Donna's Do it Yourself Blog
Reputation.com - What you are actually buying and how you can do it yourself

This is the story of my invaluable learning’s from a two year painful ordeal with Reputation.com. I owe this article to a friend’s boyfriend, who worked for them.

I have a negative website that I want off the internet. I’ve lived in Northern CA for a while now, so I’m supposed to be super techy, but I just am not. After diligent research and chatting with numerous tech-savvy friends though, particularly an-ex Reputation.com sales manager, I began to understand this “online reputation management” industry, an industry that is taking off.

I called Reputation.com about a negative website that I did not want on the internet.  I had constantly heard their commercials on the radio and knew the service existed, but never in a million years thought that I would need it. They told me I needed to spend $5,000 a year to fix the problem. In actuality, I did not need to spend more than 7% of that.

This is how you do it yourself:

You need to create a monopoly of your name in search results. To do this, you need to sign up for tons of websites, do SEO specific things, and buy a domain name or two.

You will need something that is guaranteed to earn a high rank on search results….a domain name. I instantly went with GoDaddy.com, due to their popularity. When buying a domain name, get a keyword you are targeting online. For me, it was my name. From there, you can create new pages and articles, and  title things like FirstnameLastname.com/Something-Else-You-R-Targeting. Use Wordpress.com as your Content Management System, it’s the easiest to use.

Sign up for the highest ranking websites possible, sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Myspace, Wordpress and Flickr. Make sure to hyperlink them all together, see the last paragraph. If you Google “Reputation.com Scam”, you will find a few articles where people posted the sites that Reputation.com uses. By the way, the sales for them are suppose to claim “we own a few of the sites so we have extra special power”…well, yeah they are good sites they created, but anyone can sign up for them for free and have that special power.

Two ex-Reputation.com employees created a company called SearchManipulator.com, based on the idea of “do it yourself”, with software that makes the process fast and easy. I bought their software, 4 personal websites (which turned out a lot cheaper GoDaddy.com) and the negative website dropped from page 1 to 5 in search results. The software creates a powerful online presence by having this hyperlinking algorithm in place, see below.

Once you have 10-15 websites that you created on the first 5 pages of search results, you will need to add attention to them, by having a hyperlink on one page to another. For example, if you go to your Twitter website, and there is a link saying “Check out my LinkedIn page” on it. Google likes to see that stuff, so it thinks that website is important if it’s getting a shout-out. Most sites allow sections titled “Websites you are on” or “Add URLs”. This is where you can add “Please visit my Facebook page by clicking here”. Login to each of the sites you’ve created, and add/change most of backlinks to any of the 10-15 websites with special attention to ones directly below the negative website in search results. This way, those positive sites will be promoted above the negative website. You should re-assess the situation every 4 months and do slight updates to what positive sites need the extra power to overtake the negative website in search results. 

DIY FACIAL MASK FOR ALL SKIN TYPES

Having a facial at my favorite salon can be rather pricey, not to mention the time it would eat up from my regular schedule. So one time, I asked my favorite aesthetician for something I could put together at home so I can have some sort of freshening between my salon visits. Out of the kindness of her heart, she suggested this easy minty mask recipe which I’ve used since. The best thing about it is: it works for all skin types. First, I stir together a teaspoon of honey and 2 drops of peppermint oil. Once I get a uniform mixture, I add in a teaspoon of sweet almond oil, which serves as the carrier oil. Then, I further add 3 teaspoons of distilled water and a couple of tablespoons of kaolin clay. I get the kaolin clay from a health food/herbal store in the neighborhood. I stir the mixture thoroughly till I get a smooth, soft paste. I apply the paste to my washed-clean face and leave the whole thing on for about 10 or 20 minutes. I then rinse it all off with warm water and pat my face dry. I never rub my face dry after washing since rubbing is too harsh and can actually take away the moisture. To get the optimum benefits from the ingredients in this minty mask, I do application just before bedtime. This is to allow the mask to do its work while I’m asleep. I always wake up with a refreshed face plus a cool and positive outlook to start yet another day. Oh, I do this once a week, in between regular salon facials. 

DIY Acts of Kindness

HEARTFELT DIY ACTS OF KINDNESS

Kindness can be shown in random acts—sponsoring activities, donating in cash or in kind to an organization, or giving a stuffed toy to someone in hospital. An even better way of showing kindness is by creating something you can give to someone else. This way, the gift becomes a genuine gesture of kindness because of the extra effort you put into it.

New Neighbor Craft

Take a small straw woven basket. Glue some ribbons around the opening and on the handle. Line the inside of your kindness basket with some fleece. Print out a one-liner message to your new neighbor and put this inside the basket. Place some fruit or a jar or two of homemade jam.  It can be difficult to settle into a new neighborhood, so giving such a basket can make the new community member feel he already has made a friend.

Quotation Balloons

For someone sick in hospital, being within such antiseptic confines can be exasperating and really lonely and boring. Getting visits from friends can ease such feelings, and getting unexpected gifts can be even more comforting. Take some plain lollipop balloons and inscribe messages or draw happy faces on them with a felt-tip pen. Tie the balloons together with a large ribbon. Hang a pouch onto the balloon stalks you have tied together. The pouch can contain quotes printed on some specialty paper to make the patient feel better. I did this for my husband when he was in the hospital last year. I had all of the things I loved about him in the balloons. The little ones loved popping the balloons too. 

Kindness Box

Get an old, disused calling card box. Wrap with some gift wrapping paper. Then, print out some kindness coupons on specialty paper. The number of coupons depends on how many acts of kindness you’re willing to show. The kindness coupons can have messages like: One Backrub, One Hand/Foot Massage, One Hug, etc, for a friend or spouse. For kids, it can be: One Bedtime Story, One Kiss, One Hug, etc. Indicate on the coupon that the act of kindness is redeemable from you anytime.

Do it Yourself Crockpot Stew!
I really love a good crockpot stew – hearty and healthy, it makes the best family
dinner when you’re in a rush. Simply prepare the ingredients the night before, toss
in the crockpot for 8-8.5 hours, and you’re ready to go! More importantly, I don’t
think any DIY blog is complete without a good, old-fashioned recipe for a homemade
dinner!

What you’ll need:

1. 1.5 pounds stew meat (If possible, season and marinate the night before – I
use basic soy sauce)
2. 1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
3. 2 cups beef broth
4. ½ cup of evaporated milk
5. ½ chopped onion
6. 1 clove of garlic
7. 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
8. 2 cups peeled and quartered potatoes
9. Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on LOW for 8-8.5 hours. Try not to
open the lid often – just tap on the top to remove the steam and check on your stew.
This recipe will serve about 4 adults comfortably. For added spice, add a little taco
seasoning. Wala! Do it Yourself Stew!

Do it Yourself Crockpot Stew!

I really love a good crockpot stew – hearty and healthy, it makes the best family

dinner when you’re in a rush. Simply prepare the ingredients the night before, toss

in the crockpot for 8-8.5 hours, and you’re ready to go! More importantly, I don’t

think any DIY blog is complete without a good, old-fashioned recipe for a homemade

dinner!

What you’ll need:

1. 1.5 pounds stew meat (If possible, season and marinate the night before – I

use basic soy sauce)

2. 1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies

3. 2 cups beef broth

4. ½ cup of evaporated milk

5. ½ chopped onion

6. 1 clove of garlic

7. 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots

8. 2 cups peeled and quartered potatoes

9. Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on LOW for 8-8.5 hours. Try not to

open the lid often – just tap on the top to remove the steam and check on your stew.

This recipe will serve about 4 adults comfortably. For added spice, add a little taco

seasoning. Wala! Do it Yourself Stew!

Apple Cider Vinegar: A Daily Part of your Life

The Secret Sides of Apple Cider Vinegar

Let me just start by saying that apple cider vinegar is a daily part of my life. For most people, any reference to this household staple is one in regards to cooking, as ACV is commonly used as a marinade, salad dressing, brine, and seasoning in many recipes. However, I have found that the benefits of ACV apply to much more than the palate. As this is a DIY blog, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share a couple of my tricks:

  1. Skin Toner: ACV is a WONDERFUL toner for your skin. I stumbled upon this gem while doing some research and found out that the antibacterial properties of ACV actually kill the germs that stir up acne while concurrently restoring the acid, or PH levels, of our skin. It also helps reduce inflammation. I use it topically and make the solution myself mixing 50% ACV in 50% water (you can buy empty clear travel bottles at Target). If your skin is sensitive, try one part ACV in two parts water to start. Apply the solution after you wash your face, but before you moisturize. You WILL notice a difference in your skin. I always recommend organic brands of ACV, but it honestly doesn’t make a difference. Voila! Do it yourself skin toner (for MUCH cheaper than most brands)!
  2. Detox Drink: Feeling a little under the weather, bloated, want to kick-start a diet, or are your allergies acting up? ACV is a fantastic detoxifier for the body. Simply mix 2 teaspoons of ACV in a cup of water 3x a day. To strengthen the tonic and beneficial properties of the drink, add two teaspoons of pure lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey. Always try to drink this mixture through a straw, as ACV can wear down the enamel of your teeth with too much direct contact (that’s why we dilute it in water). Also, make sure you buy unfiltered and organic brands, such as Bragg’s. This is extremely important. Brands that state they are “of the mother” are even better. This DIY detox drink can be used daily as part of an overall health regime to keep you feeling your lightest and brightest.


Trust me, the benefits of ACV are endless and have been used for decades, if not

centuries. Apple Cider Vinegar is affordable, natural, and more importantly, with these recipes, you can Do it Yourself!

Do It Yourself: Picture Frames

I just had my first-born not too long ago, and I have run into so many things that one can do themselves to save money for the little one. One of my favorites was realized at a trip to Michaels, the crafts store. 

I fell in love with Pottery Barns decorations, but they were $99+, so I realized I needed a cheaper alternative. I went to Michaels to buy a few things to decorate my son’s room, but I ended up coming home with 30+ things and $110 less in my wallet. But what I got for that money ended up saving me thousands. Oh how I wish I could go shopping and just get the one thing I went there for. But this time, I made it work.

For 99 CENTS you can buy wooden picture frames that are easily decoratable. I bought some fun add-ons, some glue and now I have $30 picture frames that really only cost me $2-$4 each. 

They also have these wooden letters for $5 each that are almost identical to Pottery Barn’s, except they are unpainted. A few bucks for paint and a few minutes later, and they look identical. 

Welcome to Donna’s Do-It-Yourself Blog!

I absolutely love to write and blog, and I’m quite fond of saving money and doing things for myself rather than spending big $$$. So I decided to combine the two and start a new blog, all about things you can do yourself to save money and have fun.