Constructive criticism?

Posted on 2 Comments

Or Negative Bashing?

You know, it is everyone's right to disagree with someone or to not like a particular product or service, but there is a point where we can get carried away.

I write this post because of comments I have been hearing in my networking circles and some public settings on topics such as "gamification," pay processors, Facebook, Twitter, Traffic Exchange strategies and so on. That is nothing new, but the problem I have is when the criticism gets pointed to a particular program service or group and is based more on "opinion" than fact. That should bother us all. It should bother us because we are talking about people's branding and reputation.

I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who have much more knowledge about many aspects of online business than I do. I look to theses people for a balanced and thought out view on our industry so that I can make better decisions about where and how to invest my time and money. Never-the-less, I endeavor to use my "clear thinking faculties" and make decisions according to what makes business and common sense.

If we are going to see real change in this industry then we need to "start with the man/woman in the mirror" and make sure we are not contributing (knowingly or unknowingly) to the problems instead of being part of the solution. When we are "against" something or someone then we need to make sure what we spit out to "the public" (our customers/members/users) is based on FACTS that can be presented, and not on our opinions because we don't like a particular style of doing business or advertising or because we have some sort of conflict (justifiably or unjustifiably) with certain folks in the industry.

With success comes responsibility. On the same note, those who are successful in the industry do not have to "justify" their success to others simply because some may be jealous of their success and feel that "it's not fair." If you are a success at what you do and are not being dishonest to your customers, then KUDOS to you! Keep doing what you do and be careful not to rain on someone else's parade when they doing the same thing.

If you are not as successful in your present business endeavors as you would like to be, don't become a whiner and a hater. Evaluate what you are doing, take the good advice (or well intended) from others that you may not want to hear because it rubs your ego the wrong way, and then adjust or change what you may be doing wrong. The most important thing is to HANG IN THERE!

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Please leave your comments – that is what makes the whole “system” work.

Till next time!
Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer
Email - esljohnnymarketing@gmail.com
Skype - johnnysurf458

Proud member of Mardox Marketing - Building a Community One Member at a Time!

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Passion to Business

Posted on 10 Comments

Finding Your Niche

People often go into online business for the wrong reasons and often with false expectations. Remember the meaning of the word "Business" is quite different than the meaning of the words "hobby" or "pastime." A business requires an investment of both Time and Money, but there is one important element that is absolutely essential to business success - PASSION.

Why passion is so important

When we have passion about something we are doing that means we will not give up when "the going gets tough." The very nature of business includes ups and downs, highs and lows, good times and bad. Online business is no different.

Contrary to many advertisements you will see about earning money online, running an online business is no way to make lots of money in a short period of time. Yes, sometimes a person can get quite lucky, but that is the exception, not the rule. So, if you truly want to earn a serious income online, then you need to be in it for the "long haul," and be prepared for it to take you a few years to start earning some real decent money.

Your passion should become your niche

Once you identify what your passion is, then see how you can narrow it down to a particular need or desire that may exist in the market that has not been addressed - at least not to your liking. That is what a "niche" is all about - taking a general category - such as cars, and breaking it down to it's many "branches," such as antique cars, or how to repair cars.

Don't rush into things

I understand that you may have a desire to jump into things right away so that you can start earning tons of money, but that is exactly the problem - the belief that you can "get rich quick" in online business. Being in this industry (the online business industry) is not easy. It is also a process, not an isolated event such as joining a program or service.

So... digest the information I just gave you, identify and evaluate what your passion is, and then start educating yourself about what being in this industry is all about.

This information is also in the third followup mailing of my new list - John Brewer's How To Profit Online Tips. In the mailing I made a couple of recommendations for folks to get started with if they need some guidance. So, if you want to know what I recommended - subscribe to my list!

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Please leave your comments – that is what makes the whole “system” work.

Till next time!
Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer
Email - esljohnnymarketing@gmail.com
Skype - johnnysurf458

Proud member of Mardox Marketing - Building a Community One Member at a Time!

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A Smart Business Decision?

Posted on 8 Comments

What do YOU think?

I recently had what I will call a “support ticket exchange” after several sites I was not allowed to ad some sites to a particular TE because they are on the TE's “banned site list.” I thought 'hmmm why on EARTH is my blog on their banned list?'

So, I wrote a support ticket and got the following answer: "All (***) urls are banned because many of them contain Trojans.” The (***) in question is a tracker. While I respect the right of any TE owner to ban sites that he or she feels is bad for the TE, I question the business logic in banning an entire tracker. I can understand if it is some kind of strange “here today gone tomorrow” tracking service that indeed contains mostly virus prone links, but a tracker that is widely used by many in the industry?

As a user of the TE in question I have a decision to make. Do I simply shrug my shoulders and use another tracker for this TE? Or do I get offended because this throws an unexpected (and in my opinion, unnecessary) curve into my marketing plans and simply stop using this TE? Since I am a free member of this TE it may not matter much to the owner, but what if I was a marketer with a rather large budget looking for somewhere to invest my advertising dollars?

Actually, it should not matter if we have a large budget or a micro one, any money we spend in our business is an INVESTMENT, and should be treated as such by the one spending it, and should be RESPECTED as such by the person receiving it.

So again I ask the question: is banning all URLs from an entire tracking system because of a perceived threat (I say perceived because I have never heard of ANY TE owner having a problem with this tracker due to Trojans)?

What say you?

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Please leave your comments – that is what makes the whole “system” work.

Till next time!
Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer
Email - esljohnnymarketing@gmail.com
Skype - johnnysurf458

Proud member of Mardox Marketing - Building a Community One Member at a Time!

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Why you should use an AutoResponder

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What are the benefits of using an autoresponder?

Simply said, autoresponders help your Online business to prosper.

First of all, what exactly is an autoresponder?

An autoresponder allows you to automate a series of emails to people on your list (you ARE building a list aren't you?)

You can create several types of email campaigns and then set the schedule as to when these emails are sent to the people on the list.

You can also send out a "broadcast" that will go out to your entire list if you have some information you would like them to know about right away.

Why should you use an autoresponder?

The idea behind marketing should be to build a relationship with your customers/prospects. What better way to do that than by emailing them?

Building a relationship does not mean bombarding folks with "buy my stuff" links. It's about connecting with your audience and them connecting with you.

You need to let folks know who you are and what you are all about. People need to get an idea of the type of person they are dealing with. When people connect with you because you come across in a way that they like, then you turn prospects into customers, and customers into repeat customers.

Regardless of what you are promoting online, you need to get people to Know, Like and Trust you. That is EXACTLY what you can do with an autoresponder.

Autoresponders come in different "shapes and sizes." Some are easy, some are complicated. Some are free, most of them cost. I would recommend staying away from free autoresponders simply because "you don't get what you don't pay for." There is a difference between a "free trial" and a free service altogether. Not that free autoresponders are terrible, but they simply have limitations that paid autoresponders don't have. Also, a free autoresponder service might simply disappear from one day to the next, leaving you "hanging" and tarnishing your brand - that know like and trust thing that you have been working so hard at building.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Auto responder services can be quite expensive, but they can also be very affordable as well. Inexpensive autoresponder services allow you to maybe have two or even three services that you use. Considering what happened with the recent pay processor problem, we should seriously think about having at least one backup autoresponder service in case something goes wrong.

Rise above your fears.

Some people don't use auto responders because they simply don't understand them and are afraid that they may "break" something if they use it and do something wrong. Sure, it's a bit of a learning curve, but it is a learning curve that can be taken step by step and managed quite well.

Some don't use an autoresponder because they think they are simply too expensive.

There are two autoresponder services that I presently use and humbly recommend for those looking for a way to take advantage of this very necessary tool without "breaking the bank." And yes, I get a comission if you join using my links. Not that you think I'm trying to be sneaky or something - lol.

The first is Rocket Responder.

What I like most about Rocket responder (besides being affordable for my humble budget) is that it is VERY easy to use. Even if you have no idea about how an autoresponder works, you will do fine with Rocket Responder because of how simple and clear things are set up, and there is a tutorial feature that will guide you through each step.

Another thing I appreciate about Rocket Responder is that my lists were not deleted right away when I was late paying my monthly fee. Very cool for those of us with "micro budgets" that can sometimes be quite unstable - sometimes you have the funds, sometimes you don't.

Rocket Responder will cost you $20 a month for unlimited subscriptions.

The next autoresponder comes as a FREE Bonus for Pro members at Buildabizonline.

Buildabizonline is a Marketing System that offers many useful and necessary tools for today's Internet Marketer.

The fact that you get the autoresponder as a free bonus to being a member of Buildabizonline is a "win win."
It is not as "feature rich" as Rocket Responder, but it is a very good and functional autoresponder.

There are also easy to understand video tutorials on the site to show you step by step how things work.

Buildabizonline will cost you $6 a month for the normal pro plan and $10 a month for the upgraded version. It's really a great Marketing System.

So... what ya gonna do?
If you aren't using an autoresponder for whatever reason then you really need to do so.
Go ahead... take the plunge!

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Please leave your comments – that is what makes the whole “system” work.

Till next time!
Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer
Email - esljohnnymarketing@gmail.com
Skype - johnnysurf458

Proud member of Mardox Marketing - Building a Community One Member at a Time!

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False Advertising

Posted on 8 Comments

Produce What You Promise

I HATE being misled. It happened today. I'm very annoyed. My being annoyed might not mean much to the individual readers of this post, but when a bunch of other folks are also annoyed about the same thing, then it should make a difference to the one who mislead everyone. At this point you are probably thinking... "What the heck are you talking about John?" Well, let me tell you what's up.

While surfing I saw a promotion that caught my eye. It was a promotion for a Traffic Exchange. The ad stated "Simple, Straight to the Point, easy to follow Step-by-Step Training System designed to Help You Generate Higher Online Income Levels." I thought to myself, 'hmmm, that sounds interesting. I wonder what type of training they offer?' So - even though I a member of far too many TEs as it is, I signed up.

After going through the signup process I excitedly went to the site to see what sort of training I would find there. I am always on the lookout for anything that adds to my Internet Marketing knowledge and that I can also share with others. Well, I was greatly disappointed. There was NOTHING. No training what-so-ever. If there is some training on the site I did not find it. I would have written a support ticket and asked about it, but the contact link did not work!

Needless to say my impression of this site and the person who owns it is not a good one. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not bad-mouthing the site or the owner. I am simply sharing my experience. But there are those that WOULD bad-mouth the site and the owner.

My point is this: this is a perfect example of branding. A BAD example. If I had this experience with this advertisement and subsequent visiting of the site, I wonder how many others have? Our industry needs to turn itself around. This is the type of thing that feeds all the trash talk about how crappy the Online Business Industry is and how "we are all a bunch of scammers."

We need to pay attention to what we promote as affiliates and what we present and provide as owners. If we don't, then our industry will continue in the downward spiral it seems to be on in many ways.

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Please leave your comments – that is what makes the whole “system” work.

Till next time!
Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer

Proud member of Mardox Marketing - Building a Community One Member at a Time!

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Gamification – What Say You?

Posted on 10 Comments

Badges and stickers and puzzles- Oh My!

To play or not to play, should that even be a question? First of all, lets define what gamification actually is:

gamification
ˌɡeɪmɪfɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/
noun
  1. the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.
    "gamification is exciting because it promises to make the hard stuff in life fun"
     

Why did I show that definition? Well, because there seems to be a misunderstanding of what the term means. When I say that, remember that I am speaking simply about the meaning of the term and not the quality of the application of the word. I have heard all kinds of comments about this subject - both positive and negative.

I guess the question needs to be 'what is the goal of gamification?' It's not that program owners were bored and had nothing else better to do but start adding these things to their TE, Safelest, Blog, etc. All program owners should have the goal of giving people a reason to come to their site. The first and overall reason needs to be the quality and usefulness of what they have to offer. After that, program owners try different things to get folks to come to their site, use their service, read their blog, etc.

To me, collecting badges, finding letters, claiming zubees, defeating enemies and collecting items are simply an incentive to surf, read safelist mails, subscribe to a blog, etc. Some people do get a bit carried away with these things (like writing nasty support tickets when these games don't work correctly), but those folks simply need to realize that these elements are simply incentives and have no bearing on the success of what they are promoting.

There are even some positive aspects to some of these games, like getting advertising credits at different sites when you click on the the Viral Traffic Games button and move your character, or getting CTP 'XP' for collecting badges or reaching certain prize pages. Even though that may be the case, some people seem to complain about gamification (imagine that - lol).

The bottom line is that we have a choice as to whether we claim that badge, click on that game button, etc. We can even discuss the quality of the games and things that are available, but do we really need to complain about gamification itself? When you walk into a store and see a display that says you can fill out the card and be eligible to win a prize, you either do it or you don't - but do you complain about it?

Sometimes surfing traffic exchanges and claiming credits for safelist emails can be a bit boring. So why not have some gamification elements to make things a bit more fun? What do you think? I would love to read your comments about it!

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Please leave your comments – that is what makes the whole “system” work.

Till next time!
Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer

Proud member of Mardox Marketing - Building a Community One Member at a Time!

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Does Our Industry Encourage Failure?

Posted on 2 Comments

It's Time To Examine Our Values

During a discussion in a Skype room we got on the topic of PTC/PTP advertising and how many of the ads are scams or filled with nasty little trojans (malicious computer programs which are used to hack into a computer by misleading users of its true intent) and viruses that can get a website closed down for spamming or scamming.

Robert Puddy made the following interesting comment:
"we took a wrong turn somewhere along the line and ended up in a catastrophic race to the bottom of the barrel. We need to change that."

In a blog post Richard Taylor said the following:
"If you want to live a better future, learn what it takes to achieve it. There are no instant shortcuts." - http://plus1daily.com/faking-it-living-a-false-reality/

These comments got me to thinking a bit about the kind of attitude and behavior our industry has been encouraging over the years.

Many people come into this industry thinking they can make lots of money in a short period of time. And why not? Isn't that what they see plastered all over the internet? Then there are marketers who encourage "less than honorable" methods of making money online.

The marketers who have been around in this industry need to sit back and examine what we do, how we do it and if our methods are honest, productive and reasonable.

But those coming into this industry need to do their due diligence as well. They need to do research on the things that they decide to get into and to also use their "clear thinking faculties." If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Also, new comers to the industry really need to listen to the guidance of experienced marketers that they "know, like and trust." There is nothing more frustrating than trying to give someone some helpful guidance and advice and they simply ignore what you are saying and continue doing things in a way that at the very least limits their chances of success, or at worst does them more harm than good by giving them a bad reputation.

For those new marketers out there who are:

  • tempted to jump on every opportunity that they see
  • spamming folks with the links of things they are promoting
  • waiting till all of their marketing material is 'just right' before they start making their online presence known. . .

. . . PLEASE DON'T!!

Here is what you should do:

  • Look into the various things you are thinking about promoting and make sure it is something that you would be proud to present to "your mother, father, best friend or other people in your life that mean something to you."
  • Even before you start "promoting your wares," Start Building Your List! Get an autoresponder account and then start a blog, a simple website, or something that lets people know who you are and that you are planning on presenting things online. This can be an important target audience for any offers that you have or will offer in the future.
  • If given an opportunity to take part in some sort of online webinar, broadcast, podcast, etc. where you actually get to be on camera or voice communication and talk a little bit about yourself and what you do (or plan to do) online... then do so! That is FREE ADVERTISING people! Opportunities like that don't come by every day

Let us all be determined to contribute to our industry being an industry of integrity and to take our online endeavors seriously.

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Please leave your comments – that is what makes the whole “system” work.

Till next time!
Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer

Proud member of Mardox Marketing - Building a Community One Member at a Time!

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What Is Your Why?

Posted on 6 Comments

Why are you in Online Business?

Lately I have been asking fellow marketers what advice they give people who ask them "how can I make money online?"
I have gotten some pretty interesting feedback and some outstanding food for thought as well.

The reason I have been asking that question is because it occurred to me that many coming into this industry have no idea what they truly want to do. Most enter the industry with dreams of making tons of money by doing next to nothing. - That reminds me of the guy on the cartoon Two Stupid Dogs that used to say "Isn't that cute...BUT IT'S WRONG!" 🙂

I was watching a video post from Jon Olson and heard him say something that "hit the nail on the head."

He said:

"The problem with online business is that we have such a narrow view of why we are doing what we are doing."

There has never been a more true statement uttered about our industry!

Do we ever stop to think why we are doing what we do? Or do we simply "go through the motions" of earning money online - not really caring one way or the other what we "put out there," as long as we are earning money?

When I was in the military we learned to either Lead, Follow, or Get the H*** Out of the Way!

When we as marketers put our "wares" out for all to see we are in a since being leaders because we want people to "buy our stuff," or listen to what we have to say. There are folks out there who will actually "follow" us, and there are those that choose to maybe be inspired or motivated by what we have put out there and start "doing their own thing." That is great stuff!

But then there are the "negative Nancys" who always talk about why they "can't (or won't) do this or that" and at the same time try to put down those who ARE trying to "do this or that."

So, "what the heck is your point John?" you may be asking.

My point is that if you want to earn money in the Online Industry then you had better start thinking about what it is you want to do online and why.
Once you have figured that out - START DOING IT! There is no "perfect time" but the present. Get started, and continue tweaking and improving as you go along. When you fall on your face (notice I said 'when,'and not 'if'), get up, dust yourself off, learn from your mistakes, and CONTINUE MOVING FORWARD!

Surround yourself with wonderful, knowledgeable and encouraging people.

Become an active part in the industry and not simply someone looking to see what they can get OUT of it instead of thinking about what they can GIVE to it.

Get started right away folks! Go ahead! DO IT NOW!

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Please leave your comments – that is what makes the whole “system” work.

Till next time!
Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer

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Mardox Marketing - Building a Community One Member at a Time!

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Look Beyond The Hype

Posted on 8 Comments

A Tale of Two Offers

OK, as I was surfing a few minutes ago I came across a couple of ads that caught my eye for different reasons. So I thought.... hmmmm, let me take a look.

One of the offers was pretty much what I expected and I have to examine it more closely to see if it is worth my investment. The “jury is still out” on the other offer. Let me tell you why.

The first offer was for a clear product. What the product is was clearly explained with video and text. Then you were told how much it cost.

The second offer simply talked about how “wonderful” the product/service is and the fact that you need to get it right away or else you will be missing out on lots of “leads.” There was a whole lot of blah blah blah about how important building your list is and how this product/service will do that for you in an explosive fashion... but they never mentioned what the actual product/service is (that's why I keep saying product/service because I haven't quite figured out which it is, or if it's both).

The difference between the two offers

Yes, the promo material for the first offer was filled with the typical hype that promo material is filled with – no surprise there. But when the “dust settled” I was given an actual product to evaluate and consider.

Now, the other offer was different. The promo material basically talked about how wonderful the product/service is and that you need to get it right away or you will be missing out on a huge amount of “leads.” When the dust settles …. you still don't know what the actual product/service is. They even gave you a peek in the “back office” of a test account, but it was still not clear what the product/service was all about.

Do Your Research

When we are presented with advertising we need to remember to use our “clear thinking ability.” We need to do as much research as we can about what is being presented to us. We need to look beyond the hype and evaluate the “bare bones” of the offer to see if it is something that we truly want to purchase or be a part of. Remember - when we promote things, we are BRANDING ourselves.

We are all different. We are in this industry for different reasons and have different goals. Therefore there is no “one size fits all” solution for us. But one important aspect we MUST remember is integrity. Do we want to continue supporting all the HYPE that we see in our industry, or do we want to look BEYOND the hype and search for the true value in things that we can use for our personal benefit AND for the benefit of the people we advertise to?

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Please leave your comments – that is what makes the whole “system” work.

Till next time!
Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer

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Great things are happening in the industry!

Posted on 2 Comments

Positive news in a negative time.

With so much negative in the industry today, its great when I hear a bit of positive news about what folks in the industry are trying to do to make things better and/or contribute to the integrity of the industry.

Last night at the Mardox Marketing Daily Live Chat, it was announced that Mardox will be starting a fundraising program for it's members in need. VERY COOL.

You can check out the broadcast here:

Mardox also offers monthly prizes for subscribing to, liking (or disliking) and commenting on the broadcast. You MUST DO ALL THREE steps to be eligible. This month there will be two $25 Amazon gift certificates given away.

I have experienced first hand the generosity of program owner Nelson Buck. So I can say with full confidence that it is not some sort of gimmick. I am looking forward to seeing how the project develops. The first recipient for assistance has already been chosen. There will be a qualification process to identify the members who will receive help - so this will not be a case of folks easily "getting something for nothing."

I have seen folks like Jon Olson of Click Track Profit and Hit Exchange News fame do the same sort of thing with his fundraiser for clean drinking water around the world. It would be great to see more of this sort of thing in our industry.

Just the other day I was motivated by the return of Paul Kinder of Affiliate Funnel fame (and a whole bunch of other things) to the industry and the outstanding things he undertaking. I wonder what other exciting things will take place in this industry of ours? I'm sure there must be some other exciting things in the wind. I sure hope so.

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer

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