Will I be kicked out of Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge?

*** Rant Alert ***

This post may be considered a rant (and get me kicked out of Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge)

*** End of Rant Alert ***

I have learned a lot from Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge but not from the “content” being delivered. The content of the 4 weeks course is very basic and has to do more with motivation to take action than with actual content. You see, all we actually learned was: Build a personal blog and blog about yourself (How to build the blog? Search for it… What to blog about? Why not about the Quick Start Challenge? You may win a prize if you do…) Drive traffic with blog and forum commenting (and why don’t you comment on each other’s blogs? That way you will see immediate responses… And as far as forums are concerned, the Warrior forum is recommended 😉  You want to know how to comment effectively?… Go out and find out for yourself). Bonus assignment – create a video (about… you guessed it – Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge…). How to do this? Go out and search for it…

Rant within a rant – those basic traffic tactics are only useful when you are starting up as they require a lot of time and effort on your part. Once you stop actively posting, traffic will die out. This is just one example of how the whole program was geared for the short term and not really showing people how to build their business for the long term.

Build a list – create a product to giveaway, setup an autoresponder and a signup form on the blog. How to do all this? … go out and search for it… (This was actually named: “Push Button Income & Automation” if you can believe it…) Really, this has been one big disappointment as far as content is considered. Only the very basic concepts were covered, none of the strategies, tactics, tips and trick you would have wanted to learn were even mentioned. So what did I learn from Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge? Brilliant marketing. I did not learn anything from the course itself but learned a lot from the way it was constructed. Let me lay it all out for you… Let’s say you have a high end coaching program (which sells for $5,000) that you want to promote. Of course you can do the hard work of advertising it all over the place while spending a lot of money in the process. You could recruit affiliates you may say, and you’ll be right in thinking so, however there is one little snag – why would big name affiliates want to promote your coaching program when they have their own to promote? So what do you do? Let me tell you what Dean Holland has done. The very basic approach to marketing says you build a funnel which sorts out your prospects and turn them into customers. You start out with a low end (or even free) item which in turn promotes your high end product and build your brand in the process. So where is that “brilliant marketing” you were talking about, I hear you asking… Hold on to your pants, it’s coming 🙂 You start out by advertising the entry level product as being a newbies dream of quickly starting a true Internet business. With some name dropping and the following list of topics you say it will cover:
  • The Big Beginning
  • The free Traffic Tap
  • On demand Income and Automation
  • Instant Internet Lifestyle
it’s an easy sell (you really need to see the sales letter… it’s very enticing 🙂 ). Next, you promote it on the warrior forum as a WSO (lot’s of newbies looking for their breakthrough and eager affiliates ready to promote it for you) and start a 4 week process of building the marketing monster. On week one (“The Big Beginning”), getting everyone excited on what’s to come, you tell them that building a personal blog IS the only way to properly build your brand and your online business. You motivate the participants to go out and build their blogs by offering a prize with high perceived value (which for you, is no out of pocket money). If you do a good job with motivating them, you will have a lot of people entering your “build my marketing machine” funnel. Oh, and don’t forget to suggest they blog about their experience with your coaching program… On week two (“The free Traffic Tap”), you need to keep the motivation up by providing instant tangible results so you tell them how to drive free traffic to their blogs and get some social engagement (social markers are the hot thing with SEO these days). You set it up so they will visit each other’s blog, leaving a comment and thus creating a complex net of links among the blogs. This is brilliant strategy number one – build a network of connected blogs which are all owned, operated and hosted by others. This massive Internet presence, of course, is focused on your low end product, building your brand. Drop a hint about how this will benefit them in the future 🙂 Brilliant step number two – suggest creating a youtube video (about your program, of course) asking them to name the file with the name of your product. In case you did not know, Google pays close attention to the name of the video file you upload to youtube. Week three (“On demand Income and Automation”) is all about getting them to start building a list (did you notice how this is all basic affiliate training? I’ll get to that in a moment). You teach them they need a free offer to get people to signup and setup an autoresponder sequence where they can then go and promote products to make money. They don’t have a product to give away? Point them back at your OTO for the training (we did say on demand income, right? LOL) Week four (“Instant Internet Lifestyle”) is where you tell them how building a real business is hard work but the “Internet Lifestyle” is all about not working so hard but enjoying life, while making money. This is where you revile a small part of your marketing funnel and suggest for them to be affiliates for your products, as part of their newly discovered Internet Lifestyle of working less while making money. You tell them how you are going to turn the training they just had to a product and how they are situated to benefit from all the traffic your new product is going to receive. Now the full master plan is in the open for everyone to see (Check out this post on the Warrior forum I did a few weeks back). The so called “Quick Start Challenge” is nothing but a cultivation program for affiliates while building a massive marketing funnel. And this is the brilliance behind it all. You build yourself:
  • An army of highly motivated, trained affiliates which have nothing but rave reviews for your teachings.
  • A monster of a marketing funnel.
  • A lot of buzz around your brand and product.
  • A huge amount of positive feedback and rave reviews.
all while getting paid to do so! What did you learn?

I’m having a hard time getting this started (product birthing pains)

product-conceptI have an excellent idea for a product I can easily and quickly create, sell and earn from. Really… It’s tailored for me 🙂 Let me share something with you. When you are being taught about product creation, what do they usually tell you? Mostly they tell you you can do one of two things: either create a product of your own, from scratch or get a ready made product and make it “your own” by modifying and improving it. Right? Well, I like to use a third method which I like to call “product integration”. What does it mean? Simply put it means taking ready made elements and combining them together in such a way they will make a new, fully formed and whole, new entity. I’ve used this method successfully in the past, several times, and created products that people really loved. In the last few days I was trying to get a new “integrated” product on it’s way. But I’m kind of stuck 🙁 I have everything I need for this project:
  • I have a mental image of what it should look like.
  • I have all (or most) of the components I need.
  • What I don’t have, I know where I can get it (and it’s cheap, too).
Still – I’m unable to get it passed the first stage on integration. Somehow it does not feel “right”… The pieces do not fall into place like they should… Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you experienced this kind of blockage? What do you do when this happens to you? Let me share with you what I do and you can add your thoughts in the comments below. The MachineMy first reaction to getting stuck is simply trying it again. Maybe using a different combination (trying to fit the pieces together in a different way) but still striving to the same end result. Makes sense, right? Sometimes this simply does not work and I need to do a “hard reset” (Ever had a Nokia smart phone? If you did then you probably know what I mean 🙂 ). What I mean is, take a step back and examine the whole plan again. If the plan still looks solid to me, I take a second look at my goals and force my mind to focus on the steps that will get me there in the fastest, easiest way. Once my subconscious mind get a clear vision of the goal, it will take the necessary steps to get me there 🙂 Another major roadblock for me is the fact I’m a perfectionist. I just can’t get myself to cut corners and produce something I’m not totally happy with. When that causes me to get stuck, I start thinking about the people who are going to consider my product and try to see it through their eyes. If it will makes good sense for them I put my hesitations aside and regain focus of the goal. Why am I telling you all this? The last 2-3 days where very frustrating for me. I had an excellent idea, I already have all the components I need, I even told some people about my plans (nothing like being accountable to motivate you, right?) but I was not able to get this thing going. So today I’m doing my “hard reset”. Wish me luck 🙂

Where is all my traffic? (or – a lesson in consistency)

Hords of traffic :)
{EAV:f062ea34d9f336ee} A few days after I started actively promoting my new blog I was already able to see the effect of my activities. Check out the graph below: Early days traffic There are two things which are evident at first sight:
  1. I am not yet at my target of 100 new visitors a day, however I get an average of 50 a day, which is not that bad for starters 🙂
  2. Following an initial surge, the traffic dropped a bit.
Where did my traffic go to? The traffic generation methods I was using (blog and forum commenting, social media posting, email promotions) are all anecdotal. They mostly bring traffic at the time of posting and then a little trickle, further down the line, until it stops all together. At first, this realization may be discouraging – will I need to do this forever? I have not signed up to being a slave to traffic generation… However, if you consider the long run, a few things will happen:
  • My “brand” (in this instance, my name) will get known and people will start seeking it out.
  • Some of the old posts will become “a must read” in my niche and be shared continuously (sometimes referred to as viral traffic).
  • The search engines will pick up the “buz” or “signature” of my online presence and associate my name with various keywords (or key phrases).
Hords of traffic :)All those are, however, going to happen in the future and require consistent effort over a long period of time. It requires commitment for the long run which is not easy for most people. This is where being a member of a group of like minded individuals who are supporting each other, could help. Not only will you be supported by your peers, you will also feel obligated to keep it up, as you have pledged to others to do so. These are still early days and results are still to be seen. No instant magic buttons here 🙂 Next, I’m going to share with you other activities I’m starting this week. It’s important to do the basics (and I will continue to do so) yet I’m in an urgent need of some income. To that end I’m going to be using some of my skills and acquired tools and set up a quick stream of income. So you see – there is much to look for 🙂 Come visit again to learn all about it!

Every journey begins with a single step…

New business launch
It was fun – writing the first post for my new personal blog and reading all the comments people were leaving on these pages. Oh, sorry – I’m jumping the gun here… 🙂 OK, so I have a new blog and I wrote the first chapter of my story. Now what? Well, obviously it’s not enough putting yourself out there – you need to actually have people visiting the blog and reading the posts. In “web jargon” we call this traffic. There are millions of people surfing the web at any given moment but none of them will be visiting your site unless they know about it and are curious to see it. New business launchBasically, there are two ways of letting people know about your site: paid methods (paid advertising) and free methods (free advertising). Paid advertising is an excellent way of getting large amount of traffic (and targeted traffic, if you do it right) but it is also a great way to spend a lot of money, fast. At the beginning of our journey, it’s best to avoid paid traffic and concentrate on free traffic methods. It maybe slower to get it started but it is a lot cheaper and safer. Generating free traffic to your site can be further divided into 2 general categories: direct (invitation traffic) and indirect. With direct methods of generating traffic you simply invite everyone you know to come and visit your new site. I have some email subscribers so I sent them an invitation. some of them have already got to know, like and trust me so they stopped by to see what my new site is all about. More significant for me was my social media connections, namely: Twitter, Facebook, Empire Avenue and others (like Pinterest, Stumbleupon, Linkedin, etc.) I sent invitations or posted about the site, as appropriate, on all those channels. Reading the comments I got to my first post you can see those efforts were fruitful. Next I’m working on some indirect methods of generating free traffic to my site. There are many methods at my disposal, among them are: Blog commenting – I have a great advantage being part of the community built around Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge, where we all support each other’s blog. You can look for blogs in your niche (or area of expertise), join and participate as a valuable member. Forum posting – where you contribute as a community member by participating in discussions both on other people posts and by starting your own threads. By adding the URL of my blog in my signature, I make it visible to all that read my posts. If they like what I have to say, they may find it interesting visiting my blog. Other content distribution methods (such as articles, reports, presentations, videos, etc.) are also great ways of showcasing your strength and getting people to be interested in what you have to say. Those methods require a little bit more skills, knowledge and effort but are great for the long term. Adding the blog URL to everything you do – add it to your social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc. Adding your blog URL to your email signature is another simple but effective method. I’m sure you are getting the idea – associate your blog address with you and whatever it is you are doing on and off line. Using the domain of your blog in other activities. If you have other online activities that involve setting up web pages, use the same domain for hosting these pages (in a sub-directory). This will help spread awareness to your domain and if that domain is your name the effect will even be stronger. People are curios and some may just go and check the main domain when they see a webpage under an interesting domain. Traffic growthAs an initial goal I’m looking to getting around 100 new visitors to my blog every day. This brings me to another important issue you need to take care of and that is tracking. How would I know I’m getting 100 new visitors to my site if I’m not tracking my site’s traffic? the same principal is valid for all your business activities: track it so you’ll know what’s working and what’s not. That way you know where to focus your efforts, where you need to improve and what venues to abandon. The most commonly used tracking service out there has to be Google Analytics. I’m not going to go into the debate of whether it’s good or not to give all your information to Google. That fact of the matter is, this service work and works well. This post is already rather long as it is so I’ll leave the discussion on Google Analytics to another post. Thanks again for visiting my blog and reading my posts 🙂 See you soon!

Excited to finally get it started

You know how sometimes it’s difficult to get something started? You have all these thoughts and ideas getting you running around in circles, in your mind, and nothing is actually getting done. Well – this happened to me… Having a personal blog is practically a must when you are becoming a marketer. The reason for that is simple – your main product is actually you. This is what you are trying to sell to others: you. A blog is an excellent way to get yourself branded, allowing people to get to know, like and trust you. For this is what it’s all about – people will follow and buy from someone they know, like and trust. I have been meaning to get this blog started in a along time but somehow I was always distracted, being pulled away to other seemingly more pressing things. Remember we talked about how difficult it could be to start something? I needed a strong motivation to get it going. Finally I found it… Just last week I joined Dean Holland’s Quick Start Challenge (Thank you Dean) where the first step in the challenge was to start your personal blog. How lucky am I :) Since we are both here so you can get to know a little more about me I would love to share my story and have you follow me as I build my online business and grow as a marketer. I sincerely hope you will find my story interesting and maybe even learn a thing or two.

Are you still with me? Thank you!

OK, let’s get started…

Affiliate Startup BlueprintI have been “working” online for three years, trying to generate income (which was my first mistake). And I was ambitious too – I started with selling my “own” product (got a really good PLR, updated it, created a website for it with upsells, an affiliate program and everything). Didn’t take me long to understand it’s not enough to simply “be there” to generate sales. I even tried setting up my own membership site (got a few friends to join for a while) but it was not long before I realized I was setting myself up to fail. So I went back to the basics – building a list. And what better way to build a list then participating in JV Giveaway events. I did pretty well for a while: built a list of 4,000 subscribers and made a few dollars from special offers on the events. I was starting to be known in the giveaway circles and even wrote my own guide on how to succeed in giveaways. Got tired of it though, especially since everybody wanted to have their own event and we had a few running in parallel all the time. How I earned $932.60 with a WSOThen I discovered the Warrior Forum. First WSO (Warrior Special Offer) I created didn’t do so well. The second one was a “hit” for me – made me my first $1,000 week! I was ecstatic :) I even wrote a special report about it (starting to see a pattern here?) which got great reviews but did not sell all that well. Creating products is not easy for me. I’m a perfectionist and for me it’s difficult to just throw something together. On the other hand, anything technical is easy for me so armed with the knowledge I gathered over the years I devised several plans of action, for my next projects. One of those is something I’m very proud of (although it did not had its breakthrough yet) and I will share it with you in a coming post. For the coming months my business goals are to start creating consistent monthly income of at least $2,000. That amount, being consistently earned monthly, is what I need to make my online business viable. From there, the next step I’m aspiring for is a $10K monthly income which would enable me to replace my day job with an online marketing career. So here I am – armed with everything I learned over the last three years and on the verge of my first big breakthrough :) I’m thrilled and excited to have you joining me on my journey through this blog or maybe even join forces with me to do something together. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.