Where’s Samantha Franklin Been as of Late?

I have to really apologize for disappearing for so long. While I’ve been responding and approving comments for quite some time, I haven’t really had the opportunity to sit here and craft blog posts on a regular basis for the past few months.

Why? Various things had happened. I had a brief stay in the hospital in July, and I’m only really now starting to make progress towards recovering now.

At the end of August, I recently started a joint venture project with someone to create a high-quality and extensive authority website for a certain topic. (As you might guess, I don’t like to announce the specifics of things until everything is said and done. I’m sure I can discuss why at a later date.)

In this project, I’m responsible for proofreading and deciding on how a large amount of the linkbuilding goes. This requires me to oversee web 2.0 creation, assess the tiered linkbuilding strategies we’re using, create social bookmarks and a plethora of other things.

Anyway, I’m finally now finding some time to come back to Frankly Making Money. I already have a blog post planned for Thursday that address planning your blog posting, so I hope you will find it useful.

As always, feel free to leave comments and questions below. I want to hear what you have to say!

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A Note About the Delays This Week

I have to apologize to all my readers. Monday’s scheduled post went out on Tuesday, and life had me too bogged down to get one out Wednesday.

Starting with tomorrow’s routine post, everything should be back to normal. No more flat tires, broken lawn mowers or house cleaning to get in the way.

Take care, and look forward to tomorrow’s post!

5 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

You know me, I’m crazy about social media. I think that it can fortify your current standing with your customers and enhance any future interactions to a mutual benefit of both your customers and your business.

It’s the one universal strategy that can bring even small businesses to the level of large corporations and, troubling enough, vice versa.

Let’s examine some of the most common social media marketing mistakes and how you can prevent them.

Social Media Mistake #1: Not Listening to Your Following

Listening is the key to everything. If you want your followers to listen to you, then you first have to listen to them so that you know a few things about them.

Always keep one ear open in this regard. Listen to what you followers are thinking about, when they interact with the social media platform(s) of your choice, and so on.

Social Media Mistake #2: Being Lazy

The thing that you need to understand about social media is that it’s attractive because of the constant buzz that permeates every social media website. People want to be active when they’re online, whether that’s micro-blogging on Twitter or pressing the “Like” button on Facebook.

Succeeding at Business Involves Motivating Yourself to Succed

To be successful on social media, you need to interact with your customers as often as seems necessary. You don’t want to work yourself to the bone, but coming up with new and interesting things, even if they’re just tidbits of information, to converse with your followers will go a long way.

Social Media Mistake #3: Focusing on Yourself

When most people and businesses open social media accounts, they do so because of their own self-interest. They want to expand their reach, they want to foster more sales, they want this and that for themselves.

The problem is that social media isn’t about you. It’s about everyone you’re connected to.

Talk to your followers. Engage with them. Share the things they create that relate to your brand. Share the things that they do in their lives, like their weddings, their birthdays and so on.

Show them that you’re worth listening to because you know that your customers are the most important thing.

Social Media Mistake #4: Trying to Drive Sales Instead of Building a Reputation

Don't bore your customers by trying to make a sale first. Establish a reputation instead.

Don’t bore your customers by trying to make a sale first. Establish a reputation instead.

Business that are successful on social media have one thing right: they generally never try to make a sale directly from their social media accounts.

Instead, they offer something for free that acts as a pre-sale page. This can be something like an informational article, a blog, a news post or even a review page for a product.

They then focus on making the sale only after they’ve provided something to their followers. This is how they successfully make a positive reputation for themselves first and a sale later.

Social Media Mistake #5: Not Responding to Negativity

There’s an age-old adage that goes something along the lines of “If I can’t see it, then it can’t hurt me.” Businesses love to adopt this when it comes to negative PR.

The thing is that not responding to negativity can land you in a world of trouble, especially if you’re trying to venture into the world of Facebook marketing.

Try to respond to everything on your social media page. Something as simple as, “I’m sorry. Have a coupon.” or “I’m sorry, we’ll take your suggestions into consideration for our next product.” will generally suffice to handle negativity.

The one negative comment that I will say that you shouldn’t respond to are those that are blatantly malicious. I’m sure you could think of a few examples, but racist remarks and the like are generally things you want to either delete or sweep under the rug.

Unless, that is, you’re feeling brave or you know that your loyal customers will support what you say. You can sometimes use these remarks to your advantage, but it’s still a risky game that requires experience to know how to do right.

Social Media Marketing – The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

Social media marketing can bring your closer to your customers than any other type of marketing could ever hope to do. The problem is that this can be both a bane and a boon; it’s all in how you use it.

For more information on how to successfully use social marketing in your everyday business, take a look at my social media marketing page.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that social media poses? What mistakes do you think should be added to this list? Comment below!

3 Internet Marketing Motivation Tips You Need to Follow to Succeed

In the many years I’ve taken on Internet marketing as a full-time profession, I’ve studied and gathered information from blogs, podcasts, joint venture partners, forums and more. In all these places, I’ve noticed one major, overarching problem that has kept people from succeeding as an Internet marketer: a lack of proper motivation.

Today, I’m going to go over some Internet marketing motivation tips that will help you drive yourself to success.

The one thing I do want to warn you about is that once you achieve success for the first time, you will likely want to achieve it again and again. So, be prepared for that.

Internet Marketing Motivation Tip #1 – Don’t Stress

It's easy to lose yourself while trying to think of success.

It’s easy to lose yourself while trying to think of success.

Over-stressing yourself causes you to reach a point of desperation, which is a place you don’t want to be. You can’t think rationally, and, despite your best efforts, you end up buying into e-books and Internet marketing courses that are a waste of your time.

Take a walk. Stand up. Do a bit of exercise. Your business will still be there when you get back, and you might find a solution to your problems by not thinking about them.

Internet Marketing Motivation Tip #2 – Do What You Love

Someone once told me that a job can be defined as something you do to make money, but a career is something that you love doing. Internet marketing has to be a career.

Focus on solving problems, helping people to know something new or just to provide a better solution to an already existing problem.

Internet Marketing Motivation Tip #3 – Get to Know Your Target Audience Before you Spend Money

One thing “gurus” won’t tell you is that Internet marketing, or business in general, is like taking a series of gambles. You never know what campaigns or actions will be successful.

The one thing you can do is to only take smart bets. One way to do this is through learning what your target audience wants, which is why it’s important to understand them before you spend a single cent in advertising or even investing in a brand new website.

Ask yourself the obvious question: Why would someone want this product? Who wants my product? How big is my market? Will my market be viable in three to six months? Is my product something people will want in their everyday life? Is it a novelty?

The good part about this step is that you can do most of your research for free. Social media, keyword research tools and more exist to make learning what your target audience wants even easier than before.

Entrepreneurial Success Through Following These Internet Marketing Motivation Tips

Achieving success is anything but easy. You’re building your own Internet marketing business from the ground up, which means that there’s plenty of room for failure.

But you also have an exceedingly large potential for success. Take hold of it by motivating yourself to work every day. Make smart decisions while maintaining a certain level of persistence to one day see Internet marketing success.

All It Takes is 12 Hours a Week to Run Your Blog. Here’s How to Do It.

Blogging seems to be an entirely new way of gathering traffic, at least when it comes to businesses used to the more traditional methods of content marketing and marketing in general.

Even for me, it’s still a bit difficult. I have to motivate myself to blog as much as I do, which is aided greatly by keeping a schedule of how much I should work on it and what I should work on.

Let’s take a quick look at how I keep my blog running on a minimum of just 12 hours a week. You might find it interesting.

8 Hours – Planning and Writing

Learning to achieve success is as easy as learning to think; anyone can do it, but first you have to try.

Learning to achieve success is as easy as learning to think; anyone can do it, but first you have to try.

The first and foremost concern of running my blog is the content I post to it. I want to come up with invigorating and exciting posts that keep you reading as much as I can, and I want to do so with a certain regularity so you know when to expect my next post.

That’s why I don’t stop working. Not ever.

I may not be actively writing, but I am tossing around ideas for posts in my head. I go over broad things like topics, then I think about how I can offer information in a way that’s both better and different from before.

It’s not until my Monday through Friday week that I actually start writing.

When I go through the process of creating a post, I pick a format out of my hat. I use the topic I have in my mind to fill it out.

After an hour or two of crafting a post, I save it. The next day, I go back and proofread it. I carefully examine it, then I add the little embellishments like images and formatting.

Having Trouble Coming Up With Ideas for Blog Posts?

It’s not always easy to come up with ideas. When I have trouble, I take a look at one of the many blogs that I’ve subscribed to via RSS or that I’m following on WordPress for ideas.

The one thing I do want to iterate is that I always avoid writing the exact same post as someone else but in different words. The only thing I take away is the topic. Sometimes, I’ll have an idea for a post in my head, but I’ll write something drastically different when I finally begin working.

This is the least formulaic part of blogging, so it tends to take around 8 hours a week.

2 Hours – Creating Something Original

While I spend a certain amount of time working on blogs for the sake of blogging, I like to allocate a least 2 hours a week working on something original that acts like a permanent piece of blogging real estate.

For example, I’m currently working on my About page. This is something I want to take the time to craft to perfection, because it forms a pillar of my blog.

How-to guides and content that’s basically “timeless” that you would link back to in blog posts should have a certain amount of time and effort dedicated to them each week. This will ensure that you steadily work towards creating something that’s 100% your own and 100% quality.

1 Hour – Blog Interaction

Interaction is one of the Keys to Blogging and Business[/caption]

Interaction is one of the Keys to BloggingMost people will recommend that you spend a few hours a day commenting on blogs.

I don’t. I dedicate a few minutes a day using the WordPress reader and my RSS feeds interacting with other blogs.

I want to make it known that I differentiate commenting and interacting due to the fact that commenting is a one-time thing.

Interacting, on the other hand, is about building relationships with other bloggers and your own readers. This is what turns your blog from a desolate wasteland into a busy, bustling community.

1 Hour – Social Media

The last thing you need to focus on is social media. It’s the easiest, most accessible way to interact with your blog’s readers and to create ways for new people to find your blog.

Twitter can Become an Integral Part of Your BusinessMy personal recommendation is to use Twitter and Facebook for general topics. If you need a different audience, then focus on networks like LinkedIn for professional readers and Pinterest for more leisure-focused topics like shopping and humor.

When it comes to actually promoting my blog, I just spend a few minutes sprinkling my blog’s URL here and there. I let WordPress.com handle notifying my Twitter followers when I add a new post.

So that’s maybe 5 minutes tops that I spend self-promoting on social media.

For the other 55 minutes, I focus on building relationships. I message my followers on Facebook, send messages to Page owners whom might be interested in cross-promotion, and I work on sprucing up my profiles.

Summary

I hope that taking you through how I work on my blog will help you better work with your own. I can’t stress enough how important it is to focus on building your block as if you were building a structure brick by brick; everything you do needs to be cumulative.

How much time do you spend on your blog? What advice do you have for people who might be struggling with creating regular posts?

5 Ways You Can Motivate Yourself to Work Better as an Entrepreneur

It’s Monday. It’s the day of the week that everyone dreads, because you have to wake up, get out of bed, and go back to doing work.

That is, unless you’re an entrepreneur. If you are, then it’s just another day.

Regardless of what group you fall in to, a little extra motivation never hurt. From changing your outlook to making your day just a few shades brighter, finding the right reasons to aim for success can help your entire day go smoother.

How to Motivate Yourself

Succeeding at Business Involves Motivating Yourself to SuccedJust a few days ago, I wrote a post about what I consider to be the hardest part of your own business. The idea that you need to be able to motivate yourself came to mind, and that’s what I’m going to throw up for discussion in today’s post.

Let’s explore some of the ways that you can change your very outlook on what you do during the day. It doesn’t matter if you apply these to a 9-to-5 job or your own startup, these reasons for motivation should help you redouble your efforts in all the right ways.

1. Think About Why You’re Doing What You Do

You’ve got a laundry list of reasons as to why you work: You might have a mortgage. You certainly have utility bills. You might want to repay that student loan to improve your credit. You might even want to be in a position where you can start building your credit so that you can get utilities in your name or apply for a mortgage.

You might just want to provide food for yourself and your family.

Consider every reason that you work.

2. What Have Successful People Said?

Inspirational Quotes About Proving YourselfPeople blessed with success in their lives generally didn’t get that way by some miracle. They worked hard, kept the right attitude and achieved their goals.

That means they likely know the right things to say. Listen to them and take in some inspirational quotes.

If you want something more light-hearted, then you can look for humorous business quotes. Here’s one to get you started:

There’s no secret about success. Did you ever know a successful man who didn’t tell you about it? Kin Hubbard

3. Take Some Pride in Your Work

What you create has unique qualities that only you can give to it. That ‘it’ can be your business decisions, your products, your words and anything else that comes from you.

There’s no reason that you shouldn’t pride yourself in what you do. After all, you’re the only one capable of providing it in your unique way.

4. Dream Big(ger)

Dreaming About Business SuccessWhile it’s important not to get stuck in the clouds, it does help to dream big sometimes.

The one caveat is that you need to be careful what you dream about. When you’re busy working, don’t think about things like a new boat, bigger house or new swimming pool.

Think bigger.

Think about how what you do could one day change the world for the better.

5. Carve Your Goals into Small Steps

Motivation Requires Small StepsThe biggest mistake you can make as an entrepreneur or as a normal employee is to make goals that are too large for you to understand. This includes things like “I want to make $1 million.”

Instead, carve your goals into something more manageable. For example, start out by making $10 every week for a month. Once you’re at that goal, then you can begin to slowly move up to $20 a week, etc.

You can apply this to your job as an employee, just think about improving your department’s productivity, sales or another aspect that might get you noticed.

Motivating Yourself Starts With You

You don’t want to ever rely on other people to motivate you. While they can propel you forward, eventually you run the risk of those supportive voices turning into nagging wails.

That’s why it’s best to find your own reasons for motivating yourself. You’ll work harder once you find them, which in turn means that you’ll race towards success with that much more intensity.

The Hardest Part of Your Own Business: Motivating Yourself to Succeed

It is incredibly easy to find yourself in a place where you want to succeed, but you can’t find a way to do so. You try, try, try some more, then find yourself stuck. This is how entrepreneurship goes for a lot of people, and it’s why many quit after their first few tries. Only the tenacious and daring continue to try.

The one thing I want you to know is that the people who keep trying are by no means dumb, stupid or worthless. They’re actually quite smart because they have one attribute that propels them towards success when it comes to business, their dreams and all things in life:

Continue reading

A Brief Status Update from Sam

I know that I’ve taken an extensive break for updating my blog, but I’ve had numerous trials that I’ve had to overcome in my life. When I wasn’t faced with some tragedy or seemingly never-ending struggle with my own inner thoughts, I was busy working on the things I needed to do that would allow me to support myself financially.

All I can say is that you should never let yourself become lax in what you do. It’s so hard to get back up again and to conform to a routine that you’ve long since lost.

After a restless night, I did come to one conclusion. I want to continue updating this blog. I’m going to dress it up so that it’s pretty, so that it appeals to my readers, and so that I can actually make something that people will find useful. I’ve always wanted to try to do that last part, particularly because I’ve always had this nagging sensation that what I do simply isn’t enough. I have the knowledge and experience to help people, so I think I should try my best.

 

In the coming weeks, I’m not sure what I’ll post about. As you know, this is a blog focused on marketing ideas. I’m debating expanding it to cover topics like article writing, analytics and a wider array of things that I think you’ll find helpful.

I’ve already progressed in this by creating a social networking category. I even have two posts created that are designed to deal with this, but I’m not sure how well they’ll read. I am fairly rusty with blogging, after all.

 

I hope this is the start of something good, because I certainly want it to be good for both you and myself. Here’s to keeping Frankly Making Money frankly amazing.

4 Strange Tips That Will Guarantee Internet Marketing Success.

Almost everyone who has ever ventured into the field of Internet Marketing has had one thought in common when they first began. Want to know what it was? “Why am I not making any money yet?” Usually this happens are one or two days, if not one or two weeks of just being introduced to the field.

So if you’re not making money yet, you’re not alone. That’s why I’ve decided to do a quick write-up on four tips that every beginning internet marketer should be aware of because they’re what separates the people who tried and gave up from the people who are making thousands of dollars a day. The four things you need to remember are: To experiment with methods, to create realistic and achievable goals, to work towards those goals, and, above all else, to be relentless.

First, the most basic principle any internet marketer should take to heart: Develop your own ways to earn money. Almost everyone has heard the old adage “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; but teach a man to fish and he’ll never go hungry.” Imagine you’re  the person trying to learn how to catch that elusive green fish. You might think “Oh, but the sea is too crowded by other people trying to fish.” or “None of these methods of fishing work anymore.” You might be right, because methods get saturated relatively quickly once they’re posted. In order to become an active fisherman, you need to develop your own ways of catching fish. How can you do this? The simplest way is to read, take in what you’ve just read, put it into practice, and then repeat depending on your results.

You can read all day that you want, but it will never make you a single cent. You can sit and think about what you’ve read all day, it will never make you a single penny. You can put what you’ve read and thought about into practice and you may or you may not reel in some cash. But if you do all of these things over and over, thinking about your successes and even your failures (which are better to be thought about as succeeding in finding “ways that do not work”, you are guaranteed to make a profit eventually.

The second big thing every beginner needs to know is to set achievable goals. There’s two types of goals: Big, long-term goals like making $4,000 per day and the small stepping stones that say how to get to that big goal. Most people can focus on making that large goal but few ever achieve it because they become burnt out and tired. The reason this happens is because they do not focus on the small goals. You cannot climb a flight of stairs without making small goals to make your way up each step. You cannot make $4,000 per day without setting the goal of making $1 per day, and then $10 per day. It’s as simple as that.

The third basic tip is that in order to achieve a goal that you have set, you must work towards that goal. It sounds absolutely absurd, but it’s as simple as that. Most internet marketers fail because they simply give up. They say, “Oh.. I’ll do it tomorrow.” or “There’s no way that works because I read it doesn’t.” Never dismiss a goal. If you need to, keep a list of ideas somewhere for a rainy day as they come to you in your mind, but always make sure to focus on one goal. If it’s a long term strategy, such as building a network of microniche blogs to profit from Adsense, work on it a bit each day and then work on something else. The overall point is to keep working because it’s the only way you will ever achieve a goal, internet marketing-related or not.

Finally, the most important tip to adhere to is as simple as three words: Never give up. If adding your own spin to a method is queen and adapting is king, then perseverance is the lifeblood that keeps a kingdom alive. It’s as simple as that. I cannot stress enough that the only way to fail at internet marketing is to give up. It’s as simple as that. Take it a step each day and you are guaranteed to find a method that works and turns a profit.

I want to share one of the single most important things I’ve ever listened to that I saw on Paulie Ciara’s blog some time ago when I was struggling to make money. It’s one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever listened to with regards to the simple goal of achieving success.

It’s a small little thing by Earl Nightingale called “The Strangest Secret in the World.” I’m not a sucker for self-improvement spiels, but this is one of the most truthful things I’ve ever heard in my life. Take it to heart, go out and work towards your goals. It’s that simple.

I Promise to Be Frank About Making Money Online

My name is Samantha Franklin and I’m starting “Frankly Making Money” in an attempt to chronicle everything I do and everything I think about while marketing online. I’ve already been in the “field” for a year and a half and I’ve already been accepted to a number of CPA companies, I’ve made a good amount of money from adsense already, and I have a couple of sites that are earning a nice bit of pocket change.

But I’m nowhere near where I need to be in order to be in order to make a living off internet marketing, or to just pay off my student loans.

And that’s why I’m setting this blog up, not just as proof to myself, but as proof to everyone that even a college student who’s down on her luck can be successful online and that you can make money honestly.

The things I want to focus on is everything involving internet marketing, reviewing working products (in other words, I will NEVER put something on here if I don’t find it useful or if I think something else can do a product’s job for less or free.), and maybe some offline marketing.

I’ll also write about SEO-related topics from time to time as I really feel about it. My disclaimer about SEO in advance is that I am no expert in it, but I really believe there’s a lot of myths and fluff surrounding SEO that too many people fall for — but I’ll write more about that later.