Want to Know Why Your Online Efforts Stink

Author : , Date : July 17, 2014

StinkDo your online efforts stink? You may not think so. You post really good copy on your website, you blog occasionally or even regularly, you put stuff on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn groups, Pinterest and still; yet there is no substantive growth for your efforts.


You’re doing what all the “experts” claim you should be doing and still you say to yourself; “Self, I don’t know what to do, nothing is working for me?”

I fully understand what you’re going through. I’ve been there and done that. And then one day last fall it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I’ve had all this experience in the military helping develop leadership training materials; ten years of entrepreneurial experience; and more failures to learn from than I honestly want to admit publicly but will if it helps someone else.


Issue 1 – I Didn’t Know the Real Business I was In

I have been in web design and development since 2005, but I dabbled in it for two years prior to being forced into it after a horse accident left me broke and bankrupt.

I did what a lot of people are doing today. I started a business out of desperation. Now, that can be a very incentivizing thing, for a while. But a business has to have more substance to it than desperation in order for it to succeed.

It’s amazing what you don’t know that you don’t know. Wow, that sounds so much better in my head than it reads on the screen.

But it’s true. You have no idea what you don’t know.

What I didn’t know back then and many of you haven’t considered now is that there are three things a business must initially be able to do and do well:


  1. Marketing – who is going to buy your products
  2. Sales – did your marketing convince them that they need “your” products
  3. Production – you must be able to deliver on your sales promises


Here is the problem, if you don’t know what business you’re really in, how do you market yourself or your product or services?


Let me give you an example that I hope will make sense?


I am in the web design business, but I had no idea what business I was really in. People needed a website, so I built them a website. It was simple and the money was easy.

Until everything changed in 2008 – 2009 when the rubber met the road and things got hard. In the new economy if you couldn’t articulate why someone needed you, if you couldn’t talk to them and about them, if you couldn’t meet their needs; you were done. The writing was on the wall.

Since then I’ve taken all my training and experiences and learned what business I’m really in.


I help businesses:


  • Change their negative mindset about their business and turn it into a positive
  • Achieve success by understanding  who they really are
  • Understand what business they are not in
  • Understand the “real” problems they solve for their prospects
  • Understand who their real audience is (by the way – my audience is much bigger than people who need websites. It’s really the people who know people who need websites)
  • Learn how to communicate in a persuasive and powerful way that relates to the reader
  • Attract more prospects and convert more sales


Does that sound like a web designer or developer? Not at all! That’s because I learned a website that is a brochure that just tells someone who they are and what they do is now useless.

It means nothing, says nothing, and helps no one; leaving the reader to ask; so what?

Why do you think companies came along like Wix and offer a free website. (by the way, you can read my article titled “Is a Free Website Really Free?“)

If you’re going to be successful online, you must know:


  1. Who you are as a person – you are the business and the business is you
  2. What problems you solve
  3. Who you solve those problems for (do you have a profile of your ideal customer?)
  4. How your products or services are part of the solution


Issue 2 – I listened to Too Many Supposed Experts


Let me say right now, I have no problem with experts. In fact, I did a lot of reading and listening to them and used ideas and practical things they shared to help me. They are wonderful and much needed!

I’m referring to those who claim to be experts but cannot back it up. If you’re a social media “expert” and you only post 3 times a week and your engagement is virtually none and you don’t market yourself at all; why would I listen to you or trust you to market me?

Get the point?

Okay. The biggest problem I see is that everyone is leading everyone and just going in a circle. Everyone is blue in a sea of blue. Everyone just blends in and looks the same.

enstine-muki-websiteThis morning, Enstine Muki was very gracious and posted a very nice article that he shared on me. In it, I had the opportunity to comment on a post by a commenter that I knew said it perfectly:

“It took me some time, but I finally figured out for me what great content means. I see too many people writing in the same style, format, structure, topics, etc… I decided I wanted to be very different. Even on social media. I really believe that’s what’s making the difference when I add the heavy marketing and promotion of my work to the mix.

I have a business friend who asked me just last week why I don’t put quotes on my social media businesses pages like everyone else does. I asked her to look at my Facebook post reach – at that moment it was almost 1-6 – for every one follower there was a post reach of 6 people; why should I be like everyone else?

They key to these great folks like Enstine I have been fortunate enough to meet is that they have their own voice, have thought deeply about their business, and that translates into their writing. That equals success in my opinion.

I want be different. I don’t want to be another “7 Ways to Increase Your Twitter Followers” and be like everyone else. Let’s give people something they can really use, and let’s show off what we can really do for them. Let’s make them want to buy us after we show them how we can solve their problems.

Isn’t that what business blogging is really supposed to be about?”

(click here to read the article on Enstine’s website)

You have to discover you. Don’t be like everyone else. Be who you were intended to be!

If you do that and:


  • Write great content
  • Market and promote it (click here for previous article on how to do that)
  • Engage with your readers by always responding to every comment
  • Connect with great bloggers who are influential and make it about them (that means comment and promote their articles and social media posts)


You can have a very long-term successful online career.


Your Online Presence Stinks Because You Don’t Put In the Work


It takes work. And therein lays the problem. Most business owners will whine, complain and make excuses. Then wonder why it isn’t working. They have the wrong mindset and whenever they say they will “try” it they’ve already pre-determined the outcome so that when it fails they can say it doesn’t work.

The issue isn’t what you know, it’s what you don’t know and what you’re willing to change your mind around.

I can’t tell you how much money I’ve lost because of what I didn’t know and didn’t do over the last nine years. I took all I had learned about leadership from the military, my business coaches along the way, all the reading on business I do, and from all the relationships and experiences of the past that inform my present.

The internet more and more is reflection of the offline world. Your online efforts don’t have to stink. Click here and learn what the #1 problem is with any business website and what you can do about it.

If you want to experience me for free and you can wait, consider joining an upcoming webinar… you will get more value than you ever thought possible!


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Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
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141 thoughts on “Want to Know Why Your Online Efforts Stink

  1. Bravo Don!

    And extremely well said! You know, what you’ve described here is so extremely well articulated. It reminds me of the feature film a few years back entitled “The Ugly Truth!’LOL!

    It may not be pretty, but then again, the truth wasn’t necessarily supposed to be!

    Just like you said, sooner or later, it always comes back to that ever so dirty, four letter word. Work! You gotta get after it and stay after it!

    Great job! And now I’m often to study more from Dr.Reality (aka) The University of Don Purdum!LOL!

    1. Hi Mark,

      The Ugly Truth… lol… That’s a funny movie. Of course I think his truth was a little skewed, don’t you?

      Work is the key to making all of this work. We cannot just sit back and wait on third party, rented applications like Google or Facebook. They are not going to do it for us; and nor should they.

      It’s up to us to build our communities, audiences, and earn our prospects and sales. Over time when done right, it gets easier. But for a while, it’s hard work laying a foundation.

      Have a great weekend Mark!

      ~ Don

  2. This is such a great post, an eye opener. I really need to explore further to develop good strategies online.

  3. These are all good points. I’d love to learn to work smarter not harder. I do put in the time, and I do see results, but I would love to learn time saving ideas.

  4. Amen to that Don.

    So many people keep on focusing on the wrong thing which is making the money already, but the money will follow once you’re give value first.

    So true, many people do not know not only what business they’re in but what business is.

    By the way, can I say that I liked your white background much better. Do a poll and see what your readers say 🙂

    1. Hi Sylviane,

      It’s nice to see one of my favorite writers here!!!!

      You are so right. It’s seems like a theme today for me, isn’t that kinda funny? If you focus on solving peoples problems and helping them, your wallet will be taken care of. People really need to stop worrying about the money are start helping the folks.It’s amazing what will happen!!!

      I’m sorry you don’t like the blue. I have gotten at least 50 people and other than yourself, they loved the color combinations. This is really me!!!!

      And, I talk about not looking like everyone else and everybody is either using white, black, or a gray. Well, I get to tell my story to you through colors – which we all know mean something, right? Remind me to tell you that story another time, lol…

  5. Hey Don,

    You were definitely talking about me LOL

    I started blogging in 2010 and for 3 years I was being like everyone else! Speaking of everyone else, let’s talk about some of the experts. Yes I was wholeheartedly listening to the experts. There was only one problem. The advice they were conveying was usually advice that worked for them and not everyone else, that is if they were practicing what they preached.

    After those 3 years I figured out that I was in the “wrong” line of work. I had to figure out how can I be of value to other people and convey it indirectly. So in my blog I started to talk more about my experiences, the problems I faced and how I solved them. I tell you it’s the human side the people are attracted to. And there were quite a few who ran into the same problems I had and we were able to laugh about it later.

    Now people talk about about unique and find your own voice. I feel that I found my own voice through other blogs with a touch of my own introverted/diverse personality! When this is done you feel more balanced. In all I believe that balance is the goal in everything, especially your home business. Once you get to this point you will definitely see a lot of growth!

    Thanks for sharing and I hope you’re having a great week!

    1. Hi Sherman,

      WOW! Love, love, love your comment. Thank you! It’s a special treat!

      Congratulations on fighting through it and staying with it! That’s a really big deal!!!!!!!!

      I will listen to an “expert” every now and then, but I’m on a mission and that’s to find one nugget. I’m not interested in their “how to’s” and here is “what I did” to get milions of dollars and followers.

      We all have to find our own way and our voice. It’s hard, grueling, challenging, and even painful. But we have to do it. As you learned and experienced, when we identify with people it makes all the difference in the world!

      I appreciated it when you said; “It’s the human side the people are attracted to.”

      You are so right. And, that’s why we have to stop trying to sell people and identifying with people, help them solve their problems, and give them a reason to let us be a part of the solution.

      I am so grateful you shared. You have given me a few things here to really think about!

      Thanks again!
      ~ Don

      PS – I really hope you’ll come back and visit us again!!!!

  6. Great tips! Thank you for sharing. It always seems like there are so many experts out there on every subject. You brought up some great points!

    1. Hi Sydney,

      Yes, there is always touting themselves. I just don’t pay much attention anymore. I saw a person claiming to be a social media “guru” with less than a few hundred people following on each media; and zero comments. Really?

      Thanks for sharing!
      ~ Don

  7. Hey Don,

    You sounded like me coming into this as well. I was desperate, I had been laid off from my corporate job but that’s something I was actually thrilled about. My issue was I didn’t want to get another job. I could have with no problem but I was just miserable after having been doing that for more years then I care to admit.

    I didn’t have a clue though and it really took me awhile to find where I belonged. If you can imagine this, I fell into what I’m doing now and that was also writing posts my way. The way I had been doing it wasn’t getting me anywhere and then reaching out to others, which is normally just my personality, I finally started doing that online as well and guess what! People took notice because I think they were just looking for someone genuine to help them with their problems.

    You are right, don’t do what everyone else is doing or how else will you be able to stand out! You’ve got it right and by you sharing your own experience with us helps us understand that we are not in this alone. That’s what most people really want to know too!

    Great job and I enjoyed Enstine’s post too. What a way to make some connections right!

    Hey, have a great week my friend and I have no doubt that you will.


    1. Hi Adrienne!!!

      Wow, another one of my favorites stopping by for a visit. This week is a real treat for me!

      Being in a desperate place was actually a very good thing for me in hindsight. Nothing lasts forever and sometimes you just need a kick in the rear to get going. You know what I mean?

      To me, the teachers and leaders worth following are the ones like yourself that can say you did some things, it didn’t really work out the way I wanted; so I tried something else until it worked for me.

      It takes time, but in a now world no one wants to wait. I suppose that’s why we get spammed and all the garbage comes at those who spend the time to do it right. After all, why do it the right way when I can just take advantage of someone who’s already doing it right.

      I’m sure you’ve never come across that or experience people like that?

      I have to say, I think most people like being told what to do. I don’t think they really want to stand out. It’s a very vulnerable place to be and the more exposure you gain the more vulnerable you are. Me, I love it and it doesn’t matter, but that’s not the majority of people.

      Thanks again as always for visiting me. It’s always a treat. I hope you have a wonderful hump day as you move towards another successful week!

      ~ Don

  8. I often wonder the same thing. I do the exact same thing and then no result. The best thing is to stand out with a unique voice. Following the footsteps of other bloggers is nice, but one needs to add the self flavor or the results will not be pleasing.

    Engaging with the readers and the fellow bloggers are the necessary step. Readers are the gems of the blog, they read it and help the blog grow to its level.

    Fellow bloggers are always helpful and we can learn a lot from them along the way. Awesome post buddy, sometimes all we need to do is keep everything simple. Thanks for sharing this. Anyway, I found this on Kingged.

    1. So glad you stopped by from Kingged.com. It’s been a great experience there for me.

      I’m finding it’s not one or the other. It’s both readers and influential bloggers that make the difference at various moments and in different ways.

      Thanks so much for sharing!
      ~ Don

    1. Hi Tonya,

      You nailed it!!!! They want all the benefits without the work. It’s not hard, but just like any relationship or friendship, it takes work and sometimes even a little elbow grease.

      Thanks for sharing,

    1. Hi Kristen,

      It really isn’t hard to understand and it makes sense when you think about it. But, we all want to be successful so it’s easier to mimick someone many times than it is to find what they did that might work for us.

      Thanks for commenting,

  9. Hi Don,
    That was inspirational! So many facts and realities have been shared in this post. One that readily stands out for me is the fact that success online can be achieved if we own our own voice.

    Of course we need to work it out! Its not really bad to listen to experts but we must follow our instincts and express our innermost intents to help others in business!

    Most of the times, our online business stinks because of commitment and discipline to set goals.

    Some stink because we never envisage that challenges that come with business should be used as springboards for success.

    Yes, every business striving for success must be able to do marketing, sales, and production consistently!

    I upvoted this post in kingged where it was shared for Internet marketers.

    1. Hi Sunday,

      I think one of the issues surrounding the marketing community that uses blogs is that they are stuck in a box; and then rely on experts to tell them what works and what do we get over and over… 7 ways to…

      I see articles or posts on social media that promote that stuff all the time and I’m growing a bit weary of it, lol….

      Find your voice, be unique, be you… It will help you immensely. But, that is hard work and who has the time for that; right?

      That doesn’t make experts bad, it makes their followers lazy. There may be more to it than that but I think it’s a fair assumption.

      Thanks for your insights Sunday. As someone who reads a lot of blogs I’m sure you see a lot of repetition and lost voices.

      I hope you enjoy your weekend!
      ~ Don

  10. It takes a lot more work than people realize.. unfortunately I don’t have time to keep up with my website as much as I would like while I am in school. I never listened to what the experts say, because I don’t think they are always necessarily right. The biggest thing I struggle with is branching out with even more original content, since I do a lot of product reviews. I am starting to shoot pictures at events and write tutorials – -I have the ideas, just not the time I need to do everything!

    1. Hi Jessica,

      One of the ways that used to help me is to create a block calendar and structure the time. Every week, you follow it and keep it. You’ll find you have the time for what’s important to you. If this isn’t what’s important right now, that’s okay so long as you know what is.

      Thanks for sharing.
      ~ Don

    1. Hi Mary Jane,

      It really depends on what his focus is as a business professor. If it’s on accounting he won’t be much help. We are really dealing with the fundamental core of marketing, which is not the same as earning a business degree. I hope that makes sense?

      Hope you have a great weekend!
      ~ Don

    1. Hi Emma,

      That is really the approach I’ve chosen to take. You cannot expect people to find, read, comment, and engage if you don’t give them a reason to; and waiting on Google is a HUGE mistake!

      Thanks for sharing.
      ~ Don

  11. You have to love what you do and be true to yourself grow with your business You can’t give up on what you love and achieved.

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      You have to be true to yourself. It’s the only way to find your voice. Even if that means you have to struggle for a while. The lessons learned and the growth you experience will way outpace any negative experiences you may get as a result.

      Thanks for commenting.
      ~ Don

  12. Hi Don,

    What a fantastic article! Excellent message!

    So glad you’ve added video and a podcast also, congrats on this! – It is a project I’m working on also- to add a blogcast… Super fun stuff!

    Wow, thanks so much for sharing your story. I had no idea about the event that left you broke and bankrupt– So sorry this happened to you and hope you don’t have permanent physical challenges as a result.

    You made me laugh–I understood exactly what you mean about not knowing what you don’t know… LOL

    I struggle with this sometimes, wanting to be farther ahead than I am with regards to understanding, but I must use my baseline of knowledge and build from there, step-by-step and not try to rush ahead.

    I also listened to too many supposed experts during the first year so after getting started with my online business. I was told to observe the “gurus” and that’s exactly what I did.

    This resulted in Inbox overload and complete overwhelm. I’ve since learned to only stay on the list of a very few marketers with whom I have a strong close relationship, and who are accessible to answer questions I have, and to give value.

    Scores of folks STILL think that there is a magic button they can push that will make them earn money online quickly and easily with no work. This is sad because there are many honest marketers with integrity who actually teach the truth about it taking a lot of hard work, time, planning etc. to build a viable online business.

    You have made some excellent points here, Don, and I will be sharing this article with everyone! 🙂

    Thanks so very much for continually cranking out excellent and valuable content.

    Have a blessed weekend.

    Carol Amato

    1. P.S. Hey, Don – did you put this article on Kingged? I’ve looked and can’t find it..Even went to your profile and activity stream and don’t see it… Thanks!

        1. Great, because when I looked on your page, the posts were a bit jumbled (one lying on top of the other) in the bottom pane, perhaps covering it. Thanks! – Carol

    2. Hi Carol,

      Thank you for your generous comments!

      I have really decided to go all in! I’m going to be creating soon a speaker page and perhaps even a media page. I’m really looking to go to the next level. I’m a trained speaker and have spoken extensively in the past and I really feel likes it time to head back out there.

      So, videos, podcasts and multimedia all works together. It’s a little extra work but in the long term I believe it will help me to really stand out.

      That horse accident was devastating nine years ago physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It was one of the darkest hours of my life. It forced me into entrepreneurship and business ownership. In the end, it was the biggest blessing.

      I learned about the issues with the “supposed” experts by getting in with people who sounded really great in the beginning but within a few months I could see the cracks. Again, it was another learning lesson I had to go through and learn from.

      All in all, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. It forced me to learn, be smarter, and figure out how to make this thing called entrepreneurship work for me.

      Thanks for sharing Carol.
      ~ Don

  13. It’s all a matter of sorting all the ‘expert’ advice. Very often we ‘ordinary’ marketers find it difficult to recognise the systems and processes worth following

    1. Hi Lynne,

      That’s a great point. For me, I look at how much are they telling me vs how much are they showing me. I would rather learn from someone who has done it, continues to do it, and will keep doing it in the future.

      The problem with so many “experts” is they achieved something in the past but they are doing anything moving forward. In my world, what you were doing 3 or 6 months ago may no longer apply.

      Thanks for commenting Lynne.
      ~ Don

  14. The points you mention are very accurate. Best to incorporate tips that you feel comfortable with and not take a guru’s word for everything.

    1. Hi Clara,

      It’s funny you mention the word “guru.” If I here someone referred to as a guru, or worse yet if someone refers to themselves as a guru… I run for the hills, lol…

      Not sure why, but it seems people who use that language are usually full of hot air, lol…

      Thanks for sharing.
      ~ Don

    1. Hi Liz,

      That’s right. If you’re going to make it online you’re either in all the way or you might as well not even try because the results will be the same.

      Thanks for sharing.
      ~ Don

  15. I love this post and all the great points you make… I have been spending to much time, money, and effort into listening to “experts” that I forgot my own voice..

    1. Hi Fiorella,

      What excites me is that there is no magic formula or right or wrong. Well, I guess there can be a wrong.. lol

      What I mean is there is no one way to do something. That’s why it’s so important to know the problems you really solve, who you solve them for, where they hang out, and allow your products or services to be a part of the solution.

      While the vision may be the same, there are many different types of strategies you can take. That’s why there is no such thing as a cookie cutter, single off approach to internet marketing.

      Hope that makes sense?

      Thanks for sharing!
      ~ Don

  16. Great article Don! I just read recently that SEO is definitely taking a back seat to great, meaningful content and that is good news for all the great people out there who write from the heart and have things to say.

    1. Hi Anita,

      It’s been a long time. So glad to see you drop by!

      It’s not that it’s taking a back seat, it’s that SEO is pushing the idea of great content to the forefront. How they measure that won’t change too terribly much. If you’ve been writing really good content all along, and especially if people are engaging with it, you can be assured that as the less content filled sites lose their ranking you will gain yours.

      So, I agree, lol…. you’re spot on!

      I hope to see you some more here on my blog Anita. Thanks for stopping by!

      ~ Don

    1. Hi Amanda,

      You’re welcome. So glad you are learning what works for you and what doesn’t. There are a lot of really great people out there sharing amazing content.

      Thanks for commenting.
      ~ Don

    1. So true! I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been blogging for years and just recently, with this new site, have I been able to pull together everything I’ve learned.

      Thanks for sharing!
      ~ Don

  17. Hi Don,

    This is indeed a wonderful post.

    I just went through the page and found it very informative,
    your entry into the blogging world is really an amazing one.
    the horse riding and the aftermath! O My…. I can’t even imagine that now you are a well established business magnet … I think I can very well use that word LOL

    Your presentation in the video is indeed good. that speaks a lot about business websites etc. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

    Keep Going My dear Fellow kinggs

    Best Regards

    ~ Philip

    PS: Hey, Don, I really missed it, but while I was about to log out I noticed that i did not posted it in the original post.
    Hey I found this valuable information at Kingged.com the Internet Marketing Social Website. the Content curation site. and I shared a comment there, Thank you so much for this valuable information
    Keep writing
    Keep us informed
    ~ Phil

  18. This is a really great informative post! I really like your writing style! Informative with some humor! Thanks for the great tips!

  19. For me, you absolutely killed the point about listening to too many experts. Everyone is prescribing the perfect way to achieve success in the same “X number of ways to do this” format. While once a novel approach, everyone has caught on, but no one has moved on. It is now almost impossible to distinguish an industry guru from your average joe. Great post!

  20. Very well done, you’ve given me a lot to think about. I wish I had more time to figure all this out but by the time I did, Google would probably change everything anyway.. ha ha ha

    1. Hi Lesley,

      That’s very true. That’s why I write and work first for people then market and promote. I do the SEO as best as can be done, but I’m not going to rely on Google to send me traffic. If they do, and they will, it’s a bonus!!!! However, I do study, research, and do my best for to get traffic from them.

      I realize that’s not how most at look at it and I completely understand. I’ve just chosen a different strategy as I write, engage, meet high quality bloggers and engage with them, etc…

      Hope that makes sense?

      Thanks for commenting!
      ~ Don

  21. It is very true that many people talk to too many people and everyone has different ideas on how to do things.. I always tell people pick 1 person and listen to them.. The so called experts, are just that so called..

    1. Hi Kung Phoo,

      I listen to multiple sources and then figure out what works best for me. It’s a challenge, and you have to sift through a lot of “stuff”, but it’s really worth it in the end.

      Thank you for commenting.
      ~ Don

  22. I agree with you, sometimes all the effort go into waste because there’s no direction on what I really want my blog to be. I’ve tried this before. I blog regularly but I don’t get the traffic that I deserve. I put all the effort for nothing. Now I know where I’m heading so you’re right that I should know the kind of business that I’m in.

  23. I like to call it your Value Proposition. What do you bring to the table? Great read. Sorry about your horse accident.

    1. Hi Rachael,

      Ya, that horse accident stunk!!! It was one of the lowest moments of my life. But, isn’t amazing that the lowest moments have a way of bringing out the best in us! If were not for the accident, I would not be on the path to living out my dreams.

      With every curse, there is a blessing if you’re willing to look for and see it.

      I like the term value proposition. I don’t use it often because it’s a term that has been so overused that many use it without really understanding it’s meaning. That just adds to the confusion and problems in my opinion.

      Thanks for the kind words!
      ~ Don

  24. These points are so true. There’s so much information out there and it all can be confusing. Each site needs to develop what works for them. Not everything will.

    1. Hi Onica,

      Thanks for your comment and sharing. It can be confusing. Usually, the tried and true experts are best to stick with. There are a few really great ones out there like Mari Smith and Gary Vaynerchuk. Although, I admit his choice of words sometimes are off putting for me.

      Thanks for sharing.
      ~ Don

    1. Hi Jeff,

      It’s even more important to know the problems you solve, who you solve them for, and how to message our products and services as a solution to their problems.

      When you do that work, your market is predefined and much easier to talk with…

      Hope you have a great weekend!
      ~ Don

    1. Hi Lesley,

      LOL… all I can do now is have some fun with it… I got a chuckle when I saw it, but by then it was too late.

      Thanks for not letting it get in the way of your reading experience!
      ~ Don

  25. I use a free Weebly site for my notary business, but will upgrade to my own hosted site when I get my real estate license.

  26. {Claps Hands}

    Great post Don.

    I want to touch on something you said that I think is important. People tend to listen to experts for absolutely everything but don’t realize that most of these experts aren’t really correct nor should they be taking their advice at whole value.

    Sure, it’s good to get a few useful tips here and there on getting traffic and getting subscribers, etc. but the advice that those “experts” share is what has worked for them. What works for them doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for you. That’s why instead of completely hanging onto every word that “expert” said, take bits and pieces and incorporate it into things you’re already doing. You have to constantly test, test and test some more until you get what works for you right.

    Also, the thing you wrote that that person said “I want be different. I don’t want to be another “7 Ways to Increase Your Twitter Followers” and be like everyone else.” is so important. I was talking with Adam Connell from Blogging Wizard a few days ago and he said that it’s important to be unique and creative in your blog posts.

    Too many people are conforming to the “me too” syndrome in blogging and that’s really not what bloggers are supposed to be. I was once that way myself until I found myself, changed up my writing style and I feel better for it. I feel as though I’m not just another blogger following everybody else. I want to be different and I want to separate myself from others as much as possible. More bloggers need to have that type of mentality when blogging, I think.

    Improving your online presence takes work and I’m starting to realize that. But I’m willing to put in the work to achieve what I ultimately want. And I think that every blogger who wants to improve their online presence as well, should follow suit.

    Great post once again. Have a great weekend.

    – Andrew.

    1. Hi Andrew!

      You offer a very valid point, what they did mattered to them. They have a whole different experience, network, subject matter interest, etc.

      If you write about car parts, your audience and their needs will be very, very different than if you’re networking organization, or insurance company for example.

      If you don’t know who you are, what you offer, who you solve a problem for, how you solve the problem… how are you going to persuade anyone? Adam is spot on!!!! A good blogger has to find his or her voice, perspective, and uniquness and go with it.

      Stop worrying about rules. If I had a dime for every “expert” rule I broke I would be rich. There is a difference between being stupid and helping people make sense of things where they are at and in the way they need to receive it.

      I couldn’t agree with you more about this “me too” syndrome going on out there. If it’s all about you, why would anyone want to engage with you. I relate to offline networking. We all see the guy coming around the room with the cards and asking probing questions just hoping he gets the opportunity to sell you something. For moment after moment, he talks about himself and never even asks you one question. And, the questions he does ask is just to qualify you so he knows to talk more or find another.

      I always disqualify myself quickly, lol…

      Great post Andrew!
      ~ Don

      1. Thanks Natalie,

        Right back at ya!

        What part(s) did you agree with? I’m just saying what I’ve witnessed, been through and what I believe is real. All in all, more bloggers need to be willing to put themselves out there and be willing to be different.

  27. Good to know, I need to put in more effort online, my business is not an online business but it does have a presence and I’m working now on trying to get more exposure.

  28. Great post and I love your story. You make many very valid points that many should ponder. I think the first and most important was to know what business you are really in. I bet some people may just read right past that one but it is so very important. I loved it when I read the list of the things that you REALLY do for businesses! Amazing! It made me happy for you and for every client who may ever work with you. YOU HELP THEM! WOW!

    That has been my life…..helping people….in person, in school, in careers, in health, in fashion (believe it or not), in business and in life.

    As with you, I’m sure, my success, is my clients successes. 🙂

    It is such a joy, as you know.


    Great article.

    I wish you all the best.

    P.S. Thank you for joining the new blogging challenge. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ultrablogchallenge/

    1. Hi Kathy,

      What a treat to see you here!!! Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words!

      I’m glad you picked up on on my first point. It’s foundational and without it; nothing else really matters. You’re just out peddling stuff and trying to make some money. I suppose that’s okay for some, but to me that is so unfulfilling and meaningless.

      If we know what we really do, then we can tell our story in a way that people want what we have to offer.

      Thank you again for sharing. I do hope to see you back and I look forward to the group!

      ~ Don

      1. Dear Don,

        Thank you. Yes, I will be following your blog. 🙂 Such fantastic advice for bloggers and business people.



        P.S. Are you a member of CEO Space? I am.

          1. Dear Don,

            I really LOVE CEO Space and only wish I had heard about it 20 years earlier! I think anyone and everyone in business should join and get involved. It is the BEST network of entrepreneurs on the planet in my opinion.




          2. please do on that site. i would love to connect you with rob and cheryl adams. great friends of mine from ceo space.

  29. I “was” in advertising for 20 years before becoming a hypnotist 12 years ago. That was a huge advantage for me in how to market myself. However it is difficult at times to step back and get the right perspective on your stuff. My advice is to hire a professional who understands what you are conveying….however I haven’t found too many that understand what you are suggesting. In the 80s and 90s this was the norm, now it seems like if you just put a clever comment and post a pic of a kitten you are done for the day. Ha!

    1. Hi Valerie,

      If you think about it, advertising is a form of psychology. That means we as business owners, writers,content generators, marketers, promoters, etc.; have to do the work of learning how to relate to and communicate with people.

      It’s not enough to just post, even if it’s great material or content. You have to engage and build community. You have to offer something that people can use and benefit from.

      There is plenty of money out there, it’s just people will not spend it if they don’t understand how you either solve their problems or your products and services benefit them.

      Thank you so much for commenting. Please come back!

      ~ Don

  30. Hey Don,
    This is a pleasant surprise. While it was so exciting to have you featured, I was far from expecting a shout out on your blog too.

    Truth be told – you have something to teach bloggers and I think bringing you closer to my readers will be pointing them to an amazing collaborator. Most of us just go on writing articles for its sakes. There is an alarming lack of focus. For the most part, we don’t seek to solve a problem simply because we cannot identify any. We just write to keep a schedule and that’s all.

    If each article solves at least 1 problem, 100 articles will be solving at least 100 problems. That means money!

    Good to have known you Don and hope to stick around for centuries 😉

    1. Hi Enstine,

      What goes around comes around buddy!!! One of your commenters was the inspiration for this post. I think you deserver a little credit my friend because without your post I wouldn’t have written this article.

      I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your kind words and your hospitality on your website. I’m excited, hopeful, and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

      The reason we cannot identify the problems in my opinion is because we’ve gotten stuck at all the garbage we see and our minds are programmed to promote and sell, sell, sell. But sell what to whom and why? They don’t know because they don’t know. It seems obvious but it really isn’t until it’s exposed.

      Then it’s work for a while until you finish re-training your brain and mindset. Suddenly, everything changes.

      Again, I so appreciate your encouragement!!!!!


  31. This would be helpful if your goal is to have a business with an online presence, however, I find it completely inapplicable if your goal isn’t to sell a product but rather to create an online community, like lifestyle bloggers do.

    1. Hi drowsymama,

      I completely disagree!!! All businesses need an online presence, and the more you can create raving fans for your business through a community that is ready to buy from you when they have a need for what you are offering is huge!!!!

      It’s much easier for people to buy when they feel like they know, like, and trust you. Now, what is the cost effectiveness of this over advertising or other medias to reach them and disrupt their lives?

      Not saying don’t advertise, but building a community in my opinion is the way to go!

      1. Sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear. If your objective is NOT to sell a product but rather to be a place for discussion, inspiration, exchange of ideas, I don’t think the same strategy would work for improving your stinkish online presence.

        1. Thank you for clarifying!!! For whatever reason that’s not how I initially interpreted your comment. Depending on your vision, you might be right. You might need a different strategy. That’s what’s so cool about all of this is that there is not a one size fits all approach.

          That’s why listening to “supposed” experts can be a trap because that’s all they have to offer.

          Thank you again for the clarification!
          ~ Don

  32. I am in 100% agreement with you, here! It’s amazing how so many of us come to internet marketing with the mindset that, if we just build a website and post on all of our social media accounts, then the money will definitely come. Well…that is just not true. You DO have to know your audience, and your online properties need to clearly communicate what your offering is to the marketplace. If you cannot figure that out and then market to THOSE people, you are dead in the water.


    Too many of us fail for much longer than we need to. I am glad that you and I finally found success! Great article! I’ll definitely be back!

    1. Hi Christi,

      It really is true! That’s exactly what the mentality is and I lose business sometimes because of that. They don’t want to do the work. But, I’m smart enough and experienced enough to know that these are the same people who will complain that “it’s not working” and you’re site didn’t help me… blah, blah, blah… excuse, excuse, excuse.

      So guess what, if you’re not willing to do my homework and put the work in, I’m not going to work with you. I know you’re entire business will change overnight if you follow the path of learning what problems you solve, who you solve them for, and how to wrap those messages properly around your site and marketing.

      Thanks so much for sharing Christi!
      ~ Don

  33. Hi Purdum
    Everyone is leading everyone and all are moving in a circle. Lolz. What a bitterest reality you mentioned in this post and may God all understand it with its literal meaning.
    In simpler terms it is called “following a herd instinct” when people don’t have courage to think out of box or daring enought to be away from the thorough fare and dig their own course of action they just start leading each other. Then situation arises as; You like me, I like you or you pat me and I pat you. In this situation neither anything marvellous can be produced nor anything marvellous can get its due status.
    Thanks a lot for writing an eye opening post where very few people are guiding others as a leader while most of them are simply directing as boss.
    Enstine is also best friend of mine and what you said about him and his high quality work I do agree with you and much appreciate your way or portraying the merit without any close-fistedness. Thanks a lot again.

    1. Hi Mi,

      Thanks so much for coming back as always!

      Thank you again for your generous and kind words! I thought about using the term “herd” but felt it might be a distraction. So glad you brought that up!!!! That is the reality and it’s exactly what is going on. It’s a sheep herd mentality really. Sheep only follow one another over the cliff until a leader stands up and leads them (doesn’t ask) to safety.

      Enstine is a wonderful guy and I’m really enjoying getting to know him. I also am immensly honored to be getting to know you as well!!!

      Thanks again Mi!
      ~ Don

  34. Wow! What a genuinely helpful article. I’ve done all these things! No wonder my on line business sucks. Thank you for sharing this, I’m off to read the links now. Andrea

    1. Hi Andrea,

      Thank you for the kind words!

      We all do, you are by no means alone. But, let’s not go there and say you business sucks. It doesn’t. You just need to learn what yo don’t know so that you can make it into all that it can be.

      Remember, a business can only go as far as it’s owner can take it. It’s a journey. I’ve failed so many times but the key is that I learned from those failures. I still do…

      Please let me know what you think on the other articles. I would love to know your thoughts. And, if I can help you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.


      1. Thank you Don! I just wanted to share this with you … I’ve started to go through the websites you’ve listed in your post, to evaluate which ones would be of most use for me to network on. I don’t think I can manage to keep on top of them all…does anyone?! Anyway I Stumbled on one of my own posts. Someone out there IS reading my stuff! Yay. That was such a boost, just what I needed. So in addition to really genuinely useful information, you’ve made me feel heaps better. Man, I have a lot to learn, just hoping I don’t starve to death on the way. Thank you for such a positive reply…and I will be back to comment on the other articles once I’ve managed to drag myself away from Stumbling….Cheers! Andrea

        1. Hi Andrea,

          That’s way cool!!!! Congratulations and thanks for letting me know! It’s really exciting, isn’t it?

          Just remember, don’t rush into it all at once. It can be overwhelming and so take it in steps. Create a strategy, get into a habit, then create another and then another and so forth.

          If you try to do it all at once, you’ll get buried and possibly frustrated. And, if you’re successful too fast you could also not be prepared for it and that comes with a whole nother set of headaches.

          Keep doing what you’re doing. Congratulations!!!!!

          ~ Don

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