With a little better understanding of retail and marketing philosophies, we may be better situated for making money online!
I was sitting around tonight thinking about this whole making money online niche and something occurred to me...we're working really hard to re-invent the wheel here! The very first rule of retail is this...if nobody is buying, I'm not making any money! The same rule applies online!
Look, if you owned a brick and mortar business you would do retail one of two ways. The first way is to be everything to everybody, always have what the customer is looking for. I'll call that the Wal-Mart way. Alternatively, you could focus on a very small segment of the business and be very specialized. I'll call that the Kiwi Stand way. These are not new principles, they are time tested over hundreds of years.
The real irony here is that because we've switched from brick and mortar to click based retail, we thing all those principles don't apply any more. We've even introduced a new "principle" that I haven't quite named yet. It mainly consists of standing there proclaiming yourself to be an expert at something and pointing people in "the way they should go." Its kinda like the homeless guy giving me home buying tips. Wait...THAT'S IT! The Homeless Way!
Wal-Mart didn't start out as the largest retailer on the face of the planet. They started small just like everyone else. They got to where they are by huge volume and taking advantage of suppliers. I mean come on. Don't most mom & pop store owners have to ask their suppliers what a widget costs? Wal-Mart gets to tell their suppliers what they will be paid for the widget...and the suppliers are so desperate for Wal-Mart's business (i.e. validation) that they agree...whatever the price.
Now the kiwi stand guy is willing to pay a little extra for his kiwi because he want the best. He is willing to invest in providing the best, most specific product his customer is looking for. In return he is rewarded with customers who are willing to pay a little more to get exactly what they are looking for. The kiwi stand owner is also the most likely to help out the store owner around the corner because he knows the value of a good relationship with fellow retailers.
And then there are the Homeless guys, who have neither the most, nor the best...hell, no product at all...but he knows where everything is and has no problem telling you where to get the best kiwi...for a dollar! Oh, and he know about all the fruits too so there's no reason to ask anyone else...he is the final authority.
So what? What does this have to do with blogging or making money online?
Well, I'll tell ya. If you haven't already figured it out, I'm going to draw some parallels between these retail principles and bloggers.
First, the Wal-Mart's of the blogging world, yep you guessed it. These are the John Chow's of the blogosphere and his ilk. Doing massive volume and taking advantage of everyone that crosses their path. And while you may find a few really good items in the inventory, they are the exception. Most of it is just crap, and for some reason, people keep going back to get refills of the same crap!
Next, we have the Homeless bloggers like Caroline Middlebrook. No real experience, no real product, just self-proclaimed experts who, for just $99.95, will tell you everything you need to know to get where they are! (which, by the way, you're probably already there!)
Finally, we have what I want to be, the Kiwi Stand Guy. If you've ever been to or lived in NYC for any amount of time, you'll get this. Vic from BloggerUnleashed would be a perfect Kiwi Stand Vendor in NYC! You're laughing but am I wrong? ("Hey, ya need a friggin kiwi?") Vic along with Griz (How to Make Money Online) and Court (Internet Marketing) round out the Three Wise Men of Internet Marketing in my book.
I've been trying to get started making money online for well over a year and in the past six weeks of listening to the Three Wise Men of Internet Marketing, now I'm actually making some progress. Not a millionaire (yet, maybe never) but lets just say the months of $0.90 AdSense are over!
Vic, the vlogs are the best and it's like I said in some comment the other day. Your stuff is golden but sometimes its like trying to get a drink from a fire hose! I'm glad I can go back and play them again. Thanks for all you've done for me and for the rest of the blogging community!
Court, you are the keyword master! Your latest on Keyword Sniping was actually a real encouragement to me, you know, finding out that even the master can get sandboxed! Thanks man!
Griz, wow, talk about pay it forward! Not only do you make it seem so simple, you've got no problem sharing and helping us noobs get started. You are one of the good guys.
If you don't read these three blogs and you want to make money online, you should quit now. You may make a little money, but you'll starve before you make any real income.
If you read these guys you will now understand my retail analogy and the Kiwi Stand.
You don't have to have 100,000 customers a day that come in, look around, and leave. You just need the 10 or 20 who come in and BUY a kiwi! (remember...if they don't buy, I don't make any money?) Oh, and you need a couple of thousand cheap fruit stands that sell what people want to buy (kiwi, oranges, limes...whatever) on the the streets where Wal-Mart won't bother to go.
Blog on Three Wise Men of Internet Marketing...and thanks!