I Think I’m Ready For New Adventures

While it’s still winter up here in Canada, there are signs that spring is just around the corner. Yes, I know that the calendar says spring, but it really depends on where you are. In my neck of the woods, actual spring lags way behind the calendar.

Still, you know it’s coming. For the first time in months, you can actually feel the warmth of the sun (even when it’s -10 outside). That is my first clue that spring is almost here. In December, January, and February, you can’t feel the sun’s warmth even on the sunniest days. I think it has to do with the angle.

I love getting up and going for my morning walk when the sun is just peeking up over the horizon. Such a contrast to walking in the dark in the dead of winter. Yep, I walk the same time every day 🙂

I love my life here, but sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t try something different. It does get a little monotonous – even though I have the freedom to do whatever I want during the day. Maybe a lot of it has to do with being in the same location, year in and year out.

One thing I was considering doing is grabbing a cheap flight to Mexico or Central America in the fall and renting a small apartment for the winter. I know people who do this very inexpensively and they love it. However, it would mean giving up my apartment here, because I wouldn’t pay rent for an apartment I was only living in for 6 months of the year.

The other option I was considering is living full time in an RV. There is just something about that lifestyle that appeals to me. By doing this, I could travel Canada in the summer, and when the cold weather arrives, either store it and go to Mexico or drive down to the southern states until April.

It would ensure that I would always have a place to live as opposed to spending the winter in Mexico and coming back to homelessness.

Because of the way I live, I have few possessions. I downsized and eliminated my junk years ago, so it would be no stretch to move into an RV, or store my possessions if I had to. As I traveled, I could continue to work because my online income isn’t location dependent. I wouldn’t even need full time internet service as long as I had it a few times a week.

I’ve been researching this idea for some time. Watching everything I could on living in an RV (and in some cases, a van) full-time. There are a lot of folks doing it. You would be surprised. I have a few regulars I watch, however, because they seem to be doing exactly what I would like to do eventually.

One such person is Carolyn from Carolyn’s RV Life . Her story is quite inspirational and it’s made me realize that anyone can do this if they set their mind to it – even if you think you can’t afford it.

Here is her introductory video:

As you can see, she is a single female, traveling in a 1993 Class C RV and having the time of her life. She supports herself through an online marketing consulting business she started before going into this full time. Between that, and what she makes through her videos, she is able to pay the bills, chart her own course, and create her own adventures without having to worry about reporting to a traditional job every morning.

In a way, she’s doing what I’m doing, except I don’t have an RV (yet).

Not everyone is cut out for this lifestyle. While it may seem idealistic watching it on Youtube, no doubt, there are just as many ups and downs as one would experience living in a bricks and sticks house – maybe more.

But I think it’s worth it.

The main thing is that you have an emergency fund and money to pay the bills every month. Though you won’t have to pay rent or a mortgage, you need a cushion for unexpected breakdowns and other expenses that can catch you off guard.

So, if I ever want to do this, I better do it while I still can. I’m 55 now, in 10 years, who knows what my mobility will be like. Heck, I may not even be here. No one knows what lies ahead, so it’s up to us to make the most of our good, healthy years.

As far as Rvs go, they’re expensive. And I don’t have the money to buy new. Well, I could, but that would essentially wipe out my investments and that means an end to half my monthly income. Obviously, I can’t do that.

Buying used is the only option, and I do believe there are deals to be had. But you have to be careful too. Buying a 1984 class A with 69K km’s on it for under 10 thousand might seem like a great deal, but you are left owning a 33 year old RV. Low mileage, but aged materials that could give out any time. I think there is a sweet spot to purchase, but I don’t know what that is yet.
Over the last few months, I have looked at everything out there. From class A, B, and C to fifth wheels, to travel trailers, to vans, to box trucks. I’m at the point where there are too many choices and I seem to be flipping back and forth from one to the other every few days. Each as it’s pluses and minuses and that is what makes it so hard.

Shiny object syndrome.

I’ll post more as I muddle through this…

 

 

Wage-Slaves Have Dreams Too

This is aimed at anyone still stuck in the corporate machine.

Just because you are working a 9-5 doesn’t mean that you don’t have options. If you don’t have options, then you simply create them. The one way I would suggest is to start a business of your own.

So what’s the preoccupation with starting a business?

I suppose that I’ve always craved the freedom that business ownership can bring. Even though I spent over 18 years in the corporate environment, I never stopped thinking about what it would be like to, someday, break those shackles and start charting my own course.

I suspect we’ve all been there at some point. I like to think of this as every person’s secret fantasy. It’s something that many of us keep to ourselves for fear of ridicule and judgment by others. Friends and family are the worst for this – not to mention your coworkers and boss. I never disclosed my plans to anyone at work because I knew that they wouldn’t understand. Most would have wondered why I was looking for something else when I was “looked after” quite nicely by the company. The only thing I can say is that we are all entitled to seek happiness, and some find it within the confines of the company/employee structure.

There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, it’s just not for me.

You could assume that because I spent so long in the corporate world, I wasn’t really that serious about actually going into business for myself. That’s a fair assumption, but not quite accurate. I think it has to do (more) with survival and providing for my family. Though I always thought about going into business, I needed the security that a full-time job could provide – that was reality.

Now, being a wage-slave (I love that term – don’t know why), doesn’t mean that you haven’t got options. In fact, I started many part-time ventures during my years with the company. Even though I wasn’t making enough to quit my job, I did gain some invaluable experience that would help me once I took that leap of faith.

Many of the part-time businesses never made any real money – heck, I was lucky to be able to cover my costs at times. However, a few did generate a bit of income every month. And this income (after taxes, of course) was just icing on the cake. It was money that I could spend on whatever I wanted.

It’s a great feeling to be able to create your own money. In fact, I found that it was quite addictive. There’s nothing like having several hundred dollars of “extra” cash in your account at the end of the month. This is something that most corporate workers will never experience.

But the best part about running your own business while you’re employed full-time? Why, that’s easy: It means that you have a chance at making it and eventually leaving your job 🙂 As long as you run a business (no matter how much you’re making), you have a chance at shedding the corporate shackles and becoming free.

Feeling Like a Loser

There is a quote from the movie “Waiting” where Dean asks another co-worker, “Do you ever just wake up and realize you are a f@#king loser?”

Or something to that effect.

I kind of felt like that this morning. Once in a while, I’ll wake up with this awful feeling of dread that I’ve really screwed my life up. A tradeoff, I suppose, to living this lifestyle.

Here’s the thing: If you are going to live without a real job, chances are, you are going to live a meager life. Now, there’s nothing wrong with living a meager life, it’s just that society has conditioned us to feel inadequate when we opt out of the system.

We all have a natural tendency to compare ourselves with others. And we humans are constantly doing that shit. When you compare yourself to others, you are going to be sorely disappointed, because there is always someone who is going to be (supposedly) better off than you are.

I sometimes feel inadequate when I see what others have done with their lives. But then I think about where I would be today if I continued with the lifestyle I had 15 years ago.

For sure, I would be obese. There is just no way around that. I would also be an alcoholic. That, I am sure of.

A life of abundance is not always a good thing. I know some people that handle it well, but I am not one of those.

Living a minimalist life ensures that I won’t do that to myself.

I don’t have the money to wreck my life – if that makes any sense.

And there are many more positives that you just don’t think of when you live a life without a job.

Going to bed and waking up on my own schedule.
Not having to commute to a tiny cubicle.
Not having to deal with company induced stress.
Eating better.
Exercising more.
And just being in control of my own time.

That last one is a big one. It’s the main reason I live like this. Even though I am considered poor by society’s standards, I am “time rich.” I can do whatever I want (as long as it’s free) during the day. And, contrary to popular belief, you can fill your day and do things without it costing a dime.

For example, let’s say I want to learn another language. Well, I have all the time in the world. I just head down to the library and read/study for as long as it takes. I have time to immerse myself in any task I want. I have the time to enrich my life in ways that the average cubicle dweller can’t because they spend all their time working for someone else to buy shit they really don’t need.

I can pick up and go for a nature walk any time I feel like it. No schedule, no need to be anywhere at a certain time. No one hovering over me to ensure they are getting their money’s worth.

If I want solitude or to connect with nature, I can do that any time I want.

So, why do I feel like a loser today? Well, it’s obvious that there are still remnants of my social conditioning left over. Oh well, such is life. It’s not like it happens often anymore.

It takes a while to decompress – sometimes, years.

As long as your basic needs are met and you aren’t stressing about getting kicked out of your apartment or not having enough money to buy food, then you are free. I don’t care what you think you need. Your real needs don’t cost much at all.

And if you ever feel like a loser for adopting this lifestyle, think of how the planet benefits from you just taking what you need and not gorging yourself, living a life of excess. That is what keeps me smiling 🙂

Employers Still Call The Shots

One thing that really bothers me about the working world is how companies are still in the driver’s seat when it comes to hiring people. It is still an employer’s market out there, even though most of the baby boomers are retired now. I honestly thought this was going to change at some point.

But no…

It’s as bad as it’s ever been out there.

Personally, I would rather be homeless than work for someone again, but I’m just speaking about the job market in general.

I do check once in a while just out of morbid curiosity.

And it appears to be grim.

More than ever, the employer gets to call the shots. And, wow, you better be ready to jump through hoops, or you are finished.

Not only are they squeezing people with lower pay, reduced benefits, no benefits, no pension, and increased work loads, but they demand perfection every step of the way.

If you manage to get an interview, you better be on your game. The slightest indication that you aren’t the person for the job and you are out. Look at your interviewer the wrong way, fail to maintain eye contact, and you are done. Smudge on your shoe? Finished. Too old? Done (even though this is illegal). Too young? Done.

In fact, you may just remind your interviewer of someone they can’t stand and you are finished. No reason need be given – and even if there was, would they tell you the truth? Naw…

To quote Mr. Trump: “The game is rigged folks.”

How did it get to be like this?

Well, it probably started with a glut in the workforce (baby boomers), but now it’s likely that a machine has taken many jobs. And it’s only going to get worse.

So, the company is still in the driver’s seat.

I just saw an ad for a mailroom clerk in Toronto. In a matter of a few days, there were hundreds of people that had applied for this 12 dollar an hour job. No benefits. No pension. 3 month probation (where you are their bitch, basically) during which time they can fire your ass for any reason.

Another part time job required that you be available on the weekends during busy times on an on-call basis. In other words, they are so cheap that they won’t even have you come to work unless it is super busy. And if you aren’t available, then it goes against you. Basically, your weekend is ruined because you could be called on any time.

The pay? $12.50 an hour.

What is going on?!

And where is it going to stop?

Of course, they can do this because they know they can. They know there are people willing to work shitty jobs like that because they need a paycheck. Why would they make it more attractive and lose money?

All the money they save goes toward the owners and/or shareholders – and the managers get a pat on the back for having a good quarter.

Screw the workers…

I Live on $1000 a Month

Today, I am going to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and talk about my finances and lifestyle a little. It’s changed a lot over the years.

I don’t have a job. In fact, I haven’t “worked” in many years. Yet, I am not homeless. I have a roof over my head and food on my table.

I am not a bum. I pay my way in this world. And, no, I am not a senior (yet), and I am not living off a government pension.

I generate my monthly income from a few online sales and interest money on a small investment cache.

But I am also cheap…

I live on roughly $1000 a month.

No, I don’t live in a third world country. In fact, if you read any of my previous posts, you’ll find that I live in Ontario, Canada – where the cost of living is considered high.

But I don’t live a typical life.

Some might say I live a meager lifestyle, but I look at it as my long term solution to avoid becoming a wage slave. It is long term, because my burn-rate is so low, I could weather almost any challenge.

Now, this doesn’t sit well with just about everyone I know. I am constantly flabbergasted at how people feel they have a right to tell me how to live my life. As mentioned in earlier posts, my family thinks I’m a bum.

So, here is how I became self-sufficient:

The first thing I did was eliminate debt. This is one thing you have to do above all else. Being in debt will eat away at any excess money you have. It will ensure that you remain a wage slave for as long as the debt remains. Make sacrifices. Do whatever you can to get rid of this. Live homeless if you have to. Just address this asap because you can’t move forward until you do.

The next thing I did was to get some residual money coming in. Now this isn’t as hard as it sounds, but I do realize it will be harder for some. In my case, I generate about $400 a month in income from my investments. To get the capital, I sold my place and I also received a small inheritance. The other $600 a month is from my on-line ventures. This is very volatile and unreliable from month to month, but stable and predictable over, say, 6 months. I have a little money in cash to cover the lean months and even things out.

This is what I would consider long-term money that shouldn’t deteriorate any time soon. In 10 years, I can collect old age security, and that is about $1,500/month. At that point, I will have 2,500 dollars a month coming in. More than enough to do whatever I want.

For now, though, I am looking at 1,000 a month. Most people would look at that and cringe. How on earth can you live on $1,000 a month in Canada? Well, here are my expenses:

Rent – $600/month all inclusive for a tiny apartment in rural Ontario.
Food – $200/month
Transportation – $100/month for trains, buses.
Cell Phone – $30/month pay as you go.
Internet – $50/month
Netflix – $10/month

I am not including my business expenses since the $600 a month is profit after everything else (for example, web hosting) is paid.

And that is it. Nothing left after my basics are taken care of. I don’t own a car anymore; I take public transportation instead. I walk to get groceries and whatever else I’ll need.

By the way, I find that vehicle ownership is way too expensive for this lifestyle unless you are living in it (for example, a van).

I do not eat out. I do not drink alcohol. If I want to watch a movie, I put on Netflix.

I don’t have any unexpected expenses because I don’t own a house or car and we have free health care in Canada.

I also don’t own pets.

As you can imagine, every last cent is taken into account with little left over.

Yet, I survive – and all without being forced to labor for someone else or rely on social assistance.

It is a lifestyle choice. I know plenty of people that could not do this. What I consider luxuries, they consider necessities. They are willing to work hard for someone else to make the kind of money that is needed to support all that. And there is nothing wrong with it – but it isn’t for me.

There are so many people that look at me now and I know they can’t believe how far I’ve fallen. How I threw away my life. No house, no car, no job. From a lovely house in a great neighborhood to a tiny, modest apartment in small town Ontario. From two cars in the garage to a bus pass. No money to enjoy life…

But, on the other hand, I get to spend each and every day the way I want – and you can’t put a price on that…

I fill my day with stuff that I wouldn’t have even noticed while working in the corporate world. Watching sunrises and sunsets, early morning walks, taking in nature, reading a book under a large shade tree, stopping to smell the roses. Boring? Not at all. But it does take a fair amount of decompressing before you can truly appreciate nature and your place in it.

In the future, should I make a little more in my online business, or come into money, I might indulge in some of the “normal” social perks that most of us do. Traveling, eating out once in a while. But this will also be limited to reasonable amounts. We, as a race, already take far too much. Way more than our fair share.

One of these days

One of these days, in the not too distant future, you are going to cease to exist.

Everything that is important to you now – everything you have, your possessions, your lifestyle, your talents, your relationships – everything you worked so hard for is going to be taken and you will simply cease to exist.

One day soon, your window on the world, the universe, on life, will be permanently shut. You’ll be broken down to the basic elements and reabsorbed back into nature.

That is a fact. That is how it works. That is nature. Whether or not there is a spiritual component that continues on… well, that’s another (lengthy) discussion.

But speaking from a strictly scientific perspective, you are going to be completely reabsorbed and returned to nature. And you’ll have no choice in the matter.

We’ll all end up here. From the homeless guy on the street, to the ruling elite, it is nature’s great equalizer – and there’s not a thing you can do about it. No one gets special treatment, no matter who you are in this life.

We are the only species on the planet that is that self-aware. Every other animal simply lives without knowing that it will eventually die. I envy that, in a way.

Some day, in the not so distant future, you’ll be old. You will struggle to cross the street, get out of bed, cook your meals, walk down a flight of stairs, go to the bathroom on your own. You think it won’t happen, but it will, believe me. No one has a choice.

Some day in the not so distant future, you’ll be diagnosed with an incurable disease, or drop dead from a heart attack, or be fatally injured in an accident. One of these days, something is going to get you, it’s inevitable.

When will it happen? Well, that is the million dollar question, isn’t it? Some folks don’t make it to old age, while others flirt with the hundred year milestone. You just don’t know.

You can do things that will help you live longer, of course, but there is no guarantee.

You are a miracle. The odds of you sitting here, reading this, are astronomical. You could have been born a slug on a log, or even worse, not been born at all because your planet is barren and sterile.

Life is so precious.

And we throw it away. We sell ourselves to a man-made system that is meant to extract what it can for the benefit of someone else.

You are told to reach for the stars, make something of yourself, build a decent life, At what cost?

But we aren’t forest animals either. We wouldn’t fair so well without our “system.”

I think the real crime is that most of us are programmed to believe once you have a secure job, you need to hang on to it, do what is required, put up with whatever you have to, and be thankful for the paycheck at the end of the week.

Buy stuff you think you need – stuff that is marketed to you 24/7. Keep up with the Jones’s. Make sure you build the life you dreamed of. Stuff that big house with more and more junk every year.

But at what cost? Are you even paying attention to the human cost – your cost? Are you happy being somewhere you dread for 40 hours a week? Are you happy trading the best years of your life just to buy stuff you are told you need? And, even worse, to service the debt that enabled you to buy more stuff…

It leads to a life of quiet desperation in some cases.

Sure, you need to survive, but isn’t this just a little more than you need? Isn’t it more than we all need?

You have only so many days on this planet…

Imagine what you could do if you just re-examined your needs? I mean your real needs.

Simplify your needs and you can simplify your life…

Blogging For Profit

Anyone who thinks they can put up a blog and become a millionaire is going to be sorely disappointed.

Hear me out…

When I say that, I am talking about the average person who thinks that throwing up a blog, slowly getting a readership, getting listed in the search engines, and putting up some ads is the secret to riches.

Sure, it’s possible, but not very likely. At least not these days.

Why not? Well, there are a few reasons:

One – You may not have a knack for writing. Oh, no – say it isn’t so! Okay, not what you wanted to hear, but it is the truth. Just because you think your stuff is witty and engaging doesn’t mean other people are going to feel the same way. Even if you are a technically perfect writer, you may lack the sense of style that is going to grab readers and leave them wanting more. Very few of us can do that.

Two – There are a billion websites out there in 2016. Anyone with a few dollars can now throw a presentable website together with very few skills needed. Anyone can start writing and releasing their thoughts to the world. Why do you think your blog is going to stand out?

Three – The search engines are way smarter than you. They are going to make sure that only the best sites appear at the top of the results pages. Why are they going to list yours if you have no one linking to you and you have no reputation? And the days of fooling them into thinking that you are better than you actually are, are over. 2010 called and they want their spammy links back. Nope, today, you really have to be that good. Well, either good or unique.

Four – You can only do so much on your own. There are only so many hours in one day and you can only write so many articles. Eventually, if you want a chance at real success, you are going to have to hire people to do more. Writers, design people, and even administrative personnel if you get really big. The bottom line is that you are going to have to pay people to help you make it to that next step. I doubt that there are many bringing in a million a year on their own. Well, maybe the guy who started plenty of fish, but he’s an exception.

Five – You are at the mercy of whatever ad system you use to get paid. Whether it is Adsense, Amazon, or any of the numerous affiliate companies, at some point, you are going to inadvertently break the rules and you’ll be banned for life. No second chance, no appeal, no chance to explain, income shut off completely. In some cases, you’ll just be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Hard to build any sort of “business” on that shaky foundation.

So, it would seem that the dream of blogging, not having to deal with customers, and generating residual income is somewhat of a pipe dream. If you are really lucky, you may pay your bills, but forget about getting rich.

Having said all that, there are a few people who have powered through that first stage, saw some success and built from there. But eventually they had to hire help to get to the next plateau.

I am happy with what I make. In the beginning I had such high hopes, but I’ve accepted my situation and the money I make. I don’t want to deal with customers and employees, so that means my earning is limited.

To each his own.

Getting Legitimate Backlinks

Well, it’s been a long time since my last post. Hopefully there are still a few people who read this blog 🙂

Things are going well. My internet business is still producing a livable income (though some months I have to wonder if it’ll all come together in time to pay the bills).

I was hit hard by the Google algo changes, but I’m slowly recovering.

Still, I wouldn’t trade this for anything. No one I know in my everyday life can say that they have complete freedom – not like this anyway. And I’m sure that some of them wonder if I’m not into some shady dealings. I mean, they haven’t got a clue as to how I make my living and I suppose that if I were on the other side, I would wonder too.

People are so quick to assume the worst though 🙂

Anyhoo…

Today I want to talk about something that is near and dear to anyone who has tried to get a web property ranked in Google.

Yes, it is the infamous backlink.

So, I’ll start by saying that the best way Google has of assigning value and credibility to your site is to use the incoming links you have from other sites to rank you in the SERPS. The strength of these links is taken into account and the link is actually like a vote for your website.

Some of you know this, others may not.

Did you also know that there is a multi-million dollar industry that was created as a result of this? That industry is link sales. Very few people are going to be able to get quality links without paying for them – especially if your site is new and no one knows you.

Buying links is against the Google rules. Do this, and get caught, and you can end up with a number of penalties against your website, up to and including getting your site banned.

According to Google, you should simply create a site so amazing that other webmasters are going to naturally link to you.

Really? Well, maybe it’s a good theory, but anyone who has run a site knows that it doesn’t come close to being true to life.

Yes, that’s what Google has been telling webmasters for years – To have people linking to your website  of their own free will. As far as they’re concerned, this is the ultimate way to determine site quality and worthiness. But it goes a bit far in it’s assumptions.

The reality is that very few people are going to be able to make it work the way big G envisions it.

First of all, you have to get people to your site. How are they going to get there if you are nowhere to be found? And even if they did find you, what is in it for them and why would they spend any time mentioning your site to their audience?

You could hope that they are going to find your content so riveting that they feel compelled to tell their audience about it, but if you have any experience with website ownership, you know that it doesn’t work that way in the real world.

A very small percentage of content may get shared that way because there is something highly unique about it, but the chance of that happening to you is almost nil. And even if you did manage to have one of your articles go viral, what are the chances that it’s going to happen again? I don’t know about you, but it seems like a risky way to build a business.

There is something missing in the equation.

While I do agree that Google has the right idea when they say that your site should pick up all it’s backlinks naturally, I do have a issue with what is realistically achievable doing it that way – without any spark to get it started, that is.

Not to say that it can’t be done, just that it is going to take a lot of effort over a long period of time (years, in some cases). Who really has time for that?

That’s when I came up with the solution.

It is mentionmysite.com

Essentially, it is a big exchange floor of website owners who write about each other. It is all done via email and a single, secure and private off-line database. And it is a way to get some great whitehat links. Well, that is, if you don’t want a ton of links at once.

You are only going to be able to rank one site at a time and you have to agree to submit a site that you are going to use to provide links. The service emails you a suggestion and asks if you would like to write about the site. It is completely up to you, but if you do, your website gets put on the list to be emailed to other webmasters.

Yes, this is my service. It has been a long time coming and even though the domain is brand new, I have been working for almost a year with other site owners and programmers to create something that is going to finally bridge the gap between what Google wants and what is realistically possible.

I am not charging for this at the moment, so you really have nothing to lose by checking it out!

Why am I doing this for free? Well, it really is the first time I have offered a service and what better way to launch something like this than to make it free? Yep, a free service that tackles the biggest problem webmasters face today! Not a bad deal at all. In time, I may offer an upgraded version for a small fee. Or I may leave it free and pay for it with ads on my site – I’m not sure yet. In any case, enjoy the links and let me know what you think.

In all likelihood, the links that you are going to get from this service are going to blow away most paid links in terms of quality. Sure, they may not be all high PR, but if you know anything about seo, that isn’t everything.

For anyone that wants to bypass the site and just get on the list and get started, you can sign up for it below:

 

Mention My Site is going to be a blog that deals strictly with webmaster issues and, in particular, backlinks. I know that not all the readers on this site are into making money online, so I am going to use that site for all my internet marketing posts and leave this one to talk about jobs, working for yourself, freedom and things like that.

Again, check it out if you have a site that you are struggling with.

Thanks.

The SEO Bubble Has Burst – What Now?

The internet marketing world is in a state of crisis – it’s just that some of us refuse to believe how bad it really is. In the past few months, many people have seen years of work disappear overnight – a steady, livable income reduced to the odd residual sale. That is what happens when Mother Google decides to turn off the tap.

But did you really expect any less?

The fact that the bubble finally burst was really no news at all. I think we were all expecting it to happen, it was just a matter of when. Honestly, how long could it have gone on for before it really started affecting Google’s bottom line. You just knew the hammer was going to come down hard. Continue reading

Google Hates Me – And Other Ramblings

Why is Google so hard on me?

That is a question that I have been asking myself since I started this online venture. Usually it’s after I’ve  been hit by another algorithm change or one of my sites has incurred a penalty of some sort. In this business, fighting the search engines (Google, in particular) is something that is par for the course and any serious webmaster/marketer knows that this is just a part of doing business.

But it can really wear you down.

If you have been hit by the latest Panda and Penguin updates, this is something that hits very close to home.

Yes, it’s enough to make you want to quit.

However, if you are determined to make it in this tough business, giving up shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. Anyone who owns an affiliate site or makes their living from Adsense is simply going to have to learn to adapt. While the answers may not be there for you right now, you have little choice but to trudge on, looking for a break and trying to make sense of it all. Continue reading