Review 2012-2013

I’ve recently started using to complete small programming projects and was pleasantly surprised when I first started using the site after several years of using which they acquired. My first project went amazing! The code shop I worked with in India did a spectacular job on a clone site I had them develop…I thought I found a group of programmers that I could start to develop a long-term business relationship with, but it crashed and burned. After coming up with a second round of project for them the bid on first, they vanished for over a week. After presenting them with the new projects, they promised quotes, but never delivered and then they just stopped communicating with me. Review Continued

With six more projects to complete, I developed the project specs, diagrams, etc. to help articulate what I had in mind and put them to bid on – Before selecting a programmer, I always ask if they completely understand the project requirements and if they have any additional questions before I award the project. Most say no…we completely understand your specifications…we are ready to go!

After two weeks of working with five programmers on 6 projects, it appears three are going to crash and burn…I’ll have lost some project development time, money from a few released milestones, and will have to then re-post my projects and again select another programmer. I believe their are some great programmers on, but there are many dead beats as well which ruins the whole experience of working with virtual help. Review Summary

I believe I’ve found one programmer here in the US through who I hope will turn out to be someone I can work with and count on long-term to help with my specific programming requirements. Here are a few of my personal recommendations for selecting and working with Freelancers. These same ideas can apply to any of the other outsourcing websites as well:

  1. Make sure you articulate specific requirements for project. Don’t leave anything vague or to the imagination….unless you are looking for someone to have creative license on your project(s)
  2. Never, Never, Never release a milestone until you have something tangible to show for. Make milestone release very specific (ex: rough draft of website template, screen shot of db design, etc.)
  3. Ask for references that you can call or  email with regard to specific projects
  4. Make sure programmer(s) portfolio has specific examples similar to what you are looking for and belong to some of the references they provide. I’ve checked many portfolios and projects that were concepts for the programmer and were deleted or had an expired domain when I went to look at them.
  5. If you find a good programmer, don’t abuse them by asking for unlimited modifications or changes….they need to make a living as well. Review Conclusion: can be a great place to find resources for project outsourcing. Put in the extra time to articulate everything to the T and use your due diligence to thoroughly review bidders before making your final decision. Don’t be afraid to to ask about project completion rates or negative comments. In the same fashion, don’t accept at face value a programmer’s rave reviews.

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What are your thoughts on working with outsourcing sites similar to Share your thoughts below.

Prospecting Tools vs. Lead Generation

Recently, I’ve been bombarded with tools and software from different “gurus” that are being marketed as “lead generation” tools.

Some of the headlines read:

  • Grab Red Hot Leads
  • Grab Hungry Leads
  • Grab Hot Leads By The Truck Load
  • Powerful Lead Generation Tool

I was thinking about this over breakfast and catching up on some reading. Check out the Wikipedia definition of a “sales lead“. The true definition of a sales lead is a person or entity that has expressed an interest in your product or service.

Many of the tools and services being hyped or marketed online today are “prospecting tools”.

The line between a lead and a prospect has certainly become blurred and I’m not certain online marketers are making it any easier.

On a lighter note, I was amused this morning to find a post on a popular Internet marketing forum from a company in India that provides web development and Internet marketing services. They were asking for ideas on how to generate leads for their websites. Ironic that an online marketing company is asking for ideas on generating leads when they trying to help customers potentially do the same.

While many tools that are scraping data, compiling it as a “sales lead”, there are many services, companies, and software that by definition generate a qualified sales lead according the Wikipedia definition.

What are your thoughts? Has the line between true lead generation and prospecting become blurred? What are your thoughts on lead generation and prospecting online?

Prospecting Tools vs. Lead Generation


Blog Comment Spam

Do you have a blog? Do you accept blog comments? Are you tired of blog spam?

Let me start off by confessing as an Internet marketer, I’ve got some of those fancy tools that can find blogs willing to accept comments and post comments by the hundreds, but I choose not to.

I think most blog owners that allow comments on their posts want to let posters get a link back to their website or affiliate offer if the post was relevant to the conversation. Unfortunately, (based on comment rates from my network of blogs) I’d have to say that 95% of blog comments are blog or comment spam.

Here are a couple of examples of comment spam on – As you’ll notice, the blog article title is to the right. You can see based on the content of the comment that it is not even closely relevant to the original post.

As you can see, neither of these comments had anything to do with the article or post. On, I check each comment manually and even though I use some great tools for automation, I still post most of my own comments manually for relevance.

When commenter’s post comments that are not relevant to my article, I mark their comment as spam so they are unable to comment again using the same email address.

Here are a few questions for discussion:

  1. Do you use blog commenting software to automate blog posts? Why or why not?
  2. Do you manually post comments to blogs? Why or why not?
  3. If you’ve used both methods, which method has brought you the most consistent results?

I was in a back-link forum prior to writing this article and the main complaint from members was the lack of lasting relevant back-links from a service we are all using.

In my case, I was trying to get some good back-links for an automotive review site. Unfortunately, none of the back-links I received in my report were relevant and neither were the comments made on my behalf utilizing a third party service in India.

One tool I use is a plug-in for WordPress call Akismet, which is a fairly good blog spam detection tool.

There must be some value in placing hundreds if not thousands of crappy back-links on OPB (other peoples’ blogs) or the practice of comment spam would not be an issue today. One would think it would be easy enough with the tools available today to find relevant blogs to post comments to. The prize of course is a keyword link back to your site.

One of my most successfully threads has to do with Craigslist authentication. I currently have 85 comments all being relevant to the conversation. Many folks who added value to the conversation were rewarded with an approved comment and a back-link to their site.

How has blog comment spam affected your blog or business? Share your thoughts and comments below.