Friday, December 26, 2008

Blogging - step one

Even though I have several blogs, most were thrown up in a higgledy piggledy way --- the purposes varied; as support to an existing website that I have, others are a commentary and still others are on personal development. I want to do this one differently. This one has to be an example on how to blog for money. With this as the prime reason for starting a new blog, I have to give more thought about the way I go about it.

Immediately questions need to be answered:-
- what is the topic going to be?
- who is my target audience?
- should I use blogger or wordpress?
- should this be a standalone blog or should it promote one of my online businesses?
- how do I best monetize it?

The first question that I am going to tackle is topic. There is no shortage of topics to write about. If I want to make money on this blog then I have to be able to rank high in the search engines, choose my keywords carefully, even the domain name makes a difference.

If the topic is too broad then I have a lot of competition out there. An example would be both my Buy Me a Mercedes Benz site and the corresponding Mercedes Benzblog. I threw both of these sites because I like the car and just wanted to write about it. Even though I am making some money on the site (the blog is not monetized for a reason)I don't expect that it will be up on page one of any of the search engines any time soon. This will be a labor of love and who knows, years hence it just might show up on page one!

The way to success is to "niche" your topic. The saying in the internet world is "inch wide and mile deep". An example of that, still staying on the topic of Mercedes, might have been on the McLaren.

Between now and the next time I post here, I will do some research on my topic and will post here on how I arrived at it. Till then .... happy blogging to you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blogging - the first step to Mastering the Internet

If I were to launch my Internet Marketing career today, I would start by blogging.

Its been two years since I rolled up my sleeves and decided to become an Internet Marketer. No, the money truck has not pulled up to my driveway ... yet. An income is however becoming regular and I see that money truck pulling up.

In the two years that I have been a student of Internet Marketing, I have learned a lot. In retrospect I might have done things differently and perhaps would be further ahead by now. No matter. The foundation has been laid and it is solid.

Knowing what I now know, if I were starting in IM today, I would certainly start with a blog. To me this is the easiest entry into the Internet Marketing world. Consider these points:

Ease of Entry: The learning curve is not as steep as say starting your own online store but if that is your ultimate destination, a blog would be like the hot dog stand that eventually gets you to owning your own kick ass gourmet restaurant.

Affordability:Like the hot dog stand, blogging is cheap - sheesh! even free if you want. Blogservers such as Blogger and Wordpress are free and you do not need to learn any cyber language such as HTML or hire a webmaster to throw up a site for you. Both Blogger and Wordpress offer a wide choice of templates and quicker than you can say "what's a blog" you've got one!

Easy Back Office Management: You can take your time to familiarize yourself with all the options that are available to you to make your blog unique. The good thing about this is that as you become more confident on the net, you can always log into your backoffice and tweak both the appearance and other elements of your blog, such as comments, ads, social marking. As an example, this blog is not fully populated with many of the options that are available. Over time you will see small changes, changes which are meant to drive more traffic to this site.

Money:. You can start making money right away. It more than likely won't be high on the decible charts of WOW! but it will open the window to the view of the money truck pulling up to your driveway.

Time Friendly: Most people who look at the net as a potential source of income have a J.O.B. and would like to

a. earn and additional income and
b. to develop a secure financial safety net. Many want to quit their j.o.b.

By just devoting a mere hour a day, you will be taking action and begin to build your IM Muscles. Equally important, a new brain power blueprint will begin to emerge.

While posting this I just talked myself into starting another blog (I have several). Here's the deal. I will be completely transparent. I will post the steps, the fine tuning, the tools, the results of that new blog on this one. Since it will be a fresh one, it will be easy to follow and measure the results. I will share the resources I use, bearing in mind that your money truck is still revving up, the tools and resources will either be free or nominally priced.

My challenge to you: subscribe to this blog by clicking on the RSS feed or registering in the "follow this blog" option on the right hand menu and follow in my footsteps. I do not promise a specific result in terms of income, but what I do promise is that if you lift when I lift and run when I run, you will be on your way to becoming an Internet Marketing Professional. There will be mistakes enroute, we learn from mistakes. There will be obstacles. We will learn how to overcome those obstacles. There will be celebrations ... we really like those. We'll surf the net, master the waves, and let 'er rip!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Four Bleeping Hours!

Four Bleeping Hours! Daily!
Just to keep up with your emails.

I recently had a discussion with a colleague --- someone new to the world of Internet Marketing. Like so many newbies, she had subscribed to several guru newsletters and had bought a course or two, OK, make that three or four and maybe more. What this means of course is a very active Inbox. In the course of our conversation she fessed up that going through the emails took as much as four hours every day. Four hours? Four bleeping hours! She was frustrated that after half a year the results were abysmal and was wondering if she shouldn't throw in the towel with this latest venture and start something else.

Ok, four hours may be a bit on the high end of the spectrum for just “managing” your inbox, but honestly, don’t all of us fall victim to doing exactly what my friend did? Lets do a quick inventory. How many newsletter subscriptions do you have? How many courses have you signed up for – the freebie ones, the cheapie ones, and the not so cheapies? You get emails from all of those too even after the course has run its course (yes pun intended … ok, I just couldn’t help myself). Never mind the plethora of jokes from friends who obviously have no intention of making money on the internet. Then of course those jokes have to be forwarded to your own special inner joke circle.

STOP! This is insanity! If you’re serious about becoming an Internet Marketer – one that makes money that is – then you have to declutter, unsubscribe, don’t open the jokes – or at least save them for “break” time. I save mine for the weekends, and if some don’t get opened, so what. When I was going through the
Nitro Marketing Blueprint course, Kevin Wilke told us to be ruthless in unsubscribing. He told us that no matter how good the info may be that we are receiving, that is not what we are focusing on now, that they distract us from the job at hand, and steal our time from us … actually, it is we who are stealing time from ourselves. It even takes time to delete – so best not to receive in the first place.

The first thing that newbies need to know is that the internet is not a free ride. It is a continuous process of learning, and, unless you have the basics down pat, you're never going to join the ranks of the gurus whose newsletters you so readily subscribed to and from whom you bought the courses and for which you now have no time because it takes you four bleeping hours every day just to read all that good stuff that comes into your inbox. FOUR HOURS!!! … and there is so much information you don’t know where to start and then you get frustrated because nothing is working and you throw up your hands in frustration and start looking for the holy grail of the internet and you can’t find it! Whew! Months go by, even years and still nothing works.

Good News/Bad News. The good news is that you know more about the internet than you think you do. You’ve gone through kindergarten. You know the basics of being on the computer: open, close, send & receive emails, browse, google something. You might even be active on some social marketing sites ... you know, Facebook, My Space, Twitter and many more. Later on you will learn how to use these sites as valuable marketing tools, but not so fast Little Grasshopper! Some basics:

One: Unsubscribe. Yes, all those newsletters are full of great stuff, but you are not doing anything with it. These are time wasters. If you are married to some of them, save the subscription links or the name of the guru, and file them away to return to later… I mean, four bleeping hours! Give me a break!

Two: Go and review the courses you bought. Pick the easiest one and resolve to complete it, beginning to end. Not just reading it, but actually doing the exercises and implementing what you are reading. Hey babe! You’re building internet muscles!

Three: Email all your joke buddies. Tell them that you love them and appreciate their jokes but could they put them on hold for several months. Tell them that you are working on a very important project and are ridding yourself of all distractions.

Four: Calendar time to work on your course. Whether you decide to devote 3 or 4 hours a day schedule it. This is very important. I would recommend scheduling some time on a daily basis, but if the weekend is all that you can realistically devote to your course, then schedule about ten hours, five on Saturday and another five on Sunday.

Five: Resist the temptation to check on your inbox all the time. I check my inbox in the morning, at noon, and then before I close for the day (the time varies). I have heard that the gurus only check twice a day.

If the thought of going through your library of unopened e.courses is too staggering, I began with Nitro Marketing Blueprint. It is easy to follow and is updated every year. I often go back to a section just to refresh --- and surprise, surprise! It gets easier! Build them internet muscles. The time you invest will bare gifts of dollar deposits into your bank account. Don’t let the slow start discourage you. As your foundation builds, the growth will take on speed and the income too will begin to take on exponential growth

To Your Success!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Beginning of the Entrepreneur Years

My journey to financial independence was not so much chosen by me as it was thrust upon me. I remember it well. The day was Thursday. News was flying across the country. Like a rolling wave it started back east andended right here in the west ... at least that's the way it was for the company I was employed by. Employees were being ushered out the door faster than you can say Jimmy crack corn and I don't care. I knew my fate - it would be the same as the man who hired me. Usually is.

No one had done anything wrong. This was the era of multi-nationals buying other multi-nationals to become multi-more. Re-egineering. Redundancy. It seems like such a long time ago. It was. Today this same scenario is repeated time and time again. The reasons may be different, but the outcome is the same. No matter how they try to spin it, redundant, re-ingeneering, downsizing, streamlining; it still boils down to one thing: NO JOB.

I decided right then and then that I did not want another job. I understood at that time that business had just undergone a major shift and would never be the same again. The multi-national I was with was already exporting its call centers to third world countries. There were other changes blowing in the wind. I decided that I wanted a business of my own, one where I could control my own financial well being.

Off I went to meet with my accountant. I thought perhaps some of his clients might be selling their business and I was right. How much did I want to pay, my accountant asked ... hundred thousand? half a million?

As I picked my jaw up off the floor, he asked why I wanted to buy a business. We both laughed when I told him that he would be the first one to tell me not to start one. He then looked at me straight in the eyes and said something that I will never forget "Valentina, the reason a business is for sale is because it is not doing too well or if it is, its going to cost a lot of money. Either way, it will cost and no guarantee of success. Why don't you look at direct marketing?"

He didn't quite have the terminology right, but he did give me some criteria by which to judge such a business. I left feeling deflated, like someone just blew the wind right out of my sails. Oddly enough, several weeks later I was introduced to a business which I could work from home and it even met my accountant's criteria set. Aha! Said I to myself. This is what my accountant is talking about.

This was a business that gave me the best of both worlds: my own business without the risk of starting or owning one. I liked that it did not cost a hundred thousand, not even a thousand ... and, I thought, if this does not pan out, well I've spent more on bad dinners and clothes that didn't fit. Success was there for the grabbing and thus began a new chapter of my life: The Entrepreneur Years!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rip Along With Me

Every day the promise of fast, easy money lures people into starting a business on the Internet. Promises of big bucks and the lifestyle of the rich and famous flood the Internet. Many fall prey to this siren song of instant wealth.

You know what I mean.

Frustration and the feeling of having been taken soon set in.

But the lure is strong and somehow you feel that there's got to be a way ... I mean, look at all the gurus making truckloads of dough!

"If only I can find the silver bullet" you say to yourself. "I'm not looking to become a guru, not looking for a truckload, gosh, just a steady stream of a grand or two a month would do."

And so you can.

On this blog I will share with you my foils and foibles, my successes, the stumbling blocks along the way, the wins. There is no silver bullet --- at least I have not found one. What there is is an honest and true business that you can work from anywhere in the world, any time you want. It can pay you enormous sums of money, and it can provide you with a lifestyle that others only dream of. IT CAN. But it requires time, effort, and money.

Money?????

Yes, MONEY.

Let me explain.

Unless you are a brainiac, you need to spend some money and start with a basic course ... now if you've got lots of money, then you can leapfrog ahead of others by working one on one with one of the successful gurus. No seriously, if you have the bucks, there is no better way than pull out the plastic and taking on a mentor. Guaranteed: you will develop an income stream and it may even be a truckload or two within a year.

I did not have the big bucks. Mine is not the story of the lure of the siren song of instant riches. No, mine is a story of turning to the Internet to further my network marketing business. You see, I already had a successful network marketing business that I had built up the old traditional way. As the Internet began to gain prominence I felt that I had to turn to this method of marketing to promote my business. I became an instant freebie junkie!

I have a degree in marketing. I'm smart. How much more difficult, thought I, could it be to market on the Internet. Look at all the free information! I began to download every free e.book, subscribe to every free newsletter, attend free introductory teleclasses and webinars. I thought that I could go through the free material, pick out that which was appropriate, create a system, and voila! Quicker than you can say Bob's your uncle, I would have a system that would drive hungry schools of fish to my opportunity!

I soon came to the conclusion that if I am indeed smart, I am not smart enough to develop such a system. By now my computer was loaded with the largest e.book library (and some not so free e.books) in the world --- I know, I know, others lay claim to the same title. At least I was smart enough to realize that I needed help. Now, to be honest, there was undoubtedly some good content in all that free stuff, but most of the time I was jumping from one freebie to another and not really implementing anything at all, but more to the point, there are many freebies that I did not even open, and which to this day, remain unopened. I finally bit the bullet, scraped up enough shekels and signed up for a course!

I don't know why you decided to pursue Internet Marketing but I venture a wager that some of what I have just written rings a familiar bell for you. So join me in my venture. No promises of any sort. Along the way I have learned some basics which I will share with you. I am still learning and as I reach new gateposts, I will share those with you as well. An ocean surfer's battlecry is "Let 'er Rip" ... It should be that of an Internet Marketer as well. This is your invitation, to "Let 'er RIP ALONG WITH ME!