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Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft – Part 1

Posted by on in Internet Security, Your Computer | 0 comments


It’s the weekend. You have worked hard all week. It’s time to take a break and head to the beach. The car’s packed. You bolt out of your front door, but in all the excitement, you completely forget to lock your front door. Or, maybe you just went to your favorite smoothie shop. In all the excitement of getting your spinach mango protein smoothie, you parked your car and left your back windows down with the keys in the ignition, and your wallet laying in your seat for everyone to see when they walked by your car. You’re thinking to yourself, “I would NEVER be that absent minded…”

Truth be told, most of us would never forget or overlook such obvious blunders to our welfare, safety, and security. The precautions that we would take are obvious everyday security measures – lock our doors as we leave, close and lock our windows, and certainly not leave our windows down in our car with the keys in the ignition! Ok, so meanwhile, back to your Website. You have a Website; it’s your home on the Internet. It is where everyone that is anyone who wants to compete in the 21st century will be in the near future – online, with their own domain name and their own personally hosted website.

So, think of your Website as your physical house. If your Website is your house, then a search engine is the city, and all of the people who are using the search engine are people out in the community walking or driving around the streets of the city. Unfortunately, just as in the real world, there are those that are looking for houses with windows open or a door that is not fully closed – prowlers, who if given the chance, will break in and steal whatever they can find while you are not home. An Internet prowler is no different. They are looking for ‘loot’, and do not care about your well-being, and they will not stop until they rob you if they can.

Of course, everyone that has any sense and uses the Internet knows that cyber-crime is the fastest growing crime in the world. It’s not hard to become a cyber-criminal since most crimes are committed against websites (Internet homes) that have not been adequately protected. And let’s face it. If two middle school boys who were bored one day after school could hack into top secret computers of the military, then chances are someone equally as bored could happen across yours or mine, and do or take whet they wanted to. It’s not rare, but rather frequent nowadays to hear about someone’s website having been hacked into, someone having their passwords stolen, some worm or trojan virus that steals all of someone’s personal and banking information.

It’s life in the 21st century. It’s craziness to think that 30,000,000+ people a year have their identity stolen worldwide. It is huge business! And eventually, even you will have to deal with something like this happening IF you do not take the necessary precautions to prevent it. If you are an individual that runs an eCommerce business, you have even more to lose, in that if your Website gets hacked, you could end up exposing your users and customers to identity theft and your Website’s reputation will be completely ruined. In many cases, you are required by law to have a minimum level of security in place to protect consumers who use your Website. Hint: This is what SSL certificates are for.

Ok, so, now that we know that it’s just a matter of time before we ALL get hacked (half way serious here), what’s the good news? The good news is that if you are willing to apply some basic precautions in managing your website, you can prolong, if not completely avoid becoming a part of the statistics associated with identity theft. Here are the immediate must do things to put in place once you start to self-host your own website. Don’t get too overwhelmed in looking at this list. Some of them are handled by you hosting company, BUT, it is important that you ask your hosting company to be sure. Otherwise, defend yourself.

1)  Get Virus Protection and keep it! The first line of defense is a good virus protection software program. I recommend that you find someone that subscribes to Consumer Reports and see what the best software is that they are recommending. The top four Security Suites that I recommend are AVG, Norton, McAfee, and Avira AntiVir. I presently use Avira. I can tell you that even if you have a great anti-virus software package you can still get infected since virus attacks can be by newly released viruses. One of my sons was victim to just such a thing on his laptop after visiting a gaming site that ultimately infected his computer without his knowledge (and HE is an amazingly conscientious Internet user). I think he is still working on fixing his laptop.

2)  When you start to self-host your personal Website, change your FTP Passwords often. FTP (file transfer protocol) passwords are what you use to access the Internet from your computer to upload website files to your website. I recommend that you change them every few weeks, depending on how often you are accessing your website’s administrative control panel (the place where you maintain your website). Because viruses are all the time being written to steal passwords, then sell them off to the highest bidder on the black market, with you changing your passwords regularly, by the time they get sold or the perpetrator has the time to use it (them), they will have already been antiquated (out of date). Yes, I agree, it’s a pain, but it is one of the first and best line of defenses against hackers. I personally use a series of random alpha-numeric passwords that are 16 characters long and they are rotated weekly between the Websites that I personally own, but then I tend to be a bit over-protective since I own a company that provides Web development and hosting services.

3)  Keep your security patches updated! If you are a Windows Operating System computer user (a PC user, not a Mac), you are familiar with the term security patches. Updating them seems to be an ongoing process, but these security patches are mandatory if you want to successful in protecting your computer from MAJOR security risks! Most Trojan exploitations come through computers that are older, and/or for one reason or another are un-patched with the latest security patches from Microsoft. I suggest that if you are a Windows operating system user, you set your updates to automatic AND still visit the Windows update website regularly to do a manual update. This is in the event your system has a Trojan that slipped by your software and turned off your Windows updates. I personally check for updates every three or four days myself on my own computer, even with my automatic updates turned on.

4)  Update your software patches often. We all have personal computers and enjoy the benefits of all the software that make our computers do the things we want them to do to make our lives easier for us. I personally have close to 50 unique programs that I have purchased or had given to me as a reseller of the software that software vendors wanted me to market for them. One of the biggest mistakes of busy people, or better put, impatient Internet users is that of not updating their software when they receive notice that there is an update for it. THIS IS HUGE! I am not sure why, but it just seems to be some sort of mental block in the mind of many people I know that says ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,’ mentality. Software, in order NOT to be broke, must be updated IF it is at all accessible via the Internet (which by the way, 100% of it is unless you disconnect your Internet connection).

I remember hearing of one client who was his own Webmaster had an old version of Adobe Reader that got infected through a PDF virus that made its way to his Website. Some very bad security problems occurred as a result. He seemed clueless how it could have happened, not thinking that viruses (hacker created) could find their way on to his Website via a software program. To him, having a program that was two years out of date with security updates was a less than wise decision on his part to allow that to happen. Turns out that he would get these ‘important update notice’ messages from Adobe that he continually refused since he was too busy each time to deal with it, and finally turned off his notifications for the updates so he would not be interrupted. Bad mistake! Bad. Bad. Never Not let your software updates have their way with your computer.

Lot’s of the latest viruses on the market are targeting software as a way to access your computer and/or Website. How are you doing so far? Have you taken these precautions yet? If you have an hour or so, and you have not gotten these fundamental tools in place for your protection, I want to encourage you to address them as soon as possible. If you do not know how to do these things, be willing to pay someone to help you get them done for your.

You will never regret the time investment in protecting your Website and your future success as a result of protecting your personal information and the information of those who visit or use your Website. In Part 2 of this series on Securing Your Computer and Website, I will talk about some additional precautions that someone who wants to have a secure and trusted Website must consider and implement. It will deal more so on the web hosting company’s responsibility side, and what you can to do to be proactive in protecting your investment of time and money and livelihood in doing business online. If you don’t take anything away from this blog post but one nugget of truth, it would be “Update always, and often.”

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How to Choose a Winning Domain Name

Posted by on in Branding, Domain Names | 0 comments


WHY Take the Time to Choose a Good Domain Name?

Choosing a domain name. It’s on a long list of important steps a person must take in order to ensure their long-term success online. If you are like most people, you are probably thinking that it’s not that big of a deal. “It’s just a name – an address on the Internet that people will visit. If you are thinking this way, you have just shot yourself in the foot of your branding success. From an online marketing and branding strategy perspective, it is one of the single-most important initial steps you need to make in the long-term success of your online presence.

How to choose a good domain name is not necessarily difficult; however, as most important things in life, it does take some foresight and patience to find the best name for what you do or want to be known for. Most successful business owners rely on a branding and marketing professional/company. This is because they understand the importance of seeking out wise counsel to gain an understanding of the big picture for their strategic marketing plan. They realize it is foolish to make a quick decision on anything in business without seeking out wise counsel in areas that they don’t have expertise in. If you are not well-accomplished in the principles of 21st century brand development and marketing, it is foolish to go it alone when it comes to marketing (which ultimately translates into sales revenues).

HOW to Choose a Good Domain Name

Domain names are central to building your overall personal or business brand. Your domain name should reflect who you are. If you have an established brand, we suggest that you immediately reserve a domain name that is identical to your company name. If you are an individual, reserve your personal name if at all possible. Ideally, you want to be able to build your website around your company’s core purposes and not its name, BUT having a name that reflects the nature of your business can be a valuable tool in helping you generate traffic to your website.

Like many business owners who want to establish an online presence for their business, most do not have the insight and understanding of everything that goes into choosing a good domain name. Having a domain name that stands out for what you do is part of the equation, but being attentive to the long term brand potential is equally important. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you are a construction business. If your company name is Built Right, Inc., your primary domain name should most definitely be; however, this name does not really tell someone what you do.

While the name Built Right has a nice ring to it, a company domain name like “” which has what the company does as a part of the name has a greater potential to capture Internet traffic. This is because people who are looking for a ‘construction company’ or a builder would most likely type in “construction company” into a search engine browser like Google or Bing.  Since most search engines worldwide look at the name of a domain as a first rule of whether the site is relevant or not to the search, having a name that has ‘construction company’ in the name is a big plus.

If you are open to considering a slightly different and somewhat unorthodox approach to gaining exposure on the Internet without having to pay big bucks to do it, consider the following ideas the next time you are thinking about buying some domain names:

1) A word of caution as my number one step! Be careful where you search for your domains when doing research. This is especially important if you do not plan to make a buying decision right away. There are some domain registrars (will not mention names here) who skim search queries from their domain search pages and if the domain someone is checking on has potential, they will purchase it through a dummy company or third party who works for the registrar, and then turn around and put it up for sale to the highest bidder it there is an interest in the domain by more than one party. This trend is growing as domains become more and more scarce – especially top tier domain designations like that of “.COM”. This is our domain search tool and where we buy all of our domains.

2) Write out a list of short questions that start with ‘how to’ and ‘where to’  that relate to your business. If you are in the pet industry, you might have a question like, “how to research pedigrees’ or ‘where to find non toxic pet shampoos’ or ‘how to trim a cats claws’ or ‘where to find a cat casserole recipe’ (just kidding). These questions that you have come up with may very well be the very questions that an average Internet user might type into a search engine who has the need of finding this information, i.e. (how to research pedigrees) or (where to find non toxic pet shampoos).

3) Now the fun begins. Type these questions that you have come up with into your favorite search engines (Google included) and see what domains pop up with those keyword (key phrases) you have just come up with.  The first thing to do is to check and see how many instances the phrases are referenced. That gives you an idea of how often others write about it where their pages have been ranked on the Internet. Next, you want to visit your Google keywords tool and do a search for that phrase to see how many people search for that in an average month – mainly the current month. This will give you some idea of the amount of traffic potential for the phrases you have chosen.

4) If you like the numbers you see in page references as well as average monthly searches for the phrases you have chosen, take the time to do a domain search for those phrases. Here is why. One of the very first rules in the Google ranking process is the relevance of a domain name to the actual search inquiry done by someone searching for that phrase, i.e. ‘where to find a cat casserole recipe’ (no, not really… please don’t be searching for this). If that key phrase is available, you are on to something that could bring several thousand people to your website if you apply even a few of the other general rules that search engines use to rank pages.

5) Once you have purchased the domain, the rest is pretty straight forward. You want to host it with a company you feel offers the best product for the money to promote your website and start writing regular content for your website. One big precaution when it comes to hosting is to watch out for those cheap “UNlimited” sorts of accounts until you have read the fine print. They are NOT unlimited, and you could very easily have your site either suspended for too much use or have your credit card charged a penalty for abusive use of the system. Yes, this really happens.

Most of us have heard the old adage, “It’s all in the name…,” and when it comes to choosing the right descriptive domain names that will give you faster page rankings and drive more traffic to your website, this strategy just outlined may be just what you need to get paying customers to your Website.

As always, we would be grateful to you if you would leave a comment. If you would, please also take a moment and share this article with those you think could benefit from it through your favorite social media network! Hit that LIKE button below too for Facebook if you are a Facebook user! We will be grateful if you would. Thanks!

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8 Things to Remember in Order to Find Certain Success

Posted by on in Website Help | 0 comments

Every year people all over the world attempt to make  new year resolutions about what they will do differently in their lives in the coming year. They will assess the last year of their life. They will determine what they want to change in their lives.  Then they will willfully make the necessary changes in order to see the positive results they want.

quote-success-stepsYet, there are people who refuse to think they are not being successful in life. They will live out another entire year doing the same things they have always done, making the same excuses they have always made (in various forms), and they will be almost in the same exact place they are today – a year from now. If you don’t want to be one of this second group of people, here are eight things to remember in order to find certain success when you make your next set of resolutions

1) DO NOT allow yourself to stay con tent with any bad habits you have.

2) Choose to take the necessary steps in your attitude to get to where you want to be.

3) Learn what you need to learn. Knowledge is power.

4) Gain the knowledge and understanding of how to use it . Do not be afraid to ask for the help you need. Surround yourself with people that you can gain the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom from. You need these to ensure your lasting success.

5) be on the constant lookout for opportunity. Remember that wit’s great opportunity,there most often comes great challenge. Never never be afraid to step out and try something new or different if those things will help you get closer to your dream, goal, or fulfilling your vision.

6) Remember that fear is the killer of faith. You will be met with that ugly creature called fear if you are attempting to make a difference in the world. Don’t back down from what you know to be something worthwhile for fear of failing, or worse, for fear of what people will think of you if you do.

7) Everyone who has been highly successful in life has failed equally as much. It is just a part of life. Just remember that failure is not a final destination. It is only a temporary setback and an educational experience along the road towards success. Don’t be afraid to fail.

8) Believe in your dreams. Expect your success to come as you pursue those things you need to do – no matter how small the steps are that you take each day.

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Four Fundamental Must Haves for Business Success

Posted by on in Website Help | Comments Off on Four Fundamental Must Haves for Business Success


There are four fundamental must-haves for business success if you want to be assured of your long-term success. They must be present in the life of your business. There is no way around not having them IF your company is to survive in the long-term, and to grow proportionately to the time your company has been in business. While there may be a few exceptions (none that I can think of right now), it is highly unlikely that those companies without these four fundamental necessities will ever grow to a place of national, let alone global recognition.

The four fundamental must-haves for business success are a part of every successful business that I have seen or worked with in my career as a business consultant and coach.  And with the business environment of our global economy as it is today, these four fundamental must-haves for business success are especially important in the 21st century.  See how your business backbone measures up to this litmus test of success essentials for a thriving business:

1)  You must have a business plan

A business plan is a must-have road map that quides you on the road to your success.  For any oceanic boaters reading this, it is the navigational charts for your company’s long-term success in navigating the sometimes stormy seas of a very competitive marketplace. Business plans are not hard to develop; however, there is seldom a business that succeeds in the long-term without one. If you are not certain how to go about developing one – even if your business is already in operation – it will be worth every dollar you spend to develop one.

2)  You must have a marketing plan

A marketing plan is a strategic directive for your business that produces the marketing muscle necessary to compete in the marketplace.  In the 21st century, marketing plans must include flexibility that includes the ability to change with new paradigms in technology and consumer buying trends. A marketing plan gives you the competitive edge over your competition, allowing you to seize the opportunity before it even presents itself, because it is anticipated, and thus able to be capitalized on much more quickly. This is the same for every industry, from restaurants to construction to technology.

3)  You must have a public relations strategy

Notwithstanding the essential nature of overcoming ‘bad publicity’ you or your company receives as a result of impropriety or the misdeeds of those associated with your company through a public relations initiative, having a public relations strategy reaches far beyond just damage control. Today, consumers (your potential customers as well as your existing customers) are more conscious than ever about how a company conducts itself in the affairs of the world.

A public relations strategy frames corporate responsibility around highly visible social issues and causes that the masses identify with and see as important in their lives and to their families.  The company that takes the incentive to get involved in these things stands to benefit in both the short-term and long-term as their reputation for ‘caring’ becomes well-known by the general public.

Another imperative within a public relations strategy is an initiative to build the “KNOW, LIKE, TRUST Factor” between the buying public and your company is an essential. The more people get to KNOW you, the better the potential there is for them to LIKE you. The more they LIKE you, the more potential you have for them to TRUST you. The more they TRUST you, the greater the likelihood there will be for them to be willing to buy from you when the time comes to purchase what your company offers. Both of these imperatives are essential in a public relations strategy.

4)  You must have good advisers

The cost is almost inconsequential when you consider the importance of having wisdom and business acumen at your fingertips. You don’t know what you don’t know.  No matter what the cost, having skilled, wise, and dependable advisers is an absolute must. While in some circumstances specialized counsel and adviser may be required, the foundational advisers are obvious, and most every business owner already has the innate sense of their importance in the success of their company.

Accounting Expertise

Accounting expertise provides the must-have skills for tax and regulatory compliance; analysis, planning, budgeting, and auditing.

Legal Expertise

Legal expertise is without a doubt a must have when it comes to limiting your legal exposure in the course of business operations. It is seldom that a business success story is every absent of sound legal expertise. Legal counsel provides ongoing oversight for a wide range of personal and business needs – regulatory compliance, general business activities, contracts and agreements governing relationships with vendors and customers, the ability to limit potential claims or litigation that come as a result of missteps or oversight. All of these legal needs are inevitably a part of a business, whether it is thriving or not, and having timely legal advice is an essential need PRIOR TO an action or activity that opens you or your company up to liability. Without any doubt, the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is far better than a pound of cure,” is best illustrated in the legal needs of your business.

Business Advisers

Competition in the business world has never been more fierce. Having the right advice at the right time is an absolute essential in today’s volatile and highly competitive expanding marketplace. Business advisers are those who offer specialized business advice where you lack the expertise or business acumen to know what is the better direction to go with your business activities or in the management of your staff and its resources.

Business advisers, i.e. business consultants or business coaches provide important insight, OBJECTIVE input, and guidance based upon sound business, marketing, human relations, and public relations principles.  Business advisers can be retained on an as need basis or placed on retainer so that you can have ongoing feedback in order to help you make better, wiser, and more informed decisions to help ensure your business success.

This is one of the most cost effective and most valuable means by which to avoid most of those setbacks that ultimately cripple the success of you or your business.  It is time to at least get a business coach if you find that you continually procrastinate in the execution of your personal or business goals, or drag your feet on making important decisions that can ultimately leave you and your business in jeopardy of being shipwrecked either by changing paradigms, technology, or economic changes (just to mention few).

The reason that so few small businesses last more than five years is that they lack these fundamental necessities in their arsenal of business tools. Do you have the fundamentals covered that you need to be successful?

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Powerful Internet Marketing Technology You Can’t Ignore

Posted by on in Business Success, Marketing, Success Training | 0 comments


Those who know me well, know that I seldom actively promote a ‘business opportunity.’ If you visit any of the websites I own or manage, you won’t find obnoxious advertisements, pop-up ads or videos about business opportunities on any of the websites I own. It’s just not how I choose to do business.  This said, I can’t keep this company a secret any longer.  I found a company that I feel is worth breaking my own rules to personally endorse because of my own experience with them.

A Little Backstory

Information Highway Gold RushI have been doing online marketing since 1997 since I built my first hack job of a website to market direct mail marketing products and services. It was so long ago that if you wanted to sell something online, people had to send you a check or money order to buy your product or service. I don’t think anyone had any idea of what the future would hold for the internet. Like most of us who were around on the internet at that time doing Internet marketing, we were all clueless about what was to come in the coming decade. It was the infancy of the gold rush on the Information highway. And, everyone who had a clue about it was making money. As this gold rush evolved, like everything that is good, the competition increased. And, to this day, as the internet is beginning to grow out of its infancy, competition to use the internet to make money remains on the increase.

Ten years into my love of the internet, I realized that as a techno-idiot, I needed some marketing muscle if I was to stay out in front of the pack. After an extensive search for a comprehensive suite of tools, I found just one company out of the several reputable companies I researched that could meet every need I had for marketing my brick and mortar businesses, and my online marketing interests. I needed better tools to generate qualified leads that could convert into loyal customers. I also needed the right tools to be proactive in keeping my existing customers from being stolen away by competitors.

My Find

What I found for all of my online needs was what amounted to a common sense choice for any individual or small business who wants to effectively promote themselves online – whether locally or globally. If you are open to the idea of more successfully marketing yourself or your company online, and building an additional source of passive residual income in the process, and you have a few minutes to read this overview, I believe you will benefit from this article.

My find, Global Virtual Opportunities (GVO), has a 20 year track record in providing web hosting services and online marketing tools which are absolutely necessary if you want to succeed online. Whether you are just getting started in marketing you or your business online, or you are a seasoned online marketing professional, the powerful marketing tools, hosting services and free coaching that you are provided are with out a doubt the very best and most powerful combination of services and opportunity that has come along that even an average individual with no online marketing or business experience can be successful at. What makes GVO a company worth partnering with?

The choice to use GVO for my business and marketing needs were four-fold.

1. Unlimited domain hosting under one hosting account for on low monthly price. The first reason GVO is so worth looking at is that when you choose to partner with GVO, you get a hosting service that allows you to host as many domains as you want to under a single inexpensive hosting account. Whether you have one Website or you have thirty Websites, you can host them all under one hosting account. Think about that for a moment – one hosting account that allows you to host as many of your own domain names (Websites) on it as you want.

2. The right to resell hosting and keep 100% of the profits. Not only can you host your own Websites through your hosting account, but you are given the right to offer hosting as a reseller through your hosting account. This allows you to host other Websites for people and keep 100% of the profits, whether you sell your hosting for $2.00, $5.00, $10.00, or $50.00 a month. You keep one-hundred percent (100%) of the profits from it.

How many of your friends would like to have their own Website, and be willing to host through you over someone they don’t know? Is there anyone that needs hosting that you know of that would not want to host with you if you could offer them the same service as any other company, but provide them with personalize friendly service on a first name basis? This is a no brainer. The best part of all of this is that the way the company is incentive driven, you are able to get your service absolutely free if you like “free”.

3. Free online marketing tools to promote your business. You get a comprehensive suite of absolutely ‘must have’ online marketing tools and website enhancement tools.

  • Unlimited autoresponder email system. This is a suite of email marketing and auto responder tools that allow you to fully automate your marketing and sale process if you want to put it in auto pilot. Just set it up, turn it on, and go surfing (or whatever else you like to do)!  Similar systems cost you as much as $200.00 a month.
  • Easy video producer and integrated video hosting. This is an all-in-one complete video production tool that allows you to make, edit, and publish integrated video right into your Website. If you are in any type of business that needs to have proactive communication with your customers or the buying public, or you need to get your message out to the world on the internet, this is a must have tool you cannot afford to be without if you want to compete in the twenty-first century.  If you want to keep your visitors, supporters, or customers on board with what you have to offer or what you want them to know, video is an essential part of doing this.
  • Complete video marketing system. Video marketing is the new standard for online promotions, marketing, and sales. It is mandatory if you want to reach and engage your market niche. This amazing tool, in conjunction with GVO’s automated email marketing system is without any doubt, the most important part of your overall personal or business brand building strategy.
  • Full audio and video Webinar and Conferencing system. These tools allow you to conduct training, teach, collaborate, promote, and sell.  One of the fastest growing, hottest money making businesses on the Internet is doing Webinars. Whether you just want to use it to get your friends or family together that are scattered around the world, or you want to promote what you have to offer in the way of valuable tools, information, products or services, the GVO conferencing system is the perfect and cutting edge tool to do it with.
  • Downtime and Website Change Monitoring and Spying Software. Ever wondered what your competitors were up to on their Websites? This tool is the perfect solution for doing this. You also get the reseller rights to this software to sell it or give it a way to whomever you want. Software like this rents for $20.00 a month and is sold for as much as $150.00.

4. You are automatically enrolled into the GVO affiliate reseller program. This affiliate program alone positions you in a marketing matrix with other aggressive online marketers who are actively promoting their own network marketing companies to others, but are able to also provide a subsequent income stream to their top producers who are needing online marketing tools like those that are given for free to those who host with GVO.  The links below can take you to where you can learn about the compensation if that interests you. As great as all the free tools are, most people do not join with the intention of marketing the GVO ‘business opportunity’.  Developing a passive residual income through GVO just happens naturally.

Still not sure if GVO is a good fit for you or if you are ready to take you online marketing efforts seriously? GVO affiliates offer everyone the ability to try out everything that we have shared with you here for only $1.00US for day test drive. Please feel free to visit our hosting and online marketing tools Website to learn more at Host Then Profit with FamilyDot or Work with David Ward.

If you would like to discuss any of the information shared here, please write me at ‘dw at’ and I will be back in touch with you momentarily.

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