Lynn M Dot Net

Any idiot can do what I do to make $ online. It's not rocket surgery, it's cake. Also, I like pie.

If you’ve been around the traffic exchange and related community very long, you likely know my very good friend and fellow blonde Southerner Sunny Suggs.

Sunny is out there in the online trenches every single day working hard as well as being social, day in & day out; is one of the hardest working folks in this industry; & has helped sooo many people. More than I could name in a week, and that’s only the ones I know of!

If you’ve been around the TE community very long, whether you’re a surfer or owner, she’s probably helped you with something sometime, and if you’ve been in online marketing elsewhere you may have run across her and her happy helpful self as well.

Sunny has singlehandedly put out some of the most consistently helpful programs in the industry, for many years. A while back she had a great program called All About Traffic Exchanges, you may remember.

Well, now Sunny’s brought that same concept back in another, even better site!

==> (click here to check out What Are Traffic Exchanges?)

What Are Traffic Exchanges? may not only show you things you may not have known before about TEs – it also includes in-depth videos and e-books outlining all the details (and I do mean pretty much literally ALL) about a few special traffic exchanges (including the traffic exchange I co-own, Sound Surf Live).

Even if you’re an old hat at TEs, here’s where it’s really valuable to current members and TE veterans – you can re-brand the e-book and give it away to your new and potentially new downline members. That’s a great way to help build your downlines and really help your new folks!

Show your support for one of the hardest-working and most consistently helpful folks in our community and check out Sunny’s awesome new program now:

==> (go grab all the helpful e-books & videos included in WATE now!)

P.S. (If you’re a traffic exchange owner and interested in having an e-book/video/e-mail series created for your traffic exchange like the ones currently in WATE, just give Sunny a shout!)

It’s the inevitable question (or, The Inevitable Question). Sometimes it’s worded differently, but it’s more or less all the same question:

“So, what do you do?”

I have yet to figure out how to tell people who aren’t involved in the TE community or in somewhat related areas of online business, when they ask, just what it is I do online without sounding like an idiot.

Or if I make an attempt to explain at least a little bit of it, their eyes start glazing over. Then as soon as they can, they change the subject to something like, “So have you seen (so-and-so whoever) lately?“, or some other something or another conversation topic that they can understand and make sense out of.

It’s really difficult if that person doesn’t really do anything or much online at all. But I’ve even seen it happen with friends who DO operate businesses online, or at least a business with a visible and active online presence.

The guy who does computer repair all over a quad-state area regionally, for instance. He probably spends as much time in his online business activities as I do with mine, but he just can’t really comprehend and grasp the concept of traffic exchanges, safelists and viral mailers, surfing, autoresponders, and all that whatnot.

As I mentioned last week, we had a death in the family. So, of course, in all the ensuing funeral home/memorial service stuff that goes on when such an event occurs, I had out-of-town relatives in town for most of the week.

I maybe see two of the cousins about once every ten years, if even that much, at least since I was a teenager. One of them is the closest of the cousins to my age, so we have a childhood history. The other is quite a bit younger, and not too long after she was born came the point where I didn’t see them very much at all.

What one of them does for a living is easily explainable to anyone who asks – he’s a college professor. The other one, I’m a little less sure of what exactly she does for the company, but let’s just say she works for a Very Large Online Behemoth That Is Not Google. But I know enough about the company (and so would pretty much anyone) to have a pretty good idea of what she does, and not have to ask a bunch of questions.

So for all practical purposes, I pretty much know what they do.

Unfortunately, they are now probably more clueless than ever about what it is I do, since when one of them posed The Inevitable Question to me last week, I wound up just making a great big mess of trying to explain anything at all, which likely left them and anyone else within earshot wondering what the heck I was doing with this online whatever thing.

And even more ridiculous, I didn’t even get to the traffic exchange industry part – not that it would have likely helped explain anything anyway. More likely that would have just confused them further.

If I had to guess, I would say they all probably came away from that conversation thinking I was doing something sort of like selling Amway or Avon online, but not really.

And then wondered what the heck “online business” is supposed to mean, like maybe it’s kind of a code word for something else that… well, you know, who even knows what crazy picture I put in their heads with my futile attempt at explanation.

Thinking about the conversation later, I realized that the question that was actually asked this time had been not so much “So, what do you do?”, but instead was more like “So, what are you up to these days?”

In retrospect, I really could have just skipped the whole work/online thing and given some other kind of completely unrelated answer, and saved us all the trouble of them getting terribly confused and me feeling like some babbling idiot.

There was also the cousin who I do see and communicate with a little more often, and who is so much younger than me that I tend to think of him more as a nephew than a cousin. Now, he has a business (or is a franchisee, I’m really not sure) that does operate a little online but I think is mostly an offline business, more or less. I don’t really understand what it is he does either , other than the fact that it all has something to do with guns and ammo (legally – I do know that much).

I think what he does and his business is probably somewhat and about as difficult for most people to comprehend as they do my stuff. Given that, I didn’t expect to, nor did I, get The Inevitable Question from him.

I am fortunate in that within my immediate family (which is pretty much just me, my mother, and my fiance these days), I really don’t have to explain much. My mom probably can’t tell you exactly what I do either, but she knows and hears enough about it all, and is and has always been very supportive of my efforts.

Pretty much the same with Brian, and he hears plenty more on a regular basis – more than he wants to sometimes, probably. Plus he does see some of what I do, how many hours I spend doing it all, and how much I am working, even if he doesn’t really totally understand what it all is and what it does. And he has gotten to know some of the fine folks in our TE community, which helps as well.

Plus they’re both pretty online savvy, computer savvy, and all such stuff, which kinda helps too. My mother is over 70 now, but she’s not one of those older folks who just came online in the last decade and does e-mail and Facebook and that’s it. We had a computer in the house since the late 1970s, and for a lot of years, whatever computer I was using at any given time was her cast-off computer after she bought a newer PC.

So yeah, I am fortunate in that I have a bit of understanding from my immediate family regarding what I do, and they’re very supportive overall (I know a lot of others don’t have that, or far from it, so I’m very grateful and appreciative of that).

They may not fully understand it, but they understand it enough. They sort of get what a traffic exchange is, they do pretty much understand affiliate marketing, and they absolutely understand the word “commissions”. That’s probably the best anyone could ask for, really.

One of my online colleagues who’s not around anymore, he sometimes used to tell confused and questioning family or friends, when they asked The Inevitable Question (or pressed for more information after having asked it), that he made his money online in adult websites, or with spam e-mails.

Online porn and the stuff in their spam mailbox, those things they could understand and comprehend. Traffic exchanges, membership sites, autoresponders, affiliate commissions, etc. – those things, they just couldn’t grasp.

Maybe there’s an easier way to answer The Inevitable Question that wouldn’t be so brain-numbing (for ME, much more so than them!) and frustrating, but I have yet to hit upon a really good one that doesn’t result in the eyes-glazing-over phenomenon yet.

Lately I’m thinking just saying “I’m in advertising”, and leaving it at that (and NOT saying “online advertising”) – and hoping like heck they don’t ask me to explain further – may be the least painful and least brain-twisting of avenues to take.

So what do YOU tell people? I bet there are some great stories out there, I’d love to hear ’em!

P.S. Pssst, speaking of online advertising (everywhere, and all over the place!):


Last night’s TE Town Hall meeting was really probably one of the best yet, especially on such short notice. It lasted a pretty good while, there was lengthy discussion about several hot topics – and even a couple of, albeit good-natured, controversies – and averaged about 35 attendees, all of whom mostly stayed for well over an hour. Very nice!

We who primarily involve ourselves and our marketing in the traffic exchange industry and related industries are probably one of the smallest sectors of online marketing, but I tend to think we overall as a group tend to be a little more cohesive and action-taking than other pools of online marketing folks. Maybe that’s because we’re small enough to be more like a “neighborhood” or “community”, but I also think a lot of that also has to do with regular and informative communication throughout the industry.

I think that really overall and as a group, we are probably really more “we’re all in this together” than some online IM factions probably are. There are arguments sometimes and occasional controversies, but every family is at least a little dysfunctional, and we’re a small enough group to be more of a “family”, “neighborhood”, “community” type environment.

We’re big enough to have a number of successful marketers, in varying degrees of success, within our ranks, yet small enough where most everyone knows or knows of most everyone else and more of a real community. And really I think the good and pretty constant flow of communication there is in this industry – be it through e-mail, conference rooms, blogs, and otherwise – is a good deal responsible for that community atmosphere and its overall cohesiveness.

Daily/regular e-mails from traffic exchange owners and other relevant program owners have a LOT to do with how good that communication flow is and works, so those who complain about the amount of e-mails you get from owners might want to rethink your stance a little on that, because that’s certainly part of why it is worthwhile and not a waste of time to promote in traffic exchanges and related programs.

(That said, I realize some have a valid point when it comes to, so to speak, “over-mailing” a whole lot of times every day of the week every week, but you probably follow what I mean in the paragraph above…)

Anyway, the TE Town Hall meeting was really good and hopefully led to some progressive stuff on several issues, and it was good to see so many non-owner attendees, as well as owners, there.

I told a kind of funny semi-traffic exchange-related story that some missed because they weren’t there or had already left – and pretty much screwed it up due to both my confusion over the stupid “Talk Now” button in the current version of HotConference (I’ve now realized the way to keep what was confusing me from happening – dang my blonde roots) plus the fact I’m much more a writer and really not and never have been a “public speaker” – but I’ll share it again here for those who missed it.

It appears that my planned relocation eastward to Knoxville, Tennessee this year or early next year is likely going to be delayed some more. So over the holiday weekend, my mother and I had been looking around at potential places to buy for the time being, preferably “back home” in Paris, Tennessee (about 120 miles west of Nashville and one of the top “retirement communities” in the United States due to its proximity to Kentucky Lake and the Tennessee River). We actually have found a property that looks possibly doable, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up since I have so much bad luck with things like that usually. I know with my luck there’s probably something way too horribly wrong with the property for us to bother with it.

(But if it all came to pass, that would certainly get me one step closer to being able to broadcast on UStream all day long and on Sweeva and in TE Live from my back yard and the laptop, heh. I’m hoping there will also be a pool in that equation sometime in the future, since I grew up with a pool in my back yard and miss it, and would rather be broadcasting from poolside!)

Anyway, there are a LOT of properties for sale and many having been foreclosed in the area – some of which have been for sale since the last time we really looked seriously four or five years ago, and probably mostly due to the economy and so many large industries in the area having been forced to close. A lot of those properties are houses I practically grew up in, because the kids that lived in those houses way back when in ancient times (lol) were grade school and junior high school friends of mine.

One in particular that’s for sale right now is this huge near-mansion in my grandparents’ old neighborhood where one of my very best friends from elementary school days lived, and I spent about as much time in their home as my own. My mother and I were browsing through online listings while on the phone and I mentioned what price they were asking for the house. My Mom goes (I wish I had this on tape, lol):

“Well, when you’ve made your first big fortune doing… (NOTE: LONG PAUSE GOES HERE)… whatever it is that you do… maybe you can buy (that house).”

I cracked up and I just love the “…whatever it is that you do…” – that’s priceless and pretty typical if you’ve been in this industry very long. (And actually I wouldn’t buy that particular house, there’s probably a couple hundred others in town that would be ahead of that one on the list. It’s nice enough but not one of my favorites. But that’s beside the point and I digress…)

If you are in online marketing in any form or fashion, you’re probably nodding your head in recognition right now. Unless another person does or has done anything remotely like “what it is (we) do”, they really don’t understand how one makes an income online at all like Internet marketers – and probably even less so, traffic exchange people – do.

My buddy John Guanzon has often joked about telling family members, when they ask, that he’s one of those guys that sends the spam e-mails about Viagra – because that’s something they can understand. They can’t really comprehend the truth. (John’s not a “Viagra spammer”, of course, but you get the idea.) Tim Linden said at the TE Town Hall last night that his mom didn’t stop giving him info on jobs to apply for until the day he bought a house, and apparently finally really did realize that he does actually run a real, actual business.

I think we all have to deal with that lack of comprehension and understanding from the “outside” world of non-online marketing people in some way. My mom’s pretty tech-savvy and online savvy and really, once I have a chance to go visit her and really sit down with her and show her what a traffic exchange is all about, she will probably “get it” more than most non-IM people ever will.

And fortunately for me, she’s always been super supportive of what I do. Even though she doesn’t really understand it, she knows I know what I’m talking about when it comes to the online world so know I’m not just “up to something crazy” and far-fetched and out there, so that’s cool – and really pretty much same with my betrothed, even though he’s not nearly as online and computer and tech savvy as my mother. I know a lot of people don’t have anywhere near that kind of support and understanding from their families and loved ones and it’s often a struggle of epic proportions, so I know I’m lucky in that regard.

But yeah… “whatever it is that you do” – I like that and it makes me giggle. And I intend to keep at “whatever it is that I do” because every month that goes by so far, all that work I’m doing constantly is consistently showing improved results – in many different kinds of ways – each month.

But it does take that indeed – work, and lots of it and lots of hours of it. Don’t ever think that it won’t. I think – no, I know – all that work is what scares people off a lot of times, or just leads them to giving up and quitting. It is a lot of work – and you’ve got to commit to sticking with it for the long-term – or you’re probably never going to see any results.

Just some thoughts for this long holiday weekend-day. I’ve really kind of had trouble adjusting to today because in my long-daily list of to-do’s, there’s things I generally don’t do on the weekends that I do diligently on weekdays, just because I don’t think they get very good results on the weekends, so I don’t expend the same effort that I usually do during the week.

This being a Monday, it was kind of hard to switch gears in my brain to treating today like a weekend instead of a normal Monday, but I finally decided it’d just be better to treat it mostly like it was a Saturday or Sunday.

One of the things about being in online marketing – and I’m not sure whether it’s really a pro or a con or just purely neutral – every day is just kinda the same more or less and most of the same things need to be done every day, and that “weekends” and most “holidays” aren’t really the same to me that they are to non-IM folks. The only reason a weekend really seems all that different to me right now is because my family and loved ones aren’t working at their jobs, and thus are more available.

When things change a little and I’m able to be in closer proximity to family and loved ones than I am right now, weekends and such will probably be a little different and more like “normal” for me too. Right now they’re really mostly just another day and every day’s a “workday” – just some with a little less work than others, but always work to be done.

I like what I do and it suits me right now, though. And I know the more I keep at it, eventually I’ll have more time to goof off and do whatever and probably have more “real weekends” like “normal” people. I don’t know though, it might get kind of boring!

QUICK UPDATE ABOUT LIST JOE: I wanted to post again since when I posted about this last month, I basically said this was going on through the month of August – but apparently ListJoe has decided to keep the extra credits per mail read going through September too!

For the time being anyway, you still get two to five times more credits per mail read. Very cool and I have been able to super-stock up on credits the last few weeks.

So just wanted to give a heads up in case you haven’t checked in there in a while.

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