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It was a cold winter day just shortly after my birthday on February 18, 2007 when I got the wild and crazy idea to make a website and learn to make money online.
That was 3,396 days ago…
9 years, 3 months, and 18 days ago…
Who-da-thunk I’d still be here today?
My husband believed I would, but I sure didn’t.
No one really makes a full-time living off the internet, do they?
Teaching yourself internet marketing skills like making websites, SEO, optimization, keywords, conversion optimization, social media marketing, etc, etc, ETC is a big undertaking.
Being self-taught is no joke
I have no idea what I was thinking, but now, in hindsight, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I earned, learned and worked my way here.
If there is any sort of “Easy Button” or “Get Rich Quick” method, I sure didn’t find it (and trust me on this – it’s not out there).
I know NOTHING… N-O-T-H-I-N-G about internet marketing or HTML or php or SEO when I first started.
Heck, I didn’t even know how to code a link… I didn’t even know what “upload to your server” meant.
To make it even worse, I DID manage to make a website (well, a web PAGE). It took me hours and hours to make that one page with some old Yahoo web page builder – it was tedious.
In a few days, I actually made my first sale.
A whopping $7.00 – but I felt like I won the lottery.
It was possible. It WAS possible to do this…and **I** could do it!
So I set out to make MORE web pages. Managed to create about 2 more and then in the process of trying to make a 3rd page…
I accidentally deleted ALL of it.
POOF – gone.
Lesser set-backs have caused much smarter and much more capable people than I to quit this “make money online” thing.
But I was headstrong… determined… perhaps a bit ignorant of just HOW challenging this all would be.
Now, here I am.
Somehow, through a ton of hard work, lots of VERY frustrating moments, and learning something new every. single. day. I am still online, I am still here doing what I set out to learn, do, and succeed at.
I did some quick math and if I’ve only worked online for an average of 8 hours a day these past 9+ years, that is well over 27,000 hours.
And I know without doubt that I have averaged many more hours than that each day.
Having a ‘normal’ 9-5 job sure would have been easier, but MUCH less rewarding.
What Have I Learned?
I love when I am asked what I have learned over these past 9+ years.
I’ve learned a TON.
Simple things, like typing this post in pure HTML, still catch my attention that I can actually DO that now without thinking about it (or without using Google for answers and help…lol!)
But the most important thing I have learned is that you simply cannot ‘fast track’ success with internet marketing.
Sure, you can PAY someone to create something for you, but the true learning is a process.
And sadly, as I’ve seen over all these years, it’s a process that the HUGE majority of folks quit.
I don’t know what it is that makes people think that learning online business skills would be any easier than learning any other type of business skills.
Seriously, how many people say, “Well, I’m gonna try and open a restaurant, but if it doesn’t work in a month or so, I’ll just quit”
It blows my mind.
Before anyone says it, I’ll say it first…
I am FULLY aware that this internet marketing industry is covered with products and training that push the “fast and easy” angle.
I have been studying those sales pages and sales funnels for the last 3,396 days =)
Do those products work?
They sure might…
I think the bigger question is – Has anyone stuck with those programs long enough to see if they work for them?
That, right there, is the biggest issue. Try it, quit, on to the next thing, repeat.
It’s not so much how the product/training is presented – it’s what’s done with the product after getting it.
You Know What DOES Work?
Creating a ‘home base’ online (ie, a website or blog), creating content that helps others, and learning how to get your content found.
That DOES work.
Does it take time?
Online content that helps others… that provides answers and solutions to peoples questions and problems… will never go out of style online.
It will ALWAYS work.
Know What Else I’ve Learned?
You ALWAYS know enough to help someone else.
That was one of my biggest hold-backs when it came time to start a blog.
I didn’t think I knew anything worth sharing.
Turns out, I did.
Because I was sooooooo smart?
Oh heck no!
BUT, the more I learned, the more I had to share.
I may have only been 2 steps ahead (or less) than most of my readers, but what I learned was helping them move forward.
That’s what it’s all about.
Here’s Something Else I’ve Learned
We internet marketers have SO much to offer the local businesses in our areas.
We have been through the trenches online and we know how to get content found.
It’s what we DO, right?
Those local business owners NEED that kind of help.
That’s what I’m doing.
PotPieGirl isn’t going anywhere, I’m just expanding and offering my skills to the local business owners that need and want them.
Honestly, I got really tired of trying to find specific businesses in my area on Google – and nothing comes up but those cr*ppy directory sites.
I also get very sad for local business owners when I DO manage to find their Facebook Page, and it’s abandoned or not worked properly.
I know how to fix those things… so I’m going to.
I’ve done a ton of research to see what kinds of internet marketing services and prices are being offered to businesses in my area… and well, it really upset me. Crazy high prices for basic services that really don’t produce the results local business owners need.
These days, just about ANYONE can MAKE a website or start a blog – it’s easy and the cheapest business you’ll ever start.
But who can make a site and/or a social media campaign, to truly help that business get found, get more leads and customers, and genuinely get results?
That’s what WE do.
Over the past few years, I’ve sent well over a MILLION DOLLARS in business JUST to Amazon.com.
As some of you have learned in my What Works Now conversion tips guide, I know how to get ranked, get clicks, and get those precious conversions.
If I can do it for a 8% or so commission from Amazon, why wouldn’t I offer those same skills to local business owners, right?
You should think about doing that as well.
Just a simple Facebook page that highlights businesses in your area could be very rewarding for you AND for the businesses you share.
Something to think about =)
Summing Up What I’ve Learned
Get to work doing what works, stick with it, and continue to learn as much as you can.
If you’re still struggling with affiliate marketing, I HIGHLY recommend this training program. It’s fantastic.
And yes, it works =)
Secondly, do not EVER underestimate what you know.
If you took the time to learn it, someone else would LOVE to know what you’ve learned.