Zen and the Art of Internet Marketing
The title, in case you missed it, was inspired by "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance."
I listened to this book on audio and so I couldn't skip around the way you can with a paperback. At the very end there was some commentary about how the book was such a classic because of the way it portrayed its schizophrenic main character.
I got through the whole book and really never thought about it having anything to do with mental health!
I thought it was a commentary on the over-commercialization of society... about mass production vs. quality workmanship.
In fact, it is that one word that sums up to me most what "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was really about: QUALITY.
If you missed “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” maybe you saw the movie, “Jerry McQuire”?
Didn’t it start out with a late night epiphany that turned into a mission statement … and sudden job loss?
Well, I’ve had an epiphany.
After a month or so of stewing over the concept of “Internet Marketing” and reading many websites and advertisements about how to get traffic and clicks things are finally coming together for me.
And this is my mission statement.
Internet Marketing Advice & Practices
I want to have some success and make some money, just like everyone else that is here writing their fingers off at HubPages, not to mention hundreds and thousands of folks over at Squidoo, Helium, eHow, and on their own blogs and websites.
The question I have is what is success?
I have read articles in the last month that recommend writing good... but not too good, so that visitors will not be so captivated by your prose that they want to bookmark your page instead of click on your ads.
I have seen any number of schemes aimed at getting "quality" backlinks from high PR pages.
And I have encountered a lot of folks in comments that don't seem to have read the article in question. (Not in my comments... I'm not popular enough to attract the more shallow crowd to my pages just yet!) These people leave questions that were clearly answered in the post they are commenting on, or try to get more personal by using the authors first name, except it's not the author's name, it's the name of the commenter right before them.
It seems we are in a real rush to get our links out there and don't have the time to actually read first and comment second.
If marketing is about building relationships (and I have read that as well in my research) then what kind of relationships are we building when we don't have time to get to know a person well enough remember they are "Jack" and not "Abigail"?
What Would Quality Marketing Look Like?
I’m not a professional marketer, far from it. I’m just starting out and trying to come up with a plan of action I can follow. So my advice comes from others who have gone before. It may not be what “works” best, but it’s what resonates with me and makes sense.
It’s who I choose to be in relationship to marketing my writing online.
The first is a simple quote, and I hope most of you are familiar with the source: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
You want links? Give links.
You want quality links? Then give quality links.
You want comments? Then comment.
Quality comments? Make quality comments.
What if you participate in that forum you like it was YOUR forum? Contribute meaningful posts, give a good comment a thumbs up, report the spam, answer a few questions just because no one else has... and people won't keep coming back if they feel ignored.
What if you spent a certain amount of time each day getting to know some one else: Spending real time on their blog or website and reading multiple posts? Leaving a few thoughtful comments or sending them an email to say “thanks for the good info”?
Just one person a day.
Get to know them. Let them know you see them and appreciate them and really understand what they are trying to do.
Make one REAL friend…
In a year, that could mean over 300 real people. People whose names you recognize and who may recommend you to their friends, or link-tweet-share your new posts.
I'm not sure 300 is a good number. That may be too many. It's time consuming to maintain a real relationship. It's probably easier to buy backlinks until someone is so awed by your content they link to you because of your brilliance.
But that reminds me of another familiar quote: "they don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
And how will they know that if you don't take the time to really do it?
What if we just slowed down, made it less about the money and more about quality?
Well, that’s it. That’s my plan.
"And I’m taking the fish. It’s me and the fish. Is anyone else with me?"