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Posts Tagged ‘content’

Legally “Steal” Taxpayer Dollars?

TAXES…we ALL have to pay them…from income taxes and sales taxes to gas taxes and luxury taxes. We EVEN have to pay death taxes! We have no choice. Our tax money is “needed” so that our government can “pay for” all sorts of important stuff that is beneficial for us. You know the routine…you earn the money, give some of it to the government, and they spend it! And so “we the people” have developed a mindset that once that tax money leaves our paychecks, credit cards and checking accounts, it is GONE… FOREVER!

Once the money is spent by the government on important, necessary stuff it is no longer available to us because SPENT means, “it’s not ours anymore.” Right? NOT NECESSARILY! What if there was a way that you could get ALL your taxpayer dollars back and more…legally. Would you be interested? I knew you would be! Check this out:

http://publicdomainblog.com/taxes

Creating Physical Products from Public Domain Content

I’ve been teaching a webinar series for my Step-by-Step Members lately on creating different types of physical products from Public Domain content. And so, for today’s post, I thought it might be beneficial for you if I listed some of my personal favorite resources for getting physical products created.

First of all…WHY physical products? Aren’t digital products easier to manage and more profitable? Yes and no! The truth is that, in spite of the rise of the iPad and other mobile devices, many people still enjoy having a tangable, physical “something” to hold and stick on the bookshelf or share with a friend. And besides, try “wearing” a piece of digital art…grin. Physical products also carry a certain sense of “realness” that digital products don’t have. Then there is the perceived value piece of it. Try an experiment…tell someone you wrote an e-book, and then tell them you also wrote a print book. Somehow, having a book in “print” carries greater weight in the mind of the reader because you’ve been “published.”

So what types of physical products are able to be created using Public Domain content? With, with the advent of many different types of on-demand technologies, there are quite a few types of physical products you can create. As recent as just a few years ago, many of these technologies either didn’t exist or were crazy expensive. All that has changed now and will continue to evolve…for our benefit!

Some of the most popular physical product creation methods available to you include:

  • Books (paperback, hardback, photo books, etc.)
  • DVDs (movies, digital collections, software, etc.)
  • CDs (music, digital files, software, etc.)
  • Binders (workbooks, course modules and more)
  • Apparel (t-shirts, totes, jackets, hoodies, etc.)
  • Prints (posters, maps, artwork, photographs, calendars, etc.)
  • Other Printed Pieces (magazines, calendars, greeting cards, etc.)
  • Household Items (drinkware, window decor, tapestries, etc.)

As you can see, there are quite a few options for you to choose from for creating physical products. Please bear this important point in mind though…if you don’t actually CREATE the products, you can’t make money from them. Seems obvious enough, but you’d be surprised how many DON’T take action. So to make “taking action” as EASY as possible, here is a list of some of my favorite sites for creating products in a “physical” way. As Olivia Newton John once sang…”Let’s get physical…” lol.

Books

Photo Books

Apparel

Prints

Magazines/Calendars

DVDs/CDs

Interactive Content Creation: An Experiment

This morning, I had a 5-hour drive to pick up my daughter. When I first began my drive, I thought about the different types of business-related activities I’ve accomplished while being on a long drive. Stuff like coaching calls, teleseminars, masterminds and other phone-related activities (I strongly recommend using a headset or bluetooth device so you can keep both hands free) came to mind. I have also created videos while driving…the camera was on the dashboard. Of course, long drives are also a great time to catch up on audio training and audio books (something I do quite regularly).

Then I got an idea. I wondered if I could create a different type of content while I was driving by using the interactive power of Facebook. So I pulled off the road, made a post to my Facebook wall using my iPad and asked for responses. The results were pretty cool, and showed just how powerful (and fun) interactive, user-generated content can be.

Below is the actual dialog from my Facebook wall from earlier today. The conversation will likely continue to grow. Occasionally you will see where I interjected additional thoughts. Those were the times I stopped for breaks. Enjoy the dialog and feel free to join in below in the comments!

Tony Laidig: While I’ve been driving, I’ve been thinking about the things that cause us to think or act irrationally (not including alcohol and controlled substances…grin). A couple ideas…seeing a friend or family member in danger. As a guy…women…lol. How about you? What makes you do things that defy logic or reason?

Heddy Rhea: Anxiety…and stress.

Heddy Rhea: And should you be doing this while you are driving?? :)

Tony Laidig: At a service plaza…grin.

Monty Craig: Seeing a Semi coming toward me as I am thinking too deeply while driving! Ha ha…

Kristen Eckstein: Dealing with a psychotic client who expects a best-seller quality book cover in less than 10 seconds & bugs me every 5 seconds for it until it’s ready. (I bet you can relate, Tony!)

Apothecary Jeri: Government agencies come to mind ……MVA, USPS …not that it ever happens to me of course :p

Therese Sparby: Things that defy logic or reason?!?!? I do this all the time… Every time I make a commitment that requires faith, and I follow my instinct. (for example- becoming an entrepreneur and building a business to many people… often including myself… defys both reason and logic) :-)

Laureen Falco: I would say one of the things I’ve done to defy logic or reason was to skydive. I’m one of the few – that didn’t really enjoy my tandem jump – and that one minute free fall felt like a lifetime – especially when you’re thinking that this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done! Had I had a great time – it would have been exhilarating. But the whole time, it was being filmed, and I kept trying so hard to keep my lunch down.

Elaine Ireland: Seeing my kids/grand kids do something that I KNOW is going to hurt them and not being able to do/say anything to prevent it. Sooo, I go do something stupid to compensate for it. Silly, huh?

Tony Laidig: Great comments everyone! Here are a few more I thought of (no I’m not typing this while driving). Unresolved emotions or trauma (like road rage), fight or flight scenarios, fear, faith, peer pressure and my personal favorite…chocolate.

Elaine Ireland: Since when is chocolate…anything, but GOOD for body, mind and soul?

Tony Laidig: True Elaine…but it still makes me act irrationally at times…especially when I NEED it. lol

Heidi Walter: Interesting, chocolate has never made me act irrationally. Must be my genetics. LOL.

Cathy Colonna Rogers: KIDS – Especially your own. They have a way of getting you so frustrated in an argument you can’t even put together a coherent sentence!

Tony Laidig: BTW…I am not suggesting that these triggers will always lead to irrational behavior or will do so in all people. I also realize that “irrational” is subjective. I just find it fascinating that there are influences that can control us with…out explanation. That said, here are some more possible triggers I thought of: Self-preservation, belief in a cause, a need to belong or fit in, the supernatural, organized groups or religions, chemical imbalances or food allergies, group devotion (like sports fans…grin). Any other thoughts?See More

Taylore Vance: This is Scary and we need to realize that this is behind unrest…and social problems including substance abuse — why try if you are hopeless? (Good question) http://ymlp.com/zBy5lG

Heidi Walter: Oh, Tony, you’ll have to get Maxine Jones’ book on agreements when it comes out later this fall. I am editing it now. It’s all about the conscious and unconscious agreements we make, like aging (which doesn’t have to happen) and needing food to survive (That was a human consciousness agreement that built up over the centuries). Fascinating and empowering stuff. We don’t know the title yet, but I’ll be writing about it once it’s ready.

Audrey Spiegel: All great comments and insight….I’d like to add insecurity. Oh, and being hungry and tired.

Susan L. Strahosky: My predominate psychic sense is feeling. I’ve realized it can make me feel crazy when I feel things. I’m aware of things, but there is not physical or outward validation. Like there’s an elephant in the room and everyone else is in denial.

Debby Hall: Love…any and all kinds, romantic, parental, friendships. Logic and reason can go out the window when it comes to love and that’s not necessarily a bad thing:)

Search Engine Savvy

When it comes to search engines, we all tend to get a bit myopic, thinking Google is our ONLY real choice for finding the info we need. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth! The truth is that there are literally thousands of search engines available for us to use for our “data mining” duties, and some of them are rather cool. In this post, I thought I’d share some of the search engines I have been playing with recently.

BlinkX: Blinkx offers access to over 35 million hours of index videos from across the web. Using patented conceptual search, speech recognition and video analysis software, Blinkx is extremely efficient and accurate with finding and qualifying online video. They are the world’s largest single index of rich media content on the Web, and deliver more content from a broader range of sources than either Google or Yahoo! They also offer the ability to embed a “wall” of videos based on your search results on your own website.

Technorati: Technorati has been around for quite a while, but it’s likely that you aren’t using it, which is why I’ve included it in this list. They are the leading blog search engine and directory and indexes more than a million blogs. So if you are looking for relevant info on your topic and want to see what other bloggers are writing about, Technorati is your answer. You can also use the results to find articles related to your topic so that you can comment and benefit from the backlinks. I personally use it for leads on new content and info that isn’t being widely shared.

InkMesh: Inkmesh is an ebook search engine that makes it easier to find free ebooks and compare ebook prices for the Kindle, iPhone, Sony Reader, Nook and more. What I like about this search engine is that, not only can I use it to find free e-books, but I can also use the results to “spy” on what Public Domain books are being released by others. Being an iPad user, this is a super cool website for finding e-book gems!

NowRelevant: NowRelevant was a pleasant discovery! It is the interface portal for The Internet Time Machine’s backend search engine that gives you access to every written word about a subject for the past 14 days. It monitor millions of sources and feeds to give you the most up to date and pertinent information on your subject. What that means is that rather than have to filter through ALL the results you would find through Google or Yahoo…some of them years old…NowRelevant limits your results to just the past 14 days, and they offer a time slider that allows you to cut the results down to even fewer days. Why this cool is that your results enable you to track trends easily, which means you can target your PPC campaigns (among other things) with current, relevant data! Gotta love that!

ALL My Products Are on Sale This Weekend!

I’ll keep this brief…I know the weekend is here!

For the next three days (October 8 – 10, 2010), I’m putting my money where my mouth is by discounting EVERY product I have in a pretty significant way. Why? Simple. I am committed to your success and want to make it as easy as possible to get moving forward in starting your online business, or, if you’re already selling online, to help you shift to the next level!

I also value you as a member of my list or reader of my blog. There is a LOT of BS out there in the Internet Marketing space, and I want to provide as MUCH real value as possible, and for the next three days, for less!

So here are the details…

For the next 3 days, the following products will “ring up” with a $20 discount off their regular price:

Copywriting Basics that Work: (http://copywritingbasicsthatwork.com)

Create Audio Products: (http://createaudioproducts.com)

Public Domain Code Book: (http://www.publicdomaincodebook.com/home.html)

Build Your Business Using FREE Tools Video Series (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Leveraging Social Media for Online Success Video Series (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Niche Market Research Video Series (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)


ALSO, for the next 3 days, the following products will “ring up” with a $30 discount off their regular price:

Easy Money Picture Project: (http://www.easymoneypictureproject.com)

Limitless Blog Content: (http://www.limitlessblogcontent.com)

Public Domain Explained: (http://publicdomainexplained.com)

Public Domain Profit Centers: (http://www.publicdomainprofitcenters.com)

WordPress Mastery Step-by-Step: (http://wordpressmasterystepbystep.com)

Creating Powerful Photo-Based Videos Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Creating E-Book Products from Beginning to End Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Photoshop Product Creation Tips and Tricks Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

Product Creation Strategies Video Series: (http://www.pdxspecialoffers.com/)

This offer will NOT extend past Monday, October 11th and will not be repeated again. So NOW is the time to take advantage of these prices and invest in quality products that will help you build your online business!

Tony

Content Marketing and the Public Domain

Now more than ever before, the key to reaching your audience is to provide them with high-quality, ongoing beneficial content. The day of junk articles and spun content are pretty much over (thank God!). If you think about, it makes sense that your reader would WANT to read something of quality…that’s what YOU want too, right? Of course you do! Nothing you hate worse than to find a website that “hopefully” has the answer you’re looking for, only to find out it’s a spam site designed to get traffic and siphon your money. There will always be those who try to scam the system (not to mention you and I) but you know better…especially when you consider that your content marketing has a great friend in the Public Domain!

When you consider that there are over 85 million books, 200,000+ magazine titles, 5.5 million patents, billions of images and more, content for your site (not to mention your articles, products, autoresponders, etc.) should be a no-brainer! Think about this…we are talking about PROVEN content! It’s already been written by experts and read by thousands if not tens of thousands of readers (just like your target audience). This content was subjected to peer-review, editors and publishers whose desire was to share the best writing on the topic at hand. WHY? Because they knew that if the articles in their magazine sucked, readership would drop and their advertisers would lose money. If the books they published were crap, no one would buy them. Remember, there was no Internet 50+ years ago…LOTS of people read so publishers HAD to produce quality content. Content marketing was just as relevant then as it is today!

Honestly, as a content publisher, you really have NO excuse to struggle with writing blog posts or offering quality content to your readers, prospects and customers! To gain further insight on how to use Public Domain content as a part of your content marketing strategy, be sure to check out these related articles found elsewhere on my blog:

Sell Quality and the Price Won’t Matter

The Previous Post Was a Lesson

Limitless Content

The Gospel According to Magazines

Finding the BEST Government Content in the Public Domain

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, one of the BEST sources for great Public Domain content is the U.S. Government! Billions of dollars are spent each year to create programs, research, publications, websites, consumer education and much more. And guess what? YOU are paying for it…it’s your taxpayer dollars at work. Of course, the great news is that works created by federal employees during the course of their job are in the Public Domain. What that means for you and me is that there is a LOT of great content of all types, created by some of the brightest people, available to us right now to use for products, articles, blog posts and more!

The challenge is always finding the content. I always say that you can’t find what you don’t know to look for. That’s true “most” of the time. The trick that can overcome that rule is to understand HOW to look…and that usually involves some stealth research tricks…grin…or access to a good search engine. And when it comes to finding content from the U.S. Government, there are several “search engine” options you have available to you.

Below is a list of my favorite, government-related search engines. Each have different focuses for accessing different types of content, but all can lead you down the “Yellow Brick Road” (yellow meaning GOLD…grin) for great content!

http://www.usa.gov

http://www.searchgov.com

http://www.searchmil.com

http://www.google.com/unclesam (also…google.com: search for [keyword] .gov)

http://www.gpoaccess.gov

http://www.loc.gov (Library of Congress)

http://www.ntis.gov (Find docs advertised here and then search for PDFs on usa.gov)

http://www.business.gov

http://www.regulations.gov

http://www.voanews.com

http://www.archives.gov (National Archives and Records Administration)

http://arcweb.archives.gov/arc/action/BasicSearchForm (Archival Research Catalog)

http://www.archives.gov/research/alic/ (Archives Library Information Center)

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html (American Memory)

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/ (Prints & Photographs Online Catalog)

In closing, I’ll leave you with this thought…this content is yours…you paid for it with your tax dollars…so why aren’t you using what’s yours? Think of it as the ultimate tax rebate. Make products from the content your tax dollars helped create. Sell those products and enjoy 100% of the profit. Cost to you…NOTHING! (You already paid, remember?!).

Your only question should be, “What can I create next?” Go have fun!

Planning Ahead with Product Creation

Many information marketers today create and sell digital only products and do quite well with that method of delivery. Personally, it’s my favorite form of product creation. No physical production costs, shipping issues, etc. Plus the customer has instant access to your product, 24/7. However, having said that, I believe it’s STILL important to PLAN for physical product creation…even if you only intend to offer your product in digital form. Here’s why…

Whether you are designing a product (book, video or audio) for physical production, all the processes are the same as far as pagination, cover design, book editing, video editing, etc. so why NOT plan for physical? So ALWAYS plan for physical but offer as digital…whether you’re creating online videos and need a digital cover for those, offering an MP3 and need a cover for that, or an e-book. There is always a chance you may want to go physical…DVD series, CD, print book, whatever. If you plan for it in the beginning, you’re covered…plus it doesn’t require additional work to design high-res. However, if you design for web only and then decide to go the physical route, you have to re-create everything, which is a waste of time, effort and money. Not good.

Almost none of my products are currently available in print or physical form, but every one of them have been designed that way, just in case. Every online video series I’ve created and sold has print resolution covers designed for them. Every e-book I sell has print resolution covers designed for them and every video can easily be re-rendered at DVD or HD resolution for physical products. You should consider doing the same.

Print and Photographs Online Catalog Updated

For months the curators and technologists at the Library of Congress have been working together on a spectacular (and welcome) revamp of the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. The online collection can now be found at the easy-to-remember address of www.loc.gov/pictures/ — with many images available for downloading.

Some of the new features include creative new ways to browse their 1.25 million online prints and photos, such as grids that give a quick overview of dozens of images at once and even a slideshow format that lets you toggle bibliographic information on and off.

The interface is reminiscent of other existing sites that offer powerful ways to search for and display images, such as the ever-popular Flickr.  In celebration of this new milestone, the LOC has posted a new set of highlight images from the Library called “Meet More Treasures.”  They consider it a thank you to all of those who have found value and pleasure in the Library’s priceless collections of more than 14 million pictures (both online and in their physical collections). I for one am grateful since I’ve found value (in the form of income) and pleasure from this site. Many of you have as well

Finding Elusive Images in the Public Domain

How often have you tried to find an certain type of image in the Public Domain, and no matter what you try, you can’t seem to find what you’re looking for? It can be pretty frustrating for sure! Just the other day, I received an e-mail from one of my UK customers who was experiencing that exact dilemma. She e-mailed me to ask:

“I purchased your “Easy Money Picture Project”.  As you are US based it’s not surprising that your links to internet sites for public domain are going to mostly contain US public domain material.  I am in the UK, I know most of the US material can be used here OK but I am interested in old images of the UK & I didn’t know whether you had come across any sites that contained such images or any UK websites that contained content from the UK.”

To be honest, I had never researched images specific to the UK, so I thought it would be a good exercise for my research skills. After spending 2 or 3 minutes with Google, I sent her a few of the results I discovered:

“Here are a few starting points for you:

  • http://www.historyworld.co.uk/
  • http://www.oldukphotos.com/
  • http://grumpystumpy.com/
  • http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/

Hope this helps!”

She responded back the next day with:

“I’ve just quickly linked to the sites you sent me & had a quick look & they look as though they will be very helpful, why couldn’t I find them? Must be doing wrong searches!”

I responded to her that searches can be tricky and offered keyword phrases I used to find the websites I sent her. After writing my response to her, I wondered how many MORE of you have encountered similar frustrations? So I thought I’d write a post to share the methodology behind how I research.

I’ve found that there is no rhyme or reason to why websites use the text they use in describing the contents on their websites. The sooner you learn that fact, the sooner you can move into conducting and enjoying meaningful research online.

First of all, you need to be aware of variations on your keywords. You can use a thesaurus if you get stuck. For example, let’s consider the keyword “photograph.” Photograph could also be displayed as:

  • Photography
  • Photo
  • Picture
  • Pic
  • Image
  • Graphic
  • Illustration
  • Still
  • Poster

To this end, you will notice in the screenshot below how this website uses the word “advert” for advertising, so if you were searching for “vintage UK advertising,” you may not find this site because of the variation.

Now, in the case of our case study, I simply used two keyword phrases:

  • “vintage UK photographs”
  • “old UK photographs”

Again, there are a number of variations for “old” and “vintage.”  The same holds true for “UK”: United Kingdom, Britain or British Isles…and don’t forget specific locations, such as “Gloucestershire” or “London.” I think you get the idea.

Another trick I want to point out is this…when you find a site you like in Google, very often you will see a link for “similar sites” in your search results as seen in the screenshot below. CLICK that link! It will reveal even more related sites for you. Of course, you can also use SimilarSites as I mentioned in a previous post, if they offer suggestions for your sites. In the case of the UK sites, they didn’t offer any results.

Now there is ONE keyword phrase that, oddly enough, you probably DON’T want to use in your search phrase…”Public Domain.” Seems odd to say that being that this is the Public Domain Blog, but the truth is that it’s not a common word that many sites use. Yes, you can find Public Domain images using that phrase in your searches, but I can tell you from experience that you will not get the kinds of results you truly want if you include it. As a matter of fact, with this case study, my customer indeed wrote back and said she was searching using the keyword phrase, “public domain vintage UK photos” among others and wasn’t finding the sites I found. Notice that her search phrase is a variation of one of mine except for a noticeable difference…she included the phrase, “public domain.”

To learn even MORE methods for finding and using images from the Public Domain, check out, “Easy Money Picture Project,” my comprehensive book on how to profit from Public Domain images and photos.

Easy Money Picture Project

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