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My First Post Since That Last Post Over Two Years Ago!

September 6, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

Hello people! I felt like writing something here after the rather long silence.

I am still around but I’ve been doing my own stuff. Blogging is just an avenue for me to share my experiences or thoughts about the online marketing scene. So I’ll update the blog when I have something to share.

By the way, I am now getting involved with Android app development, nothing fancy, just getting my feet wet. I might write about it in the future.

I wonder how many subscribers this blog have now. If you still visit this blog, I thank you for your support.

In the mean time, as you can tell, I have not been very active in the blogosphere for a while and might have some catch up to do. I was wondering which marketing blogs are you reading right now to get your fix on SEO, Internet marketing and making money online news. Feel free share them in the comments.

Are there new marketing blogs (Malaysian own especially) people should be aware of?

Sabahan.com’s Partners Page Removed & Some Updates

February 9, 2009 by · 46 Comments 

It has almost been two months since my last post. If you are wondering if I am still around to update Sabahan.com, yes I am very much here, still alive and kicking 😉

For the past few years I’ve been spreading myself thin working on too many projects at once. I ended up taking more than I could handle and in the end, it became harder to achieve what really matters to me.

One of my business goals for 2009 is of course to continue working on where I left off in 2008. But this year, my plan is not only to work hard but to play harder. Instead of working longer hours, I aim for less than 5 hours a day of quality work. I plan to do a lot more travelling and spend more time on my hobbies as well as exercising more.

Quality work means, concentrated, uninterrupted (no checking emails, no  reading blog or forum posts, no checking Facebook, no instant messaging and so on) where I focus all my attention to start and work on a particular projects.

What makes this idea different from others is that the work will be unscheduled. Instead of scheduling the exact time period when I should start and finish a project, I work whenever I have 30 minutes or longer to spare.  I’ll always focus on starting instead of finishing.

That means I could be working anywhere and anytime such as when waiting to catch a bus or a plane, or when I am about to go out for a movie and then start working for 30 minutes right there and then.

The idea came to me after reading a book by Neil A Fiore titled The Now Habit,
which has helped me to be more productive. I realise that this probably doesn’t make much sense to you right now so I’ll write more about it in my coming post.

Another update that I’d like to let you know is that I’ll be removing Sabahan.com’s Partners Page. The page was running as it should for while until a few spammers decided to use it to promote unrelated links irresponsibly. Without a constant monitoring, the page has become nothing more than a place for spammers to add their spam links as you can see below.

lespam

I’d like to thanks those who have properly participated in the link exchange plan but I have no choice but to take the page down due to the abuse by some spammers.

By The Way… I’m Still Here

October 14, 2008 by · 32 Comments 

It happens once in a while, a period when this blog seems to switch into a hibernation mode where updates are like the rain that never comes during a dry spell.

I had received several emails and comments from my readers wondering if I’m still around to update this blog – the answer is yes I am still alive. Sorry if I’ve kept you waiting guys.

One of them came up with several guesses as to why the lack of posting and allow me answer those lingering questions

1. Gaman is giving this post high priority, tribute to Gobala (could be Gobala giving him big sum of money :p )

Well it just happens that it was the last post before the blog went temporarily quiet. Good for Gobala for the extra exposure 😉

2. Gaman is testing this page, can give big traffics or income return (i’m no SEO expert)

Not really, although the AdSense income has never dropped during those period.

3. Gaman is doing a couple of projects, testing this – the new millionaires – strategIES.

I am doing several projects but they are not directly related to the book.

4. Gaman is out of town, NO INTERNET CONNECTON.

In a way it’s true. I’ve been travelling a lot for the past few weeks so I have to admit that once the momentum is broken, it’s hard for me to pick up the pace and get into the blogging mindset.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post I rather not write anything for the sake of writing. If I am not in the correct frame of mind, I am not motivated enough to write and this will affect the quality of the post.

5. Gaman is in jail or under ISA Detention (although impossible – kakaka !)

Nah… I am not a political blogger.

6. Gaman is giving up this blog and leave it to be expired (unless this blog gives return more than USD100 monthly :))

I won’t let this blog drift off into Internet oblivion. It’s the only place where I share my personal experience making money online. I’ll be doing a disservice to my readers if I were to let that happen. Oh btw, yes this blog earns around that much monthly, which is not much unfortunately but that’s not the reason I blog or rather not blog.

7. Gaman is getting married and still in honeymoon for 40 days 40 nights (hey that’s Elvis Presley lah), if true then don’t forget to drink Kopi Tongkat Ali lah hehe.

May be I’ll have a 40 nights honeymoon when I get married

8. Now it’s mystery, and wait for the next post by Gaman

Now it’s no longer a mystery :). I just hope that you don’t take the lack of updates as a sign that I am abandoning this whole money making on the Internet thingy.

I’ve been doing this for a living since the late 90s and I can’t imagine not doing what I am doing now. Just that, I am not a full time blogger so thing can be rather quiet at times.

If you are blogging, keep building your momentum up. If you are learning to make money online, keep learning and keep your passion alive. You and you alone can make the difference if you’ll be successful or not.

Now, I’ve also received the following question from a reader via email recently.

I knew you good with blogging and so on. I really want to know on how your leverage your daily task as internet marketer. Im sure sometime we need to outsource our tasks and maybe you also can write a review about any forum you’re actively involved. I want to know a lot but maybe next issue

I have one full time assistant to help me in the daily maintenance of several websites as well as locating suitable products to promote using the pay per click search engines.

If I can do the programming, web designing, content writing, I’ll do them myself, but sometimes it’s more efficient to outsource some tasks via websites such as RentACoder.com and Elance.com

As for the forums, I used to be active in Sitepoint.com forum; sometimes I visited the DigitalPoint.com forum. For the local ones, I visited WebmasterMalaysia.com.

But that was before, these days we are managing our own general forum which has little to do with Internet marketing. It’s a rather crazy but fun forum where the members write in Sabahan Malay and English .

Ok.. I guess that’s about it for this update. I’ll write more again soon.

Successful PayPal Withdrawals with Public Bank Visa Debit Card!

August 15, 2008 by · 53 Comments 

A couple of days ago I tried withdrawing PayPal funds into my Public Bank Visa Card.

My planned was initially to test the withdrawal process by transferring a smaller amount but since many people have reported that they’ve successfully withdrawn funds into this card, I upped the amount to US500, my daily withdrawal limit.

The process went through without glitches.

Withdrawal dates from Paypal

 

The funds appeared in my Public Bank account in 3 to 5 days. Notice the increasing amount as they arrived in by Public Bank card account which was obviously due to the weakening Ringgit against the US dollars. I was making RM20 more in a matter of days due to the forex fluctuation.

Unlike some people who are probably hoping the Ringgit weakening trends to reverse, I on the other hand accept this with open arms, and actually quietly hoping the trend will continue (up to a point of course)!

Now, I am going to transfer the amount into my Public Bank account via their Internet banking facility. I’ll be investing the money back into my business, no partying or shopping will ensue at this moment 🙂

Sabahan Bloggers Gathering 2008

August 3, 2008 by · 36 Comments 

The well organised event took place last night at the glamorous 11th floor restaurant of the Imperial Hotel Kota Kinabalu overlooking the South China Sea. The bands were cool, food was delicious, and everyone was looking groovy.

There never was a dull moment when the lively DJ Selina and her sidekick took the stage as the MCs for the event.

Obviously, everything would not be possible without the hardworking organizing committee – the lovely Jacq, Gallivanter (Da Dude), Wei Chuen (you are tall), KadazanBonita (so anggun), PapaJoneh, Impedius, Julian and Farah. I think I chatted briefly with Julian (or was it Impedius). Anyway, hats off to them. I imagine it would be a hard one to top.

Meeting fellow bloggers including Sabahan.com readers face to face was an interesting experience. I’ve met Don (apparently he is one of my subscribers), Lorna (I thought you looked familiar even before we chatted), Pinolobu a.k.a Ben (I already knew you), the famous Elphege Godomon the TV3 reporter.

Then there’s Josie (the cheerful one), Eshark (sama misai kita haha), Shukery (a rather quiet but nice guy), LadyMariah (I didn’t recognize you with the braids), Chegu(betulkah tu?), Sumardi and who could miss PapaJoneh, one of the most boisterous bloggers that night. Sorry Papa, I was unable to join you guys afterwards.

I’ve met several other bloggers too but can’t recall their names – my bad. I should’ve written them down like what some people did! The list will be updated from time to time.

I would have uploaded some photos if not of the crappy connection here in Starbuck. I need a more reliable wireless connection to tap into for that. I am certain you’ll find more detailed reviews about this event in other blogs with lots of photos to feast your eyes on 😉

Making A Living Off The Internet From The Rainforest of Borneo

August 1, 2008 by · 18 Comments 

I had been trying to come up with a nice tagline for Sabahan.com that describes what this blog is all about.

My previous tagline was

About Computers, Blogging, Making Money Online, Marketing and Interesting Stuff

After launching Sabahan.com v2.0, I changed the tagline to

Internet marketing, blogging and everything in between…

While both taglines pretty much sums up what I do and write in this blog, it lacks the originality that I wish to convey that makes this blog stand out from other blogging and marketing blogs.

Anyone, anywhere in the world could have written this blog but not many people from Sabah in Malaysia (formerly known as North Borneo) blog about their experience making a living off the Internet while literally doing it from the rainforest of Borneo.

Then it occurred to me, since I do live in a little town where the rainforest is practically in my backyard, why didn’t I just use that in my tagline? With that in mind, I came up with this new tagline:

making a living off the Internet from the rainforest of Borneo

What do you think?

Here’s a picture of the small town where I live. This picture was taken by a friend of mine. I hope he’s OK with me putting it here without asking for his permission first. Sorry bro, can’t help but showcase your beautiful picture here.

I guess the next thing I should consider doing is to integrate motives of the local culture in the design of this blog. OK one step at a time shall we 😉

Public Bank Visa Electron Limits PayPal Withdrawal to US500 Per Day

July 31, 2008 by · 23 Comments 

Most Malaysian PayPal users are probably aware of the US500 daily withdrawal limit imposed by PayPal. It’s probably a non issue to the majority of users.

However what if the amount you want to transfer is larger than USD500?  That’s what happens to me as I am trying to transfer some USD3000 plus to my Public Bank Visa Electron card.

I’ve started receiving payments to my PayPal account from the commissions I earn from MaxBounty. I opted for the PayPal payment because MaxBounty converted my commission checks into the equivalent Malaysian Ringgit but at a lower exchange rate than what I would normally get over the counter.

By the way, if you are interested in making money promoting pay per lead programs, MaxBounty is one network that you should consider. The payouts for certain campaigns are sometimes better than what you would get from other networks. They even have offers targeted to Malaysian. Personally, I’ve been making around USD500 monthly from MaxBounty, not much I know but good enough for a passively generated income.

Anyway, at first I wondered if there’s a way to lift the USD500 daily withdrawal limit if I upgrade my account from Personal to Premium. I did that but the limit remains in effect. I contacted PayPal and here’s their reply:

 

This is Michael, and I am honorable to assist you with your question regarding your PayPal account.

Upon your email, I understand you would like to lift the withdrawal limit on your account.

After checking your account information, I find it has been verified, which means there is no limit on it.

However, in accordance with local financial regulation of Malaysia, there is still a $500 USD daily withdrawal limit to withdraw funds to the Visa card on your account, which can not be lifted. Please kindly understand it.

On the other hand, if you have a US bank account, I suggest you add it to your account for withdrawal. And there will be no limit to withdraw funds to that US bank account.

I hope the above explanation would be helpful for you to better use PayPal. If you have further questions, please feel free to let us know.

Thank you for being part of the PayPal community.

Sincerely,

Michael

PayPal, an eBay Company

 

So once I have upgraded my account to Premier, there’s actually no limit (even though I haven’t confirmed that card with PayPal) on the amount I could withdraw. Apparently the limit is imposed by Malaysia’s financial regulation so for the time being it appears that we are stuck with it.

In my case though, it’ll take 6 withdrawals to transfer the amount and will accrue (USD5 x 6) USD30 transfer fees in total. So here I am trying to transfer USD500 a day. I’ll let you guys know if the withdrawals are successful. It would take 5-7 days for each transfer to complete.

Talking about withdrawing your PayPal balance to Public Bank Visa Electron, there’s one last step you need to perform after your card is approved before you could do so. You would initially be asked by Public Bank to deposit RM25 into your account. If you do that and then try to add your card to PayPal you’ll most likely get the following error:

This credit card has been denied by the bank that issued your credit card. For details on why your card was denied, please contact your credit card issuer’s customer service department. Or, you may want to try adding a different credit card.

The reason is because in order to start transacting using your card with PayPal, you card balance has to be larger than RM25. If it isn’t, you would have to top it up over the counter of via an ATM machine. In any case, you should contact Public Bank customer service if you are still having problem.

Does anyone know of a Malaysian Visa card that doesn’t impose the USD500 daily withdrawal limit?

Sabahan.com v2.0 Is Now Online

July 30, 2008 by · 32 Comments 

First off, welcome to Sabahan.com version 2.0!

For me changing my blog template isn’t as easy as changing clothes. OK, technically it is that easy but if you change your blog template that often, you risk disorientating your regular readers and your effort, whether intentional or not, in trying to establish a brand for your readers to associate with will be wasted.

That said, change can be good as long as you don’t over do it.

Now, this is actually the first time I’ve changed Sabahan.com template since it came online in February 2006.

My main motivation for selecting this particular template isn’t because it allows me to allocate more space for advertising like what Rice Bloggers has commented in my previous post. No my friend 😉 It just happens that I’ll be able to set aside specific section in the sidebar for that purpose.

As blogging continue to mature, a trend is emerging where established blogs have started to use templates with width 900 pixel and wider. In addition to the usual content, the sidebar is often used to serve several 125×125 banner ads.

Many of those blogs boast Web 2.0 design styles, although these styles are often only loosely implemented as to accommodate the bloggers own unique needs. Some of those design elements include simplicity, fewer columns, separate top section, solid areas of screen real estate, gradients, rounded corners, reflections and so on.

As much as I love Sabahan.com previous template, its simplicity and functionality, in this day and age, it’s obviously outdated. So here I am, using a brand new template to keep up with the current trend.

As you notice, Sabahan.com is now selling banner ads on the sidebar. In addition, interested advertisers could place their ads inline where the rectangle 300×250 AdSense ads is located. The banner ad space at the top of every page is also available for purchase.

I’ll write more about this in my future posts as I continue to tweak and enhance the advertising system. I plan to share my experience in finding advertisers and actually closing the deals, of which I am aware that it’s not as straight forward as it sounds.

If you are curious as to whether this arrangement will make me more money than what I’ve been making from AdSense here, I suggest your subscribe to my feed to stay up to date with the development 🙂

One ad unit that I’m itching to get rid of is the Nuffnag ad, if only I could get in touch with the advertisers directly and struck some deal with them ehem..

I’ve also disabled the WP Super Cache plugin temporarily as it’s not counting the page view properly. It has also messed up the posts view count where most of them have been reduced after the upgrade.

I have several posts to write and ideas to implement. But I would probably have to put them on hold as I’ll be leaving for Bali this Sunday for a long overdue vacation. You might see me blogging from Bali if I could locate a wireless connection somewhere there, who knows.

On the 2nd August 2008, the Sabahan bloggers will hold their second gathering at the Imperial Hotel in KK. I would have to book a room for the night in KK one day before my flight if I were to attend this which I might but I can’t confirm at the moment.

Interestingly, the event is listed on the official SabahTourism.com website.

Anyone reading this coming to the gathering?

The Dell XPS M1530 Experience

April 15, 2008 by · 30 Comments 

My first big purchase online was in 2000 when I purchased the Acer TravelMate 508T laptop for RM5000+. Having a laptop with a 12.1 TFT screen with a 500 MHz processor was kind of exciting back then.

For a while the laptop served me well but it wasn’t long before problems started to crop up. I had to repair the hinges twice; which cost me around RM300 each time. While the laptop is still working today, I’ve stopped using it a couple of years back when the hinges broke again for the third time.

It’s also obvious that at 500 MHz, the processor won’t be able keep up with the demand of today’s CPU hungry software.

Since then every time I travel, I would leave my work behind which was good because I could concentrate on having a break instead of thinking about work.

Fast forward 8 years later, the demand of work requires me to be online more frequently, and so I decided it’s time to get a new laptop – yes it took me that long to buy another laptop lol. I am not really a fan of working from a cyber café due to security reasons. Who knows what people have installed or rather, have not installed on the public terminals that could prevent others from spying your online activities.

I had no choice but to go online if I wanted to get the latest hardware at an affordable price. So I headed to my favorite online computer store at Dell.com.my and waited a few weeks for any deals that tickles my fancy.

When it comes to purchasing computer hardware, the best time to buy is now. However I was hoping to get a laptop equipped with Intel’s first five 45 nanometer (nm) processors, codenamed “Penryn” and that’s what the waiting was for.

Intel’s press release says “All of these new chips include the company’s new transistor formula and 45nm manufacturing process that boost a PC’s speed, reduces power requirements, saves on battery life, helps the environment and comes in smaller packages for more fashionable and compact computer designs”. That’s the marketing department talking. But it’s still good to get the latest processor nonetheless.

Soon enough the dual core 2.5GHz T9300 and 2.6GHz T9500 featuring 6MB of L2 cache were rolled out of Dell Malaysia assembly line. When it comes to choosing a processor, I usually settle for the “second fastest” processor which I think is good enough for my long term needs as the 2.6GHz would have cost me an arm and a leg.

There’s an option to add a Blu-ray drive but since I don’t usually watch movies on my laptop I chose not to add one. In addition it’ll add an extra RM2000 to the laptop price. The option to add a 64GB solid state hard drive was enticing but I figured the performance gain won’t justify the extra RM3000 price tag as well as its small storage capacity.

After doing some research, I settled for the Dell XPS M1530 laptop. Personally I think it is one of the sexiest laptops I have ever seen. Sure some people may argue that the Apple MacBook Air wins hand down in the design department.

 

macbook-air-vs-red-xps-m153.jpg

 

While the Dell’s laptop can’t beat the MacBook Air ultrathin form factor, with the same price tag I am paying for my Dell laptop, I would had got a 13 inch screen, 80GB hard drive with a 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor MacBook Air. I know some people don’t mind paying for a lower specs system just to enjoy the status symbol but I guess for me practicality wins 🙂

Besides, as a Windows software developer, there’s no much point using Mac OS X as my OS environment.

So here’s my laptop specs

  • Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo Processor T9300, 2.5GHz, 6MB Cache, 800 MHz FSB
  • Genuine Windows Vista(R) Ultimate 32 bit (English)
  • 15.4" Widescreen WXGA+ (1440×900) TFT Display with TrueLife(TM)
  • Midnight Blue LCD display with Integrated 2.0 mega pixel web cam
  • 3GB (1X1GB+1X2GB) 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM
  • 250GB SATA Hard Drive
  • Internal 8X DVD+/-RW Combination Drive with dual layer write capabilities
  • 256MB NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) 8600M GT
  • Palmrest with Fingerprint Reader
  • Intel(R) 4965AGN Wireless-N Mini-Card
  • 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
  • Dell(TM) Bluetooth Travel Mouse

The total cost inclusive of delivery to East Malaysia is RM7218.00. The price includes Office 2007 Professional OEM which adds RM1015 to the base price.

Instead of opting for the 4GB RAM, I opted for 3GB RAM forgoing the ability to run the memory at dual channel which may improve performance. I’ve read somewhere that having a dual channel, matched 2 x 1GB pairing will be faster but then again the gain would depend on your other hardware as well.

Hardcore gamers and those primarily running CPU intensive applications would likely benefit from a dual channel setup. Then again the performance increase by having more RAM (eg. 3GB at 1x1GB + 1x2GB) would probably outweigh a lesser amount but faster RAM (eg. 2GB at 2x1GB ).

You can learn more about dual channel memory here.

Anyway, just for fun check out my Windows Experience Index. Obviously the slower 3.2GHz processor limits my desktop’s base score. However I could hardly tell the difference in performance when doing normal tasks as both systems are as fast as they could be.

 

windows-index-desktop.PNG
capture.JPG

Here are some pictures of the Dell XPS M1530.

 

Shipment took less than a week to arrive at my address once the manufacturing build was completed. The online price has dropped RM300 a few days ago which kind of irritating for me but that’s how things are. There’s always a better and cheaper system around the corner.

131.jpg

 

What’s in the box? From left: Belkin Home Series MasterCube with 25,000 Max Spike Amperage; manuals, software and accessories; Belkin Sling Bag; and the laptop itself.

140.jpg

 

The sexy Dell XPS M1530 with a built-in 2.0 MP web cam.

151.jpg

 

There are three USB ports, 8-in-1 media card reader, a single FireWire port, 1 ExpressCard Slot, an HDMI-out port and other ports you would expect from a high end system.

dell-xps-left.jpg

 

View from the back. The metallic finish gives it a solid and distinct feel of quality and luxury. (Ok I started to sound like a salesman here lol)

stylish-xps.jpg

 

The Belkin Sling Bag which I ordered separately includes a handphone compartment in the shoulder strap. It’s sure handy but my Nokia N95 is too big to fit in there.

176.jpg

 

Thick inner lining created using soft material protects laptop from scratches. I actually prefer the Belkin Messenger Bag but the only colour available was Dove/Pink which is too girly for me 🙂

186.jpg

 

Dell XPS M1530.

204.jpg

 

My workspace showing the Dell XPS laptop alongside the Dell Dimension 8400 desktop.

img_0402.jpg

Check out the full review of the Dell XPS M1530 at Notebookreview.com and PCMag.com.

Finally! My Net Connection Is Restored

February 16, 2008 by · 31 Comments 

If you were expecting posts from me during the weekdays, I should inform you that I was deprived of an Internet connection when the net access for my town went kaput for 5 days.

I contacted Streamyx support for an update of a report I lodged earlier and later contacted the local TM exchange to find out what took them so long to fix the problem only to be given a conflicting information where one party basically blamed the other.

To be fair to them, I felt that someone somewhere did try to do something (after several follow-ups), just not as fast or perhaps not as competent as they should had been.

Otherwise we wouldn’t have waited this long to have our connection restored. While our online businesses were affected, the least they could do was to make the customers understand what the real issue was instead of asking them to wait.

On top of that, we still have to pay the monthly fee regardless of the quality of the connection. Asking for a refund is not worth the trouble unless one is willing to flood them with 20 to 30 emails a day. Has anyone tried this before? LOL

Anyhow, thankfully everything seems to return to normal now.

Now I’d like to bring your attention to a post I wrote sometime last year. It basically answers a nagging question one might have after reading my last post where I talk about how not to make money from blogging.

Can you really make money from a blog that teaches others how to make money? No doubt you can. However I think it would considerably demand more effort to be successful as compare to when you focus on niches that attract a wider audience. That’s especially true if you are new to the world of blogging.

Even though the post was written last year, much of it is still relevant today, except for point number 4 where I talked about monetizing your blog with Text Link Ads. Unless you are living in a cave somewhere, selling or buying text link ads is a big no no if being awarded a decent Google PageRank is one of your blogging goals.

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