Friday’s with Karen Cioffi

       Online Marketing Opportunities and Opportunity Costs
       By Karen Cioffi

       The list of online marketing gurus is growing every day. Every time I turn
       around there is another site full of valuable marketing resources and the
       site owner is willing to email additional information, and I get a how-to
       ebook, free. How do you say no to that?

       The only catch is that you have to subscribe to their site. Well, okay,
       that’s not so horrible. The information certainly has to be worth a
       subscription, so you’d think.

       The deal with this is that each of those subscriptions (site owners), along
       with some useful informational emails, will offer products or services of
       their own and from affiliates they promote. According to each of these
       emails, every product or service offered will be a ‘must have’ . . . ‘real
       deal.’ Which do you choose, if any?

       In cost accounting there is a term: Opportunity Costs. What this term
       means is that if you choose one path or alternative, it is at the sake of
       other options and benefits. Another way of putting this is: You have $30
       per month to spend; you can use it to: buy a book a month and teach
       yourself how to write, learn HTML, become a marketing guru, paint . . .
       you get the idea.

       Or, you can invest that $30 in a coaching program with an instructor who
       can teach you the ins and outs of the field you want to become immerged
       in. You can invest in your future. Which do you think has more value for
       the money?

       The option you don’t choose is an opportunity cost. So, the bottom line is
       to choose the option that will give you the most benefit for the money and
       time involved. You want your opportunity costs to be low and of little

       After I’ve spent a tremendous amount of time gathering information form
       various sites and marketing gurus, and spent a fair amount of money (fair
       amount for me anyway) on strategies, programs, e-books, cds, and so on,
       I’ve come to a couple of realizations that you should consider before you
       venture into this bottomless pit of opportunities.

       Four Tips on Choosing an Online Product or Service:

            1.   You need to research any strategy, program, or service you are
            thinking of investing in. Though, you need to be careful here
            because once you Google the company or site name, you will
            undoubtedly come upon some of their affiliates who are eager to
            proclaim the value of the product or service. The affiliates are
            partnered with the company. They get a pre-arranged percentage
            for every visitor they send over or visitor who makes a purchase,
            or some other call-to-action.

            2.  Ask friends, writers and marketers you know and trust about the
            company or entrepreneur you’re thinking of investing time or
            money or both in. If no one you know can provide some input, be
            certain to use tip number ONE.

            3.  Once you’ve made your decision and purchase that product or
            service, STOP looking for others until you’ve gotten your
            money’s worth out of your first investment. Or, at least stop until
            you’ve reviewed and worked on the first purchase. What I mean
            here is: Early on, I fell into the trap of buying one program and
            before I even looked at it, I bought another one. This is a huge
            mistake and waste of time and money. If I involved myself with
            the first project, I may have realized I didn’t need the second or
            third purchase.

            4.  Always evaluate your opportunity cost when thinking of spending
            time or money.

       Incorporating these tips into your writing and/or marketing journey
       should help you reap the benefits of your investments, and save you time
       as well as money.

       Karen Cioffi is an author, ghostwriter, and freelance writer. For writing
       and marketing information visit and sign up for her
       free newsletter: A Writer’s World. You’ll get 2 free e-books on writing
       and marketing in the process, and two more free e-books just for stopping


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