Whom Do You Trust?

Seriously… Whom do you trust on the internet? The guy with the toothpaste commercial smile, coiffed hair and slick patter… who puts up a Hollywood production ad promising thousands of dollars a day for just one little payment of $7.. or $4… or $12… and you don’t have to do anything but send him the money? Seriously?

How about the one who gives you a little box for your name and email and promises to make you rich without giving you any details until you have relinquished all your details which are promptly sold to 43 spammers… seriously?

Personally, I prefer the the guy who puts his “real” face in a video, glasses askew, hair in all directions, waving his hands around like a frenetic Italian…. pushing his site with a REAL fervor… HE is believable.. HE is real… seriously!!

As a relative newbie as an owner of a TE, I am in awe of these guys… I mean, if they say something… you can probably take it to the bank. (“God willin’ and the creek don’t rise!” Hush, Mama, you know what I mean.) These guys (and gals) are the real deal. Back in the day before the internet, these would be the guys you would trust with a handshake to seal a deal. No 40-page documents, notarized and filed. A handshake would be enough….

On the internet, our most important asset is our reputation…  If your “rep” goes in the dumpster,  so does your site and your business. The internet is international… members at Mama’s come from every continent, speaking every language imaginable, but basically forced to use English to communicate. They sign up and learn to surf, play the games, watch the ads and, hopefully, advertise their own business… eventually earning enough to cash out.

And there comes the… “Whom do you trust” issue… HOW do you know after all your hard work of collecting pennies that you will actually be able to cash out? Should that be an issue? Not really.. word gets around if an owner is not paying.. but is THAT all you want from a TE? Pennies??

Originally, TEs were used to advertise BUSINESSES, not collect pennies… we have gotten too far from the original plan and that has been the downfall of many TEs, especially when certain payment processors started arbitrarily purging accounts leaving them with no options to pay their members.

On Mama’s alone, one member is advertising herself as a writer, a professional knitter, a seller of essential oils, another sells nutritional drinks and supplements, another sells inexpensive jewelry, another sells beef jerky, another sells spices.. the list is endless. If you can sell it, you can advertise it on the internet. Only sell locally? That’s fine, put it in your ad that sales are limited to certain countries…

We as an industry must make a concerted effort to put business back into TEs… yes, keep the games, they are fun things… keep badges to show what you have achieved.. but start looking to promote yourself and your own business.

So, for now… K.I.S.S… and be good to each other….


Procrastination 101

“We are so scared of being judged that we look for every excuse to procrastinate.”
― Erica Jong, Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life

There comes a time in every writer’s life when no matter how hard one tries, the words in one’s brain refuse to go any further… I would think after 15 years in the newspaper business… writing on deadline, pushing out stories, features and breaking news… that I am beyond that issue. Apparently there is no vaccine or immunity to writer’s block…

Sure, my first two blog posts got good reviews but then the doubts creep in… what if they were only being nice… what if they thought they could have done better but didn’t want to discourage me….. So then, I wondered about topics… I know this blog is supposed to be eclectic… but I am seriously glad this is NOT a weekly or daily blog….

“The best part about procrastination is that you are never bored, because you have all kinds of things that you should be doing.”

Just as I thought about sitting down to write, a dear friend asked if I would proof HER blog… Oh joy, I thought, I can do that and justify NOT working on MY blog… Awesome!

(“I was going to the Procrastinator Club meeting but it was postponed…” sez Mama… Hush I say, Mama, you just broke my train of thought… “Fiddlesticks,” Mama huffed, “Yer train never got out the station!” MAMA!!)

It’s always something, isn’t it, something that needs to be done NOW…. The dog needs to be walked, you need to start/eat dinner, the kids need their bath and bedtime story, the cat just hacked up a hairball on the antique braided rug… Mark Twain was fond of saying, “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”

Not only must you have the time to blog, you must have the inspiration, the creativity, the depth of thought to take it from your brain to paper or screen. You must have a plan, a justification…raison d’écrire…

And that goes for anything you do in your life… if it is important… DON’T put it off until later… DO IT NOW… You want to continue your education… Oh I can’t, you say. That would take me four years… If you don’t, where will you be in four years? Four years older and still without that degree. You want to get in better shape? Okay, I’ll finish this bowl of ice cream and start exercising tomorrow…. NO, start today because tomorrow is not promised, only today and now is certain. Give someone a hug… Tell someone you love them…. No more procrastinating!!

So, for now… K.I.S.S… and be good to each other….

We all start as “newbies”

I frequently get support tickets from new members, bemoaning the fact that they are newbies and are not quite sure how to do this, that or something else, and are embarassed to post in a chat somewhere for fear of being teased about their questions… Seriously?

We were ALL newbies at one point!!! In 1995, I thought the internet was a “cute little thing,” in my mind like a pet rock… here today and gone tomorrow….

I had been working with computers at my newspaper job beginning in 1976, but it was a mainframe the size of most bathrooms, and monitors and keyboards attached to the mainframe by a snake-like pile of cables.

Then, 20 years later, my daughter came home from college and told me how the computers at her school were all connected and you could talk to people elsewhere…. Who of us is old enough to remember trying to connect… the interminable BEEP bahh BEEP bahh… as we tried to connect by phone line to the internet and if someone called us, it would kick us offline…

It opened a whole new world for us computer pioneers and we went nuts, trying every kind of program and chat… trying to keep track of it all was kind of like herding cats (Mama says, “Now you be talkin’ my language!)

Get the picture….

I’ve only been in TE ownership for coming-up three years… and I made all the mistakes newbies make… working my way through PTRs, PTCs and the early TEs… joining every program that came across my desk. (And she didn’t always make them good choices… lost big bucks in scams and programs that jus’ disappeared… Hush, Mama, don’t be telling all our secrets!)

So I tell those who ask, start slow… find a couple of programs you REALLY like… get comfortable with the INs and OUTs of how it works… play the games and do the promos… use your credits to advertise, build a downline, and slowly find new sites to join. Then, if you like what you see, invest in that site and upgrade. Upgrades can bring you additional opportunities to earn and credits to spend. Look for sites that don’t promise the world by doing nothing, and most definitely, READ THE TERMS OF SERVICE (TOS)!!!

Look for programs that are NOT generic… I cringe every time I open an email and it says “Welcome to all New Members, Welcome Back To All Existing Members
“Thank you to all for choosing (insert TE name here) for your advertising needs.”

I tell them to look for sites that put some of the owners feelings and personality into their site. My early models were TopFlightTraffic with the late great Randy Ritter and Tezak’s (now Tezzers) with Tony Tezak, not late but still great!

I recently saw a meme on facebook and have shared it widely:

If you FAIL, never give up because it means “First Attempt In Learning”

END is not the end, it just means “Effort Never Dies”

If you get NO as an answer, remember it means “Next Opportunity”

Positive thinking is powerful!!

So, for now… K.I.S.S… and be good to each other….

Hello World!

The “MAN” says.. “Just do it”…. Three little words that can loom like the Himalayas… and here I sit, elevation 60 feet, sans sherpas… but NOT without experience…

So what’s the big deal? I spent 15 years as a reporter, photographer and editor for a daily newspaper… my first career out of college. (There have been five more and I will probably touch on those in the future…) But first, I have to conquer my first blog post… Seriously, fifteen years as a journalist didn’t really prepare me for blogging. Sure, I’ve written literally a million words but I was doing features and news stories, police beat and a food column… I only provided the words to convey the stories to my readers, I didn’t have to come up WITH the subjects!

Like many women of my generation, I regularly received a blank book, entitled “My Diary”, for Christmas presents from my parents… I double-dog dare you to find anything written in them past January 31st… My life was just not exciting enough to fill page after page in a diary!

Times, people and circumstances change… and life becomes how we react to each!

I don’t have a particular soapbox from which to pontificate… My friends know I love cats (and all animals, but cats most of all), I sing in the church choir and sometimes solo, I’m a terrific cook and have done it professionally… My alter ego is Mama… She be a right sneaky one… creepin’ into my writin’ and puttin’ her own slant on stuff… See there she goes….

I think I will take a “shotgun” approach to things and write about whatever strikes my fancy on a particular day… it could be almost anything… a new book… a recipe… cute joke… new TE… specials at Pistol-Packing-Mama.com or at any of my business links found in side-links here.

AND, I would like to hear from you about what you are thinking….

So, for now… K.I.S.S… and be good to each other….