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Archive for the ‘business planning’ Category

Confessions of an Internet Marketing Failure

So why should you read what I have to say when I admit to failure at internet marketing? Maybe because I learned a lot from failing at internet marketing and am finally making money doing things I love–online. And I’m willing to share some of the things I’ve learned.

Try #1: NetNuggetz

I began publishing NetNuggetz Newsletter in the late 90’s.  The focus was on free business resources. I subscribed to over 100 ezines to get leads on free biz resources and published a list of 25 free business tools every week. Using free promotion, I grew my list by about 6000% in the first few months. My articles were reprinted all over the Internet, I got emails from subscribers thanking me, and at one point was described as “arguably one of the best Internet marketers out there.” In my stubborn quest to advance the pure Cause of Free, I refused to monetize my site. In my ignorance of How Things Worked, I listed a lot of free links that sent business to affiliates–great free pr for them, not so great for me.

Try #2: Free Christian Resource Center

This was a membership site designed to share free Christian resources–every free online Bible I could find, Bible studies, Sunday school crafts, sermons, etc. Once again, people appreciated the free resources, but didn’t seem to want to pay for the premium content.

Try #3: Free Christian Crafts

One thing I noticed about the Free Christian Resource Center site statistics was that most of my traffic was coming from people looking for Christian crafts.

The grand total revenue from all three sites was less than $50–2 Clickbank commissions from an ezine ad after I figured out how to join an affiliate program and a “virtual assist” job doing an article submission for another writer.

Then Reality attacked with a vengeance. Within a 6-month period of time, both my parents passed away, a hurricane hit our winter place in Florida, and I revisited parenthood with custody of two troubled teenage grandsons. The temporary custody turned permanent and hubby decided we needed to move to Florida full time.

Once we got down here, I needed a steady paycheck (teenage boys like to eat. A lot.) So I went back to work part time and set aside my dreams of online business for the time being.

I’m no longer able to work. In fact, I spent most of 2011 in a nursing home. While there, I reclaimed an old hobby–crochet. And did a booming business selling hats, purses, dolls and novelty items to staff, visitors, and residents.

So one of the first things I did when I got home was start a blog promoting my crochet gifts and patterns. I really enjoy needlecrafts and blogging and now have three blogs–one for crochet and knit, one for Christian gifts, and one for freelance writing.

Things I’ve learned:

1. There are plenty of free online tools to use to build and promote your business. But don’t be so determined to use freebies that you miss the benefit of a  tool or service that can pay for itself in increased business.

2. Quantity might seem to be important, but quality content is even more important.

3. Site statistics will tell you exactly what your visitors are looking for (and what keywords the Googlebot picked up on).

4. Find your niche. Fine-tune it. Give it time to grow.

Does it work? In my first 2 weeks, I brought in several times the grand total from before. On March 2, my crochet blog had 7 visitors. On March 3, it had 7,013.  I still believe in providing value through freebies–in moderation. I’m still reluctant to do too much “monetizing” with outgoing link ads, banners, or popups. And I still believe the internet is a great frontier with plenty of opportunities for everyone.

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This article may be freely reprinted as long as it is unedited and resource box is included.

Judy Cox is a freelance writer and needlecrafter. Grab some free content or request a quote on custom original content at https://publisherpotpourri.wordpress.com

 

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When Life Gives you Lemons

I think almost everyone knows the rest of the popular cliche–Make Lemonade! There’s only one problem. A lot of people would be more than willing to use their free lemons to make lemonade–if only Somebody would ALSO Give them some water, sugar, a pitcher to mix it in, a spoon to stir it with, a glass to drink it from–oh, and could you spare a bit of ice?

And let just ONE of those essential components be missing and POOR ME! EVERYBODY ELSE gets all the Breaks and I get Nothing!

AWWWWW.

Know what happens next? They trade their handful of lemons for a bag of sour grapes and run around spreading bitterness. Or they throw their bag of lemons into a corner to rot away. Or bemoan the fact that the guy across the street is doing a booming business selling “easy” lemonade that he made from a powdered mix.

Of course, you COULD study the problem and find a way to solve it. If the problem is a lack of Tools, you might improvise. Make it in a bowl instead of a pitcher–will it make a difference once you pour it into a glass?

You can stir it with a knife–or a clean stick, even. (You’d never guess we were a camping family, would ya!)

If the problem is a shortage of Ingredients,changethe recipe a bit. Make a quart instead of a gallon. Or find somebody that HAS the ingredients you LACK and split the profits.

(How’s that for an over-the-back-fence ancestral version of Joint Venturing?)

Don’t have a recipe? Find one! There’s thousands of them online, more in libraries, and an endless supply of “People-to-ask”–Mom, Aunt Gertrude, the lady next door . . . .

Or figure one out for yourself–some of my family’s favorite treats arrived via “dump in and taste” recipes.

What do lemonade recipes have to do with internet marketing, you ask?

Too many people are envious of the “powdered mix” entrepreneurs, too eager to find the “easy” way, and totally clueless of one simple fact: Once they bother to make the “real” lemonade–and promote it properly– the guy with the powdered mix is toast.

Over the years, you’ve acquired an assortment of Tools, a supply of Materials, a collection of Recipes and other Resources. Some might be as common as a pitcher and a spoon.

But the whole assortment–and what you do with it when the lemons arrive–is uniquely yours.

You don’t even have to stop at “lemonade”.

Lemon meringue pie, anyone?

 

Judy (Wogoman) Cox is a freelance writer and blogger. For free content, visit

https://publisherpotpourri.wordpress.com