal, George Stephanis, goldenapples, goto10, hakre, Helen Hou-Sandi, Ian Stewart, Ipstenu, Jackson, Jacob Gillespie, Jake Goldman, James Collins, Jane Wells, jeremyclarke, Jesper Johansen (Jayjdk), jgadbois, Jick, Joe Hoyle, John Blackbourn, John Hawkins, John James JacobyJohnONolan, John P. Bloch, Jon Cave, Jorge Bernal, Joseph Scott, jtclarke, Jurica Zuanovic, Justin Givens, Justin Sainton, Kailey Lampert (trepmal), kevinB, kitchin, Konstantin Kovshenin, Kuraishi, Kurt Payne, Lance Willett, Latz, linuxologos, Lloyd Budd, Luc De Brouwer, lukeschlather, Mako, Mantas Malcius, MarcusPope, mark-k, Mark Jaquith, Mark McWilliams, Marko Heijnen, Martin Lormes, masonjames, Matias Ventura, Matt Mullenweg, Matt Thomas, Matt Wiebe, MattyRob, Mert Yazicioglu, Michael Adams (mdawaffe), Michael Fields, Michal “Mau” Pliska, Mike Bijon, Mike Schroder, Milan Dinic, mitchoyoshitaka, Mohammad Jangda, Morten Hauan, Mr Papa, mrtorrent, Naoko McCracken, natebedortha, Nikolay Bachiyski, olivM, olleicua, Otto, pagesimplify, paulhastings0, pavelevap, pete.mall, Peter Westwood, peterwilsoncc, ppaire, Ptah Dunbar, r-a-y, Rami Y, Rasheed Bydousi, Robert Chapin (miqrogroove), Ron Rennick, Ross Hanney, ruslany, Ryan Boren, ryanhellyer, Ryan Imel, Safirul Alredha, Samir Shah, Sam Margulies, saracannon, Scott Basgaard, Scott Bressler, Scott Cariss, scottconnerly, Scott Reilly, Scott Taylor, scribu, Sergey Biryukov, Sheri Bigelow, Simon Wheatley, sirzooro, Stephanie Leary, tech163, TheDeadMedic, Tim Moore, Tom Auger, Travis Ballard, Ulrich Sossou, vnsavage, wpweaver, WraithKenny, Yoav Farhi, and Ze Fontainhas.

As well, we’d like to give a shout out to these users who have been particularly active on the support forums since the release of 3.2:

alchymyth, Andrea_r, ClaytonJames, cubecolour, Eran Miller, esmi, Frederick Townes, govpatel, Ipstenu, keesiemeijer, kmessinger, Marcus, Otto, peredur, Rev. Voodoo, Samuel B, Tobias, vtxyzzy, and zoonini.

This site is for a Hamilton-based town-planning consultancy.

It is built on the WordPress platform, using a theme custom-coded by Urban Legend web based on designs from Cube Media.

It uses a left-side horizontal menu customised with jQuery, and links section at page bottom controlled by customised widgets.

The third (and hopefully final!) release candidate for WordPress 3.3 is now available. Since RC2, we’ve done a handful of last-minute tweaks and bugfixes that we felt were necessary.

Our goal is to release version 3.3 early next week, so plugin and theme authors, this is your last pre-release chance to  test your plugins and themes  to find any compatibility issues before the final release. We’ve published a number of posts on the development blog that explain important things you need to know as you prepare for WordPress 3.3. Please review this information immediately if you have not done so already.

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. Or, if you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac. Known issues that crop up will be listed here, but let’s all keep our fingers crossed for a quiet Sunday so we can get these new features into your hands early next week!

To test WordPress 3.3, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

It’s almost that time again, when the WordPress core development team gets together in person to review the year’s progress and talk about priorities for the coming year. Next week Matt Mullenweg, Mark Jaquith, Peter Westwood, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Nacin, Dion Hulse, Daryl Koopersmith, Jon Cave, and I will meet at Tybee Island, GA, the same location as the last meetup.

Last year we wanted to do a video town hall, but ran into technical and scheduling difficulties. This year we’re planning ahead, and will definitely make it happen. We’re currently taking questions, and will record a series of town hall-style videos where we answer your questions. Ask about the roadmap, code, community, contributing, WordCamps, meetups, themes, plugins, features, you name it. No topic (as long as it is about WordPress) is off limits, and we’ll do our best to answer as many questions as we can while we are together. The videos will be posted to this blog and archived at

Last year the people who were in attendance also posted pictures and updates to Twitter using the #wptybee tag. We’ll use the same tag this year, so if you’re interested in following along, add it to your Twitter client as a search.

What do you want to know from us? Ask away!

Bookmark (Foreword. What’s in here for you? This post contains a list of social bookmarking sites you can use to get backlinks to your website or blog.)

Lo and behold, here comes the most obvious place for getting backlinks possible. It’s about time, wouldn’t you say?

Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, social bookmarking sites are places where you can store your bookmarks online (at least that was the original idea).

The main benefit here is that you can access them from any location because they are not kept locally in your browser. Additionally, most sites offer an extensive category and tag features, so you can organize your bookmarks pretty neatly.

If you hop on to my Delicious profile you will see that there are 917 links there at the time of writing this (well, actually there are 1507 links, but 590 of them are private). As you can see I’m a fairly active Delicious user. And it should be obvious that I’m not using it purely to get backlinks.

Adding links to these kind of sites is very easy, and over the years a lot of people have been using these sites exclusively for link building, creating hundreds of accounts and thousands of links every day. At first, this was an effective link building technique, but quickly the space became so saturated that Google caught on to that and it lost nearly all of its effectiveness.

How to use social bookmarking sites for link building?

So is there even a point in using social bookmarking for link building these days?

First of all, there’s still a point in using social bookmarking for its original purpose – to store your bookmarks online, but some link building benefits can be seen as well if you do the whole thing right.

Nowadays, most social bookmarking sites ban accounts that are bookmarking just one single site, or a small range of sites. So if you’re just going to submit links from your own site, eventually, you’re going to get banned.

In order to use social bookmarking sites as link building venues in any way you have to build a naturally looking profile containing links to different websites.

I don’t actually know the exact definition of a “naturally looking profile,” or how many links from one site is too many because I haven’t done any study around this, but it’s always good to use your own judgment.

What I would advise is to not link to your own site more than once in every ten other submissions.

This may sound like a lot of work, but with a good approach it isn’t. You just simply have to use these sites like you naturally would. Every time you stumble upon an interesting site or a post just bookmark it, so when the time comes to bookmark your own site you’ll have a well set up profile waiting for you.

What is the value of all this?

Not particularly big, I’m afraid. Sorry, but I want to be honest. Times when social bookmarking would skyrocket your site to the top of search engines are long gone. Nowadays, you should only treat it as a supplemental technique.


Treat it like a technique to build links to your other online real estate – like ezine articles, free blogs, web 2.0 sites and so on. In this way it actually works.

Now the best part is that the more websites like these you have the less you have to worry about your profile looking genuinely. That’s because it automatically will be, due to the big variety of sites bookmarked, regardless of the fact that they are all yours.

The fact about link building is that no one particular technique is going to be a magic bullet. If you do just article submissions, or just web 2.0 sites it’s not going to get you far. What works is variety. Sites that sit on top spots in Google are ones with big backlinking profiles consisting of many different sources of links. Social bookmarking is an important part of this.

You see, it’s natural that a popular site has a big number of bookmarks. If it doesn’t it just looks suspicious and sends contradictory signals. For example. If a site has 1,000 links from article directories, 10,000 bookmark links, 800 links from blogs, 100 links from YouTube, etc. then it looks genuine. But if the site only has 1,000 article directory links then it’s kinda suspicious.

So in essence, the value of social bookmarking lies in its ability to make your backlinking profile complete.

How big can you go

There are many social bookmarking sites on the internet, so you can go as big or as small as you like. But obviously the more sites you choose to use the more work it’s going to require.

Delicious is a good place to start, as it’s one of the biggest and most respected social bookmarking sites. Then you can expand once you get used to how this whole thing works.

There are Delicious plugins available for all major browsers, so you can submit bookmarks straight from your browser’s window and don’t have to leave the site. This makes the whole thing a lot easier and quicker.

If you want to use more sites at a time manual submissions might not be the best idea. Thankfully, there are some automated and semi-automated services (some paid). For example: BookmarkingDemon,, SocialPoster,

Truth to be told, the more high profile SB sites you use the more natural your backlinking profile looks like. But it’s up to you to draw the line somewhere and decide how many sites is enough. Overdoing it isn’t good either.

Top 15 social bookmarking sites



There’s only one leader on this list. If you do nothing else sign up for a Delicious account and check out what it has to offer. Leaving all link building factors behind, it’s a great tool for keeping your personal bookmarks online.















Is the series over yet? No, it’s not. Still more places to get backlinks coming your way soon. Feel free to subscribe to my RSS feed or email updates to get the posts delivered to you the minute they are created.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to shoot me a comment if you know more quality social bookmarking sites that would be a good fit for this list.

Related Posts:

Where to Get Backlinks to Your Site – Part 5 – Social Bookmarking |

The second release candidate for WordPress 3.3 is now available!

As the first release candidate was well-received, we think we’re really close to a final release. Primarily, we’ve ensured that new toolbar (the admin bar in 3.2) has a consistent appearance across all browsers, and the API for developers is now final. You can check our bug tracker for the complete list of changes.

Plugin and theme authors, please test your plugins and themes now, so that if there is a compatibility issue, we can figure it out before the final release. On our development blog, we’ve published a number of posts that explain important things you need to know as you prepare for WordPress 3.3.

If you haven’t tested WordPress 3.3 yet, now is the time — please though, not on your live site unless you’re adventurous. Once you install RC2, you can visit About WordPress page (hover over the WordPress logo in the top left) to see an overview of what’s to come in WordPress 3.3 (and what to test, of course).

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. Or, if you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac. Known issues that crop up will be listed here.


To test WordPress 3.3, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

Sometimes time slows down
between releases – like now
This is RC2

online business models products

Note. This post is a part of my series where I talk about one of the most important elements of various online business models. This element is, of course, where the money is made.

In the previous part I discussed the online business model of services and consulting.

In this part I’m going to discuss a business model that’s a little more intuitive for online entrepreneurs – products.

By products I don’t necessarily mean the physical/tangible stuff. In my dictionary, a product is simply something that has to be developed before you are able to sell it. Whereas a service is something that you sell first and then do the work later.

Products and their advantages

Let’s do a quick comparison of product centered business models and service centered business models.

Again, I’m no business expert, I’m just talking from my own experience, so don’t sue me, please!

When it comes to selling products, the biggest advantage is that you only have to spend money for research and product development once. Then when the product is finished you can usually replicate it pretty cheaply, or at zero cost if your product is purely digital.

If you’re offering services then you need to put the work in every time when you get a contract from a client. Of course, you can and should develop some systems to speed your work up and make it easier, but you still can’t skip those work hours.

When opting for a product based business model, on the other hand, you can focus almost all of your efforts on marketing and promotion once the product is ready.

Some people choose this approach for another reason. If your product is somewhat evergreen you’re going to be able to sell it for years to come.

More than that, if along the way you create several other products then some day you’ll have a nice product base. This simply creates more income streams, and in the end, the product approach turns out to be much more scalable.

In most cases, one person can successfully sell hundreds of copies of the same product while the same person couldn’t possibly fulfill hundreds of services without any help from other people.

Another advantage is that some people find products easier to market, and easier to find affiliates for. The latter has one more element to it. If you have a digital product you can afford to pay out commissions as high as 70% (or more). If you offer a service then even a commission of 10% might kill your profitability.

The disadvantages

Of course, the world is not perfect. The product approach has some flaws too.

First one up is the cost. Developing a product usually requires some amount of money upfront. Depending on the scale and size of the product this amount can vary.

In various situations you have to take care of lots of different things (take care of = pay for). If you’re developing physical products then you’ll have to buy materials, hire all kinds of people, take care of trademarks and other legal stuff, etc.

On the other hand, there are also situations where just a small initial contribution is required, for example when you’re creating an eBook.

Of course, there’s a “clever” way out, in which you can create a product without spending a dime … you just have to have a lot (and I mean a lot) of free time, and do everything yourself. This isn’t advisable, by the way.

Another disadvantage is that you need to have a good know-how on how to actually create the product. For digital products, you have to be aware of how the Web works and what all the fancy online tools can help you with. You also have to have some general proficiency around computers and be able to use the essential software.

Having a good know-how means that you need to be the manager of your product. You are the one who sits on the highest chair and knows exactly what needs to be done.

A side story. During a project management class I attended at the University we talked about a good project manager’s profile. One of the characteristics of such a person is some lower level experience (hence the computer proficiency requirement). If you don’t know what the phases of creating an eBook are then how are you going to release one?

Continuing … I’m not over with the flaws yet, sorry. Another one worth mentioning is the delayed profitability.

The problem is that you won’t see any money coming in immediately after you create a product. When you’re offering a service you often receive the money before you even start working. This is completely the other way around with a product.

Sometimes it’s not a big problem. For brands having a strong market position turning a profit is just a matter of time. Like Apple, for example, even though they have to spend serious money on developing the new iPhone, this money will quickly come back to them multiplied once the device is launched.

However, for smaller brands the profit may never come. A situation when you spend money on creating a product and then no one decides to buy it is not an uncommon one. In such a case the product centered business model is much more dangerous.

Since we’re talking money, there’s one more disadvantage worth to mention: refunds. Products have usually a higher refund rate than services. This is due to the fact that a product is something a customer can keep. They can go back to it, revise it, and for physical products even touch it. And, unfortunately, if they don’t like it they can return it.

Services have a much smaller refund rate because a service is not that tangible, and it fades into past much quicker, so people are not so keen to request their money back. Furthermore, services are much more difficult to undo.

Types of products

I’ve been talking about some types of products briefly in this post already, so now let’s have a more in-depth look.

The two main types of products are: physical products and digital products.

Even though you’re doing business online you can be selling any physical product you like. For some ideas just go to eBay and see how many different categories there are.

If you’re going for physical products I’m sure you have everything already planned out, so I’m not going to talk about them here. Instead, let’s focus on digital products.

There are hundreds of different types of digital products. Some people choose to go with audio, others with video, and others with traditional text content. On the other hand, there’s software and software resources, graphical content (photos, icons, graphics, animations). The scope is truly enormous.

One of the most common examples of a digital product is an eBook. They are relatively easy to create (I mean the technical aspects of it), and don’t require a lot of money as an investment. That is usually what makes eBooks the starting point for many online entrepreneurs.

The mystical dream

Oftentimes, offering online products brings one thing into mind – passive income – the holy grail of every online entrepreneur.

To be honest, products can get you close to making some passive income, but it won’t ever be truly 100% passive. Don’t fell victim to such a mindset. Reaching success at anything requires a lot of work, passive income included.

Finding clients and customers

This is a very extensive issue, so I’m not going to talk about it now. Instead, I’m going to leave it for some other time when I only focus on different ways of attracting customers. Both for service based businesses and product based businesses, and probably other business models too.

In many cases, though, you can use the same tools in different types of businesses, you just have to utilize them a little differently for each one.

As you can see, there are lots of elements to product based business models. Also, this path has both a number of advantages and a number of disadvantages. This all results in the fact that there’s truly no ultimate business model. You always have to choose one that seems the most attractive to YOU.

That’s it for this post, I hope it helps, and as always feel free to tell me what you think, comment, share, and see you next time.

Next parts of the series are coming soon so don’t forget to come back to get it. Feel free to subscribe to my RSS feed or email updates to get the posts delivered to you the minute they are created.

Related Posts:

Online Business Models Explained: Products |