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!