• Hi Melanie,

    I’m looking forward to seeing your plans unfold – no doubt the first step was recognizing what didn’t work so well in 2011. :- )


    P.S: You sure get a lot of a insightful comments!

  • Cindy

    I really do like your post, it reminds me of the importance of our mistakes. They all are very important, because they are part of a learning process. Everybody does mistakes sometimes, the difference is, that somebody can make positive things from the faults.

    • Hi Cindy

      Appreciate the visit. Thanks for stopping by to catch my post!

      I see you’re in the “dental” niche.

      Just wondering …
      What’s your opinion of the Lumineers process? Good idea or not?

  • Look forward to more opportunities in 2012 and working with you in helping others..I like your post..

    • Love your niche, Beverly! (Fertility and Pregnancy)

      I’ve been a perinatal educator for the past 30 years. 🙂

      Thanks for the visit and I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

      Happy 2012!

  • Great post, Melanie. It’s interesting that one of the first things you mentioned you’ll be working on is ‘building your level of confidence.’ Ever since meeting you online I’ve felt you were a very confident person, and I’m sure you are in real life, but this online world can do something to us, doesn’t it? Almost as if we have to re-create ourselves. I share your sentiments.

    I also like your list of what you will NOT become! This is where I believe we can watch what other successful people do, but tailor it to match our own personality, and what our community expect from us so we can be authentic in everything we do.

    All the best with your 2012 goals!

    • Yay, you, Yvonne!

      I couldn’t agree with you more here …

      ” … this online world can do something to us, doesn’t it? Almost as if we have to re-create ourselves”

      It really is a strange phenomenon. I feel completely confident, cool, calm, and collected in my offline professions.

      Sometimes I feel like a fish out of water … or the new kid on the block … or like it’s my first day in Junior High School. Remember that first day in 7th grade? Oy! Let’s just call it the “No Confidence Day”. 😉

      Thanks for sharing your input and HAPPY 2012!

  • Hi Melanie, you know it’s amazing how many times in the sales process we don’t ask for the sale. I was in discussions with a customer a few weeks ago. He decided to cancel their RSS services with me. I asked many questions to see if they weren’t happy or perhaps they were just not going to blog any more.
    Well at the end of our conversation I asked if he would consider coming back and promoting more with us and upgrading his package. Ironically enough he did and now he’s a 29.99 business plus customer.

    I guess the saying is right, if you don’t ask you don’t get.

    P.S. I’m getting an error with your comment LUV,

    “Error. Parsing JSON Request failed. error! not authorized bd3b1229ff”

    • Hey Brian — elated to see you here!

      Comment Luv must have “burped”. I haven’t had any issues with it lately. Sorry.

      The story you shared is a prime example of what can happen when you unzip your lips and ask!

      Thanks for knocking on my door and I hope you’ll come back soon,

  • Cindy

    My biggest marketing mistake was not to take enough care about the SEO stuff. I thought that my traffic only depends on the content of the site, but now I know (after some SEO processes) that a good-looking site and fresh content doesn’t fit enough to get a higher ranking. It is my first resolution for the new year to upgrade the search engine optimization of my site.

    • That’s an awesome goal, Cindy!

      Give some thought to using the “All In One SEO Pack” plugin on your blog. I love it! And it’s easy-peasy to use. 🙂

      And as you continue to explore all the important aspects of SEO, remember there’s “on page” and “off page” strategies. Both are equally valuable.

      Thanks for the visit and Happy 2012!

  • Hey Melanieeeeee (Please read that screaming!)

    I am so glad I made it to your blog. I missed from the blogging scene in between and now I am making my way back…phew!

    I loved this post. This year sure has me all ready for something new and something better! I am planning, will let you know soon 😉

    I know we make mistakes but it’s how we learn from it. I am so glad you listed it out. Recognizing where and how we falter is probably one of the best ways to move on and better yourself. It’s like half the battle won. The “mistake” I was doing was I wasn’t moving on to something more. My blog as you know is more of a personal effort to get to know things around the blogging world and the hows and whats and it’s like a personal – public diary! I was always thinking of moving onto something serious, something that satisfies and contents me as a writer / person and hopefully, bring in something to live by (money!) at least starting to move towards that goal. So, there is something that I am working on. Will let you know for sure!

    Thanks so much for this! 🙂 I’ve missed you and your posts! Big virtual hug going across!

    • WooHoo, you’re baaaack, Hajra!

      GREAT to see you here and I can’t wait to find out what you’ve got up your sleeve. 🙂

      It’s definitely that time of year for all things “new”.

      I’m happy to know you’re going to be making a shift toward making money online. You have lots of options. The key will be finding the right “fit” for you. And I have a hunch it will have something to do with writing/blogging as well as your offline profession.

      GO FOR IT, Hajra!

      Keep me in the loop … I’ll be sitting on pins. 🙂

      Hugs back at ya,

  • Hi Melanie

    I guess my biggest mistake was not asking for help nearly enough. My amazing blogging buddies were pleased to help when I did ask and as most of them are techie whizzes, that sure moved me along. I hear how busy they are and don’t want to disturb them.

    This year, I plan to do more product reviews and not be afraid to say when a product I use and promote is worth buying. I so hate hard sell; but if I don’t tell people there are things to buy then how will these beautiful products be known about.

    Also I get emailed and give heaps of free information so why not also share about good products too. I like your list. Here’s to 2012 and more marketing success Melanie.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Miz Lavender! Lovely to see you here, Patricia.

      Allow me to say — emphatically, vociferously, and vehemently …

      You are someone who always gives generously of your time and talents. For one thing, all the blog hopping you’ve done and all the comments you’ve posted should be noted somewhere with special recognition — like maybe in the Guinness Book of World Records?! 🙂

      Here’s my advice …
      Go for the sale!

      Wishing you mounds and mounds of marketing success in 2012!

  • Hey Melanie,

    Well I plan on much acquiring much larger jobs for my branding business and letting go of some deadbeat clients.

    With regard to blogging I have a ton of changes for 2012. Not sure where to monetization will come in yet, but I will be focusing on public speaking, improving my writing and getting out and interviewing some people. Should be fun, eh?


    • Hello Craig!

      ” … letting go of some deadbeat clients”
      GREAT way to kick off the New Year!

      If you need any public speaking pointers, give Keith Davis a holler. I’m certain he’d be happy to lend you his ear. 😉

      As far as improving your writing, I think we’re all riding that train with you! I used to think I’d hit the “big time” if I could write like Seth Godin, Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, or Chris Brogan. But I don’t feel that way anymore.

      I only have one writing goal …

      To better my best. 🙂

      I’m super excited to hear you’ll be conducting interviews! Between you, me, and the lamp post, I would much prefer be the interview -er versus the interview-ee. LOL

      Wishing you the greatest and grandest New Year!

  • Doing a few late night calls and thought I’d come over.
    Glad you enjoyed your dance with the buttons.
    Appreciate your support.

    • You’re welcome, Keith, and there’s more where that came from!

      Definitely enjoyed the button dance. 😉

  • Great post Melanie! If what they say is true (and no doubt it is) about the list being all important, then not really accomplishing that would be my biggest mistake in 2011. And at the top of my goals for January. Why this is such a hurdle I don’t know, but there it is.

    Staying focused and taking consistent action is my mantra. Have you discovered Dennis Becker’s 5 Bucks A Day Action Enforcer? I have found it a big help in staying on track and getting tasks done. Very handy for we distractable types!

    Have a properous and Happy New Year!

    • Howdy Janet and Happy 2012!

      If someone HASN’T discovered Dennis Becker by now, I would guess they’ve been living in a cave with no internet connection. LOL! He’s one guy who really knows how to get the word out.

      List building is tricky …

      Despite everything you hear and read. Have you noticed how “easy” and “carefree” some people make it sound? Phooey on that!

      Sometimes you can have the most irresistible freebie offer, loads of valuable content on your blog, and only a few leads will drip in every now and again … like during a snow storm in Southern California! 😉

      I’m convinced (after years of working on it) the ONLY way to build a sizable list is to narrow it down and CLEARLY DEFINE your target audience … I mean really “niche it down” to the color of polish on their toenails and what brand of toilet paper they use!!

      “Staying focused and taking consistent action is my mantra.”

      And so is mine. 🙂

  • Great post, Melanie. It is sometimes easy to think that people know what we offer and they should buy from us. Unfortunately, to make money we have to pout enough offers in front of people so that they will buy. One email, blog post or article is not going to do the trick.

    It is OK to remind people that we can help them in exchange for money 🙂

    I need to do some more of that in 2012 as well. My other mistake? Hiding behind the computer too much. It is a safe place… but I need to get out more!

    Wishing you a very eventful New Year, Melanie. Full of health, happiness and prosperity!

    • Your words are MAGIC, Daphne, and truer than true!

      ” … to make money we have to put enough offers in front of people so that they will buy. One email, blog post or article is not going to do the trick.”

      For those who may not be aware …

      People need to see your marketing messages and offers 7 to 12 times before they take action.

      Yes, a few people will make a purchase sooner than that but those folks are rare birds.

      “Hiding behind the computer” is something I’m guilty of, too. Since my offline work schedule occupies a lot of my time, getting out and networking in person is almost impossible. SO … I will at least make the effort to get on the phone with more people this year than I have in the past.

      I’m sending along wishes for YOU to have a very “eventful” 2012, too, Daphne!! 🙂

  • Hi, Melanie,
    Great post with some important points. I also feel that having the confidence to ask for the sale is important. I’m creating some valuable, helpful content, services and products, that I feel good about offering – and asking for money for. I also plan on being more visible more places – most recently Twitter.
    By the way, I like your website layout/design – it looks nice and is well organized.

    • Delighted to meet you, Marianne, and thank you for your wonderful comment!

      I have Michelle Shaeffer to thank for my blog design and layout — I’d be lost without her. Be sure to follow her on Twitter at @MichelleShaeffr and @dailyblogideas — she’s a GREAT gal to network with!

      Glad to know you’ve hopped on the Twitter bandwagon — good for you! Some of the neatest people on the net hang out on Twitter and it’s a great social media venue to share your expertise.

      I see you work with pet lovers and help them deal with loss. You have a very unique niche with an extremely worthwhile mission. I currently have two four-legged furry friends, Maxwell and Kona — my best buddies and biz partners. 😉

      “I also plan on being more visible more places”

      That’s the spirit! And that’s the biggest key to online marketing — shooting for the goal of having people say, “I see you everywhere!” 🙂

      Denise Wakeman (founder of the Blog Squad and online visibility expert) has an excellent FREE 7-part e-course to help you BOOST your visibility. Take a peek and grab it if you like: http://bit.ly/VisibilityBoost

      I totally agree with you here …

      ” … having the confidence to ask for the sale is important”

      Thanks for knocking on my door today and have a super successful and Happy 2012!

  • You know what they say Melanie…if you don’t ask…you don’t get.

    I’m with you…I’ll be asking for the sale this year more confidently too.

    Here’s to a super successful year ahead…may payment notifications litter your inbox with love 🙂

    • If there was a prize for the comment that warmed my heart the most and struck the biggest and boldest chord …

      You’d win, Jackie!!

      ” … may payment notifications litter your inbox with love” !! 😉

      I am totally ecstatic to know you’ll be asking for the sale this year more confidently — GO FOR IT!

      Looking ahead to more of your fabbytastic blog posts — Happy 2012!

  • Great job Melanie in bringing to the forefront such essential facts in the process of marketing. I like how you clarify the difference between working smart over being pushy or spammy. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and encouraging us to focus on self evaluation and improvement of our marketing practices.

    • Nice to meet you, Delmy, and thanks for the kudos!

      GREAT goal for 2012 …

      ” … focus on self evaluation and improvement of our marketing practices”

      Happy New Year to you!

  • We won’t get better if we don’t learn from our mistakes…. you share some excellent tips and advice Melanie! I am happy to share with my fans, followers and clients. Best to you in the New Year!

    • Many thanks, Lynn, and the very BEST to you in 2012, too!! 🙂

  • Hi Mel
    If the biggest book in the world is
    “Mistakes I have Made” by M Kissell

    Then the smallest book in the world is:
    “Blog posts that really brought in the cash” by K Davis.

    Maybe next year eh Mel.

    BTW – “Blog posts that really brought in the cash” by K Davis.
    is now in paperback.

    • “Blog posts that really brought in the cash” by K Davis.
      is now in paperback.

      Sprinting over to Amazon to grab my copy straight away! 😉

      When people tell me they’re making money blogging, I reply with “Huh? Say what? Exactly how many glasses of wine have you had today?” LOL

      Thanks for putting the first smile on my face for 2012 — wishing you loads of success with WM Web Design — you deserve it!

      • Limited edition Mel, but you may be lucky.

        Let’s hope we are both lucky in 2012.

        Fill that thimble and raise it high.

        • “Let’s hope we are both lucky in 2012.”

          I’ll drink to that! Cheers! 🙂

          • Hi Mel
            Looks as though everyone is fired up for making a few sales in 2012.

            I’m hoping that my new site will allow me to add a few pages to my rather slim volume.

  • Great post! It’s funny how some think they can have a business without selling something! To stay profitable, you have to have monetary goals and strategies to meet those goals. Glad to see you are going to step it up! Good luck and best wishes for a VERY lucrative 2012!!!

    • Thank you, Martha!

      Yes, my goal is definitely to “step it up”. 🙂

      Sending wishes back your way for mounds of joy and an exceptionally successful New Year!


  • You’re a gal after my own heart, Lauren! 🙂

    And you’ve brought an EXCEEDINGLY important point into view …

    ” … I will stop giving so much of my free time to “volunteer consulting.”

    Whatever you do, DON’T lose sight of that notion! It’s fine to offer your target audience “value” through the content you produce, the questions you’re willing to answer, and the wonderful tips you share.

    BUT …

    I’m just as guilty as you (and the next guy, as the saying goes) of giving away too much. There’s certainly nothing wrong with having a generous heart but there’s a whole lot to be said about staying in business. And that, we all know, requires PAYMENT for products, programs, or services rendered!

    Okay, I’ll step down from my soapbox now. 😉

    Thanks for swinging by and I’d love to see you again soon!

  • I love this post and I think I might be guilty of making the same mistake that you did. Another item that I am adding to do my to-do list (or my to-don’t list!) for 2012 is that I will stop giving so much of my free time to “volunteer consulting.” There is only so much that I will do now before the brand either a) starts paying or b) finds someone else who has more time to work pro bono!

  • Melanie,

    just found your blog and I love this (first) blog post I read. 2011 was my first year in business and I have made some of the mistakes you did. I have a plan for 2012 and they include some of the things you listed.

    Asking for the sale and getting a contract signed are my priorities for 2012.

    Thanks for the reminder to target the right people!

    Looking forward to more blog posts.

    • Oooh … I love the title of your post, Dorien!

      ” … Asking for the sale and getting a contract signed”

      Now you’re talkin’ turkey! 🙂

      And, yes, “targeting the right people” is SUPER CRITICAL. This past year, I connected mainly with entrepreneurs in my same niche — which worked out great for co-marketing opportunities. However, I failed to zero in on my target audience as much as I should have. Time for that scenario to change!

      Thanks for knocking on my door and please come back soon!

  • Like you I am going to ask more and partner more. Look forward to more opportunities in 2012 and working with you in helping others

    • That’s the spirit, Roberta!

      ” … ask more and partner more” 🙂

      Let’s become birds of a feather in 2012!

  • Sounds like we made similar mistakes this year Melanie. My main focus for 2012 is list building, asking for the sale and improving my copywriting skills. Happy New Year!

    • Wonderful to see you here, Celene!

      And it’s a comforting thought knowing I’m not the only one who was remiss is asking for the sale this past year.

      List building, asking for the sale, and honing copywritiing skills are fab priorities for 2012 — Yay, you!! 🙂

  • EXCELLENT POST MELANIE !! This message needs to get out far and wide !

    • Thank you, Joyce, and Happy New Year! 🙂

      Would love to have you help me spread this message. I’m sure I’m not the only gal out there who needs to stop holding back and ask for the sale!

      So let’s raise our glasses and make a toast for beefing up sales in 2012!