We’ve Come A Long Way

Written on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 11:15 am by Liz
Filed under Financial Freedom, Lifestyle.

Times surely have changed haven’t they? What used to take people a long time can now be done at the drop of the hat or in the blink of an eye as some clichés would say. <g>

With horses, people had to travel for weeks to get to another country, but with planes, it could take as little as a few hours.

Monks used to copy books by hand one at a time when they wanted to distribute their works, but since the advent of the printing press, they could reproduce as many copies as they wanted at a short time.

Instead of going to the library to study and do research, you can just plug in your computer and type into your favorite search engine.

Rather than waiting days or months for your correspondence to get to your intended recipient, there is now such a thing as an electronic mail… <g>
With all these developments around us, marketing and advertising were definitely not left behind. Ric and I, for one, are glad about that. <g> If not for the wonders of the Internet, we wouldn’t even be reaching out to you like this today.

If you’re one of those who has not jumped on the business side of this technological and social evolution, you’re may be missing quite a bit. Let me share with you a couple of articles that might convince you to get your feet wet and join the wonderful world of Internet business and networking.

Social networks don’t bite

It’s true that a lot of people are still wary of social networking for various reasons, since they did not initially meet these people in the traditional manner – which usually entailed personal, face-to-face interaction. We all have to admit that the electronic processes of instant messaging, Internet phones, emails, social networking sites and the like do add a certain level of impersonal touch and a little difficulty between people. I mean, communication is hard enough as it is without having to decipher a person’s statements or read accurately into their words when we don’t actually get to see their facial expressions all the time. But with better and faster technology nowadays, as well as stricter Internet regulations that protect users’ rights (yes, we should and do have those around the web <g>), many of the fears of the past can now be allayed.

Julia Stege tackles this growing social network phenomenon in her Small Business CEO Magazine article entitled Still Afraid of Social Networks? Top 4 Objections and How to Disappear Them by debunking the top four objections most people have against social networking. I must say, being unbiased as I am on this topic <g>, that she has many good points.


Objection 1: I’ll lose my privacy.

Once you’re online, a certain amount of your privacy is already gone. You’ve already shared information with the world that is floating around cyberspace for anyone to access. However, if you’re running an Internet-based business, this is a good thing. You have more chances of exposure and you can reach more people in more places than you originally planned.
Potential customers could even search for you already, instead of you having to search for them all the time. In terms of keeping your privacy, you can always opt to separate your personal accounts from your business ones, and put up all types of protection like passwords and firewalls to protect your personal (or even business) data. That way, only a select few will have access to your most personal information.

Objection 2: I don’t have the time to do one more thing

Nonsense! <g> Since Internet marketing, networking and the like are done within minutes of clicking, browsing, reading, replying and typing – most times at the luxury of your own home and at any convenient time for you — you’re actually carving out more time to do all these and a whole lot of other things you’ve planned or have been planning for quite a while.

Objection 3: People say meaningless things like what they’re eating. Why do I care?

Here’s something to think about. If you think your inbox is flooded with trivial information about people and friends that you feel you don’t need to know, then maybe you shouldn’t be reading them in the first place. In order to attract useful data off the Internet, you actually have to search for the right group, key in the right information and join the right site with the “it” crowd for you. For web veterans, I’m sure this comes as no shock to you. For online newbies, you’ve been advised by the masters. <g> 

Objection 4: I don’t understand how to use Social Networks to attract my perfect customers.

Not to worry, many are new to this too. You don’t have to run on your first day, you could take baby steps while exploring this relatively new world. The important thing is that you’re already connected. You just have to find the right niche and network for you, so you could make friends, spread the word about what you’re offering and eventually, attract the right kind of customers you’ve been dreaming of when you started your online business.

Blogging is not just for cute little updates anymore

Another great innovation brought about by the Internet is blogging. According to Jeremiah Patton in his Small Business CEO Magazine article 5 Reasons Why Blogging is the New Internet Marketing Tool, blogging started in the late 90’s as a way for people to comment on an existing webpage or react about another’s opinion. It was usually only a few words long but has now evolved into pages of viral information about anything and everything you could think of. You guessed it, advertising and marketing are no exceptions and have certainly taken advantage of this growing trend.

You have to wonder why, right? Out of all the materials on the Internet, blogging is emerging as the new “it” tool for marketing people. Well, good thing Jeremiah provided us with a few reasons. <g>

Blogging is simple.

How simple? Well, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. You just have to have a computer, Internet connection, the ability to type and navigate your way around the Internet, and you’re all set. You don’t even have to be grammatically correct or be a Pulitzer Prize winning author to start your own blog. (It would be a bonus, however, if you at least have a modicum of grammatical knowledge and thought flow process, as well as a respectable amount of knowledge of whatever language you chose to blog in. <g>)

Blogging is authentic.

Since you’re mostly free writing, more of your raw material and self comes out. Because you’re not being majorly edited by anything or anyone, you’re freer to express what you truly want to say and in the manner you want to say it. Product reviews? You could either promote it to the world or have a few words of criticism (constructive, I hope <g>) for the creators and distributors of the product. Always keep in mind though that even online, there are still certain codes of ethics that you should follow. (If you want to be a respectable blogger that is. <g>)

Blogging is free.

Since blogging is not yet proven as a “mainstream online advertising media,” a lot of sites still allow free advertising, so businesses (especially new ones) can get exposure and click backs. Paid sites could bring in a serious amount of money for your online business/es though.

Blogging builds credibility.

It’s a chain. The longer you’ve been writing (good stuff I hope <g>), the more followers you attract. When you’ve achieved “expert” status, more and more people look to your site as a daily dose for their day. Eventually, the bigwigs pay attention and may come to you for paid advertising or affiliation on your site. Now, that would surely bring in good money for your business. I should know, Ric and I know a little something, something about this online marketing business. <g>

Blogging builds your market.

Blogging is not hocus pocus however, you have to build your market by actively blogging and taking certain measures to ensure your popularity and credibility. Explore sending emails and subscriptions to your readers or get to know them through simple surveys, join similar networks or sites as yours, and host RSS feeds that your audience can download to attract a multitude of readers to your site.

The Internet, like any tool or technology, can be a double-edged sword. Meaning, it can either work for you or against you depending on how you approach and use it. You just have to accept and not be afraid of it, and you need to know how to wield it right to your advantage. As always, personal responsibility starts and ends with you. You decide what social networking sites you join, and you decide what type of materials you discuss and include in your blog.

Do you have other fears of social networking sites that are not included above? How else do you think blogging becomes a useful Internet marketing tool? Share with us your thoughts through the comments section below.

Happy online surfing!
Liz


7 Responses to “We’ve Come A Long Way”

  1. Hey there thanks for the quality post, i had a good read. :)

  2. The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; and the realist adjusts the sails. We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.

  3. Hopefully I’m not sounding critical right here but I think you might have missed something along the way, like forming relationships, it’s a two way street you know , get out of that victim role and see what part you played, all those handles,credits,and pieces of paper you accumulated don,t compare to sitting having a friend over a cup of coffee talking about whatever. Acceptance and go on.

  4. Liz says:

    Hi Walter,

    Ric and I have been online for quite a while too, and we both totally agree with what you’re saying. You have to let your personality shine through. If you don’t, you come off as a snob, or worse, a phony.

    I hope you come ’round these parts of the ‘Net again soon!

    Liz

  5. Liz says:

    Hi J Wil,

    That was a wonderful video, and I especially like the point about gratitude keeping us from taking things for granted. Thank you for sharing that video.

    Anyway, I’m glad you’ve decided to start blogging. I can see you’re already dabbling in it through your videos, and I hope you continue to produce more great content, whether through words or video.

    All the best,
    Liz

  6. walter daniels says:

    You’re so right about blogging being authentic. I’ve been on e-mail lists, and newsgroups since 1996. You cannot be fake for long, when talking on the ‘Net for long. Your real personality will inevitably come through. Come right put and be yourself, right from the start. If you don’t know who you “are,” it will come out quickly. Don’t be afraid to be a little weird, if that’s really who you are.

  7. J Wil says:

    Ok, ok, Liz. You’re right. I will break down and start blogging. I’ve been writing bits but I can see how it can build up a market and credibility.

    Thanks. So here’s one for you…

    Here’s a video I posted about gratitude.. It fits :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NljgTfC9RKc&feature=related

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