Positive Vibes

Today has been a day of positive vibes. Some friends we went to see this morning were really encouraging about my wife’s latest plans for her art and design business – and even gave us some of their children’s books to borrow for inspiration.

Sue then bumped into someone she hadn’t seen for ages and was able to show them some of her designs on her ipad (talk about a great marketing tool for an artist!). Again this woman was very complimentary and positive about Sue’s plans.

Then, this afternoon, we had a 2 hour Skype chat with two very good friends of ours in Canada, who, as ever, were very enthusiastic about what we were both doing and gave us some helpful things to think about.

Finally we watched a Channel 4 programme I’d recorded called ‘How to be a Billionaire’*, which featured 3 entrepreneurs, all of whom had made their billions from internet based businesses. Talk about an encouragement – my belief in being able to make a ‘mere’ £1m from the internet has suddenly rocketed!

*Catch this programme whilst it’s still available – it’s well worth a watch.

The Best Possible Start

After doing a bit of catching up on Facebook last night,  I came across a video someone had posted of two young boys playing with elastic bands on door handles and having the time of their lives.  The pure simplicity and innocence of it all made it perfect for my new niche website – and so it has become my first ever post on thepositiveclub.com.

There’s no point in me focusing on driving traffic to that site yet, as there’s hardly anything on it; but that first page will remain on my home page for all to see and to introduce what the site is all about.

I’ve also spent a good chunk of today researching the information I’m looking to sell on ebay via CD.  The description pages of my competition are OK, but I reckon I can do better with some better images and killer copy.  As for what I’m offering, I reckon video tutorials in a membership area on my website, plus a YouTube channel of other people’s videos are the way to go.

But I don’t want to wait to get all that together before I start selling – I’d rather get a little bit of money coming in now, then just keep improving my offering to frustrate the competition.

The quicker I get started, the quicker I can get to Powerseller or Top Seller status on ebay; and that will lower my fees and establish my credibility for promoting ‘how to sell on ebay’ products and services.

That’s the theory anyway 😉

New Kid on the Block

Based on my research there appear to be two types of public domain; the public domain where a copyright period has ended for a particular item; and the ‘public domain’ where copyrighted items have been used to produce new items, which have then been made freely available on the internet.

On investigating a number of websites and forums relating to the specific types of information product I’m looking to promote on ebay, it all seemed to be a bit of a grey area, so I decided to contact ebay directly and get their opinion.

After an extensive online chat with one of the representatives at ebay’s Community Watch and after giving them examples of 4 other items, identical to the kind of thing I’m looking to sell, they concluded that everything was above board and I was given the green light.

Ebay sends a copy of chat transcripts to your email; so if I ever get questioned about what I’m selling, I have evidence that ebay said it was OK. In reality, I think it would be ebay if anyone who would be questioned, at which point they would change their policy, pull all related items and that would be the end of it.

The bottom line is that I’m now happy that what I’m doing is above board and I will ride this wave for as long as I can – the result is great news for me and good news for my impending competition; the bad news for them is that there’s about to be a new kid on the block….

Rejected by Amazon Associates

image courtesy of amazopia.com

Thought I’d get ahead of the game so that I could be ready to add affiliate links to any relevant items I might promote on my new niche website, thepositiveclub.com.

After tracking down all the info I needed to sign up, like my bank details in international format (IBAN and SWIFT BIC codes, which were on my bank statements), I completed the online application.

Here is Amazon’s reply:

 

“Hello,

Thank you for contacting the Amazon.co.uk Associates Customers Services team.

I’ve reviewed of your application to become an Amazon Associate, and visited the website where you planned to advertise for Amazon.co.uk.

When selecting Amazon.co.uk Associates Programme participants, we try to determine why a customer would seek out the website in question, review the topic or content of the website, and subsequently follow a link to Amazon.co.uk. The programme isn’t set up to simply advertise Amazon.co.uk and third party links within websites, or make mini Amazon websites.

Since your website doesn’t appear to be finished, we’re unable to view your content in its entirety.

We’ve decided that your site may not present a mutually beneficial business opportunity and because of this, we can’t accept your application at this time. We encourage you to resubmit your application after creating a unique site with original content.

I hope that the information provided helps clarify matters for you in relation to your reports. If you require any additional assistance or information please contact us again:

Thank you for your interest in the Associates Programme.”

 

Note to self – next time, fully establish and populate your website before applying.

The 90 Day Internet Marketing Challenge – Day 1

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got

(Mark Twain)


This internet marketing challenge is just one of several new ideas I am implementing, to shake me out of my old habits and encourage me to take action. Others include:

  • Regularly exposing myself to motivational videos, podcasts, webinars and books (which has given me the motivation and belief to do this 90 day challenge).
  • Getting up as soon as the alarm goes at 6am, regardless of what time I went to bed (which happened to be 12.30am today).
  • Working whilst listening to music to stay more productive (previously I didn’t think I could work to music – it turns out I can.  I just need to tweak it according to the type of task I’m working on).
  • Staying as focussed as I can on building my business between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (being self-employed already, albeit on a pittance of an income, I have no excuse not to work at this and make it the success I know it can be, as quickly as I can).

The Socrates Forum proved useful today, helping me to  install a Sharebar plugin onto this site and tweak it to include a link to Google+ by adding a bit of code.  I then had to fiddle around with some settings, so that the Sharebar would sit in just the right place to the left of my feed.  It doesn’t appear at all on the ‘latest posts’ page, so I wanted to get people to have to click on each blog post to read it in full.  A quick search on Google showed me how I could do this, either by adding some code to each individual post, or by tweaking a bit of code in the index.php file on wordpress (which I eventually found in the editor under the Appearance menu).

I then needed a home page button, so that people could get back to the latest posts page after reading one they’d clicked on.  For that, I had to add a link to my the home page as a menu item (again under the Appearance menu in WordPress).

The rest of the time I’ve spent populating this site with a few more posts.

That’s about as far as I’ve got today, but I’m quite pleased with that really.  It’s surprising how long things can take when you don’t really know what you’re doing; but I have to say I’m loving the journey – I’m learning so much.

Does Christian Teaching Keep People Poor?

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes”

(Morpheus: The Matrix 1999)

More and more I’m understanding and experiencing the link between mindset and the abundance and gratitude that results from it.

Today my mind was ready to consciously question the talk we were given about the dangers of serving other gods, rather than the one true God.  Ironically our preacher opened his talk explaining how maybe people sometimes get their priorities wrong, but by going on to suggest that focussing on making money and setting certain goals were not good things to do, I believe he was supporting the very mindset that keeps many Christians from developing their God given potential and subsequently leaves them lacking financially.  Thank God I took the red pill.

Now I would be the first to agree that if your motivation for doing what you’re doing is purely to ‘make money’, then your priorities are all wrong.  But is  God saying He wants all His followers to be poor?  I don’t think so.

It was pointed out that the first Christians didn’t keep their possessions; they gave them all away and focussed on going out to preach the Gospel.

The preacher went on to talk about how they had seen God provide for them in amazing ways, having been given 3 cars and a deposit for a house in times of great need. That is an amazing testimony, but let’s consider who God would have used to fulfil those great acts of generosity – people with money.

Yes there are people, like our preacher, who are called to be examples of how God can provide for everyone according to their needs; but in order for that to happen, there need to be people who are in a financial position to meet those needs.

I remember going to a talk at Spring Harvest several years ago, when one of the speakers mentioned that he had gone for a meal and got talking with one of the restaurant owners.  The man said “I always know when Spring Harvest is on, because most of the people we get in ask for tap water and don’t leave a tip.”

Is this really the kind of message God wants us to convey to the very people He is asking us to help save?  That Christians generally are poor and / or ungenerous?

God is the supreme creator and and we were made in His image, i.e. we also have the capacity to create things, including wealth.  I believe we are all given gifts we can use to benefit others; and that when we set goals to develop and use those gifts, and we look to God for guidance every step of the way, He will bless our endeavours and the money will automatically follow.  This is not worshipping other gods; it is doing the very thing that Jesus commanded us to do – to multiply our talents and not to bury them.

How can we better serve our community?  By being a church of people who are choosing a life of poverty because we believe the scriptures are telling us that making money and setting goals are a bad thing to do; or by being a church of go-givers*, creating wealth by serving others, then using that wealth to bless those in need?

*The Go Giver is a fantastic (non-biblical) parable which explains how giving is the secret to success.

Thinking like a salesperson

Eric Holmlund, internet marketer, says that in order to become successful online, you need to be able to ‘think like a salesperson’.  He admits that, because he can do this, even if he lost everything tomorrow and had to start again from scratch, he would be making money again the very next day, because when you think like a salesperson, you see opportunities everywhere.

I don’t know what it’s like in other countries, but certainly here in the UK there seems to be a stigma when people think about salespeople.  The old clichés of the slimy car salesperson, double glazing reps, estate agents and media hype about fraudsters and dishonest tactics can still make the average business person think twice about wanting to  be labelled a salesperson.

And yet it’s an essential business tool.  There’s a reason the best salespeople make so much money and are offered flash cars, laptops and bonuses – they’re creating massive profits for the companies they work for.

If you’re struggling with the idea of having to think like a salesperson here are 3 tips:

1) If you’re thinking of going into business for yourself but you’re not prepared to sell, or to learn how to, then hire someone who is, or please go and work for somebody else.  Your chances of success will be virtually zero, because you won’t be proactive enough to see and create income generating opportunities.

2) Don’t label yourself a salesperson; instead, simply accept it as a role you take on, along with many others, in order to help people and grow your business.

3) Remember that selling isn’t a bad or horrible thing.  We all sell every day, whether we realise it or not.  When you tell a friend about a great product you’ve bought, or service someone gave you, you’re selling them.  When you meet someone for the first time and want them to like you, you’re selling yourself.  Zig Ziglar* said that selling is nothing more than the transfer of enthusiasm from one person to another.

Are you enthusiastic about your products or services?

I’m pleased to report that today, having seen a flier in a local pub, I instantly had an idea about how I could take an information product I created over 10 years ago, bring it up to date and sell it online.  Before studying how and what other people in my chosen profession sell, I would never have thought of it.

Some people seem to be born salespeople – if you’re not, don’t despair – you can learn to think like one.

*Zig Ziglar was a legendary salesman, author and motivational speaker, helping millions of people worldwide succeed in business and in life.  His legacy lives on at Ziglar.com

I couldn’t wait!

Today I was so motivated to get started with my internet marketing venture that I decided I couldn’t wait for day 1 of the 90 day challenge to get here on Monday.  I’d already registered the website for The Positive Club a while ago anyway, so I figured that laying a few more foundations today wouldn’t hurt.  So I’ve now loaded the Socrates WordPress theme and added Google Analytics onto all 3 of the websites I’ll be focussing on now for the forseeable future, namely:

Although I’m populating this blog frequently, I see no point in ramping up the social media side of things until there’s enough content on my sites to interest people when they get there.  So that’s what I’ll be working on next 🙂

Finding Kennedy

On the way back to our car in Southampton today we found a grubby pink clutch purse in the layby.  It was packed with receipts and, fortunately, a prescription with a local address on it.  There were no credit cards, but a school pass for a young girl called Kennedy.

We drove to the address and to say it was neglected was an understatement.  The front door looked open, but the young boy who opened the upstairs window to answer our knock explained that it was bolted and that we’d have to push it after he’d unbolted it.

The stench of poverty and neglect filled our nostrils as the door opened and the young boy and his slightly older sister stood there.  We handed over the clutch purse and the girl ran excitedly into another room shouting “Mum, Mum, someone’s found Kennedy’s bag”.  Whilst this was happening, we left.

For the first time in a long time, we both regained a sense of what real poverty was, along with renewed gratitude for what we had.  But more than anything, our hearts went out to those poor children; so polite and trusting and having to live in those conditions.

No one deserves to live like that – and it’s especially hard to see children growing up in those circumstances.  But actually going into that situation today, seeing and smelling the poverty made me realise just how easy it is for us to turn a blind eye, distance ourselves and pretend these things aren’t happening in our ‘civilised’ society.

So Excited

Wow! I’ve just been watching a promotional video and I’m so excited! I’ve felt hope before on the back of purchasing a number of ‘make money online’ products, but have then faced subsequent disappointment as I started working the systems and the reality of the hard work vs tiny revenue kicked in.

But this time it’s different. It’s different because, this time, I haven’t bought a new product. Instead, I’ve settled on a way to use my existing knowledge, and some of the products I’ve already bought, in a niche I love. A way to find, and help, like minded people, with virtually no financial risk, but the potential to provide a very healthy income.

The problem I’ve had with internet marketing in the past is that I’ve been trying to absorb the knowledge without actually applying it anywhere. My new website will be that platform. And all I need to earn from it is £2000. That will be enough for me to invest in a mentorship program, having already created a website and a product that has earned me some money.

With that kind of head start, I absolutely know I will make a return on my investment – and even if I didn’t, I would have earned the money to take that risk in the first place and wouldn’t feel guilty about having spent money I couldn’t afford to lose.