Internet Marketing – Fantasy vs. Reality

Part of the problem when people quit trying too soon is their motivation for starting up. It is a problem that instead of just a normal idea to start a home business, people are largely influenced by ‘pie in the sky’ Internet marketing stories; and whether true or hype, they don’t understand that there is no ‘free lunch’.

fantasy vs reality

People are primed and ready to fantasize themselves as the next millionaire. This is what plants the seed of unrealistic
expectations. They are being set up to experience a big disappointment when they find there is no magic to this. They have a way of being in denial about any need to actually work or invest time or money to build a business as reality usually dictates.

People want to see results yesterday and they want to be fabulously wealthy without any effort, rather than just to logically and methodically begin to build and develop business to promote their growth. They are in a big rush and think they are being logical and wise by quitting if they don’t see a generous profit within 30 days tops.

This is so foolish and wasteful. The whole premise is wrong to begin with so it stands to reason the results will not be what are expected. There is a saying that we should be ‘divorced from the fruits of our actions’. In the context of starting an Internet marketing business it would mean that you should not expect to be fabulously wealthy, but to learn, work and build and then the fruits will come eventually.

There are lots of ‘gurus’ that preach ‘visualization’ and how this will help you to achieve your goals. No matter if you need to do that to stay motivated or not, unless you take consistent action, all the visualization in the world is not going to do anything for you. In fact it is more or less the same as fantasizing which will likely only disappoint unless you do the work and put in the time and effort. After all, this is only reality.

This is not to say you shouldn’t have a ‘dream’, it is just saying keep it real. Understand that nobody gets something for nothing. The vast majority of those people who have success and wealth have worked hard for it over time. If you just understand that, then you can probably do anything you set your mind to (achieve your dream).

Again though, the key is that you must be willing to look at it logically to find out what you need to do, learn how to do it, and then do it and keep it up! It is important to believe that you CAN do what you set out to do if you really give it an honest effort and don’t give up – ever. Even if you have to tear it down, take a break and then regroup to start over, never give up!

Your Online Home Business Plan – Can You Afford It? Or You Can’t Afford Not to?

Especially if money is an issue (and it usually is), we find that if we just put in a little more effort, we can do things ourselves and save a little money. For other things, you have to consider whether you have more money or more time – If you have more time, you can learn to do things yourself for free. If you have more money, then you might want to pay for a service to save you time.

To use a very broad, sweeping analogy, you might think that you can’t afford to advertise. The truth is you can’t afford not to advertise if you want a business. Having your home business online is for the most part much less expensive and easier than having an offline business. You can reach millions of people with a simple webpage and an email service. If you tried to reach half that many offline it would be very expensive and labor-intensive.

However on the other hand, online you don’t have the advantage of ‘foot traffic’ like you would if you had a store, and signage, etc., to attract people. So you have to be pretty thorough in your descriptions and illustrations so that people will feel confident they are getting what specifications they need. In either case you would want to do things that are attractive to people. Whether compelling words, or beautiful pictures.

You can’t afford not to be fully engaged in your business. Whatever that means to you, you should be on top of things. If you are not doing things for yourself then you need to be sure they are being done, are done correctly, and eventually produce the results you desire. Some things will be obvious, such as if you never make any money, you will, if you are serious, change what you are doing or how you are doing it after you have given it a reasonable amount of time.

We must be a bit creative sometimes and always flexible, keeping an open mind. We must be patient and have faith, but also willing to change things if necessary. One other thing you cannot afford to do is get discouraged or quit trying. Even if you need to take a ‘time out’ for whatever reason if that will keep you going, you should do whatever needs to be done. Even if you need to postpone things so as to give yourself time to save some money for operating expenses, that is preferable to not doing anything or just giving up because there are obstacles.

“Failure is not falling down but staying down.”

Writing Compelling Ad Copy and Other Content

There is a technique in writing that is referred to as ‘emotional writing’. There are various lists of ‘power words’ that marketers and copywriters use to make what they are writing exciting. Words like ‘wonderful’, ‘awesome’, ‘profitable’, ‘jaw-dropping’, ‘powerful’, ‘beautiful’, ‘exceedingly’, ‘fantastic’, are just to name a few.

write on!

This theory also includes the fact that you have to catch people in the first 30-seconds or you may lose them. So you want these power words in your Titles or Subjects for ads, blogs, etc. There are other ways to grab somebody’s attention on a website like for example the discreet use of the color red. Not too much because it can be glaring and distracting as such. You want just enough to attract attention or to emphasize KEY points.

Another point to consider is that the majority of people that logon to the Internet are looking for information. While they may not buy something this trip, the information they find may help them to make a decision to buy something they are specifically looking for (and maybe then some!). So it is actually a perfect hook to tie free information sharing with sales.

Better than just ‘window shopping’ at a few stores to compare features, price, etc., on the Internet you can see all of the different businesses that have what you are looking for, and find just the one that is best for you. You can bet that if somebody was happy with your presentation of the information they were seeking, that they are more likely to pick your site to buy it from.

You want to be exciting without being obnoxious or ‘selling’ and at the same time to write clearly and organize your document in such a way that it is easy to read. The more facts and statistics you can include the better chance you have of being trusted. If your product has a lot of technical specifications, tables or at least bulleted lists it will help to organize it and make it easy to navigate.

Any time you are fortunate enough to find a study or survey that you can quote, it is sometimes even more compelling than a ‘review’ or ‘recommendation’. Of course be sure to include the full reference – the name of the study and a website address or other way for people to confirm that they actually exist.

Even if what you are selling is a business opportunity, you would want to include all of the features and specifications. There is nothing worse than losing a potential sale because the person could not find an answer to a question that will directly influence whether they buy something or not. So you would do well to really include as many typical or common questions as you can.

Scheduling and Time Management When Working at Home

In order to benefit from scheduling your time, you first must determine how much time you will commit to spend on your business each day. Although your business should be a priority, you need to be realistic. Factor in time spent commuting, working at a job and family obligations. Don’t forget to schedule some time to relax and/or get some fresh air and exercise. The remainder is time you have for your business.

use time wisely

If all you have left is 2-hours each weekday and 4-hours on the weekend, that is still 14-hours where you can be very productive if you also plan how you will spend your time. Some tasks that are typical of an online home-based business might include monitoring your traffic and sales statistics, checking on marketing campaigns and implementing advertising transactions, posting to your blog and social networks and forums.

Then there is checking your email inbox. This can be a major time-waster and it is recommended that you strictly limit your time because otherwise you will waste time you could be using to promote your business. You can organize this if it is overwhelming and you will see how it can be manageable if you keep it ‘down to a dull roar’.

Your first priority would be messages from your customers and technical issues. All the messages from your affiliate programs you should just scan and then file off into folders in your email account – so that you don’t lose them. Offers would include a lot of spam typically and if it is not from a company you know you have opted in to, either put them in your spam folder or file those in a folder of their own.

It can’t be emphasized enough what a huge energy rip off your email can become if you do not get over the ‘next shiny object’ syndrome sooner rather than later. You need to focus on the opportunities that you have already chosen to work with and need to really just nip it in the bud if you can’t resist yet one more ‘last chance’ or ‘latest and greatest best opportunity’. Shuffle them right off without reading them unless you are actually business opportunity shopping – no matter how great they sound.

No program is going to work unless you work at it. If you have too many things on your plate you will not be able to give sufficient energy to each one but will end up doing them all ‘half-way’. In this regard it is helpful to really make a detailed list for what you need to do with each program. Where are you at with the process? Do they provide training? You may need to shuffle some things around to be able to avail yourself to special events like webinars, to watch a video or attend a coaching session.

Home Business Start-Up: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

Really things can get tough at any point in the transition to the idea of starting a business, to being engaged in actually running it. Just the fact that you would take a risk and would keep trying to progress, this makes you strong and the more energy you give it the tougher you get. First you will be expending more energy, and if it is for something you want, then you will do it with joy.

You could have always chosen to rest on your laurels and accept the status quo of your day job and the whole 9-yards that goes with being ‘normal’. You may have done just fine. But you wanted more – to do more, to have more, to be more. You are a “tough cookie”, and hence, you are unlikely to fail. If you lose a few battles, oh well. You will ‘pick yourself up and dust yourself off’ — You will always keep propelling yourself forward. You will create momentum that will likely effect additional facets in your life beyond business.

Even being tough doesn’t necessarily make you perfect. You will likely make mistakes and of course hopefully they will be small ones. Mistakes are only lessons. Sometimes they can be the best teachers because they are emphasized by your having had direct experience, and suffered the consequences, vs. reading about it from outside in a book.

We should take stock of our mistakes and try to analyze why or how they happened. What could we have done differently? What will we do now? These answers may take some research whereby you actually find alternative resources that will ultimately solve the problem in the future. So in line with the characteristics of a successful winner we will see each obstacle as only a challenge to be overcome.

The tough don’t take much time to elaborate on negativity. They see it and analyze it only in so far as to understand it so that they can release it and grow forward. They don’t accept defeat and they certainly don’t let it slow them down. They barely skip a beat because their energy remains focused on overcoming and moving ahead.

So you can start toughening up from the get-go – what is going on that you feel that you need to have more than you do – that you know you can accomplish more than you are at this time? The way things are we can’t just leave every job that doesn’t meet our every expectation. That’s something we may have to accept in order to see the ‘big picture’. When you can see something like this as a ‘means to an end’ rather than the end-all, then it will not seem so bad because you know you are on your way up, up and away!

Be Happy and Start Your Own Home Business

We spend a good percentage of our waking life working. That is one reason it is important that we feel some happiness and/or satisfaction in what we are doing. Sometimes you really have to talk yourself into it because the situation is not all you would hope it could be, but it is your life and you have to live with it.

be happy!

It is human nature to want more than we have or to feel we could do more. This may even be what motivates us to go ‘the extra mile’ to take control and change our situation for the better. Note that successful or not, just the fact that you are making an effort to take action above and beyond what is required, says something about your strength of character.

No matter what the situation, it is important to realize there is much to be thankful for. It may help to make a mental list of these things. If you have your health then you are blessed. If you have a loving family there is another blessing. Even very basic things that we take for granted definitely shouldn’t be. Not everyone has water, food or shelter and we are so fortunate if we do.

So just based on the fact that you can work – you have a way to support yourself, for better or worse, you should be able to consciously feel good about your life. If your job doesn’t make you feel happy and satisfied then you need to see how it could be a lot worse without it. So maybe that is the reason you can try to do more than just cope.

With that said, you shouldn’t let anything stop you from trying to exceed your current situation; so again, be happy while you make an effort to change your plight, by for example starting your own business part-time, and building it up with your long-range target goal being to support yourself entirely from your own endeavors.

You may not be crazy about some of the tasks you may need to do for your own business. In fact it may take you a while to realize you are working without pay while you are starting it up but it is more than OK! It is important to be able to convince yourself to be happy with it. Certainly have fun with your business if you can. Almost certainly you will find that the atmosphere of working from home is far and away more pleasant and creative than working at job day after day.

“That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes.” Albert Einstein

Affiliate Marketing – Earning While Learning

All of the skills you have gained from your training and experience in your working life are all relevant to starting a business. There are some specific skills that you should acquire as you go along in your online business endeavor. Just as you learned on the job by experience you will do the same with whatever you focus your energy on.

affiliates

Hands down the easiest way to get in there and start learning how to earn money online, is by being part of an affiliate program. You need to learn how to do marketing and advertising online, as well as how to write and communicate. With the affiliate marketing program business model, thankfully what you don’t need right off the bat is knowledge of how to develop, program and produce a product to sell; or need to know how to build your own organization and membership system.

Obviously developing a product or program yourself is time and money intensive. Probably more people would try to start a business if they knew they didn’t have to invest their resources this seriously without the benefit of any formal training or experience in this area. Everything in life is a gamble, but it is always best to be conservative and not to ‘gamble with more than you can afford to lose’ – because there are never any guarantees.

There are different kinds of affiliate programs and if you don’t feel comfortable earning commissions from referring people, then you can focus on selling the products and services provided by that program. These can be digital or physical products. Having multiple ways to earn money from one program is a great thing if people will fully engage in it. You can theoretically start earning money right away, keeping in mind that this usually involves marketing and advertising first.

This kind of program will supply you with an ID and a link that they give you to advertise along with a web page that is all ready for you to use. No programming or technical skills are required. You just set up your account and they will give you what you need to start. Most if not all affiliate programs also provide some level of training or coaching as well as possibly the use of some resources. You pay your membership dues which are usually very reasonable although there is a wide range as far as cost.

Another form of affiliate marketing would be where you work directly for a manufacturer selling their products by ‘drop-shipping’. You see some of the oldest home businesses in this niche – such as selling beauty or health products for example. Even though you don’t have to buy an inventory or deliver things to customers, these type of businesses may charge you for all materials you use such as order forms, brochures, etc. So while tangible products may be easier to sell, and have a reputation that you can benefit from, it is not as inexpensive for a start-up as a purely online-based business.

Work At Home and Avoid the Rush

When you stop to consider how much of your life is spent being involved in your job, it is shocking. There is rushing to get ready for work, hurrying to get to work on time, getting all your work done, getting back home in rush hour, getting to sleep so you can get up on time to start the whole rut over again. Really, the only other activity that gets as much time as work is sleep if you can squeeze it in! You really must, you know because if you collapse from the stress and exhaustion who will do all that you do?

 

If you have small children it is even more effort to get to work, not to mention you do have responsibilities to create a ‘home’ and to be there for your family. While as adults we may realize the necessity of working to support our families and we may even try to make our kids understand, to a child’s mind the only thing that seems to stick is you are not there. When you think about it, to a kid it is their waking hours when you are away at work. Nice touch to be able to spend an hour or two with them out of a 24-hour day.

This is why, particularly for people with kids that it makes so much sense to work at home one way or the other; either by convincing your employer to at least let you work from home part-time or by starting your own business. When you start to consider other things besides time, like money, you have another whole level of reasoning of why it would be best if you can make the arrangements to work at home.

Let’s calculate how much you spend on commuting/traveling to and from work, which usually is not in any way repaid to you by your employer. This calculation should include public transit costs or gasoline, and if you drive, add the parking, bridge tolls, and auto maintenance. Then there are costs that come in the ‘getting ready for work’ category, such as grooming, clothing, dry cleaning, etc.; along with eating lunches out unless you have time to make a bag lunch.

If you have small children you are likely paying a large percent of your income for child care at the minimum. Again this is in addition to the fact that your child is growing up without your presence most of the time. Not to make you feel guilty as it is a fact of life, even with two parent households, it is necessary financially to have two incomes; but again they just don’t really understand.

When you work at home your time is really your own. Not that you can slack off because you really do need to work at your business aggressively, especially if self-employed. But the point is you can work your job around your life instead of the job running your life 90% of the time. That means if you want to do your work at night, or half in the morning and half at night, or maybe have a day off in the middle of the week, that is up to you. You can then make time for your kids activities and to participate with them – and still get your work done on time!