Revelations and Growing Pains!

As with any business, there are going to be “glitches” for lack of a better word. Sometimes they are technical glitches, sometimes “people” glitches, and yes, even political glitches.

Just as we were trying to get this site off the ground, and had over 100 products already listed, Amazon informed us our product links were going away after July 24th due to the new internet sales tax law that Arkansas just implemented. I call that one a political glitch.

So now we have to find other vendors to provide these products, and that is turning out to be a royal pain! Although there are many individual businesses that have their own affiliate programs, many of them don’t. A great many of the larger stores use ad “aggregators”, like Commission Junction, LinkShare, or LinkConnector, just to name three of many.

But unlike Amazon, where you can go to one place and get any product you want in banners that are all consistent, it isn’t nearly as easy going any other route. First you have to apply to the “aggregator” for an account. Then you have to apply individually to every single store that they work with to also get approval from them! Some respond immediately with a yes or no. Others want to look the site over manually, and may take several days to be approved by human eyes!

Then, let’s assume that we get approved by a store. They have banners for both the store as a whole, and most will have individual product links, referred to as “deep linking”. But the problem is, no one is on the same page as far as the sizes or consistency of the banners and other ads they provide, and many times, their ads won’t work at all on our page layout!

It’s no wonder many marketers build “simple sites” with no specific direction to individual products!  But when you are trying to explain a “process” to someone, and need to show and sometimes provide what they need to create that “process”, it makes it very hard when you can’t show them the product!

Keep in mind, the idea of creating a minivan camper conversion is first a “concept” before it becomes anything else!  That’s where we are with this site. The idea and the book behind it is nothing more than a “concept” right now. It is throwing out ideas that people can use in their own projects, and nothing more. I haven’t even begun to sell the full version (thanks to the delays beyond our control), and at this point, I may decide to pull back and re-think the whole process. It is going to take time to edit the full version (already written, but without pictures and graphics), draw scaled plans and all that goes with the completed version! That kind of stuff doesn’t happen overnight!

All sites have to start somewhere and grow! Everything from fast food restaurants to apartments don’t wait until everything is perfect and the landscaping all in before they open their doors! Neither should a web site!  It must provide something of value and be useable… nothing more!  Then it gets improved as time goes on, more pictures and content are added, more testing is done, and it continues to grow… not in the next month, but in the next years!

A web site is a business like any other, and for those who are stupid enough to think that it is going to be perfect right off the bat, they need to get in the real world! And if someone gets their feathers ruffled because I insinuated that they are stupid, well, if the shoe fits, then wear it!  I’m not here to worry about pleasing every last person on the planet, and I don’t play “politics” very well. If the site or the book doesn’t have what you want… the back button is in the upper left corner! Just live and let live!

I tried to get involved with a forum, to keep up my “social marketing responsiblities” to help promote my business, and found the same back-stabbing, selfish, closed-minded attitudes there that are so prevalent on other forums. Granted, not everyone is like that (thank God), but the few that are seem to take up more than their fair share of real estate on those forums, and the sad part of it is that some of them are other web site owners, who seem to think that they have to denegrate other people’s sites and opinions to try to make their own sites and opinions more important!  No one needs that kind of trash talk and no one wants to hear it… except the people on those forums!

There are all kinds of ideas out there on how best to create a van conversion, and there are as many different people with different wants and needs that there should be room for everyone in the market place! No one’s idea is going to fit everyone, and neither do people all want the same things! That’s no reason to run down someone else’s efforts at trying to offer solutions!

That’s why, from this day forward, I will not take part in any forums.  On this blog, I would not put up with the kind of trash talk I have seen going on there, and that is why I moderate and manually approve or deny comments to my posts! If the comments aren’t relevant to the topic or provide anything constructive or positive, then the world doesn’t need them!

I’ve had my share of technical glitches in getting this site going, and have overcome every one of them! Given time, I will  overcome the political glitches also and make the site what I intend for it to be, but it will be constantly changing! If it doesn’t suit you, then get over it and move on.  It’s not like I am charging you anything for the information!  If I were, you would have reason to gripe, in which case I would gladly refund your money!  But so far… it’s free!

On the TV show, “Burn Notice”, Bruce Campbell has a neat little saying about spies “…they’re a bunch of bitchy little girls”.  Well I have had my fill of forums and their “bitchy little girls” that can’t do anything constructive with their lives except judge other people and run down both them and their efforts at trying to do something positive!

Maybe there’s a reason we have always hung out with “real” RV’ers and their big expensive rigs!  Most of them have made their money and know what it is like to have worked for it, unlike some (not all) of the lower class who can’t afford a pot to piss in, and have to live out of their vehicles!  Maybe trying to help people like this was a bad idea, because they don’t seem to appreciate it! Most of them can’t afford all the time and labor needed to build solid components into the or vans, OR have the know-how to use the tools to do it, so some of the sites that present all those methods are like talking a foreign language to them. I was trying to show them an easier and more flexible way to have what they need with minimal knowledge or expertise, based on my own knowledge of 30 years of doing this!

But the “takers” of this world always have to run down other people’s efforts at helping. So if I see more negative comments than positive comments, then my help will go away. I have better things to do and other ways of making money!

Now I am going to revise my site, and I may not even put the paid version of the book out there!  When I do it will be on MY time!

As always, relevant comments are welcome!