Working on Site Promotion tonight

I’m in a lazy mood tonight.

We’re just waiting for our dinner to finish cooking and then we’re going to sit back and watch some TV shows like Glee and NCIS.

I think after dinner, while watching TV, I’ll work on doing a bit of site promotion. I haven’t done that in ages, and well … you need to do that every once in a while.

When I work on site promotion I generally visit blogs that I like and leave a comment if I have something to add to the post. I also sometimes spend time listing my various sites in niche directories or finding new directories like the freedirectorysubmission.org to list my websites in.

Do you actively work on site promotion? How do you promote your site?





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Product Review Etiquette

Do you do product reviews on your website or blog? Do you receive products to test and keep? I do the occasional review, more in the past than I do lately.

Most of the time when I do an actual product review it’s an item that I bought myself and I’m just writing about my experiences with the product. One example of this would be the post I wrote just after I bought a Shark Steam Blaster (not that happy with it overall) or my discussions about our new front load washer and dryer (still extremely pleased).

Occasionally I’m contacted by a company and I’m given a product to test and then later write an opinion piece. I haven’t had many of those and I certainly don’t accept all offers for example I probably wouldn’t accept a clinicalliex review . I generally only accept products that I can actually get some use out of and that I will use regularly. In the past I’ve received a Nokia smart phone from a marketing company, bath soaps and skin care products, coffee and a few other food items or coupons for free and discounted food and beverage products, a photograph turned into a canvas, and a special window tint that I used on our very bright south facing kitchen window. There’s probably a few other products but those are the ones that I can remember at this moment.

One reason why I’m writing this post today is 1. that I’d like to do more reviews (a couple a month maybe) and 2. I just received a product that I’m going to review on my gardening blog.

In the past all the products that I’ve received to try out and review have been completely free and the one that I received early today was supposed to be free, however I was extremely surprised when the delivery person told me I had to pay the duty. It was a product shipped from the US to my home in Canada and I guess the company didn’t cover the duty and taxes.

I’m a little miffed, but when I think about it I’m getting a product that costs over $100 for free so it wouldn’t kill me to pay the almost $13 duty and taxes charge. Still, I think the company should have warned me that I’d have to pay these charges. I’ll be contacting the person who arranged the review to tell him about the Duty and taxes I had to pay. It’s possible that he either didn’t know about these extra charges or that it didn’t occur to him that my being in other country might incur these kinds of extra charges.

I’ll chalk it up as a lesson learned. the next time a company contacts me and offers me a product for free I’ll ask if there will be any shipping charges or duty.

Anyway, I’ll be reviewing the item that I just received on my gardening blog sometime next week. It’s a Black and Decker 24 V cordless Trimmer Edger. Definitely something that we’ll get some use out of. Oh, and I’ll be coming up with a giveaway too. The company said that I could give away a trimmer edger to one of my readers, so I guess I’d better start thinking about an interesting challenge for my giveaway. Any ideas?

If you do product reviews have you ever experienced something like this? Say a shipping charge, Duty or taxes?

Do you think it’s fair to have the blogger pay these extra charges or do you think the company sending the product should cover all charges?

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I think we’re in recession recovery mode now here in Toronto

The news reports have been saying over the last month or two that our housing market here in Toronto was starting to get back to normal … well not totally normal, but close, and now I have true proof that it is indeed getting better. recession

My brother and his wife who live just outside of town decided to buy a Condo around the beginning of May. Their kids are in their 20’s and they don’t need a big house and all the maintenance that goes along with it anymore, so I guess that’s why they decided to move to a Condo.

They put their house up for sale on May 10th and it was sold on the 27th … not bad for a housing market that’s not quite as hot as it was two years ago! Hmmm I wonder if the people that own the house next door (currently inhabited by renters that are slowly driving me nuts) might decide to put that house on the market again soon? That house needs a lot of work though so I’m sure it wouldn’t sell fast without at least some of the work being done.

I was talking with my brother this evening and he was telling me about their new condo. It’s 1,400 square feet so it’s a good size. Two bedrooms, kitchen, sun room, living room/ dining room, balcony and all the amenities that go along with a condo such as party room, swimming pool, sauna and rooftop barbecues I think. Sounds pretty nice.

The building is about twenty years old and my brother says the kitchen is outdated so they are doing to renovate the kitchen shortly after moving in. They redid the kitchen in their current house too so I joked with him that he’s going to be a professional kitchen renovator by the time he’s finished the condo kitchen! They don’t know exactly what kind of kitchen reno they’re going to do just yet – ie tile floors or hardwood, stainless steel appliances or who knows maybe even copper sinks but I’m sure they’ll enjoy figuring it out and of course the finished product. It’s the work in between that might be a pain! LOL

I used to say I’d never live in a condo – especially after living in an apartment for 14 years before we bought our house. But now that I’m so sick with Crohn’s I can see the advantages of not having to trudge upstairs to use the bathroom and not having yard work and home maintenance to do!

How is the housing market in your area? Did it bottom out once the recession hit and is it recovering now like ours here in the General Toronto Area (GTA)?

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