My appreciation goes out to Lynn Terry for presenting an opportunity to have an interview with her. Lynn is the author of ClickNewz.com, a co-host on the IMTW Podcast, host of the ClickNewz! Live Podcast, and best known as “the voice of integrity” in the Internet Marketing space.
The questions in bold are ones I thought my audience might have and Lynn’s answers follow:
Where do I start to learn what it is I need to know to have an online presence?
Figuring out where to start is the hard part for most people. There are many opportunities on the internet that range from online jobs & work from home options to starting up your own business.
The first thing you should do is decide which route you want to go. If you have a skill or hobby that you want to turn into a business, great! If you love to write, you may consider becoming a professional blogger. If you don’t have the self-discipline to work for yourself, then freelancing or telecommuting may be better for you.
There are a lot of options out there, and you don’t want to make the mistake of buying into every offer that promises to teach you how to do this or that. First, find a community or discussion forum and brainstorm a bit. Figure out what direction you want to go. And *then* set out to learn what you need to know to do what you want to do.
Realistically, how much time will it take to get the hang of “this online marketing thing”?
Most people try to learn everything, or “get the hang of it” all, upfront. Unfortunately this never works because the internet is constantly changing and evolving. This is my 15th year in business and I am continuously learning and applying new ideas and strategies, year after year. That’s the name of the game with an online business. So my short answer would be… “for as long as you are in business online.” 🙂
That shouldn’t discourage you, though. For most people it keeps things fresh, and makes it fun.
What if I don’t have a lot of time to devote to learning all the technical stuff?
You only need to learn what you need to know, to accomplish the one thing you’re working on right now. That’s a relief, isn’t it! You don’t need to be a technical genius to run an online business. Thank goodness – lol. I have a hard enough time figuring out how to use my smart phone!
And as I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to know it all upfront. Nothing about running a business or working online is rocket science. Granted, most people make it harder than it needs to be. Personally I run very little software, zero toolbars, and keep it simple. If I need to learn how to make text bold, I Google it and figure out how to do it. If I need to figure out how to install a WordPress theme, I Google it and follow the instructions I find. Period.
Are there any shortcuts?
Sure – but there are legit shortcuts, and then there are shortcuts that will end up shooting you in the foot. An example of a legit shortcut would be hiring someone to design & set up your website. Money can replace Time in most cases.
As for software and programs that promise to be a shortcut… I would steer clear of most of those. When in doubt, find a trusted community and ASK. Or at the very least, Google the product and read as many reviews as you can find. Be smart about what you use and how you operate. It’s your *business*.
Do I really need to invest in the different products that claim they will help me make money online?
For the most part, no. There are some exceptions. You will need to invest in a domain name and a hosting account to start a website or a decent blog, for example. But as I said earlier, I use very little software and rarely buy products for “making money online”.
If I need to learn something specific, and don’t have time to figure it out on my own, I’ll buy a guide from the leading expert on that topic. But only if I plan to read and implement that guide, and make my money back doing so. Otherwise it’s not an investment, it’s an expense. Big difference.
There are other exceptions as well. Sometimes there will be fees or dues associated with brainstorming groups, or freelance networks. The key is not to buy anything and everything you come across in an effort to shortcut your way to success. That will never work. Simply buy what you need, when you need it. And always do your research first.
What basic skills are needed to be an affiliate marketer?
The only thing you really need upfront is a strong work ethic. Everything else you can learn along the way. And honestly, most things are best learned by trial and error. I made many mistakes over the years, all of which have been stepping stones that got me where I am today.
I wasn’t a very good writer in the beginning, for example. I look back at some of my blog posts from when I first started blogging 6 or 7 years ago, and I cringe – LOL. But I got better with time. The same with writing copy, headlines, blog post titles, etc. Your skills will improve with practice, so the best thing you can do is just… get started! 😉