Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Learn How to Write an iPhone App the Easy Way

Learn How To Develop an iPhone App
Have you ever thought about writing an iPhone application? If so then today I came across an excellent how to write an iPhone app ebook that takes you through all the stages of developing an iPhone application from start to finish.

The Apple iPhone App Store and its Apps are one of the hottest things in early adoption technology at the moment. People have been making an absolute killing writing simple fun applications such as iFart (that simply makes a farting sound when you press a button) and achieving something half as popular would be amazing.

Just imaging coming up with a an idea for a very simple but fun app and you spend a few evenings putting it together and then get it uploaded to the app store. Two weeks later it gets a few mentions on some techy forums and before you know it the app has gone viral! It sells for 99c and you make a small amount for each sale but the sales are going crazy. Before you know it each of those little pieces is amounting to a nice little earner.

That is just a pipe dream but it shows what is possible with a good idea and a bit of luck. I am definitely going to get started on learning how to develop applications for the iPhone and the ebook looks to take away the pain of starting from scratch on your own.

I'll keep you posted how I get on with my iPhone app development and I will be making it one of my lifes challenges to get an application on the app store!

If you are starting out in iPhone development please leave me a message and let me know how you are getting on! I'd love to hear from you - good or bad.

Friday, 23 October 2009

American airlines wifi promotion code for gogo wifi internet

If you are flying on american airlines before new years eve 2009 and the plane has wifi you should be able to use this promotion code to get free wifi on a mobile device. I dont think it works for laptops but you can try it. I used it via my iphone.

Its fantastic being able to fly and surf! In fact i am flying right now as i post this blog entry! :-)

here is the code folks! Enjoy....


Monday, 12 October 2009

My blog makes the mile high club!

I am blogging 35,000 feet above Chicago on my iphone using wifi internet on an american airlines flight to San Diego from Chicago. I must say its fantastic and its just like when you got to send your first ever email for some reason. Its a bit of a novelty but pretty soon I'm sure all planes will offer it. Best of all its free at the moment as a trial.

The price going forward looks to be $7.95. If i was on a long flight its deffo a great time killer to ease the boredom! This is the second part of our journey from the UK. I wish we had it coming over the pond! 8 hours is a drag.

I even tried a skype call. We managed a few words but it kept dropping out. Not to worry though because the Internet flies!

Off to try some YouTube streaming now!!! :-)

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Have You Ever Thought of Making Money Online Utilising Your Existing Development Skills?

As you are a reader of this blog then there is a pretty good chance you have some involvement with software development or web development. If not, don't worry as it may be very useful for you too.

What I would like to know is have you ever asked yourself the question:

"What if there was a way for me to earn some extra money online utilising my existing skill set?"

As you already probably realise there are hundreds upon thousands of people making a living online. You may therefore be quite surprised that a lot of these people are doing nothing more than blogging and building lists of readers in order to do this.

Surprised? - I was!

Assuming you are a developer or techy person of some sort, I would like to maybe open you eyes to the surprisingly simply ways to making some extra money online doing nothing more than simply utilising what you already know AND by using totally free methods.

Many people making money online often started out with zero knowledge about the Internet and many of them still have a very small amount of knowledge about its actual 'workings'. Coming from the techy side of things you will already have a massive leg-up in the knowledge stakes. All you need to do is learn how to leverage those skills to make money online.

There are many ways to make money online and these are the key business models as I see it:

1. You do work for someone to provide a service such as creating a website, artwork, software etc.

2. You sell/promote other peoples product and take a cut of the commission when it sells (this is affiliate marketing).

3. You put things such as AdSense and banners on your website to drive traffic to other peoples websites.

4. You train people to be able to do things themselves to learn how to work online (coaching)

5. You sell your own product or service online.

Personally, I have focused on affiliate marketing and AdSense and have experienced varied levels of success. It is also these two areas that I feel you should really look into too!!

Over a period of several months I had been trying to get my head around it all in between my day job and hectic life but it was not until recently that I actually 'got it' and things started clicking into place. The person I have to thank for this is David Bocock.

Until 2 months ago I had never heard of David and I actually came across him by accident whilst reading some Internet marketing forums.

I had already tried several courses (unsuccessfully) and although I understood what it was telling me I had trouble joining the dots so to speak. I was getting really fed up with trying to make things work and decided to give David a shot as my last chance saloon. All I can say is I am so glad I did.

David'd course is so cheap (just $29) I can't get over how good it is! The value for money is simply amazing. For less than the price of good self teach book he provides over 15 hours of video training - and this is constantly expanding as he adds new ones. You are taken from the basics all the way through everything you need to know.

You may still be wondering how this could possibly benefit you? Well just imagine for a moment what learning these simple techniques to do for you? What could a bit of extra cash a month help with? Money towards bills? Eating out at a nice restaurant? Funding a deposit on a new car or house? The possibilities are endless.

You may be thinking you already have a decent income and don't need to do this. Well I can understand you feeling that way but what if I told you that from applying just ONE of the simple techniques I learnt in David's course to a blog that I own I am now making 8-10 sales per month consistently from a single blog post? This is now running on auto pilot and will do for the foreseeable future.

Those sales are now paying for my car and home insurance. That money is now freed up to be used for other 'fun' things. Just from doing something that took approximately 15 mins I utilised something I already had and monetised it. I was blown away when it worked. :o)

So, here is the bottom line. If you would like to make some extra easy cash from your existing skill set then go and take a look at David's Internet Marketing Course. The course is also backed with a money back guarantee so there is absolutely nothing to lose from trying it. The choice is yours!

So to finish - David, if you happen to be reading this, then thank you for creating your course - its wicked! :)

5 Visual Studio 2010 New Features You Will Find Handy

Below are five Visual Studio 2010 new features that I feel are excellent additions to the product. On the whole I don't think the release is a massive revamp (apart from the user interface being redeveloped using WPF). It is more an enhancement of what was there before with some nice bells and whistles added in.

1. Multiple Config Files

I think one of the handiest new features is the ability to have multiple configuration files for different deployments! I currently find it a massive pain in the ass to have to maintain or update the config based on the deployment - LIVE and DEV for example. It is so easy to miss something - especially if someone else is performing an update to an unfamiliar or inherited system.

2. Detachable Code Windows

The ability to drag code windows from the main Visual Studio Interface and onto another monitor for example. This means you can work on multiple code windows at once if you have more than one monitor! A great little productivity enhancement.

3. Variable Highlighting

On selecting a variable in your code all other instances of that variable are highlighted. This speeds up finding things and therefore readability.

4. Change Tracking

This is just like in Word when you switch on change tracking / revisions. If you make a change to an area of code you are given the solid line at the edge of the code window. This is very helpful to show you where any modifications have been made to code.

5. Historical Debugging

Historical debugging is a very nice feature! Switching it on will make things slower but if you are looking for a needle in a haystack when searching for a bug - especially if you were debugging events for example then this feature will prove invaluable.

What it basically does is record your execution path and call stack etc and if your program falls over you can simply go back through the recording to show what happened and where. This eliminates having to set breakpoints etc. and re-run the code. Nice!!

I am sure there are a ton more handy little tweaks but these are just 5 I have liked so far.

Visual Studio 2010 Download and Video Training

If you are like me and are itching to get hold of the Visual Studio 2010 download to get up to speed with all the new enhancements then below is the link you can follow to go and get it.

Visual Studio 2010 is still in BETA release so you could see some minor changes in the full release but if you are keen to get ahead of the game it will help you get up to speed before it hits the shelves.

If you are looking for some video training to help you get the most out of Visual Studio then I highly recommend you drop by Learn Visual Studio.Net and take a look through their latest videos covering Visual Studio 2010 and .Net 4.0 (plus about 500 others to go at).

The LVS video training is top notch and if you have an iPhone like myself then you will be pleased to know they have also produced the videos in mp4 format that makes them perfect for small screens. Dead handy for making best use of that time on the bus or train!

Anyway... the download link - As of writing this post here is the latest Visual Studio 2010 Download. As I pointed out this is currently the BETA release.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Solar Eclipse 2009 Video - June 21st 2009

I went to see the total solar eclipse in Turkey back in 2006 and it was awesome with perfect weather conditions! I would tell anyone that given half a chance they should get to see one at least once in their lives! Id love to see another and as soon as one is within a decent travelling distance im all over it.

There was one that passed over Asia in the early hours but its taken me a while to find decent footage of it. Looks like they had a bit of cloud just at the wrong time but still you make out the corona etc..

So if you want to see a video of the event here is the site where i found it!


Error: Lightbox is 'undefined' when using Lightbox from Flash on IIS

Today I came across an issue with Lightbox (the javascript image gallery) and after ages of trying to find out what it was everyone seemed to be saying the problem was in the JavaScript and how it was called.

The thing that made me think otherwise was the exact same website was working perfectly on another server which was Linux. After looking around the code I noticed the lightbox file was called lightbox++.js

Every time you clicked on an image in the gallery I got the Error: Lightbox is 'undefined' and in FireFox - 'Lightbox is not defined.

On a hunch i tried entering the path in the lightbox.js file into the address bar and IIS said the file didn't exist! I then had a lightbulb moment.

IIS doesn’t seem to like the + character in the lightbox++.js file name and wouldn’t serve up the file so I renamed to lightbox.js and updated the reference in the calling page and bingo! It works fine.

So if you get the Error: Lightbox is 'undefined' message and are using a Windows server and IIS then don't use + in the file name!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Visual Studio 2010 Release Date and VS2010 Video Training

Visual Studio 2010 is currently at the Beta Test stage but already the excitement to the release date is growing. The actual official Visual Studio 2010 release date is still to be announced but it is currently expected to ship early in Q1 of 2010.

If you are looking to get ahead of the game and get to grips with some of the new features of Visual Studio 2010, then I highly recommend you head over to LearnVisualStudio.Net. As always, LVS have stayed with the latest cutting edge technologies and have already produced their first series of training materials for Visual Studio 2010 to get its members up to speed quickly.

In the first series there are 6 videos providing around 2 hours of video based training. The topics they cover are:

  • Visual Studio 2010 .Net 4.0 Language Enhancements

  • Visual Studio 2010 C#4.0 Specific Language Enhancements

  • Visual Studio 2010 ASP.Net 4.0 Web Forms Routing

  • Visual Studio 2010 ASP.Net AJAX 4.0 Binding

  • Visual Studio 2010 ASP.Net AJAX 4.0 Observer

There is plenty there to whet the appetite and more are being produced as we speak. If you are not a member of LVS and would like to know more please ask any questions in the comment box below.

Here is the link for the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta download.

As soon as the official Visual Studio 2010 Release Date is out I will put together a blog post about it.

So what are you looking forward to most in Visual Studio 2010?

Personally, I am very keen to check out the Microsoft Dublin component. If you have read any of my posts on Windows Workflow Foundation you will have seen the hassles I had in hosting the workflows. Well, Dublin is a component of Oslo (Microsofts new modelling framework), and it will be offered as a free tool shipped with VS2010 to enable you to host and monitor Workflows and WCF services.

If Dublin takes away a lot of the pain I went through with hosting Workflows in IIS then I will gladly look at using Workflow Foundation again. Since I first used it I have steered clear. Fingers crossed its all its cracked up to be.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Microsoft Windows 7 Release - Amazon Are Taking Pre-Orders of Windows 7

Amazon have just put Windows 7 for sale on a pre-order basis! Its officially released on 22 October. I've put the links to the various versions and stores for your convenience:

For you guys in the US:

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate

For everyone here in the UK here are the Amazon UK Links:

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium E

Windows 7 Professional E

Windows 7 Ultimate E

Tuesday, 30 June 2009 Sale - Learn .Net for peanuts with the 48 Hours Sale at

If you have followed my blog at all over the last couple of years you will have noticed I am a champion of

They offer a great training program and it is where I started out Learning .Net and it helped me massively getting started all the way though to holding my own in a .Net role.

If you are looking to learn .Net - either C# or VB.Net then I highly recommend these guys. Everything is done through the use of video (now setup to be iPhone friendly) and its so much better than reading a book. I have always been a visual learner so its great for me. As they say a picture paints a thousand words.

For the next 48 Hours they are running a sale giving you 30% off. A lifetime membership costs the equivalent of a couple of good books!

As always they follow the times and have recently released a new set of videos teachine Windows Presentation Foundation. Go fill yer boots! :o)

To check out their site visit the following link:

Learn Visual Studio .Net Sale

Any questions please post a comment. Don't hang around though if you are interested - the sale will be pulled at the end of the 30th June 2009.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Make Blogger Title More SEO Friendly

I was looking at some of the results from my blog in the search engines and noticed that owing to the length of my title the title pf the posts were simply not being displayed - hence probably not getting as many click throughs as it could.

I therefore had a search around and found the variables for setting descriptions etc from within blogger. If you look at my blog now you will notice that on the main URL it gives you the title but when you are viewing a post it gives you the title of the post!

This should make things stand out much better in the search engine results.

So here is the code you need to edit:

1. Go to the Edit HTML page from the layout tab in Blogger.
2. Look for the following in the header (should be very close to the top):

3. Now replace it with the following:

Job Done! It will now be interesting to see if I get an increase in traffic and possible ranking. If I do I will post about it.

Friday, 19 June 2009

New iPhone 3GS Internet Tethering

I am finally going to bite the bullet and move from the Nokia N95 to the new iPhone 3GS. I have fancied one for a while but not plumped for one as i didnt want another lengthy contact. However i am fed up with 3 mobile and their crappy network which is always dropping calls so time to move on. It wont cost me any extra per month so i shouldn't really feel a financial hit.

One of the things that stood out as very handy was the new tethering feature to use the iPhone as a modem. This looked a very attractive new feature. I knew the N95 could do it but this was just another feature to finally win me over.

This was until I saw the extra charges for using it! Bloody extortinate! £15 per month just to use the iPhone as a modem! This really pisses me off to be honest. Why doesnt the tethering usage come under your existing data and wifi usage!?????????

Even though, i will still probably get the iPhone but i wont be going for the tethering! I can get a USB dongle for £5 per month (it think) from Virgin media. My home internet connection for 10MB is only £20 per month! Just how they can justify £15 per month for effectively 3G connectivity is beyond me.

Can anyone tell me why they cant let you use your existing internet when tethered??? Or is it just another way to extract cash - pure and simple!??

Streaming MP4 to XBOX360

I you want stream MP4 video to your XBOX360 via Windows Media Player sharing I discovered when you browse to the folder with your MP4 files they dont appear as playable formats.

I found if you change the extension to AVI and then play part of the file in Wondows Media Player (this checks you have the right codecs etc) the video will appear and be streamed to your XBOX360.

You will probably have to back out of the menus on your XBOX360 (go back to the videos menu) and go back in to the folder first. The file list is then refreshed.

You can now stream MP4 files to your XBOX360! :o)

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Wealthy Affiliate University Trial Membership for $1

A few months ago I joined up with Wealthy Affiliate who are widely regarded as the Number One Internet Marketing Training Program. At the time I wanted to learn about affiliate marketing and how to try and make some extra cash online.

As its turned out I've gained a hell of a lot more out of it than just learning about Internet marketing. I have learned so many things about SEO, website optimisation, driving traffic to a website using free methods and how to use google AdWords and pay per click advertising.

I have still only scratched the surface with this and I'm loving every minute of the learning process. I have been able to take many of the things I have learnt into my work also so its a big win win for me.

Since joining up I have also made my first sale online and started to build up several websites. I can't recommend the training program enough so if you are looking to learn any of the above skills then get yourself over to Wealthy Affiliate.

The best bit however is they are about to run a trial membership for just $1 on June 1st. If you are even slightly interested in what I have posted then get yourself over on this date when the trial will be active. Be quick though as this is only going to be available to the first 1,000 people. I anticipate this filling up fast.

You wont find anything on the Wealthy Affiliate site at the moment as this is still pretty much hush hush. So get this in your diary for June 1st - you wont want to miss out.

Read more about the Wealthy Affiliate Dollar Trial here

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

C# Developer Jobs - C# Developer Leeds Required at Solutions

Solutions, the company I current work for, current have vacancies for C# Developer Jobs. They are looking for an ASP.Net C# Developer to work in our Leeds Office.

If you are interested in working on a wide variety of projects across the entire SDLC then this would be an ideal role for you.

If you have experience in C#, ASP.Net, VB.Net, OO and have 2+years of development experience then check out the role that is being offered.

If you are interested just follow the instructions on the page.

Visit here for more information on the C# Developer Role.

Friday, 1 May 2009

The Niche Informant - Micro Niche Finder Product

I have posted on my blog in the past about a product called Micro Niche Finder. Well, I still use it today and continue to find great value in it.

This post is about a new service that the makers of Micro Niche Finder have put together called The Niche Informant. In its simplest form it is a monthly package of 20 untapped and ripe niche markets just waiting to be exploited.

With the package you get keywords, private label rights articles to use how you see fit, competition analysis, market research and affiliate program details.

All in all for the $29.99 they are charging it is amazing value.

Instead of going into too much detail on here, if you want to find out more then head over to the link below for more info.

Click here to read a review on The Niche Informant

Monday, 20 April 2009

Facebook Phishing/SPOOF site alert - FaceBook Staff sent you a message

I received an email allegedly from "facebook staff" today saying they had sent me a message - along with the usual login to view your message.

Without thinking twice i clicked the link which too me to a facebook login page. I then noticed it wasn't on the facebook URL so straight away realised it was a phishing site.

I am used to simply ignoring Bank scams but this is the first facebook scam email I've had so was a little off guard. Luckily i didnt enter my details as i spotted the url. I think the first thing that made me double check is my email wasn't in the login box.

So beware people!!!!!! I have forwarded the email to facebook abuse so they can take it up.

Here is the email so you can see how it goes:

FaceBook Staff sent you a message.

To reply to this message, follow the link below:

This message was intended for FaceBook Staff. Want to control which emails you receive from Facebook? Go to:
Facebook's offices are located at 156 University Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

How to add a Blogger Adsense Policy - Googles new Privacy Policy T&Cs

On April 8th 2009 if you are running Adsense on your blog (or any website come javascript:void(0)to that) you will need to have updated your Blogger Adsense Policy.

If you are running Adsense on your website and do not have a Privacy Policy you are contravening Googles Terms and Conditions and risk having your account terminated.

They are not hard to put together and i got mine from which is a great blog about adsense.

The easiest way would be to take my privacy policy from here and tailor it your site. Its a two minute job.

What a lot of people have trouble with is knowing how to add a privacy policy to a blogger blog. Blogger isnt like Wordpress where you can add pages so you have to be a little more clever.

Heres how to do it:

1. Open my adsense policy from here here.
2. Copy and paste it into notepad.
3. Search and replce my url and replace it with yours.
4. Create a new post on your blog and paste it in.
5. Go to the post options at the bottom of the post window.
6. Set the date and time to before your first post date - i went for 01/01/01 00:00.
7. Add a tag called Privacy Policy
8. Submit the post.
9. Go to the blog categories and select the Privacy policy category.
10. This will display the post.
11. Click on the header to open the single post up.
12. Copy the url.

Now we are going to create a new area on your blog.

1. Go to the customize page on your blog.
2. Add a new HTML block to the top right of your blog (or wherever you want to place it.
3. Give it the title Privacy Policy.
4. Add an anchor for the post by clicking on the link button.
5. Add the url to the popup (you may get a popup warning so enable popups and repeat)
6. Now edit the anchor ('A' html tag) to give it the title of your blogs privacy policy like this:

<a href="full url to post here">omensblog privacy policy</a>

(i have had to change the URL to get it to fit - you should insert your post url here)

Now save and view. Clicking on the privacy policy will now take you to your privacy policy post.

Easy peazy.

Not doing this isnt worth getting kicked off the adsense program - especially if you make some good money from it!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Visual Studio Tutorial

If you are looking for Video Tutorials on how to develop applications on the .Net framework for either Windows Forms, ASP.Net, WPF etc. then I highly recommend Learn Visual Studio.Net.

I have been a member at for almost 4 years after I signed up to their lifetime subscription (which to be fair is as cheap as chips)! They are constantly adding new visual studio tutorials in line with the current technology and they have just recently started doing their videos for iPhone also (guess who just got a new iPhone as well! :D ) . Its brilliant stuff and the return Ive had on my tiny investment is fantastic.

I am just currently working through their new videos on Visual Studio 2010, The MVC Framework and Windows Presentation Foundarion. Lots to learn! They have some free starter videos to let you get a feel of the quality they have to offer.

If you looking for a tutorial on the Visual Studio IDE then Keith Elder - a Microsoft MVP, has put together a great video that takes you through the basics of Visual Studio.

The video takes you through what Visual Studio versions are available, its key components, customising its behaviour and also how to change the look and feel using themes.

All in all its a great Visual Studio Tutorial. It looks to be a multi part series so you can subscribe to his videos or visit his blog at to check get further installments.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

[DBNETLIB][ConnectionOpen (Connect()).]SQL Server does not exist or access denied Error

Had a totally weird thing ahppen to a sql server today.

I have 2 linked servers and for some unknown reason all queries to the linked server were being met with that error. I removed the linked server, re-added, tested i could connect to the port with telnet - all good.

Check remote connections enabled, checked tcpip enabled. Evrything seemed fine.

One of our machines rebooted with some critical update from Microsoft so wondered if something MS had pushed out may have caused the issue.

Anyhow, we finally fixed the issue but i am still 100% sure exactly what is the problem so maybe someone may be able to shed some light on things.

The way got around it was to remove the liked server and re-add it - but instead of adding it as a SQL Server, it was added using and OLEDB sql data source. After doing that it all sprung back into life.

Now to me that sounds like an issue with SQL Native Client on either the client or server. I wonder if microsoft has done something to some drivers somewhere along the line and pushed it out in a critical update???

Another strange this is i could not add a system datasource to point to the other server either - unless i specified the default port 1433! Totally whacky. The server i was trying to link was a named instance of sql2005. No idea why specifying the port it should have been using anyway worked - but it did!

Hope this sorts you out if you are having this problem. Had me stumped for about 3 hours.

Id be interested to hear your comments if you have an ideas of input. Its gonna bug me until i found out exactly whats happened as it was working fine the night before.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Travis Rice That's It That's All

I am into snowboarding big time - just love it. Unfortuantely im miles from the mountains and get very little snow here (and no lifts!!). I get to go boarding once a year (twice im im lucky) and therefore in the meantime I hit the indoor slope at Xscape and watch boaridng videos.

I've just watched Travis Rice That's It That's All - Travis Rice's latest video, and all i can say is its amazing! What a video. Ive seen a lot of boarding films in my time but this one is truly awesome. After reading up about it, it has taken Travis 2 years to put it together and i can see why.

Everything from the scenery, the boarding and the music is outstanding. It is so well produced. It just makes you want to pack up and head for the mountains! :o)

He is obviously one talented individual who is constantly pushing the boundaries when it comes to snowboarding. With that however, comes priveledges like having a helicopter drop you in the most amazing virgin powder fields you can find.

He is one lucky talented son of a bitch! Very envious. Wish i could do half the things he pulls of in this vid.

Anyhow, if you love boarding then i strongly recommend you check this film out - you will not regret it. Ive just finished watching it and im already wanting to watch it over again! :o) Its that good. Travis Rice That's It That's All gets 10/10 from me - loved every minute of it.

If your in the US/Canada use this link to get to it:

If you are in the UK this is the amazon uk link:


Saturday, 24 January 2009

Getting a First Page Ranking Website using Niche Marketing and Micro Niche Finder

I recently put a website together for a client selling a product in quite an aggressive market. After the website had been put together it went live and the client was happy! What happened over the next few days was to take me on a new journey in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and website marketing.

Search Engine Optimisation

I followed all the rules and best practices to ensure the site met Web Standards and Google standards - things such as only one H1 tag on a page, no keyword spamming in the meta tags etc..

I also ensured the site was listed with google and other top search engines and also had automatic sitemap generation based on the content of the pages - so everything looked setup properly for Search Engine Optimisation SEO. I now had to advertise the site.

Marketing Idea Number One : AdWords

I sat down with the client to help him look at advertising the website. We needed to drive traffic to the site and spread the word about his products as effectively and cheaply as possible.

As i had some experience of AdWords this was my initial suggestion for the client and we therefore set about putting keyword lists together based on the products the client sold and the sort of customer he was looking for to drive to his site.

The hit was instant - we had tons of traffic hitting the site and lots of interested customers. The only trouble was the AdWords budget went out of the window quite quickly because of the aggressive nature of the market.

Owing to this i set about trying to find a way to get the site to the top of the organic search lists (which given the market would have been extremely hard). If we could do this we had FREE traffic to the website! Which takes me onto Marketing Technique 2.

Marketing Technique Two : Drive Free Traffic to the Website Using Niche Markets

Through various sources and quite a lot of reading I have discovered a method of getting your web pages ranked on the first page of google for FREE! Yes - FREE! When you see how its done its one of those things that just hits and you think "of course - why didn't i think of that before!".

The way to achieve this, is by using a technique or trick called Long Tailed Keywords to find a niche market. If you don't know what a niche market or a long tailed keyword is then ill explain:

Say you are wanting to market your website and you are selling an iPhone unlocking service for example. If you put the word iPhone into Google you will see something like this:

Results 1 - 10 of about 328,000,000 for iPhone.

328 million pages! Would you fancy trying to get your website to the first page of those results!!? I wouldn't. So how do we go about getting a fighting chance - a Niche Market.

How to Find a Niche Market

Basically, you need to look for something specific within that market to get a smaller target area (the niche).

Again you have to think smart - IPhone Unlocking again turns up over 7 million pages but if you add extra words to the keyword phrase such as

"how to unlock an apple iPhone"

now have a look at the results.

At the time of writing this we now have 342 pages returned from Google with the exact phrase (with quotes around it).

Using the AdWords keyword tool, if you enter that phrase and search, it will tell you the search volume and advertiser competition (AdWords competition). This is currently showing as zero competition and 110 average searches per month.

You now have on average 110 people searching for exactly what you are looking for and only 342 pages of exact competition.

That is a little better than the millions of pages beforehand hey!

If you now work that keyword into your web pages, along with the other related keywords given by the AdWords tool you have a very high chance of getting a first page ranking for FREE whenever anyone uses that search term! Awesome.

You could also run an AdWords campaign with very cheap keywords to target this phase as yet another way of driving cheap traffic to your site.

You think the above techniques are handy? Well I found something that makes this so easy! It takes away all the hard work and issues with using the google tools and also expands your research to other search engines.

Whilst i was investigating and playing around with this technique i came across an absolutely wicked tool that turned out to save me HOURS of work. The tool is called Micro Niche Finder and i cannot recommend it enough.

I will quickly go over the main features that saved me hours in generating the long tail keywords to work into my clients website.

Micro Niche Finder

Micro Niche Finder (V4 is the latest at the time of writing this post) is basically a keyword research tool that takes the leg work out of optimising your web content to ensure you are targeting it to what people are searching for.

You can write a 10,000 page essay page about one of your products but if you are not creating the content that people are actively searching for they will never find you or know about your product = no sales!

The primary market that Micro Niche Finder is actually aimed at is affiliate marketing. Marketing people use it to seek out niche markets and promote products to sell on the Internet.

If it works for someone selling other people's products i thought it must be useful in improving your own website product sales.

The key areas this product saved me time are :

- I no longer had to think of the long tail keywords and niche markets.
- I didn't have to jump from search engine to keyword tool and back again just to research keywords.
- I could research the competition
- I could look at other people selling the same item

In addition to what i used there are an absolute plethora of features in this product that I've not even touched upon yet but am itching to experiment with.


Borne out of looking for an effective way to rank my clients web pages higher in the organic search results and cut down on advertising budget, i have located a tool i can use over and over again in my job to optimise website content for clients.

Micro Niche Finder is an extremely useful tool that i can also utilise for several other things such as affiliate marketing. Ive not really ventured too deep into the subject before but a tool like this makes me want to give it a try - just for the fun of it to see if i could make money online. If nothing else i will definitely learn a lot more about SEO, AdWords and marketing techniques that i can use in my work.

I feel Micro Niche Finder paid for itself on one project but it can be used over and over again.

I am looking forward to seeing what it really can do for me. I will post further findings as i get more experience with it.

Big up to the developers of this tool - pretty simple but massively effective. I may have been able to develop something similar for myself but like a lot of things - it would have taken many hours out of my already busy schedule and for the price its a bargain.

If you like the sound of it follow the link i have put in the post and enter your email address on the landing page. The folks at Micro Niche will then send you a link to the videos on how to use the product - which i tailored to my requirements.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Intellisense for skin files in Visual Studio

I annoyingly discovered that Visual Studio does not support intellisense when editing skin files. To save the hassle of using an aspx page and then copying it back there is a little tweak you can do to visual studio to allow this.

Simply go to the Tools|Options|FileExtension and add

skin, then select User Control Editor from the list and press Add.

Close and re-open any open skin files and voila you will now have intellisense support for skin files. The trick basically tells visual studio to open the skin source in the user control editor.

Cant believe this wasn't a feature out of the box though!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

AJAX Modal Popup Extender click event not firing

I had a situation today where i had a webform with a Gridview, a modal popup extender and a dummy button to fire up the hidden panel for the modal popup extender. If i pressed cancel to close the popup, when i next pressed the button to open up the modal popup nothing happened and i had to click the button a second time.

This drove me mental for a couple of hours and i ended up leaving it alone for a bit. A tad a later i hit another problem to do with validation where i realised i needed to add validation groups as i had more than one group of controls to validate.

The great thing is after i added the validation groups the problem above went away! So if you have a modal popup extender and are using validation controls always ensure you add a validation group to your controls.

The validationgroup is simply a property on a control and a validator. Simply add a common name to group controls and ensure the name on the button you want to have the validation fire on is the same as the control group to validate. Im sure you get the picture.

I dont know if this is a bug in the modal popup extender or if its by design?? Its propbably good practice create a validation group whenever you add validation controls to a form.

Also note...if you are looking to learn more on ASP.Net and other .Net technologies and find learning by video useful I highly recommend LearnVisualStudio.Net. I have been a member there for almost 4 years and they are constantly adding new content in line with new technology. Go check them out and try their free videos.