How to Make a Website on Google

If you are looking for a simple and low cost (free, actually) website then Google sites may be the ideal solution for you.  It is easy to get started, easy to customize, and easy to add and edit your pages.

To get started, go to  You will need to be logged in to your Google account.  If you don’t already have a Google account you can sign up for one.

Once you are signed up and logged in, click on the ‘Create new site’ button.

This will take you to a page where you can provide some information about what your site looks like and what your site is about.

Select a template

Your first option is to select a template from the list of available templates.

I couldn’t find a way to change this once the site is up and running.  However, you can change all aspects of the layout and positioning of content.

You can browse more templates by clicking on the last template box labeled “Browse the gallery for more”.  There is a very large selection to choose from which are organized in several categories

Specify Name and Url

Once your template is selected, you create a name and url for your website.

The name of your website appears as the title – generally shown on the top of every page.  The name should reflect the purpose of your website.  For example, if this is for your business you should put your business name here.

The location of the website is the url, or web address of your site.  You can also have the site appear on your own domain name.  To do this you need to buy a domain name then follow the instructions about how to set up your Google site under your own domain name.

Choose a theme

While this isn’t necessary, you can choose a theme for your site. This allows you to define a general color scheme for your pages.  This can be changed at any time once your site is up and running.

More Options

Site description: I recommend providing a site description as this will help people find your site as well as better understand what it is about.

Share with: specify who you want to be able to see your site – everyone or only the people you specify.

Finally, you can specify if the site your created contains mature content or not.


You are now ready to publish your site.  Enter the Captcha code and press the “Create” button found at the top of the screen.

Once created you can view your site at the address you specified.

Add and edit pages

To add a page, press the ‘Add Page’ icon while viewing a page on your site.

To edit a page, click the ‘Edit Page’ icon while viewing the page you want to edit.


As you can see you can have a professional looking Google website up and running within minutes with no technical knowledge.  All you have to do is add the content.

If you want people to be able to find your site then I recommend going through my free course which will teach you how to get people to find your site.

Good luck!

Posted in Website Development | Leave a comment

7 Reasons to Make a To-do List (And 3 Situations Where You Shouldn’t)

To-do lists can be an excellent tool when it comes to time management. If you are trying to squeeze more productivity out of your day a to-do list will help keep you on top of your tasks.

Why you need a to-do list

1) Planning and organization – regularly making and updating a to-do list helps keep you focused on what needs doing.  This helps you keep your goals in mind and will consistently bring you closer to achieving them.

2) Motivation – one of the most enjoyable things about having a to-do list is crossing things off.  This simple act helps you to see your progress and keep you motivated toward finishing the remaining tasks.

3) Use your down time – having a list of tasks on hand allows you to find better ways of using small pieces of time you may find during the day.  Waiting in line?  In between appointments?  On the bus?  Check your list – you may find a task that allows you to take advantage of this piece of time.

4) Prioritize and optimize – seeing your activities written down in front of you helps you to see what is important and what needs your attention.  It will also allow you to group together similar tasks to help save you time and effort.

5) Reduce stress – knowing that you won’t forget important tasks can alleviate a lot of stress.  Also, the process of recording your thoughts into a to-do list helps clear your mind of trying to remember everything that you have to do.  Once created, you only have to remember to take your list with you.

6) Ongoing planning – it isn’t always possible to finish everything on your list.  In this case you can get a head start on tomorrows list by transferring things you didn’t get to today.  This will help ensure you don’t forget to do important things.  This can also be used as a form of ‘constructive procrastination’ – putting off the less important things until you have the time, or until you decide you don’t need to complete that task after all.

7) Stay focused – getting into the habit of creating a list on a daily basis helps you to organize and plan your day and stay focused on results.  This can help you avoid time wasting activities that don’t help you to move forward.

When not to make a to-do list

Despite the advantages of having a to-do list there are some situations where your list can get in your way.  Here are three situations where you should reconsider making a list:

1) Avoiding work – don’t spend your time making lists and planning instead of actually doing what you need to.  If you find yourself in this situation you should limit the size of your list and/or the amount of time you spend making it.

2) Ignoring high level planning – if you make to-do lists but don’t have a larger plan for what you want to achieve then a to-do list will be less effective than it could be.  Make sure you spend time creating medium and long term goals and incorporating tasks from these goals into your daily to-do list.  Climbing up the ladder faster isn’t useful if it’s leaning against the wrong wall.

3) Take a break – we all need some down time to relax and enjoy time in an unstructured and spontaneous way.  If you have a day off or are on vacation feel free to ease up on the to-do list and just relax and enjoy yourself.

How do you use a to-do list?  What other time saving strategies do you use?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Posted in Time management | Leave a comment

Google eBookstore Affiliate Program

Google eBookstoreOne of the most common affiliate products people recommend are books.  No matter what niche you are in there is always a relevant book or two you can refer to your followers.  While there has always been Amazon and a few other major suppliers, you can now become a Google eBookstore affiliate (I’ve mentioned the Google books affiliate program before).  This has two great advantages for those looking to earn some extra money online.

Extra Value for Purchases

Purchasing a book from the Google eBookstore has many advantages over other ebook suppliers.  In addition to the instant access that comes with purchasing an ebook, Google tracks your purchases in the cloud.  This allows you to access and read your ebook from any of your devices – smart phone, tablet, pc, and so on.

In addition to accessing your books from one central location, Google will also keep track of what page you are on.  For example, if you read the first chapter of a book on your PC at home, when you access your book from your smart phone on the train the following day you can easily pick up from where you left off.

By highlighting these advantages to your audience you can encourage more sales through your affiliate link.

New Opportunity for Publishers

One of the most profitable activities a website owner can do is create and publish their own information product.  This allows you to earn much more per sale than with an affiliate sale.  To take your business to the next level you need an affiliate program where hundreds of affiliates promote your product.  The Google eBookstore makes this possibility much more accessible.

You can publish your own ebooks with Google through the Google Books Partner Program.  This makes your ebook available to a much larger audience and allows other people to promote your book for you earning you sales that you otherwise wouldn’t receive.

To start promoting Google eBooks through their affiliate program you must first join the Google Affiliate Network. The affiliate program is currently only available in the US but will hopefully be expanding to other countries soon.

Posted in Affiliate marketing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Google and black hat: The sinking of J.C. Penny

J. C. PennyIn the world of online marketing it is a constant struggle to get your website placed in the organic search results – especially for the popular high paying search terms.  We all know the importance of back linking and I’m sure we are all aware that these back links can be purchased.  But who knew that large department store chains would resort to such techniques in an effort to be found in the search engines?

Accord to a recent article in the New York Times it appears that large companies, as well as small personal websites, are willing to try and game the search engines in the hopes of driving more traffic to their website.  It also appears that Google is just as willing to punish websites – large or small – of those who engage in these ‘black hat’ practices.

According to the article, the retailer J. C. Penny hired a firm to handle their web presence.  This firm, likely not the most savvy available, took to black hat techniques on a large scale.  Their efforts resulted in tons of back links to the J. C. Penny website for keywords ranging from ‘dresses’ to ‘bedding’.  These back links could be found around the internet on any site that would offer a link.  Many of these sites, a lot of which were ‘spammy’, had nothing to do with J. C. Penny or the keywords they were targeting.

These efforts did have a very positive impact initially.  J. C. Penny ranked very high in Google for many popular search terms.  However, this victory was short lived as in a matter of months Google took ‘manual corrective action’.  The result of which caused the offending retailer to sink in the search engines – typically from the first position for a given keyword down to somewhere on the 6th or 7th page of results.

In the end, J. C. Penny’s marketing efforts, which I’m sure cost them a fortune, ended up backfiring.  Furthermore, they have been portrayed in the New York Times as a company who engages in questionable marketing tactics.  Some argue that even bad press is good but this doesn’t help J. C. Penny’s search engine ranking.  Furthermore, if the average blogger attempted this I don’t think the New York Times would write a five page article.  All that would happen is the blog would quietly disappear from the search engines one day leaving the blogger to dig his way out of the ‘Google sandbox’.

I have heard of people who buy links and actually see good results from it (at least in the short term).  I, personally, don’t buy links (I get them the old fashioned way – manually).  If you are considering buying links make sure you do your research, understand what kind of websites your links will show up on, and how fast they will appear.  These are all factors that can tip off Google that you are doing something that they don’t approve of.

Also keep in mind that getting more back links is not the only way to promote your website.  I’ll be writing about other techniques in an upcoming post.  In the meantime, you can sign up for my free marketing course to the right to learn about acceptable marketing techniques to promote your website.

Posted in SEO | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Overcome the most common roadblocks to getting things done

One of the most common complaints I hear in the internet marketing world isn’t that people don’t know what they need to be doing.  The problem is that they just aren’t doing it.  Lack of consistent, ongoing, action is the biggest hurdle when it comes to marketing online.  Those who manage to deal with this problem effectively succeed, those who don’t fall by the wayside.  (By the way, if you are just looking to get started in internet marketing sign up for my free course to the right –> )

Common complaints include:

  • I went online to do research and spent the rest of the day just surfing
  • I spend the day reading blogs and forums instead of writing articles (but reading this blog is OK 😉 )
  • I have to do something I haven’t done before so I keep putting it off
  • There are so many things I want to get done, I don’t know where to start

If you can relate to any of these issues, you are not alone.  Trust me – it happens to all of us.  The question is – what can you do about it?  I outline several techniques below that you can use to help you get into gear and bring success your way.

Lack motivation? Create a vision

If you are trying to make money online then your most obvious goal is to have more money.  What you need to focus on is what do you want to do with that money?  What kind of life do you want to live?  What kind of person do you want to be?  If you had total freedom of choice, what would you do with your life?

If you can answer these questions you will be able to create a vision for yourself that you can work towards.  By revisiting your vision you can raise yourself above the ongoing everyday tasks and find new energy and motivation to do what you need to.  Whenever you find yourself procrastinating or getting distracted, first return to your vision to remind yourself of where you will end up once you achieve success.  If you can connect to your vision, motivation and energy will quickly follow.

Not sure where to start? Set goals

One of the things that interferes with making progress is not having a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve and how you are going to go about achieving it.  This is why setting clear, specific, goals is so important.

The process of goal setting will help you to clarify exactly what you should be doing right know and help you focus on exactly what you are trying to achieve.  Once you have specific clear steps about what you are doing you will find getting them done is much easier.

Another aspect of goal setting is research.  Sometimes you have to learn more about what you are trying to achieve in order to know what tasks are involved.

Overwhelmed? Break down large problems

It can be very easy to become overwhelmed with a task and continuously put it off.  Large tasks can appear like a mountain in the middle of the road that you feel you have to climb all at once.  Because of this people often put off tackling the mountain until they feel they are ready which, of course, doesn’t always happen.

To deal with this you have to break down the large task into smaller problems.  Let’s say you want to publish an article and you never have before.  This can seem overwhelming.  But if you break it down into specific tasks, such as: pick an article topic, pick an article template, pick an article directory, create an account at that article directory, etc.  Furthermore, each of these tasks can also be broken down if they seem overwhelming.

You will find that this approach will make your activities much easier.  Progress may be slow at first but as you master each little piece you will be better able to take on larger and larger tasks and your daily activities become much easier.

Discouraged? Be Realistic

One of the hardest things to accept is that achieving your goals can take more effort than you realized.  I can’t tell you how often I run into issues where I say I’m going to do something, like write two blog posts a day, then realize halfway through the week I haven’t had the time to write even one.

At this point I may just say I’ll never achieve what I want.  The truth is, I just didn’t have realistic expectations in the first place.  This situation isn’t a failure – it’s feedback.  Feedback about what I can realistically achieve.  Sure, I may not have an automatic six figure income in six months.  But lets be honest, if our vision and goals inspire us then they are worth the extra time and effort because without it we will never achieve them.

Sure, we all want to achieve our goals tomorrow, but failing that, would you prefer to achieve them later, or never?

Procrastinating? Just start

One of the best techniques I know for overcoming procrastination is to just start.  Start the task you have been putting off – even if you have no intention of finishing it.  Start even though you may be unclear of exactly what you are doing.  Start even if you only have five minutes.

Starting a task is often the most difficult step.  Once started, though, it is very easy to keep going.  This is why it is so important to just start doing it.  If you find that you can’t even take this step, or you can’t stick with it more than a minute or two, then you should spend some time reviewing the above points.

In closing I want to share one of my favorite quotes:

The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago.  The second best time is today.

So what are you waiting for?  Get going!

Posted in Time management | Tagged , | Leave a comment