Interviewing Diane Walker, Network Marketer

I met Diane Walker on Twitter one night and we just started to talk. Then we moved over to Facebook, where we weren’t limited to 140 characters at a time. She’s an internet marketer, but not an affiliate marketer. Instead, she’s part of the MLM (multi-level marketing) genre, mainly through a company called Send Out Cards. She calls what she does “relationship marketing.” She co-authored the book Navigating the World of Network Marketing.

1. How long did it take you to make your first $10,000 via internet marketing?

Actually about 6 or 7 years, hard to remember as it’s been so long ago.

2. When you first began, what kind of mistakes did you make that impeded you?

I had absolutely no experience at anything online or any type of sales when I started, just a desire to find a way out of corporate America and find a way to replace my income, and be free to work from anywhere so I chose the Internet. The biggest mistake I made was being too trusting. Everything I saw looked like the “right” answer, so I would join, only to find out the person I joined was not what they portrayed, or they were on to the next “BIG” thing a week later.

It made my head spin sometimes. With no experience, I had to learn from mistakes and I made a ton of them. The only thing that kept me going back then was I was too stubborn to quit, and I was very determined.

3. For someone brand new who has a product to sell, whether it’s their own or not, what are the first three steps they need to do to drive traffic to their product, or is that the most important thing to begin with in the first place?

Honestly, early on I tried it all. I think the internet has changed a LOT. I know early on everyone was trying to be first on google, but not everyone can get there.

1. Simple things anyone can do, would be have your link in your signature file wherever you go, or on business cards and flyers.

2. Use a domain name they own OR CLOAK the url so people do not take your ID Off or use something like this: http://vur.me/teach

3. YouTube videos, or blogging, if you keep that blog up. I also do a lot of networking and getting to know people. To me it’s more about long term relationships than the one time slam dunk sale.

4. What’s your general opinion on trying to make money selling affiliate products through companies like Clickbank, Commission Junction, etc?

Honestly I’ve not done a lot with any of that. I think I signed up for an account once, but to me found it more of a techie type thing. I was more interested in helping others, than trying to set up that type of sale, so I’ve not really used that.

5. Do you believe an autoresponder is important even for those who don’t have much traffic at the beginning?

Personally, I find them very annoying. These days with the spam and junk mail, I get annoyed if I requested information about a product or service and the site subscribes me to an autoresponder. I think we’ve lost the human element there. I want to physically talk to someone, ask live questions, not get slammed with ton’s of mail.

I do use an autoresponder for training messages that people want and they know it’s an autoresponder.

6. Do you believe that most people have the opportunity to make good money via their blogs, or do you believe it’s best to have a website, then possibly direct traffic through a blog to the websites?

I believe they can make money just fine whether or not they have a personal website or blog. Blogs, and websites and branding will get them known, however, I never really promote or use either of mine much. I may be the exception to the rule.

7. What do you think of programs like Jeff Paul’s Internet Millions that bring a lot of people into internet marketing that don’t really know what the internet is to begin with?

Honestly until you asked me this question I’d NEVER heard about Jeff Paul. I just googled his name and see ton’s of Google pages about him now, however, I’ve learned that most of those beautiful copy written ads bring people in and they make a sale, then the people get added to a mailing list, and get send messages like, “you bought this” so here’s something else.

I think there are a lot of very good people online that make terrific money doing sales like that, however, what most people don’t see is behind the scenes, they are out doing meetings around the country to promote and build their names, and they are constantly selling, and then selling and then selling. Over the years they BRAND themselves, so people recognize and buy because of their names.

I personally learned after many years of making an attempt to do things like that, this just was not for me. I do not think that most people can do well, as if everyone could do what these guys did, who would be buying?

8. Do you believe the market is getting too crowded, or is there room for everyone to make money online?

Depends on what they do. There are BILLIONS of people and plenty of room for everyone to make money, and ton’s of different products and services to do that with. People just have to find the right fit for themselves, then put the blinders on and go to work, and not be distracted by everything that comes along.

9. Take a moment for yourself; what are you working on now, or what would you like to promote?

I’m co author of the book “Navigating The World of Network Marketing” which is a recap of all the things I did, mistakes I made and what I learned by them. You can read a recap at http://www.legendaryventures.com.

I’ve also build a solid business. If anyone wants to know more about that, I have a info form at http://mlmblonde.net or if they want to know more about me personally my base site it http://mlmblonde.com.

I’ve got a blog as everyone does at http://mlmblonde.blogspot.com I’m not too good at keeping it up though but do post maybe once a month or so.

10. Any final words of encouragement you’d like to give to your visitor?

NO MATTER WHAT, do not give up. There is hope for everyone. If you find the right fit for you, and then go to work, give yourself time to learn and grow as you go along. If you find something you believe in, buckle down and go to work, you can make it.

If you are starting a business and it’s your first time, give yourself time to learn. It won’t happen over night, but if you allow yourself to be distracted by everything that comes along it will never happen. Also, find a good mentor and work closely with them, until you get where you want to be.

I want to thank Diane for giving us this interview. I know we all learned some good stuff from it.

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Blog Writing Services

Time for an advertisement, but this one’s for me.

As you know, I’ve been writing for people for a few months now. I’ve started getting some blog writing clients, and I’ve decided it’s time to mention it here.

two businessmen shaking hands
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I’ve set up a contract through my other site where I’ll undertake writing blogs for businesses (actually, if you check my About page you can see my offering services there also). I have a price structure for how much I’ll charge based on whether the consumer wants 10, 15 or 25 articles written a month. The guarantee is that each article will be at least 200 words unless it’s a breaking news story; those always seem to work well on blogs. And, for an additional fee, I’ll even post the articles and maintain the blog; I just won’t be the one answering comments on the blog, so the blog owner will have to read the content at some point, or just ignore all comments. Yeah, that defeats the purpose of blogging overall, but some people fancy themselves to be Seth Godin.

What will I write on? Well, I did write a post mentioning what I wouldn’t write about, but there are some other things here and there. For instance, if it’s too tight a niche, one where there’s not enough information to research to make it something I can write on for a long time, I probably won’t take it. In other words, if it can’t really be researched, for the money it’s not worth it. A guy the other day asked me to write on battle strikers, and I had no idea what that meant. Then he showed me it was a toy, and he wanted 25 articles on it. There wasn’t any research that could be done on it for 25 articles at 500 words apiece, so I declined.

In other words, don’t back me, or any other writer, into a corner that’s impossible to work from. One of my clients has me writing on anything related to real estate and weddings. Another has me writing on travel. Those are broad subjects with lots to write about. Still another one has me writing on debt consolidation; it’s kind of a tight niche, but there are plenty of ways to go with that one, so it branches out into some other things. If you let me just write, it all works out well.

The question might be why someone would need a blog writing service. If you have a website and have a blog associated with it, and that blog has at least some kind of consistent activity, it can boost your website’s online presence and keep your website and web business somewhat prominent, even if most of what you do is offline. If you have a blog that links back to your website, you’ll get some kind of bounce off it if also. And if your blog represents all kinds of things about what your business is related to, you look like an authority on those topics and might get more offers for contracts that way. And, of course, you might just want it to sell stuff from, and need to try to draw visitors; hey, that counts as a business blog also.

No, I’m not posting the rates here, but if you or someone you know wishes to pursue this, send me an email on the QT and we can talk. You see there’s a contact area up at the top, and your identity will remain hidden, even if I happen to mention a topic here and there on this blog.

There’s the deal; let’s see how it all works out.
 

Who Are The Affiliate Programs On Your Blog For?

Yesterday I stated in my post on who is your blog for, I stated that there was going to be a second part to that post; this is it.

And you see what the question is; who are the affiliate programs on your blog for? It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately, as I’ve discussed marketing and advertising and blogging.

I think it’s a fascinating topic because I’ve talked about the ads I put on this blog often enough, even as I go through and change them from time to time. I’ve said enough times that I don’t expect to make money from this blog. And yet, there I go, having ads on the blog because I’m really the eternal optimist, hoping that something will strike a cord in someone’s head sometimes and have them say “hey, I need to check that out,”, or “that looks like an interesting product; maybe I’ll buy that.”

So, I did some thinking about this blog and who the visitors are. It kind of ties in with the purpose of this blog. If you remember, I did this post where I reviewed my visitors, and posted that 64% of the people that come to this blog are totally brand new visitors. Based on Analytics, most people are coming here for the book writing tips, which is pretty neat since it’s the term I rank best for with this blog. Yet, when they get here, they tend to like reading the more personal stuff, the stuff that has nothing to do with anything except me, or my thoughts on things here and there.

I find that interesting. In a way, it’s what my original purpose was with this blog, so I’ve actually achieved what I initially set out to do. So then what about the affiliate programs on this blog? Who are they actually geared for? It seems that they’re geared towards those new visitors, the ones who come for one thing and then switch to the other things. Those are the folks I’m hoping will find something intriguing in some fashion, and might decide to check it out. Those folks aren’t coming here to purchase hosting packages or domain names or most of the computer stuff I have on this blog. They’re here for personal reasons, and I like that.

Doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to change the ads I have on the sides all that much, if at all. But I may change them up in some fashion. But the things I add at the bottom of these posts,… well, that’s already kind of changed a bit. I’m still going to have affiliate links from time to time, especially since some of the affiliates I promote here don’t have specific products I can list individually. And I’m going to start looking for product links that I can add as text links within my posts here and there, as it seems some of the top internet marketers, such as Lynn Terry (who mentioned it on her live webinar Tuesday) says they seem to work best for her, and we’ll see where that goes. Matter of fact, I just tried it the other day for the first time; takes a little longer to post if I do that too often. But if it has the potential to possibly make sales on the back end,… well, who am I to argue with successful people?

So, there’s the question above; what say you?
 

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Who Is Your Blog For?

This is going to be a two part post, but I’m starting with the big question first, and the next one will be for tomorrow.

In my last post, I talked about the interview I did with Beverly Mahone of BAM Enterprises. At one point she mentioned that she reads this blog, and often I talk about things that are kind of technical and she gets lost with some of my explanations.

She asked me how I saw this blog. I said that I have always tried to not only give my opinion, but when I wrote stuff she considered as technical, I was actually trying to make it easy for everyone who stopped by to read what I had to say.

Then she asked me who I wrote this blog for. I thought quickly, since it was a live interview, and I believe I said something like this blog is for everyone who has questions or wants information on any of the things I write about, which I hope are things that most people do have some questions on. I said that this is considered a MMO (make money online) blog, but in reality it’s just a place I come to and share what I learn as I go along trying things out.

Still, it’s quite the interesting question for everyone else; who exactly is your blog for? Or blogs, as the case may be.

And I’ll throw in a second question that was asked; what is the purpose of your blog? I said that this blog is more for my self expression than anything else. My finance blog is actually my niche blog, whose overall purpose is to make money at some point, but it’s still building an audience at this juncture.

I also said that this really isn’t a MMO blog because it doesn’t make any money, and I really don’t expect it to make much money. You see that every blog post has a different ad at the bottom. You see all the ads along the side. If you visit often, you know I change things up from time to time also. To date, only a couple of what I’ve put up has ever made me anything on this blog, and that’s probably going to continue until this blog gets 25,000 visitors a day; I’ll start the tally in the morning.

Anyway, how would some of you answer these questions about your blog?

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Truth In Marketing?

So our friend Lynn Terry of Clicknewz had a post yesterday titled Doing It The Hard Way. In the post, she’s busting out against folks who create all these things that tell us how easy it is to make money on the internet, charge us an arm and a leg, and yet we continue buying from the next person, then the next person, on and on, and getting deeper and deeper into trouble and confusion, yet still don’t make any money.

A part of me wonders about all of this. I mean, is it a lack of truth in marketing? Is it just that we don’t get it right? Is it that these folks are continually raising the bar and hammering us with the next great thing, and they keep doing it because many of us continue to buy from these people over and over?

If you remember, about two weeks ago I wrote a post asking do we hate marketing, and I was relating how John Chow said he wanted people’s email addresses so he could continue to send them things because he was an internet marketer. I didn’t mention it in that post, but I’m fairly reluctant to capture people’s email addresses unless I’m going to be providing them something of substance on a continual basis, such as what I do with my business newsletters, and the only marketing I do there is to highlight books I think are related to the topic I’m writing about that week. I’d even mentioned it to Lynn in the past that it was something I was reluctant to do.

I’d never really thought about why until yesterday evening, when I was talking to someone I participated in another internet interview with Beverly Mahone on blogging (download by right clicking on “blogging”) afterwards. We got to that point and she asked me why I wouldn’t do it. I thought about it and then I realized it’s because most of these people continually send me products concerning the same exact thing over and over, and frankly, one gets tired of it after awhile. Sometimes it’s twice a day, every day, until you finally unsubscribe to keep your sanity. See, one reason I like someone like Paul Myers and Talk Biz News is that he may market something with each newsletter, but he gives something also, advice, something to think about, etc. And it’s not an every day thing either; maybe once a week, if he’s in the mood.

So, it begs the question again; is it truth in marketing if, each time you hear from some of these guys, they’re either escalating the product, saying in effect “yeah, that last thing was good, but this is even better?” Is it our fault for falling for the same tricks and gimmicks as in the picture each time?

As a sidebar, last week my wife had some people come to the house to price out a rooffor us. I’ve been through this kind of thing before, and knew what was coming, so I didn’t participate, instead staying back in my office and working through the whole thing. This time, two people came, a husband and wife team. They were here 3 hours, talking and showing my wife all kinds of stuff. After they finally left after 9PM (ugh!), I asked her what they said the damage was; $29,000! I said that I was betting they were going to call again in a couple of days to offer a reduced price on it. After all, the same thing happened when we moved into this house, when this guy was here 4 hours (save me), quoted us a price for windows for our house of $36,000, and after I laughed him out the door had his company call twice, first offering to do it for $16,000, then offering one last time to do it for $9.000; weasels.

In this case, I was off one day, but only because my wife hadn’t been home earlier to take their calls, which began the day after they left, and they are offering a major discount. Only they wouldn’t tell her over the phone. Instead, the “owner” is coming over on Thursday to offer her their bottom deal. Please! No, I won’t be home, because I don’t think I could hold myself again.

I want to be an internet marketer; that part is true. But I don’t want to beat people up on buying stuff that keeps on escalating. Show me something different, and don’t hit me over the head with it each and every day, maybe. But over the past year, my reluctance to sign up for almost anything has increased because I know what’s coming. Luckily, I have 11 email addresses, so I pick out the one that I won’t need to check all that often, and when I do, if I see a bunch of junk, I just unsubscribe and move on.

There is another way; I just know there is. And I’m going to keep trying to find it. Heck, maybe one day someone will actually click on, and buy, something from one of these ads like what’s below.