I read blogs every day that are a waste of time for both the writer as well as their readers. Many of them do nothing but talk about every-day activities of the writer and have no particular use to anyone except the writer’s ego and a need to say what they have to say. Others have tremendous value to their readers for various reasons, even if only to inspire the reader to do something with their life than read useless blogs!
Both types of blogs have something in common, in that they somehow manage to acquire loyal lists of readers, or at least followers, regardless of how silly or pathetic the reason is. On the better blogs (but still not the best) the writers actually put useful information out there for all to partake in, and yet stoically refuse to tell people where to buy the products that they talk about!
That is a disservice to their readers as well as to themselves! They sometimes go to great lengths to write lengthy reviews of the products, telling people of both good points and bad, and even show pictures of the products… and the pictures go nowhere… except to (maybe) a larger and also useless version of the same picture! That is not helping their readers nor helping themselves to profit from their actions!
What a foolish waste of time that is!
What makes a blog good…besides just writing…
The “best” blogs, not only review products, but also provide a place for the reader to buy those products! If I am reading a blog, I don’t even want to be told about a product unless there is a link to it! If I want that product, and have to waste precious minutes of my time to go research and find a vendor for it because the blog writer was too lazy to present it properly I am going to be pissed! If I don’t want to buy it, I can simply ignore the link to it.
This isn’t the stone age! Anyone who can’t stand to look at ads had best crawl in a hole, because he won’t be able to listen to the radio, watch TV, read a magazine or newspaper, buy a product, or drive down the road without seeing advertising. If you think that still leaves books…guess again. Chances are the author has his other books listed at the back, so people will be encouraged to buy them! What do you think that is, if not advertising? It’s the way the modern world works today so get used to it!
You don’t have to clutter up your site with banner ads, although adding a little color to an otherwise :all text" page actually helps to make the page more visually appealing and breaks up the monotony of line after line of text. Most people won’t click on banner ads anyway. on the average, only about 2% of readers actually buy something from an ad, especially on blogs.
But using unobtrusive text links in the right way will get all the clicks you need to make sales. Some will say that they despise seeing ads on sites. GET OVER IT! You wouldn’t have anything within your line of sight (that wasn’t already made by nature) without someone having sold it first! We’d all be living like cave men if it weren’t for things getting sold! Selling is a natural part of life, of society, and our well being! Many of us would be dead already if it weren’t for medical equipment and medicines being sold to a hospital, so think about that the next time you claim you “hate” sales pitches, and be damned glad you’re alive because someone stepped up to do it to save your life!
The mindset of wealth…
I remember reading something years ago about billionaire J. Paul Getty that said that the reason he was able to acquire such great wealth is that he made a conscious effort to NEVER do anything (or buy anything) that did not further his efforts in making money.
When you think about all the things we do every day, it’s hard to envision some of those things NOT being done without monetary gain involved.
Can we make money by eating? Sure… if we’re a food critic and getting paid to write about our opinion.
Can we make money by sleeping? Maybe… if we agree to be part of a paid sleep study program!
Is that magazine we bought going to make us money? Maybe… if we are concsiously watching competing ads presented in it so that we can do better in our own sales.
Is watching TV or a movie going to make us money? Maybe… if it’s the financial news we are watching, or we’re getting paid to give our opinion of certain shows (like a TV critic).
Some people will jump on those opportunities when they arise, while others will blindly go through life without even thinking about finances, and the latter will have a much greater chance of ending up broke!
For many bloggers, they already make enough money to be happy, and if that’s “really” true, then maybe what they do simply makes them happy and takes some stress out of their lives, even though it may not add some extra money to their pocket. After all, the simple act of writing is therapy in itself.
But the sad part is, I read about people every day who are barely able to afford a vehicle to live in, they aren’t eating properly, and are depriving themselves of the simplest of luxuries that most of the world takes for granted, and yet they refuse to take the simplest of actions that would help to make their lives better, even when they are led to it and given the information for free!
Forgetting your future…
Don’t get me wrong… I have nothing against people traveling in small vehicles, but from what I read, most of them have no choice! I wouldn’t have written a book about creating a minivan camper if it were not inspired by finances (or a lack thereof). But if I had my choice, I would prefer something larger and more comfortable. Having already owned a 40-foot motorhome, I would never go back to a huge money-pit like that again, but a nice mid-size class “C” or at least a larger van type that I can stand up in… and that has its own shower… and that gets decent mileage… could easily be in our future… if we are willing to do what is necessary to get it.
Maybe some of these vehicle dwellers think they are young enough now to enjoy living in their vehicles and traveling as they please, but the rest of us (especially the older crowd) sees the bigger picture that seems to elude these poor uninformed people.
What are these people going to do when they are too old to travel like that anymore? They forget that Social Security only pays out according to what is paid in. If they live off minimum wage (or less) all their lives, and have not put their proper share into Social Security, then they could very well end up with NO Social Security or only the bare minimum of (currently) about $550 a month to live on for the rest of their lives… when they won’t even be able to afford health insurance! The combination of those two things will keep them perpetually living off someone else! And guess who gets to support their foolish lifestyle after their parents are gone… the rest of us working taxpayers!
I have gone out of my way to try to offer a helping hand to such people, and yet my words seem to go in one ear and out the other. Maybe they prefer to be broke. Maybe they prefer to live off the generosity of others. Maybe they prefer government assistance to making a living on their own. Maybe they have absolutely no ambition at all. Whatever the reason, no one can help people who refuse to take the slightest of actions to help themselves, and I don’t feel that able bodied people should be living off the hard work of other people!
I can’t guarantee how much of a helping hand I provide, as much of the end consequences of what I help them with is the result of what they do with the information after they receive it. But at least I have tried, and that’s more than most people would do.
The whole truth is that many that I have tried to help through this blog won’t even sign up for new post notifications so that they can continue to learn for free! Anyone who really wants to learn will go after the information on their own, and if they don’t, it’s their loss. I’m not selling anything here, so I don’t need to chase them down for their money. If they want a reminder to come back here, they can easily drag the icon in the URL address to their desktop so they can click on it to come directly here anytime they want. Or on Chrome, there is a provision in the menu bars on the right hand side to send the web page to the task bar on their computer. If that's too much trouble to figure out, they wouldn't study marketing anyway.
In the meantime, I am continually acquiring new students who actually WANT to learn how to successfully sell things online (marketing), or at least have me help them build a web site so that they can make their lives better. Some actually want to build businesses that will sustain them beyond having to depend on someone else. Some will expand on what they learn here, while others will only use enough of what I show them to make a few extra bucks a month. I can show them the techniques and tools, but unless they actually put them to use, the end result will be ziltch!
A catch-phrase from an old “Dirty Harry” movie has always stuck in my mind, and that is that people will only rise to the level of their own ability (or something like that). Some people’s ability is much more than what they will open themsleves up to, because they are lazy and refuse to take the time to learn new ideas. They have the intellect to learn, but they either refuse or don’t care. They would rather be out having fun than doing something to exercise their brains and make them some extra money. I knew one person that actually was “stealing” his mother’s Social Security check even past the day she died! And this person was old enough to know better and young enough to go find a job!
But what are they going to do in another ten or twenty years, when their bodies start to fail and they can’t work at normal jobs or afford proper healthcare? What are they going to do when they discover that their Social Security isn’t nearly enough to cover the lifestyle they had hoped for, and what little extra money they have isn’t even enough to keep them healthy?
Successful people take the time to learn something new every day that will help them to make their lives better. Sometimes lessons are easy, such as how to make fire to keep yourself warm, or to dehydrate food or prepare canned food to get them through the seasons, or to build a meager shelter.
Other lessons are very difficult, and can take years to master, like playing the piano or learning marketing. But there’s no market for making fire for people (unless you’re an arsonist!). On the other hand, a musician can always make money, even if it’s only playing street corners. A marketer can always make money, even from someone else’s computer in a public library. Both incomes are dependent upon how well they are performed, and they aren’t something you learn overnight. Neither are they something you “buy” your way into with trying to resell someone else’s “cookie-cutter” methods. You can’t “fake” good music, and you can’t “fake” your way to a good income in marketing. You either have what people want or your don’t! Best results are always achieved by proper and continuous study, and then applying what was learned.
Some people don’t have the mindset for either, because it’s too easy to live off someone else rather than actually have to put their mind to work to learn something useful. They may think that it’s only “tax money” that is funding their “fun times”. Where do they think that tax money comes from, other than from other hard working people? Are they that stupid to think that it simply appears out of thin air? Or maybe they don’t care how hard other people work to make up for their laziness and apathy!
Even if they don’t want to learn marketing, just the simple act of having someone build a free web site for them can provide residual income that will carry them through retirement years and beyond! All they need is the foresight to recognize the potential the internet holds! That doesn’t take a lot of brains. It only takes action!
I have tried to tell people that something as easy as signing up for a free account at Skimlinks will let them make at least a few dollars a month from their sites and blogs, even if they do it badly. For those willing to learn proper techniques, they can do much better… and whatever they start with will continue to build as they learn how to use their site properly. Many people make full-time livings from their web work and live like millionaires (which they may be). And if one blog isn’t making enough, how hard would it be to create a second blog, or a third. If they already have one, they obviously know how to do that much, so it’s only a matter of scaling up the process. That puts THEM in control of how much they make… not some uncaring employer!
Through this one Skimlinks account they have access to over 18,000 vendors, more than enough products for more sites than they could ever manage, so their refusal to make money can’t be a matter that they can’t find a product to promote. And promotion is nothing more than what they have already been doing on many of these blogs!
All they have to do is “talk” about a product they like, and provide a link for people to buy it. How hard can that be to do? I know high school kids that make more money at their web work than their parents do at professional careers! It can’t be any easier for people to start making money, and still, they refuse to take action. I cannot help those who refuse to help themselves. And I’m done feeling sorry for them. I’m already giving much of my tax money to them. They need to start paying for the knowledge they receive!
Due to my ever increasing time restraints, I can no longer go out of my way to help people unless they actually want the help, and prove it by contacting me and participating in discussions. That’s the only way people learn… by doing! And I don't mean private discussions on email or Facebook! I mean commenting publicly on this blog, so that others can learn from the questions and answers!
Based upon what I am seeing, there are more that want the help than those who don’t. I have been spending a great deal of time to help people for free, on a one-on-one basis geared to their exact goals and topics. I actually enjoy helping those who want to better themselves and their lives and create businesses to sustain them for the rest of their lives. And I don’t even mind doing it for free, on an “honor” system as I have been, where I help them and they help me by buying through my links the things that they would buy for everday use anyway.
Show me the money! (Or not.)
In the past, I tried to help people on an honor system, where they were to buy through my links for most of the items they would use every day anyway. I even provided a page for those people to use at the “Marketing Resources” menu tab on this site, (Update: it has since been removed by a hacking attempt and I haven’t rebuilt it yet), where they can buy everything they need for their daily lives (including food and clothing), for their homes, and for their cars… the three main things that people HAVE to spend money on.
I know what the average person spends on those things from statistics, and yet I know that the people I tried to help were not spending even 1/20th of their income through my links. I will not continue to help people for 14 hours every day, and not make a fair share of money from my efforts. Just like it may be more convenient to buy some things from stores, it was also more convenient for me to drop this whole free teaching program and do something else!
Unlike many foolish bloggers I have better things to do with my time! Besides, I am retired now, and traveling full-time. I have already done what I have tried to teach, only now, I still continue to do it for my own benefit, and on my schedule.
This entire blog has been an experiment to see how many people would actually follow through to make this method of teaching worthwhile… and it hasn’t worked. As always, it’s only 5% of people who have the ambition and determination to make a difference in their lives, and in the world.
Due to time constraints, I have to limit my time to those who are really serious about learning. Those who have shown an interest will continue to get all the help I can possibly give them. New readers can read all they want for free, but if they want questions answered or support for any of the topics I talk about, then they will have to make comments and ask questions, and get involved in the discussion. It doesn’t cost anything nor do I make anything from it, but it’s a start. It’s a “show of faith” on their part. After all, if they don’t trust me with an email address to receive new post notifications, then why should I waste my time with them?
No new marketing students…
I cannot teach in only a few months what it has taken me 15+ years to learn. The delays in trying to do that is a disservice to both them and me in waiting to get their sites online and make money. I can build sites in much less time than it takes to explain all the marketing reasoning behind the techniques, and it is more productive to do that for my own benefit. If they wish to observe and copy my actions for their own use, that’s fine. I will answer questions as they are asked.
But be aware, just because someone can build a site, it doesn’t make them a marketer or guarantee that anyone will make money with it. I will still do free site reviews, and suggest techniques and tools to correct the problems, but it will be up to the student to implement the changes.
Reading only one post, or even many of them, without reading “all” of them is not going to be a lot of help to anyone serious about learning marketing. It has taken me 15+ years to get where I am, and I am still learning new things every day. It takes ALL of the pieces of a puzzle to make it complete.To complicate that, the “puzzle” of marketing is continually growing. I don’t have the time to learn, teach AND implement everything, especially if I make no money in doing so.
As time goes on, I may even change from free information to a small membership fee, but I feel as though I have to provide more consistent content before that happens.
If I can sell other people’s products and make money on autopilot through building sites for myself, why would I want the hassle of developing my own products, and dealing with customer service and teaching? Any wise business person is going to go where the money (and the least amount of work) is.
For those learning about marketing through this free training, this also explains by example the natural progression of building a business. If a business doesn’t grow by at least 10% every year, it is considered “stagnant”. Growth can be income growth, intellectual growth, acquisitions growth, or just growth in techniques…but it MUST grow. If it doesn’t it will surely die.
Simply growing a reader base is not growth, because it isn’t accomplishing anything unless you actually DO something with it! I see countless blogs every day that can brag of HUGE subscriber lists… but the blog is still as dead as canned tuna unless that list is “working” for a purpose! You could just as well have only three people reading your blog and it wouldn’t make any difference!
The progression from free information to a free membership, to paid membership to paid products is part of natural growth. I am not saying I will go that far... only that it is a possibility.
Knowledge is the fertilizer that fuels that growth, and implementation of that knowledge is the space to let it grow. Both can be in endless supply… or choked off by apathy and laziness.
What was the last item you wanted desperately to buy but couldn’t afford? What simple thing would you be willing to do to get it? Or is it easier to stay broke, both financially and in spirit? Would you rather have people look up TO you, or down AT you? Whether it’s learning marketing or something else to make your life better… at least do “something”!
As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments.