IMA – A Review of Internet Marketing Apprentice

Is this the site that has all you need?

Membership sites are still going strong this year and for good reason – a good membership site can have all the tools and resources you need to get your internet business up and running and making money. The only reason that often they don’t is that you go flitting from one site or ptoject to another (like I used to) and don’t get on and follow the suggestions, plans or programs that these excellent sites offer.

Mind you, they are not all excellent sites, but most are run by people who with integrity and who want to do all they can to get you making money and living the same lifestyle of freedom that they themselves have. SO how do you know if a particular membership site will be one of the good ones?

Here are a few pointers to help you decide:

  • Does the site just seem to be a product with a download area and an optin box for your email?
  • Is there a whole lot of hype and trumpet blowing and very little factual information about what is included?
  • Does the advertising tell you up front that the “free” offering is just a lead in and once you sign up, you’ll have to pay a fee, perhaps a monthly fee, to have any real benefit?

Now, don’t get me wrong  – there is nothing wrong with a membership site that has a monthly fee and offers great value for that fee – I belong to a few of them myself – but they have always been open and honest up front about the pricing structure, letting you decide beforehand whether this is for you.

So, here are some clues that a membership site you are considering is good value:

  • Are you offered something that you deem to be good value before you are even asked for any cash? Especially important for those who are in their early stages and don’t have much to spare yet.
  • What sort of training is on offer?
  • Is it at a level appropriate for your stage of learning? Some sites will only offer basic stuff, while others will bamboozle a beginner, maybe putting them off forever.
  • What other resources are provided? Can you get products to sell, resell, brand or rewrite & make your own?
  • Do they help you get traffic to your sites? After all, the best website ever won’t make any money if nobody sees it!

OK, enough of my views – I want to tell you about a new membership site started by a guy I’ve learned to trust, Randy Smith and his partner Craig Dawber. It’s called Internet Marketing Apprentice (or IMA for short) and it incorporates all the elements I’ve told you to look out for in a good membership site. You can get free coaching newsletters sent every 7 days and you don’t need to pay anything for that.

 

However, for those who are ready for more, there many aspects to the membership.

Read more

Computer Crash! Prevent Loss of Your Valuable Data

Have you ever had a computer crash and all your data was lost?

Most likely your computer’s hard drive failed & this happens more frequently than we’d like and for all sorts of reasons. Another major risk to your data is fire, flood or theft. The following strategies will help you to protect and recover your data.

Although the software files for the programs that run on your computer is also data, you don’t need to back that up as it is easily recoverable from the installation disks you received when software is purchased.

The data that we will focus on is “user” data specifically, the data that you create from the software programs that run on your computer.

For example, if a word processor is used to create a document or a letter, the word processor provides functions to save this data. The data that is created and saved through the word processor is “user” data. Most programs will create and save data somewhere on the hard drive.

There are many kinds of user data that are usually stored on the hard drive, do you have some of these?

  • letters you write in a word processors
  • flyers / posters for your clubs
  • business cards
  • spreadsheets
  • greeting cards you’ve made
  • accounting data from a money management program
  • picture files
  • music files
  • video files
  • email and email addresess

This is not a complete list, but to give you an idea of what you might have created and could lose if your computer crashed or in a fire or theft. Most people do not pay enough attention to this basic fact about computer systems until it’s too late. Don’t let this happen to you!

Remember, the key is “prevention” and in order to prevent loss of valuable data you must be prepared, so let’s look at some basic backup plans.

Option 1: Save your data to CD or DVD disks
This is by far the cheapest option and a very good approach to securing user data, especially if you don’t have too much. All that is needed is a CD or DVD burner and some blank disks, which cost very little these days.

When using this option, make two copies so that one of the copies can be stored off site, to protect you against fire, flood & theft. Another reason is that a CD or DVD backup can also become corrupted & it’s better to have two or more copies.

Option 2: Use a memory stick (USB stick)
This will cost a bit more than option 1, but USB sticks are getting cheaper & cheaper all the time, and holding more data as well. One advantage is how small they are and easy to carry around. I bought a waterproof one when they first came out for my client’s data and was very glad I did so, as it went through the wash twice and still worked fine! (I did have other backups though & I still use that drive today!.)

Option 3: Consider having two internal hard drives, especially if you have a lot of user data, especially big pictures or music files.

Most home computers generally all come with only one internal hard drive, which stores both software and user data. This means that this one single hard drive is experiencing a lot of wear and tear. Every time a program is launched it’s being accessed. Every single function that the operating system invokes will likely hit the hard drive etc. This heavy wear and tear can eventually lead to physical failures.

Also, many viruses are designed to hit the operating system & if the user data is on the same physical drive as the operating system, then it can be severely impacted by viruses as well. The disadvantage of this method is that it doesn’t protect you from fire, flood or theft, etc, but it is probably the easiest way to automate backing up your files.

Option 4: Attach an external USB Hard Drive to the system

With the price of hard drives getting much cheaper, this is another really good option. By attaching an external USB hard drive to the system, special backup programs can be installed and scheduled to run over night. There are many cost effective backup programs available. Some will be built into your operating system and others are available free – search on the internet and you’ll find plenty of options. The advantage of the external drive is that your work is still physically separated from the main hard drive and can be taken off-site with you.

Option 5: Online backup service
The services are fairly inexpensive (typically about $5 a month), and the best ones won’t noticeably slow down your PC use or Web browsing (after the initial large upload, at least). They also encrypt your data before, during, and after it’s been sent to industrial-strength servers. There are no discs or USB drives to worry about, either. The service can start processing and uploading files automatically on a schedule or in the background when there are enough free cycles available.

How often should you make backups?

This really depends on what your data is. If you are only using your computer for emails and writing letters, perhaps once a week is sufficient. When you’re doing work for someone else, it’s wise to keep doing incremental backups as you go, every ten minutes, every hour perhaps. It’s a decision you need to make for your personal circumstances. I personally do my backups before I go away from my work area and every night. The main thing is, remember to DO IT!

Summary

  • You need to backup your user data in case of computer crash or fire or theft
  • Back-up frequently, as often as needed to make it easy to restore your work to where you were
  • Use at least two different methods
  • Keep one copy of your backup data away from the computer (prevent loss if fire or theft)

Hopefully this helped you become more aware of the importance of your data and the need to back it up.

The options presented here are the very same methods used by many highly experience data processing centers and can be easily adopted by the average computer user. The most important point to remember is that good planning for potential disasters is the best protection against loss of valuable user data. You may not think of it this way at first but the user data that you accumulate on your computer takes time to build up and acquire.

If you value your time then you’ll value your data. Your data has a lot of value. So why not take a few simple steps to protect it.

Planning & Action

Yesterday I spoke about not getting things I want to achieve done. Since then I’ve been thinking about this and have written down the steps I’ve taken during periods when I have been very productive. These are not my original ideas, but those I’ve found from reading books & listening to the advice of successful people.

I guess most of us know what works, or would work for us if we put it into practice, but the knowing and the doing are not the same, are they? When we lead busy lives, it is easy to get caught up in just doing what comes up and we feel we don’t have time to sit down and plan anything. This is a reminder that if we plan, we achieve more.

Plan and take action

  1. Make a list then mark the items in order of importance
  2. Focus on one thing at a time.
  3. Start with the most important/urgent thing on your list, complete it and cross it off
  4. Continue working down the list, completing & crossing off – feels good, doesn’t it?
  5. At the end of the day, put any unfinished items onto a new list along with tasks for the next day.

Take a look at your to-do list and consider what you can eliminate or pass on to someone else.

Learn to say no to nonessential tasks. If you have work plans in place, you’ll be more easily able to say “I’m sorry, but I can’t fit that in today”¦ this week¦month!

If you find yourself eagerly ‘administrating’ instead of ‘just getting on with it’, you’re probably procrastinating. Try some of these ways to stop “putting it off!.

  • Begin with a task you enjoy.
  • Avoid being a perfectionist.
  • Eliminate time wasting activities e.g. Housework (my favourite!)
  • Plan your time and stick to the plan where you can.
  • Break difficult or ‘boring’ work into sections. This allows you to approach a large task as a series of manageable parts.

Have a productive day!