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You are Here: Free Internet Marketing Newsletter > Back Issues > August  2008 Issue

In This Issue
Issue Date August, 2008

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- Your Questions Answered!

 

 

 


 

Hi,

Hi, I just got back from a week away with the family… it was nice to get away and enjoy a change of scenery.  We stayed in a gorgeous log cabin which was really nice but had no internet or phone access… we were pretty remote and had the sea side, woods and lakes right on our doorstep.   

It was a lot of fun, although I’m not sure I would like to go any longer than a week without internet access, but strangely enough I didn’t miss it at all and didn’t think business the whole time.  Some times it’s good to completely unplug yourself and enjoy a slower pace of life.  I hope you’re enjoying your summer and squeezing in a little rest and relaxation.  

In this issue, I’m answering a few subscriber questions… I apologize that a few of these were sent in a few months back but I can’t always answer questions right away.  However, my schedule is freeing up a bit come September so please feel free to send in any questions you may have and I’ll get to them ASAP – you can simply email mila (at) internet based moms.com 

Wishing you all the best,

Mila Sidman

Editor & Owner of Internet Based Moms


Internet Marketing Q & A Session – August:

 Hi Mila, I’ve been following you for a while now and want to say thank you for all the help you’ve given me.  I’ve been online for about 2 years but still feel pretty stuck.  The only traffic I’m getting is from forum posting and a few articles but it’s not a lot.  At this point I’m not sure what I should do next.  I’ve spent a lot of time and money on this website but am getting pretty frustrated with it all.  I’m not sure if it’s time to quit or if I should keep going. 

I get questions like these a lot and it’s not an uncommon scenario.  When you’re starting you, the excitement of a new business keeps you going but inevitably if you’re not following the right plan you get to a point where that excitement dies now and you seem to be going nowhere…  

The main problem is usually that the business was started without a solid plan in place.  And I’m not talking about some stuffy old business plan but instead a plan of action.  A plan which answers the questions – what is my ultimate goal with this business?  How much do I want to make from this business?  Who is my target market?  How am I going to reach them?  What will I sell to them?   

These questions may seem basic but believe it or not a lot of people start websites without covering these basics.   

You’re smart to speak up and want to fix this because realistically there’s only so long you can keep going if you’re not making money.  I suggest a long brain storming session where you truly ask yourself where you’re going with this. 

Sometimes a few changes and a solid plan can take a failing business to success and other times the idea is flawed from the start and it’s time to quit.  I can’t answer that question for you without a full evaluation of your business, but I can give you some advice based on my experience. 

I always say if a business idea is going to fail, then I want it to fail quickly and get on with it.  I’d much rather fail fast than slowly.  There is nothing worse than working on something for years and losing time, money, and even your sense of self and getting no where.  Not every idea or business is a winner… there is nothing wrong with starting over.  

In my time online, I have started so many different businesses – many have failed and a few have survived and have gone from strength to strength.  The key is never to really get attached to an idea or business – easier said than done, I know.  But the bottom line is no matter how much you love something if the product/market/plan/(fill in the blank) isn’t right it’s not going to work.  

I truly want to see you succeed and looking at your website I’m not sure the only issue is the lack of traffic.  I don’t see a clear purpose right away and it seems the site is pulling in all sorts of different directions.  I think it’s time to re-evaluate.   

The bottom line is that if something isn’t working, then you do need to take a long hard (unemotional) look at it and either make changes and track your results or simply scrap it and start over.  But you have to take action and try different things or you’ll never know if your idea has a chance. 

Also, I mentioned above asking yourself how much money you want to make with this business – this is important for several reasons.  It’s easy to make a couple of hundred bucks a month on the internet. 

If you start an information website in the right niche and get traffic to it you will make some extra money every month just from AdSense and affiliate commission.  Anyone can do this.  It’s getting to the next level where you’re making 1000 plus a month that can be more difficult.   

I’ve found that a lot of moms simply want to make an extra 500 to 700 dollars a month working around their family.  This is totally doable and not difficult at all if you do a little research and set things up right from the start.   If you’re perfectly happy with that, then I’m putting together a free guide that’s going to show you exactly how to do it.  Look out for that in early September.  

If you need more advanced training and are looking to take your business to that “next level” then I do offer business and website reviews where I look at your business as if it were my own and show you how to make it profitable, tell you what I would scrap if I were you and what I would keep, how to make more money, etc.  This service is limited as I can only do a few of these a month, but if you’re interested you can email me directly at mila (at) internet based moms.com

 Question:

Hi Mila, can you recommend a business from home for people that don’t really want to start an online business but instead want to do something locally?  I love scrapbooking and thought I could do something with this.  I’m also good at baking and cooking.  Something like this would be a better fit for me than a website business.  Thank you so much! 

Sure, there are lots of businesses you can start from home.  I tend to recommend internet business because it’s so easy and affordable to start, but there’s no reason why you can’t make something else work.  

Take a look at our business ideas section and see if there’s anything that jumps out at you.  Our most popular ideas are greeting cards and gift baskets.  I know a lot of artsy moms who are happily doing this and making some extra cash in the process. Go here for more ideas: 

http://www.internetbasedmoms.com/biz_ideas.html  

You can also offer a service locally or start a local business and then build up and expand your reach online.  Whatever you decide to do, make sure you take the time to research your idea so that you’re sure it will be profitable before you spend time or money on it. 

Question:  

Hi, I love your site and check the home page regularly.  Do you offer one on one coaching or help?  I haven’t started my website yet but want to make sure that I do things right from the start.  Thank you for your time in advance. 

I do offer private coaching as well as website reviews but tend to work with a small handful of students.  To be honest, I’m picky.  I want to make sure that the people that pay me to help them are motivated and ready to act on the information they learn.   This is why I don’t advertise these services openly. 

But if you’re serious and motivated about moving ahead with your business and taking action, I can help you - contact me at mila (at) internet based moms.com for further info.

Question: 

Mila, I read your newsletter about out sourcing and am not sure how much I should or shouldn’t be getting help with.  How do you know what to outsource and what not to?  I have a VA that adds content to my site and a writer but should I be getting more help?  I am thinking of outsourcing my email too. 

Good question.  I actually received several questions related to this and I want to be clear on one thing.  I still outsource, I’m just super strict with what I get help with and what I don’t.  My method is simple – take the area that’s making me money and invest more into it.  Take the areas that are not profitable and get rid of them… I certainly wouldn’t spend money on them.  

Now, there are things like email support, etc. that many see as mundane tasks and get help with.  I actually did outsource all my email for a while and although my VAs were great I have a few issues with doing this especially when you’re starting out. 

One is that most small businesses do not get enough email to warrant this cost.  Two is that when you’re starting out you really should be on top of the needs of your market.  The way your customers respond to you can help you grow your business in a positive direction.  You don’t have to respond to all your emails personally or to every one (I don’t), but you definitely want to read them and see the feedback you’re getting.

I know some business owners get upset by rude or nasty emails, that’s understandable… and when you put yourself out there you will receive a rude email at some point.  These aren’t constructive or helpful in any way and often are nothing more than people letting off steam or having a bad day.   

Personally, I ignore these types of emails and can really see them for what they are, but not everyone is the same.  So the decision in this case is personal.  If you feel that certain types of emails will upset you and stop you from being productive then by all means outsource it all. 

For me, reading the emails first hand is important and the occasional nasty one doesn’t bother me in the slightest.  The constant gems and ideas in other emails more than make up for it.  I also have systems in place that actually reduce the amount of email support I need… so this works well for me.  

Having said that, outsourcing like everything else in business tends to be a personal choice of what works for you and what doesn’t – there is no one true formula.  What works for one may not work for the next person…  

Experiment a little with the level of support you’re getting and see what feels right for you.  The main thing is to always stay on top of the important aspects of your business and the needs of your customers.


 

 

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