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Donation Button For Your Website










If you have a website that gives people information, is entertaining, or even sells things, a donation button can be quite profitable.

Having built websites since 1995, and having installed donation buttons for 40 clients, you’d think I would have figured out by now how much having donation buttons can change things for anyone with a website. Now that I realize that, I’m offering to install these donation buttons for everyone.

Sure, most end users will ignore donation buttons, you may not have a large number of visitors and some donations may be small, but every now and then someone comes along who really makes your day with a huge donation! Of course a lot of little donations add up nicely also.

This is a standard PayPal button. People with and without PayPal accounts can pay you instantly. The money goes directly into your account. You don’t have to do anything to collect money. Unlike so many other donation systems, almost all the money goes to you. PayPal gets only around 3.5 percent. The rest is yours.

So, I will be happy to install a donation button on your website just like the one above. The button can be at the top or bottom of every page, in a sidebar, or on a selected page. The price is $100. Call, text or write, and let’s get it done! – Jeff Napier, (805) 843-5353, jeff@jeffnapier.com

This doesn’t work for everyone. If you have a website that’s weirdly constructed or cannot accept a donation button, there’ll be no charge for my effort.

I like to make sure websites are backed up before adding anything. If your site isn’t being backed up properly, there may be an additional charge to back your site up. If this is necessary, of course I’ll let you decide before paying any money.

Cheers! – Jeff Napier


Jeff Napier, Donation Button Installer

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More Visitors For Your Website

Introduction

Having built hundreds of websites, and helping my clients bring targeted visitors to their websites since 1995, I’ve learned a thing or two about website marketing.

Rather than doing it all for my clients, I started coaching them in how to do it themselves. After all, many of the techniques I’m about to divulge are easy to do. Some are remarkably effective.

My most successful client went from 3 visitors a month, one of which was her mother, to over 14,000 visitors per day. It took her less than 20 minutes, and cost her no money. Now, your success may not be as spectacular as that, but you’re still likely to do fine, maybe even remarkably well!

I’ll tell you exactly what she did a little later on. In fact, I’m going to present a whole bunch of techniques. You don’t have to do them all. Just pick and choose the ones that resonate with you. For instance, you may not be a master programmer. You may not even know HTML or WordPress. No problem, many of these can be done by people who can barely work a computer.

You may notice I said ‘targeted visitors.’ By that I mean people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. For instance, if you’re selling harnesses for Saint Bernard dogs, your targeted market is Saint Bernard owners. You don’t necessarily want ten million visitors who don’t even own dogs. You’ll do much better with 100,000 people who actually have Saint Bernards and want to buy your harnesses.

So let’s jump in. Stay tuned all the way through, skipping over what you already know, because at the end of this ebook, I’m going to tell you how about to get your visitors to take your action step. After all, you want your 100,000 visitors to all buy your product, contact you, or do whatever you want them to do. I’ve got some great tips and techniques for guiding people to your action steps.

On-Page SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Table of Contents

For the techniques in this first section, you will need some web design experience, or you can pass this information on to your webmaster. In fact, if he doesn’t have access to this ebook, he’s really missing out. You may want your webmaster to buy a subscription.

Note: Don’t share your subscription. When our automated software finds two people signed on with the same account, it may cancel that account.

1. Try to get a descriptive domain name. For instance StBernardHarnesses.com helps people remember your domain name, and is the first big clue to search engines as to what your website is about.

How do you know what’s available? Go to WhoIs.com to test domain names you’d like to use. If the name you want is taken, WhoIs will offer suggestions for other, available names.

1a. You can leverage AI to help find a domain name. Look at this example from ChatGPT:

You
How can i express in a domain name ‘saint bernard dog harnesses?’

ChatGPT
You could express “Saint Bernard dog harnesses” in a domain name in several ways. Here are a few suggestions:

SaintBernardHarnesses.com
BernardHarnessed.com
BigDogHarnesses.com
SaintBernardGear.com
SaintHarness.com
BernardStrap.com
SaintBernardGearHub.com
HarnessesForSaintBernards.com
SaintBernardStraps.com
SaintBernardTackle.com

Remember to check the availability of these domain names and ensure they are not already registered by someone else. Also, consider choosing a domain name that is easy to remember and type, and preferably includes relevant keywords for better search engine optimization (SEO).

2. Try to get a .com extension. Some of the other extensions like .biz, .us, or .info do not trigger automatic linking in social media and elsewhere. For instance, if you write stbernardharnesses.site in a Facebook post, it may not be linked, but stbernardharnesses.com will be linked automatically as soon as you write it. It may turn blue and be underlined, letting people know they can simply click it, and they’ll be taken to your website. People also tend to take domain names that end in .com more seriously.

3. What if the name you want is taken? Let’s say stbernardharnesses.com is not available. There are some tricks that will work nearly as well. You can use dashes, or add something to the name. For instance st-bernard-harnesses.com or stbernardharnesses5000.com. There are some people will tell you that especially long names, or ones that are hard to type on a phone, such as with dashes are a bad idea. As it turns out, that seldom matters. Most domain names are simply copied and pasted these days.

4. According to experts, your home page should have about 300 words. Woven into those words are the keywords people are likely to enter into search engines when looking for what you have to offer. Keywords can actually be phrases. The term should be ‘key phrases’ but it turns out everyone says ‘keywords.’ For instance, ‘Inuit Throat Singing’ is a keyword.

300 words is a loose concept. Some successful websites have very few words on the home page, while others have thousands of words.

5. Make use of the <h1> tag. This shows a large title. There should be one <h1> tag on every page, or at least your home page. It should contain a title that once again tells readers and search engines in just a few words what your website is about.

6. You can have one or more <h2> and smaller headings on your pages.

7. Use images, even if generic images. I mean, how do you picture an insurance product, or a self-improvement concept? You can just find pictures of happy people. Your website visitors will be more likely to stay and read your material if pictures are interspersed. (See how I used the crowd image above?)

7a. You can get public domain images from Pexels.com, and other sources. Make sure they are truly public domain. I have had three clients who were hassled legally for use of copyrighted images. Most such cases are merely nuisances. For instance, one client was used for use of a cartoon image from a television show. A hot-shot lawyer representing the TV show sued my client, and received a grand $300. However, until the resolution of the case after several months, my client was quite worried and paid quite a bit in legal fees.

You can also get images from Wikimedia Commons but you need to either add attribution, or make sure the images are clearly marked, ‘public domain,’ ‘free use,’ or ‘coo.’

8. In HTML, the scripting language of webpages, every picture has an ‘alt’ tag. This was originally designed for very low bandwidth situations or for people with vision impairment in which the picture could not be seen, so alternative text would be presented in its place. With many images these days, the alt tag is left blank, like alt=””. However, you can fill this with keyword content. This has two advantages: The small one is that people who really are vision impaired will have some idea what you’re showing. The bigger advantage is the search engines will pick up what’s in your alt tags. This makes little difference in overall search results. However, there are people who will switch to a list of images when using search engines. The search engines cannot interpret what’s in a picture without an alt tag, but if you have included content, then your picture will show up in image search results. This can make a bigger impart in bringing visitors than you may at first imagine.

9. Add meta tags. Some search engines’ documentation generally says that meta tags carry little or no weight, but some of the experts will tell you they are still important. There’s a lot of guess work of this sort in search engine optimization. Search engines are always evolving to try to beat people who are trying to gain unfair advantage.

For instance, you may think you can hide keywords by using a text color the same as your website’s background color. The search engines will actually demote your site in results if you do things like that.

The two meta tags that are most important are <meta keywords> and <meta description>.

The list of keywords can be long, with each being separated by a comma. For instance for our St. Bernard harnesses example, it might be something like this:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”dog harness,dog collar,St. Bernard harness,St Bernard harness,St Bernard collar,St Bernard collar”>

The description meta tag can be up to 260 characters. Some experts will tell you that 255 characters is the limit. This should be a human-readable description weaving in as many relevant keywords as you can. This meta tag’s content is what will show up in search results where people will see your domain name, and followed by what’s in your meta tag.

If you’re working with WordPress, and if you’re not using an SEO plugin, you can write your meta tags directly into a child theme’s header.php file.

10. If you’re providing a product or service to a specific area, you can greatly boost search results with a line, typically at the bottom of your pages, like this one, which applies to where I live:

Serving San Anselmo, Fairfax, Woodacre, Lagunitas, Nicasio, Forest Knolls, Point Reyes, Olema, and the rest of West Marin County.


Redwoods in West Marin County, California

That way, if someone googles your service plus the town they live in, you may be at the very top of search results.

11. Provide things like a sitemap. Most people think of ‘sitemap’ as a list of links to the pages in your site, typically at the bottom of your pages. The sitemap the search engines want is a file that’s invisible to end users, but the search engines use to understand the architecture of your website. It’s not essential, but helps with search results.

12. If you’re working with WordPress, you can add Yoast SEO, a free plugin that builds sitemaps automatically, notifies search engines of changes to your website, and gives you guidance on SEO procedures such as writing the meta tags.

There are a few more, less important SEO tricks, but these are the basics. Beware of ‘professionals’ who will try to sell you “SEO Optimization” for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Most of it is smoke and mirrors.

I once had a client who had been paying $2,000/month for “SEO Maintenance” for two years. I asked how well it was warking. She told me that as far as she could tell, not a single client came from that SEO maintenance.

No such thing as ongoing maintenance would make sense, unless the content of the website is changing on a regular basis.

13. You might borrow keywords from other fields. One of the best is to mention locations. For instance, “Here’s a picture of a St. Bernard wearing one of our harnesses in Balboa Park, San Diego.” Or, “Here’s a picture of Martha Steward’s St Bernard wearing one of our harnesses.” These of course leverage Balboa Park, San Diego, and Martha Stewart.”

14: What if you can’t get all possible keywords into your pages? You might consider adding a blog to your website. There, you can add pictures of St. Bernards with your harnesses accompanying various owners in various locations. That way, you can leverage the names of hundreds of celebrities or locations. Or for that matter, you can write simple textual posts such as, “We recently discovered the Mount Pillar Ski Resort uses our harnesses.”

15. Notify the search engines of changes to your website. WordPress has a built-in mechanism for this, as does the Yoast SEO, All-In-One SEO, Jetpack, and other such plugins. You can also do it manually at Pingomatic.com. That website refers to all websites as blogs, but you can disregard that, enter your domain name, and check four checkboxes. It then tells over 100 search engines that your website has changed and should be re-indexed.

Ping-O-Matic, part of your SEO plan
Ping-O-Matic

16. You can add social media links. You’ve probably noticed them typically at the bottom of many website pages. They’re even at the bottom of this page. They are icons representing Facebook, X, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.

You may be surprised to discover that most people misunderstand the best use of these icons. They think that these are links to their own pages in social media. In other words, if you’re maintaining a business page on Facebook, or a feed on X, you should link to that. In most cases, that’s not so. It does nothing for you. You already have the people on your website. Why distract them? The only exception would be if your website is static, but you have ongoing news on your social media. For instance, if you’re offering classes on your website, but the actual up-to-date scheduling is on social media, then yes, by all means, link people to your social media sites.

However, the more useful approach is to give people a link to their own social media pages. These icons can not only link people to their own social media presences, but can carry an excerpt from your page and a link. They then have the option, as easy as the click of a button, to create a post on their own page with a link to your website. In most cases, they can post an excerpt from your website verbatim, or they can edit to add their own flavor. Imagine the potential: As more and more people add posts or their social media about your website, your visitor count can grow exponentially. The downside is that almost everyone ignores those social icons at the bottom of your website pages.

17. Post interesting, useful or eccentric content. An example is a website for high-tech radio antennae. This website provided charts and graphs of interest to radio professionals, so it became the go-to website for that sort of information. They ended up with pretty much all the people who needed their antennae, so of course they sold a lot of antennae. To put it in the context of St. Bernard harnesses, if you could add some content about the care and feeding of St. Bernards, you’ll eventually build a reliable collection of well-targeted visitors. Or, you might simply build a gallery of St. Bernard photos. People who love these big dogs, and I’m sure there are lots of them, would enjoy your gallery, bookmark your website, and come back often.

18. Ask people to support your website by bookmarking it and telling their friends and associates. You can simply add text somewhere on your website asking people to do so.

19. Is your website running fast enough? I had a client with an online store that was getting no sales. I checked, and her pages were taking on average 21 seconds to appear. No wonder no one bought anything! I migrated her website to another hosting company, and suddenly, with no other changes, her website was being presented in less than one second. A remarkable number of hosting companies oversell their capacity, resulting in slow websites. Not only that, when you complain, they may try to upsell you, and sometimes that still doesn’t speed up your website significantly.

The hosting company I’ve been recommending for the past four years is Siteground.com. They have plans that start as low as $34 for the first entire year, which includes free email accounts, free automated daily backups and free SSL, services for which some other hosting companies charge extra.

20. You can check your page speed at www.webpagetest.org. When you run a test, look at the fourth column, ‘Speed Index,’ to get an idea of how long people have to wait to see your home page. You might check at various times of the day since the number can vary. If it’s particularly slow, it’s costing you big-time.




Jeff Napier, curator, 500Ways.comI hope you have enjoyed or benefited from this so far. Can I trust you to make a small payment in order to read further? $8 is suggested, but any amount, even $1, will support ongoing additions to 500Ways. Thanks! – Jeff Napier, curator




Off-Page SEO

Table of Contents

You can only go so far with SEO. Not only that, it takes a while to kick in. Rumor has it that the Google spiders, for instance, crawl the entire web about once every eight weeks. Note that if there is no link anywhere on the web to your own website, it won’t be crawled. Without a link, the search engines, which jump from link to link, will not discover your site.

So, what can you do?

Off-page SEO has become a nebulous term that isn’t necessarily SEO at all. It’s any combination of techniques that don’t involve actually editing your website.

As it turns out, you can do as much or more through social media than what can be done with SEO. Social media means the websites where the public can post and see posts by others. Some of the big ones are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter) and Pinterest.

The true way to use social icons

1. Creating accounts with all these sites is free and easy. You can choose one or two, or post concurrently on many social venues.

With most of the social media sites, you can start by creating a profile. In your profile you should post a link to your website, and optionally add a little bio as to what you do, or why people should visit your site, and add relevant pictures. That, in itself, will bring some visitors to your website.

2. The magic really begins when you start making posts. This is free and easy to do. You can do it as often as you like. For instance two former presidents of the United States used to post on X (formerly Twitter) up to 20 times per day. Each post should carry a link to your website.

These links are called ‘backlinks’ and can have a surprising effect on SEO. It turns out that if two websites are equal in all ways, except one has more backlinks than another, it will be higher in search results. This is a good way for the search engines to understand the value of a website. If many people have linked to it, then it must be important and therefore should go higher in search results, right?

Not all backlinks are equal. Early on, people assumed the search engines merely counted backlinks. So, they started making websites that were merely lists of links, with no value in their own right. These are called ‘black hat backlinks’ and the search engines actually demote your site’s position in search results if they find these. Legitimate posting in social media creates ‘white hat backlinks.’ Even so, they are not as strong as backlinks from other, non-social media sites. I’ll talk more about that later.

3. You could simply make textual posts, but if you add pictures, you’ll get much more attention. You can find public domain pictures at Pexels.com and Wikimedia Commons among other sources.

4. Memes takes pictures one step further. These incorporate a bit of text in the pictures to better capture the attention of the people you want to come to your website. If you’re not experienced with Photoshop, Corel Paint, Gimp, or other image editing softawer, you’ll find there are some free meme generators online.

5. If you have the capability, you can make videos to post on X, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and other venues. Videos can be very powerful compared to textual content or static images. YouTube can be a particularly great place to post.

6. Whether you are posting pictures, memes or videos, take advantage of the description that accompanies your posts. Of course you want to capture your targeted audience and cause them to want to see your website. Make sure to incorporate your important keywords into your descriptions.

7. Consider obscure keywords. For instance, if your post utilizes the keyword ‘dog,’ it will be in competition with 10,000 other posts containing ‘dog’ posted on the same day. No one will ever see it. So, maybe it would be bettor to use keywords like ‘St. Bernard,’ and ‘Saint Bernard.’ Even that may be lost in the shuffle. You might instead try to incorporate keywords like ‘St. Bernard health,’ or ‘cute St. Bernard’ or ‘St. Bernard puppy,’ or ‘St. Bernard training.’ Now, you have a post that if people enter any of those terms, it will be seen.

8. Add hashtags. These are keywords that start with #. If your keyword is a phrase containing multiple words, such as “St. Bernard Puppy” remove the spaces and punctuation. To make your hashtag more human-readable, you can capitalize the first letter of each word after the first, like so: #stBernardPuppy.

Many people don’t fully understand hashtags. They may believe that they are just another way to express keywords. It turns out they have a real function. Let’s say someone has posted something about St. Bernards, and they included the hashtag #stBernard. Now, a visitor sees that post and is particularly interested in St. Bernards. That user may click the hashtag, and will be taken to a list of all the recent posts containing the hashtag. That way, they may come across your post that they otherwise would never have seen. You might think of hashtags as a way or sharing new viewers. You’ve gotta give to get – but the tradeoff can be big. I often put a series of hashtags at the end of my post descriptions, like so:

We found that the best time to introduce St. Bernard puppies to harnesses is when they are around 8 weeks old. See more about harness training at StBernardHarnesses.com (#stBernard, #stBernardPuppy, #stBernardHarness)

It is said that some social media venues will shadow ban posts with more than three hashtags. Shadow banning means that you can happily create posts all day long, but the public will never see them. I have published many posts with more hashtags, and so far as I can tell, I have not been shadow banned. Still, it’s something to consider.

Most social venues including Facebook, Instagram, X, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn utilize hashtags.

9. Go crazy. The average social media post is seen by only a handful of people. However, if you can make a post that is interesting, cute, or positively eccentric within reason, it could potentially go viral. If you get it just right, everyone will click their [Like] buttons, upvote your post, or promote it in various ways, and you could end up with literally millions of people coming to your website overnight. The reality is that this seldom happens. Another reality is you can keep posting until one of your posts catches on. You may not get millions of visitors, but maybe 100,000? Or maybe just six, but the exact right six that will license your patent, become your business partner, or take an action step that makes you wealthy.

10. Boost certain posts. With some of the social media sites, notably Facebook, you can pay a little money, and suddenly a post that might have been seen by six people will be seen by 6,000 people. You can experiment with boosting on a small scale until you find something that works. Starting with a post that seems to get good organic results, meaning no money was paid to the venue, you might boost it modestly, such as for $5 per day for four days. Most of your experiments are likely to fail, but suddenly, you may boost a post that brings you a lot of business. When that happens, you can raise the amount your willing to pay, and realize potentially great results.

11. Consider outright advertising. You can run similar small experiments with Google AdWords and other advertising paradigms. You must be prepared that most will bring dismal results. However, if you try a number of experiments, some possibly highly eccentric, suddenly you may come across something successful.

12. You can post on several sites concurrently. For instance, you may have discovered this very ebook originally through one of my posts on X, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest. Because the various sites have different image aspect ratio requirements, and different text requirements, I have learned to make all my memes square, at least 600 x 600 pixels, and keep my text under 255 characters to accommodate X. Then, I’ll simply upload my meme and text to all five sites, one after another.

Below, are some example social media posts. Stay tuned, because below that, I’ll give you some ideas for making your website more effective, now that you’ll be having more visitors.



What does a toaster oven have in common with a pond fountain? Absolutely nothing! You can’t even buy a toaster oven at discount-pumps.biz. But you can get floating pond fountains, waterfall pumps, pondDye, and all sorts of other things to enhance your acreage on a pond or lake. (#pump, #fountain, #pondFountain)


At the House of Bread in Anchorage, Alaska, they baked a 100-pound cinnamon roll. You can have fun like that in your own franchise #bakery. Find out all about it at HouseOfBreadFranchise.com (#businessOpportunity, #franchise, #franchiseOpportunity, #baking, #bread, #bakery)


Docking your sailboat, fishing boat, speed boat or any kind of recreational boat is fine until the day another boat comes too close or bad weather sets in. It’s easy to fix with a mooring whip. Get your mooring whip and other marine supplies at DockingProducts.com. (#marine, #mooring, #mooringWhip, #boat, #boating, #sailboat, #speedboat, #fishingBoat)


Can’t talk to your family and friends? We understand you. Welcome to the safe, friendly, and informative community of lightworkers helping each other to get through the spiritual awakening process at HigherSelfPortal.com. (#spiritual, #spiritualAwakening, #family, #friends, #relationships)


She doesn’t know what’s expected of her. Can she bark or not? How does she walk with a leash? Who’s in charge? Dogs need to know this stuff. Obedience Training is the answer, but dog training is expensive, right? Not if you do it yourself. Check out the puppy training videos at trainingforpuppy.com (#dogTraining, #dog, #puppy, #puppyTraining, #obedienceTraining)


As shown here, four ounces of organic, biodegradable pond dye starts a wonderful transition in your lake or pond. It’s completely non-toxic and It’s much more than just a pretty color. Find out what it does at discount-pumps.biz/pond-dye.php – where you can also get floating pond fountains, waterfall pumps and more. (#pondDye, #pond, #lake, #fountain, #floatingFountain, #pondFountain)


When it comes to painting your house, you probably don’t want this guy to do it. It’s better to hire a professional painting contractor. If you’re lucky enough to live around San Jose, Campbell, Almeden or Saratoga, California, you can contact MikeLundPainting.com at (408) 514-5415 (#paintingContractor, #paintingYourHouse, #SanJose, #Campbell, #Almeden, #Saratoga, #California)


Making Your Website More Effective

If your website is like like most, the whole reason for its existent is to cause people to take an action step, typically to buy your product or contact you.

Unless you have a very unique product or service, they’re not going to take action right away. So you have to funnel these your visitors into an action step.

1. First, grab them. The average attention span on the Internet is said to be 1.5 seconds. So, you don’t want to try to sell your visitors on the action step right away. Instead, the first thing they see on your website should be something that convinces them they should stay tuned a little longer. They should invest some time to learn what you’re up to. That can be an intriguing picture, or a big header. It should be ‘above the fold.’ That’s an old news paper term meaning just like it sounds, something they can see without unfolding the paper. In website terms, that means something they can see right away without scrolling. So, place something above the fold that catches their attention. A tactic that can work well is to ask a question that makes them wonder. A scratch that needs to be itched. An example I was thinking of for this very thing you’re reading, was “What’s Wrong With Your Website?”

2. After you’ve got them invested enough to spend a few minutes on your website, you can start guiding them down toward your action step. If your product or service is obvious and they just came to your website to get your contact info, you’re all set. Make sure your contact info is readily visible. If you publish your phone number, it should be clickable on mobile devices (<a href=tel:123-456-7890;’>(123) 456-7890).

Avoid the common mistake of presenting a contact form without also showing your email address. It is true that spammers could get your email address and run with it, but on the other hand, contact forms often don’t work right, or quit working with GMail or other services change the rules about what seem to be machine-generated emails, and some people find contact forms objectionable.

Also, don’t assume everyone can click on you email address to launch their email client. Make sure your actual email address is visible in case they need to copy and paste it.

3. Be careful about over-selling. A current trend is really long pages that have section after section extolling the wonderful virtues of the product to the point where it seems like hype or snake oil, and people will leave.

4. If you’re selling a service, make sure your picture, or the picture of someone that the visitors will be contacting, is on the website. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a movie star, or even if you are downright ugly. Once they’ve seen you, they’re much more likely to pick up the phone, or send that email.

The Magic Technique

Table of Contents

Finally, I’d like to tell you about the technique that brought my most successful client 14,000 visitors per day.

It’s link exchange, another case of giving to get. In its simplest form, you contact the webmasters at other sites, and ask whether they’d like to do a link exchange. That means you’ll place a link to their website on your own website, and expect them to do the same on their website for you.

You’re right to assume you’re building leaks. In other words, some users may click away from your site before they’d take your action step, but there are some things you can do about that.

You can add the target=’_new’ designation to each link link so that they’ll open in new tabs, leaving your website open in it’s original tab.

You can make a dedicated links page where you place all your reciprocal links. However, this is a little underhanded unless you mark it prominently, like adding it to your main menu, and giving it a name like ‘Additional Resources.’ You can also try to make associations where the links you’re adding to your website aren’t directly competing with you, yet the owners of the sites that are going to carry your link will not feel threatened by your link.

If you get place on an active website, the results can be amazing. And this is how my client got 14,000 visitors a day. It turns out she contacted a few webmasters, one of which happened to be working for a major news service. I don’t recall for sure, but I think it was USA Today. I doubt the webmaster was authorized to do that, but perhaps he didn’t know. I never followed up, but I’ll bet the link was removed after a week or two. By then, she had such a following on her own website, that the reciprocal link was no longer required.

That’s it. I hope you find this information very prosperous! – Jeff, 500Ways.com

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Secret Beach House Inside Box Truck


This guy, Scott, built what many might consider the ultimate recreational vehicle (RV), all in an 18-foot box truck. His whole home is in just a bit less than 144 square feet. He estimates the cost, including buying his used Isusu truck, at $85,000. That’s high, but as you can see, he spared no expense.

By building his own motorhome, he avoided many of the problems associated with typical RVs.

Many motorhomes are problematic because the manufacturers attempt to keep costs down by building on truck or van chassis that aren’t really up to the job. Then, the household appliances, plumbing and electrical systems are not really equipped to be shaken all the time as the vehicle drives down the road. By the time they are 60,000 to 65,000 miles (100,000 km) old, they are so broken down they are not cost-effective to keep running.

For instance, running an automotive V8 engine full out while going up hills warps the exhaust manifolds, tends toward overheating, blows gaskets, and may even burn the valves.

The ordinary household plumbing fittings will vibrate apart, resulting in gallons of water being pumped out across the carpeting, warping the cabinetry near the floor, and setting off irreparable mold growth.

Whereas manufactured homes (formerly called ‘mobile homes’) have to be made with proper and safe materials, it is legal to build motorhomes and trailers with just about any kind of cheap materials. There have been numerous reports of new RV owners having ongoing flu-like symptoms from out-gassing of formaldehyde from the paneling, cabinetry and upholstery. We don’t even want to consider the long-term effects.

Many RVs come with labels that say ‘not for full-time use.’

You might think you’re covered with a nice warranty when you buy a new RV. Unfortunately, you may discover that the dealer has had you sign paperwork stating that the dealer is not responsible for warranty work. That’s left to the manufacturer. But who is the manufacturer? If the refrigerator breaks, it’s the company that made it. If the paneling starts coming apart, it’s the coach builder. If the roof leaks, is that the coach builder or the chassis maker? You may find you have to drive a thousand miles to have the warranty work done by the manufacturer.

Worse, especially if you buy a half-million dollar diesel pusher (a large motorhome with a diesel engine in the rear), that repairs are not only expensive, but you may not easily find a shop willing to do the work. For instance, if the shifter quits working, it might be the push-button panel in the dashboard, but it might be the transmission, or it might be in the ten meters of wiring somewhere under the floor between the front and back. It is not uncommon for repairs, even on a new unit, to take literally months to have completed.

Maybe you should buy a used RV and using some of the money you saved to fix it up. That’s a good idea in general until you find out how much some of the repairs may cost. For instance, replacing a transmission in an RV can be twice as costly as in a car because it is so much more difficult to reach. Then, you might also discover that many RV parks will turn down anyone with a rig older than 15 years.

There have been numerous cases of motorhomes and trailers falling apart on the road, leaving the owner stranded without even a tow truck large enough to move it. Sometimes that straps that hold in tanks under the floor fail. In some cases, the paneling that makes up the sides of the vehicle has been known to work loose then blow off in the wind.

Among the most significant breakdowns from a practical point of view are slide out sections that won’t slide back in, or hydraulic levelers stuck in the down position. Your RV isn’t going anywhere when this happens.

Enough with the negativity already! On the plus side, you are living a lighter footprint on the earth if you’re a full-time RVer. Instead of commuting many miles to and from work, you can park your RV near to where you work. Instead of heating a 4,000 square-foot McMansion, you’re only heating a couple hundred square feet. So, even though the insulation is much thinner in an RV, you’re still leaving a smaller carbon footprint. If you’re not connected to city services, you have very little water, electricity and propane on board. You can learn to make these supplies last weeks, again reducing waste and pollution. Because you have limited storage, you’re less likely to buy and consume things.

Finally, there’s expense. If you’re in a financial bind, you might consider buying an older RV, knowing you’ll probably have to fix things from time to time, then find a good RV park or private property, where the rent is only a few hundred dollars per month.

Many of the RV parks need managers. The manager checks people in and out, offers a bit of security, and maintains the facilities such as mowing the lawn and helping people back in their trailers. This is in trade for free living.

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30 Things Only Baby Boomers Will Remember

When VCRs came out, they sold for $1,200. Eventually, you could rent videos for $4.95/day (US). At the end of the era, you could buy a VCR, complete with a remote for $59 and movies were often five videos for five days for five dollars.

Your author was fortunate to take typing lessons in public school during 5th grade, around age eleven. We all had to bring our own typewriters from home. Mine was about 30 pounds in came in a box like a hard suitcase. I was envious of the kids who had smaller typewriters. I was especially envious of the few who had electric typewriters. Imagine, with an electric typewriter, one didn’t have to make a point of pressing the A and the ; keys hard enough to match the impressions on the paper of the J and F keys.

When the phone rang, you answered it! There was no way of knowing who was calling, and they couldn’t leave messages until later, when answering machines became common. Most of the answering machines used cassette tapes. You had to rewind or fast-forward through the tape to hear your messages. Every now and then, something would go wrong and the tape would spill out of the cassette. When that happened you had to carefully suck it back in by turning one of the spools with a Bic pen stuck through it’s middle. Bic pens fit just right. Nothing else worked as well.

All serious amateur photographers had darkrooms. This was a room in the house where the photographer could lay out trays of chemicals, and a vertically-oriented projector that would shine light through negatives onto light-sensitive paper. The paper was then soaked in three trays of chemicals to develop the print. Drying these was always problematic. You couldn’t just leave a print laying around. It would curl up into a tight spiral. For black-and-white photos, which most were at the time, the darkroom had a dim red or orange light, called a safelight, that allowed a person to see, but would not harm the photos. For color photography, the safelight was a ridiculously dim olive green.

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Volkswagen

Volkswagen translates to “People’s Car” in German. During WWII, the German Equivalent of the Jeep, a two-wheel drive vehicle with the same air-cooled, 4-cylinder, horizontally-opposed rear engine as all the early beetles and vans was called the Kubelwagen meaning “bucket car.”

Ferdinand Porsche, inventor of the Porsche cars and many German WWII machines, went to trade school to be trained as a factory foreman. He got the lowest grades in his class.

Ferdinand Porche and Volkswagen, his favorite car

As some of you may know, Ferdinand Porsche designed the Volkswagen Beetle, and he considered it his greatest achievement. He rated the VW higher than his winning race cars because this was a car every family could afford. It was a masterpiece of economical engineering for its time, as is evidenced by the fact that the basic design survived for so many years. Volkswagen still makes a version of it today, although it is quite different under the hood. In fact, the engine is no longer under the same hood. It used to be in the back of the car. Now it is in the front.

People often wonder how Adolf Hitler, with all his horrible ideas and rough manners could become so popular a leader. A great deal of Hitler’s appeal to the masses was that he decided to control the automobile industry. He promised them Volkswagens, cars that every family could afford at a time when there was only one car for every 211 people in Germany. (In America at that time, there was one car for every 5.7 people.)

After World War II, Henry Ford was offered the Volkswagen factory for free by the English government, then in charge of Germany’s industries. They were looking for someone who could operate the plant, thereby creating hundreds of jobs. Ernest Breech, Ford’s chairman of the board looked the plant over and said, “Mr. Ford, I don’t think what we are being offered here is worth a damn!”

Henry Ford and the Volkswagen factory

He was right in a way. At that time the factory had not yet ever produced more than a few hand-crafted prototypes and the workers could only make cars when it wasn’t raining, because large areas of the roof were missing.

One of Henry Ford’s famous quotes came from this Volkswagen offer. When Ferdinand Porsche showed him the plans for Volkswagens, and Ford was asked about his concern of competition, he said, “If anyone can build a car better or cheaper than I can, that serves me right.”

Seventeen years later, Volkswagen was producing a car every eight seconds, and Ford could have owned the company.

In 2014, Volkswagen sold more than 10 million vehicles, more than any other car company.

The Volkswagen company owns luxury carmaker brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Porsche.

Volkswagen has more than 100 factories scattered throughout the world.

The Apollo 15 lunar rover was built on a Volkswagen beetle chassis.

Volkswagen has been exploring the use of sustainable materials in their cars, including natural fibers and recycled materials, to reduce environmental impact.

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10 Strange Facts About Cars

The world’s first recorded car accident occurred in 1891 in Ohio, United States, when a buggy collided with a bicycle.

The average car has around 30,000 parts.

The longest traffic jam in history occurred in China in 2010 and lasted for 12 days, stretching over 100 kilometers (62 miles).

The Bugatti Veyron, one of the world’s fastest cars, has 10 radiators to keep its engine cool.

The Porsche 911 has remained in continuous production since 1963.

A woman in England had to take her driver’s test 47 times before she finally passed. Quite possibly her examiner got taken for a ride.

The world’s most expensive car sold at auction was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, which fetched $48.4 million.

The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car model of all time, with over 45 million units sold.

The Lamborghini company was founded as a result of a disagreement between Ferruccio Lamborghini and Enzo Ferrari.

The average car spends about 95% of its lifetime parked.

The first car to have an onboard navigation system was the 1990 Mazda Eunos Cosmo.

The Volkswagen Group owns 12 car brands, including Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bugatti.

The airbags in cars were first introduced in the 1970s.

The first car to reach 100 mph (160 km/h) was a 1904 Belgian car called the “Mercedes-Simplex.”

The first car with a standardized left-hand driving position was introduced by Cadillac in 1916.

The fastest recorded speed by a street-legal production car is 304.77 mph (490.48 km/h) by the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+.

The electric car controversy: If you have solar panels on your roof that charge your electric car, then you are most likely less impactful on the earth than anyone driving a gasoline, diesel or even a hybrid car. However, if your car’s electricity is coming from the grid, then the fossil fuel needed to generate and transport the electricity to your car is actually more than the equivalent use of fuel in a car.

The other consideration is what to do with the expired batteries. Our best technologists have not yet come up with a good way to recycle large quantities of lithium ion batteries as of 2023. Since these batteries are tremendously expensive to replace, the value of an electric car after perhaps ten years will be so low that the entire car may need to be junked.

Some engineers have experimented with using an electric car’s battery to power a house at night, and solar cells to power the house and recharge the car by day. This would reduce or eliminate the need for large household batteries.

The average person will spend around 4 years of their life driving a car.

The windshield wipers were invented by Mary Anderson in 1903.

The world’s first traffic light was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914.

The first car radio was invented in 1929 by Paul Galvin and was called the “Motorola.”

The world’s largest car manufacturer is currently Toyota.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom uses an estimated 450 pounds (204 kilograms) of soundproofing materials to create a quiet cabin.

The BMW logo represents a spinning aircraft propeller, as BMW originally manufactured airplane engines. BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, although in America it’s often called Bavaria Motor Works.

The McLaren F1, introduced in 1992, was the first production car to have a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis.

The first speeding ticket was issued in 1902 in New York City. The driver was caught going 12 mph (19 km/h) in an 8 mph (13 km/h) zone.

The average car has enough steel to build about 45 bicycles.

The Chevrolet Corvette was initially intended to be a limited production model, but its popularity led to continuous production since 1953.

The world’s first car with an entirely carbon fiber body was the 1981 DeLorean DMC-12.

The Ferrari company produces fewer than 10,000 cars per year to maintain exclusivity.

The first recorded car race took place in France in 1894, covering a distance of approximately 79 miles (127 km) from Paris to Rouen.

Having been produced for more than 30 years in nearly the same configuration, the Volkswagen Beetles and Volkswagen vans have bucked traditional automotive engineering, yet they were very successful. Unlike most cars the engines are mounted in the rear, behind the rear wheels. The engines have two cylinders one one side of the crankshaft, and two on the other. The engines are air-cooled. The engines do not have an air filter beyond a simple screen in the bottom of the crankcase. Instead of ordinary springs for suspension, the wheels are sprung with steel bars that twist and untwist.

There were some problems with Volkswagens. The vans were prone to tipping over. The engines could overheat. And speaking of heat, since the engines were air-cooled, they couldn’t have a water-based heat exchanger. Instead they had sheet metal wrapped around the exhaust system in which air flowed to gather heat. This warm air was then piped into the passenger compartment. The end result was a heating system that wasn’t very warm in the winter. Furthermore, the sheet metal would rust out in a few years in many climates, resulting in no heating system at all. Finally, front-end collisions were often terrible in Beetles and vans.

Silly Laws Still On The Books Involving Automobiles

In Memphis, Tennessee, a woman cannot legally drive unless there is a man running on foot ahead of her car with a red flag to warn motorists that a woman is driving. Like many of these laws, this one is seldom enforced.

In Russia, it is illegal to drive a dirty car. You can be fined for driving a car that is visibly dirty.

In Alabama, USA, it is illegal to drive blindfolded. (Seems obvious, but it’s an actual law!)

In Denmark, it is mandatory to check underneath your car for sleeping children before starting the engine.

In Thailand, it is illegal to drive without a shirt on.

In California, USA, it is illegal to jump out of a moving car.

In Cyprus, it is illegal to eat or drink while driving.

In Japan, it is illegal to splash pedestrians with water from puddles while driving.

In Nevada, USA, it is illegal to ride a camel on the highway.

In Saudi Arabia, only men are allowed to drive cars.

In Massachusetts, USA, it is illegal to operate a car with a gorilla in the backseat.

In Singapore, it is illegal to drive without a valid Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) device during certain hours.

In Australia, it is illegal to drive with a person or animal tied to the outside of your vehicle.

In Oklahoma, USA, it is illegal to read a comic book while driving.

In Minnesota, USA, it is illegal to cross state lines with a duck atop your head.

In Ohio, USA, it is illegal to drive a car without a steering wheel.

In Hawaii, USA, it is illegal to place coins in your ears while driving.

In Oregon, USA, it is illegal to go hunting from a moving vehicle unless the target is a whale.

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North Carolina

North Carolina is known as the “Tar Heel State” and its residents are called “Tar Heels.”

The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, conducted their first powered flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903.

The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, is the largest privately owned house in the United States. It has 250 rooms and covers 178,926 square feet.

The state’s official beverage is milk.

Pepsi Cola was invented and first served in New Bern, North Carolina, in 1893.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the oldest public university in the United States, chartered in 1789.

The state’s Outer Banks are a chain of barrier islands that are constantly shifting due to ocean currents and winds.

The state is known for its beautiful lighthouses, including the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States.

North Carolina is one of the leading producers of sweet potatoes in the country.

The town of Wilmington, North Carolina, is a popular filming location for movies and TV shows, earning it the nickname “Hollywood East.”

The “Research Triangle” is a region in North Carolina that includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. It is home to several prestigious universities and research institutions.

Blackbeard, one of the most infamous pirates in history, had a hideout in Beaufort, North Carolina.

North Carolina is the largest producer of tobacco in the United States.

Cheerwine, a cherry-flavored soda, was created in Salisbury, North Carolina, in 1917 and remains popular in the state.

The city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was originally two separate towns, Winston and Salem, which merged in 1913.

North Carolina is home to the largest military installation in the world, Fort Bragg, which covers over 251 square miles.

Silly Laws Still on the Books in North Carolina

It is illegal to use elephants to plow fields unless they are accompanied by a state-licensed elephant driver.

Bingo games cannot last more than five hours.

Alligators may not be kept in bathtubs.

If a man and a woman who are not married enter a hotel room together, they may be arrested.

It is against the law to sing off-key.

Women must have their bodies covered by at least 16 yards of cloth at all times.

Fights between cats and dogs are prohibited.

It is illegal to sell more than two drinks to the same person at a time.

No one may sing “Happy Birthday” in a public restaurant.

It is illegal to go to bed without first having a full bath.

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New York State

New York City was originally settled by the Dutch in 1624 and was known as New Amsterdam until it was captured by the English in 1664 and renamed New York.

In 1785, New York City became the first capital of the United States under the new Constitution before it was moved to Philadelphia and eventually to Washington, D.C.

The Seneca Falls Convention, held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, marked the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States.

The New York Draft Riots, which took place in 1863 during the Civil War, were the largest civil insurrection in American history, sparked by opposition to conscription.

In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City resulted in the deaths of 146 garment workers, leading to significant labor reforms and safety regulations.

The Empire State Building in New York City was the tallest building in the world until the completion of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 1970.

The Empire State Building, completed in 1931, was constructed in just over a year and became an iconic symbol of New York City and the United States. During WWII, a US bomber pilot lost his way in cloudy conditions, smashing into the 78th floor of the Empire State Building. Unlike the World Trade Center, the building did not collapse. The damage was totally repaired.

The abolitionist movement gained momentum in New York State in the 19th century, and it became a critical hub for the Underground Railroad, helping enslaved individuals escape to freedom.

The construction of the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, was completed in France in 1884, and it was then disassembled and shipped to New York City where it was reassembled on Liberty Island.

The Great Blizzard of 1888 paralyzed New York City and the surrounding area with record-breaking snowfall and strong winds, resulting in significant loss of life and economic disruption.

The Catskill Mountains in upstate New York were a popular destination for vacationers, entertainers and artists in the 19th and 20th centuries, inspiring the Hudson River School of landscape painting.

The Finger Lakes region in upstate New York, with a population of around 4 million people, and known for its wine production, particularly Rieslings and other cool-climate varietals, is named after the long, narrow lakes that resemble fingers on a hand.

The Adirondack Park in northern New York is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States.

The Woodstock Music Festival, one of the most iconic music events in history, took place in Bethel, New York, in 1969.

The first American pizzeria, Lombardi’s, opened in New York City in 1905 and is still operating today.

New York State has hosted the Olympic Games four times: twice in Lake Placid (1932 and 1980) and twice in New York City (1904 and 1932).

The world’s first commercial-scale electric power plant, the Pearl Street Station, began operation in New York City in 1882.

New York State is home to numerous prestigious universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, and New York University.

New York State has more ski resorts than any other state in the United States, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.

In 1859, Central Park in New York City had a “Vinegar Hill” – a small, isolated mound of rock that was made entirely of discarded vinegar barrels.

The town of Phelps, New York, holds an annual “Sauerkraut Weekend” festival to celebrate its history as a major sauerkraut producer.

In the town of Cairo, New York, there is a building known as the “World’s Smallest Church,” which can only accommodate a congregation of about 8 people.

The town of Medina, New York, is home to the “Floating Bridge,” which is a bridge built on a pontoon system, allowing it to rise and fall with changes in water levels.

The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, is home to the world’s largest collection of glass art, spanning over 3,500 years of history.

New York State has a town named “Sodom,” located in the Finger Lakes region. Its name has sparked various theories about its origin.

The village of Lake George, New York, hosts an annual “Winter Carnival” featuring events like an outhouse race, ice diving, and a chili cook-off.

The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, houses the National Toy Hall of Fame, where iconic toys like Barbie and LEGO have been inducted.

In the town of Saratoga Springs, New York, you can find the “Spam Museum of Saratoga Springs,” dedicated to the canned meat product.

The world’s largest kaleidoscope can be found in Mount Tremper, New York. It is housed in a silo and offers a mesmerizing visual experience.

New York State has a town named “Chili,” which is often subject to jokes and puns related to the spicy food. The town name is pronounced like “Chy ly” but also “Che lee.”

TThe town of Geneseo, New York, holds an annual “Dog Parade” where participants dress up their dogs in creative costumes and march through the streets.

The town of Sackets Harbor, New York, hosts an annual “Civil War Weekend” featuring reenactments, historical tours, and cannon firings.

Silly Laws Still on the Books in New York State

It is illegal to take a lion to the movies.

You cannot allow a donkey to sleep in your bathtub.

It is illegal to jump off a building more than 50 feet tall.

It is illegal to greet someone by putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers.

It is illegal to keep a bear as a pet.

It is illegal to honk someone else’s car horn.

If you intend to dry your laundry on a clothesline, you must first obtain a permit.

It is illegal to frown at a police officer.

No more than three unrelated people can share an apartment.

Do not pee on pigeons unless you’re OK with breaking the law.

It is illegal to wear a bulletproof vest while committing a crime.

It is illegal to eat peanuts and walk backward on the sidewalks of Rochester, New York.

It is illegal to wear slippers in public restrooms.

It is illegal to ride an elevator with more than four people and a dog.

It is illegal to throw a ball at a person’s head for fun in a city park.

It is illegal to walk around on Sundays with an ice cream cone in your pocket on Sundays.

You cannot legally change the color of a rabbit’s fur.

It is illegal to perform a puppet show without a state license.

It is illegal to keep more than two dildos in a house.

It is illegal to dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale, unless more than six are for sale at once.

It is illegal to give a dog a lighted cigar.