camtasia_annotation_Animation

How To Animate An Annotation In Camtasia

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Every video I have here on this site is made with Camtasia (For Mac)…and even after 2 versions of Camtasia for Mac and more than a year later it seems that I’m still learning how to do different things with it. In this video you’ll see my latest trick – which is animating annotations.

Well, actually, you can truly animate virtually anything on your timeline using this latest trick! I think I am just scratching the surface with what I’ve learned here:

I would LOVE to get your feedback on this, especially if you are a Camtasia Studio user and how this translates for pc users. If you are considering video creation, I recommend Camtasia. It just seems to work in a seemless way in so many visual applications.

For PC users, Camtasia Studio:

For Mac users its a lot less expensive, but there are a lot of things us Mac users can’t do, like clip grouping for example. So far though, I haven’t missed it…LOL. I mean I never needed it so far, at least not that I know of…a lot of things happen that way for me. I don’t know I need something until I discover it then suddenly I can’t seem to know how I got along without it!

blog-theme-design

Blog Diary – Entry 2; New Theme And Site Design Rant

Man, it seems like progress has been really slow. But you know blogging is kind of that way. At times it seems like things are going very slowly but then when you stop and look back, you can actually see how much you’ve accomplished over time. And, you can also see just how good you are at taking action!I must say that as of late, I have been very good about taking action.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 3.23.57 PMTaking action is of course the  litmus test for how powerful you are online. If you haven’t checked out my video “22 Internet Marketing Tips” yet, then you can go check it out by clicking on the title link or head over and watch it on Youtube. I don’t remember which tip it was right off hand, but in that video I mention that your level of online “power” is pretty much equal to your ability to take action.. How true! As common sense dictates, no action means no results and no results means you can’t make money. Which is just another way of saying that if you want to make money online, you have to take action and the more of the right kind of action you can accomplish, the better.

I’m still learning how to leverage my time, but I have really taken some giant forward steps just in the past month. I’ve gotten two new videos onto my youtube channel and I did a cosmetic makeover right here at philjava.com. I switched themes over from a free theme to a premium theme. The old theme was Mainstream and this one is Canvas. (Mainstream is a free download, but Canvas will cost you). I really like the Canvas theme and I spent a solid day customizing the look to get it to where it is now.

I am totally attracted to the clean look and decided to go with the nice blue and pale grey look I have now. It took a lot of time to go through each theme customization but I really think it was worth it. Feel free to let me know what you think of the new theme and design in the comments below. There are still a few more tweaks I want to do, and also upgrade to the latest Canvas theme, but that will mean a lot more time on design and I just don’t think my blog is beefy enough to spend too much time right now on design. I like it how it is, anyway, and I’ll just look forward to the absolute latest version in a few months or so. So what do you think of it?

I have been thinking a lot about updating my handyman blog too. I installed a free theme over there called Weaver and I loved it back when I installed it, but I really feel I have gotten a lot better at web design since then and the old look seems to be pleading for an upgrade. Today I wrote an article for Your Dallas Handyman and discovered that the back end of the theme seems to be “broke”. Maybe it’s my WordPress installation, I don’t know. On my dashboard, the composing window is stuck in “html” mode and it won’t switch over to the “visual”, mode I am used to writing in. It might be time to change themes over there too. As I write this, I have never changed themes before and even though I have Your Dallas Handyman backed up, I am still a little scared of making big changes like that. I guess it’s just a fear of the unknown…since I never have…yet. If any of my readers has experienced a freezing composition pane and knows any fixes for it, I’d love to hear about it. Maybe we can all learn something together. Anyway, I can still post, but I have to do everything in html mode…ugh!

Yesterday I was offline all day. It was tax day.  ‘Nuff said about that…although it gave me a needed break from the high daily goal setting I’ve been on lately…which of course is a good thing! And doing taxes is hardly a break, but it still got me away for a short time which helped me clear my head a little. I guess the big news for this diary entry is just my new theme and theme design.

So, I hope you like it. Until next time, when I might be able to tell you about my latest theme change. :-)

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22 Internet Marketing Tips: Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Long Ago

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Can we really ever get enough internet marketing tips? This is not an end all list by any stretch. It’s a great list anyway of things I wish someone had told me when I first started out online. Creating a business plan or at least developing a working plan for your website is not only a good idea, it really is essential or you’ll find yourself all over the map trying to find the sweet spot that makes you and your web site unique and valuable. Let’s get into some great ideas to make your efforts finally pay off:

1. Know every word that appears on your site. When creating content, you can either create it yourself or outsource it. You can buy PLR articles and even have people do guest posting in exchange for a link back to their site. There are a lot of ways to get content onto your site. Just remember that if you are going to outsource content, that you’ll absolutely need to proofread it yourself. Make sure it is unique content and make sure it meets your own standard for quality. You are ultimately responsible for the content on your own site.

2. Get the two things you need in order to be successful online: 1. Traffic to your site and 2. Converting traffic into paying customers. There really are a lot of ways to drive traffic to your site. Organic search is only one of hundreds if not thousands of ways to drive traffic to your site when you include free and paid traffic. The idea is to get your name out onto the web in as many places as you can, for maximum exposure. It’s true that if you have enough traffic, you’ll get conversions but the idea is to get the highest possible percentage of traffic to follow through on your offer, so learn all you can about how to convert traffic into sales as well as how to get traffic.

3. Always be sure every page of your website has a definite major purpose. Whether that is to obtain a name and email address for your list, to generate a sale or to direct your reader or visitor to another page. Always keep the major purpose in mind while generating content. Remember too, that you need to deliver high quality, useable content. Perhaps the major purpose of a page is simply to deliver some good quality, useable material. However, if every page of your website does nothing but deliver great quality content, then you won’t make much, if any money.

4. Make sure your visitor knows what your website is all about within 5 seconds. There is no way that a user will be interested in buying anything from you if they cannot look at any page and figure out what it’s about. Be compelling but be concise and always get to the point. Your visitor should know what your site is pretty much all about within just a few seconds after landing there.

5. Make sure your content stays fresh and congruent with your social accounts including You Tube. If someone is familiar with your website and goes to your YouTube channel or Facebook page, they should immediately recognize your You Tube channel as yours. Branding is incredibly important for your perceived credibility as well.

6. Make your site easy to navigate. WordPress sites make it fairly easy through a page hierarchy system to lay out a comprehensive website. Whether you use category navigation system or some other method for finding things on your site, just remember that simple navigation is always better.

7. Include a link to your homepage at various locations on your site. If you link up to lots of pages, this can be very useful for your reader, providing an easy way for your visitors to get where they want to go. Serving your visitor’s needs should be paramount in website development.

8. Interact with your readers and viewers. Forms, questionnaires or surveys are a great way to “pick” your audience’s brains. Encourage comments. Keep an eye on your most popular pages and test to see how you can drive even more traffic to those pages while boosting quality of your not-so-popular pages and find the best content to deliver to your audience. Talk to your readers!

9. Use a premium theme. There will always be a compromise with a free theme in one area or another and you never know when compromising will come back to bite you. You want and need your first impression to be it’s best.

10. Update your content on a regular basis. People won’t come back to visit if there is nothing new for them to consume. Google likes it fresh too. Keeping it fresh will go a long way toward visitors wanting more from you.

11. Consciously work on your credibility: Always know what you’re talking about and people will believe you when it comes time to recommend an item to purchase. Be honest about what you know or don’t know and just be yourself.

12. Interact with other blog owners in your niche through commenting threads and forums. I’m not talking about getting on a related blog and commenting by saying “great article”. Comment when you have something insightful to add. When you leave a comment, you may get the chance to add your own url. Whoever sees your comment and finds it interesting may just want to visit your website too.

13. Use a Gravatar. Once you have registered it (a simple and quick process), your Gravatar, will follow you from site to site. Whenever you leave a comment on someone’s blog and enter your name, your  Gravatar appears. Enhancing and personalizing your comment can go a very long way, so choose an avatar that represents who you are.

14. Stay Positive. Whether you are writing your own article or posting a comment on someone else’s blog, keeping a positive mind, even when disagreeing, is vital to your community’s view of you. It is difficult enough to write what you really think and sometimes the written word “sounds” different than how you really were feeling when you wrote it. It rarely improves in the translation, so keep it in mind.

15. Consider promoting other blogs and people in your niche on your own blog. Give away a free link to those blogs that helped you. Give back a little. It will help develop a community spirit and believe me, you want community spirit. It’s too darn hard to go it alone.

16. Keep the number of ads you display at the barest minimum. The amount of ads on websites sometimes seem to overpower the content, and many ads can be quite annoying. Blinking ads or ads that make sound may drive away readers. Keep your ads relevant and constantly test them. Ditch the ones that do not perform.

17. Figure out your own long-term plan.  While there are blogs that make decent money displaying ads and nothing else, in order to earn just a few dollars, those blogs have to attract thousands of daily readers, which is a distinct challenge for a niche blog. The point is, don’t waste your time and potentially alienate your readers just because you are able to make 10 or 12 bucks each month with ads.

18. Decide that you are ready and willing to work hard for what you want. Then do it. Internet Marketing is a business, not a hobby. It will take serious effort and time. What you get out of it will be precisely what you put into it, so if you’re looking for a magic or “easy” button, well…good luck. I’m simply here to tell you it doesn’t exist.

19. Don’t be discouraged by competition. It is a certainty that, if your chosen niche is profitable, there are many others in there already making money at it. If there isn’t anyone around, the money probably isn’t either. Know your competition! Look carefully at how they are positioned in the marketplace , then make yourself a little better. That’s a solid plan. It isn’t sexy, but it works.

2o. Think bigger, not smaller. I know that sounds like simple logical thinking, but you will have lots and lots of ideas as you delve into the possibilities online. Some will be better and bigger ideas and others will be smaller and less profitable ideas. Just remember that it generally takes about the same time and energy to develop a small product as it does to develop a big ticket item. My first product sells for $19 in a very small niche. It took me several months to create that product. Every time I make a sale, I wish I’d spent that time on a $97 product.

21. Price your products and services competitively. Don’t create such a bargain that people just think you’re selling yourself short (unless it is part of a bigger plan and you really do know what you’re doing). There are several reasons why this is a bad strategy, but I will just give you two…first, people won’t give your product the respect it deserves, and second, it will be expected later on that you are the “bargain guy” (or gal) and people simply won’t pay you full price for your stuff later on. Either way, it’s a bad strategy. Don’t sell yourself short.

22. Understand that your power on the internet is equal to your ability to take action. You very likely already have what it takes to make a living online. Someone out there is looking for someone exactly like you to help them because they need your specific ability, knowledge and skills to understand and get what it is they are looking for. It’s absolutely true whether you realize it (yet) or not. Read this one again. This one tip is worth writing on the wall next to your computer.

This is by no means a comprehensive or “says it all” list, it’s just a list…a good  list nonetheless, of things for every internet marketer.

Maybe you have some ideas that you can add yourself? Should I create a fresh new list? Feel free to comment below and if I get enough new ideas that I think “make the grade” I’ll do another marketing tips list video again!

muti-tasking

Multitasking – Is It Productive?

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If you spend much time on my blog, you’ll probably figure out pretty quickly that I mostly write about things that I experience myself. This blog post talks about my 3 biggest obstacles…me, myself and I. I thought I was supposed to be good at multitasking. That’s what they told me in corporate America, anyway..

Research On Multitasking

Since the nineties, scientists have done a lot of research on the human brain capabilities of multitasking, and while it presents somewhat of a practical dilemma, it has been proven that at our best, humans can actually perform more than one task at a time. There are problems though. Our attention seems to divert back and forth between tasks and the result can be that we are unable to perform each individual task with any efficiency.

When trying to do more than one task at a time, our brains need to pause, even slightly, in order to re-focus on a second task. So instead of focusing continually on one thing, we switch back and forth between things, and that leaves a lot of room for errors, inefficiency and brain drain. When multitasking, our brains cannot fully focus on each task fully, and so we often require a lot more time to do each thing.

Multitasking actually comes from computer language. But even a computer can’t truly multitask without more than one processor. When processing more than one thing at a time, a computer literally alternates back and forth between processes at a high rate of speed. It doesn’t truly do them simultaneously. But since we don’t have the ability to switch back and forth between tasks at near-instant speeds, it logically becomes an inefficient way of getting anything done.

Simply Put, People Can’t Multitask Very Well

multi-taskingIn fact, people can actually switch back and forth between tasks very quickly, and so it may seem like multitasking. But it’s not, in the truest sense. What we call multitasking can lead to burn out, fatigue and errors. Too many extra things need to happen as far as I’m concerned. However, it has been proven that people can be trained, at least to some extent, to multitask simple things, like sorting objects while talking. But even then, we are still splitting up our mental resources at least a little.

Multitasking At Work

When I had a corporate job, I was required to accomplish a lot of things every single day. Actually more than I could ever actually do in a day. There was a continual push to multitask even when it made no sense. If I was knee deep in creating a spreadsheet for pricing and the phone rang, I was pretty much required to answer it. That was just the beginning… Have you ever heard your boss say “I expect 120% out of you!”? The American workplace typically pushes us into attempting to multitask. It really is a shame when research concludes that nearly all of us lose productivity when we try to do multiple things at once.

muti-taskingThe thing is, we still do our best and switch back and forth between tasks all day long! We think we are great employees! And some of us can boast that they are better at it then others. And that’s probably true, too. After all, we win points with the boss for tackling four things at once (and everyone better stay out of the way!). We get a raise for working so hard. Good for us.

But what about if we become self employed? Do we need to re-think multitasking? I know I sure had to. I have to stay focused on one thing at a time or I never get anything done at all or at such a slow pace that it becomes a real mental burden to actually get anything done. Too many distractions. The internet marketing niche has a whole heck of a lot of people in it, and the deeper I go, the more distractions there are to deal with. It’s crazy! And to top it all off, we are really good at fooling ourselves into thinking that we can do a lot of things at once in an efficient manner. We just can’t.

Maybe we all need to take a closer look at the facts about multitasking.

What Really Smart People Think About Multitasking

Look, I’ll be straight up about it. From experience, I can tell you that if you want to get more things done this year, you’re going to have to focus on one thing at a time to get more accomplished. Period. There is a saying that goes something like: “Touch It Once”. It basically means that when you fragment your tasks and try to multitask, you’ll find yourself taking longer…much longer to get each thing done. Some research claims up to twice as long. Really smart people know that “touching it once” gets it done.

Multitasking is much harder than focusing on one thing at a time!

Try this little experiment: Think of a tiger. It has orange fur and has dark brown stripes and he’s running through the brush when he sees something move. The hungry tiger is thinking about catching and eating his lunch! Now he’s in full chase. WAIT! Now say the alphabet backwards while thinking about the tiger.

It’s hard to do! I think you get the point.

Task Mastery

We all want task mastery. To really get things done in the most efficient way, it just makes sense to develop mental focus. There is research that says that you can lose up to 40% of your productivity if you try to multitask. Focusing on one thing at a time is much better in so many ways.

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule simply says that 80% of what we actually get done typically happens during 20% of the time we work at it. If you can figure out what your productive moments consist of, your own 20% productive time, then focus on those things to get more done. Simple as that.

More Task Mastery

1. Prioritize tasks. Work on the most important thing you have to do first and work at it until it’s done, then move on to the next most important task.

2. Accept that fact that multitasking is inefficient, time consuming and can even be dangerous. Talking on a cell phone while driving comes to mind. Simply realizing that you can (and should) improve the effectiveness of your time is a great first step in changing your behavior.

3. Check your stats and emails once, twice or three times if necessary each day, but not more. I know I absolutely love to look at my website stats. Early on in my internet marketing career, I would look at my stats a dozen times or more every day. Not only does it take the time to actually look, but it also takes time to refocus my attention off of what is more important.

4. Do 30 minute interval tasking. Or 20 minutes, or whatever works for you. Work hard and focused for that time period, then take a five-minute break before tackling it again. Breaking down a large task into bite-sized chunks helps keep you focused on each chunk. I often use an online stopwatch and set it for counting down 30 minutes while I work. It’s a great tool for helping me stay focused for short periods of time.

5. Turn off your cell phone during peak tasking time.

6. Tackle the most difficult or creative thinking tasks first or early in the day.

7. Develop patience by remaining on one thing until it’s done. Developing patience pays off in every other area of your life as well.

8. Set time limits on tasks. By setting time goals, you’ll get more done during that time.

I know I get more done when I focus on just one thing at a time. On days when I eliminate or minimize multi-tasking, I’m a happier person. There’s really nothing that compares to the feeling of real accomplishment when I stay focused on something until it’s done. My head is cleared out to focus on the next thing, and so on.

Focusing on one thing at a time reduces stress. It’s been proven that stress can be a killer. I’m all for eliminating stress!

As internet marketers, it’s super easy to get lost in researching or reading up on someone else’ blog or getting distracted by the next “really big thing”. Don’t get me wrong, we need to keep up in this fast paced environment, but allowing distractions to steal our time away from us can kill our business.

Better to kill multitasking instead.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Philip Vandermeer Philjava

Blog Diary – Entry 1; The History Of Philjava.com

My first entry on my new website here at philjava.com! It’s been quite a year for me online, I started the year with one primary website called Your Dallas Handyman, and while it really has been my first online and pet project, I found myself kind of burning out on the whole thing, thanks to poor blogging techniques, Google algorithm updates and especially chasing after too many things all at once…not getting clarity on my goals or staying focused. But hey, it’s all good because everything I’ve been through so far is bringing me to where I am now and things are beginning to happen. I’ve wanted to put this website together for a long time now so here we are!

Philip Vandermeer PhiljavaI left corporate America in 2006 and started an actual handyman business. In 2010 I started a handyman website and began writing how-to, tips and tricks articles for homeowners everywhere. All was well. My progress was painfully slow, but it was steady. The more articles I wrote, the better things got. Then, Google began making changes to their search algorithm  and I went from about 200 visitors a day down to about 20. It hurt badly. Mostly my ego…I totally realize that 200 daily visitors is not great, barely even good, but I built it purely on search engine traffic and all free methods on a spare time basis and I felt pretty good about it. Lesson learned: don’t rely on Google or anyone else to bring you traffic.

Early on in 2011 I began to realize that I needed to do things differently if I was going to have an honest to goodness online business, plus I needed a way to express all the things I had learned so I purchased a couple of other domains. One of those domains, Curb Number Pro (dot) com represented my very first online product. It launched in June of 2012, and made a couple of sales in it’s first month. It’s a great curb number painting  business model and probably worth more than the $19 I charge for lifetime access. Selling a curb painting business really was a cool idea, but it took me a really long time to figure out how to put all the pieces together and it took me nearly 4 months to complete. I am really looking forward to my next product launch which will certainly be better and I am certain I can put it together a lot faster.

I had a couple of other ideas for what I wanted to do online since I have some background in the financial world as well as online marketing. The problem was, I felt like I had to have a separate website for each niche. So, I purchased the domain Personal Finance Literacy (dot) com as well. The new problem was that I had no time to write anything for it. I suffer from what most online marketers suffer from; information overload! It’s a horrible thing and one that I have to concentrate away from daily to get anything else done.

What I’m doing to combat information overload:

1. Unsubscribing from the endless number of email lists. I am probably on 200 lists and so I get at least that number of emails every day. It’s pointless and wastes my energy.

2. Allotting only one hour per day to training material I already own. (I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the years on training. Some good and some bad. I’m learning to TRASH the useless materials and make a conscious effort never to buy anything new until I have digested EVERYTHING I’ve already purchased, AND applied it to my online business.

3. Make a daily goals list of the top 3 things I need to do to make forward progress on my online business. I focus on what needs to be done, not on what I think I want to do or what someone tells me to do in an email. That might sound silly, but how many emails have you gotten that start out with “Drop everything you’re doing and check this out…” It’s nuts! and some of those people who write those emails are really very good at what they do…I gotta be careful.

Zeroing in on the most important things, (like writing and development of my website) has already made a huge positive impact on my online progress.

Okay, so back to the history of philjava.com…

Since I decided to do things differently for 2012, and had purchased 2 new domains, I quickly figured out that I was spreading myself too thin. In a brainstorming session, I realized that back in 2006 I had purchased a domain called philjava.com. The name is simply a contraction of my own name, Philip Jay Vandermeer. I used the site to sell an ebook package through eBay. Back then, you could sell an electronic ebook without a physical product. Within two months, after selling a handful of ebook packages, eBay changed their information product rules which forced every ebook marketer to burn the copy onto a cd and send a physical product to the buyer or remove their listing. While there were ways around the new policy, it was such a letdown that philjava.com went on the back burner and over the years I basically forgot about it. That is until just a couple of months ago. :-)

It had been sitting in my brother’s back office at his hosting company and I asked him if it still existed. He said it did, and he helped me transfer the domain to my own hosting company, hostgator. (yes, that is an affilliate link, but if you buy any domain package through that link, and use the coupon code “philjavadiscount” (without the quote marks) you’ll get $9.94 off).

I decided to utilize “the power of one” and focus all of my effort on this new (old) website!

Within the pages of philjava.com, I’ll share what I plan to be an abundance of really great content that will help you build an online presence, make money at it, and just be smarter about this whole internet passive money making thing all the way around.

I’m excited about it!

It should be a lot of fun!