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Taking It To the Next Level

Jennifer Ledbetter

by PotPieGirl on March 14, 2012 · 83 comments

Before I start, I’d like to send out a HUGE “thank you” to everyone that completed my short survey (btw, if you haven’t taken the survey yet, please do. You can find it here). I’ve had a ton of responses so far and it’s all been quite enlightening for me. What I want to talk about today is based off one question I asked of you and what I feel is the best way to take your online earnings to the next level.

When I set up that survey here on my blog, I had a lot of preconceived ideas of what the majority of answers would be. Well, I was wrong about a few of them (hey, I can be wrong now and then, can’t I? lol!)

One question in particular gave me good insight into the WHO I am talking to on this blog. I’ll admit that at times I blog about things I am interested in and just might miss the mark of talking about things that YOU want to know.

The question I am referring to is the very first question of the survey:

What is the MAIN reason why you want to make money online?

Here’s what I thought the majority answer would be – “To bring extra income in“. I really, really, thought my readers were folks looking for additional income.

I actually took that survey myself, but tried to answer from my perspective back when I was a year or so into all this internet marketing stuff.

To bring extra income in” was my answer. That is what I primarily wanted back then.

The concept – heck, the possibility of this being more than “extra income” had not even entered my mind. Yes, I thought it was totally possible that I could make enough money online to help our household as an additional income stream so I wouldn’t have to work outside the home – but the thought that my earnings from internet marketing could become the primary household income and totally change our financial life and life style…. yeah, well that wasn’t even imaginable at that point. Not by a long shot.

In the survey, “my” answer was actually the 2nd most popular answer. The most popular answer was – “To hopefully replace current income/work for myself some day“.

Ladies and gentlemen, that makes my heart sing!

Yep, I know, that sounds corny, but it’s true. It makes me SO excited to know that I am talking to a lot of people who really want to DO this…and take it all the way.

Why This Matters To Me

Please keep in mind that there is no “right” or “wrong” answer to any of the questions on the survey, ok? What I wanted was to know more about YOU. I can help more if I know what your goals are and what your hold-backs are.

The only way to know is to ask – and then listen.

So that’s what I decided to do and now I know that I have a large amount of folks that really want to take all this to the next level. That’s fun and exciting for me =)

Here is a chart that shows how all the answers to that question broke down in case you’re interested in how your answer fit in with the other answers.


See that aqua-blue area? That’s those that answered “to hopefully replace current income/work for myself someday“. Interesting to note, the red area represents those that wrote in their own “other” answer to this question. As I read through the “others” I see that many had the same concept of replace income/work for myself – just worded differently.

So, based on that, I’d like to talk about taking it all to the next level.

What is that something that helps you take earning some money online to the next level of really doing it in a big way?

Taking It To The Next Level

There’s a term out in the corporate world called “T-Shaped”. Companies are looking to hire ‘T-Shaped’ employees.

Here is a really good definition of “T-Shaped” as it applies in the corporate world.

What’s a T-shaped person?

T-shaped people have two kinds of characteristics, hence the use of the letter “T” to describe them. The vertical stroke of the “T” is a depth of skill that allows them to contribute to the creative process. That can be from any number of different fields: an industrial designer, an architect, a social scientist, a business specialist or a mechanical engineer. The horizontal stroke of the “T” is the disposition for collaboration across disciplines. It is composed of two things. First, empathy. It’s important because it allows people to imagine the problem from another perspective- to stand in somebody else’s shoes. Second, they tend to get very enthusiastic about other people’s disciplines, to the point that they may actually start to practice them. Tshaped people have both depth and breadth in their skills.

This concept of being “T-Shaped” is a really big something when it comes to taking your online earnings to the next level.

I am guilty of spending too much time on expanding the vertical part of your “T” – and not nearly enough time of enhancing the horizontal line that makes you a “T”. I’d like to help make YOU T-Shaped =)

That vertical “I” line is your skills. The things you need to learn how to DO in order to make money online. The reality is, it’s takes us all a good bit of time to hone our skills – or to even get them to “good enough” – but that top “T” line is what it’s all about when you want to amp things up.



  • Many will spend years and years in the vertical “I” area….and get “stuck” learning all kinds of stuff, but never getting to the “T”.

  • Many will spend years and years in the vertical “I” area in attempt to avoid becoming a “T”. These are the ones that buy training product after training product in hopes of finding ONE that does NOT require being “T-Shaped”.

  • And then there’s a rare breed that come in, spend some time getting some skills and then go right to the horizontal “T” area – and they seem to get to making good money online much quicker.

  • What’s difficult is convincing people to stop spinning their wheels on the vertical “I” stuff. I’d bet the majority reading this have enough skills right now to get to working on their horizontal line. Hey, you can outsource skills…but you can’t outsource the horizontal stuff.

    The horizontal “T” area is most important, and that’s where I spend the majority of my time. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m always learning and working on my skills… I love to learn and improve.

    Anyway, let me see if I can give you a visual of what I’m talking about.

    Here is my version of the T-Shaped concept, but for those of us trying to make money online -



    We talk about keyword research, article marketing, WordPress stuff, different tools and tactics and strategy – but all those things can a) lead us to being “Stuck” in learning mode looking for the one magical thing we can do – and b) make us an I-Shaped marketer.

    To take it to the next level you not only have to learn certain skills and learn how to get your message findable – but you need to work on your message.

    Not just the “what” of your message, but the how it is presented.

    Your ‘message’ can be anything from an affiliate review site to your own product or service – that part doesn’t matter.

    What DOES matter is something I’m sure you’ve heard before:

    “Find what people want and give it to them”

    When we first read a statement like that, it feels as if it’s all so simply easy – but when you try to apply it, things get hairy.

    Here’s an example:

    Ok, I see from my keyword research (a skill) that people want a new vacuum cleaner. Easy enough! I’ll just go make a little WordPress affiliate site (a skill) and put some content on it (a skill), build some links to it (a skill) – maybe do some social bookmarking (a skill) and some article marketing (yet another skill). Then, traffic will come in and I’ll magically make sales.

    Easy-peasy, right?

    Then it happens – you do all that. You put all those skills in action and you actually DO get ranked and DO get traffic…but ya ain’t getting the sales you thought you would.

    What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks happened?

    Here’s what happened… you were an I-Shaped Marketer.

    Your forgot about the most important thing – your message.

    Just slapping some content on a site and doing things to get found in hopes that people will trip by and click your affiliate link is not enough. It sounds good in theory, but it doesn’t cut it.

    What about your message?

    What do people find when they actually DO come to your site?

    You decided to go ahead and give people what they want – your affiliate link to the product, right?

    Wrong.

    They (ie, people) are looking for something…and it’s not an affiliate link.

    This is where something really important about the definition of a T-Shaped person comes into play…

    …First, empathy. It’s important because it allows people to imagine the problem from another perspective- to stand in somebody else’s shoes.

    When people come to your site or your review page…are they finding content that speaks to them? Are you really taking the time to figure out WHAT people want and want to know?

    This is why the reviews on Amazon.com are so doggone profitable and popular. It’s real people talking about that product. They give real life answers to real life questions regarding that product.

    Many consumers love those reviews because that content is continuing a conversation that is already going on in the consumers head. Odds are good that someone in those reviews is going to answer questions I have…and probably tell me things I hadn’t thought about.

    I know that happens for me.

    Not too long ago, I wanted a steam mop. I thought I knew what I wanted – that is, until I started reading the reviews on Amazon. Turns out that the mop I thought I wanted is not actually what I needed – it wasn’t right for me so I ended up getting a different steam mop and I’m quite happy with it.

    Those reviews helped me. They got into my head and shared things that I wanted to know, and NEEDED to know, in order to make a good, informed purchase that I felt good about.

    Does your affiliate site do that?

    Please, PLEASE don’t say, “But I have unique content on my site!”

    That is NOT what I’m talking about.

    Let’s face it, what is “unique” to a computer algorithm is NOT what is considered unique or helpful to PEOPLE.

    Many people take the “easy way” out of writing truly unique content for their site. They spin, they rewrite, they copy/paste info and reviews from Amazon or whatever the merchant site is – or they just start writing hoping to get their keywords in there somewhere.

    And it’s so backwards. The MESSAGE on your site should be the MOST important piece of the process. When your message is good and helpful and unique, then you’ll find you don’t have to work your skills so hard – real live OTHER people will do it for you.

    They will love sharing your site on FaceBook or Twitter…linking to it from their site or via an email to a friend. You use enough of your skills to get your message found, and then things start happening without any effort on your part.

    Unique Content is NOT Enough

    Just because your site content is unique enough so that Google deems it “different” from other pages in their index doesn’t really mean much at all.

    And I think that we all know that. We fight it though…we want the easy way to get ranked, get traffic, and make sales.

    We fuss and moan that Google “hates affiliate sites” – when we do understand that they don’t hate ALL affiliate sites…and we do know how to be the sites Google does like.

    Google likes what PEOPLE like.

    By being helpful… by giving people what they want. People don’t want a 500-word article on why they need a vacuum that we cranked out in 5 minutes or less – and neither does Google.

    Both Google AND people want your VOICE…and they want to come across a message that actually tells them things they want and need to know.

    If you’re going to take it to the next level, you’ll need to let go of the “unique to Google” concept and start really writing with people in mind.

    Bottom line – if you’re wanting people to take an action on your web page (ie, click something, opt in, buy something, Tweet or Like you, etc), then please PLEASE…. WRITE FOR PEOPLE.

    You can use all the “I” marketing skill things to write stuff to get found…but the page you’re ultimately trying to get found needs to have PEOPLE as the main focus.

    How Do I KNOW What People Want?

    One really good way to KNOW what people want is to simply ASK and then listen. However, with a new site with no traffic, who ya gonna ask, right?

    Instead, go to Google and listen. Get in there and find conversations real people are having about your type of product or service. You can spend 30 minutes doing what I outline in The Mind Eraser Method (free when you get my on email list here at PotPieGirl.com – see the top of the page) – and in those 30 minutes you could know a boatload of what PEOPLE want and need from your message.

    Above all, stop selling – and start putting yourself in the consumers shoes and start helping them. Be creative with it and offer something that they’re NOT seeing on every other affiliate site in your query space.

    Is it “easy”? Well, yes in a way it is…but many will read this and think, “Man, that is too much WORK!” and off they’ll go looking (again) for the magic “easy button”.

    But for those that DO decide to put a little bit of extra effort in, well, they’ll have the upper hand and a faster route to the “next level” because they are willing to do what others WON’T do.

    Start with your message – THEN use your skills.

    Don’t get hung up trying to perfect your skills… work on perfecting your message.

    Thanks again to all who took the survey! If you haven’t taken it yet, please complete my survey here.

    You can get a free copy of The Mind Eraser Method via the email signup box at the top of each page here at PotPieGirl.com

    Questions? Comments? Fire away in the comments area.



    { 82 comments }

    Ted March 14, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Wow, great post! You really made me open my eyes. I’m embarrassed to admin it, but I think I’m an “I” marketer. And I love the way you say unique content is not enough. This is an excellent point. Too many times I think we try to write what Google will like as opposed to what might be of interest or assistance to our readers.
    Well said, Jennifer!! Thanks!!
    Ted

    PotPieGirl March 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Thanks, Ted! Glad it helped =)

    Cesar P. DeGracia March 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I am interested in making money in the internet, but I have not come across a straightforward method of doing it. The suggestions are either too technical or too wordy the essence of the method gets lost in the verbiage. Furthermore, the methods that have been suggested are suspect. What I mean is that I can no longer identify whether the person who is giving the suggestion is indeed interested in helping someone to succeed or just interested on the fee he/she charges for his expertise. While it is true that there isn’t any free lunch anymore nowadays, it is also true that one should not trust everyone anymore especially when it comes to money. I have become a victim of too many scams that I have become a cynic when it comes to making making in the internet. Until such time as I can come across someone who is honest enoguh to help me, I

    Mike March 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Yep, I’m an “I” marketer too although I have been trying to focus more on the message lately. Empathy is important and if your sites seem more personable conversions will be better.

    However, you can’t have the “T” without the “I” unfortunately. You can have a great message that converts really well. But if you don’t have the skills to get traffic, then your message doesn’t matter at all. I like writing personal reviews and trying to help people. But I am not very good with the skills part and even with article marketing and backlinking my websites still don’t seem to rank well and get traffic.

    PotPieGirl March 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Hiya Mike =)

    Glad to hear you’re focusing more on the message these days. Getting both your “T” and your “I” inline is a process, but at least you know that the better at the skills part you get, the better your message will do for you since your message is good.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Cesar P. DeGracia March 14, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    will refrain from believing any expert who attempts to lure me of making money in the internet. Believe me I was scammed more money than you can imagine when I first started trying to build a website in the internet. Now that I have a website, I have to make sure I get the right expert to show me how to monetize it before I would agree on paying him/her. What I am looking for is an expert with a sense of integrity, not a scammer.

    PotPieGirl March 14, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Hiya Cesar =)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I can totally understand the “got scammed” part – it can be a jungle out there, that’s for sure.

    However, I hope you’ll consider not waiting for the “right” person to pay. There is a LOT of free info out there to help you learn how to monetize your site.

    Scott Worthington March 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Wow. Thanks Jennifer. Great post. You obviously write for PEOPLE. Very thought provoking and very appreciated.

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Thanks, Scott!

    Pawlina March 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I really like your common-sense, down-to-earth, practical approach to online business, and I’m looking forward to finally getting the answers I need to move forward.

    I’ve had a website since 1999 and a podcast (for a local weekly radio show) since 2002 … before the word podcasting was invented and major media outlets gave the internet a second thought. Prior to 2000 I had done the show from 1990-96, so by the time I took it online I already had a built-in following. I just wanted to see if I could expand it the audience.

    Then as the internet caught on, I saw that I could, technically, turn my hobby into an online business. Unfortunately, none of the internet gurus I encountered have been able to provide the basic, practical skills I needed to monetize the traffic/following I already have, as opposed to creating a new online persona and following from scratch.

    OTOH, maybe I just can’t see the forest for the trees and the answer is right under my nose… as your post suggests may be the case for many struggling with an online business.

    I’m looking forward to finding out!

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Wow, Pawlina – you’ve been doing this internet thing for a long time, haven’t you?

    As for monetizing your site, I think I would test a bunch of things to see if anything “took”. Also, since you have such a specific crowd, I would think that accepting advertising on your site could be a good option as well.

    As with all else, test and see =)

    Mary Elliot March 14, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Great food for thought Jennifer – I hadn’t thought of that aspect of writing for the person rather than writng just unique content for the search engines.It’s a very valid point and I can see I’m going to have to change my thinking on what it good content!

    Thanks for this post,

    Mary :)

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Thanks, Mary!

    Nicholas Snapir March 14, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    I am just exploring Internet Marketing. But I must say Jennifer’s articles are among the best. They are clear and really say something specific. Also, she’s not trying to oversell you.

    The only things that bother me a little are her “lols,” as if we wouldn’t get her sense of humor. Also, her picture is too pretty and distracting.

    After you read and view a lot of Internet Marketing promotion, it seems the purveyors would say anything that would make a sale, or continuing sales, especially if it was market tested.

    Everyone has a good friend and time is evaporating fast and this person and that have made fortunes using their system and they are human and care about people.

    But it seems like, if they could make money saying what a terrible person they are, they would do it.

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Hiya Nicholas =)

    Sorry ’bout the “lols” – just me being my weird little self. As for the picture, I have plenty of not-at-all-flattering pictures around here I could use, but I really don’t want to send people running for the hills (please note: I resisted the urge to ‘lol’ at myself)

    Chad March 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    lol

    John March 14, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Terrific post! Thank you; I’m bookmarking this one for future readings. You’ve given me a lot to think about.
    John

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Thanks, John!

    Amy March 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Jennifer, you are teaching me to be more confident in myself. I posed a video on Facebook the other day just to get an idea of what people wanted, as you say to do, and the response was amazing. I had many people like it and comment that they wanted more. Some even told me what they wanted, it was awesome.
    I’ve been online for a while but I want to get my husband out of the rat race. He sees what I do at home and is busting to be home with me doing it too!
    Thank you for giving me hope, confidence and a belief in myself.

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 12:59 am

    I WANT you to have confidence in yourself, Amy! You are doing things that other people simply won’t do – you have a bright future (and your hubby too).

    Amy March 15, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks Jen, you’re a sweetie. xx

    Darryl March 14, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I think I’m more of a dot. Like an old television: when you turned it off the horizontal and vertical parts of the image both collapsed into a glowing dot before going dark. I need to work on both axes, obviously, but hey, at least now I know to pay attention to the horizontal!

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Ah, you made me giggle with your dot statement….cute way to put it.

    We ALL start out as a dot – the goal is to grow in both directions.

    Nadra March 15, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Now it make sense why forums’ discussion thread rank high in search engines…thanks for this insight…will try to implement it tho it’s easier to say that than doing the actual thing.

    Jeff March 15, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Makes sense – a lot of sense.
    I like your analogy with the T.
    If I may add – T can also be head and heart.
    Head for the skills and expertise
    Heart for the ability to care for the customers or readers.

    Afterall, in leadership there is a quote and it sums it all,
    People don’t care about what you know, until they know that you care. =)

    Nice article. Jen.
    You rock!

    Jill March 15, 2012 at 2:28 am

    I’m with Darryl…the dot. No matter how much I think I have learned suddenly there is a whole new vista of stuff that bends my brain. Awesome article. Thank you for investigating our needs and then addressing them.
    ~Jill

    JJ March 15, 2012 at 3:07 am

    I completely agree with this, when I first began I would just order some articles and throw them up and then scatter some affiliate links and hope for the best, honestly I wouldn’t even read the articles that I had purchased for the site.

    I focused so much on just getting it done I forgot “REAL” people were reading and looking to those websites for help.

    Start helping people and the money will follow

    JJ

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Well said, JJ =)

    kevin March 15, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Hi Jennifer.

    It took me a bit to get what you’re trying to say. I’m still presuming I understand.
    But I think it would help if you gave an example website :), preferably one about vacuums since you used that example.
    But I think you are saying to really spend some time writing pages that answer peoples questions – (as if you had a real blog called vacuum-momma.com and that was all you did) and then sprinkle in your money /affil parts followed by your traffic marketing.

    This is obviously contrary to general thinking on niche sites – buying keyword domains, buying/spinning articles and building/buying a social blitzkrieg of spam links. You make it sound like work. Who wants to do that ? :) Who has the time?
    So non-glamorous (LOL)

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 4:25 am

    “…this is obviously contrary to general thinking on niche sites…”

    EXACTLY!

    Amanda March 15, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Well said. Great post. Thanks!

    Linda March 15, 2012 at 5:16 am

    The T vs. I marketer comparison makes so much sense. Just as some of the others commenting here, I have too often been and “I” marketer, though at times I stumbled into being a “T”. Now it is time to take the step to embracing the “T” completely and doing an overhaul on my marketing methods. Thank you for the clarification!

    Mike Haydon March 15, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Thanks Jennifer. This was exactly what I needed to hear right now. I’ve been so wrapped up in building my skills I forgot about the message. Then wondering why I wasn’t getting as much traction as I’d like. Off to work on the message!

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    It’s amazing what a difference the message can make. Pick any keyword and type it into Google..then pop in and scroll thru the top 10 or so. The redundancy – especially in affiliate query spaces – it’s deafening and boring. Many pages are an echo.

    If you can find something different that they’re not doing – or present it differently – you’re good to go.

    Juan Rademacher March 15, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Awesome post! I love the T theory and analogy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that I should find out about my audience and their wants and needs. Yet when I go write something, I’m always thinking about how to please the Google god and not the people who hopefully will read my stuff.

    Your post is one of the best lessons I have come across.

    Thanks Jennifer

    Juan

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks, Juan!

    It’s SO easy to fall into the trap of “please Google” – but oddly, when we stop worrying so much about pleasing them (aside from good basic SEO), things turn out much better.

    it'sme March 15, 2012 at 8:38 am

    That’s is the most simplistic and straight forward to the point way, of getting through to just about everybody like me….us….all.

    Great message Jennifer. Thanks.

    Back to the writing board for me

    Lloyd Hester March 15, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I really like your approach and down to earth advice

    You are spot on with your opinions.

    You are one of the few blogs I read from IM experts. Always an interesting read and topic.

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks, Lloyd!

    I am far from an expert tho – just love it and love learning more about it.

    Heather Bradford March 15, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Hi Jennifer, I have loved squidoo and became addicted to building lenses until the feeling of there being something more and that it wasn’t my sole path to the income I want. I started the 30 day WA challenge and got bogged down. I have hated building my website technical wise and information wise it was just hard work. Then I started the 30 day SA challenge and I’m on day 23 and flying! Of course I have no where to link my articles BUT it has consolidated what I LIKE writing about and what I would LIKE to have as my website. I thought I would be writing about patchwork and kids but I find the articles pouring forth are on the power of the unconscious mind and the response from my followers is humbling. Today I received feedback I should write an ebook and I wouldn’t even know where to start. I think after this week it will be back to WA to start from day 1 again. I don’t aspire to 10 websites, just one that makes my heart sing, helps people and earns me money consistently (even though I have no clue how all of this will work). What a journey. Your article was fantastic for consolidating that it’s OK to be where I’m at. I’ve found my T…. its’ just more like a stumpy t at the moment. I’m rambling on now… and sometimes it’s good to get thoughts out there. Thanks for listening and your validation.

    Pawlina March 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I know this is Jennifer’s blog, but I just had to reply to your comment, Heather. (It’s on topic so I don’t think she’ll mind. LOL) You have so told my story! And also made me realize that I need to read and re-read read Jennifer post(s) many more times. Thanks!

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Pawlina, it may be my blog, but it’s our conversation! Of course I don’t mind!

    Heather, sounds like you found your ‘sweet spot’ and are well on your way! The rest will follow as you follow it =)

    Heather Bradford March 16, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Thank you for taking the time to respond Pawlina. It really does help to know I’m not alone! And Jennifer, keep up the good work. It is so reassuring to have a ‘real’ person offering knowledge and encouragement. I really do hope I’m on my way. Time will tell…

    Roger Shann March 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Great stuff as usual Jennifer. Food for thought. I have a site that is getting reasonable traffic but no sales of any sort. Time to revamp I think.

    Need to think more about what the people are coming to the site for.

    Roger

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Thanks, Roger!

    Just get out there and listen in on some conversations – you’ll learn a ton about what they want.

    rick March 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I agree with this post entirely. I write like I talk. I do my keyword research still but I only use it if it comes out naturally in my writing. If not then oh well. It seems to really work well for me. I am an affiliate marketer with a few niche sites. I promote mainly amazon products right now but my conversion rate is currently 17.8% with amazon. I believe this is all due to the way I write my words. No sales pitch, instead I just try to help others find what they are looking for. A simple straight forward answer. Thanks a bunch.

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Hi Rick =)

    That’s a pretty nifty conversion rate – good for you!

    I write like I talk to. While it doesn’t appeal to everyone, that’s fine with me because it’s genuine. Sounds like you are doing quite well – good for you!

    rick March 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I would not say very well. I am still learning. I have been trying out your One Week Marketing with no luck yet. I have three campaigns setup so far. Maybe you can take a look at them and see why I am not making any money with them yet.

    Robert March 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I’ve been doing IM for about 4 years. I have about 20 websites in various niche’s. I have spent a ton of money and received very little in return.

    Last year, I thought that I was beginning to see some results as some of my sites were ranking high and getting traffic. Then one day they were nowhere to be found. Why? Google changed their algorithm and decided that my sites were not worthy of any position under 100.

    That’s when it dawned on me that it doesn’t make much sense (or cents) to have a business model that is dependent on Google’s whims. Instead of spending time on making our websites better, we are spending a lot of time doing things we think Google will approve. And what Google approves today may not be true tomorrow.

    Jennifer I know you and others have been successful and I am happy for you. The points you made in this post would seem to lead to successful websites. If you can get a following because you are supplying information that others want then Google shouldn’t matter.

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Oh Robert, it is SO frustrating when Google falls out of love with your site(s), isn’t it? But you’re right, it’s best to keep the mindset and focus on NOT needing ONLY Google. They change their mind more than this woman does (don’t tell my hubby I admitted that! haha!)

    Hang in there!

    jnewlon March 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Great stuff! I fall into the red area. I want options in life. I want to live where I want to live and work where I want to work. Enough income gives you those options. I dont want to be moved around like a pawn because I have limited options. We live in a society where people are treated like a number and they dont like it and dont want it. I believe that it is crucial that we take the time to slow down and really listen to people. If we do that they will tell you what they think and what they want. People really do need people to hear them. I get hung up on the keyword research because there are different results using Wa tool, google tool, Market Samuria, etc. I dont know which one to trust. My fear is spending time launching a campaign that doesnt have correct keyword research results. Recently I have decided to launch using Google keyword tool and see what happens so that I can avoid learning all the skills but never putting anything into action.

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Hiya JNewlon =)

    Many people answered “in the red” similar to what you said here in your comment. I think we all know that money doesn’t buy happiness, but it sure opens up options, doesn’t it?

    As far as keywords, use tools to get your baseline words and then run with it – then, trust your results. Your stats will show you the phrases they are really using, then you can grow on them.

    Sprichie March 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Hi Jennifer. Something great people can take from you is how you craft your titles. I find myself clicking around the site, simply based on your titles, without the need of topic specific categories like most sites, kudos for that. With that aside, I was actually reading your article “Are you an echo”, but the comments were closed, so I read yet another one of your articles, this one.

    Tying everything together, I’ve gone through your Squidoo training program sometime ago, and it didn’t work for me. This is no knock on you at all, “It’s me, Not you”, ha. As you said, sometimes you do everything right, add the content, get the keywords, traffic, but yet no sales. This is what happened for me, but in all fairness I did get 2 sales.

    The problem I had, and what many probably have, is finding that voice and staying interested enough in the topic. Once I loose interest I’m already on to the next thing, and I’m sure many others bounce all over the place looking for that home run, when they should stick with something. After many failed attempts at just about every internet marketing program available, I finally decided to abandon the technical side of internet marketing, to stop focusing on “Making Money”, and just start writing about what interests me, “Finally truly using my voice”. It doesn’t matter if it’s news, sports, parenting, etc, there is always something to keep my mind going.

    The result has far surpassed anything I’ve done before. Since starting Jan 1st, 2012 my traffic has increased. Jan – 800 unique visitors, Feb – 2,600, Mar – projected 4,500. No selling, affiliates, or advertising of any kind. That will come down the road. I actually had a company recently contact me wanting to advertise on the site for 1 year, but that doesn’t work for me right now.

    I say all this to help people get out of their own heads, like I had to get out of mine. It’s very important to learn about SEO, keyword research, social media, writing content and everything else involved with IM, but don’t let it get in the way. Even if a program doesn’t work for you, it’s not a loss, you’ve educated yourself just that much more on IM.

    I always like to reference what they said in the movie “The Social Network”, “Make it cool first”, then you can worry about the making money part after. The difference is having an opinion or voice as you would say. If I reference a popular news article, I’ll give my commentary on it, refer to other related sources and add a helpful or informative video. I engage people on Twitter and Facebook and get involved in the conversation.

    The point is, we are all different and what works for one may not work for another, but we have to keep pushing through. Since the first time I found you, your motto has stuck with me “If you’re willing to do for one year what others won’t, you can spend a lifetime doing what others can’t.” It’s been longer than a year for me, but it finally clicked, and I just hope others can feel inspired to do the same, by all your great works, as well as other true pros that care as much as you.

    Thanks Again.

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    This was an amazing comment, Sprichie! Thank you for adding your thoughts!

    Love the reference to ‘The Social Network’! I read the book and saw the movie (book was better in my opinion)… but yes – Make it cool first!

    Lisa March 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Jennifer,

    I am really surprised and disappointed that you are promoting a product like lump sum profits. The sales page screams of a scam like so many other make money online products. I can’t find any decent reviews about that product. The only thing I saw on Warrior Forum about it said that the person’s walk through of the product did not show that it does what the product creator promises.

    I have been following you for a long time because I thought you were one of the good marketers. I get the feeling you are selling out a bit with the email you sent claiming so many people were upset by yesterday’s post and then littering the whole email with links to this seemingly crappy product.

    Really disappointed Jennifer. If you can point me to LEGITIMATE, AUTHENTIC results people have had from that product, I would love to see them.

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Oh Lisa, I’m so sorry you feel this way!

    I know both the creator, Ryan, and the training well – and those results of mine he shows in the info video ARE legitimate and authentic. It’s not a crappy product.

    Is it right for everyone? Of course not, but as with all things, you need to make your own informed decision. Hopefully I’ll have something more appealing to you next time – I try!

    PotPieGirl March 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Lisa – Just as a follow up…

    I posted a video I made showing my own results here.

    Charlie Brandon March 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Excellent post. Sometimes I find myself getting so caught up in pleasing Google that I forget the people that I’m trying to serve. I’ve always viewed myself as creating unique, useful content for my website, but a lot of my focus is still trained on the “Big G,” keyword optimization, etc. People first, Google second –you’ve really inspired me to “cross my T’s.” Thank you!

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    It’s easy to get wrapped up in “getting found” and pleasing Google. In the mix of people AND Google there is a healthy balance in there. The “Secret” is finding that balance for YOU.

    steve March 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Great post and great insight. It really comes down to what Google has been saying all along – write for people not search engines. It can be a hard habit to break. But if we provide value to our users we will make money in the process. If we don’t, users are smart enough to know we just want their money, don’t care about them or their problems and will be hitting the back button.

    PotPieGirl March 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Oh yeah, that back button speaks volumes! Not only for our bottom line, but to Google.

    John Reed March 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    (Hi Dotty Darryl – I remember the dreaded dot, in our case it usually followed a screenful of “snow” that descended on our TV around midnight (of course it was all in black and white anyway!).

    Thanks for the down to earth approach Jennifer.
    I’ve been on your list and popping in and out for three years now and reading all of this has given me a bat round the ears (cricket, table tennis or baseball style) because most of what you tell us is so obvious and yet it usually gets swallowed up in the Hype that a lot of Marketers use to wrap their products in like glossy gift paper.

    I just stand and wonder why I haven’t stopped listening to it all – and I conclude that I must actually enjoy the razza-matazz of the Marketing – I’m just no good at doing that sort of thing myself!

    The Vacuum Cleaner site analogy is a great one – surely we’ve all used one (even if Darryl only had a birch broom in his day). It should be no problem to talk about them being top heavy, or slow to convert to a corner cleaner etc – so just the odd personal comment from past experience makes all the difference!

    Don’t do what I tried and leave it to an Auto Tool – over two months my keyword Dirt-Devil filled several pages with videos of mini tornadoes – haha – not quite the right effect!!

    So, I’m off to FOCUS again now – but I’ll remember the T Marketer and try to add a bit to both sides of my T-op Hat whilst working on my mix of Reviews for Amazon Products.

    Thank you Jennifer – can I have one of those Mind Eraser Books too, or are they just for new members? John

    PotPieGirl March 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks, John!

    Check your email – I sent a copy over to ya =)

    Neil March 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    It has always been this way, to write what people are searching for and that is answers to their queries, nothing has changed no matter what it’s called.
    Titles play the most important part because if it isn’t being searched for then you won’t get any visitors.
    With a good title and good content which answers the visitors questions then you will undoubtedly make sales.
    Just don’t think that this is going to happen overnight, it takes time.
    I understand fully what you mean Jennifer, excellent post.

    PotPieGirl March 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks, Neil – and great to see you!

    And no, no matter how fast life on the ‘net is – nothing rarely happens overnight =)

    Delray Sun March 15, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I see said the blind man! Thanks for a different perspective. I get caught up on what the latest trend is or what I should be doing for Google and forget to focus on the people and what they’re looking for.

    Yahia March 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I am an “I” marketer 90% of the time. And I have a good reason for that.

    When I have to do the horizontal part of the T I buy the product, use it, then most of the time I return it because it’s didn’t live up to the claims on the sales page. I am talking about info product in particular. It happens a lot that I direct-link to a product to test it, and when it makes sales I start building a site. Only then I buy it to see what am I selling just to discover that if I were in the shoes of those who bought it I’d shoot me for marketing it to them. The funny part is that I don’t see any refunds!!!!

    Because of that I turned off a considerable number of profitable campaigns. So I decided not to interfere in the process any more and will only direct link. So my job is not an affiliate, rather a traffic broker. I have my way to keep direct linking without being penalised in the QS area. My only quality control is the refund rate.

    That’s why I am in the “I” zone for most of what I do. I only go full “T” when the person behind the product is either you Jennifer or someone as good.

    PotPieGirl March 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Hiya Yahia =)

    Sounds to me like you have found a T-Shape that works well for you. That’s what it’s all about!

    Rio@best PS Vita games March 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Hi Jennifer,
    I’ve been getting your newsletter for sometime now. You alwasy offer something fresh. Thank you. My problem, I now realise, has been that I’m a vertical T. Up and up and up, never horizontal. I even read your “One Week Marketing” but didn’t put it to practice. (Not sure how much of it works now, so many changes in how to rank.) I’m so stoked to read this article because it has made me understand that I need to make some changes. Not upset by this, very grateful. Thanks a bunch :)

    Chef Keem March 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Brilliant post, Jennifer! Spot on! :)

    I’d like to add a word on “authenticity of the message”.

    Sometimes, over at wizzley.com, we see authors who try to get that ‘message thing’ across – but do it all wrong.

    If I write something like, “Trust me – I’ve tested all vacuum cleaners on the market…that Goober XL500 is an absolute no-brainer must-have!”, PLUS I don’t even show a profile pic with a few words of information on myself, my visitors will click away, quickly.

    ALL vacuum cleaners? Really? Are you trying to make me look dumb me with your “no-brainer”? And, who ARE you, anyway?

    Sounds and looks so spammy and dishonest, doesn’t it?

    I know that’s what you mean when you talk about focussing on the message. I just wanted to point it out one more time: people are smarter than we think – they recognize a fake review within seconds.

    Yes, they may click through to the product page anyway, but they won’t ever open another page of ours. That robs us of our chance for authority status and repeat customers.

    It’s important to be honest, real, and authentic. If I write about something that I don’t own or use myself, there’s nothing wrong with admitting it. I still can provide valuable info to my readers, which may help them with their buying decision. That is far better than some forced, fake, ‘personal’ sales talk.

    After all these years, I still read every word you write, Jennifer. You’re a treasure – LOL and all.

    Love,
    Chef Keem

    PotPieGirl March 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Well hello my favorite Chef! Wonderful to see you here!

    I agree with all you wrote above. As you said, it’s ok to admit not owning something or to at least not pretend that you own it. To me, that’s the difference between recommending a product and referring a product.

    Or, as with a T-Shaper Marketer… the difference between recommending a solution and referring them to a solution.

    Above all, if you insult people’s intelligence, you’ve lost ‘em.

    Thanks for sharing!!

    Craig March 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Interesting survey results. I selected “To bring extra income in“ also, and expected this to be #1. I’m surprised that so many expect to replace their current incomes – although it is a close second for me… Thanks for publishing the results.

    Cindy March 16, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Hi Jennifer,

    You know what your post did for me? It made me realize that I’m NEVER going to get anywhere with my sites if I keep on outsourcing all of my writing… why do I say that? I’ll tell ya… if I’m outsourcing all of my writing to different writers, how in the heck is anyone ever gonna be able to hear MY voice? It would be different if I had one steady writer, but since I don’t, I have a hodgepodge of different voices! Thus, in order to rectify this, I’m just gonna have to bite the bullet and get over my fear of writing!! It can’t be that hard/scary/terrifying, can it? :D

    PotPieGirl March 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    No, Cindy, it’s not that hard. Yes, it’s scary at first…lots of fear involved as you step out of your comfort zone. It’s worth it tho!

    However, this doesn’t mean you can’t leverage your time with outsourced content AND have your own voice. Take the content they send and put your voice into it. Basically, let them do the research and then you add your voice with some edits/additions.

    Joseph March 16, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Great Post, this post is really different from the regular do keyword research and build backlinks that is all over the internet.
    I always learn something new whenever I visit your site, keep it Up.

    PotPieGirl March 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Thanks, Joseph!

    There is much more to this than the skills =)

    shez March 16, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Dear Jennifer,
    I am such a newbie that i dont even have website yet,i am reading all you write and love the humaness you put in your newsletters.In this electronic world its lovley to see a mother concept being used and care for the needs of people who are searching for something that they really need.
    When i get my website up and running at the end of this month i want to follow your idea of writing and giving some uniqueness on my website to parents who are training their semi adult children to drive a car.Thank you Jen,
    Sheryl from Australia.xx

    Terry March 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Hello, This is some very good advice. I am just starting out as a affiliate marketer and have been reading alot about everything that is involved in building a website. what you say about getting your message out there makes alot of sense, but on the other side from what I have been reading is that you have to be careful not to be a salesman. You do not want to sell the product, because your main page on your website should not be the sales page. When they click on your link that is when they will go to the sales page. So I guess my big problem is “how to get your message across without sounding like a salesman”.. Thanks for all free info.

    PotPieGirl March 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Terry =)

    The best sales people in the world do not blatantly SELL. It didn’t take me too long to realize that ME trying to blatantly sell on a web page a) didn’t work for me and b) made me feel like a fake num-nut. I then decided to add my voice and then let the sales page do the selling.

    Seth March 19, 2012 at 1:55 am

    I stumbled across this site by mistake, but I’m glad I did. I read the “about me” section, and it sounds similar to my life. I’ve been in the “industry” for only a few short months, and am experiencing information overload. I’ve recently begun to stick my nose into the world of Offline Marketing… ergo the exciting road of cold calling… eesh!

    Thanks for your site :)

    Omar @ OmarAndWill.com March 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Yep. Writing for the Search Engine is one thing but writing for the user is another.

    I think you need a little of both if you want to rank well (in the search engines that is) honestly. Make sure whatever you write, you can have the reader relate to the issue and you should do some research into WHY they want the item you are trying to promote anyway.

    This works well with Amazon I feel which is why conversion rates tend to be higher. Give them what they want to know, the good, the bad then simply let them now HOW and WHERE you think they should buy.

    Great article

    -Omar

    Robin Rowe March 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Jennifer,
    Thanks for another great post. I have been a fan since you launched One Week Marketing and these articles are why.
    I had never heard the term “T” marketer, but the concept makes sense. As you say, you can outsource skills, but the message is your own unique link to the prospect.
    I’ll definitely put more thought into my next campaign, keeping this in mind.
    Thanks again for sharing such great information.

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