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Simpler and Faster the Second Time Around

Okay, so you know that I’m both a marketing guy and a techie guy, right? I can write copy, put up websites, run product launches, set up shopping carts, install testing and tracking scripts, do my own webmastering work, and install programs (like blogs) when I need them. Easy. Done it a million times. Except… […]

Okay, so you know that I’m both a marketing guy and a techie guy, right?

I can write copy, put up websites, run product launches, set up shopping carts, install testing and tracking scripts, do my own webmastering work, and install programs (like blogs) when I need them.

Easy. Done it a million times.

Except…

Sometimes it’s NOT that easy. Some things are truly like reading GREEK — especially when I’m doing something new and the instructions aren’t clear — and I find myself in the very same spot that you are in with so many of the marketing and techie tasks you’re faced with.

It’s so FRUSTRATING because you know what you want to do…you know that OTHER PEOPLE have done it…and it just shouldn’t be THAT HARD!

You know what I mean, right? Someone says “just do THIS” and you don’t even know what the heck this IS! Well, last night I had such an experience.

I was installing a program to fulfill my promise to you of putting up some of kind of a directory for you to share traffic with other people. (Remember that conversation we’d been having about generating traffic??)

I’ve found a script that I think will help us do exactly that.

And so I was installing it as a test last night and it took me maybe an hour to follow the steps in the installation instructions. In the scheme of things, that’s not a very long time, but it was still an hour that I spent reading and re-reading every word and studying every illustration to make sure I was doing exactly the right thing.

Well, I thought I did something wrong because once I was done, the thing didn’t work. The site came up, but I couldn’t log in to make all the settings that I needed. “SERVER ERROR”, it said. So, I deleted the whole thing and started over.

Want to know how long it took to do the work the second time?

It was a totally different experience. Now, instead of thinking of every tiny little step in the process, I could think in bigger chunks.

1) Upload files. 2) Set up database. 3) Run the setup script.

BANG.

Done.

Six minutes.

Six minutes versus 60 minutes. Big difference.

Why? Because my FIRST ONE was ALREADY DONE, and now all I had to do was repeat what I knew.

So why am I telling you this? Because getting traffic to your site is probably the same exact experience for YOU.

For example, you might struggle the first time you write an article to market your site:
* You’re CONFUSED about how to write the headline
* Painfully AGONIZING over the introduction
* TRYING to get the voice just right
* WORRYING about every word
* WONDERING how you should end the article
* And what the heck do you put in a Bio Box anyway?

You’re stuck. Hours go by. ARGH!

And then the WORST THING is not knowing if you did the thing right at all! Was this worth your while? Did you pick the right subject? Will it actually WORK to get even ONE visitor to your site?

The indecision, self-doubt and anxiety are really the worst part about all of this, because you don’t know if the hour (or day or week) you just spent was a waste of time, or the beginning of something great.

Yes????

Ah…

But once you get the first one done, and you KNOW you did it right, and you SEE it work…

Ahhh…THEN you know it was time well spent.

And you can easily go on to write your second article. And third, fourth and fiftieth.

And it becomes easier, quicker and you move forward with more CONFIDENCE and less frustration because you KNOW with CERTAINTY that you are doing the RIGHT THING.

Yes or Yes?

Does this make sense to you?

If it does, let me know. Because if it does, then I HAVE THE SOLUTION to your traffic problem.

Take a moment, please…RESPOND BELOW…Can you tell me about an experience — preferably online — when you struggled getting the job done the first time, but once you had your FIRST ONE DONE, it was easy? Have you had that experience yet? Or are you still stuck on that first one for EVERYTHING?

I mean, isn’t the problem always getting that first one done???

Talk to me, please, because I’m pretty darn excited about what I’m about to tell you — next time — if I’m guessing right.

To Your Success,

–Mark Widawer

P.S. An aside, for a moment…please…

Is your product in the self-help or spiritual areas? Do you have a genuine desire and drive to help people? If that’s you, then you might be very interested to know that Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski are planning their next Heart-based Internet Marketing event next month.

Judith and Jim are unique because they’re about the furthest thing from “hype” you’re ever going to find, online or offline.

In fact, we see very much eye-to-eye on one thing — that no matter what business you are in, if you are good and honest and genuinely trying to help people get what they want, or heal a pain, or live a better life, then SELLING IS A “SPIRITUAL SERVICE”.

If you’ve got some time this evening, they’re willing to spend an hour with you to tell you more about their approach to “Bridging Heart and Marketing”. If this speaks to you, then join them free on the phone, or pick up a copy of the MP3 once the call is over.

I’m planning on being at their live event in September. Maybe I’ll see you there.

-M

25 replies on “Simpler and Faster the Second Time Around”

Mark,

I know exactly what you mean. I recently decided to start using blog software for my sites (I’m a professional developer trying to change careers and become an Internet marketer). The first setup took some time and I was unsure exactly where I would end up.

But yesterday I set up my fourth or fifth, and I knew pretty much exactly where I wanted to go. It’s so much easier with practice.

Another thing I just recently put in place at my site where I am having my best marketing success is a newsletter run by an autoresponder. I was very unsure how it would come together when I went through loads of work to create 9 issues of content, load it into the autoresponder, and set up sign up forms on my web site.

But in less than a month, I have 25 subscribers, and I’m averaging more than 1 sign up per day. I’ve done some tests and made some adjustments to get my sign up rate increased from less than 1 per day, so now I’m feeling more confidence that I can make a newsletter work. The next one will be easier to get going, I’m sure. And I have a pretty good idea of how to set up my next newsletter and sign up form that should convert reasonably well right off the bat.

Now I am going to work on getting more traffic so I can increase my daily sign up numbers.

Hi Mark…

Wow I can give you hundreds of examples! As can most people.

Apart from learning HTML and putting my website together having had no experience whatsoever, and only using notepad and the coding… all of which was such a huge phenomenally steep learning curve for me!

The next biggest challenge was certainly using a shopping cart in particular setting up autoresponders and getting a broadcast out to my subscribers. The first one took me probably three hours to work out what to do and then it didn’t work because I wasn’t doing something correctly. Eventually it worked but I had no clue what I had done to get it to work. And then my second broadcast to subscribers took about an hour an a half… but by the time I got to my third, it took probably 10 minutes including creating and typing the message I was sending to my subscribers!

Very few people get it right very quickly when trying something very new and way and out of their comfort zone — but practice does help. And once you get a hang of what needs to be done it almost becomes second nature after a very short period of time.

I have this huge determination streak in me — and that keeps me going rather than giving up. It would be great however to short and the learning curve a little.

Jeanne May

Good stories, Rob and Jeanne.

It seems that Phyllis sees herself on the “before” side of her “first one” with regards to … well … with regards to everything.

I guess my revised question for you all is…Do you see yourselves on the “before” side of your first traffic?

And if I could take you by the hand through your first article, your first web2 effort, your first Search Engine optimization, your First Adwords campaign…would that help?

If I helped you get your first one done, could you repeat the process?

–Mark

P.S. to Phyllis…I don’t have an ebook on 1ShoppingCart…yet. For now, really the best resource is my friend Christina Hills. You’ll find her site here:

http://www.MarkPrefers.com/shoppingcartqueen

Hi Mark,

I can TOTALLY relate to what you said.

Everything I have learned in SEO, AdWords, html coding, CPanel, Aweber, blah blah blah blah… has worked out the same way.

1st time, difficult (like you, I’ve got a techie background, so not impossible)..

2nd time, less difficult,

3rd-5th time, still getting easier.

after that, it’s usually a piece of cake. You barely have to think about it, SIMPLY because you know what to expect and follow a process in your head.

Just like learning to ride a bike really. Hard initially, but eventually you’re riding around no hands, not watching the road, chatting to your friends riding with you, etc.

I think you’ve really hit on the “secret” to becoming good at almost anything. Keep doing it until it becomes natural, and accept that it’s going to be difficult initially, but it WILL get easier with practise.

There’s something I learned many years ago when I first got into sales (I think it was in a Tom Hopkins book?) which is very relevent here.

Essentially, he said there are 4 steps to mastery.

1) You are unconscious that you are incompetent at it (you don’t know what you don’t know)

2) After some practise, you realise (conscious) that you truly ARE incompetent at something,

3) With more practise, you become competent, but it takes a conscious effort, and finally

4) You become unconscious that you are competent at it.

We ALL go thru these 4 stages. It’s purely time & practise that gets us there, so as long as we accept that that’s the journey we HAVE to follow to get good at something, it’s ok to be terrible to start with.

Anyway, enough rambling, back 2 work! 🙂

Thanks Mark.

Eran

Eran Malloch – Google AdWords Management Servicess last blog post..7 Ways To Make Money With Your Blog (Free Video)

Hi Mark,
I had a battle to set out my first autorespoder and write massages to broad cast. It took me a good two hours to finish. The second time it was very easy.
Now I am struggling to learn HTML so that I can update my website with fresh content. The problem I have is fear that I mighty ruin my website. I am sure every one becomes nervous when doing something for the first time on your own. But practice makes perfect!

Mark, I relate to this too, in many areas.

For example I remember writing my first few articles and being really excited about having 10 published on EzineArticles. Then they get easier and you keep reading info and tips from others about things they’ve done to make it easier for them.

I’ve recently published my 500th article on EzineArticles, a total I never imagined I get anywhere near when I began.

Another recent example is switching my ezine from text only to html. I started by using one of AWeber’s pre-written templates and modified the html to use my own brand colours, logo and so on. First effort took me hours of tweaking. Now, maybe 10 issues later, once I have the content written, I simply plug it into the template in about 15 minutes.

The key I think is picking one thing, then getting to a point where you’re comfortable doing it, which gives you confidence to move to other new things.

If you decided you wanted to learn to dance for example, you wouldn’t take on 5 new dance classes a week in Tango, Salsa, Jive, Merengue and Foxtrot, your brain would just melt down! You’d pick one dance first, get to a reasonable competence, then keep practicing that, but take on a new one too and start that learning process again.

Dan

Dan Goodwins last blog post..Beauty and Art

Hi Mark,

Oh yes, I can totally relate! Every single thing I’ve learned online has been that way. I didn’t know how to copy and paste a year ago when I started—LOL.

I laugh all the time knowing that the things that are taking me hours now will only be taking minutes in the near future—I’ve already seen it happen over and over. That’s what learning is all about! Certainly I wish it were quicker right off the bat but what can you do? You’ve got to put in the sweat equity!

Thanks for all your great content. I’m looking forward to the teleseminar Friday.

Karla

Thanks for the opportunity to voice my oppinion.
I did not grow up with Computers, started only 2 years ago with e-mails. That’s my humble beginning. Now I have several websites, but spending more on marketing than profit.
It was very hard in the beginning to even understand the computer language, but I worked thru it. E-mail marketing was pretty much all I did, with very little success. Blogging, writing my own articles was frustrating at times, but I started to like it, and over time produced many blogs, but no customers and no money.
Google PPC did not work for me. I’m still learning how to work with keywords.Sometimes it’s almost too much information to comprehand.
I would love to see a step by step dvd, how to exactly move things along and make it work,how to enter a code into the webpage.I would like to see someone actually doing it. I’ll never give up!
Maybe you have the answer for me!

Ingrid Dreyers last blog post..The Key to Personal Development Growth is Balance

Hi
for me it was about learning to construct a website that was appropriate to search engines and human beings.

I wanted to create templates (that i understood) that would make good use of CSS, and allow me to layout the content with best use of html tags and all that I understood with on page optimisation.

I ended up with a good template after much work and even a couple of unsuccessful attempts from using elancers.

I can launch a website within a couple of hours(once i have the text) in the knowledge that its going to be well indexed and the links all point to the most important pages.
The last 2 sites i created achieved a PR4 straight off – so google likes 🙂

not a boast, but an example of a good bit of up-front work that pays off repeatedly

Hi Mark,

Like Phyllis, I want a cookbook on Vtribes or vision gate template based sites! A very steep learning curve, but basic site pages are up. Now starting at the unconcious-incompetent stage for the social networking part, argh!

Now, building a site page is almost unconcious.

Then learning how to aweber. Good thing I’m persistent (really stubborn!)

Thanks!
Robin

Great question Mark.

I have so many stories that relate to what you’ve shared.
* It took me 3 months to get myself acclimated to Oneshoppingcart services
* it took at least a weekend to learn http://ftp…between emailing and waiting for support
But now its a flash…can ftp, build databases, do server admin, etc.

Now I am immersed in learning copywriting. Just the basics to start. This takes time if you want to do it right.

Best wishes,
Todd

Todd Lloyds last blog post..Get Your Hip and Lower Back Pain Questions Answered Here

mark, for some reason it took me MONTHS to learn my way round using ftp.

Yes, really !

🙂

Now I do it in a coupla seconds – kind of unconscious.

Now it is easy! “Before” it was “impossible”

Alex

Hi Mark,
This learning curve has been like a research project for me. In order to get to the big picture, I have to master the details, so I have books and notes all over the desk, checking original sources takes time and money. Then I start discovering that some of my sources are either way out of date or poor copies of someone else.
I have enjoyed finding your journey as a student, so much of your early work is so dependent on your mentors, but your recent stuff is less about what you were taught and more about what you are learning.
After I made 4 or 5 starts with WordPress I was finally able to do what I wanted to do. Then I started the process of trying to make the Blog into a commercial site. I have tried and discarded all of the plugins that would never work for me and now I am in the market to hire someone to make a plug in out of another stand alone system that I finally mastered two days ago.
The real thrill was to have finally mastered WordPress and within 24 hours I got a call that the daughter of a lifelong friend had broken her neck in a fall while on a trip in Scotland. I was able to put up a site that informed concerned people, linked them to all the news sources in print and video as well as messages from the parents to all the supporters. The timing was perfect to put up a site in a couple of hours that really meant way more than all the commercial stuff I was trying to do. http://www.helpMariah.com became, for a moment, just what the family and the community needed to show that they really care.

Mark,

Similar experience for me was the time I wanted to duplicate sales pages at Team Fan Warehouse. I have a product that could be offered in the team logos for college, NFL, NBA, MLB or NASCAR teams, any or all. I deal with 87 colleges, all in the other leagues. The problem was getting all the sales pages for each put up on the website for every product. The website is hosted at Yahoo, which presented some hurdles. Yahoo technical people were not much help for this particular problem.

Without going into the step-by-step solution, just let me say the first page I did took about two days. Once I learned what I had to do to get the pages made and up on the website with working order buttons, each after takes about an hour. (Not counting the actual sales page creation)

Mark,
To answer your revised question, I’m on the “just before” side of getting traffic but not to my site. I am marketing the launch of a friend’s revised site(mice.org), an online classroom next Tuesday(8/19/08)!

So I’ll then be able to officially say, good, bad or ugly, that I’m an Internet Marketer! 🙂 I’m using your Landing Page Cash Machine for the sales page. That plus all of the extras that were included have helped me immensely in getting this off the ground with some degree of confidence.

I have a fundamental understanding of HTML and my friend is also an HTML programmer so I also have access to get any questions answered, but that is not the tough part. The hardest part of this is making sure that as you read the sales page, you want to continue reading the sales page so that every line or section I write creates that emotional response to want to know more, including the Squeeze Box. This is certainly putting everything I thought I knew about marketing to The Test!

It’s taking a lot longer than I had ever expected but so far I’m pretty happy with it. As you said, I’m pretty sure the next time I do this it will be easier, especially once I see the results over the next few weeks. It’s exciting and scary at the same time.

I’m VERY interested in what Judith and Jim are doing if for no other reason that out of the 4 blogs I’ve created my main one is Spiritually based! I’m too busy getting ready for this launch to listen to the call tonight but will definitely be picking up a copy of the MP3!

Thanks so much for all you do, you’re The Best!!!

Jeff

I started writing the Top Secrets of Promotional Products Sales email newsletter in 1998. Writing that first issue was like passing a kidney stone… sheer agony! Took forever.

The second was a bit easier and the third easier than that. Eventually it became second nature.

Albert E.N. Gray said “The successful person has formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”

Truer words never spoken.

Force yourself to do the important things until they become habit. It does get easier.

Best,

David Blaise
http://www.SledgehammerMarketing.com
http://www.TopSecretsWebsite.com

David,
Wise words. I agree entirely.
And they remind me of what Randy Pausch said. Randy was the “last lecture” professor who had been diagnosed with cancer. But he was going out with no regrets, his head held high, and a big HUGE smile on his face.
He had lived a full, happy life, though short.
He passed away a few weeks ago.
One of the things that he said was that we ALL hit brick walls. But the brick walls are put there to keep EVERYONE ELSE OUT.
Not us.
Not you.
So…Do what you know works.
Persist.
Break through the brick walls.
Or go over them.
Or around.
They’re not for you.
–Mark

p.s. You can find my post about Randy, and see his speech, by going here:
http://www.trafficandconversion.com/the-last-lecture-and-you/

Mark I have tried everyones programs because I am not a techie. But none of them have got off the ground. Last week I buried my wife and I desperately need to turn cash. The problem is now I am broke. Any suggestions or help will be appreiated. Now I need to be able to pay after the fact and not upfront. Great to hear of your success. It is always good to know that some have their act together.

Egad! Where to begin!

Prior to April, my only experience with websites was visiting them. It took hours to create a single webpage. With all that time spent, you’d think those pages would have been perfect. Not so!

I finally set out a schedule for myself: create x-amount of presence on the web each day—while continuing to learn and apply principles of SEO. I figured I could always go back and tweak those pages.

I still don’t get SEO completely. I am still not the greatest internet writer in the world. But I will say that I can add three to four pages in the time that it used to take me to build one.

Now, of course, I’m left with the problem of organizing my site. Marketers tell you that if your visitor doesn’t find the information he seeks within so many seconds, he will leave.

I set up my site so the visitor would have to read a lot of information on his journey to find the links to free services, classes, etc.

I realize now that you can’t make people want to learn underlying concepts of marketing or running a business even if it is vital to their overall performance. How many classes did we snooze through or skip back in school because we didn’t think the course had any relevance for us?

And there is the matter of finding a niche.

The experts all advise to drill down to a specific niche. Frankly, that was never my vision. The mission of my website is to provide an information hub of accurate, inclusive resources for earning money on the internet. I didn’t even have a product when I started out. I’ve provided an overview of all the major work at home opportunities, including legitimate employment. (I do not cover drop shipping).

According to a major study, about 12% of every American online is looking to make an income on the internet. There is a lot of competition in that market.

I had counted on visitors leaving comments or questions so that I could skew my research to their needs. But I have gotten no feedback from my site and in the discussion groups and forums I see the same questions asked again and again and I’ve already published those answers or are working through those problems myself!

Pegs last blog post..Aug 12, Mosquito Barrier

Peg,

There are two competing concepts here.
The first is that if you don’t get someone interested in the first few seconds, they’ll leave.
The other concept is that people who are interested in a topic will stay and read every last word of it, if it’s good content.
So how do you give them what they want early and then keep them for a long time?
Get them interested by “continuing the conversation” that’s going on their mind. Why did they come to your site in the first place? Figure that out. Start from there. Then take them to where you want them to go…which is likely towards purchasing your product.
Now, regarding niches…
Niches are IMPORTANT.
Amazon and Walmart and Sears are everything to everybody. But they are notable because there are relatively few huge “everything to everybody” stores as compared to niches.
If you want to open up a general store, do it in a very small area, like Mayberry. They need a general store there. But not in New York City. And not on the web.
I guarantee you’ll make more money and get more traffic if your site is about Women’s health rather than Health.
And you’ll make more money if your site is about post-menopausal women’s health, rather than women’s health.
And you’ll do better with Post-menopausal Diabetic Women’s Health than just post-menopausal women’s health.
To become an expert in that very small niche is priceless.
People will beat a path to your door — or site — to learn from you.
If you don’t believe me, go find two doctors…One should be a general practitioner, and the other should be a specialist.
Find out which one is in greater demand, has more patients, and makes more money.
I’m betting on the specialist.
YOU should be a specialist.
To Your Success!
-Mark

Hello Mark,

I know just what you mean, and you mean it because you went through it. It’s a baptism of fire…even getting files uploaded, then sorting out email accounts. But it’s something everyone should try to go through (with help readily available if they’re really stuck).

Understanding by doing…that’s the best course in most cases. Most cases? Yes, you don’t have to inject hard drugs to learn that they’re bad for you (I’m sure readers can think of other examples); but when you want to learn something, it’s best not to be afraid of making mistakes. I fell into that trap and it slowed my learning to a crawl.

Best wishes,

Anthony

Although I believe every person sharing their lack of expertise, I still think they know much more than I do.

So, here’s my problem: I have an excellent product I sell out great when I put it in front of people’s noses – my latest bilingual book, a complete curriculum for teachers, teaching both English & Spanish to speakers of both languages
on their way to colleges where they can not pursue careers due to the lack of training in bilingual skills – a big wall!

How would I reach this crowd? How do I book myself speaking in colleges about my system?

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