Monday, September 17, 2007 ranked on Google!

Hot News!!! on the First page of!

- Ranked #1 on keyword "Internet, E-Marketing and E-Commerce Guides". Try ...

- Ranked #1 on keyword "E-Marketing and E-Commerce Guides". Try ...

- Ranked #1 on keyword "Internet, E-Marketing and E-Commerce". Try ...

- Ranked #4 on keyword "E-commerce Guides". Try ...

Monday, September 03, 2007

Are You Making These E-Commerce Excuses? (part 2)

Last time, we started to take a look at the most common reasons
why most people don't make progress on their e-commerce and
Internet marketing goals. Today, we continue the discussion. [See
part 1 of this article at]


Excuse #5:
" I just don't have time. I'm too busy dealing with [customers,
clients, day job, family, etc.] to deal with my web site."


Isn't it interesting that the folks who have the fewest orders to
fill or have the fewest clients to serve are usually the same
people who say they don't have time to market their products
or services?

That's because the most successful entrepreneurs - the ones with
all the orders and clients they can handle - know how important
marketing is to establishing and growing their business. They don't
put marketing at the bottom of their to-do lists, waiting until
everything else is done before they get to it. The successful ones
make the time; they schedule it in on an ongoing basis. It's a
winning habit.


You can do the same! It's a matter of priority. Try this: Block out
some time on your schedule to do your marketing tasks. Make this
appointment with yourself, and keep it! Treat it as if it were a
hot date with the man or woman of your dreams, or an important
meeting with your biggest client. In other words, be on time,
be prepared when you get there, and be adamant about not
allowing interruptions or distractions.

Actually, I started doing this myself. I call it "Marketing
Mondays" and I block out a minimum of four hours each and
every Monday to work on my web site, write new articles, create
marketing materials, and the like. I've been doing it for several
months now, and the results have been phenomenal! I'm blazing
through all of the marketing stuff that got put on the back burner
last year, including my new web site,, which launched earlier this year.

If you're looking at your Palm Pilot or DayPlanner and you're still
convinced you don't have enough time for marketing, check out Suzanne
Falter-Barns' list of "30 Guaranteed Time Wasters" from her book, "Living
Your Joy: A Practical Guide to Happiness." You can download a "Time
Wasters" excerpt here (PDF):


Excuse #6:
"Every time I sit down to work on my marketing, I just can't seem
to stay focused."


This one goes hand in hand with procrastination. You sit down to
work on your web site, all full of gusto and good intentions. But
the next thing you know, you're rearranging items on your desk,
sharpening pencils (which you probably don't even use!), checking
email, doodling, and everything else. Sound familiar?


Let me tell you, I'm great at finding little meaningless things
to do when I'm dreading a particular task! But I'm going to share
three tricks that have really worked for me. Maybe they'll work
for you, too.

If you know that a four-hour "Marketing Monday"-type block of time
is just not going to work for you, try it in one-hour increments,
four days a week. The shorter time frame will leave a smaller
opportunity for you to get distracted. Schedule the date and time
for it, then get yourself a timer. (My friend Janet Hall, "The
Organizing Wizard," [] gave me this tip.)
Set the timer for 60 minutes, and work like crazy for those 60
minutes with total focus. When the timer goes off, put the
marketing away and work on something else. For best results, skip
the timer on your digital watch and get a regular old kitchen
timer. There's something about the ticking noise that really
gets me going, and when I hear that "ding!" at the end, I just
feel like celebrating because I know it's over!

Sometimes we get too bogged down with tasks that we lose sight
of the big picture. What do you really want from your business?
What is it that you're working for? And what will your life look
like if you have a thriving, successful business? A certain house
or car? More time with your family? A tropical vacation? What
does success look like for you? Find a picture that represents
your "success" -- cut it out of a magazine or print it off the
Internet if you don't have an actual photograph -- and post it
at your desk, tape it to your computer, or place it wherever you
do your marketing work. And every time you feel like you're losing
focus on your marketing efforts, look at the image and think about
how completing the task will being you one step closer to
achieving your dream.

(Say what??) No, seriously. Try aromatherapy. Aside from all the
anecdotal evidence, scientific research now shows that really is
something to ancient art of using essential oils to heal the mind,
body and spirit. Specifically, oils of basil, geranium,
frankincense, lemon, peppermint, and rosemary can be used to
improve your ability to focus and concentrate. Be sure to use the
pure essential oils and not just "fragrance oils." Just add a few
drops to a tissue, and inhale. (NOTE: If you're pregnant, avoid
basil, peppermint, and rosemary altogether; and avoid frankincense
and geranium during the first trimester.)

For me, a combination of frankincense and geranium works best. I've
Been studying aromatherapy and creating all-natural products for
the past 21/2 years, so I create my own blends. But you can find all
kinds of pure oils, spritzes for the room and the body, and plug-in
diffusers for your home, office, and car at your local health food
store, retailers like The Body Shop, or online shops like Indigo
Wild ( -- check out their "Zum Body Mist"
in Rosemary-Mint.) When I feel my mind wandering, I just get a good
whiff of frankincense and geranium, and I'm immediately good to go!

If you're too much of a skeptic to try aromatherapy, just pull out
a freshly minted $20 bill and inhale the scent of fresh money!

So there you have it...

You have no more excuses not to turn your web site into the
fabulous, cash-generating marketing vehicle that it can be.
What are you waiting for? GET TO WORK!!

Are You Making These E-Commerce Excuses? (part 1)

A year ago, I had big plans to re-vamp my web site. I was going to publish my e-newsletter twice a month - every month, and I was going to upgrade my own e-commerce capabilities. Those were my Internet marketing "resolutions" for 2004.

And I broke them all. *Every single one.* (One of them I broke even before the month of January was over!) For every goal, I had an excuse. And the excuses won.

But this year is different. It's 2005 - time to get live! At the end of the first quarter, I'm already off to a good start. In January, I launched my new web site, and new "Supersize Your Bootcamp" training program. And you're reading
another newsletter issue. So far, so good!

But this article isn't about me. It's about YOU! What are *your*
Internet marketing goals?

This spring, I intend to (check all that apply):

___ Finally get that web site up and running.

___ Add e-commerce to my current web site.

___ Overhaul my existing web site.

___ Get more web traffic.

___ Get more leads, prospects, or subscribers to my web


___ Get more orders.

Great! But how?

Just like any other kind of goal, Internet marketing goals require ACTION. E-commerce success doesn't happen overnight. What
do you plan to do to make it happen? As the old adage goes, "if
you do the same thing you've been doing, you'll get the same
results you've been getting!"

So, will you do things differently this time? Or will you make the same excuses you made last year for not bringing your web site up to par?

Let's take a look at some of the most common marketing issues.
Do any of these statements sound familiar? Check off any that do.

__ "I just can't seem to get my [web site, marketing campaign,

redesign, shopping cart, etc.] started."

___ "I keep starting a new marketing effort, but I can't seem to
finish it."

___ "When it comes to [Internet marketing, e-commerce, web
sites, etc.], I'm just clueless. I don't know what to do."

___ "I know I could benefit from marketing my [web site,
products, service, etc.] but I'm not sure what steps to take. I feel stuck."

___ "I just don't have time. I'm too busy dealing with [customers, clients, day job, family, etc.] to deal with my web site."

___ "Every time I sit down to work on my marketing, I just can't
seem to stay focused."

Now, let's look at each statement, and see if there's any truth
to it, or if it's actually an excuse that's keeping you and your
business from the success you want to achieve.


Excuses # 1 and #2:
"I just can't seem to get my [web site, marketing campaign,
redesign, shopping cart, etc.] started." And "I keep starting
a new marketing effort, but I can't seem to finish it."


Ah, the words of a first-rate procrastinator. I ought to know
- this is me! I've been a procrastinator since as far back as
I can remember. When I was in school, I would always wait until
the night before a paper was due to start working on it, no matter how far in advance I knew it was coming. I used to think I just worked better with that last-minute rush of adrenaline, but now I know better. Procrastination is caused by one of two things: LAZINESS or FEAR.

Entrepreneurs, by nature, usually aren't lazy folks. So let's deal with the fear. Projects that are big, new, or unfamiliar (such as e-commerce) can often make us feel overwhelmed or intimidated. So we respond with "I'll just do it later?"



The solution is to break up a project into smaller, more manageable chunks. Outline each individual task that needs to be accomplished (such as take product photos, research vendors for e-mail newsletter services, etc.), and assign each item a deadline. If the list is long, group the tasks by week and put one week's list on one sheet of paper. If you see an entire page full of stuff to do, you're more likely to get intimidated or overwhelmed and not do them at all. So keep each list short. Use a big piece of paper, too - it makes the list look smaller!


To make sure you stick to your to-do list, try the carrot and stick approach: the carrot is the reward - a small treat such as a pedicure or a movie; and the stick is the punishment - such as
an extra household chore or adding $10 to a "penalty jar."
If you complete all the tasks for the week, you get the reward.
If you don't, you get the stick! Decide on the weekly rewards
and punishments ahead of time, and write them at the top of your
weekly task list. Be creative! Also, come up with a bigger reward to give yourself when the entire project is completed. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it should definitely be meaningful to you.


Also, try the "buddy" system. Make yourself accountable to complete your tasks by enlisting the support of a trusted friend or colleague. Send your buddy your task list by email (or better yet, exchange lists with your buddy so that he can get support for his project as well), a do a quick check-in by phone once a week. It's an amazing motivator to have to tell on yourself if you don't do what you pledged to do!


Let me show you what I mean. My sister Sydnye recently completed the manuscript for her first novel. Partway through, she found herself procrastinating and she just couldn't move forward. She used both of these techniques to get through it. First, she got a reliable buddy. Together, they agreed that she would need to write X number of pages per week. Every week she would call her novel buddy and report her progress to him, and email the completed pages as proof.

If she completed the agreed-upon number of pages that week, she
took herself to the movies or bought some fun craft supplies to
play with. If she didn't finish the pages, not only did she not
get her reward, but she had to take her novel buddy out to lunch
-- and McDonald's was not allowed! Now, her novel is finished
and edited, and it's just a matter of time before Oprah calls to
tell Syd she's the next big book club pick!


Excuses #3 and #4:
" When it comes to [Internet marketing, e-commerce, web sites,
etc.], I'm just clueless. I don't know what to do." And "I know I could benefit from marketing my [web site, products, service, etc.] but I'm not sure what steps to take. I feel stuck."


Lack of information is the root cause of these excuses. You're a
smart person.If you weren't, you wouldn't have that great business concept or great product idea that you have. At some point in time, we've all found ourselves with the motivation to do something, but not the know-how.

When you find yourself in this situation, start with the end in
mind. What is it exactly that you want to accomplish? ("I want to improve my web site.") Be specific. ("I want to improve my web site so that I can get $20,000 in new orders this year.")

Good. Now ask yourself, what steps do I need to take to make
that happen? ("Hmm. First, I need to make the colors a little
brighter to make it more attractive.") Good, keep going. ("Then,
I need to find out at least one thing that other successful
businesses are doing to attract web traffic.") That's a good
start. Keep doing this until you have a list. For each item on
the list, ask yourself "What resources or materials do I need
to do it?" and add those to the list (for example "Create new
product descriptions"). If you get to a question you can't answer, don't stop. Instead, try this: ask "Where can I find this information?" or "Who can I ask who knows the answer or can point me to it?" Then add "Call [name]" to your to-do list.

Once you have a list, start working on the tasks one at a time.
If you feel yourself getting off track and things aren't happening, try the methods outlined in the "Procrastination" above.

Does Your Shopping Cart Have a Squeaky Wheel?

Have you ever gone grocery shopping just before a holiday? The aisles are packed with people pushing carts, shelves need restocked, all the checkout lanes have long lines...not a fun experience.

Just like in-person shopping, making online shopping easy and painless is key to getting customers to purchase from your store.


Let's examine the internet shopping process from start to finish exposing some places in the process that your store may have a squeaky cart.

Make the Product Easy to Find

Offer a search capability if your store has a large number of products. Most buyers don't have the patience to wade through 20 pages of products to find what they want.

Share Availability Early On

Now that the customer has found the product, let them know that it is in stock and ready to ship. Right on the product page or when they place it in their shopping cart let the customer know their purchase can be on its way soon. Don't wait until after they've placed the order to tell them it will be another 6-8 weeks.

Streamline the Order Form

Limit your order form to the basics. Shipping information, credit card or payment information, and the quantity and order number are all it takes. This isn't the place to conduct market research or ask for loads of information. Keep the order form short and simple. For future purchases, keep the customer's data on file so they can fly through the ordering even faster next time.

Handling Your Shipping (and Handling)

One big reason many people don't shop on the internet is that they have to pay for shipping. Offer a variety of shipping options to the customer so that she can decide how quickly she needs the item and what she is willing to pay to have the product delivered. Resist the temptation to add large handling fees to the shipping costs. What looked like a great online deal at $19.95 isn't nearly as attractive when shipping + handling brings the total cost to $29.95.

Keeping your online order process simple and straightforward will enhance your customer's satisfaction and the likelihood that they will visit your store again.

About The Author

Megan Corwin is an internet marketing coach who helps work at home professionals grow their businesses. Send an email to to schedule a complimentary 30 minute coaching session. For more articles and advice about online marketing strategy and solutions, become a member of Megan's online community for work at home women: