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Walk Before You Run or It Could Lead to Failure

Many newbies to Internet marketing try to run before they learn how to walk the walk, don’t they?  I include myself in this beginner’s flaw because over a year ago I started doing exactly that.

The excitement of this new venture had me shifting from idea to idea in search of that one thing that would make me enough money to quit my day job.  Do you know how hard it is to have huge success on just one big idea? It’s darn near impossible.  As a matter of fact, you’d probably have a better chance of winning the lottery before landing a BIG ONE on the first attempt.

 

After several months of struggling to find the one brilliant idea that would rock my world but consistently failing, I had to take a hard look at why it wasn’t working.  I consider myself an intelligent person so why couldn’t I get it after reading hundreds of “how-to” articles written by successful marketers?  I’ll tell you why.  It’s because I didn’t follow the old adage of walk before you run.

 

My advice to anyone trying to break into Internet Marketing is to:

 

1)      Read as much as you can to gather ideas because studying the success of others is important.

2)      Filter those ideas to find something that will fit your style but keep the remaining ideas for the future.

3)      Develop your own product and work with that from start to finish

4)      When your initial idea or product becomes successful then expand your efforts with a new idea.

5)      Keep repeating to yourself “there are no shortcuts to success”

 

We can all learn from “Aesop’s Fable The Tortoise and the Hare”, slow and steady wins the race!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s In Your Recipe?

About a month ago I was working on one of those famous computer repairs for a friend and was invited to stay for dinner as payment for my efforts.  It wasn’t anything fancy, just a simple pot of Chili.  Maybe it was the fact that I was extremely hungry or maybe she created it from a gourmet recipe but whatever it was, I swear that it was the very best Chili I had ever tasted! 

 

I asked for the recipe and my friend started to hem & haw before replying, “Uh, I really don’t have a written recipe I just throw ingredients together.  Sometimes it tastes better than others and you just happened to have one of the better batches”.

 

Driving home I started thinking that I was treating my attempts at Internet Marketing in the same unformulated fashion as her Chili recipe.  Some things worked well and other attempts were “garbage worthy duds”. I needed to find a recipe that works for me. 

 

One ingredient in my new recipe is the Marketing Masterclass I am taking but another one is an eBook I purchased called  Silent Sales Machine. This book discusses “Silent Sales Machines” hidden on eBay and how to make them work for you while you sleep. It’s not just about eBay either, it also includes many ideas of what works online.  I found many of these ideas simple to implement with little out of pocket cost.

 

This is a must read for those who  don’t have a website or don’t know how to drive enough traffic to their website to make any money.  Why worry about generating traffic when you can sell where millions shop already?

 

The third ingredient is a membership to MySilentTeam which I discovered after buying the eBook.  This site is loaded with articles, tools, free products and advice from 40+ contributing  experts in this field.  Talk about recipes.  It’s like reading a Betty Crocker cook book. If you sign up for a membership to MySilentTeam you can save some money because members get the 2009 version of The Silent Sales Machine for free in the bonus pool.  You can sign up for a 5 day trial for $5.00 so it’s very inexpensive to see how much this membership site has to offer.

 

Right now those are my three main ingredients. When I develop my “secret” ingredient, I’ll be back to share it with you just like Duke with the secret to Bush’s Baked Bean recipe.

 

What’s in your recipe?  Feel free to share it  by submitting a comment.

All “Newbies” struggle with THIS!

The more time I spend studying successful Internet Marketers, the more obvious it becomes that they all have a common message for the “newbie”.  The two things highest on their list of “must-do” to become successful online are to grow lists of names and create your own products.

 

Being one of those labeled as a “newbie”, I feel comfortable with the process of growing lists and know that everyone who is added to my list should be treated with honesty.  Any hint of being dishonest and your list of potential buyers will disappear faster than an icicle in boiling water.

 

What I do struggle with, along with many others trying to break into Internet Marketing, is the lack of confidence to create my own products.  I come up with brilliant ideas (Or at least “I” think they’re brilliant), jot down a few notes and then get distracted with other tasks or find excuses not to continue because I’m not sure anyone would buy what I have to say.  A week or so later when I try to get back into it again, the original brilliant idea sounds like poop and I give up. 

 

A few months ago I received an email from John Thornhill recommending a wonderful eBook written by Paula Brett.  It’s specifically written for people like me who procrastinate about writing their own products or fear that they don’t have what it takes to be an author of “sales-worthy” material. 

 

After reading Paula’s eBook, I am now on track to keep my thoughts focused so I’ll be able to complete my first eBook.  No it’s not finished.  As you well know, Rome wasn’t built in a day!   I can tell you that the advice she provided in her eBook, along with her sense of humor scattered throughout the pages, made me feel like she lived through my pain and if she could do it, so can I!

If I “Twittered” Today……Does That Make Me a Twit?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or never had an opportunity to surf the Internet, it’s hard to imagine that you never heard about “Twitter”.  Twitter is another social networking venue to keep in touch with friends, family, colleagues, movie stars, etc.  I suppose this list of examples could go on forever. 

 

I knew about Twitter but never thought it was something I needed to use until reading the Feb 9th entry on Dave Nicholson’s blog.  Dave was differentiating Twitter from other social networking sites like Facebook & MySpace when a bell went off in my head!

 

He commented that Twitter was the social networking site where Internet Marketers gravitated.  I told you a few posts ago that I was participating in John Thornhill’s Marketing Masterclass so if Twitter is where they hang out, I felt I should follow the Masters!

 

It’s free to sign up.  The only progress I made on it today was to create my username and select the people I wanted to follow.  By the way, Internet Marketers are not the only people who use it.  Brittany Spears has a Twitter account so you can Tweet with her every day!

 

I don’t really think this makes me a Twit but I’ll let it up to you.  Feel free to leave a comment.

 

Don’t forget to check out my “Other Cool Blogs”.  You can learn a lot from these Marketers.  They provide their readers with valuable information in exchange for the time you spend reading their posts.  Think of it as a college education without having to pay any tuition!

Whew……Problem Eliminated

Friday night’s adventure took about 3 hours but I got the Notebook decontaminated without having to erase & reinstall Windows Vista.

 

After connecting to the Notebook with CrossLoop, I downloaded & installed Malwarebytes’ to begin cleaning up the mess.  Malwarebytes’ is one of my favorite free tools available to remove Spyware/Malware.  I generally use the free version as a one time clean up tool but you can also spend a few bucks and buy the “real-time” protection version for $24.95 USD.  In my mind, that’s a small price to pay for piece of mind.

 

It’s a fact of life if you spend time on the Internet, you could be infected by doing nothing extraordinary.  While Malware is know infect dodgy websites such as gaming or peer-to-peer file sharing sites, many users don’t realize that computers can be infected with a “drive-by download” while only visiting reputable websites. If you don’t understand what I mean by a drive-by download, Wikipedia gives a simple definition.

 

Although I removed the existing Malware, I still needed to confirm that the Notebook has all the available Microsoft security patches installed and that the Antivirus program was up to date.  If I skipped these steps, my friend could be back in the same mess sooner than she thinks.  The Notebook was missing 25 critical Windows security updates. My friend told me she didn’t think she needed them. I also found that she had no Antivirus software enabled because she never took action when notified about the trial subscription expiring. 

 

I set up Vista to perform Windows updates automatically which requires NO THINKING on the end user’s part and keeps the system security up-to-date.  The last missing piece was to install avast! 4 Home which includes both Antivirus & Anti-spyware protection.  It updates automatically and is distributed at NO CHARGE to home users.  Check out my “free downloads” section if you find yourself in the same boat.

 

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the protection I installed, combined with a frank discussion about Internet security, will eliminate another Friday night panic call from my friend.  Well at a minimum, for this friend because I can’t swear that I won’t get a similar call from someone else!

What a Predicament!

Last evening I got a panic phone call from one of my friends who needed my help with her new Notebook.  Her diagnosis was it was “acting strange”.  It was urgent because she needed to complete her online course before Monday morning.  When you work with computers for a living, all your friends and family expect you to be their personal help desk and most of the time they expect it to be done at no charge.  It’s a big occupational hazard!

 

I tried to calm her down by telling her it would be OK but deep down I knew the Notebook was probably infected with some form of Malware. Depending on how fast she noticed the infection would determine if I could clean it.  Sometimes the infections are so deeply embedded that the only recourse is to erase everything and reinstall the operating system which in this case is Windows Vista.

 

I started asking her some specific questions about the Notebook symptoms because as you well know, acting strange tells me very little about the problem. Her replies revealed that her home page was no longer going to Yahoo but instead it went to a blank page. In addition, after the blank page appeared, it was followed by rapid launching of 50-60 pop up ads that couldn’t be cleared.  My professional assessment was YUP, the Notebook’s infected.

 

By the time I got my answers, it was 9:00 pm. I had a list of errands I needed to complete on Saturday so I couldn’t push it off for another few hours. If it needed to be erased on Sunday, it would take several hours leaving limited time for her online training commitment. I felt obligated to help but really wasn’t up for driving to her house.  I also didn’t relish the thought of a visitor in my home at that hour so I offered help via a remote support tool called CrossLoop.  CrossLoop is a free, secure screen-sharing utility designed with a simplistic interface so non-technical types can run it. It took about 15 minutes to have her download & install CrossLoop and give me the access code for the connection. Normally it takes about 5 but those darn pop ups were slowing things down.

 

I’ll post the outcome of this predicament tomorrow.  If you’d like more information about the CrossLoop product, check out my “free downloads section”.  It may be a tool you can use if you find yourself stuck in a similar predicament even if you don’t have a friend who works with computers.  CrossLoop has Expert Helpers available 24/7 in a wide range of categories.  They will also provide free estimates for your specific problem.

Are you bored like me?

I had only one appointment scheduled today and wrapped things up at around 11:30 a.m.  At that point I made an executive decision to quit working on my fulltime job at noon.  After all, it is Friday and I worked long hours the other 4 days this week so I felt I deserved the R&R.

 

I get bored very easily when doing the same thing for too many years in a row and look for new things that keep my entrepreneurial fire burning.  That’s one of the reasons that I usually spend some of my free time surfing the Internet.

 

Over the past few months I’ve been studying Internet Marketing.  I read everything I could get my hands on.  Sometimes I read so many different things and get all my ideas jumbled up in my head that it’s difficult to know what step to take first if you’re considering taking the plunge. This is known as information overload.  Or a better description is spinning your wheels in the mud and getting no where.

 

If was going to attempt entering the realm of Internet Marketing I knew I needed help and am currently enrolled in John Thornhill’s Marketing Masterclass  designed as a 36 week, step by step Internet Marketing course.  It’s early on in the course but I am enjoying it immensely

 

John built his Internet Marketing Empire with his own “Sweat Equity” and really didn’t have the benefit of someone else’s experience.  So many people would find it surprising that someone like John is willing to pass along his expertise for the joy of seeing others succeed.  Of course I had to pay to take the training but he charges a fraction of what some other companies sell for less content. 

 

I’ll post about this course in a few weeks and let you know if I’m making progress.

It’s Truly Amazing

You probably noticed from my last post that I am a big pet lover. I prefer dogs because the only thing a dog wants out of life is to unconditionally please his/her owner while asking very little of us in return.   

 

One of the things I try to do at least twice a day is to provide my pup with some dedicated play time.  Sometimes it’s before I leave for work and I always set time aside after dinner.  When I play with him I try to teach him tricks like sit, shake paw, rollover.  It’s nothing complicated like trying to catch a Frisbee, just the basics.  While we both have fun, I discovered I’m not good at teaching him anything. 

 

Feeling somewhat incompetent, I was on a quest to try to become a better trainer.  Once again I started searching the Internet for articles, eBooks or even videos that might help me become a better teacher/trainer.

 

It really didn’t take long to find an on-line program that was developed by a Professional Trainer.  I reviewed the free tips video and taught my pup how to “Shake-A-Paw” before spending any money.  I am truly amazed that the Shake-A-Paw training tip helped him learn the trick in 2 days.

 

Since the free lesson video worked so fast, I decided to buy the entire course.  In addition to teaching tricks, this course offers training on many other aspects of dog training and may help my pup develop into a well mannered fun loving dog.

 

Until next time, hug your pet and make sure to have some fun with them!

And So It Begins!

What begins you ask?  It was the arrival of my adopted puppy named Patch. He was a 10 week old rescue pup that I found on the Internet. Isn’t it amazing what you can do & find on the Web?

 

Patch was almost destroyed by a very cruel person trying to drown the litter of pups but a kind woman came to the rescue saving him from his demise so she could place him in a good home through adoption.

 

If any of you are pet lovers, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the many “beginnings” I’m experiencing. The very first “beginning” was the challenge of housebreaking the pup in the dead of winter with 6+ inches of ice covered snow on the ground.  Of course navigating those conditions were harder for me than Patch.

 

I scoured the Web trying to obtain as much information as I could about housebreaking puppies and while no one offered a “Magic Bullet” or “Housebreaking Pill”, the common theme was patience and persistence. 

 

Patch is now 13 weeks old and has not had an “accident” in the house for the last 12 days.  All it took was many trips outdoors after naps, playing and eating along with several hundred puppy treats to reward him for remembering to only “go” outside.

 

Is it always this easy?  Most people would tell you it is not so either I got a smart puppy or the 50 trips a day to the back yard in single digit temps paid off! 

 

There are many deserving animals that need homes and if you’re looking for a new pet, try adoption before going to a pet store.  The petfinder website was very helpful in finding the family’s new best friend.