It has been 4.5 years since I have posted to this site. Time flies, different things vie for for attention, etc. etc. So it often goes in life, and things - like this site - get neglected. With a new year beginning, this is as good a time as any to start blogging again. Daily would certainly be good, but i won't set such an ambitious goal.

What will I post here? I am not sure, to be honest, time will tell. In the past, I have posted mostly business stuff here, leaving personal stuff for other venues. Maybe its time to mix it up a bit, so I think it will be a mix of things to start with. If you care, reply in the comment if you think the entries are too varied as to be distracting. I may try to aggregate some post from other sites here, or perhaps just link to them, we shall see.

I have just change the site's theme to Free Flow, a theme that I am working on for Movable Type (another unfinished project that needs to be finished in 2012!). It's not quite finished, there are likely bugs, but feedback is appreciated.

Here goes nothing.

New criteria for restricting the scope of what the US Patent Office considers patent-worthy poses a threat to numerous software patents, including Google's famed PageRank.

Editor's Note: Losing the PageRank patent could be troubling for Google, but the broader scope of patent reform-something Google has championed otherwise-is intended to protect innovators from the itchy trigger finger of an overly litigious society. What you you think? Good idea? Let us know in the comments section.

Google climbed past a morass of ineffective search engines when it arrived on the Internet. Its devotion to the most relevant possible solution for a given query quickly made it the de facto search choice as millions of people shifted their browsing habits from walled garden content to the broader World Wide Web.
The essential and much-discussed PageRank technology holds a patent, a common legal protection sought by software developers small and large. Some have claimed software patents affect far too broad a scope of potential innovation, leading to lawsuits where a patent owner claims damages by multiple companies.

Those on the losing end of such suits end up paying for what they argue are obvious and non-original concepts. That could change with a shift in the way the USPTO looks at software patents, the Patently-O blog on patent law said.
A series of cases may remake the software industry, all the way to the top where Google and other companies reside:

In the most recent of these three (cases)—the currently pending en banc Bilski appeal—the Office takes the position that process inventions generally are unpatentable unless they "result in a physical transformation of an article" or are "tied to a particular machine."
Patently-O sees Google's PageRank, the patent for which is owned by Stanford University, as failing the first part of the test, as generating scores isn't a physical transformation. The second part proves troubling given recent decisions made by the USPTO in a couple of other cases, not only for PageRank but other Google patents too.
"Google might have thought that the patent system would surely protect new technological developments that are highly creative and socially valuable. The PTO’s new position proves that view mistaken," Patently-O said.

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I recently returned from an amazing vacation to the Galapagos Islands. What an amazing place, its hard to put into words. I will soon be posting some stories and photos on my Galapagos Travel Blog. I just need time to sift through 1,300 photos and pages of my hand-written journal.

As I mentioned briefly in my previous blog entry, my Galapagos blog currently contains a bit of fun: the first 33 entries were not written by me, but by Charles Darwin way back in 1835, when he first visited the islands. At the same time, this also serves as an experiment in public domain web content. The 33 entries were taken from a single chapter of "The Voyage of the Beagle", a book written by Darwin about a trip around the world, that included many stops, including the Galapagos Islands. The book is now in the public domain, which means that the book is no longer covered by copyright. As such, it can be republished freely and legally.

Of course, my travel blog is not the only site on the web that includes some or all of the text of the book. The key question for the experiment, therefore, is would I be able to generate search engine rankings and traffic using content that has been previously published many times over?. The answer, which is a little surprising, is yes.

Here are some stats since I left on vacation, April 23, 2007:

  • 141 visitors
  • 205 page views
  • 140 people came from a Google Search, 1 from an AOL search
  • 94 different keyword phrases were used to find the site
  • several top rankings, including a #2 for tortoise mating, a #10 for Galapagos Climate, and a #12 for the non-specific phrase "different plants".

Since I don't have any ads on the blog (yet), the site has made no earnings. But 141 visitors from search engines within less than 3 weeks from public domain content that I cut-and-pasted isn't bad at all. And remember, I used just one chapter from the book. If I had used all 21 chapters, perhaps I would have received 2,961 visitors. And what I did the same for 10 public domain books of similar size? Then the total would have been almost 30,000 visitors in just over two weeks. Now we are talking significant traffic.

Of course, this experiment in public domain web content is not completely fair. Based on my experience building web content and search engine optimization (SEO), I did a number of things to help improve my chances of success. I am going to continue to research and experiment with public domain web content. Look forward for more from me on the topic in future.

Tomorrow I head off on vacation for two weeks, to the Galapagos Islands! My wife and I are very excited about this trip, and plan to take many, many photos. Look forward to stories and photos on the Galapagos Travel Blog. So far the only entries on the blog were made way back in the 1800s by Charles Darwin, when he first arrived in the Galapagos (partly this is just for fun, and partly it is an experiment in public-domain web content). You will probably have to wait until I return for the stories and photos from 2007.

This is the second of two entries on "Master Resale Rights". The first arcticle was about buying master resale rights. This article will focus on the perspective of the seller. If you have created an information product, what are the pros and cons of selling master resale rights to it? Is it a good idea?

So you have created your own information product (ebook, report, software, video, etc.). You are ready to sell the product to the masses. You have probably noticed that some information sellers also offer master resale rights (MRR) as an additional "one time offer". It seems like an opportunity to make even more money, doesn't it? Well, sometimes, but no always.

If you are considering selling master resale rights to your product, the first thing you should consider is your main goal with the product. Often times, maximizing earnings will be the goal. Sometimes, however, building an email list, or building a reputation for yourself, may be a strong secondary goal, or even the primary goal. Selling master resale rights can affect both types of goals in different ways.

Offering master resale rights gives you a quick and easy opportunity to boost your earnings. The product is complete, and it doesn't take much additional effort to sell the master resale rights. Plus you can often sell the MRR for several times more than the cost of the product. This can add up to some healthly "back-end" profits. I read recently from an experienced Internet marketer that he was earning twice as much on the back-end offer compared to the original offer. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it? Well, it's not. If you think deeper about it, its actually more complicated than that.

When you sell master resale rights, you are usually giving people 2 options: 1) promote your product via your affiliate program (no cost to them) or 2) buy the master resale rights and resell the product directly, cutting you out of the picture all together. Under the first scenario, you don;t earn anything for the MRR, but you may still make money if the person promotes your product via the affiliate program. If they buy the MRR, you make some money selling the rights, but you get zero for every item they resell -- in other words if they turn around and resell 1,000 copies of your product, you don't get any of that money -- plus you don't get any new subscribers to your email list either.

Which brings us back to your goal. If you have a strong goal to build your email list, selling master resale rights may not be 100% in line with that goal, for the reasons described above. However, if your goal is to build a reputation for yourself, selling MRR may be a very good idea. When you sell master resale rights, it makes it more attractive for successful Internet Marketers (the ones with really big email lists!) to promote your product. Why? For the same reason described in the previously paragraph. They have big mailing lists and they know they can sell a lot of your product. They also know that if they buy the master resale rights, they can also make more money by reselling the MRR themselves on the back-end. Bottom line: since they know they can make more money reselling your product (via MRR) than via your affiliate program, it becomes more attractive to promote your product. And don't underestimate the value of building your reputation (even if you earn $0 and get zero emails). In Internet Marketing, reputation and trust are very important, especially when you are just starting out.

In summary, selling master resale rights to your products can earn you more, or less, money. And it may result is less opt-ins to your email list, but at the same time it will make your product more attractive for others to promote. For the reasons discussed above, I think it is a good idea to think long and hard about your goals before deciding whether or not to sell master resale rights.

Oh, by the way, have you claimed your free list building eBook yet?

This is the first of two entries on "Master Resale Rights". This article will focus on the perspective of the buyer. What should be considered when contemplating buying master resale rights? Is it a good idea?

You may have seen information products (eBooks, reports, videos, etc.) that off an option to buy master resale rights (MRR) for the product. The general defintiion of master resale rights is that they enable you to resell the product and resell the master resale rights to others. In practice, however, "master resale rights" can mean different things, so it makes good sense to delve into the details, if provided. Some "rights" questions to consider:

  • Can you resell the product directly?
  • Can you re-brand the product?
  • Can you modify the contents of the product?
  • Do the MRR include the salesletter, images, and other marketing materials?
  • Can you give away the product for free?
  • Can you resell the MRR as well as the product itself?

In most cases, master resale rights include the sales materials, and enable you to resell or giveaway the product, and resell the MRR -- but do not allow re-branding or modifying the product itself.

Is it a good idea to buy Master Resale Rights?

The answer to this question is: maybe. It depends on a number of factors. You first need to decide what your goal will be in promoting the product. In most cases, you will have the option to promote the product via an affiliate program, by sending people to the vendor's web site. So one consideration, or goal, may be to earn the most money. Another common goal is to use the MRR to help build your own mailing list (either by selling it or giving it away).

If your goal is to maximize your earnings, you need weigh the expected sales revenue against the cost of the master resale rights. For example, suppose the MRR will cost you $47 and you will earn $7 on each sale of the product. That means you would need to sell at least 7 copies of the product in order to recoup your cost. If you don't think you can sell that many, then you are probably better promoting the product via the affiliate program (which you can usually join for no cost). Another consideration, is the potential for "one-time-offer" or back-end sales. In many cases, you would offer each buyer an offer in which they can buy the MRR themselves. Not everyone will take this offer, but some will. This can dramatically increase your earns potential. For example if 7 people buy product for $7, and two of them buy the MRR as well for $47, you have now earned $143, which is three times as much as you would have earned using the affiliate program (assuming it pays 100% commissions of $7 each). So you need to think about how many people you think will take the offer and buy the master resale rights from you. It depends on the product and prices involved, but if you think you can sell a substantial number, doing so via the MRR might earn you a lot more money. And you can build your own email list in the process, and you can earn future sales and commissions from mailing to your list.

Another thing to consider is your time and effort. If the buy the master resale rights, you have to do some work to setup a site to sell the product and MRR. Even if you can use the vendor's salesletter, you still need to integrate into your own payment methods, insert your mailing list subscription form, etc. This takes time and effort. Make sure that you can make enough sales to make the effort worth your while.

If your primary goal is list building, then buying the master resale rights is the way to go. There are two options here. You can sell the product and have buyers opt-in to your mailing list in the process, OR, you can give the product away for free if they subscribe to your list. The latter will have a higher conversion rate, as more people will go for a free offer. As such, you will build your list faster, but you won't earn any money from direct sales of the product. I chose this last option a few days ago. I bought the Master Resale Rights for List Blueprint, an eBook about list building, and I give it away for free to people who confirm their subscription to my new mailing list. Get your free copy of List Blueprint here.

In summary, buying Master Resale Rights (MRR) can be a good idea if you think you can sell a significant number of products and if you have the time and knowledge to setup a site and integrate payment methods to do so. On the other hand, if you think you can only sell a few items, then sign up for the affiliate program, it is fast an easy to get started, and usually free.

I have been doing Internet Marketing full-time for several years. Starting with SEO consulting and building from there, I now provide Internet Marketing consulting services and my own web site generate 10,000,000 page view per month.

While I have a lot of experience with SEO, PPC, conversion optimization, blogging, and more -- I have never put the effort into creating and building an email subscription list. Until now. I recently bought an eBook on the subject of email listing building and I was very impressed with the techniques revealed in the book. I am on a mission to start implementing those techniques in order to start building my own list. The mailing list is called "Internet Money", and it will cover a broad range of topics that can help you make money on the Internet. I have learned a lot in recent years, and now it is time for me to share some of that knowledge with you.

The eBook is called List Blueprint, and I was so impressed by it that I bought the rights so I can give away a copy of it to those who subscribe to Internet Money. All you have to do is subscribe and confirm your email address, and as my gift to you, you will be able to download List Blueprint absolutely free.

Click here to get your Free List Building eBook.

Or, if you prefer to pay for the eBook, you can purchase List Blueprint by clicking here.

Please fill out the form to subscribe to my new Internet Money mailing list. I quit my job two years ago to make money on the Internet full time. In the process I have learned a lot about search engine optimization, traffic generation, blogging, pay-per-click advertising, affiliate marketing, lead generation, conversion optimization, and more. My web sites currently get over 10,000,000 pages views every month. In the Internet Money mailing list, I will begin to share some of the tips and lessons that I have learned about making money on the internet. Please fill out the form below to subscribe:

First Name:
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I hate SPAM as much as you do, and will never sell or rent your contact information to anyone else.

I have just released my first information product, a 30-page report called "Double Your PPC Profits":

I have been managing Pay-Per-Click campaigns for almost 4 years. I manage campaigns for my own web sites, and professionally for my clients. I have learned a lot in the process. I have tried and tested everything under the sun, and measured the results. I am constantly tweaking, constantly improving things. After hundreds of hours of experience and testing, I have core set of 7 powerful techniques that have a HUGE impact on profits.

For more information about the Double Your PPC Profits report, click here.