posted under by Philip Howlett
Anyone reading this site should have a look at my new blog


Don't expect to see any updates here. It's been emotional! Goodbye blogger, hello wordpress!

Site Flipping #4 - Getting Traffic

posted under , by Philip Howlett
When it comes to selling my first flip I'm going to need a good sales pitch, but I can't put a good one together without first of all having the features in place. A desirable site is one that's getting hits and making money. So over the last couple of days I've been doing some Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). There are a ton of ways to go about this, but here are some easy tips.

1. http://www.orangesubmit.com/ - Get your site spidered quickly by Yahoo, Google etc. It's free, and you only have to fill out one form. I'm not sure of how successful it is, but the Google bot visited my site two days after purchase.

2. Wordpress plugins - If you're using wordpress then you absolutely need to install some plug-ins. I reccomend the all-in-one SEO pack and sociable.

3. Social networking sites - Submit your contents and articles to sites such as Digg and Stumble upon to increase traffic.

4. Entrecard - Another excellent free resource for bloggers to advertise their sites.

5. Google Adwords - This ones going to cost you, but it's worth it for the potential traffic it generates. I got a free $50.00 coupon through bluehost so look out for offers.

It's important to continue building links to the site. So far I've seen a slow increase in traffic, from 4 unique visits a day up to around 30. Give me two more weeks and this site will be saleable. Check out how the site is shaping up at www.moneysaverpro.com. Once again, a big thanks to Kane Pickerill for offering me some free advertising space on his image hosting site.

Web Flipping #3 - The Design

posted under , by Philip Howlett
The design is a really important factor in a successful flip. If you choose a poor design or an inappropriate one, then you're profits can suffer. Even worse you might not get a sale at all. I think I know a bit about good design, so I spent around half an hour searching for a wordpress template. There are loads of sites out there which offer them for free, but these ones have been seen a million times before. Still, if it's a good design you're still going to get interest. Luckily I found a premium theme which has recently become a freebie. Awesome, a $45 theme for free.

Installing wordpress and the template was a breeze. Customising the theme so that my logo could be incorporated was a little more difficult. I'd like to take the time now to thank Kane Pickerill (check out his portfolio and blog, they're awesome). He sorted out the CSS and PHP problems I was having. I didn't want to skimp on the design, so getting it right has been really important. To see the whole package in action check out http://www.moneysaverpro.com

I've been keeping track of how long this project has taken me, so upon sale I can see if was worth the time invested. So far, I've totted up roughly 4 hours of work. It's more if you include my constant research in to web flipping through forums and dedicated sites, but I like to think of that as background reading. The majority of that time spent was getting the logo right and finding an ebook. For anyone interested in how to implement ebooks, I'll write an article on that soon.

Useful links:

Web Flipping #2 - Buying A Domain

posted under , by Philip Howlett
Maybe I'm jumping in to this too fast? Who knows? This is an experiment, if it fails miserably I don't care, because I can say I tried. After reading about the money to be made through these kind of ventures I figured that it's worth a shot. I've read about all kinds of money making, get rich schemes, but this one has many credited sources and lucky old me has knowledge with the web. So then, part 1 is upon us.

What domain name should I choose? I remember reading an article which explained that a good domain name is one you should be able to tell a friend over the phone, without them asking how it's spelt. I've been researching a fair bit in to which websites sell, so I think I've made a well informed decision here to buy the domain name www.moneysaverpro.com. Let me explain what influenced my decision.

Firstly, it's a '.com' address, which from what I've read will sell for £10-£20 more than the alternatives (e.g. co.uk or .org). It makes sense to me, after all it's the most commonly used suffix and therefore the most desirable. It's also pretty catchy, suits a niche audience and it's short enough to remember. Maybe even more importantly it contains keywords! I began to think about what kind of things are hot in the media right now, what's on everyones minds and what are the attractive niche markets. You can't get away from the fact that we're heading in to a recession, and the credit crunch is upon us. This applies in the U.S as well, where a lot of the buyers of domains are located (thanks to sites such as sitepoint). We'll all be cutting back on costs, and I've noticed a trend in people looking online for advice on saving money. In comes money saver pro!

I won't be money saver pro of course, I'll just lay down the foundations for a budding young business person to create their money saving blog. Wish me luck! Back to the day job for now though.

Useful links:
http://www.bluehost.com - A cheap domain name seller
http://www.123-reg.co.uk - Has a brilliant way of suggesting domain names
http://www.dnscoop.com - Can approximate the value of a domain name

Web Flipping #1 The Basics

posted under , by Philip Howlett
I read a really interesting article in The Guardian recently, about a relatively new web phenomenon. The idea is similar to buying real estate, improving it, and selling it at a profit. The difference here is you're working with domain names. So how does it work?

1. Buy a domain name (find a good one, that's expired recently). Minimal cost.
2. Get some webspace and install WordPress (with a professional looking theme) and get it all up and running.
3. Create a logo for the blog and get the whole site set up so it's desirable for people to buy.
4. Add articles to the blog (5-15), features and selling points. Maybe even offer free hosting to the buyer.
5. Get your site set up to work with google adsense, and get it tracked by the googlebot.
6. Sell the site.

Sounds far too easy doesn't it? That's what I thought, but then I saw how much money people are making. A domain name costs as little as £10, you spend a couple of hours improving the site, then sell it on ebay for £50 upwards. Imagine how many you could buy and sell a day! Big bucks to be made...I feel an experiment forming!

Useful links:

3D Modeling

posted under by Philip Howlett
I used a tutorial to put this little scene together. How else am I going to learn? The results are really impressive considering how easy the shapes were to create. The texturing however is not good. From a distance, in these shots they're passable. I really need to learn more about texturing.

The Key To Reserva

posted under by Philip Howlett
Imagine if Martin Scorsese came across an old, unmade Hitchcock script. Then imagine if Scorsese actually made that script in to a film, and stayed truer than you could imagine to Hitchcock's filming style. Well...there's no need to imagine. It's been done, and it's brilliant. This will only take ten minutes of your time so pay attention and marvel.


A Short Love Story In Stop Motion

posted under by Philip Howlett
This is simply beautiful. Before I say anymore, just watch the video.

A SHORT LOVE STORY IN STOP MOTION from Carlos Lascano on Vimeo.

Created by Carlos Lascano, using various animation techniques this is a brilliant piece of work. Please have a look at his website to see how it was done. It's a work in progress and I can't wait to see the final thing.

Generation Kill Project #3

posted under by Philip Howlett
Nearly finished...

Generation Kill Project #2

posted under by Philip Howlett
I've blown up a couple of my stencils, just thought I'd post a photo for people who might be interested. It's coming together very slowly, mainly when I get a day off work! Here's a mock up...

I've got some cool ideas for the background canvas, which right now looks rather bland. My intention is to find online and newspaper articles related to the invasion of Iraq, along with some maps of the country. These will be cut out, stuck across the entire background, then faded out slightly with a white wash.

The entire background will be covered in PVA to give it a shine, then I can spray my stencils over the top and scratch away at the whole thing. If it looks a little empty I've got some smaller stencils to fill the space.

The logo will have some work done to it too. Firstly I'll use red ink to paint around the 'O' so it looks similar to the real logo. I'll scratch away at the lettering to give it a similar eroded look.

Maybe some drops/sprays of red and black paint here and there, maybe some sand mixed in to my PVA white wash. Ideas anyone?