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Tell me about your Company?

Easy Wahm Websites was formed by myself and my good friend Val Selby as a way to help other people that wanted to work from home and get into blogging but just didn’t know how. The goal was to set them up with a blog, some starter content, and point them in the right direction with resources and ideas.

So far it’s gone very well and we’re starting to expand. We added a few friends to the team this year and that has worked out really well. Val focuses on blog managment and shopping cart setup, and she also is extending her services as an affiliate manager to help people get their affiliate programs off the ground. Lisa Roberson is our content writer. She does a fantastic job on articles, blog posts, Squidoo lenses, and anything else you need content for.

Christine Brandt has picked up the blog design and graphics aspect of things for me, which has been a total blessing and major stress relief for me. Angela Bradley is our resident techie and she does everything from script installation to phpBB customizations. That leaves me to focus on my transcription services.

What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t?

Bloggers tend to undersell themselves. By that I mean they undervalue their services in a big way when it comes to advertisers. I’ve seen it happen a million times, and I even used to do it myself. I’ll fess up, I’m not afraid to admit that I was that person that was afraid to charge for my services whether it be for graphics, a site design, or even just a blog post, and I see that happening with bloggers around the web on a daily basis. They don’t fully leverage their talents and marketing skills. Yes, marketing skills, bloggers are marketers even if they don’t know it yet.

What is the biggest tip you would give to a newbie blogger?

Get a domain name, get a domain name, get a domain name. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with a free hosted blog, there are loads of awesome blogs out there that are on Blogger and WordPress.com, I read several of them. But, if you are looking at blogging as your business and you want to make money with it then start with a domain name right out of the gate. It will be the best 10 dollars (or less) that you ever spend.

What events do you go to?

Live events are something that I just started doing this year. I can’t believe I put this off for so long, because it’s just amazing the connections you make with people. If you haven’t gone to an event yet, you simply must. It really is a great exeprience.

I just attended NAMS in August, and I’m planning to attend the next NAMS event in January as well.  NAMS stands for Niche Affiliate Marketing Systems, and this is a workshop organized by David Perdew, you can find him @drperdew on Twitter, follow him on Twitter if you’re into affiliate marketing at all, brilliant guy and very nice to talk to.

The thing about NAMS is that it’s a workshop, not a conference. (it’s also ridiculously affordable for the value you get from it!) You’re not sitting around listening to a bunch of keynote speeches and picking up SWAG at vendor tables. There is actually no selling from the front of the room at all. None, zero, zip. The focus is all on learning and doing things that will make you money and grow your business.

It was such a powerful event and I learned so much and I made connections with some really great people. Seeing people make their first sale online while we were there was just so awesome. The energy that came out of the workshops was just phenomenal. I could go on and on for hours about this event, seriously. If you’re interested in affiliate marketing or looking to make your first dollar online, it is definitely something you need to check out. It’s also for more advanced marketers as well, we break out into groups based on experience level all the way from newbie to guru. I hope to see some of you there in January.

What was your biggest challenge getting into affiliate marketing?

Just getting started. Affiliate marketing has been something I’ve always been interested in and it was always right there in front of me, I was just too chicken to reach out and grab it until very recently. For me personally, one of the biggest things that helped me to start getting out of my own was joining a paid mastermind group and brainstorming with them. I’ve had more business growth and better focus since making that investment. Something magical happens when a bunch of people pay to be a part of something, it’s called work getting done.

What are the main things merchants do that you wish they wouldn’t?

Not allowing direct linking. Drives me crazy. If you offer more than one thing, and I’m talking XYZ widget and your site offers 10 other kinds of widget, I want to be able to link directly to what I’m talking about, because it just makes more sense to do so.

What is on your iPod?

I’m the worst geek on the planet, because I actually don’t have an iPod. (nor do I have an MP3 player at all…I borrow my husband Brian’s iPod when I absolutely need a fix.)

How do you prefer to communicate?

I’m an email and text message junkie. I think it’s because I’m so easily distracted! I can focus better on what you’re telling me and what I’m telling you if I’m doing it in text form, whether that be email, twitter, skype, or a text message to my phone. I know I’m weird, right. I think I’ve only ever made 2 phone calls with my phone, I always just send text messages instead.

What are your contact details (email, company, blog, facebook, myspace, forums, etc)?

You can get to almost all my social profiles from my business card portal at http://www.lorettaoliver.com
I love Twitter, so please tweet me! @retta719
I’m a very reachable person, so don’t be afraid to send me a message. retta.oliver@gmail.com

Who would you recommend, and why?

I’m going to limit myself to 5 people here or I’ll be here all day telling you about awesome people!

Lynn Terry ~ @lynnterry on Twitter, and http://www.clicknewz.com her blog ~ Other than being an all around great person, she’s been a mentor to me and giving me some of the best honest advice I’ve ever received online. She has taught me a lot about affiliate marketing and online business in general.

Nicole Dean ~ @nicoledean on Twitter, and http://www.nicoleonthenet.com her blog ~ Another great gal who has taught me a lot about affiliate marketing and online business. I love her business perspectives and ideas just magically appear when Nicole is around.

David Perdew ~ @drperdew on Twitter, and organizer of the NAMS workshop that I mentioned. I first learned of David through Lynn Terry, and right away I knew he was someone that I would really like to follow. He’s down to earth, honest, and just full of great ideas.

Aileen Bennett ~ @thatspeaker on Twitter, and http://www.thatspeaker.com her blog, because she is motivational and inspiring. Just listening to Aileen for a few minutes will really give you a good kick in the pants and make you want to go out and do things.

Okay, who am I kidding, I can’t limit myself to 5 people! So, my last recommendation is all the people in the SSWT Elite Mastermind Group – I have made some great friendships there and I consider myself very fotunate to have those people in my life, both as personal friends and business contacts.

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