Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Is Search Engine Optimization For Real?

It seems like everyone nowadays is launching a business website or contemplating doing so because of all the success stories we read of Internet millionaires and billionaires who had an idea, implemented it, and within 5 years were wealthier beyond their imagination. I definitely agree that the Internet is a great place to start a business because the startup costs are extremely low and you can reach a global audience which are two things that your typical brick and mortar business can't do for the most part. I launched an online business in October of 2009 hoping that within 5 years I would be making enough money to quit my day job which I hope is still the case. I have a long way to go to reaching my goal but I'm determined to do it.

After launching my business in October of 2009 I decided to buy a book on Search Engine Optimization because I was determined to get at least 100 visitors a day to my site. It took me two weeks to get through the book because I implemented every strategy the book told me to implement. After it was all said and done my average daily traffic was about 5 people after the first month I started my business. I couldn't believe that all the hours I spent reading and implementing these strategies had absolutely no bearing on increasing my sites popularity. And the kicker is that most of my traffic was coming from paid advertising (Cost Per Click) on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask which was costing me a lot of money on a monthly basis with a pretty high bounce rate so I wasn't receiving any sales from this medium at all. I didn't let this get me down though. I decided to purchase two more books on Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a. SEO) because each author has different ideas and I wanted to become an expert at SEO and make my site a success from the get go. I should also tell you that I bought a book on Search Engine Marketing because I wanted to get better results through my advertising campaigns on the different search engines and even this had no bearing on my advertising results. So what happened next?

After spending countless more hours on the two other SEO books and implementing every idea I came across I was hoping that all the time and energy I devoted to my site would pay off. Once again, I was wrong. I saw no increase in traffic at all yet once again. Not allowing this to put me in a funk I went out and bought two more books on the subject. Once again, I implemented every strategy in each book which amounted to the same results from the previous books I read.....nothing at all. All in all, I bought 8 books on SEO and implemented each and every strategy in these books and reaped no rewards for my time and effort at all. I'm a firm believer that if you work hard it will pay off in time. I'm still hoping that the search engines will reward me at some point for all the hard work I have put into optimizing my site. On top of all the books I have bought on the subject I have also spent hundreds of hours poring over blogs, articles, and any other medium that talks about SEO and strategies I can implement to improve my search engine rankings. Even implementing the ideas I have found through these sources has not amounted to getting increased results.

The reason I wrote this article is to help anyone out there who has just recently started an online business who wants to start getting traffic to their site ASAP. It's also for anyone who has had a site for a while who has gone through the same challenges I have in regards to getting traffic to their site. Here are my tips for getting more traffic to your site:

1) POST ADS ON CRAIGSLIST!!!!: I put this as my #1 strategy because after all the time and energy I spent on SEO this has been the one medium that has brought me the most traffic. I post on CL regularly in different cities because my traffic has shot up doing so and it allows me to reach every corner of the country for FREE. I didn't start posting on CL until recently and I'm so glad I did. My traffic has increased substantially. Another positive about using CL is that you can re-post your ads after they expire with just a few clicks.

2) If you have the means, invest in CPC advertising on major search engines: This has definitely brought me traffic but I have found not many people convert to buyers when clicking on ads. I read a book on Search Engine Marketing and implemented the strategies it discussed and saw no improvement in my results at all. So unless you have money to burn I would say don't waste your money on CPC campaigns. Once you start selling products on your store then by all means I think it's a great idea to advertise online to continue getting your name out there. Until then, focus on free ways to increase your traffic. Craigslist has done wonders for my traffic and this is the one and only strategy I can recommend to get traffic to your site immediately.

Now onto some of the strategies that all of the books I read suggested which have brought me absolutely no results:

Social Networking Sites: We are all very well aware of the popularity of Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. Unless you have a ton of contacts and/or friends on each site it is completely pointless adding information about your site on these mediums. I have wasted a lot of time doing this and it has brought me zero traffic. If you're currently a user of one of these mediums with a lot of friends I definitely suggest posting information about your business on a regular basis. If you're not a user of any of these mediums and have no desire to be then don't waste your time posting any updates here because it will bring you no traffic.

Blogging: Just like social networking sites, if you don't have people reading your blogs then blogging will bring you absolutely no traffic. I add my articles to my blogs on Blogger and Wordpress strictly for the link juice. Other than that, I have received no benefits in the way of traffic to my site at all.

Keywords for Search Engines: All the books I have read on SEO really stress the importance of picking the right keywords for each page on your website. I suggest using Google's Keyword Search Tool and look for keywords that have low or average competitor competition because you will never be #1 on Google for a highly competitive keyword unless your store has been operating for several years and you're the best authority for that given keyword or keyword phrase. There is also a lot of talk that the search engines don't pay much attention to keywords anymore which I'm guessing is accurate. After all the work I have done optimizing my site for keywords my average position for my keywords is about 150 putting me on the 15th page of most searches for my products. So therefore, I'm invisible since most people don't go past the second page when doing a search. I do recommend trying to rank for keywords where there isn't much competition but don't be surprised if you don't rank highly for these keywords either.

Article Submission Sites: I write articles for two reasons. The first reason is that I actually enjoy it. I have always loved writing about subjects that interest me (like this subject). The second reason I write articles and submit them on several sites is for the link juice. Not only do I receive link juice from the sites I post them on but I also receive link juice from people who put my articles on their site. If you decide to write articles and post them online always provide a link to your site in the Author Resource Box. People who add your article to their site are supposed to also add the link to your site. Most people do abide by these rules but some don't. Writing articles has brought me no traffic at all but I have read that the more links you have pointing to your site the more likely you are to rise in search engine rankings. I have yet to see this but I'm patient so we shall see.

Google Product Search: The web store service I use posts all of my products on Google Product Search automatically and they have told me that this is where most of their customer’s sales come from. I haven't made one sale using this service but I continue using it because I don't have to do any work on my end and I show up on the first page of searches for particular products. This sounds great right? Not so much. You have to realize that you're competing with the big boys like Amazon, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart who also use this service and you can be sure that if you're a small store you can't compete on price with these guys. It appears that most people who use Google Product Search are only interested in buying a particular product at the lowest possible price and could care less about customer service. I definitely recommend using this service since it is free and will allow you to show up on the first page of specific Google searches for the products you are selling but be warned that your product will show up with 2 or 3 identical products and people will usually click on the one with the lowest price. However, if you sell products that major retailers don't sell I can see this being a great tool that will help you get on the first page of Google when people search for your particular product.

Directories: All of the books I have read have talked about the importance of adding your business to directories. I have added my business to about 100 directories and have received very little traffic as a result. I think it helps add link juice for your site but that is it. Every book I have read has mentioned that adding your site to DMOZ is crucial because this is the directory that Google crawls and gives the most attention to. I put in a request to add my site back in October of 2009 and my business still hasn't been added yet. Since DMOZ has volunteer editors approving and disapproving sites it can take a very long time before they ever get to your site. I've been waiting for 7 months now and I'm not sure if my site will ever be reviewed to be honest with you.

I could go on and on about all of the strategies I read about in SEO books but I have covered the major topics in this article. If you plan on opening up an online business or currently operate one and want to get traffic immediately my recommendations are to post on Craigslist and advertise on the major search engines if you have the means. If money is no object I would also recommend hiring an SEO firm to help you rank highly on the search engines for keywords. I'm not at the point where I would hire an SEO firm because according to all the books I have read (which are written by SEO experts and practitioners) people who hire SEO firms either don't have the time to implement the strategies in the books I have read or choose not to. Also, a lot of authors feel that SEO firms are a waste of money because they do the same things that are in SEO books and charge very high rates to do these tasks for you. I truly believe that ranking high in the search engines takes time and there are no tactics to help you rank high for your chosen keywords immediately. I say if opening an online store is something you truly want to do then jump in and do it but don't expect your site to be a success within the first 6 months to a year. While possible, I feel it is extremely unlikely. I hope this article was informative. Thank you.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Is There a Tea With More Health Benefits Than Green Tea?

I began drinking Green Tea about 6 years ago because it seemed everywhere I looked there was some kind of article, TV commercial, or scientific study talking about the benefits of Green Tea and how people in Eastern countries who consume it on a regular basis live longer and healthier lives on average than people in Western countries. This got me wondering what all the hype was about so I did a lot of research online to see what the benefits of Green Tea were and I was pleasantly surprised. It has been known to reduce cardiovascular disease, boost the immune system, reduce your risk of cancer, speed up your metabolism, and so much more. After doing some research on Green Tea I decided I wanted to consume it on a daily basis. The next step was figuring out what brand had the highest amount of anti-oxidants. I figured if I was going to take it I might as well take the most potent brand available to reap the benefits as much as I could. Now I'm sure you can purchase specialty Green Tea from distributor's that are of much higher quality and much more potent than store brand Tea but I wanted to stick with store brands just for the fact that they're more convenient to purchase and appear to have a high enough anti-oxidant level to reap the benefits that Green Tea offers. Bear in mind that if you want to purchase a specialty Green Tea there are several varieties available at different price points. By doing an online search you'll see what I'm talking about. Anyway, after doing some research online on store brand Green Tea's I found that there was a study done on store brand Tea's and that the Celestial Seasonings brand was found to have the highest amount of anti-oxidants of all Green Tea's that were part of the study. After reading this article it was a no brainer that this was the brand of Green Tea I would consume going forward. I will admit that at first I didn't enjoy the taste of Green Tea at all (and still don't to be honest with you) but I wanted to make it a part of my daily life because of all the wonderful health benefits it offers. Like anything else, the more you do something the easier it is to deal with. I don't think I've gone more than two days in the past six years without having a cup of Green Tea. Most experts say that consuming 2-3 cups of Green Tea per day is enough to reap the benefits it offers. I usually drink two cups a day and I feel it gives me just enough energy to help me have a productive morning and I don't get the late morning crash I used to get when I drank coffee. About three years after I started drinking Green Tea (three years ago) I stumbled upon a new product that really caught my attention...Rooibos Tea.

The way I came across Rooibos Tea was actually pretty neat. After I returned home from grocery shopping one day I was in the mood for a cup of Green Tea. As I opened the box I was greeted with a free sample of Rooibos Tea. I thought this was a great marketing strategy on Celestial Seasonings part but I was also excited because I love trying new things and this something I had never heard of before. Instead of having a cup of Green Tea I decided to give the Rooibos Tea a try. I read on the packet that it was full of anti-oxidants and comes from a remote region of South Africa which I thought was neat. I will admit that I didn't like the taste of this tea at all. It was a little too sweet for me but this didn't stop me from going online to research it. What I found was very interesting.

First off, Rooibos is actually a bush and is not in the same family as Tea plants so in all reality it's not even classified as a Tea. Secondly, some studies have shown that Rooibos Tea has up to 50 times the amount of anti-oxidants of Green Tea. This really got my attention because I enjoy leading a healthy lifestyle and I'm always looking for ways to boost my immune system and stay healthy. After reading this I decided to dig deeper into the health benefits of Rooibos Tea. One of the things that really interested me about Rooibos Tea is that it is naturally caffeine free. As someone who doesn't drink a lot of caffeine this was of great interest to me because I could drink it at night and it wouldn't affect my sleep. A lot of people actually use it to help with insomnia because it has a soothing effect. After digging even deeper into the health benefits of Rooibos Tea I found it is good for the digestive system, helps in managing allergies and hay fever, is good for your skin, boosts the immune system, and contains calcium, manganese, fluoride, magnesium, and zinc which all contribute to different health benefits of their own. It appeared I found a Tea with all the benefits of Green Tea and then some. I will say that Rooibos Tea is not well known in the United States. Green Tea has a much larger following and is more readily available than Rooibos Tea. I would recommend giving Rooibos Tea a try if you're a Tea lover and you're health conscious because it is packed with anti-oxidants and has been shown to have several health benefits that can really improve your bodily functions. Celestial Seasonings is the only store brand I have ever come across at the store. As with Green Tea, you can buy Rooibos Tea online through Distributor's which are probably of much higher quality than store brands. They're more expensive but if you're a hard core health nut this may be the best option for you.

In conclusion, Tea as a whole is good for you whether it be Black, Brown, Oolong, Green, Rooibos, or the hundreds of other kinds of Tea's that are available in the marketplace. Green Tea definitely gets the most attention as being the healthiest tea available but take a look at Rooibos as well. You'll be amazed at all the health benefits it offers. My thought is why not consume both Green Tea and Rooibos Tea on a regular basis to reap the benefits of both.

Ron Cheli is the owner of He enjoys leading a healthy lifestyle which includes exercising regularly and eating healthy. Ron began his career as a Buyer in the retail industry and worked his way up to a General Manager and Regional Operations Manager at two of the largest transportation companies in the world. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Operations Management and an MBA.

The Importance of an Emergency Fund

Surviving this economy has been tough for a lot of people. Millions of people have lost their jobs which has contributed to millions of people losing their homes, cars, accustomed lifestyles, and much more. I'm no stranger to job loss as I was laid off from a position back in 2005 as a Buyer from a manufacturing company that experienced a sharp decline in orders which resulted in a massive layoff. I was lucky enough to have found a new job within six months of my layoff and I didn't have to sell off assets to stay afloat. Granted, getting an unemployment check definitely helped but it's a short-term solution to something that may be a long-term situation.

What kept me mentally and monetarily strong during this time was the fact that I put money into an Emergency Fund on a monthly basis in case anything should happen in regards to my job, health, or anything else where I would need money right away without having to charge or borrow which is something I wanted to stay away from. From watching the news and reading magazine articles and books I have seen that the majority of Americans spend what they make and even borrow to live beyond their means. I found this to be startling. I'm well aware that a lot of us like to keep up with the Jones's, charge things we feel we can pay off in the near future, upgrade our homes or purchase a home that may be a little out of our price range but still feel comfortable taking on a little more risk for the benefit of our family and so on, but I had no idea people were such super spenders who have no regard for saving.

I feel a lot of people in these situations felt they could borrow from their 401k's and IRA's if things got tough but why bother? You get hit with taxes and penalties by doing so and you're setting yourself up for failure in regards to your retirement plans. I think 401k's and IRA's are great investments but I would never borrow from them unless I was absolutely desperate, which is not a position I would ever put myself into. Living within your means is very simple and it allows you to save money in an interest bearing account which will allow you to use this money for emergencies. I feel everyone should have both a regular savings account as well as an emergency fund.

The first step is to pick a bank to open up a savings account that you will call your Emergency Fund. You can do an online search to determine what bank is best suited for you. Each bank offers different interest rates and has different benefits so it is important to do your homework before opening an account. I recommend using an online bank such as ING Direct because you can set up your account easily, earn higher interest rates than your typical brick and mortar bank, and it is more difficult to get your money out if you have a craving to buy something on impulse since it usually takes several days to transfer your money from an online bank to your regular brick and mortar bank.

Once you have opened an account with a bank put your savings on auto-pilot. I have been using a personal budget for two years now and I absolutely love it. I know how much money I have to the penny each and every month which allows me to plan accordingly. It is important to know how much money you're bringing in every month as well as your fixed monthly expenses. Once you know how much you have left over you should subtract your variable expenses to figure out how much you have left over each month that can be put into a savings account. Most experts agree that you should always pay yourself first so my suggestion is to come up with a monthly figure or percentage of your take home pay that you want to put in your savings account and set up an auto transfer each month (or paycheck) for this amount. I know a lot of people probably feel more comfortable doing it manually but this can be a big mistake since it makes it easier to spend these funds rather than put them in an Emergency Fund which is not good.

In closing, I know everyone's financial situations are different but this is no excuse for not putting away money in case something happens. Your Emergency Fund should be completely separate from a regular Savings Account and these fund should not be touched unless absolutely necessary. You'll find that by having this money you'll have less stress and learn to become more financially responsible going forward.

Ron Cheli is the owner of He enjoys leading a healthy lifestyle which includes exercising regularly and eating healthy. Ron began his career as a Buyer in the retail industry and worked his way up to a General Manager and Regional Operations Manager at two of the largest transportation companies in the world. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Operations Management and an MBA.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Diets Are a Waste of Time.....Just Eat Healthy to Maintain Good Health and a Nice Physique

After New Year's this past year I walked into Barnes & Noble to check out their new releases because I wanted to use a gift card I had received as a Christmas present. What I found in the New Releases section was not what I expected. There was nothing but diet books!! And I'm not even embellishing about this at all. There wasn't one new release in the entire section. This was really disheartening because I'm an avid reader and I expected to find a wide variety of books that were just released focused on different subjects as there always is. Not so much after New Year's I found out. Once the holidays are over and we enter a new year people are dedicated to eating healthy and working out more because they failed to do so the previous year (and the year before that and so on). The sad thing is these people usually join a gym and go on a diet for the first 2-3 weeks after the New Year and then give up because they aren't seeing results after such a short time period. I'm sure Barnes & Noble is not the only bookstore who does this after the New Year. After all, they are in business to make money and what better way to start off a new year than selling a plethora of diet books to unassuming people who come in droves looking for them?

This whole episode was very upsetting to say the least. As someone who has a good understanding of healthy living I will say that diets are a complete waste of time and money. Diets are not long-term programs that focus on overall good health. They usually consist of cutting back your calorie intake to extreme levels, eating nothing but a specific food category for an extended period of time, eating frozen prepared meals (often sold by the same companies putting out the book or an affiliate), and so on. In fact, there are so many different kinds of diets out there it's not even funny. Each one promises you'll lose weight and feel great. What they don't tell you for obvious reasons is that 95% of people who go on diets gain all their weight back once they get sick and tired of the diet or once the diet is over. The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and is extremely profitable to the companies that sell diet plans, pills, and meals. Have you ever read the ingredients on a Nutrisystem package or any other prepared meal? If you have an understanding of each ingredient I'd be shocked since most people don't have a clue, including myself.

The simple fact is that diets are short-term programs and often times very unhealthy. Cutting your caloric intake to extreme levels can leave you feeling weak and deprive you of many nutrients you need to maintain good health. If you truly want to maintain a healthy weight and a strong immune system you need to learn to eat healthy and exercise and make it part of your lifestyle not as a short-term fix to your current weight problem. Eating healthy and exercising is an extremely broad topic but here are some guidelines to go by if you truly care about your health and want to maintain a healthy weight:

1) Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night-This really depends on the individual and these are just basic guidelines. Some people require less sleep than this and some people require more. Only you know how much sleep you need to feel energized the next day. It is a known fact that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain. If you want a strong immune system and want to maintain a healthy weight make sure you get plenty of sleep every night.

2) Don't skip breakfast-This is truly the most important meal of the day. When you sleep at night you're fasting since you're not consuming any food while you sleep. If you want to speed up your metabolism it is imperative that you don't skip breakfast since this gets your metabolism going first thing in the morning. You'll notice you'll have more energy throughout the morning and it will really help burn fat in the long run. I'm not going to recommend what you should eat but make sure it's healthy. Whole grains, a lean protein source, and fruit are always a great combination. I usually have a bowl of Special K cereal with Soy Milk and add blueberries to my cereal. I usually have a glass of Pomegranate Juice or Orange Juice with breakfast as well. On top of this I drink Green Tea for its high dose of antioxidants and because it is known to speed up your metabolism.

3) Eat a small healthy meal every 3-4 hours-I usually eat a 300-400 calorie snack every 3-4 hours to keep my metabolism going throughout the day. It is a known fact that by eating small meals a day you increase your metabolism. I usually pack a couple Tuna Fish sandwiches on Whole Wheat bread and add a Tomato and Romaine Lettuce. Another good meal is fruit with Cottage Cheese. As long as you're eating a light and healthy snack every 3-4 hours you should be good. As a rule of thumb you biggest meal should be breakfast and they should decline in calorie intake throughout the day. It's a big misconception that lunch and dinner should be your biggest meals. What happens after a big lunch? You usually get tired in the mid afternoon which can really affect your work. By eating small meals throughout the day I don't suffer from these tired spells and usually have a ton of energy all day long.

4) Drink water-It is important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Most experts agree you should get at least 64 ounces of water per day. I've spoken to some doctors who say you should only drink when you're thirsty and not overdo it. As someone who used to drink nearly two gallons of water a day I can tell you that the only thing that came out of it was more time running to the bathroom. I recommend getting between 64-100 ounces of water per day. They say if you exercise regularly you should drink more than the recommended amount each day to keep your muscles hydrated.

5) Limit alcohol intake-Most experts agree that a man should drink no more than two drinks per day and women no more than one drink per day. If you're really dedicated to maintaining a healthy weight and good health I recommend having a glass of red wine with dinner a couple times a week at most. Calories from alcohol can really add up and too much alcohol consumption is not good for your health.

6) Exercise regularly-If you don't have experience exercising at all I recommend joining a gym and asking the staff for help. I have also found that people who work out are very helpful when it comes to knowledge of exercise and nutrition. If you have the means and want to hire a personal trainer I've seen many people obtain great results by doing so and it's a huge boost having someone motivate you. Most experts agree that you should get at last 3 days a week of exercise for about an hour each session but this depends on your fitness level and goals. It's really too broad of a subject to get into here but there are a ton of great resources online and in bookstores to help you get a workout program started. I recommend consulting your physician before starting a program though.

These are just a few guidelines to help you lead a more healthy lifestyle and to help you maintain a healthy weight. As a rule of thumb, stick to the perimeter of a grocery store since this is where you will find produce, lean proteins, and dairy products. The aisles are usually filled with boxed and packaged goods that are filled with sugars and preservatives that are not good for you.

Do yourself a favor and do some research on proper nutrition and exercise programs. Just remember that eating healthy and exercising should be a chosen lifestyle and not a short-term fix. Stay away from the latest and greatest diets and choose to live a healthy lifestyle. You'll be glad you did.

Ron Cheli is the owner of He enjoys leading a healthy lifestyle which includes exercising regularly and eating healthy. Ron began his career as a Buyer in the retail industry and worked his way up to a General Manager and Regional Operations Manager at two of the largest transportation companies in the world. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Operations Management and an MBA.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Are Fish Oil Supplements Beneficial Or Are They Just Hype?

As someone who leads a pretty healthy lifestyle I'm always looking for new ways to boost my immune system, burn fat, and slow the aging process. I don't go to extreme measures by taking supplements I see on infomercials that promise you will burn 15 pounds of pure body fat within 90 days though. I tend to look for more natural ways when it comes to nutrition. Fish Oil Supplements have been the rage for the past several years now because of preliminary evidence that it boosts the immune system, is good for your skin, and fights cancer and heart disease. While I definitely agree that Fish Oil is beneficial I'm wondering if it is more beneficial taken as a supplement than as part of your regular diet.

I have read extensively on this subject and most experts agree that all you need is 2-3 servings of fish per week in order to get the recommended amount of Omega-3's for optimal health benefits. Of course the fish that they recommend for the most part are Mackerel, Sardines, and Anchovies since they contain much higher oil concentrations than other fish. Wild Salmon is also a great source of Omega-3's as well. Since I'm a seafood lover I definitely make it a point to get at least 3 servings of fish per week. I would say Tuna sandwiches make up at least two of those meals since it has a good amount of Omega-3's.

I decided to take a Fish Oil Supplement three years ago after reading about all of the great benefits. In all honesty I never noticed a difference in how I felt. What I did notice was that my heart would start racing on me every once in a while which scared me. I figured it was just stress, which is still a possibility. I decided to stop taking Omega-3 pills last year after discussing it with my doctor. Since I don't suffer from high blood pressure or any other heart related condition she felt that I was feeding my body too much Omega-3 and that too much of anything is not good for you. During the past year I have not had any incidents of a racing heart which tells me the Omega-3 supplement I was taking may have contributed to this.

In conclusion, my advice is to discuss any supplements you take or plan on taking with your doctor before you take them. I understand that many supplements are natural and appear to be completely safe but you can never be too careful when it comes to your health. I may go back to taking Omega-3 at some point in my life but since I don't suffer from any conditions where Omega-3 supplements are beneficial I don't see a point in taking them any time in the near future. I'm really not sold that they are beneficial by themselves since it is a known fact that your body absorbs vitamins and minerals from food better than from supplements alone. I do think that Fish Oil supplements are more hype than anything else but there are definitely health benefits associated with Fish Oil. If you're a seafood lover my advice is to stick to eating 2-3 servings of fish per week. If you're not a fan of seafood you can get Omega-3's from Olive Oil and Nuts. Do yourself a favor and do some research and figure out how much Omega-3 is best for you and try to get it from natural sources rather than supplements.