For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Online Banking Advantages and Disadvantages

February 28th, 2009

Click here to view great bank rates at MoneyAisleWith the advent of a commercialized Internet and electronic payment systems, over the past few years we have seen a shift toward more financial institutions offering various services online. Most major banks are now offering some type of online portal where customers can check account activity and perform basic transactions. In this article, I will briefly summarize the advantages and disadvantages of online banking so that you can determine whether or not this might be feasible for your situation.

Here are the primary advantages of doing your banking online:

  1. You can access your account at any time of the day and are no longer confined to conventional business hours. Instead of having to adjust your personal schedule to conform to the restrictive hours of branch offices, you can check your balance and perform most transactions online from the comfort of your home. For cash withdrawals, you might need to walk a few blocks to find an ATM, but even this can be done at “odd” hours like 2 AM or 3 AM when the machine is most likely to be unoccupied.

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BestBuy.com Affiliate Program Information

February 27th, 2009

Buy Online - Pick Up at Best Buy StoreToday I was accepted into the Best Buy affiliate program, bringing the total of advertiser approvals through Commission Junction to 105. Since this one happens to be a particularly well-known retailer, I figured that I might as well pass on the information contained in the welcome letter so that prospective affiliates can get an idea of what is possible with this program. As you can see, the commission rates are relatively low compared to Clickbank or other similar networks that specialize in digital products; however, the advantage is that companies like Best Buy have a higher degree of name recognition and trust from mainstream consumers, which means that with the right kind of targeting, it is possible to generate a much higher overall sales volume.

Welcome aboard the BestBuy.com Affiliate Program, and congratulations! We’re excited to have you in our network and look forward to building a strong, lucrative partnership. Below is a summary of Best Buy and our Affiliate Program, along with links for you to post on your site right away. Start earning commissions today!

The “Best” of Best Buy

  1. The #1 consumer electronics retailer, we’re the most sought after and trusted brand.
  2. BestBuy.com is the most trafficked website for consumer electronics and appliances.
  3. In-store pickup accounts for more than 1/3 of our affiliate sales. Plus, we guarantee orders are ready in the store within five minutes, or customers receive $10 off.
  4. The thousands of customer ratings and reviews on our site can lift conversion and increase average order values.
  5. Many of your customers are Reward Zone members. Members earn 1 point for nearly every $1 spent at BestBuy.com. For every 250 points earned, members receive a $5 reward certificate.
  6. Best Buy has high customer satisfaction.

With all the benefits Best Buy has to offer, your sales potential with us is limitless!

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A New World of Choice in Car Fuel

February 26th, 2009

This article by Kim Terek proposes an idea for something that I have wanted to see for a long time — multiple alternatives in the area of automotive fuels that would provide consumers with a range of options as opposed to everyone being dependent on only one primary energy source. As articles go, the tone seems a bit idealistic, but the first major step toward progress in these areas is to raise awareness of the issue and get people thinking about it.

Not surprisingly, I am somewhat less thrilled about the “government assistance” part of the proposal. Frankly, the best thing that government can do is to stay out of the way and quit subsidizing certain industries over others so that the various fuel alternatives can compete on a reasonably level playing field in order to maximize efficiency and economic freedom. Meanwhile, if you don’t really care about any of this and just want to find a good price on a new or used car that is available to buy in your local area, you can click on one of the two banners in this article and visit our latest advertiser CarTalking.com for research and discussion on the best deals.

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Top Burgers in Chicago: The Best and the Beefiest

February 25th, 2009

rosebud-steakhouse-burger-chicago.jpgThis article by Elizabeth Kelly on the best Chicago burgers could be considered a follow-up to my previously published piece about places of interest in Chicago even though this one was written by a different author. It’s also one of the very few articles that actually made me hungry during the proofreading phase; it’s been a long time since I have been to a high quality hamburger restaurant.

Meanwhile, in the fourth paragraph there is also an interesting misplaced modifier which seems to imply that someone’s wife packed his sandwich and thermos in a hedge. Although I usually rewrite these types of sentences automatically even when they are coming from other authors, I decided to leave this one unedited just for humorous effect.

Chicago may be famous for its pizza, but the city’s best-kept secret may be its burgers. Whether you’re more at home with valet parking or driving up to a window, there’s a juicy treasure of a burger to please every palate and pocketbook. Come along on a tasty tour of the Windy City’s best beefy offerings. You won’t find soybean burgers or trendy sprouts on these buns. We’re talking about the real thing for real burger lovers. Warning: you might want to loosen your belt.

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Karlonia Approved for ThinkGeek.com Affiliate Program

February 24th, 2009

Hacked And Frayed Spy Flash DriveYesterday I managed to get approved for ThinkGeek.com, one of the many affiliate programs available under the Commission Junction network. Think Geek is an online store that sells a multitude of creative gadgets designed for technically oriented folks who are passionate about computer lore. From the randomly beeping “annoyatron” to binary clocks and blankets, this site has something that will appeal to almost everyone in this particular genre. They even have a “hacked and frayed” USB cable that is actually a fully functional flash drive, which happens to be the product displayed by the square banner in the upper left corner of this page. You can click on this banner to read the full description or check out the rest of the ThinkGeek.com site.

Meanwhile, here is the approval email that I received earlier:

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Information on Debt Consolidation Companies

February 23rd, 2009

Quicken Personal FinanceThis article from my debt consolidation pack provides an overview of what this service is, how it can help you, and what its primary advantages are. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for some debt consolidation companies to assist you in reducing your hassles along with your liabilities, you can check out Quicken.com, which can be reached by clicking through on the banner to the left. All you need to do is fill out their simple online form to get started.

A debt consolidation loan simply means consolidation of all your debt under a single lender. This debt is usually secured but in certain cases if the debt consolidation company feels that a person has a good credit standing it may not insist on security.

There are many debt consolidation companies in the market that will negotiate with your lenders and close the outstanding debts that you have with them. Such outstanding amounts are then transferred to the debt consolidation company that has negotiated on your behalf. This strategy is especially useful if you want to repay your debt from credit cards because the rates on these are usually higher than those charged for unsecured personal loans.

Important advantages of debt consolidation are:

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Search Query Sunday, 53rd Edition

February 22nd, 2009

search-traffic-statistics-53.jpgThis week I finally registered with the Commission Junction network, giving me access to many more merchants and products to use for affiliate promotions. There are literally hundreds of different advertisers residing under the CJ umbrella; attempting to provide a full description and analysis of them all is simply not feasible due to “information overload”. Each advertiser must be applied to separately before we are allowed to promote or post affiliate links, so I went down the list and applied to several of them that looked like they might fit with this site’s current mix of topics.

So far I have received 80 approvals, including several in the “credit cards” and “personal loans” categories, which should provide some interesting monetization options for my finance-related articles. Meanwhile, search traffic remains strong, with over 5,200 visitors for last week coming in on 2,963 separate keywords. Here is a sample of the queries that can be feasibly answered:

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How to Link Directly to Product Pages with LinkShare

February 21st, 2009

Over the past few weeks, I have noticed that many people from the search engines who were landing on my other LinkShare pages have been asking various questions about linking directly to product pages with this particular affiliate network. For those who have not already seen it, I may be able to provide somewhat of an answer for these folks by relaying a relevant excerpt from an email newsletter that the company sent out earlier this week.

In this newsletter, there is a section called “LinkBuilder Review” that mentions direct product linking as an upcoming feature for publishers and explains the method by which advertisers can do this currently. I have reprinted this section below; meanwhile, if you need to join LinkShare in order to gain access to the affiliate programs under its umbrella, you can do so after clicking through on the banner that appears after the end of this paragraph.

LinkShare Referral Prg

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What Is HTML and What Is It Used For?

February 20th, 2009

www-html-introduction.jpgThis introductory article from my Computers and Internet pack provides a brief overview of what HTML is and what it is used for. It is not an actual tutorial that shows you how to “do” HTML; that particular topic will be covered in later articles. However, it does explain some information about the advent of the World Wide Web and traces the development of HTML up to the beginning of the 21st century.

Presentation of HTML

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a language called “marking” (from “structuring” or “markup”) whose role is to formalize writing a document with formatting tags. The tags can indicate how it must be submitted on paper, and they also establish links with other documents. HTML allows reading documents on the Internet from different machines, thanks to the HTTP protocol, allowing network access to documents identified by unique addresses known as URLs.

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Introduction to Laptop Computers and Their Features

February 19th, 2009

This rather lengthy article on the various components of laptop computers is one that I managed to acquire from one of those infamously anonymous authors from the DigitalPoint forums. Although the English usage in the original copy was rather choppy in places, I was able to salvage it by applying my editing and proofreading skills. Meanwhile, the image to the left links to the Acer Aspire One AOA150-1447 8.9-Inch Netbook, which is currently one of the most popular laptops available at Amazon. Of course, you can also choose from several other models after clicking through to the page.

Relegated a few years ago to primarily office use, the laptop now has a capacity for processing and storage that is close to the desktop, allowing it to easily provide cutting-edge multimedia functions such as DVD, video games, 3D image processing, and many others. Although the price of a laptop remains higher than that of a desktop computer because of its mobility, its use is also more diverse as it can be taken almost anywhere.

However, given its small footprint, most parts of the laptop are integrated and can be changed, which is why it is necessary to choose its features and technical specifications according to what you actually want to do with it. An additional advantage is that the integration of all parts by the manufacturer minimizes the risk of conflicts due to incompatible hardware.

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Places of Interest in Rome, Italy

February 18th, 2009

roman-colosseum.jpgAlthough it is probably best known for having been an ancient empire, the modern city of Rome, Italy still sports many notable places of interest for travelers and tourists, many of which are left over from ancient or Renaissance times. This brief article by Eru Chawla highlights four of the things you might want to see if you ever have the chance to visit this Italian capital.

In case you are really pondering to delve deeper into the European cultural ruins, Rome is definitely the best option available to you. Being home of the Vatican and the seat of Roman Catholicism, the city is known to be linked with Christianity since the days of the Roman Empire.

Located in the Italian peninsula, it can be spotted towards the central-western region, where the Tibet River and Aniene River meet.

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