My New Zealand Vacation

Typical New Zealand Sub Tropical ForestI took a 2 week break from blogging to visit my relatives in New Zealand while enjoying the warm weather and sea breezes…it’s summer there. I also took time to go swimming in the warm sea every day and hiked lots of trails through the sub tropical forests.

Even though I took my laptop I didn’t open it once the whole time because I could check email from my brothers and sisters dial up connections or visit the local internet cafe. When I did finally need to use my laptop it didn’t work because NZ uses a 240 volt plug and the transformer I bought didn’t convert the current correctly.

Take a break from your business

I’ve run my web design business almost non-stop for the last 8 years (except for a week off in the summer). Taking a 2 week break to enjoy nature and not have the pressure of work, I slept more, ate more, relaxed more, exercised more, conversed more than any normal day of work.

My only regret

It was great to experience all the beauty individually or sometimes with a relative (when I could persuade them to come hiking with me) however it would be more rewarding to experience it with the whole family or even one of my kids.

Plan your break

Nothing gets done without making a plan. I planned when to go, what to bring, the most cost efficient way to get there, and how much to spend. My purpose was not only to visit relatives and attend a nieces wedding but to take a much needed vacation by charging my batteries for another year. Since New Zealand is a sportsman’s paradise I made sure I swam in the ocean each day and hiked the lush green forests.

Take a look at the vacation photos below to see one of God’s most beautiful countries.

Twitter – Top 7 Ways to Generate More Web Traffic

I’m always on the look out for new strategies to generate more traffic but often view new tools with quiet skepticism until I actually try them out and gain some success. I’ve begun using Twitter on an almost daily basis now and am convinced it’s a useful addition to my marketing arsenal.

Top 7 Strategies to Generate More Traffic With Twitter

1. Create a twitter account within your EzineArticles profile

EzineArticles now has the ability to automatically syndicate your article to your Twitter account within 140 characters. Every time you submit a new article your followers will see it and can respond to it.

2. Provide sweet morsels of information to your followers

People following you on Twitter are probably interested in nuggets of information they can use immediately. Provide a quick tip to help them grow their business.

3. Start conversations

Twitter is an excellent communication medium that allows you to reply directly to someone in your niche you are following. The replies are often faster than communicating with them by email.

4. Create joint ventures with online Gurus

It’s often difficult to get an email response from online Gurus however if you follow and engage them in conversation on Twitter you have a better chance of doing a joint venture with them. The key is to build a relationship with them first and have a great product that is in high demand.

5. Build a community

Building a community means following and communicating with people in your niche and attracting others that want to follow you. People with the same interests want to gather together to share information. Your community will help you build your business instead of trying to figure out everything on your own.

6. Include links to your favorite resources

Twitter allows you to include links to your blog posts, web site or others sites. Long urls are automatically shortened. This means you can send people to a favorite article by creating an attractive headline within 140 characters then include the link to the rest of the article (or blog post).

7. Research tool

You can enter a keyword in the search box at and it will return a list of Twitter sites related to your search. You can also search on a Twitter username and it will return tweets (twitter messages) for that name.


Attract more followers to your Twitter account by notifying your newsletter subscribers, placing a link on your blog, social marketing sites and email messages. If you take action on all the points mentioned above you’ll build a steady flow of traffic to your web site.

Follow me at
You’ll receive quality tips on the design, conversion and marketing of your web site plus I’ll get back to you in a timely manner if you reply to my Tweets

Herman Drost is the CEO of
Affordable Web Site Design, Web Hosting and SEO.

Twitter & EzineArticles – How to Automatically Syndicate Your Articles

Do you want to get more mileage out of your articles?

Most folks write an article then submit it to online article directories. This will generate some traffic however competition for eyeballs is fierce these days so you need to find alternative ways to attract more readers.

EzineArticles now has the ability to automatically syndicate your articles to your twitter account.


1. Every time your article is submitted/reviewed and accepted by it automatically gets announced on your Twitter account within the space of 140 characters.

2. There is no need to rewrite your article. People that see your article on Twitter can will get redirected to your article on EzineArticles by clicking on the link in your Twitter account.

3. More traffic. Twitter is in the top 1003 sites on the Web according to Alexa. You can include a link to your website on your Twitter account. A backlink from a high traffic site helps boost your search engine rankings.

4. More visitors – as the number of followers and people following you on Twitter increases you’ll have more visitors reading your articles, visiting your web site and potentially increase sales.

5. Write more articles. Every article automatically gets tweeted so the more articles you submit the more often your Twitter account gets updated.

How to setup your Twitter account within your EzineArticles account.

Here are the 3 most important things to do if you’re new to Twitter:

1. Upload your author photo.
2. Upload your 140 character author bio.
3. Involve yourself in conversations taking place on your Twitter account. This is the fastest way to attract Followers to your Twitter profile.


Directory of EzineArticles Expert Authors who also Twitter.

Search for people who have Twitter accounts


Follow me at
You’ll receive quality tips on the design, conversion and marketing of your web site plus I’ll get back to you in a timely manner if you reply to my Tweets

Herman Drost is the CEO of
Affordable Web Site Design, Web Hosting and Marketing.

Free Tutorial for Twitter – How to Use It

My first post on “Free Tutorial for Twitter” answered the question What is Twitter?. Now I’ll show you how to use it as a marketing and communication tool.

Sending Twitter messages, or “Tweets”

There are 3 ways to update:

1. All subscribers
2. Directed to one person
3. Sent a private message to one person

All Subscribers

Login to
Insert your message in the box under “What are you doing”
Click update
All subscribers will see your message
This will register as an update in the right sidebar

Directed to one person

If you want to reply directly to a specific person you are following use @username. Keep in mind it will still be seen publicly by all your other followers. Make sure the person you’re sending the message to is following you, or they won’t receive it.

Sent a private message to one person

You can send a Twitter friend a Direct Text, which will go to their individual phone or web page. From the web, click Message from the profile page or use the drop down box on your Direct Messages page. From your phone, use the command: D + username + message.

What do the numbers in the right sidebar mean?

3 links are displayed in the right sidebar of your account:

Following – this is the number of people you are following or the number of friends you have.

Followers – these are the people who are following your Tweets.

Updates – refer to the number of messages you’ve sent.

How do you follow someone?

For example if you wish to follow me, go to and click “follow” under my picture

You can also follow someone by clicking on any of the photos on my twitter page. This will bring up the twitter page of a specific person then click the follow link on his page.

My experience

I’ve found this application useful for following people in my niche. Gurus are busy people that often don’t reply to email or blog comments so you can follow what they are doing on Twitter and communicate with them.

People are not going to follow you if you have nothing valuable to say or don’t invite them. Announce it to your ezine subscribers and/or place a link to your twitter account on your blog. So far I’m only sending updates when I’ve got something noteworthy to say.

Please write your comment below if I’ve missed something. I’m still learning how to use Twitter as an effective marketing tool….more on this later.


Follow me at
You’ll receive quality tips on the design, conversion and marketing of your web site plus I’ll get back to you in a timely manner if you reply to my Tweets

Herman Drost is the CEO of
Affordable Web Site Design, Web Hosting and Marketing.

Free Tutorial for Twitter – What is Twitter?

I finally broke down and decided to open a Twitter account after hearing about the great successes my online friends were having connecting with others in their niche. I thought it would be an easy application to master quickly yet found I couldn’t figure out how to use it even after studying the help and faq files.

So I decided to write a free tutorial to help all those folks that were as confused as I was when beginning to use Twitter.

What is Twitter?

It’s a social media application that allows you to communicate with others instantly through short messages of 140 characters.

Twitter is designed to work on a mobile phone as well as on a computer plus there are many other tools which enable you to make updates to your Twitter account such as IM.

How to Get Started

1. Create an account

Visit and click “Join for free.” If you’re serious about using it as a marketing tool use your own name as the username. It’s more personal and people can instantly address you by your real name instead of racer22 or something similar.

2. Upload a photo

Make sure you have a nice photo of yourself. It will appear on other people’s Twitter accounts.

3. Configure your settings

This is where you can edit your online bio, URL, time zone etc.

4. Customize the background

Use a different background than the default style to differentiate your twitter page from all others. You can accomplish this by uploading a different background color from your computer in .gif or .jpeg format.

Follow me at
You’ll receive quality tips on the design, conversion and marketing of your web site plus I’ll get back to you in a timely manner if you reply to my Tweets

Herman Drost is the CEO of
Affordable Web Site Design, Web Hosting and Marketing.

Web 2.0 Becomes Big Business.

There were some large moves in 2007. While the housing boom crashed and the dollar lost its value, oil prices soared, alternative energies increased and web 2.0 became big business.

[Read more…]