Step-by-Step Guide for Internet Marketing

A friend of mine just launched his latest Internet Marketing initiative. Basically, his product aims to teach serious internet marketers how to generate online income using only free resources. This might not sound very ground breaking as many others have touted the same concept.

However, I have visited their web site and they do deliver. They have these step-by-step videos that guide you through the process of starting your own internet business. Nothing is left out. The viewer is assumed to know nothing. So, even simple things like signing up for a free blog account has a video! They are advocating a 4-step formula which they call the Smart Business Formula.

For those who are interested, you could not do worse than to check it out. There is a 72-hour window where the price has been lowered to a one-time payment of only $19.97 as opposed to a monthly fee. Again, nothing new here other than the fact that these guys are serious. They launched it a few months back as a free service. Now, it’s a one-time fee. Then, it will be increased, and eventually, a monthly subscription. They have already garnered enough word of mouth to make it really successful. Best of all, all the techniques described do not require you to pay anything.

Nothing to lose if you go check it out.

[tags]internet marketing, online revenue, marketing formula[/tags]

The customer is no longer king

When Vista was launched a year ago, there was a lot of talk about how it (the launch) paled in comparison to Windows XP. Well, about a year on, and Vista is still struggling. Microsoft is a technology company. But it is better known for its marketing finesse and its many litgations.

Just saw this article about how Linux was going to benefit from Vista’s struggle to gain acceptance. Frankly, I doubt it. One of the key lessons we all learn early on in our lives as marketers, is the fact that marketing cannot make up for the shortfall of a product’s core capabilities.

Sure, Vista has its challenges. It requires hardware that make it more expensive. It has a slew of options that confuse the heck out of normal, everyday users. It has numerous problems with legacy devices like cameras, digital players and so on. But most importantly, it has not demonstrated its superiority to Windows XP in any clear, convincing manner. So of course, Microsoft is going to kill XP, just so that this new kid on the block is guaranteed a “bright” future.

But Linux is not the golden brick road to computing freedom either. There are enough flavours of Linux out there to make even the most enthusiastic supporter scratch their heads in confusion. But more importantly, Linus has failed to cater to the needs of the everyday computer user at the most important level – ease of use.

So, on the one hand, we have a new operating system that places a heavy demand on hardware expenditure and on the other, we have a contender that does not seem to allow the mere mortal a chance at learning it easily. Doesn’t this make you long for the days when “the customer is king”?

[tags]microsoft, windows vista, linux[/tags]

Another Toy Recall!

This is getting scary! Yet another toy recall. What is worse, the problem this time is not only about toxic substances, the chemicals in question converts in to the “date rape” drug GHB (gamma-hydroxy butyrate) when ingested. That, on a child’s toy?

I found out about this when both Charlene and Marcie blogged it. In fact, it got me so stressed, I was quite happy to find a stress reliever that really works!

[tags]toys, toy recall, aqua dots[/tags]

It’s the Season to be Holidaying!

Confess! How many of you have made Hotel Reservations more than six months ago? Well, you are wise!

But for those who have not, it is not too late! There is still time, especially if you use online booking services. If you check out HotelReservations.com, you will realize that you can practically arrange your entire trip online, and at one convenient location. Better yet, you don’t even have to budge from in front of your computer – better save your energy for that fantastic vacation! Just go take a look at the site, if you don’t believe me.

The site is available in multiple languages, which is a bonus if English is not your forte. But more importantly, the site is well laid out and the things that you will need to do are pretty straightforward. For example, if you wanted to book a hotel, you can fill in the form with your destination city, then put in the dates that you want to be there and when you want to leave. You should also put in how many people are traveling and of course, how many rooms you need. The application then throws up a list of options.

This is almost like having someone do a comprehensive research for you. Each result that is returned gives you a short line on the hotel’s location or it’s most interesting characteristic. It gives you information about the place and a map if you want, they are just a click away. Then of course, the price is right there. You simply scroll down the list and pick the one you fancy or the one that fits your budget. Your choice.

You can do the same for your rental car, air tickets and even entire vacation packages. Just a quick note, use the tabs at the top of the page to navigate when you want to search for rental cars, air ticket or vacation rentals. The tabs inside the middle box don’t work.

So, stop reading and go start booking your holidays if you have not done so!

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[tags]online vacation, hotel reservation, car rental, air ticket[/tags]

One Hell of a Product Launch – HellGate London

For all the marketing folks out there, here is one way never to launch a product. Read on for the low-down on the fun and games. Not.

The product in question here is a computer game called HellGate London. It was a much anticipated product and had a rousing response to its launch. However, it did a few critical things wrong which has made it go from hero to dog in something less than a week!

– Product was extremely buggy (bugs are things that make the game hang, or interfere with the game play)
– Communications with the community was patchy
– There was no in-game communications (this is critical, especially for an online game)
– Action was taken with no consideration to user inputs

Many users felt that the company simply took their money under false pretense. This is really bad. Now, bear in mind that the game is indeed an excellent game. I think what happened was a mis-management of communications, customer service and worse of all, plain, lousy product management.

You can read a funny “review” of the situation here: When There Is No Room In Hellgate, The Dead Shall Inhabit The Bargain Bin

Unfortunately, you cannot view the ire of the gamers unless you can log into their forums. Both the US/Europe and the Asian forums are hot with irate gamers. Bearing in mind that this game is based on the incredibly successful “Diablo” franchise, it is really surprising. Yet, again, if you think about it, it is not that surprising. Ego, Arrogance and Greed. If not, there is no other explanation as to why a company so experienced and with such a strong history, can screw up a launch so badly.

With products and services, a launch should never take place before a product is ready to go. The skill here is to be able to tell the difference between a critical bug and a non-critical bug. When “management” takes over or “marketing” takes over the product management process, the fiasco of HellGate proportions happens. This is not the first, and I doubt if it will be the last. Another famous example would be the Tribes2 launch by Dynamics (now gone) where the “auto update” was defective and could not update itself at launch!

[tags]hellgate, bad service, poor marketing[/tags]

Off Topic – Live Healthy!

This is a high stress world that we live in. Whether you are in New York, Hongkong, Singapore or down under in Sydney, it is the same. Big city life is stressful.

One of my friends from India shared that he has decided to go vegetarian and take up meditation. Well, whatever works, I guess. But more interesting, is that he has decided to grow his own sprouts at home. I think I mentioned this sometime before in one of my earlier posts. The point here is, apparently, he has also decided to see if he can spread this healthy lifestyle to more people via the Internet.

Frankly, I think if everyone shared what they have learnt about healthy living, just the sharing alone would be a nice stress relieve. So, let me introduce you to http://www.nurtureyourown.com where you can go learn about healthy living!

[tags]stress, healthy living, healthy lifestyle[/tags]

Entrepreneur Tip – Don’t Take Credit Card Loans!

When running a small business, many small business owners rely a lot on their credit cards to see them through tight corners. This is actually fine. But there is one thing that you should never do. Never take cash out on your credit card!

Compare loans to get the best interest rates and terms. There are really many other options when you are looking for unsecured loans that are much more viable than using your credit cards. Of course, we all know that when you are looking for homeowner loans, you shop around. Should be no different when you are going for small loans for your small business. Don’t pay huge interests, there are other options!

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[tags]personal loans, unsecured loans, small business loans[/tags]

Off Topic – Echoes through your life…

The other day, my son was telling us a joke about “wives”. Which was funny enough in and of itself, since of course, me and my wife were married, he was not. But anyway, there he was, talking about how you need to have two tongues to be a mommy because you had to yak, yak, yak…

Suddenly, he stopped and made a very astute observation about married life, “Oh, and you have to live with that for the rest of your life.”

So I told him, he was wrong. Women did not need two tongues to yak yak yak. They just need to say it once, and it echoes for the rest of your life. In yet another stroke of incredible insight, he blurted, “I do!”

[tags]marriage, mommy, mothers, nagging[/tags]