Thursday, May 31, 2007

Win Prizes with the Lowest Bid

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I've previously written about a really cool prize site. It's called Bid4Prizes, and it uses a unique bidding system to award prizes.

You must have the lowest bid to win the prize in question. But you really need to have the lowest unique bid. The bid keeps moving as other people under-bid you, so you have to keep re-bidding. Neat, right?

I found a cool bike at Bid4Prizes that I'd love to win. It's called the Paratrooper. It's a collapsible mountain bike. You should definitely go check it out.

The final thing to mention is that you can bid via TXT message on your cell phone. The auctions count down in time like a typical auction, so you can stay on top of it during the last few minutes, no matter where you are.

Now, go bid for some prizes!

lowest bid

Exercise in the Morning for Best Results

I have trouble getting motivated to exercise. There are so many other things in the world to do. If I wait until the evening, exercise gets put off.

This is why I'm trying to exercise in the morning. My goal is to get up at 6:00 AM and go on a 12-mile bike ride. If I do it first thing in the morning, I can't put it off. Nothing else will get in the way.

Plus, exercising in the morning should give me more energy for the rest of the morning. I won't be sluggish, and hopefully I can concentrate better on working and studying. We'll see how it goes. :)

A Spiffy Credit Card - MINT

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I'm sure you don't have a shortage of credit card offers. If you're like me, they come via email, regular mail, and even the phone. But here's one you might want to check out.

MINT offers a neat system to apply for a credit card. It's got a slew of standard credit card features and promotions. There are actually some decent rates on this one:
  • 14.9% APR (variable)
  • 0% on purchases - until Jan 1, 2008
  • 0% on balance transfers - until Aug 1, 2008
The coolest feature that stand out in my mind is the ability to manage your account via TXT messages. Automated phone services are handy, but TXT is the current way to communicate, especially for young people. That's a cool feature for your credit card.

If you're in need of a new credit card, give MINT a try.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Build Links with Viralink

It's a fact of internet life that we need links to our sites, to help with search engine rankings. Andy Coates came up with a cool way to easily share some links. The result is Viralink. Here's everything you need to know, courtesy of Andy himself:

———copy and paste the Viralink and instructions below this line———

Below is a matrix of 120 stars, I have already added a link to my blog onto one of the stars, all you need to do is copy and paste the grid into your blog and add your own link to one of the other spare stars, and tell others to do the same!



New Addition: When I receive a ping back once you have added the Viralink to your site I will add your link to this grid, and each person who copies the grid from here will also link to your site!

———copy and paste the Viralink and instructions above this line———

Honestly, I'm not sure how well this will work for people later in the game (like myself). But I might as well give it a shot!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Get Your Site Reviewed by PayPerPost Direct

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PayPerPost did it again! This leader in blog marketing has just launched a new service that allows advertisers to select blogs to advertise directly to consumers. The new program is called PayPerPost Direct.

The process is really simple, but the PPP guys have made a great video to explain it. Bloggers will place badges on their sites, offering to review products or sites for advertisers. An advertiser simply clicks on the badge to create a new opportunity for that blogger. The parties can negotiate on price, the advertiser approves the post, and the blogger gets paid immediately upon approval. It just couldn't be easier.

Notably, PPP only takes a 10% cut of the total post price. Other services such as ReviewMe take 50% of the total price paid for the review. Thus, PPP looks to be leveraging their strong market position to undercut some of the competition. I'm sure bloggers will love that. And it will provide lower-cost reviews for advertisers. This service looks to be a win-win for everyone involved.

So keep your eye out for the PPP Direct badge. It'll probably be on a blog near you very soon. And if you don't the see badge, you might ask the blogger personally whether they're a PPP member. Most of us are. :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Schedule Quick Breaks for Yourself

One of the quickest ways to burn yourself out is to work nonstop. To prevent this, schedule small breaks for yourself.

A great method is to work for 55 minutes, then take a 5 minute break. This gives you a steady pace of work to keep up throughout the day, but it also gives you a fun couple of minutes to relax. Also, by working for 50-55 minutes at a time, you won't be chopping your day up into bits that are too small to be productive.

Here are some great things to do in your 5 minute breaks:

  • Take a brisk walk around the office
  • Use the restroom
  • Grab a drink (preferably juice)
  • Read your favorite websites
  • Go get some fresh air
Taking frequent breaks will keep you refreshed and rejuvenated throughout the day. You won't regret it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Calling all People who Need Calling Cards

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Do you use calling cards? You've no doubt figure out how expensive they area. Thankfully, Pingo has your back.

Pingo is a leading prepaid calling card provider. Among many other deals, Pingo has the cheapest prepaid phone card to call India.

If you sign up today for at least $20, you will receive $5 in free international calls, as well as a $25 gift card for several online merchants. That sounds like a sweet deal to me!

Finally, Pingo offers rates for calls within the United States as low as 1.8 cents per minute. Here is more information about United States calling card rates.

If you do any amount of traveling, you really should consider purchasing an emergency phone card. You never know when it could come in handy.

Find Exercise Equipment on Craigslist

Have you ever needed some exercise equipment? I'll bet you were surprised at the cost in sports stores. There's a better option: craigslist.

I've been looking for a new road bike for several weeks now. Prices for a brand new one are just prohibitive on my budget. So I started perusing the internet and craigslist. I've found several good options in my area. In fact, I'll be going down in the morning to take a test ride on one. I think it will be perfect!

One thing not to overlook is actually posting a "wanted" ad on craigslist. Just because the perfect item isn't posted does not mean that you can't find it. I found the bike I'm looking to buy through a "wanted" ad that I posted. Don't assume that everything people want to sell is actually posted on the site itself.

What are you waiting for? Go find the perfect sports equipment!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Blog for Cash and Cool Products

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PayPerPost has done it again. They're already a premier company that lets you blog for cash. Now they're also giving away cool prizes too.

Every Tuesday will now by HDTV Tuesday at PayPerPost. Specially marked opportunities will have a prize reward, instead of actual cash. This is all thanks to Bid4Prizes.

You're probably wondering what kind of things you can win. I'll bet that you'll be impressed. People have already earned Apple TVs, a PS3, and other cool electronics. On May 15, they'll feature a Slingbox, a Wii, a Yamaha surround sound system, and Logitech universal remote.

Heck, at the end of the month, they're giving away a brand new HDTV. That's a darn cool prize, just for blogging.

PayPerPost has definitely gotten its share of criticism in the blogging community. But it does one thing really well: please its posties. The people behind the scenes are continually coming up with new ways to reward the grunts who do the real work: us posties. They know that the company would fall to pieces if bloggers would not write for them. So they keep us all happy. It works well.

This latest announcement just proves that PPP is not going to let us be bored any time soon. In fact, I bet they'll have something even cooler in the future. Who knows what it will be?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Try a Fruit and Walnut Salad

If you're looking for a decent snack at a fast food restaurant, try the fruit and walnut salad at McDonald's. It costs about $2, and it provides a decent healthy snack.

You get a small dish of apple slices, grapes, candied walnuts, and vanilla yogurt. The total calories are 330, with 8g of fat and 25g of sugar.

Honestly, I've tried many of the "healthy" options at other fast food restaurants, and this is one of my favorites. It's not as healthy as you can get, but it's a great snack when you're on-the-go.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Win Prizes with Simple Auction Bidding System

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Would you like a new plasma TV? Maybe a free vacation? Would you take one if somebody gave it to you?

At Bid4Prizes, all you need is the lowest bid, and you win the prize. You play by deciding a prize you'd like to win - like a plasma TV. Then you must pick a number that is lower than the current lowest bid. But to win, your number must be the lowest unique bid. Yep, it's confusing.

But they have a pretty good explanation page on their site, as well as a video to help you understand. You'll get it, if you just think about it for a second.

The coolest prize, in my opinion, is a $500 Starbucks gift card. That would buy a lot of coffee or a nice espresso machine. Or maybe a bunch of coffee and a decent espresso machine. Heck, I might go bid on it right now.

The key here is that you don't actually pay anything. You really win the prizes. The bidding is just how you play to win.

Go try it out! You just might walk away a winner.

I'm Going to Try Crest Whitening Strips

I finally had a much-needed visit to the dentist today. The hygienist told me not to wait 4 years to come back. Everything was generally OK, but it is time to get my wisdom teeth removed. Fun times that will be!

But the point of this post is that they recommended Crest Whitening Strips to whiten teeth. I even got a couple samples, to see if I can stand the process. A box is only about $30.

According to the hygienist, they actually work. She suggested that I do the top teeth separately from the bottom, so I can see the difference in shade.

I'm definitely going to give this a try. My teeth aren't nastily yellow, but they do have a coffee / tea /soda shade to them. And if $30 will really make a difference, I'm game.

Check out PayPerPost to Make Money Online

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I've loved working with PayPerPost. I think it's a great way to get paid to blog.

One of the coolest things is that they've started to get some great-paying opportunities. I've seen jobs on the site for as much as $200 or more. There are regularly opportunities for $30-50. I've even been lucky enough to snag a couple of those. :)

All together, I've made over $300 from PayPerPost alone, just this year. That's not a huge amount, but I don't spend a ton of time on it. I check the site when I have a few minutes, grab a couple interesting opportunities, and post away. 20 minutes is all it takes, usually not even that.

If you're looking to make some money online, you've got to check out PayPerPost.

Use Rechargeable Batteries for Your Electronics

If I had a penny for every battery I've used in my short lifetime, I'd be a wealthy man.

Unfortunately, there's no way to get a penny back for all those used batteries. In fact, they're probably in a land-fill somewhere, polluting the ground. I should probably be paying the Earth a penny per day, just to compensate for all my used batteries.

A much better solution is rechargeable batteries. I've been loving for them my digital camera and wireless bluetooth mouse. My wife's digital camera takes four AA batteries, so rechargeables are definitely the way to go there.

To maximize your investment, here's a great article on getting more life out of your batteries.

Now go out and buy some nice batteries. You'll save money and the environment. Does it get any better?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Awesome Bookkeeping Help for Small Businesses

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Small business owners have to do it all. They're marketing, tech support, sales, and accounting. But other small businesses are now cropping up to help outsource some of these services. This helps you focus on your actual service or product, instead of payroll.

One great example is Accounting Paradise, which has very low bookkeeping fees. They can help with QuickBooks, accounting, and payroll. It's really a pretty nifty system they have set up.

Fees are pretty inexpensive. It looks like accounting help starts at $10 per month. Payroll is done on a flat rate of $6 per employee per month. This can add up to a bit, but it can also relieve you of the headaches involved in these money matters.

If you're looking for some relief in your business venture, check into outsourcing like this.

Invigorate Your Day With Exercise

I went on a 12-mile bike ride this evening. My legs are a bit sore right now, but I feel fantastic!

We know that exercise releases endorphines into your body. These chemicals help you feel happier and give you more energy. So even though exercise takes a substantial amount of energy, your body actually feels better afterward. Fascinating, right?

The coolest part is that it's kind-of addictive. After all, you're causing more chemicals to be produced into your body. Once you start exercising, your body wants more of it. So your body naturally helps get you into better shape.

The only downside is that exercise does make you more awake and alert. Thus, if you exercise in the evening, your increased energy might keep you from getting to sleep when you would like. But I suppose that's the price we must pay.

Great Site for Online Coupon Codes

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I'm a sucker for saving money. But I guess that's not a bad thing. Coupon Chief is a great source for online coupon codes. They have coupons for over 1,000 different stores, so there's bound to be something up your alley.

I did a quick search and found a page of Starbucks coupons. They're for reduced shipping on orders from the online store, but that alone is pretty cool, especially if you buy supplies for making coffee at home.

There are also Dicks Sporting Goods coupons. One of these might come in handy, since I'm looking to buy a new bike and get some equipment for it. We'll just have to see.

Do Some Spring Cleaning

Now that May is here in full force, it's time to really think about spring cleaning. Yeah, it's almost summer, but it's never too late to clean!

My personal view is not to keep much clutter around. I don't live by that too closely, but I want to start. Thus, I plan to go through everything in and around my desk and dresser to see what can be done away with. But I'm not just going to throw it away. There will likely be three piles:

Give - I like to give away things that I no longer have a use for. GoodWill is right down the street, so it's a shame to throw away decent things that somebody else might be able to use.

Sell - We've had a decent bit of luck selling some things on eBay. A couple things that we tried didn't sell at all, but others went for much more than we originally hoped. If you think something might be worth a bit of cash, give it a try.

Trash - If an item doesn't fit in either the Give or Sell pile, it goes in the trash (if I'm getting rid of it, that is).

What do you do for spring cleaning?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Best Prank is the Simplest

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.Com Marketing Interactive Ad Agency wants to know about our best pranks. My best prank is one of the simplest: a whoopee cushion. Yes, I'm a kid at heart. And most other people probably think this is lame. But if done well, a whoopee cushion can generate some good laughs.

If you have an office with guest chairs in it, try putting it underneath the chair's cushion. When an unsuspecting coworker sits down, he'll probably jump from surprise. It'll be a good chuckle. The only problem might be if your boss happens to be the next person to sit in the chair. Hopefully she's got a sense of humor, though.

Here's my favorite prank, in video form:

Don't Forget Your Sunglasses This Summer

One thing that people always forget about is protecting themselves from the sun. When your family has a history of skin cancer, you think about these things a bit more.

So when I'm going to be outside for a while, I definitely remember the sun block. But you've also got to think about your eyes.

It's so incredibly easy to wear sunglasses, so why don't you? If you forget them, try getting a couple of cheap pairs. You can leave one at home, one at the office, and one in your car. Then you'll always have one, no matter where the sun happens to be.

Don't forget about protecting your eyes - sunglasses are cheap, but eyes aren't.

My Favorite Shrimp Recipe

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Do you love shrimp? I know I do. There's a cool site out that has some great Seafood Recipes.

My favorite shrimp recipe is pretty simple: fried shrimp. Just beat some eggs, soak your peeled & deviened shrimp in it. Then dip the shrimp in cracker meal. Now you just have to deep fry them until they're golden brown. Can it get any easier?

To make it a little easier, get yourself a deep fryer. It works better than just using a skillet, and you can fry more shrimp at a time. You've got to make plenty, since everyone will want some.

For a video explanation, check this out:

Gotta Love Panera's Free Wi-Fi

You've got a great thing going, when you combine good food with free wi-fi. That's one reason I love Panera some much.

This afternoon I was out and I wanted a drink. I could've stopped at a drug store and gotten a soda, but I went to Panera. Why? They have free wi-fi. I can relax, have a drink, and check my email.

And plus, I bought a muffin. So they got $3.15, and I got a glass of tea, a muffin, and a few minutes of free internet. You can't beat that deal!