Much of the email I get from subscribers include statements like: “I am still learning" and “I don't know how to . . . ".
And although I have an advantage over some of you because I can read programming code and understand what's going on even when I can't write code in that language, I can still understand where you're coming from. In fact, it's because of my background both as a programmer and programming teacher that I have great admiration for those who struggle to teach themselves how to write and use web programming languages along with all the other things you have learn to have an online business.
But today I am not going to give you another coding tip to learn, or give you a pep talk about keeping up the good work or tell you how to handle information overload. (If you are going through information overload there's an archived tip inside the Member's Area you should read. )
Instead, today I am going to make a statement that many internet marketers probably don't think I should make.
You don't have to know how to do everything to get your business started or to get it growing.
So rather than tell you the basics like get a domain name and hosting account, create a web site, build a list, learn to use AdSense or other pay-per-click services, create a membership site, etc. , I want to share a few alternative that may solve some of your “still learning" and “don't know how" problems. These are short term solutions to get you started but allow you to have a web presence to practice with and give you some time to learn and experiment with what you're learning.
7 Short Term Solutions For What You Need To Learn:
1. Don't know how to create a web page -
1 solution is to create a blog at a free blogging service like Blogger.com. They're easy to set up and even if you don't know how to modify the template you can still start adding content that will be archived. The template code has some very advanced coding techniques like the use of CSS and dynamic content commands however once you know a little about basic HTML you will be able to begin making some modifications. Your modifications will go inside the section and you'll find the template code full of comments telling you which part of the blog page is being done with that code.
You can experiment with your blog and use it like a free online training tool. If you want traffic to it you can use it that way or you can just use it for yourself and not share.
2. Don't know how to use FTP -
For me, this is not a problem. Not because I know how to use FTP (which I do) but because I don't use it.
I currently own 3 hosted web sites, all on different hosts, and every 1 of them has a control panel that allows me to upload files without using FTP. And these hosts are not an exception. Every other hosted account I've had access to has also had some form of administration control panel that allowed the same thing.
While some will say that the best way to get your files uploaded is through FTP, I actually don't know of any reason why anyone would ever need to use it since I've uploaded web pages, graphics, ebooks, script packages and everything else through the easy to use control panels provided by the hosting account. The only advantage for using FTP that I know of is that it allows you to upload complete folders with your web files rather than having to create the folder and move each file separately. And since I don't upload complete folders of information that often it's easier and faster to spend the time doing it through the control panel instead of getting an FTP program set up properly. (Maybe I'm just not geeky enough. )
3. Don't know how to set up an autoresponder -
If you can read and you're able to learn simple things then you can set 1 up. You can learn the bare basics using a free one like FreeAutoBot.com until you're ready to spend money and understand some of the more advanced features.
When I started my newsletter I used a free service provided by Yahoo and FreeAutoBot.com for some niche lists. Since I moved the newsletter off of Yahoo several years ago I don't know if they still provide the service but FreeAutoBot.com is alive and well.
Set up a free account, subscribe to your own list, play with the autoresponder until you're comfortable with how it works and then get into the habit of sending email to your list.
It won't take long before you're comfortable enough to move onto a bigger and better service. And when you do move your list you can ask them to re-subscribe or just keep both places to send your mailings. (If you ask them to re-subscribe be prepared to lose most of your list so I'd suggest you do this while your list is still very small. )
4. Don't know how to find and use keywords correctly -
This is a problem everyone shares and the only way you'll learn how to do it is to get started. If you do it wrong then you really have nothing to worry about unless you've abused the use of keywords by over using them because no one will know about your web page.
So get that page set up with your best guess for the proper keywords. Then as you learn more about how to choose and use them to get search engine traffic, go back and modify your page. (Search engines like to see pages that get updated frequently - especially when it's the content that's getting changed. )
5. Don't know how to use AdSense or other pay-per-clicks -
If that's the only reason you don't have a site up then you're just stalling because there are so many other ways to get traffic to your site. And while pay-per-clicks are an extremely good way to get traffic they can also get expensive until you have a good conversion rate.
I very seldom use any pay-per-click services and recommend you don't try it until you either have a page with a high conversion ratio or have some deep pockets.
6. Don't know how to install some type of automatic script -
There's a lot of hype out there telling everyone they should have a free membership site or a free directory site or a free giveaway site, etc.
Hey, it's just hype because I've had this site up for more than 3 years and started the free membership area last year without installing a script. And while it may not have some of the bells and whistles that are provided by a script, it gets the job done. Also, it wasn't hard or complicated. I made 1 simple change through the control panel on my host to make 1 folder a private folder and then put all the pages for our area inside of that private folder. No script - No database
Now having a directory site or a giveaway site and using an automatic script with a database would really make things a lot less work overall, even those types of sites could be set up without 1. Giveaways usually last for a short period so while you may have a lot of manual work during the giveaway, it would only be for a short while. Directory type sites are meant to last so if your heart is set on having one then you probably do need to learn how to install or pay someone to install a script. If you do it manually and the site starts getting the traffic you're hoping for you'll have to hire someone to do the work a script would do automatically.
7. Don't know how to get traffic to my site -
First, until you have some place for the traffic to go then you don't need it.
As you're setting up your site or blog take a few minutes everyday to investigate all the ways of getting traffic. After you've seen some of the ways to get traffic, pick out 1 or 2 and start using them when your site is available.
Getting traffic is something you'll always be working on so be prepared to refine what you're using and to increase the number of ways you get traffic as you work to grow your business. Just remember, you don't have to use them all when you're starting or even after you've had your online business for awhile.
"But I don't know to (fill in the blank)" -
There's a lot of things we don't know how to do when we're getting started and I've just scratched the surface with the above list. But it's OK if you don't know how to do something because it may not be something you need to do right away. If it is something basic like a creating a site, building a list or getting traffic then use the available free workarounds to get started and keep learning.
There are very few who start an online business with enough resources to pay to have it all done for them and even fewer who must do it themselves and already know everything there is to know.
The most important thing to learn about having an online business isn't knowing how to create a web site, how to build a list, how to get traffic to your site or even how to make a sale.
The 2 most important things to learn are:
Learn to conquer your fear of the unknown and your self doubt and get started with you plan. Unless you break the law, only a few “jerks" will care if you make a mistake and most of the time no one will even know you made 1. After you've taken that 1st scary step you'll face others that are just as frightening. But as you conquer each of these steps they begin to get easier and less frightening.
There's always something new to learn. No matter how much you learn it seems that there is always some new technology or someone who's improved on the use of an old one. So after you have the basics figured out you'll need to keep learning or get left behind in the dust.
Once you've mastered the 2 most important things to learn the rest will follow. And if you need some time to learn the basics there's usually an easy short term solution available.
To Your Success,
PS While I've listed the use of blogs, control panels and the use of private folders as short term solutions they are also very good permanent solutions. After you have your site set up using the control panel to upload your pages you can start using your blog to drive traffic to your site and your site to drive traffic to your blog. And there are other ways to use a blog to help you with your business but that's outside of the scope of today's tip and 1 of the things you can learn about after you've conquered the basics.
Susan has been helping people with their online marketing for more than 3 years. You're invited to join her free membership site at: http://www.friendswhocare.us/join.htm
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