Monday, January 28, 2008

Mono Lake Winter Kayaking


Mono Lake Winter Kayaking1
Originally uploaded by Buck Forester
This amazing photographers work will make you want to BE THERE. Right there in the photo, in the boat. This one image of the Eastern Sierra literally took my breathe away. Not as good as being there, but the next best thing.

Mediate on Life.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Total Escape Adventures


For most of 2007 Total Escape Adventures has been taking a much needed break from leading our famous "guided road trips". This past year we worked at revamping the popular 3000 page web site - so we could get a better handle on the huge redesign process (learning new code, creating databases, & establishing the new blog @ Total Escape OUTSIDE); but now we are sick of the computer & itching to get back out there to travel again.

Do not let those gas prices get you down. Find a friend, carpool & join us!

Total Escape Adventures is back for 2008. DanaMite just posted the Spring line up which included Sierra Snowmobiling, Kern River Camping & Sequoia for Memorial Day weekend. Go check it out soon & join us for some back road excursions this season. We promise it will be cheaper to travel locally than you ever thought possible. And you might even learn a few new things!

SEE THE 2008 ROAD TRIPS
totalescape.com/trips/

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Online Marketing

Many folks ask me HOW I make a living online? Most believe it cannot be done or I must be doing something illegal - or possibly a porn site - to be able to make my income off of the web. This post is an overview on what it took to get me where I am at today.... 11 & a half years ONLINE. Survived the dot com bust in the early 90's, the 9/11 travel slow down & yes, still here in the recession of today.

First, keep it simple & build what you know. Following my passion, I have created a popular independent travel site, just for my niche market.... California escapes.

I have multiple sources of revenue with Total Escape, which means when one thing slows down another one is sure to pick up. Seasonal strategies you might call it. Total Escape Adventures is the guided trips that I lead (camping, adventure tours) & they are great fun for new folks to get exposed to our style of travel. But it is by no means the big money maker. I also do freelance web site designs for a side job, but that is not as steady as you would think either. Ya know, everyone wants a bitchin' custom built web site, with all the bells & whistles - for under $1000 & it's not possible in my world. You'll just need to hire someone else for that task.

The Total Escape web site itself is the main bread & butter for income. Total Escape has been online almost a dozen years now & the real content is what keeps people coming back. Thousands of pages of weekend ideas, unique lodges, camp spots, outdoor recreation & reviews. The latest creation for our organization is here at OUTSIDE

We serve everything from Google Ads to Amazon books, independent lodging reservations, campground reservations, RV rental reservations, plus we offer great web exposure to the mom & pop style businesses in California with 10,000 visitors per day checking the site out, shopping around for their next weekend getaway.

We sell all kinds of California Maps - hiking maps, backpacker topos, biking trails & off road routes.

Total Escape sells banner advertising, lodge listings & recreation vendors listed & linked for a small annual fee.

Travel sites: People may be saving cash by not flying or not traveling far from home, but local travel will hold it's own. It's cheap to travel in state, you're very own back yard. It doesn't require months of planning or preparation, or cost hundreds of dollars. Now that the new SUV is scratched, you can finally take it off road without worrying too much. Back road travel is what I specialize in; showing you how to travel cheap in California.

Exposure: Total Escape on rare occasion advertises in print - in weekly rags such as San Francisco Weekly , San Diego Reader & OC Weekly. I believe heavily in organic search results, which means I do not pay much for online advertising. I create content & pages that people are actually searching for - the cool stuff & search terms that people seek, that search engines follow & constantly re-index. My web sites exposure online includes weekly site maps that are automatically submitted to the search engines, plus the oh-so-popular social networks & blogs that I maintain monthly.

Total Escape

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Yes, yes, I know. I tend to work 50 hours a week, at home on the computer. I have no pets, no kids, no husband & no TV. This is the price I pay for being able to travel often & create my dream biz Total Escape. To me it is all worth it to have this flexibility & adventurous life. Seriously, who has time for social media?