When you get the bug to try internet marketing (and I know you have it otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this post) you are overwhelmed with where to start. Not only is there an overwhelm of guru’s wanting to sell you the next “surefire” tactic to one-click instant wealth (yeah-right), but there’s more free info than you could ever go through.
Where do you start? Boot-strapping.
For me, bootstrapping means
- learning as much as you can for no to low cost,
- putting what you learn into immediate action i.e. testing it to see if it works,
- if it didn’t work -figuring out why,
- if it did work – putting the capital earned back to work.
There are a couple of reasons why this is an important strategy:
- learning how to do it yourself in the beginning means you will be a better outsourcer later on
- it keeps you from going into debt, it places value and urgency on every dollar you spend
This doesn’t mean I haven’t spent ANY money learning my internet business, but I believe I have spent wisely and frugally. Which brings me to the point of this post.
(Status Check: At this point, five months into my part-time, on-again/off-again efforts in internet marketing, I have spent a few hundred on hosting, domains, training, etc… and have earned not one dollar.)
The first training I bought (July 2012), walked me through how to set up an internet business entirely for free using Weebly.com and ListWire (as well as other free tools). This was a good place to start and I set up two websites according to the training. And they went absolutely nowhere! A month later, I got busy with school and work and the sites moved to the backburner, but I learned a lot in the process that otherwise would have taken me years to figure. This set me up for the next step. Money well spent even though it didn’t produce a profit.
Fast forward to about a month ago (mid November 2012), and I receive an email from that original course recommending another course. It sounds intriguing and it’s only $5 bucks for the first month. It doesn’t live up to everything it promised but it did have a TON of good tutorials that walk a beginner through the process. I set up my first squeeze page paired to an AWeber account. One problem, I don’t have a list to send to my new squeeze page. That’s ok though, because part of my training package included sending out 4000 emails per week to someone else’s list. This turned out to be one of the promises that wasn’t as good as it sounded. Still, I learned how to do something I hadn’t done before. The site also had more tutorials than I could ever go through. I decided not to go beyond my first month but I feel like I received more than $5 in value so another good purchase.
How do you solve the problem of not having a list in the beginning? That is what I was asking myself about three weeks ago. And I was inspired with a solution, which I immediately went to work on implementing. Now this is where bootstrapping can get a little frustrating. WordPress is a great tool, but if you want it to look and operate a certain way, you should have someone who can help walk you through it. The tutorials I purchased got me started with a basic setup but I wanted more than that and that is hard to do with tutorials. It takes so much time to find the info you need and when you do, since you are a beginner you are probably going to implement it incorrectly.
Still, I soldiered on and finally got my WordPress site up. It was pretty basic, not a lot of content, but it was a big effort for a newbie like me and I was proud. Then was doing research on SEO and came across concepts I had not heard in the training I had taken so far – Google Panda, Google Penguin, and authority sites. The training I had taken so far talked about putting a bunch of low quality articles (my opinion) on your site and spinning them for the article directories. That never really sat well with me and I hadn’t done it but I was figuring out how to post my good content in multiple places to get links.
Long story, short. I’m still figuring out what to do with my site in the niche I have chosen but I have learned a lot from the bootstrapping process.
Takeaway I want to share:
- when you need it, the right information or person will show up (eventually),
- soldier on if they don’t, they will
I haven’t made a dime from my efforts so far, but I will. It may not be in the niche I originally chose, but the lessons learned will serve me no matter where I am or what I do next. And I wouldn’t be in the position to take advantage of whatever is next if I didn’t work myself there in the first place.