How Blogging Should Be Like Selling Kiwi

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!

Money Magnet Review

After posting my earlier article on Making WebMoney with Money Magnet, I looked it over and thought… I can do better than that. So here goes.

After a bit of my daily web surfing yesterday I stumbled across a new little gem of a WebMoney widget called Money Magnet. It is so simple that it only took a few minutes for me to see how easy it would be to make some extra cash with this Money Magnet thing.

Making money online is the brass ring of the Internet and the Money Magnet guys have found a cool way to do it. Very simply you purchase a Money Magnet widget with PayPal from a site or blog that is displaying one (like THIS BLOG, hint, hint) for as little as $10. After you pay, you are taken directly to the page with the HTML code you need to put the Money Magnet widget on your site.

The cool thing is as soon as your PayPal payment clears, the owner of the site you bought from gets paid IMMEDIATELY! No waiting for minimum payouts, you don’t even have to wait for the end of the month. Your commission is deposited to your PayPal account INSTANTLY!

Another interesting thing about the Money Magnet widget is that you can buy widgets in different monetary amounts! I bought the cheapest at $10. The higher the dollar amount you purchase, the more you earn. For instance, with the $10 Money Magnet widget I will earn $5 for every sale originated through my site, even if the sale is for a $100 widget. Bummer right? Well, not exactly because with the $10 widget I can sell ANY Money Magnet widget ($10, $20, $30, $40, $50, and $100). If I bought the $100 widget I’d earn $50 per sale but I could ONLY sell the $100 widget.

So go ahead and add the 125×125 Money Magnet widget to your blog and see what kind of cash you can receive. All that’s left is to get the traffic! Check out more information and buy your own Money Magnet to start earning at


- Thom

Taking Charge of Your Online Life

One of the interesting changes underway now in the online world is the shift away from anonymity toward personification.

I’ve been online now since 1995 and one of the attractions to the Internet has always been the cloak of anonymity created by the screen and keyboard. You could say anything to anybody, claim to be anybody you want or look any way you want. Even live a life online that was totally separate and apart from the reality of your daily world. But the advent of web cams and social networking is gradually changing all that.

At the risk of dating myself here, it reminds me a lot of the movie Tron where a hacker is literally abducted into the world of a computer to live out (or die in) his virtual life. As social sites like MySpace, Facebook, Plaxo, and LinkedIn grow exponentially in popularity we are being forced to step out from behind the curtain and reveal more and more of ourselves. Don’t see the big deal? Many colleges and potential employers do because they are checking out their applicants online persona comparing it to the application. That “little fib” about your PhD on MySpace may have just cost you a job!

More than that though, all you have to do is look at how popular these sites are to see how desperately some people want to be known, not famous, just known. It’s almost sad.

Ok, so how does one go about managing this mess? Well, it’s not simple, maybe impossible, but here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Expect Someone To Connect the Dots

If you think you’ll be able to hide behind a different email address, think again. It may work against the casual observer, but if someone is really interested in finding out who is who, they WILL DO IT.

There Is No Expectation of Privacy On the Internet

Don’t write it, text it, email it, chat it, blog it, video it or otherwise commit anything to electronic “writing” that you don’t want someone to find out. It’s just too easy! Time after time (and hot video after hot video) we see a “private” message or video posted to the Internet for all to see. Before you snap that picture or click send…is this something you want other people to see? Think stolen camera or laptop!

Keep a Junk Mail Email Address

Email is free and plentiful in the Internet. Setup a free email address that you use to sign-up for website logins, newsletters, stuff like that. DO NOT use that address for your banking, credit cards, bill pay, etc. If you need to, setup another one for those chores and give it to no one. It’s not perfect, but it will GREATLY reduce spam and GREATLY reduce the likelihood of having your online identity stolen.

Common Sense Still Applies, Even In the Internet

Like my grandpa always said, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Why would Mr. Jambaba contact you randomly to receive his $1 million in cash? How reasonable does it sound that you won a contest you didn’t enter? THINK before you share!

Far From Complete

These are just a few of the many things I’ve learned over the past 18 years of connected living. There are many many more. Use common sense and treat every stranger online like you would if they walked up and knocked on your front door…at least that’s a good start! Do you have any good ideas? Share them with us in a comment below!

I wanted to take this opportunity to point out a new web presence I think you will all be interested in. GukuSabi is a new blog about stuff, kinda like Seinfeld, its a blog about nothin, but you’ll love it!

How To Work In the Internet – Part 1

Life In the Internet is about living and working in the connected world. Ok, well how do you DO that?

I remember back in the 80’s business Utopia was the Paperless Office! Well that didn’t work out…yet. I was sifting through my Reader feeds this morning and made my way over to a couple of new blogs (well, new for me) that inspired me. First I found Skellie over at She had 30 Ideas to Help You Start Working Through the Web that I thought were very fab!! (Check out her article, you’ll notice some of her ideas as I move through this series) Thanks Skellie! While I was browsing her site, I found a 125 ad for Stephen over at Productivity in Context. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not even in the same league with Stephen when it comes to organization, but don’t let that stop you from checking out his blog.

Anyway, these two kinda got me thinking about HOW I do what I do and thought it might be a good idea to showcase some of the ways I work mainly in the connected world and leave very little residue behind in the UNconnected world. Here goes.

Start With The Basics

It might be a good idea to back-up just a bit and hit a little history. I’ve had the domain for many many moons now, I don’t even remember how long I’ve had it. The web portion of the domain has gone through several iterations, most of them requiring direct access to the server, FTP access, or something of the like. What a hassle. And then there is the email monster! Yuck!

I stumbled across Google Hosted Apps almost a year ago. Like a lot of things (like blogging) it took me a little while to figure out how to take advantage of this fab tool, but I finally got it. If you missed my story about Google Apps (The Latest Killer App!), Google Apps is a hosted application (meaning its all on-line, nothing on your computer) developed by Google. It provides users with email, calendar, web hosting, docs, spreadsheets, and presentations. And the best part is…IT IS FREE!

Needless to say, free is good!

So I signed up! Now, you are not required to have (or buy) your own domain name, it will work just fine using a Google sub-domain, but since I already had, I redirected it over to Google Hosted Apps and the rest was easy. I now get to use a private branded Google Mail app for all the mail sent to, have my own calendar, and my own document repository. All on-line, all free. What? You don’t see the big deal? Well let me tell you. My email, calendar, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations are now available from any computer with Internet access and I don’t have to deal with or manage server, connectivity, spam, or backup issues! In fact, I’ve got the world’s single largest hosted apps company doing all that for me…FOR FREE! Wow.

Now Google Apps has a web hosting feature, they even have a pretty slick little on-line web page editor. And yes, it is on-line so I could access it from anywhere, and did. I started my WebMoney series on the old site. I spent lots of time writing and editing the pages, saving drafts, etc, etc. Then the blogging light bulb clicked on (finally)! I spent weeks working on the traditional web site and it only took a couple of hours to move all that data over to Blogger…and that includes getting the blog setup and the domain name redirected!

So now I have email, calendar, docs, and a blog/website. The basics of my Internet Empire are in place. With this array of applications, all on-line and web based, I’m mobile and don’t have to carry anything with me to stay connected. As long as I can borrow a computer (dare I say even a Mac!) I can stay in touch, answer emails, and get a little work done. This is something that’s really important to me since I’m on the road a lot and away from my desk. It’s also pretty cool that I can setup a user account (the first 100 are FREE) for Vickie and share my calendar with her so she can see what I’ve got going on, where and when. How cool is that?!?

What tools do you use to stay connected? Are you still using a pc based email client like Outlook? Any tips? Be sure to leave a comment below and share all that you know with the rest of us.

Next time…Keeping Up A Social Life, Online!

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