Marketing


I just wrote an email to an advertisement for a webmaster and thought, “Hey, I could make that a post on my web site. So here it is.

Hello,

An article on your web site asked for “someone who has more professional experience than a beginner, but less experience than an expert.” That sounds just about right for me. I do hope to command the exorbitant fees of a CSS expert one day, but not today.

I have been the web master of DFWREIN for about 4 years and have been on the Internet since Usenet was called Fidonet. I am mostly home bound and am very responsive to update requests. I can write copy and have enough programming experience to keep me out of trouble. I possess a very orderly mind.

I can write, rewrite and edit well-formed, valid CSS, and (x)html. I am fluent in many server side computer languages and am familiar with version control software. I play well with others, but prefer to play by myself.

I have dabbled in JavaScript and like the jQuery library which you apparently use. I am familiar with PHP and am currently contributing to the WordPress Codex project.

I prefer editing raw text files to using commercial editors and IDEs, but I can go get one of those if it is absolutely required. I will need about 24 hours to get the feel for your web site, to determine how pages are being generated and to get started on any new project. Otherwise I can change usually my schedule to fit your needs.

I would not recommend myself as a designer. I can do some work in a pinch, but there are better people out there.

I generally charge $80 per hour by monthly internet invoice after work is completed. I only charge for the time I am typing: writing copy, writing markup, writing code or testing code. I never charge for development time, email, phone service, training or consulting. I charge for time spent doing research for writing copy.

I am currently working with these 5 web sites. I set up DFWREIN myself. From design to maintenance. The client was even more design averse than me.

  1. Investor Deals (a new site),
  2. Dynamic Environmental Services,
  3. Clarkson Energy Homes,
  4. DFWREIN and
  5. T-REIN (will close soon).

The T-REIN web site owner already had the graphics. I just added the CSS to make it work and used to update it regularly. The first two sites are WordPress blogs which I modified to suit the client. WordPress Themes have spoiled me.

Thank you,

Charles Clarkson

Mobile Home Investor
Free Market Advocate
Programmer

Stephenville, TX
http://www.clarksonenergyhomes.com/wordpress/about/
http://twitter.com/CharlesClarkson
+1 (254) 968-8328
I just wrote an annoying email. I logged on to an account to update some credit card info for a hosting company where I resell hosting services. The bill doesn’t come due until March, but it is safer to make the change now while I’m thinking about it. A business partner originally set up the account and has been footing the bill each year. Circumstances have changed and I ended up with more hosting accounts on those servers than he has, so I decided that I would foot the bill from now on. He has set himself up as the primary contact and I was always fine with that. The host sent a message to a shared email account, which forwards messages to each of us, requesting I visit their New Client Area. I took a look and it is a nicer looking interface. It is easier to navigate and it has nice big letters saying “Welcome Kevin!” right in the middle of the page. I am not Kevin and frankly, I’m annoyed that this company would assume that only one person would run a company. Perhaps it is the drugs (I take a lot of medication), but I am especially annoyed by this today. I tried to keep my disappointment in this minor detail out of the email I sent about a billing problem, but I doubt I was successful. Now I am wondering what I do to my clients which really pisses them off. It may be something minor as well. Perhaps a client is just having a bad day or has increase their medication also. So, I am going to check all my client contact points for little annoying things like calling people by the wrong name and such. Wish me Luck.

I don’t know if it is the first of many or a flash in the pan, but my first article for EzineArticles.com was recently approved.

My plan is for it to be the first of many many articles to drive people to my web sites and Squidoo pages for the express purpose of selling stuff to those visitors. Of course, I have had plans in the past which didn’t work out or more specifically plans in which I lost interest. Hopefully, I can see enough return in the form of money and praise to write more articles.

That is not to say that I am only going to wait for this article to sink or swim, but I know that I can be as much a procrastinator as a hero. At least, that is my track record. The challenge for me has always been to find something I am good at that I want to continue to do with a passion.

At 46 years old, you would think I would have found that something already. That is not the case. I think writing has something to do with my passion, but the few articles I have had published (I was paid to write one) have not sparked me to that passion I know must be inside me somewhere.

Well, the an of an era for me. I lost a customer I have had for over four years over this past weekend. I hosted her web sites (6 or 7 of them), designed one web site and did a lot of web programming for her. She is a real estate investor and very successful. About three years ago I discovered that she had developed a curious negotiating tactic which I am convinced she was completely unaware of. I think she used it in complicated real estate deals and have received some confirmation of that over the years. She would dispute her bills to delay payment or to get a price reduction. She would often pay her programming and webmaster bills more than 30 days after I sent the invoice (using Freshbooks). She took almost a year to pay one of them from August, 2007. She often disputed the charges on some bills. I set a bad precedence because I sometimes caved in and gave her a credit on her invoices. (more…)
In another lifetime, I used to work for The Home Depot. Back then, it was important to me to know as much about big box retail as I could learn. I read the insider magazines and read a lot of the manuals and generally tuned my ear to anything having to do with any of the big box retailers. I met a fellow once who had worked for a lumber yard who was a competitor of ours. I asked him why contractors seemed more likely to go to his stores rather than mine. He said something which made very much sense at the time and something which later I would participate in as well. As a mobile home park owner, much of my time is spent doing odds and ends jobs around the park. It is not uncommon for the company pickup truck to be loaded with plumbing parts, tools and other valuable items. (more…)

I keep running across web sites on the Internet which tell all the exciting features of a product except the price. Either the price is missing or I have to fill out some form for a price.

I just want to reach out there and slap the owner upside the head. Holy Crap. What were you thinking? You spent money on advertising and marketing. You did all that research and planning to get me into your store. You told me about the benefits and why I needed your product right now, today.

And then refuse to sell me your product. I can only draw two conclusions. Either your price is to high and I won’t be paying it. Or you think your product is one-of-a-kind and no one else is selling something similar or competitive, with an on line price.

Guess what? You might be wrong. And you might be losing sales because of it.

(more…)

I just got off the phone with the former owner of EAAHosting.com. He has one of those cautionary tales that was really tough. It just dawned on me that I completely forgot to ask his name.

According to his story, EAA Hosting started out small and gained a lot of customers fast. Soon, they were able to get better pricing from the larger server wholesalers, but they kept their CRM on one of the smaller server companies.

Some time last year, fatnetworks.com took down the server which housed their CRM and all their customer contact information. While most of their customers were located on other servers form other more stable providers, they went out of business because they lost all their customer information.

Apparently they could not get fatnetworks to get the server back up and couldn’t get them to recover their lost data.

So, we can learn something form their mistake. Do not use a Customer Relations Manager program which does not come with some type of off-line or remote backup. Do not rely on CP or H-Sphere to manage all your customers unless you can back up the database they use.

Personally, I would never have thought to take this step.

Go on. Take a look. It is really good and it makes sense.
The whole is more than the sum of its parts — Aristotle I read something recently and it got me thinking. Basically, I have always relied on the old axiom the the whole is more than the sum of its parts. People, working together, often can accomplish tasks that could not be done working separately. The mathematician in me, balks at this idea. The whole could never be greater than the sum of its parts. So, I compartmentalized my thoughts on this. Sometimes math doesn’t work in the real world. (more…)

An affiliate program is a great way to sell products. It enlists others to do the legwork while giving you the time and freedom to concentrate on making the product better or expanding offerings. It is important to remember that affiliates’ success is your success.

Giving affiliates the tools they need to succeed is of utmost importance. A skilled affiliate could bring in large numbers of sales and leads but only if they have the information and support needed to do so. Here are some things that can help your affiliates succeed.

(more…)