getting started

Setting Your Success GPS

To continue our 'traveling to Springfield' idea, before you run out the door, you want to take a look at the internet and check out your planned route.  Will there be road construction or Lalapalooza music fests or blizzards/floods/fires that may interfere with your idyllic drive? 

  • Are you a real techie so that the internet and all-things-computer and geek come easy to you? 
  • Are you tech challenged so that you can get by if you have step-by-step instructions and not a lot of geek garble speak?
  • Or are you a technophobe who's foray so far into the internet has been email and Facebook and a few online catalogs?
No matter which answer you gave, there is a place for you and an online business for you!  Your learning curves would be different and your choices would be different;  the roads you would follow would be very different but there is success in all your futures, if that's what you choose! 

You simply want to be realistic about your current abilities -- not because you can't learn and grow!  You will - and much more quickly than you'd imagine.

You just want to make sure that you don't scare yourself off your own dream or get so overwhelmed with details of software that you get stuck.  Start off with a program that you can handle, learning and doing at the same time and as you progress, you can change your sites and products and dreams!  Crawl before you walk, walk before you run and run before you fly!!!

What are you Driving?

Before  you'd head out on your trip, you would also want to decide on which vehicle to drive.  The RV or the Mini Cooper? 

It will take a lot more gas and cost a lot more money to drive across the country in the RV. 

The little Mini Cooper would be less expensive, but would probably be less comfortable! 

Be realistic.  There's no right or wrong here.  One isn't better than the other; just different.  Maybe you would really like to take the RV but you just can't afford it right now?  You are willing to take the Mini because you really want to go to Springfield NOW and not wait until you can afford an RV?

That's perfect!  As long as you are expecting to be a little cramped and you understand that you will have to limit the luggage!

Maybe you have all the time in the world, a lot of extra money and you want to take your time, pack up everything but the kitchen sink and see the country as you go?

Maybe you’d rather not drive at all, but will fly out and meet the rest of us?!  A little planning will help your travels be less bumpy, no matter which route you take.

  • Do you already have a successful off-line (brick-and-mortar) business and are wanting to create an online presence? 
  • Do you already have a product or are you part of a network marketing company and you would like to get your name out there to sell more products through online marketing?
  • Do you already have a blog that you want "monetize" and earn some money for what you are already doing?
  • Or maybe ... maybe you don't have a product of your own but  heard that you can make some money on the internet and  you'd like to learn about affiliate marketing?  

There are lots of different vehicles for making money on the internet.  Decide which idea works best for you and your situation.  No matter which vehicle, you'll need some marketing to get things moving.  Think of it like putting gas in our car. 

Your marketing skills will improve as you go.  Your blog will be working for you, getting your name out there.  Social media will get things moving.  You need to build your list. 

It's fun and it's mystifying.  It's a challenge.  Internet marketing is a lot of things but it's seldom immediate!  Don't let anyone tell you that it is so easy that everyone and their dog could do it.  If that was true, everyone and their dog would be doing it.

It's not the technical difficulties (there are very simple programs) or the financial difficulties (people have done well using only free  marketing and social media) that knock people out of the game.  It's the fear and frustration and lack of belief.  You CAN do this.  Start today! 

Start today knowing that success will come over time, not overnight!

Don't Leave Home Without It!

No mater which road you choose, we all start from the beginning with no website or blog and go from there!  We all start with an idea. 

We all start out being a newbie!  One of the most important things to have BEFORE you set out is a DREAM! 

Before you get all bogged down in the techie stuff and the frustration of NOT being an overnight success or an instant millionaire, set aside an hour to dream a dream of what you would like this  online business to be! 

Make it a big, fun dream and hang on to it.  Those days when things are feeling less than abundant, it is this dream, this 'why' that will keep you going.  When the software's gone crazy and you can't remember another stinkin' login or no one has looked at your blog, remember why you want this internet business!

Keep that dream out in front of you and don't leave home without it!

If you haven't already, pick up your free ebook by Lisa Kitter to help you get this dream work figured out. 

This dream stuff may sound hokey, but there's no success without a dream!  How will you know when your dream has come true?

Planning for Road Construction

You've planned your trip, know where you want to go, set your GPS and you realize that there is quite a bit of road construction along the way.  Maybe there is an easier route?  It might be longer and more scenic, have more stoplights (but also more Dairy Queens!) but you might prefer the scenes to the orange cones.

Or maybe you would rather drive more slowly but in a straighter line through the construction?   Knowing the construction is ahead will make your decision an informed one. You will allow for the extra time. 

Same with setting up your online business.  There will be construction ahead!  Take a look at the road, make adjustments for forseenobstacles and plan ahead!  There are some ideas on Getting Started Ideas.  

  • You will want a blog to build your credibility with people on the internet.  You do not need a website to get your blog going.  You can be writing your blog, with no experience in 5  minutes.  (If you want to know how I did that check this out.
  • You will want a website.  Depending on your techi-ness, (be realistic about your skills) and the needs and scope of your website, you will decide whether to build it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.  
  • You will want an auto-responder that will be connected to your blog and to your website so that people who contact you can receive an automated response.  You are not going to be sitting monitoring your email 24/7, are you?  An auto-responder is non-negotiable.  You will find that it is a wondrous invention with all sorts of uses.  To start, you want it in place as your private secretary answering emails!   

Know that there will be construction.  Set out a to-do list and start working through the list.  Don't let this construction become the excuse for not moving forward.  Mom would say 'Rome wasn't built in a day' and neither will your website!  Be patient.

The goal is to get online.  As soon as possible, move forward with that dream.  Best advise is to get going on the blog, NOW, immediately! 

Then get building the website!  

Just like a road trip, knowing that there will be construction wouldn't keep you from moving forward!  Don't let this construction become the excuse for not moving forward with your dream! 

Start on your blog now and you will feel more compelled to get your website up and running!  Go now!

Packing for your Adventure

Before you set out on your adventure across the country, you'd check out the weather, wouldn't you?  Depending on your route, you may need a parka along the way and shorts when you arrive!  

Will you be camping?  Cooking your own grub?  Staying in motels?  Or with friends?  Or in 5-star hotels along the way?  What and how you would pack would differ depending on your decisions!  

Same holds for your business.  'Pack' some tools that you will need along the way.  As your business grows, these tools will change.  But get together your 'must-have list' for how to get started.  

  • You must have a domain name.  A domain is NOT a website.  It is an address for your website.  It is the memorable few words, (easy to spell) that people type in the with the www to find you.
  • You want to learn a few basics of SEO. Lots of free information out there to get some basics.  You will use this on your blog and your website so that the search engines will find you.
  • You want to learn the few basics of social media.  Even if, until now you have remained under a rock, if you want to have an online business, you need to get involved with social media.  That is where the peeps are!  That is where you will find them and where they will find you!
You've planned your trip, know where you want to go and set your GPS.  There are lots of ways to go about this.  Depending on your techi-ness.  Lots of gurus are self-taught.  I don't believe in reinventing the wheel!

There are lots of people out there with programs that can help you, from basic to really advanced!  Find what will work for you to start at your level and learn a few tricks of the trade!  Again, do not let this be  your excuse to avoid getting online. 

Get  your blog going today.  You can tweak the SEO and theFacebook and Twitter as you learn.  All this stuff will be changing and morphing so that this learning process will continue ad infinitum!  You just want to get started and go for perfection next week!  

Now that you are started, it's time to start getting some peeps, bygrowing with marketing, promotions and making sales!
If you are really, really new and fearful of the internet, you might want to check out John Chow's courses.   He has been one of Clickbank's best selling products.  His IM John Chow is a course that you follow to get you going online. 

It includes a 30-day Action Plan which can help keep newbies focused and on track and helps keep overwhelm at bay! 

People love to hate him.  They complain that there is not a lot of NEW information but to newbies, it's new!  And it is intended for newbies!

Chris Farrell is another one people love to hate.  He has an online business course that is VERY basic, so good for newbies.  (critics say it is too basic)

His course is sold through a subscription site where you join as a member and then can access the courses and websites.  You will pay a monthly subscription fee but you will feel like he is holding your hand and taking you step by step.

You can market his materials while you learn and move into your own products when you get the training wheels off!

Wealthy Affiliate has TONS of information on how to get up and running on the internet for $0 for your lifetime membership!  It has even more information and perks if you upgrade to premium. You can get started here!

If you don't have your own brick and mortar business and are not sure about a product, you can do affiliate marketing. 

Put simply, other companies will pay you when referrals order their products with your number.

Affiliates actively market, using advertising and blogging and websites but they don't have to worry about creating a product, or shipping or handling credit cards. and CommissionJunction  have affiliate marketing opportunies for all kinds of different products.  The only problem is TOO MANY to choose from!
If you don't have a product and are looking for something to market or you already have a product and you are looking for affiliates to market it for you,  JVZoo is a site you want to check out!

All payments are handled through JVZoo and Paypal so that vendors and affiliate can get on with what they are best at!  Commissions are paid instantly, which makes JVZoo very popular with affiliates.

JVZoo also is a premier service for Webinars.  If you have a product and you would like to do a webinar to promote it, multiple affiliates can promote YOUR  webinar at the same time!

Check out JVZoo.

Network Marketing (also known as MLM or Multi-Level Marketing) refers to Direct Sales of products.  These are typically not digital products but can be! 

Cosmetics, skincare, wellness products, travel, kitchen products, coffee, household furnishings, jewelry, weight loss products, even financial and insurance products are sold through network marketing!  through network marketing somewhere today. 

See what Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad has to say about network marketing here!

Network marketing another avenue to have a product to market if you don't have one of your own.  You do the selling.  The company takes care of the shipping and handling through your member website and pays you a commission!

If you are marketing Artsy / Craftsy work of your own, you might want to check out Etsy

Everyone knows Ebay as a place to buy and sell.  You might want to check out their online stores.

Affiliate Disclaimer: I am disclosing that I will earn an affiliate commission for any purchases you make. Please note that I have not been given any free products, services or anything else by these companies in exchange for mentioning them on this site. The only consideration is in the form of affiliate commissions.
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