Tag Archives: success

Horses & Carts – When to upgrade


This is something that has been boucing around in my head all weekend.

On Saturday, I spoke with a stranger and we got talking about internet marketing, information marketing and writing in general. The thing that got me – and it really bothers me – is that this fellow told me about several “programs” he had purchased that were supposed to help him increase his profits.

A couple of the things he mentioned were programs and products by people I am familiar with.

He bought them, but felt he hadn’t gotten his money’s worth. That didn’t jive with what I know of the people involved – especially since I happen to own one of the products he mentioned.

Okay. First, you’re probably wondering why I’m not naming anything here. Especially since I am generally un-reserved about using people’s names. My reason is that I don’t know all the programs and products he mentioned. I’m not going to name something or someone if I don’t know they represent quality.

Second: Here’s what I have to say about this fellow’s complaints.

Until you have some clients, or are selling some products, it makes no sense to purchase anything that will double, triple or otherwise increase your sales and profits. After all, multiply zero by any number you want, and you still get zero.

The fellow I spoke to Saturday didn’t have any clients or products, and he didn’t seem to have any understanding of the materials he owned. I think maybe he bought them expecting the act of making the purchase to generate results.

Folks, if you buy a book and don’t read it, don’t expect to get any smarter.

For everyone who is looking at starting in internet marketing (information marketing, writing books (ebooks) or affiliate marketing), there is one resource I recommend for getting started – and it’s completely free.

Go to www.strategicprofits.com. This site belongs to Rich Schefren. The resource you want are the five free reports he gives away through his site.


Because Rich will show you that internet marketing is not all that different from how people have been running their hometown businesses for decades. It’s different, sure. But most people think it’s apples and oranges. Rich will show you that it’s more like oranges and grapefruit.

The other thing Rich does with his reports is give you “how-to” information – invaluable stuff for beginner and pro alike.

When you’ve read through Rich’s stuff, visit the sites of other internet marketers. Www.Bly.com will give you over a hundred examples of landing pages for selling information products. Bob also has a library of articles you can read.

Just think of the people you buy from, or who you get newsletters from. Visit their sites and REALLY LOOK at what they do. How often do they send an e-mail? What’s in it?

The plain, simple fact is that writing a book (ebook) or making sales (by internet or in person) means you have to do some work. Yep, there’s that nasty little four letter word.

I know. I just finished another book, I’m working on two more, and I put in a lot of hours every day.

And, folks, I wouldn’t trade what I’m doing for the Site Superintendent’s job on the Shangri-La build happening right now at Richmond & University in downtown Toronto.

For those who don’t know – I have 20 years of construction experience. The Shangri-La is a 67 floor hotel & condo tower with condos starting at $1 Million dollars. It’s a prestigious project.

Ask Brian Johnson (Rich Schefren’s right hand) if he puts in a lot of hours. He does it because he enjoys it.

I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but, folks, if you don’t enjoy writing and marketing enough to put in lots of time and energy – then maybe you should spend a little more time finding your passion.

Okay. Go ahead and rip me a new pooper. Call me insensitive and crass – go ahead.


Writing is like Vegetables

Good Morning,

Tim sent me some files to edit yesterday, and mentioned he’s having a hard time committing to writing every day. Maybe the advice I gave him will help you, too.

The writing Tim is doing gives him content for articles, an e-zine and blog posts. It seems to me that all this work is a lot like a vegetable garden.

There’s a lot of work in the beginning to break up the soil, mix in some fertilizer and get ready for planting.

Developing the habit of writing, finding places to collect ideas, and putting together the blog, and e-zine and finding article banks – that’s a lot of work, too.

Then after the garden is planted, you still have to keep it watered and pull the weeds. You also get to lean on the fence and admire the sprouting plants with your neighbours. Maybe even sip a cold beer while you imagine the harvest to come.

Tim’s getting close to this point. The weed pulling in writing is called editing – that’s what I do for Tim. I edit, answer questions, and chivvy him along in his writing.

As soon as you start putting articles, blog posts and other content out “there” – into the internet – people notice. Even if you do nothing to PUSH your content – no PPC or other traffic generation – people are going to notice what you’re doing. Just like people notice your veggie patch when they walk past your house – even when it’s in the backyard!

Then as summer moves along, you start to pick a few veggies and enjoy some of the fruits of your labour.

Writing is the same way. The benefits accumulate over time. As the you instill the habit in yourself, and your writing improves, more people notice.

More of your articles get picked up, more folks hear about your blog and visit.

By the time you have firmly entrenched the habit of daily writing, you’ll also notice traffic increasing at your site and more inquiries coming in.

Now here’s the important part: This works for EVERY business.

It works for hairdressers, accountants, carpenters, landscapers – everyone. When you give people useful information without trying to sell anything, you are proving your desire to help them succeed. That translates into trust. It means they are willing to give you their attention.

When they do see a “selling message” from you they will be willing to listen.

It takes time to enjoy the bounty from your vegetable garden. In time, your daily writing will become the words in your customers’ mouths.


Planning & Goal Setting – Where to start

Good Morning,

Starting your story in the middle is a good practice. Doing that with a project is a recipe for disaster.

But how do you know where to start when you’re just a beginner?

When it comes to writing an e-book, start with Writing E-Books for Fun and Profit. Yes, I wrote it and this is shameless self-promotion. It’s still a good book, and it works with my example.

The e-book lays out a step-by-step process for choosing your topic, getting the book written then marketing the book. That’s great, it’s really useful, but what do you do when there isn’t a book written about how to do what you want to do?

That is my situation when it comes to putting together the E-Book Tele-Workshop Series.

Sure, there are lots of resources about how to do a tele-seminar, conference calls and podcasts. But what about how to approach the experts, making the schedule, putting together lists of questions, booking call times, and blah, blah, blah. What about all that other stuff?

Side note: Can you tell I’m thinking of an information product? Something to help everyone else keep from stepping into the holes and cow patties I stepped in? (And you’ll all know I’ve really been there and done that!)

So here’s part of the answer:

The beginning is deciding what you want to do.

I want to do a series of workshop calls that show everyone how to get their book written, publish it and promote it. So, the first thing I need to do in the planning is decide what material I’m going to cover.

Once I decide what material to cover, then I can look at what order to cover it in. At the same time, I can decide which expert is best for talking about which topic.

You can see how this leads to developing a call schedule. That leads to everything else.

The call schedule determines when each piece of copy is needed, when you have to get the call script to each expert, and when to schedule all the tech stuff like call recording, editing and transcription.

Now, there’s one more important thing to know: The call schedule can be different from the interview schedule. Here’s the difference:

The call schedule is when people get to listen to the interview with each of the experts.

The interview schedule is when you record each the interview with each expert.

Maybe your call schedule is set to run each Wednesday evening at 9:00 pm EST because that’s the best time for your audience. But, when you ask an expert for the interview, they might say they don’t work in the evenings.

That means you record the interview during the day and play it back for everyone during your call schedule. Know what I mean?

Having an interview schedule that’s different from your call schedule also allows you to be uber efficient during the project. Using the Wednesday evening call schedule might mean the calls are spread out over 16 or 20 weeks. But you can set your interview schedule to be convenient for the experts and get some of the calls done early.

That translates into being able to get the audio edited, and the transcription done early, too. You don’t release them until after the scheduled call, of course, but it’s always nice to have things done early.

And that’s my two cents worth on where to start when your planning and setting goals. Let me know what you think.


Success – It Ain’t Free

Good Morning,

I’m a regular reader of Early To Rise. Today, Michael wrote an article that resonates with me and has a lot of relevance to today’s economic situation.

The article Michael wrote gives six “must-do” things to be successful.

1. Get up early and give your day a jumpstart by doing something meaningful… first thing.

2. Work as late as you have to.

3. Do at least 50 percent more than what is asked of you.

4. Volunteer for challenging assignments.

5. Educate yourself on the side.

6. Become better than anyone else at the essential skills you need to accomplish your goal.

You can see why it resonates with me. I’m up every day (except Sunday) at 4:30, and I work hard at being the best writer. Notice that – not just “the best writer I can be.”

One day, Charlie Byrne and Michael Masterson are going to be able to say that I have learned from them, worked on my skills, and have become a better copywriter than they are. That’s my goal.

So how is it that this relates to today’s economic situation?

In every economic downturn, businesses get weeded out. Strong businesses take over weak ones, and tough markets get cracked open.

Each of us is in business. We write copy, sell information products, and/or teach what we know.

So this is our proving ground. Which of us is going to work hardest, learn the most, and come out successful? Of course I don’t have a crystal ball to tell me who’s going to grasp success, but I can give you two examples from AWAI’s Bootcamp.

One is a fellow writer I met at Bootcamp 2007. JR and I were talking this year, and he was open and honest with me. He told me that – after Bootcamp 2007 – he thought he was going to leave me in the dust.

I appreciated his honesty. We talked some more, and I explained how I had taken the advice to make consistent, daily effort and used it to build success for myself.

Now JR knows he’s only competing with himself. I think he’s going to do a lot more to build his own success this year, and I hope he takes me up on my offer of e-mail support. (That’s a hint and a nudge, JR.)

The other example is a fellow I met for the first time at this year’s Bootcamp. To be honest, I never paid much attention to his name because he wasn’ very nice. The first time he shook my hand, he said “I’m gonna leave you in the dust, Conrad.”

He didn’t know what to say when I replied “Good. And I’ll help you do it.”

Later, at the Job Fair, he repeated his determination to outperform me. Unfortunately, he was standing alone between two unoccupied tables. I don’t know if he ever spoke to any of the employers at Job Fair.

So now you really have three examples.

1. Me. I took Michael’s advice, listened to John Forde, Jennifer Stevens, Bob Bly and all the other experts. I”ll keep working and reach my goal of being the best writer.

2. JR. He didn’t listen at first, but he’s listening now. I’ll let you know how he does at building his own success.

3. The no-name fellow. He seems to think he can get success by talking about.

We all have the same information – the same opportunity. So do you.

Are you going to roll up your sleeves and make your own success?

Read all of Michael’s article if you need help deciding.