What’s Your Market

Earlier today I was at what we call a “mastermind” group. Basically, there’s four of us who try to get together once a month to discuss where we are in our businesses and try to see if we can help each other to stay on target for our business and personal goals.

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definitely not dinosaurs…

While discussing an idea, one of the participants asked the question “what would our market be.” Truthfully, I didn’t quite understand the question, and went with my gut response, which is usually “why do we need to figure out who our market is?

I come from the school of “just do it“, because one thing I notice a lot of people do is think about something to the point where they eventually don’t do anything. I’m the type who’ll think about something, think some more, then finally come to a realization it’s time to get it done and worry about other things later on.

Later on, we came back to this topic, and I finally said I wasn’t sure what her point was, as in, what she was asking me. She then explained herself, and at that point I started to understand it a bit more. We then talked about the website of mine that I highlighted the other day, Medical Billing Answers, and she asked me who I thought that market was.

I first said almost anyone, which she didn’t like, so I thought about it some more and I said that when the idea first came to me, I was thinking about the medical billing consumer, that person who has questions about their medical bills that can’t find anyone impartial to ask their questions of. Then, after the site was created and some of the articles were up on the site, it turned out that the biggest consumer of my site, as in the people asking me questions, were people who did medical billing, not the consumers. That’s how I came to see that particular site as being for anyone, since obviously I’m not good at deciding who my consumer is.

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She then asked me about this blog, which she’s never seen, and asked me who my market is, and who my consumers are. I actually drew a blank; I’ve never really thought about it before. I mean, I’ve thought about the topics often enough, but even when I launched this blog and wrote my first post, I talked more about what I wanted to do with this blog than who I wanted to serve, or who I was hoping would visit.

The truth is that I want everyone to visit this blog; is that really too much to ask? lol What types of visitors am I looking for, beyond everyone? Tough question indeed. Let’s see if I can define it with some honesty, since that’s what I’m all about.

First, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are buyers. I’m hoping that some of the things people are thinking about buying are some of the things I talk about, or some of the things I promote.

Second, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are hoping to learn something. I talk about a lot of things that many other folks don’t talk about, or, hopefully, in some detail that they might not go into, such as my post on how to be a prolific writer.

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who wants more of this?

Third, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are looking to see how someone else who’s going through the things they’re going through in trying to find ways to make money with their blogs is doing it, and is ready to share in the ride of success; never failure, as any time something doesn’t work, it was just a learning opportunity on the way to bigger and better things. Then again, I’m not big on the word failure, calling it experimentation instead In any case, I share when I make mistakes concerning other things with computing, like when I talked about wiping out all my files and the process I had to go through to recover them; ouch!

Fourth, I’m hoping that some of the visitors who come here are looking to share their experiences with me and with anyone else who reads this blog, because I truly feel that we are a community if we wish to be, and that in every situation, every encounter, that can be shared with someone else, there’s something for someone to learn from.

Fifth, I’m hoping that all of the visitors to this site will find something to entertain them<, to intrigue them, to shock them> and make them think about something they’ve probably never thought about before. To touch their hearts, share something with them that they’ve probably never heard of before, and generally to have fun. If we can’t have a little bit of fun, education, and thinking mixed in, what’s the point, right?

I’ll put this out to you, the readers of this blog. Help me help and entertain you. I don’t know all the answers, but, as you’ve seen, I’ll do some research here and there. How do you like what you’ve seen thus far? Is there a topic that you’d like to see me cover more, or less? What kind of information are you looking for that you might be looking to purchase? What kind of products? What is it that I can help you with? And, what do you think my market is, or should be? Turning it around, what is it that you’d like to help me with?

By the way, I will probably be giving more information about myself over the coming weeks, just to some of you can learn more things about me and all my businesses, because there’s obviously more than my post on about pages covered. Who knows; I just might get to work with you someday. 🙂
 

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National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month, and it’s something I care about wholeheartedly. If you’ve gone back into my blog, you know that I’m diabetic, and I’ve written on diabetes a couple of times, including my battles every once in awhile. Luckily, since I’ve been home, I’ve gotten my glucose numbers back under control.

Unfortunately, though I’m not considered an insulin dependent person, I am on insulin, and though it’s not as bad as I’d thought it would be, having to give myself injections twice a day isn’t much fun. I don’t have to start spouting numbers of new diabetics every day. It’s not always something you can easily control, as it runs in my family, but it’s something that we can keep from getting way out of control with knowledge, exercise, and communication.

To that end, I’d like to direct everyone in America to this link of activities taking place across the country this month highlighting this terrible disease. For everyone else, there’s this link talking about World Diabetes Day, which is November 14th.

Can diabetes be solved? Honestly, I don’t know. But I’ll never give up my fight, and I’m sure someone will eventually figure something out, with the help and funds of others.

How Do You Write Your Blog?

How do you write? I find it an interesting question, especially for blogs, because, for most of the time, I tend to write pretty quickly about pretty much anything. I don’t concentrate on length or anything like that; I just write until I feel like I’m done; kind of a blogging Mozart. lol


by Charles J. Danoff

I know that some people take a lot of time to think about what they want to write about, then write it over the course of a few days. I remember Steve Pavlina saying some time ago that he likes to take two or three days putting his posts together, but he tends to write posts between 5,000 and 7,500 words. Of course, he’s not doing that right now, as he’s doing some test with some kind of drink and talking about his results on a daily basis.

Darren Rowse of Problogger fame said he likes to write at least one post a day on all of his blogs, and these days it’s much easier for him since he’s pretty much turned himself into a corporation, so that when he’s on the road someone else steps in to write posts for him. However, if you look back into his archives (which I did, of course), you’ll find that he used to write multiple posts a day, very short posts where he’d state a topic, write something relatively short, then have a link to the person where he got the idea from in the first place.

By the way, I find it oddly comforting that it took him about as long to start getting visitors and readers to his blog as it’s taken for me, and he also had many posts at the time that got either very little or no activity, just as I sometimes do now (although I am pimping this post of mine again because it was pretty personal, and I’m thinking someone should have commented on it for some reason).

Even when I’ve researched something first, I tend to write pretty quickly afterwards. But you have seen some of my really long posts, and every once in awhile I’ll put up something that’s pretty short, just to communicate something. For instance, the day I posted the quick little blurb about the end of BlogRush, which I got to post as kind of a breaking news story (posted after immediately being written by John Reese himself) was one of the shortest posts I’ve ever written, and it still got a lot of comments.

That proved a couple of things. One, current news counts a lot if you can be one of the first to help break the story. Two, sometimes you can spend a lot of time on something, or put your heart into it, and it won’t merit nary a comment; WordPress doesn’t tell me how many page views, so to speak, a post gets (but Google Analytics does, and that’s a shame; y’all go back and read that post!). I wonder if there’s a plugin for that, and if it would separate how many times I saw it myself. And three, sharing information that someone else comes up with can be greatly appreciated, which is why I’m going to share this page that has a lot of information on page rank, something that a lot of you have been talking about a whole lot lately, which means it’s not only something you seem to care a lot about, but also says y’all need to find a new topic (check this one also). 🙂

Enough of this for now. So, how do you write? How do you decide what to write about? How often do you write? Share with us; who knows, maybe there will be a car as a prize for the most creative post,… nah!

Lava Lamp Pens






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Medical Billing Answers

Today I thought I’d highlight one of my niche sites, the type that many people talk about when they say that it’s another way for us to make money online. Oddly enough, I was just online listening to Lynn Terry’s weekly seminar, and she was saying how she stopped telling people about her niche sites and where they were and what they were because people would go by and copy exactly what she had as their own. Well, I’m thinking that, with this niche, there could only be so much copying, and if someone decides to steal the layout and colors; more power to you.

Anyway, this particular niche site is called Medical Billing Answers. Luckily, this is something I know a lot about as a health care finance consultant. I oversaw the billing operation of many hospitals before I went out on my own, and I’ve consulted at hospitals regarding billing and other revenue cycle issues ever since.

The initial issue for this site was trying to write it so that it didn’t overwhelm people. One can sometimes get too technical in their own niche to a point that they can’t communicate with those who aren’t in the field. So, if you go through any of the initial page categories, you’ll find that I haven’t written anything too deep, but hopefully it gets across what these things are.

Where the meat of this site is, though, is in the articles and the answered questions areas. Both of those areas give me the opportunity to add new content on a regular basis, which actually has worked out for me. Not as much for the articles, but people will send me questions, and I can answer them, and if it looks like I can get at least 200 words out of it, then it becomes another article. What it will also allow me to do at some point is make it a part of my consulting business, because I obviously can’t allow one person to dominate my time without getting paid for it eventually, right?

Now, here’s the big thing. This site, out of all my sites, makes the most money in Adsense revenue. Because it’s a niche site, the targeted traffic that this site gets means that I get paid more money if someone clicks on one of the ads than I get on any of my other sites. Supposedly, that’s what niche sites are all about, concentrating on one topic, then hammering that topic to death.

And here’s the neat thing. The world of medical billing online is pretty big, so getting to the top of the search engines isn’t the easiest thing in the world. No, I’m not in the top spot, unfortunately. But here’s where I rank for my top 3 search terms:

Medical Billing Questions Answered:

Google – 51
Yahoo – 12
MSN – 253

Medical Billing Questions:

Google – 149
Yahoo – 43
MSN – none

Medical Billing Answers:

Google – 2
Yahoo – 3
MSN – none

I don’t know what’s up with MSN, but I’m not worried about it. I launched this site at the end of May, so it’s just over 5 months old, still in its relative infancy, and it’s got a lot of room to grow. There’s some people who believe that one shouldn’t launch a website unless you have at least 100 pages of information, and others who believe you need even more. However, I was talking to one of my friends who works for We Build Pages, and his take on it was that if you believe what you have to say can be done in even 5 to 10 pages, then go to it, as long as the page is well optimized. I tend to agree with him on that one, plus I see so many people never start anything or never show anything because they can’t finish, at least in their minds. Think about Microsoft, people; they’ve been messing up for years, but do you think we’d have all this stuff if they had waited around for perfection?

Oh, on the site I also list different books concerning medical billing in some fashion. Many of those are a specific affiliate group I belong to that only deals with medical billing books, so the affiliate payout rate is higher. However, no one has purchased any of those books yet, but they’ll come; I know they’ll come!

Anyway, there’s my one big niche site. I may end up with more if this one succeeds in the way that I’m hoping it will. I’ll just have to think about what niche to talk about next; details, details,…


Virtual Greetings

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CSS In 24 Hours

Although some of my friends might not believe it, I’m not an uber computer geek by any means. I learn what I need to learn, then go about my business until it’s time to learn something else.

Back in 2003, when I needed to learn HTML pretty quickly, I used a program called PageTutor. The fact that I learned HTML in just about 3 hours is proof enough for me to recommend it to people even now if you need to learn it. However, when it came time to learn CSS (cascading stylesheets), I found PageTutor couldn’t quite get me there.

So, I went to my favorite bookstore, Barnes and Noble, and went through all the books there on CSS. And the one I came home with was a champ. It’s called CSS In 24 Hours, and this was just the book I needed to help me get over the hump.

Not only was it quick and easy to use, but he gives you the different codes to use with each step, and you can go online and download templates and other information to help you see what’s going on. The chapters are broken into “hours”, hence the title, but you know I went through it faster than 24 hours. The best thing about a book is that you can go back and look at things over and over if you need to, and with this book, finding everything is simple and easy. Of course, I will make a confession, that being that I never make any websites based on CSS alone. One day I will, but so far, since I’ve noticed how websites with total CSS seem to not always have the same formatting from browser to browser, sometimes even within versions of the same browser, I’ve decided to stick with the

attribute to at least keep the basic format stable.

Anyway, I recommend CSS In 24 Hours for anyone who needs to learn CSS in a hurry, and without much hassle.

CSS In 24 Hours
by Kynn Bartlett