Next Step? Need advice

9 replies

I'm relatively new to Internet Marketing, although I'm not new to the Internet. I've got a lot of basic book knowledge and not a lot of experience. I'm getting ready to start putting my book knowledge into practice, but I would like to get an idea of where to start.

Here's some background info: I'm interested in starting a SEM business for local businesses. I've found a couple of good courses (SEM BluePrint and Commission BluePrint from Steve and Tim). I've also got several books (Search Engine Marketing, SEO Bible, and other general marketing books).

I've got a lot of excellent bits and pieces of information along with some general guidelines. But, I really do not feel like I know enough to start the SEM business yet. I need some practical experience and perhaps a more advanced course to fill in some of the blanks.

Does anyone have suggestions on a next step or some advice? I can provide more details if necessary. My main concern is that I don't want to waste a lot of time or money...I want to get into **doing** the stuff that I'm learning about (and make some money in the process) before I start the SEM business.

Someone might ask why I didn't follow through on the stuff in Commission Blueprint. My answer to that is: "I don't like ClickBank". I might be interested in doing some general affiliate marketing, but I would need to know more about tracking and I still do not think I know enough about PPC and Adwords to run an effective campaign yet (I'm still learning these things).

Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

#advice #local search #search engine marketing #step
  • Profile picture of the author Al-Leyson
    Hello there! We have both in common as I started with scratch when it comes to internet marketing. But, you might want to check out the "War Room". You'll get tons of advice and suggestions there! Feel free to check it out like I did!
    Free Ebook: How To Earn $100/m With 1 Simple Website That Takes Under 60 Minutes To Create.
    [ Right Click > Save Target As ] to save it to your computer.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1761259].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
      Hi Al-Leyson,

      It's funny you mentioned that...I was just looking at the War Room option a few minutes ago. I know I can get a lot of information there...not completely sure what all is available though (I heard some people mention tools, and lots of good conversations).

      I'm thinking this will be one piece of the puzzle. Have you found any particular courses that worked well for you? Particularly in the area of PPC.

      Thanks for your recommendation.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1761317].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Whistler
    Here is my advice Ron, start, F'ing start. Slam you hands into your keyword and start build and competing for rank. Take what you learn and go for it. Trust me, all that crap you here about taking action, it's not crap, it's the life blood of this and any other endeavor.

    Don't be like me; I wasted WAY TO MUCH TIME learning just one more thing. You know what happens; you eventually "learn" that all you can do is "learn". Then you either give up or if you are like me you actually have to start doing and producing then you realize you should have done that from the beginning.

    The fact is until you DO something you don't know JackSh--. Go back to whatever you have bought in the past and do it! If you thought it was good advice when you read it, watched it, or listened to it, then do it. Get out of out of the buying cycle and into the doing cycle (buying coarse and tools is NOT doing).

    Build LOTS of properties. Promote some clickbank stuff (even if you don't like it) and I don't mean go hide in one of those niches that only people in Siberia search for go after the "big boys" with the big gravity. If clickbank is not your bag to Amazon or

    Oh yea the....... "I need to know about tracking" blah... been there and done that. Get a site put in some aff links then get traffic. Need to track, open up excel (or spreadsheet of your choice) and track.

    If you really want to know about adwords my advice is go to Google. I don't mean to search for a product to buy, but the the adwords education center. It's FREE, and good.

    You will learn more from doing than you ever will from just "learning." The place to start IS STARTING.

    Sincerely Whistler
    P.S. You know I got this same advice when I started this back in '08. Don't be like me and wait a year to take it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1761407].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
      Hi Whistler,

      Great advice....thank you. It sounds like you and I are a lot a like. I guess I do need to "just do it".

      My concern with PPC is that you can lose a lot of money if you don't know what you're doing and I don't have a lot to burn. I could probably fund a test campaign and see how it goes. I just have a hard time taking several hundred dollars and sort of rolling the dice with it. But, I will get started on this and see what I can do with it.

      Promote some clickbank stuff (even if you don't like it)
      I'm tempted to do that...but my perception of clickbank is that 90% of the stuff there is junk (and I don't want to represent junk). People are charging hundreds of dollars for "information" that is either freely available or that can be found in a $20 book. I'm not sure why people are paying $100's of dollars for this stuff.

      But, then again, this is just my perception. I've not purchased anything from there, so maybe I'm missing something. I'll think on this one, Whistler.

      Need to track, open up excel (or spreadsheet of your choice) and track.
      Well, that wasn't exactly what I meant by tracking . I understand that clickbank provides you with a lot of statistics on the backend so that you can track your PPC campaigns and see what's working and what isn't.

      If I were to do affiliate marketing outside of clickbank, I'm not confident that all of the other affiliate programs will have the same data available as clickbank. Therefore, it might be harder to know what's working and what isn't. I'm sure there is a way to do this, but I don't know what it is. Maybe it's as simple as finding the right affiliate program that does offer the same type of data....not sure.

      If you really want to know about adwords my advice is go to Google.
      This one I am doing...although I'll admit that I've gotten side-tracked with my "paid" program. There is a lot of information and I've been trying to get the most out of it. But, I'll get back into Google tonight and start learning what I can, as you have suggested.

      You know I got this same advice when I started this back in '08. Don't be like me and wait a year to take it.
      Whistler, thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it. I'll get started ASAP and let you know how it goes.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1762275].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author theunknownthem
    Skip PPC. Don't need it. There are marketers getting banned from adwords and still making it. They've even been putting out books on how to do it without Google at all.

    Start with the other stuff. SEO, articles, social bookmarking and the like. Granted I'm new but what I hear you saying is that you can't start anything because you don't know PPC. You're making excuses to keep from starting. If you're wanting to do SEM, first thing is to make sure they're in Google's local businesses. After that work on getting them into facebook and other social networks and web 2.0 sites. There was an article the other day from and SEO newletter asking the question if companies even needed their own websites with facebook and such getting so popular.

    Do a search on this forum for the word "offline" or "offline marketing" as there has been some good stuff to get started.

    Sorry to be blunt. I too know what it's like to procrastinate and put things off and just never get started. Trying to help out.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1762356].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
      Hi theunknownthem,

      I'm ok with least I know it's because you've been there (a voice of experience rather than a voice of criticism).

      Skip PPC. Don't need it.
      That's an interesting're saying just focus on the basics for now. I'm comfortable with the Local Search concepts...that seems like the easy part (if everything I've read is accurate). I've got a whole list of processes for local search and I'm working to create my own systems from this.

      I'm also comfortable with least the basics of it. I know I could provide these basic services. I could definitely move forward from that perspective.

      However, at some point, I would like to get into PPC and offer that service as well. So, let's say that I get started with my local SEM business, just providing the basics I mention above. What do you recommend for learning more about PPC?

      I will definitely do the search you've recommended and move forward from there. Thanks for your help and your perspective. I was sort of looking at things from an "all-or-nothing" point of view.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1763411].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
    Quick update....

    Do a search on this forum for the word "offline" or "offline marketing"
    That is going to end up being the best advice I've gotten in a long time. I did this and found a training program that is starting in 5 days (I missed the early-bird price by one day!!!!! --- I wish I had done this yesterday ). It's a live training program that lasts for 30-days. Step by step on how to do an offline local search business. The program is closing soon, so I'm glad I found it.

    BTW, Whistler....just a quick note. I know you said to stop learning and just get started. Well, this is a live, interactive training program. So, I can follow along and start taking action while I'm learning.

    Even if the training program turns out to be a total flop (I don't think it will)...I'm committed to taking action. Starting tonight, I'm going to begin writing the business plan. Before this weekend, I will open the business bank account and fill out the paperwork for securing a business name. Once I get past these first 3 action steps, I'll decide what to do next (assuming there is any time left before the training program starts).

    Thanks again for the advice. I'll post some updates as I go through this process.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1764529].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author theunknownthem
    And no Thanks for it :p

    Glad you found a program. I've been trying to do the 30 day challege for affiliate marketing myself. I think the learning and doing programs like that work when you continue to follow the 20%/80% rule. 20% learning and 80% action. I hope it works well for you and I would love to hear progress.

    Anyway, what I came here to tell you was about PPC. It seems a lot of advice on PPC is that yes, it can bring in good traffic and good money but it can also drain your accounts quick if you don't know what you are doing. I've seen a lot of advice to make sure your site is tweaked for optimum conversion rates before ever trying ppc. Granted that is for affiliate marketing so take it for what it's worth.

    good luck with your program
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1765608].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
      And no Thanks for it
      It's funny you mention that...there is no Thank button on any of the posts in this thread. I've seen them on other posts in other threads (I've used it once elsewhere). But, for some reason, I don't have the option here (what's up with that?).

      Anyway...many thanks (button or no ). And thanks for the PPC advice. That was sort of what I was hearing as well. I guess my concern is that I don't want to gamble with my clients money until and unless I know what I'm doing. So, I don't think I'll be offering PPC for a while.

      I've already started working on the business plan...I hope to have that finished in the next day or so (it'll just be a rough sketch for now). I'll let you know how the program turns out.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1766387].message }}

Trending Topics