False Advertising

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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?

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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:

  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?

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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?

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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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Look Beyond The Hype

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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!

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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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Consider the Source

Posted on 16 Comments

Have you ever felt like a "spammer?"

Why do I ask that question? Well, honestly because I have sometimes been made to feel that way.

Normally, when I give someone a link and ask them to check out a program or service - especially something that requires an investment, I do it because I honestly think that it might be something useful for the person for what ever reason.

Recently I did that in a Skype chat room and it sort of came across like I was trying to "push" something on someone. Yes, this does happen far too often, and I can understand the negative feelings behind it, but the Skype room I was in is a room I have been a member of for a number of years. Meaning that the people in the room should know me and understand my intentions. Which leads to the theme of "Considering the Source."

There are spammers galore out there. But not everyone who posts a link in a public forum is a spammer. We need to think seriously about who posted the link and why. If it fits our personal category of "spammer," then so be it. But If you realize someone is just trying to pass along some useful information, then take it as that.

There is a reason that there rules in public forums for posting links. Those rules are very important. But sometimes someone may make an error in judgment and post a link somewhere they really shouldn't. Does that make them a spammer or "program pusher?" Not really.

I have taken a look at a great number of links posted by people in my networking circles. I know that the people aren't simply trying to make a quick buck. I have even joined or purchased things from their links. Sometimes I even do it simply to support them if I can when I know that they will get some sort of commission from it. That is my way of helping people out in my networking circles. To be honest, we are ALL trying to make money in our industry - but we should understand how to use discretion.

So, the next time someone you know (or should know) posts a link in your Skype room or some other public/semi-public forum, consider who the link is coming from. Maybe that person thinks that you will understand their intentions. You can at least give it a "courtesy look" and tell them what you honestly think about it and why it's not for you. That's a part of what networking is all about folks!

There is no felling more terrible than when people in your networking circles think you are a spammer when that is the furthest from your intentions. If there is someone in your network that seems to do a bit much "suggesting" things, why not speak with them privately and say something like 'hey, I know you mean well, but when you do that so often you come across like a spammer.' I think the person would appreciate the "tap on the shoulder." If they don't appreciate it - then that's their problem.

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Till next time!

Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer

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Are You An Active Part Of The Industry?

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Making full use of your memberships

Personally, I think being able to take an active part in a program or service that you are a member of is a Plus Plus situation.

I have experienced memberships in which the program says you will have input, but when you actually go through the motions, your concerns and suggestions are sidelined, or you get a standard generic response that in the end leads to nothing. So when I come across a program or service that lets me take an active part in some way, I highly appreciate it.

Having said that, it is important to mention that I am not always as active as I CAN BE in certain programs. Is that your situation as well? Are you a member of a program or service that encourages you to participate in a number of ways - including taking part in live training an interaction in some form or another? If you are, then you need to realize the value of that.

There are three programs that I am a part of that allows me to take an active part in one way or another:

Click Track Profit, Build A Biz Online and Mardox Marketing (listed in the order that I joined them).

I have been with Click Track Profit almost from the beginning of my 10 plus years of internet marketing and have always been impressed with the training and also the opportunities to be actively involved in the program in many ways.

When I first joined Build A Biz Online I was impressed with the tools and services offered at a modest price. But I was even more impressed with the way the program owner - Ian Stewart, was accessible per the support system as well as Skype. Whenever I contact him he responds as soon as he can. He is also one of the nicest people I have met in the industry.

Then there is Mardox Marketing. The first time I took a look at this program (a year ago next month) I was impressed with the down-to-earth and natural way that the program owner Nelson Buck presented his information in his videos. He mentioned that he was available on Skype if anyone wanted to contact him. I thought I would give it a try and see if that was true - the rest is history. I have been an active participant in the program ever since. Nelson Buck truly appreciates when someone has an active interest in being successful in our industry, and will give you every opportunity possible to be an active part of Mardox Marketing - including promoting any programs or services that you may be the owner of or that you may think has value to people in the industry.

So, if you have the opportunity to be an active part in a program, service, networking community, etc. Then please take advantage of it. There is nothing more valuable. The team members of the CTP Teams team of Lucky 13 and Lucky 13 Too know full well what I am talking about. I have been more than honored to be a part of such an outstanding networking community.

I also have to say that recently I had a difference of opinion with someone in that networking community who I like very much and respect his success and experience in the industry even more. I have apologized to him, but somehow I feel that I have not done enough to let him know how truly sorry I am for letting my emotions and my sincere desire to help lead me to seem pushy and to say some things that were completely out of line. So.... Mr. Tony Tezak, I take this opportunity to say in public that I am truly truly sorry and hope that you can truly forgive me.

Thank you for reading my blah blah blah.

Yours in Success,

John L. Brewer

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Tools of the Trade

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HOW We Do What We Do

Sometimes when we go about our business in Online Marketing we concentrate more on promotion of our products than we do anything else.

In addition to promoting, it is also important for us to concentrate on (among other things) HOW we do what we do.

Simply advertising our products and services is not enough. We have to know how to PRESENT our offers and how to TRACK our results. THAT is how we Build Our Brand. Building our brand is more than just putting a picture or logo on our advertising. Building Our Brand also means showing what we are all about as a business entity

We also need to have our "finger on the pulse of the industry" to know what is truly needed and how to fulfill that need in a way that contributes to honesty and integrity of the industry. Honesty and integrity may seem like two terms that don't exist to a great extent in our industry. That needs to change.

The recent PayPal “shakeup” has opened the eyes of our industry in a way that was long overdue. We often complain about all the junk we see being pushed in our industry, but what are we doing about it? By “we” I mean those of us who claim to base our businesses on honesty and integrity.

As marketers we should “see a need and fill a need.” At the moment that “need” is bringing integrity back into the industry. THAT is a responsibility of each and every marketerwhether we think so or not.

So remember, as marketers we need to use the Tools of our Trade in order to do what we do in a was that is beneficial to our target market and that is beneficial to our bottom line.

Thanks again for reading my blah blah blah.

Yours in Success

John L. Brewer

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Building a Marketing Community

Posted on 6 Comments

The recent PayPal drama has taken our little industry by storm - for better or worse. I would say for the better.
Why? Well, because it forces us in this industry to examine ourselves. This examination can be taken from many perspectives. One perspective is Networking.

Networking is Vital to the Internet Marketing Industry

One thing that is important to understand in our line of business is that we are not alone, nor should we want to be. This can be seen from the way many marketers are communicating with each other as to how the recent PayPal drama has affected their business and what they have done or will do about it. It is an outstanding thing to be able to do - and so "effortlessly." We don't have to arrange for meetings at cafes, restaurants or other areas. All we have to do is go online. The question is, do we talk to other marketers? If your answer to that question is no, then you need to change that RIGHT AWAY!

Together We Stand, Divided We Fall

When people in our industry communicate with each other we are contributing not only to the success of our individual businesses, but to the industry as a whole. You have probably heard the advice to "surround yourself with people smarter than yourself." That is what we do when we network. Don't be too put off by the term 'smarter.' Being 'smarter than someone else or someone else being smarter than you has nothing to do with our level of education - it has to do with our experiences and skills. We all have many different experiences in life and in business. We have had successes and we have had failures. The key is to learn from those things. The more we discuss with others the successes and failures that they have had, the more we learn. We can ALL learn SOMETHING from SOMEONE.

There is No "One Size Fits All" Solution.

When we network with others we will discover that people have different ways of doing the same task or achieving the same goal. Sometimes their method is not necessarily "right or wrong," its simply "different. Therefore we should try not to be too opinionated and realize that sometimes we will simply have to "agree to disagree" and drive on.

The Internet Marketing Industry is much to vast to get stuck in one particular view. If it works for you (and is moral and ethical), then by all means do your thing. But can you adjust "your thing" according to some tips or tidbits of information that you received from others? Sometimes we have to "climb down off of our egos" and admit that we need to change the way we do things. That is simply the way of business and the way of life.

Who do you surround yourself with?

Personally, being a part of different "marketing systems" or "marketing communities" has been very beneficial for me. The main ones being Click Track Profit, Build A Biz Online and Mardox Marketing (in the order of my exposure to them). Being a part of those communities or systems has helped me gain some very valuable knowledge over the years.

Don't stand alone - especially now. The wind of change is blowing in the industry. Together we can keep from being blown over by it.

Thanks for reading my blah blah blah.

Till next time!

Yours in success,

John L Brewer

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