Sunday, 20 May 2012

Some Things You Just Can't Teach

I like to compare this whole "making money online" journey to that of a childhood education. You start off as a greenhorn...the smallest fish in the biggest pond... and slowly you begin to take on knowledge & you grow. You create more articles, or more blogs, or more websites. When you first learned the five times tables, it was tough...maybe you had to whisper your way through the working out before you could call out the answer. These days...it's second nature.

Just as the first time you write an article, the first time you try to put an affiliate banner in the sidebar of your very first webpage...it's tough. You might even need some help, someone to bounce idea's off. And there are dozens (if not hundreds) of places you can find that help. For free. (They're called forums, people...find yourself an IM Forum)

But there are some things that you just can't teach. There are some lessons that just can't be taught. Bill Gates once visited a high school to talk to the students there about the things that they did not and could not learn in a classroom.

I've decided to share this here today because the PRINCIPLES he spoke of apply to me and you just as much as they do to those students. It's about perseverance in the face of difficulty and about WORKING for what you want.

There is NO QUICK FIX. No easy way to make money online. It's going to take time and effort but if you're willing to put in the hard work (and if you can find a little niche market crying out for your attention) then you will succeed.

Would love to hear your feedback & feel free to share.


Online or Offline Marketing Services?

I have been absolutely overwhelmed these last couple of months and tonight is the night I catch up on my blogs around the net. We often hear these online guru's talking about how they got started online and please - if you want to make money too - then buy my product. What they don't tell you is that they make all that money from selling their dodgy product to people just like you.

My words of wisdom are about observing what it is they do. More & more I find myself studying the make up of website and thinking about HOW the owner has monetized it - the affiliate links in the side bar, the calls to action in the articles, the invitations to join mailing lists. There are valuable lessons to be learned just by watching & mimicking what other marketers/self professed guru's are doing.

A few months ago, I came across some statistics about affiliate marketers - approx 65% of affiliate had NOT made a SINGLE sale after 12 months of efforts. Despite all the promises at every turn, making money through affiliate marketing is not as easy as it seems. But after 12 months of trying.... you should have some pretty good marketing/web building skills.

TAKE YOUR SKILLS OFFLINE!
There are literally hundreds of thousands of people out there who are trying to enter the world of online marketing. It might be a local restaurant, it might be a local band, it could be a local artist.

How long would it take you, to sit down with one of those people and design an online persona for them? How long would it take you to throw together a free/paid blog, a Facebook Page, a Twitter account and write a dozen 500word articles for someone like that?

And how much would someone like that...who is already having success offline, who is going into the world of online marketing more or less blindly -  be willing to pay to have someone like you pay to put it all together for them?

If, after 12 months of affiliate marketing you still haven't made a dime, then you need to start retaining your strategy. Market real products that real people are interested in.

For example: Let's assume that you live in a town that has some pretty amazing artists. Maybe you're at the vet when you spot a sign on the public notice board from an artist that specialises in pet portraits.

There are literally hundreds of sites that specialise in selling "amateur" art. There are YouTube video's of painting tutorials. There's the obvious eBay and the lesser well known Etsy (which sells all things handcrafted).

Paintings can sell online for anywhere between $50 to thousands. Would you be interested in creating an online presence for that artist & taking 10% commission on each sale you make?

But think bigger -Giclee's! Giclee's are probably the best way to make high quality prints of original paintings. Now what could you do with 10 prints of an awesome painting? Would it be economical to print on coffee mugs...would you be able to sell coffee mugs.

Think outside the square...that's the moral of this story. Take your online skills and put them in the service of someone in the offline world.