As you can probably tell, over the last few years I have spent a lot of time learning and talking about the steps needed to get into internet marketing as a way of making money online.

I’ve spoken about courses and events, I’ve shared techniques and reviews, but I haven’t really told you much about me along the way.

It’s a funny thing, but right back at the start of my time working at home, I attended a conference on professional photography, thinking at the time that it might be a way to earn money from what had become my main passion as a hobby. What’s even funnier (but in a white clown, tragi-comic kind of way) is that I turned my back on it, as it looked like I’d need several years to get established.

Here we are several years later and I don’t have a photography business, but I do have a fledgling IM business. What might have happened if I had taken that first direction?

The Wheel Turns

It’s obviously a huge mistake to look backwards at what might have been, but things do have a way of coming round again in life and I believe that I have seen one of those chances just recently.

Those of you who have been keeping in touch with the blog will know that I released my first real WSO back in May and I chose at that time to bring out a package of resale rights Facebook timeline covers based on my photographs from across the years.

Not a major money-spinner, but at least I broke even while adding a few folk onto my list!

All that editing and adjusting got me back in the mode of thinking of my “hobby” as an asset and so I dusted down a mindmap I had made as an introduction to photography.

And then, just last weekend, I was talking to a couple who had bought an all-singing, all-dancing compact system camera and who were bemoaning the fact that they still got dreadful photos from it. They didn’t feel as if the money had been well spent and the lives of their children were slipping away in a haze of overexposure and motion blur!

We had a long chat and worked out (eventually) all the little things that they just didn’t understand about their new toy and by the end of the weekend, they were happy bunnies about how their pictures were turning out…..and that made me think about unserved markets.

You can probably guess where this is going next.

I’ll be kicking off a new project to help everyone who thinks their pictures still suck, despite now owning a moderately priced compact camera. I may be able to help those with a point-and-shoot a bit too, but it’s the next level up that really need help.

To help that project get started, I splashed out on a new Canon Powershot SX260 HS (you have to love these model numbers), as I felt it was only right to talk about my own real-world examples and my trusty Nikon D300 is way up the scale to use as a real test-bed for this.

The coolest thing about it all, is that I checked my Amazon Associates account in the UK that has been earning money at a trickle for some time and I had enough in there to just about cover the cost of the camera. So, that’s me, living the internet lifestyle 🙂

Here’s a quick video of me with my new toy:

The great thing is that I have a visit to Madrid planned for next week, so although I won’t be updating the blog as often, I will be getting to grips with my compact camera and all it’s frustrations (whoever heard of a camera not taking RAW photos!).

It all goes to show, that sometimes the things you love in life are perfectly acceptable topics for product creation and marketing. Take a look at your own hobbies and passions and then check them out in your favourite keyword tool, who knows, you may be sitting on a goldmine. As a word of caution, do check out the commercial viability as one of my first blogs was based on my passion for Sudoku and that really doesn’t bring in the cash 🙂

Let me know if you want help identifying where your passions can make money – there’s gold in them there brain-cells.

Do “Real-Life” and Internet Marketing ever intersect?

I like to try to keep my journey documented as well as use this blog for product reviews and training snippets and this was one of the things Dean commented on during his recent WSO course.

His opinion, was that personality (and personal detail) makes a blog so much more trustworthy as it proves that the writer has all the ups and downs of the readers – leading to more trust and hopefully more business.

I’m not sure if I think that is the whole truth.

There are obviously some bloggers who write awesome personal entries with all the power of Shakespeare, the dynamism of Tony Robbins and the knowing wit of Stephen Fry. For the rest of us mortals, it’s an uphill struggle to produce a personal story that has any relevance to our target audience without sounding like it’s a bad link made by a second-rate DJ.

So how do you do it? How do you write this kind of post without driving your readers into calling the Samaritans from boredom?

I’m going to suggest that it’s better to start with your “idea” and then wait patiently for life to throw you a matching situation than it is to try to force every part of your existence into some kind of “teaching box”. Now, that might make each post take  little longer before publishing, but at least it won’t end up being one of those forced essays we often see.

Email Marketing as Self-Flagellation

I’ve been trying to mail a bit more often to my list of subscribers recently, partly as a result of Dean’s course (again!) and partly because I really should be.

I’m not in a position to know what kind of lists my readers on here have, but it seems like a really great way to experience anonymous hatred to me.

I’ve always tried to mail just the stuff that I have tried or bought in some way and I’ve even grabbed a couple of offers recently that have let me offer a great product to my list for a (fixed) price less than that being offered by the creator on his own dime-sale.

Now, I’ve read this stuff, it’s useful and I’m selling it cheap(er) and yet I have had not just unsubscribes but also complaints on Aweber. It seems bizarre to me that such an email could cause so much angst in a person’s inbox, but there it is.

If this helps anyone out there just getting started with building a list, I’d say be prepared for the cynical and the haters no matter what you try to do to help their (miserable, pond-sucking) lives and wait for those rare rays of sunshine from folk who genuinely see the value in what you have sent. By the same token, don’t send them crap 🙂

The Call of the Gym

I promised to do an update the other day about my recent re-awakening to all that is holy in the land of keep-fit. It’s one of those things we all know we could do more of, but it needs a real habit to be formed around it, as it’s just too easy to justify not doing anything.

As I said in my other post, it’s about valuing things in your life differently.

Anyway, I promised to provide some baseline figures that I intend to change as my exercise regime takes hold. I’m also encouraged to do this by James Sides, who has gone one step further and posted some pics too (I am not that brave – yet!)

These are based around the bare-minimum figures from Tim Ferris’ book “The 4-hour body” and I haven’t been to all kinds of clinics and things like Tim to measure all my hormones etc etc. Not only that, but these are in centimentres, ’cause that’s what we got in Europe 🙂

Navel: 113cm  Hips:110cm L Thigh: 60cm R Thigh: 61cm L Bicep 31cm R Bicep 32cm

All of these were taken “at rest” not tensed up at all and the final crowning glory was my weight at the start of 99.9 kg (and that’s what woke me up!) – currently sat at 99.1kg after a week of gym.

If you’re keen to follow along, maybe I should add a weight-loss category to make it easier…..and if you have any advice, I’d be happy to hear your own trials and tribulations.