LEFT FIELD….AGAIN…OR NOT

From time to time I get into discussions with others in my field. By the time we are through I’m usually the one standing alone (the others have walked away shaking their heads.) This week was no different.

John (Not his real name. You know the old joke about changing the names to protect the guilty? In this case it’s true) was mentioning a number of tools that people don’t bother to use when promoting their Internet Business.

There were a few other folks around and most were nodding their heads in agreement. A few others were trying to discuss various tools…the merits of one versus the others. All was going well until I asked this question.

“Ever see a dog chase its tail?”

John, just smiled (you know that polite smile you reserve for strangers who appear to be a little off) and replied with something like, “What do dogs have to do with marketing?”

Once I knew I had their attention, I mentally adjusted my Guru toga, only kidding I don’t have one, (my legs aren’t as great looking as they used to be) cleared my throat and said;

“They (Dogs) don’t get anywhere chasing their tails. Neither do folks who are always trying new and so called brilliant ideas for promoting their websites.

There are over 350 Social networks, easily over 500 million blogs, there are hundreds of Internet Gurus on Twitter alone and I can not even begin to count all the online programs that promise traffic wealth and good looks.

Point being most folks end up wasting time and Money trying to do all things marketing because of what they read and hear on the internet. Like I said a dog chasing its tail.”

John replied (he is a nice guy but stubborn..probably why we get along) Norm you are not seeing the big picture. You are missing the point. Not everyones Internet marketing needs are the same. That is why there are so many options. What methods work for one person might not work for another.

“Do you know how many basic literary plots there are?” I countered..”Seven…now there are many versions of those seven..but seven is the number. Why do I bring this up, because most folks would have offered a guess in the thousands because that is their perception. Do you know how many choices you have in business…. there are only two!

Either you are a success or you fail. There are many versions of these two…some folks make $100,000 a year and they see themselves as failures. Others make enough extra money for a great time out once a month and they feel successful.

My point is you either make money or you don’t. success or failure is only a perception. Now John what you are saying has merit…however there are only a few “basic” ways to market and run a business that allows you to make money. Understand the basics, master the basics and then use them, that is how you make money. Forget all the other hype about this and that, save the red ribbon that is tied around “secrets” and such nonsense.”

At this point I found myself alone in that field.

I get so many questions from folks asking about this or that found on the Internet. Will this work etc etc….when what they should be doing is focusing on the basics.

As always I say what I feel is right…and you…need to do what you feel is right…just don’t get lost.

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NEED TO BUILD A WEBSITE?

I get many requests (and I’m grateful) from folks who want to build a website. Creating an Internet Business is one way to make income that can always come in handy. I am a firm believer that no one can make too much money (despite the occupy Wall Street and our present administration beliefs). Matter of fact I have never had a client ask me “How do I limit my income.”

I think it would be safe to assume then, that you being here wanting to know how to build a website, that you are not opposed to the idea of making money.

Where does one begin when considering to build a website? No I am not going to take you through a check list to determine if you are cut out to go into business. Let us just assume you are. You are over 18 years of age you know how to use the Internet and you know that to build a website and running an Internet Business does take work.

The first decision you must make is a simple one. Do you want to build a website or will you pay to have someone do it for you? In other words do you want to throw money down a hole and learn nothing by having it done…or do you want to gain the knowledge and become your own master.

It should be obvious which side of that picket fence I stand on. I feel so strongly on the subject that I tell every client in the first session that my goal is to give them knowledge so they will NOT have to pay someone again. Learn what it takes to build a website. Learn how to market that site and leave your poor wallet closed. Trust me your wallet will thank you.

The first hurdle is figuring out which market you will get into. Again I’m always told “It doesn’t matter what the market is as long as I can make money.” Wrong answer. No doubt about it. Just because I build a website in a particular market doesn’t mean you will be successful in that market as well.

If you lack the interest in the market then everything you do will reflect it and your business will fail. Your website is a living thing that you must tend to, if it is to grow and mature. Lack of interest leads to neglect, end of story.

I should note there are some markets you would do well to stay away from. Which markets? Try staying away from Religion, Politics, Professional Sports, Get Rich Quick, and sites that are solely about Art, Books, Music, Electronics and Travel.

I realize that some of these markets you have seen, heard or have even been encouraged by various Gurus to build a website about.

Have you ever run through deep snow? For those of you in the south an inch of snow is not considered deep. I’m talking running through snow that comes almost thigh high. If you have, you will understand how exhausting and non productive that can be. If not trust me it is not something you want to do a lot of. These markets are like running through that deep snow.

Just a note here…don’t confuse products with markets.

Once you have decided which market you will build a website in…you then have to create a plan of attack. Yes you need a plan before you build a website. You need to know how you are going to attack and overcome the competition (business is a war).

A great part of your plan is to understand how to use keyword phrases. Consider keyword phrases as your ground troops attacking the weakest points of the market. By carefully laying the foundation of your site with keywords you will position yourself  for success once you implement your marketing plan.

So is that all you need to build a website, keywords? Of course not there are numerous nuts and bolts that go into building your business. You will need to understand how the internet works, search engines, directories and the not so mysterious SEO to name a few.

What does it take to build a website? Simply put knowledge and a big dose of common sense. If you are serious about getting into an Internet Business and want to build a website, then you should. Before you start…do a little research, write down a ton of questions and then find a mentor who is more interested in you then your money.

Good luck and push ahead.

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SEARCH ENGINES

If you are an old hand at creating an Internet Business then you can relate with those who are struggling to understand the bits and pieces of information that are necessary in this endeavor.

Why does everyone just assume that folks understand the basic workings of the Internet? Could it be due to the prevalence of the Internet in our lives. After all how hard could it be? Everyone knows the basics. Why it’s just like driving.

Cars are everywhere. We see folks driving everyday, sometimes badly but by the time we are ready to drive we pretty much have it figured out. Heck there are computer games that teach us to drive and fly etc etc. It’s almost second nature to us..sure we need a few instructions but we’re not talking rocket science here. That is the same thought process of folks on the Internet today.

But! For all of you out there that have been driving for years, I have a challenge. You are all experienced drivers so your challenge is to climb up and get behind the wheel of a big rig (18 wheeler). No I wouldn’t expect you to maneuver it..that would not be fair. All I need for you to do is to list the 26 things that you must check…. before you start the truck up. Driving is driving correct?

Well being on the Internet is not the same as doing it. We all have used the Internet before but do we really understand it? I think not.

Today we will be talking about a Search Engine, I will try to keep it simple, so all you experts are excused for today.

Definition of a Search Engine

A Search Engine is a software program (which you probably already knew) that when asked (you type in a word or phrase) will search it’s data base (not the entire WEB) and bring forward those website articles that best fulfill your request.

How does it work?

A Search Engine will use a program (referred to as a crawler) to go into its data base and search the HTML documents it has gathered. It will then use another program referred to as a indexer (which reads the Html documents) then indexes the documents for the results.

OK before you say this doesn’t make sense, put it this way.

1) You go into a Library (Search Engine) and ask for information
2) The Librarian (A crawler) will search through the Library (Search Engine) with the help of an assistant (indexer) who (having no life has read every document there) indexes the results in an order that it feels is relevant to your search.
3) You are then given the results to look through.

Is every Search Engine Equal? Is Google better then Yahoo?

No they are not equal but they generally all work the same. Yes in my opinion Google is far superior as the results (in my opinion) are more accurate because they use different algorithms.

So what is an algorithm? In the context of what we are talking about an algorithm is telling the Search Engine (A) How to determine the relevance of information it is searching. (B) What the steps are on how to accomplish that goal. Perhaps we can talk about Algorithms at a later time.

The goal today was to help you understand not all pieces of the web are difficult to comprehend. Matter of fact there isn’t any piece in the system that can’t be explained in simple terms. One of your tasks when deciding on creating an Internet Business is to make a commitment, that you will understand these parts.

You want to educate yourself, to relieve you of the burden of not knowing. Not knowing kills more dreams then a lack of imagination.

As always I would enjoy hearing from you.

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Happy New Year

It’s that time of the year when all the pundits pull out their crystal ball and predict what the new year will be like. Folks just normally like to hear all about that stuff. I however have a slight problem. You see when I went to the crystal ball store to get mine, there was only one left.

It should have been a red flag when they offered it to me for 88% off. But I guess I was just so excited to get a great deal that I never questioned it.

Well I rushed home fired that puppy up and (jaw drop here) it didn’t work like advertised. Sounds like some of those program offers you find on the internet.

I did say it didn’t work as advertised but it did work. Instead of looking into the future like you would expect…it looks into the past!

At first I thought (bummer) but after devouring my second hot pocket I realized this could be a good deal after all. Looking back and seeing all the things you should not have done and didn’t could be the positive reinforcement you need. Who couldn’t use a pat on the back every now and then?

So grab a beverage, sit back and relax as we rewind last year.

Last year you started your Internet Business or Blog and here are a number of things you didn’t do…which was a great.

YOU DIDN”T…..

1) Write articles or blog posts less then 300 words

2) Try to use more then 1 keyword phrase per article

3) Pay for Directory submissions

4) Pay for back links

5) Fall for the sites that promised thousands of visitors to your site

6) Believe that you couldn’t do Social Marketing on your own

7) Believe all the folks who said you couldn’t create a website

8) Pay for advertising because you know it can be done for free

9) Fill your site with tons of pictures, videos and banner ads

10) Quit!

11) Try to scam Google with things like the “unnatural” Link Wheel

12) Look for the fast and easiest way to cut corners (because they don’t work)

I’m done! I’m through looking into that crystal ball. The more I look the more I see the more I understand just how good you are. You don’t really need me to tell you that.

Next week will be in a new year and for most of us another chance to build our internet business. Next week for others will be a chance to begin their internet career and perhaps they will run across this post and wonder if what they don’t do will be as important as what they do.

Folks it’s been a great year and I wish you all a Happy New Year….just keep thise cards and letters coming in.

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Writers Block

By now most of the free world understands that successful writing for your blog or website demands originality, sometimes humor, occasionally guruesk (made up words) of wisdom but always great content.

Therein lies the problem we all share at times. Overcoming writers block to create the great content we all wish to share. As I sit here sipping on my warm eggnog, munching hot pockets and watching gray nasty storm clouds roll in, I have decided to share ways to overcome writers block.

Let’s discuss what writers block really is. Understanding the enemy of creativity is a must…yes it is a war. You know I’m right. You sitting there staring at the near empty computer screen, a few half developed sentences taunting you.

Writers Block, the inability to articulate in writing what in your mind is almost there. In other words you have an idea…or not…you need to create something and the pressure to do so clouds your thoughts. You are paralyzed, which only makes the matter worse.

Here are some tips to destroy writers block.

1) Push away from the computer and go outside. Get some fresh air even if its 30 degrees below, snowing, and you forgot to wear your mittens. Too many of us spend way to much time at our desks. What is the benefit? Your mind and senses instantly go into relax mode. A new thought fills the clouded mind…like wow I forgot what a real cloud looks like..get the point?

2) Grab a hot pocket and just munch (I understand you all might not be a connoisseur of fine food, so you might choose some other form of substance). By giving yourself food and beverage you are fueling the engine and creating energy that is needed to destroy writers block.

3) When you get writers block on the article your writing….stop…and start on a different one. If you get stuck on that one…stop…and start another one. What is up with that? By switching between articles you get a fresh start with each article. The result is once you finish one the dam is broke, you feel relief and the other two get finished rather quickly.

4) Drop and do 10. It’s pushup time. Two things happen here. First you start getting into shape so that you fingers aren’t the only part of your body that gets a regular workout. Second the effort stimulates all the wonderful chemicals in the body and causes you to become alert. It’s like a bucket of cold water dumped on your head…its a rush.

We don’t recommend anyone dumping water over themselves while at their computer. Yes we tried it once (it was a rough night and at the time it seemed like a good idea)

5) Call your Mom or tell your wife that your sitting around goofing off because your not feeling “it”…they will set you straight. Once you get past the guilt trip laid on you, you’ll want to get back to writing….its called motivation.

6) Read some of your old work. Go ahead bask in the past, enjoy what you created back when you were in the groove. Smile at how brilliant you were, take a bow. This will remind you that yes you are a writer…you can do it. You will be surprised how the brain kicks back in and writers block disappears.

The best way to remove writers block is to just relax and keep writing. The words will come. The ideas will take shape and you will be able to vanquish the dragon called writers block.

If you wish to add to my short list please do. Drop me a line.

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WHY…WHY…WHY

I simply wanted to ask myself (share)a few questions I have had in the past from clients as it relates to starting an Internet Business.

(Q) Can anyone make money with an Internet Business.

(A) Yes..but

(Q) Whats the but…..?

(A) Not everyone will.

(Q) Why not and could we get a little more meat in the answer please.

(A) Sure………………………………………………………The reason that some folks won’t make any money is because like I have always said an Internet Business requires work. Too many folks fall for the magic beans and don’t work.

(Q) Magic Beans? Would you care to elaborate?

(A) Everyone has seen the ads promising riches galore with no work, no risk, no internet knowledge and of course it happens overnight.

But it gets better. The cost is extremely low and you will be given dozens of DVDs that contain “secrets” (magic beans) that no one has ever discovered before.

But wait believe it or not it gets even better. You will be shown copies of huge checks that keep pouring into the authors lap along with a list of great testimonials, all from folks who have been ripped off in the past who have spent tons of money before and all ended up with zero. That is until they sent their money in for this most amazing fantastic won’t be here long opportunity.

But wait. First it got better then it got better then better and now we are up to the best part. The Why. Yes the Why. Why this person has decided to share with you how you can make buckets of money.

It usually starts off with a declaration that this isn’t a scam. Then they go into their life story. Funny how they all have shared so much in common. The details are different but the story goes much like this.

Lost my job…lost my house…I was broke and on the street…ate out of dumpsters…had no where to turn….BUT….one day as I was working on the computer (remember no money, no job eating out of dumpsters) I discovered something!

This is the cool part. They were able to discover A SECRET that no one had ever noticed before. Usually it has something to do with Google and how the spiders work.

They tried it..bang…big bucks…they did it again….boom bigger bucks….then they took the time to refine the secret and package it to share with you. The Why is because they have been so fortunate they feel compelled to share.

That’s right they can’t wait to sell the secret…for humanitarian reasons.

(Q) Gee you sound a little bitter. Are you upset because you can’t find any secrets?

(A) Anyone who has read this blog or talked to me knows my answer. “There are no Secrets just unlearned truths. Learn the concepts. Then implement the concepts by building a great website. Market the business week after week. Treat it like it should be treated…a business.”

(Q) So do you make money?

(A) Yes

(Q) How much?

(A) I get that question quite a lot. My pat answer is never enough. Sadly some folks won’t settle for that answer.

(Q) So why are you a coach and not a Guru?

(A) First I don’t believe in Guru’s. I do believe in folks who have become successful working hard and taking risks. I respect those folks who are always learning. I stay away from anyone who proclaims to have all the answers. So I will never classify myself as A Guru.

Now why do I coach. Because I can. In the brick and mortar business world for the most part I was the one doing the building. Coaching is with few exceptions a blast. Anyone can coach but I like to believe I teach.

When I get done with folks I want them to be in a position where they never have to pay for information again. Besides I meet great folks and some of those relationships have lasted for years.

I make my own hours (most of the time) I work from home and started this Blog because I was tired of hearing all the horror stories from folks who were spending thousands of dollars for in some cases sites that should have run a few hundred bucks at best.

The more I became involved (learned) the more passionate I have become about Internet Businesses. OK I think I wore my soapbox time out.

(Q) Any last bit of information you want to leave for the readers?

(A) Yes. If you believe you can do this and you connect with folks who believe you can. If you use a common sense approach to this business and are willing to stay focused and do the work. Then ask yourself one question. “Why Not?”

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