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  • Google Compare Launches Into Car Insurance


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    30 replies to this topic

    #1 Martin N Smith

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:51 AM

    Check out Google's new 'compare' feature on 'Car Insurance' keywords (Google UK).

    It's not quite as blatant as the 'Best Credit Cards', but prominent enough to further push down the organic SERPS.

    I wonder how long it'll be before they change the colour of the 'Start a new quote' button to bright red?

    Gulp...

    #2 masterjani

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:11 AM

    Another google's bussiness tactics to maximize their earnings, organic seo is losing its power.

    #3 colourofspring

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:13 AM

    Shocking....!!

    They place themselves as the top result, white background and small "Sponsored" text in top right hand corner. What I don't understand is - if Google is unbiased, why is this a paid inclusion no. 1 position result? If it's an ad, why the white background? If it's NOT an ad, why the top result? Google have simply thought "hey, we can make loads of money from car insurance, let's nab that top result, stick the word "sponsored" there, but keep the white background".

    Give it a few years, and Google's stock price will break through $1000 per share and the entire first page results will be "sponsored". Want to open a small business? Forget it....join the queue for food stamps.

    Edited by colourofspring, 11 September 2012 - 11:15 AM.


    #4 _Richard

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:28 AM

    Give it a few years, and Google's stock price will break through $1000 per share and the entire first page results will be "sponsored". Want to open a small business? Forget it....join the queue for food stamps.


    There are a lot of ways to get traffic that do not include Google. Just because that particular path has been easy for the past few years does not mean it is the only or even best way to make money from the internet.

    Yes anyone who is not able to adapt will crash and burn but that has been always been true. I am sure all the lamp and candle makers felt the same way when the electric light bulb caught on and people stopped buying their products or the buggy makers when everyone started buying cars. Nothing in business stays the same forever in any industry, it has always been adapt or die, the internet is not special in this regard.

    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #5 Dave @ Searchnetics.com

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:02 PM

    There are a lot of ways to get traffic that do not include Google. Just because that particular path has been easy for the past few years does not mean it is the only or even best way to make money from the internet.

    Yes anyone who is not able to adapt will crash and burn but that has been always been true. I am sure all the lamp and candle makers felt the same way when the electric light bulb caught on and people stopped buying their products or the buggy makers when everyone started buying cars. Nothing in business stays the same forever in any industry, it has always been adapt or die, the internet is not special in this regard.


    I agree with you totally.

    However, it's the way they go about doing it that disturbs me.

    Check out my latest blog post...


    >> 55 SNEAKY PBN Footprints That You're Missing Right Now! <<


    #6 _Richard

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:33 PM

    I agree with you totally.

    However, it's the way they go about doing it that disturbs me.


    Honestly it does not bother me at all. They are a public corp and their job is to maximize profits. If I had been in charge I would have started playing hardball way before now.

    Google's current behavior really parallels what we have been doing for years. How many people on this or any other seo/im forum cared about all the sites that they pushed off the first page.

    Lets take average Joe who has had a blog for years about some fairly obscure topic and found that as time went by he was pulling in some good money from his adsense ads. He was not sure why exactly but he started counting on that income and and then a couple of seo guys find his niche and the next thing you know he is pushed down the serps and that monthly income vanishes. Tough luck Joe you could not compete.

    Very easy to tell yourself that you are only competing with other seo people but in most cases that is not what is happening. The reason those niches/keywords are easy to moderate is because they are not being hammered by us seo guys, they are sites that are owned by people who have little or no knowledge of what seo even is.

    So anyone who had no problems slamming some average site that was better than the one they put up out of the first spot is more than a little hypocritical whining about Google.

    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #7 Martin N Smith

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:37 PM

    Come on then ARV, give us the secret sauce.

    If you're diversifying your traffic sources away from the mighty G, exactly what are you doing?

    Facebook PPC / Groups?
    LinkedIn PPC / Groups?
    Other Social Media?
    List Building?
    Yahoo / MSN PPC?

    Surely not AdWords?

    Edited by Martin N Smith, 11 September 2012 - 12:40 PM.


    #8 Fraggler

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:39 PM

    Want to open a small business? Forget it....join the queue for food stamps.


    I don't really agree with what Google is doing here but this particular example would be great for a smaller car insurer. As long as the comparison is far then the small business can now get exposure from the large amount of traffic searching for car insurance that was previously going to those with a big Adwords budget or SEO budget.

    The problem comes when they start making you bid for favourable positions in the comparison chart.

    Many of these changes hurt affiliate marketers but can be a positive for a business who has control over the product or service they're selling.

    #9 Martin N Smith

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:42 PM

    I don't really agree with what Google is doing here but this particular example would be great for a smaller car insurer. As long as the comparison is far then the small business can now get exposure from the large amount of traffic searching for car insurance that was previously going to those with a big Adwords budget or SEO budget.


    There aren't any 'smaller' car insurers here in the UK, at least not on Google (BeatThatQuote)'s panel.

    #10 _Richard

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:51 PM

    Come on then ARV, give us the secret sauce.

    If you're diversifying your traffic sources away from the mighty G, exactly what are you doing?

    Facebook PPC / Groups?
    LinkedIn PPC / Groups?
    Other Social Media?
    List Building?
    Yahoo / MSN PPC?

    Surely not AdWords?


    Well I am not just talking about traffic but there a lot of ways to get traffic to a money making offer without Google. You have one staring you right in the face, think about this and other IM/SEO forums and the classified sections. You have a very large number of service providers making money without making any attempt to rank that offer in Google. Think about the banner ads on this forum, the traffic they provide bypasses Google completely.

    The key is to find out where your target demographic hangs out and go there to get traffic to your site or offer. The site does not have to be in anyway related to your niche as long as it is somewhere your target demographic hangs out.

    Think about how advertisers decide what shows to advertize on TV and Radio, they do not look for shows that are about their product they look for shows that do well in their target demographic.

    The first step is to determine exactly who you are targeting with your site, this is a completely different mindset from what we normally do as we look at keywords and number of searches etc but you need to move into a different way of looking at it. Use the search numbers to find topic that a large number of people are interested in but then take those search terms and figure out who is doing the searching. Is it old people, young people, tech people, gamers, the DIY crowd, etc etc. etc..........

    Once you determine who they are you hunt them down and find out what sites they go to and where they hang out. Most of these sites will not have anything to do with your niche!!!! That is just fine and you will actually have better luck on the ones that do not as there will be less competition for your offer.

    Does this take more work and critical thinking than just looking up some search numbers, comparing a few websites, getting some content written up and then building a large number of links? Yes it does.

    Are the results worth the extra time and energy? I believe so and if you think that finding traffic that Google has no control over you should as well.


    Then there are things you can do that have absolutely nothing to do with seo or getting traffic at all, you need to start asking yourself some questions. What are your skills? How can you market those skills? Who could you market them to? What new skills can you learn? What new skills have you learned this past week/month/year? Can you take some of your seemingly unrelated skills and knowledge and put them together in a new way that would be worth something to somebody else? If so how can you market that new combination?

    All of the above are important questions but the one I consider the most important is whether or not you are actually learning new skills or gaining new knowledge. You see a lot of people in the different im/seo forums that have been members for extended lengths of time and they do not seem to ever learn anything new or use what they have learned. You should actively picking up new skills and knowledge and then actually doing something with it. (the key word in that sentence is actively which is the opposite of passively)

    I know this will probably offend some people but if you have been hanging out in seo/im forums for a year or more and are not making any money the problem is you not the industry. Now some people are going to be more successful than others but if after a year your seo efforts are not in the black you need to take a step back and seriously reevaluate your approach because it is not Google's or anybody else fault it is yours.


    Going to get down off my soapbox now.........Thanks for getting me started on a rant this morning.

    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #11 Martin N Smith

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:00 PM

    Going to get down off my soapbox now.........Thanks for getting me started on a rant this morning.


    NP - glad to be of service :-)

    Seriously though, cheers for sharing your thoughts.

    IMHO this very subject gets way less attention than it should do in most IM forums.

    Edited by Martin N Smith, 11 September 2012 - 02:01 PM.


    #12 _Richard

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:09 PM

    NP - glad to be of service :-)

    Seriously though, cheers for sharing your thoughts.

    IMHO this very subject gets way less attention than it should do in most IM forums.


    I agree there is so much focus on getting traffic from the serps in general and Google in particular that very little attention is paid to other ways to get traffic. Google is not the internet no matter how much some people say otherwise. There is a huge amount of traffic that goes from website to website without going through Google at all.

    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #13 MattW

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:47 PM

    Larry Page is going to singly handidly destroy Google with his aggresive tactics to squeeze profits.

    Under Schmidt it was service > money, Page has completly turned the tables.

    I dont see why the SEO community doesn't get together and arrange a boycott Google campaign and start pushing people down the bing route. Between us we have enough pageviews a day to make a real dent.

    #14 _Richard

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:02 PM

    There is just something about the idea of MicroSoft coming to rescue us from the big bad evil corporation that seriously cracks me up.

    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #15 MarkAse

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:40 PM

    How much stuff changes in a decade or two.

    That MSFT, really the first tech company to full on take on the feds over a potential break up.....well the humor in the whole thing isn't lost on me either.

    #16 colourofspring

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:46 PM

    The problem comes when they start making you bid for favourable positions in the comparison chart.


    That's how it works already, Google are compensated by the insurance companies they compare - Google disclose this fact in the little "i" icon next to Sponsored.

    #17 colourofspring

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:58 PM

    All of the above are important questions but the one I consider the most important is whether or not you are actually learning new skills or gaining new knowledge. You see a lot of people in the different im/seo forums that have been members for extended lengths of time and they do not seem to ever learn anything new or use what they have learned.


    I have launched hundreds of e-commerce sites over the years for hundreds of clients and none of them are "IMers" or SEOs - they're just "mom and pop" small businesses. These are the people I refer to when Google shut out small business from their listings (which is incrementally where we are heading). Of course Google can do as they please - doesn't matter if we give them a standing ovation for being so good at making money or we denounce them as unethical and evil - it's just business at the end of the day. And so too is the decision to wonder if it's worth setting up a business online if we have to become masters of IM just to get a foothold online. The average small business just wants to provide a service or a product and be good at their core competency so they can compete with their competitors in regards to quality of service / product. Sure, marketing is part of any business, but when it becomes too difficult to even know where to start your marketing campaigns, or you need to hire (and trust) a "specialist" (who may not turn out to be one), an individual might as well turn to the job ads instead of starting a small business. Again, this is just how private business turns out. Nobody ever sets up a business just to see it fail - we consider the risks. If the risks are just too great, less people will bother. I don't see too many butchers or bakeries in my area - we have large supermarkets nearby. Nor do I anticipate too any new butchers or bakeries to startup in my area. It's just too difficult and they can't compete. Again, this is just business. I'm not really saying "this is wrong" - it just is what it is. People shop at supermarkets now - small butchers and bakeries go out of business, and no new ones startup. I see a similar trend online with traffic being driven more and more to bigger sites in a deliberate traffic-shaping fashion by the likes of Google because Google make more money that way - Google Shopping becoming paid only, and the Adwords bidding system are two great examples of the inexorable creep toward online mirroring the offline world (in regards to small businesses disappearing).

    Like it or not, Google drives the vast majority of "strong-intent" traffic, and that is the most valuable traffic for the vast majority of niches out there. Even banner clicks on an SEO forum to an SEO offer are arguably less valuable than a keyword search to a website, and that's why people love search engine traffic so much - it converts because of the intent. Yes there are other ways to drive traffic, but to most businesses it doesn't really mean much to see search as purely a "bonus" and to focus elsewhere - search is the bread and butter of their traffic (like it or not). You have to work so much harder to find that strong-intent traffic outside of search. And this assumes your core service or product you provide doesn't take up much of your time already. Most small businesses do not have the time to spend learning all the tricks of the IM trade, or the money to outsource it (and if they do, they can easily fall prey to SEO / IM scams) - they have a service to provide, products to sell (e-comm takes up a lot more time than you think if you're serious about selling and not just dropshipping).

    I understand your point of view purely as an IMer, but there are other businesses out there that simply won't bother to compete online because it's just too difficult and too risky - just like setting up a butchers next to Tesco is difficult and risky. Yes, that's just the way business works - there's no right and wrong, and you will reply "survival of the fittest" regardless of the quality of the service or product a company can privide - but you will see less small businesses compete while Google essentially hoard all that traffic and funnel it as they please.

    Edited by colourofspring, 11 September 2012 - 07:16 PM.


    #18 _Richard

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:03 PM

    I have launched hundreds of e-commerce sites over the years for hundreds of clients and none of them are "IMers" or SEOs - they're just "mom and pop" small businesses. These are people I refer to when Google shut out small business from their listings (which is incrementally where we are heading). Of course Google can do as they please - doesn't matter if we give them a standing ovation for being so good at making money or we denounce them as unethical and evil - it's just business at the end of the day. And so too is the decision to wonder if it's worth setting up a business online if we have to become masters of IM just to get a foothold online. The average small business just wants to provide a service or a product and be good at their core competency so they can compete with their competitors in regards to quality of service / product.

    Like it or not, Google drives the vast majority of "strong-intent" traffic, and that is the most valuable traffic for the vast majority of niches out there. Even banner clicks on an SEO forum to an SEO offer are arguably less valuable than a keyword search to a website, and that's why people love search engine traffic so much - it converts. Yes there are other ways to drive traffic, but to most businesses it doesn't really translate to see search as purely a "bonus" and to focus elsewhere - it's the bread and butter of their traffic (like it or not). You have to work so much harder to find that strong-intent traffic outside of search. And this assumes your core service or product you provide takes up not much of your time already. Most small businesses do not have the time to spend learning all the tricks of the IM trade, or the money to outsource it (and if they do, they can easily fall prey to SEO / IM scams) - they have a service to provide, products to sell (e-comm takes up a lot more time than you think if you're serious about selling and not just dropshipping).


    First off before I start ranting at your whining. Yes getting Google traffic is easier but it is by no means "better" or "stronger". The traffic I get from other sources converts just as well or better than the traffic I get from Google.

    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about with this one. Admit it you just pulled that idea out of thin air.........We all know you did.

    And now back to our regularly schedule rant.......

    The base of all your arguments is that Google owes "somebody" a good listing that they can use to drive traffic to their site, it drips from just about every sentence you write. Sorry but Google does owe me, you or any of those mom and pop businesses anything at all. Buck up and deal with it.

    Life was easy for a few years and now it is getting back to normal. If all those mom and pops you mention that do not know anything about SEO or IM how are they ranking their sites? Either they are not or they paid someone to get them ranked (you for instance) Whether it is you or somebody else it does not matter, they are still in the seo game because they hired someone to do it for them. I guess they will need to figure out the paradigm themselves or higher somebody who can adapt to an internet life that does not include getting 90% of their traffic from Google.

    Just because we were able to easily use Google to drive our businesses does not mean that Google owes us that ability going forward. Live is not easy, the people who are willing and able to put in the effort to find those other sources of traffic will continue to make money. Those that can not or will not will fail. That is how it has always been and I see nothing changing in the future.

    Advertising and getting customers has always been part of starting a business. What did businesses do before Google was around? or the internet for that matter.

    As far as time to spend working on advertising like I said that is just something that has traditionally been a part of doing business. We had it easy for awhile and now it is moving back to where it used to be, going forward you are going to have to think about where you get the best returns for your ad dollar. You are going to do a little research and figure out what your options are and you will find that some work better than others. That has been the way advertizing has always worked so tomorrow is not going to be any different from 10 years ago.

    People who start and run their own business have always know that their is a lot of extra work involved if you want to be successful, the ones that did not failed. Most of the business owners I know work a lot of hours in "ALL" aspects of their business and that means thinking about their advertising which in most cases has nothing to do with Google.

    As far as falling prey to (seo/im) scams, I guess Google is doing them a favor. If ranking on the first page is no longer an option then they can cross seo off their list of things to consider so they do not have to worry about the seo scammers.

    Bottom Line is that Google does not owe any of us anything and Google is not the internet. There are a huge number of ways to make money on the internet that have nothing to do with Google,the ones that are willing to work hard and smart enough to go get it will prosper and the ones who do not will fail.

    I plan on being one of those who succeed, I do not mind working, sleep is for whimps anyway. I just spent six months working on a project, over 300 hours total and this is time over and above taking care of my business of making money. So your argument about it being "too hard" carries absolutely no weight with me. Life is hard suck it up and deal with it.

    Oh and I pulled the trigger on my new enterprise two weeks ago and added $2k a month to my income with more on the way. No Google, no SEO. Lots of work and then came the hard part which was/is going out and selling my new services to people face to face which is so far outside my comfort zone it is not even in the same country. I have been robbed at gunpoint and that was nowhere near as stressful as the first few face to face sales calls but I grew a pair and did what needed to be done and so can you or anybody else who really wants to succeed.

    Life is Good.......

    Sometimes I have a link in my signature to a product. If I do assume it is an affiliate link and I might make a couple of bucks off it...................................


    #19 Fraggler

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    Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:29 PM

    There aren't any 'smaller' car insurers here in the UK, at least not on Google (BeatThatQuote)'s panel.


    So what's the complaint about again?

    My point remains the same: these services are good for businesses who can't get into the top few spots of Google and don't have the advertising budget to take on the larger companies.

    #20 colourofspring

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    Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:39 AM

    First off before I start ranting at your whining.


    Not whining. I am basically saying "it is what it is" (in fact I literally said that in my post).

    The traffic I get from other sources converts just as well or better than the traffic I get from Google.


    You're an admin for an IM forum. You are an IMer. I was talking about your average "mom and pop" small business owners, of which I've got a lot experience with as a website developer. IM is your field of knowledge and I agree - any internet marketer SHOULD be aware of, and adept at, getting traffic from all kinds of sources - that's their job in the first place. This doesn't mean an average small business owners knows what you know. If they did, your skills would not be worth much, right?

    I have to repeat again: I am not whining. I am just saying "it is what it is". If it becomes a lot harder for an average small business owner to compete online, most won't bother. We see this already offline with the supermarket example I gave. We all adapt in some way, including NOT doing things because they become obsolete / too high risk. You do risk analysis before you start any business. If it's too risky, you look elsewhere. That's just adapting to change.

    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about with this one. Admit it you just pulled that idea out of thin air.........We all know you did.


    Well, I have 15 years experience setting up e-commerce websites online for hundreds of small businesses over the years. I talk to these people everyday. I hear from them directly what their concerns are. When 90% of their target market find what they're looking for via a search engine, it becomes that much harder to chase the other 10% via other means. Not impossible, but much harder. Many will decide it's not worth the hassle to chase the remaining market. Regardless of what you think I know, I do hear the opinions of small business owners everyday.

    As far as time to spend working on advertising like I said that is just something that has traditionally been a part of doing business. We had it easy for awhile and now it is moving back to where it used to be, going forward you are going to have to think about where you get the best returns for your ad dollar. You are going to do a little research and figure out what your options are and you will find that some work better than others. That has been the way advertizing has always worked so tomorrow is not going to be any different from 10 years ago.


    Yes, and I said as much - advertising and marketing is part of doing business. But also you may find yourself priced out of advertising and marketing, just like in the same way small businesses got priced out of high street rental prices by the chain stores who said "we want this space, we'll pay 50% MORE for the rent that your current tenants pay". Contract ends for small business, chain store moves in to the high street. This can be analagous to Google's own ad space. It is what it is. So if advertising gets too expensive you need to look elsewhere. If 90% of your market are using search engines though, well.....see my above comment on that.

    People who start and run their own business have always know that their is a lot of extra work involved if you want to be successful, the ones that did not failed. Most of the business owners I know work a lot of hours in "ALL" aspects of their business and that means thinking about their advertising which in most cases has nothing to do with Google.


    You also have to make smart decisions too. The butcher who opens a shop in an area that saw other butchers fail may prove that the other butchers were just lazy, and by hard work and perseverence, he can succeed in an area that is dominated by supermarkets. But...if he doesn't see WHY they failed, then he's a fool and no amount of hard work is going to reward him. Hard work is not always "its own reward". Many businesses fail because of stupid decisions, and no amount of hard work is going to correct a stupid decision. If the time and effort required to chase traffic from other sources proves to demand too much time and money for small businesses, they may simply decide it's not worth it. That's not being lazy - it's being smart and adapting to circumstances - it's risk analysis.

    I plan on being one of those who succeed, I do not mind working, sleep is for whimps anyway. I just spent six months working on a project, over 300 hours total and this is time over and above taking care of my business of making money. So your argument about it being "too hard" carries absolutely no weight with me. Life is hard suck it up and deal with it.


    I also work hard online and my income has been increasing since 1997 - every passing year for me has been a "best year" for income. However, I'm not really referring to you or I in my post - but to a startup small business who isn't experienced in what we know. If the cost of doing business online passes a certain threshold, the smart decision is to do nothing. Everyday we make smart decisions by saying "NO" to things because we have a limited amount of time and effort. There is a difference between thrashing a dead horse and working hard.

    Oh and I pulled the trigger on my new enterprise two weeks ago and added $2k a month to my income with more on the way. No Google, no SEO. Lots of work and then came the hard part which was/is going out and selling my new services to people face to face which is so far outside my comfort zone it is not even in the same country. I have been robbed at gunpoint and that was nowhere near as stressful as the first few face to face sales calls but I grew a pair and did what needed to be done and so can you or anybody else who really wants to succeed.


    Yes, we adapt whatever the circumstances. I'm just saying that's what small businesses will do.

    I get from your points that you think I'm basically saying "oh life is unfair, why can't things be easier?" - I'm not. I'm just describing how things are and how business adapts. I think we'll both agree that any business needs to make smart decisions before they decide to plough ahead with hard work.

    Edited by colourofspring, 12 September 2012 - 09:09 AM.






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