Product Spotlight was born as a result of my own online marketing struggles and due to all the pitfalls I encountered along the way that no one warned me about. I have decided to create Product Spotlight in order to make sure that others do not make the same mistakes that I have made and to ensure that you do not get ensnared by the shiny object syndrome and the false promises of the so called online marketing gurus (that do not exist so by the way) that is trying to sell you some magic products that will apparently bring you online success overnight.
The aim of Product Spotlight is to provide you with trustworthy information on what it is you really need to succeed online with a strong emphasis on you certainly do not need to buy the next best product that comes along (the so called shiny object syndrome). Besides providing free online training the aim is also to do honest reviews on online marketing tools that I personally recommend and that I believe really works.
Hi, my name is Schalk Zeeman, the author and creator of Product Spotlight. Allow me to tell you a little bit about my online journey.
It all started back in 2010
In 2010 I decided that I want to create my absolute dream body and I psyched myself up to pack on serious muscle in the gym. I searched for a great online fitness program backed by science that I could follow in the gym. I managed to find a great fitness program and I was just about to embark on my journey when the unfortunate happened …
I went to the clinic for a blood test just to get an overall profile of my current health before embarking on my fitness journey. After they took the blood sample I immediately got up and did not think anything of it because I have had blood samples taken many times before, but this time around as I was walking down the corridor of the clinic I felt very faint. All I know is that when I opened my eyes I was surrounded by paramedics. I blacked out and fell face first on the tile floor and when I woke up there was blood everywhere and as mentioned I was surrounded by paramedics.
As a result of my head injury I did not feel like myself for a year and a half, despite the fact that the MRI scan results came back normal and doctors told me that there is nothing wrong with me. This was the most frustrating time in my life as I am one of those people that never even go to a doctor if I could help it, so I certainly knew all was not well.
So my online journey began
When I bought the fitness program I realised that you could also become an affiliate for the fitness program and sell it online in order to make money. I was always curious about creating a blog and now that I was unable to go to the gym following the fitness program, I decided I might as well try make money selling the fitness program online.
I decided to make use of Blogger as it was free for me to try my hand at online marketing and as Blogger belongs to Google I realised that some Blogger websites actually ranks quite well in the search engines. Later on I also created Tumblr accounts and also Wix accounts as it was also free and I started blogging away trying to promote this fitness program.
To my surprise I managed to generate some sales and that is when I decided to start taking things a bit more serious. Before I knew it I bought my own domains and had WordPress up and running.
JVzoo and Warrior Plus complications
I have soon discovered the wonderful online marketing tools offered on JVzoo and Warrior Plus and as I started using some of these tools I bought from these online marketing platforms I also realised that I can make money promoting the software that I am already using.
This is where the online marketing niche began and I did manage to make quite a bit of money by selling online marketing software, especially the software and plugins I was using personally, because it was easy for me to create screen record videos of how I use the software, plugins etc. and as a result got quite a bit of traffic and sales via YouTube.
However, here is the problem and indeed a massive problem. Nobody ever told me that these guys that sold me their wonderful plugins via JvZoo and Warrior Plus is ever going to stop supporting their plugins. At this point in time I had around 35 websites and I have used various plugins I bought from JvZoo and Warrior Plus all over my articles and pages. All of these unsupported plugins started breaking all over my websites and there was nothing I could do about it and I had no idea where to even begin to fix the vast amount of problems I was now facing all across my vast amount of websites.
During this time I also got very busy at work as I decided to upgrade my existing qualifications and there just was not any time to even start getting my head around what it is I could possibly do to fix this mess.
I got hacked due to unsupported plugins
Then on top of that I got hacked due to these unsupported and outdated plugins which caused vulnerabilities that could be easily exploited by hackers. The worst of it was that I got hacked by a very well known terrorist organisation, which for obvious reasons I am not going to mention here, but you do hear about them in the news all the time. They have now replaced all of my website’s index files with their own, which means that whenever you would type in the url of my website in the search engines, then their home page would come up instead of mine. They used my websites to get their propaganda out there, but of course my websites were not specifically targeted as I heard that they even managed to hack Air France. That made me feel slightly better lol.
To further complicate matters, some of my websites were now black listed due to it being used for terrorist propaganda.
The combination of the hacking and the broken unsupported plugins now really caused havoc. This episode caused me to give up on online marketing for good for a full 4 years.
My expired domain became a porn site
As some of my websites were several years old I did not just wanted to get rid of them so I kept paying to keep my domains alive. However as the years gone by and no money was generated from these websites anymore due to the destruction, I decided to slowly but surely let my domains go.
And just when I thought things could not get any worse, someone registered my expired domain as a porn site lol. I find it quite bizarre as this was a fitness domain of mine which does not sound remotely like a porn site, but I guess it had a lot of backlinks and traffic still coming to it so probably the reason why it got picked up. This caused me loads of hassles as I have been sharing that domain everywhere over several years e.g on Facebook on my Facebook Fan Pages, on Youtube and a lot of my pins on Pinterest now unknowingly directed to a porn site.
This could have had serious consequences for me as I could have potentially got banned from all my social media sites as a result and something like this can also easily destroy your online reputation, which is everything to an online marketer.
It was a very time consuming process that took me back all the way to 2013 to try and delete links I posted on my Facebook Fan Pages related to this domain of mine that has now been turned into a porn site. All the links in my Youtube descriptions had to be changed, the banner on my Twitter account changed etc.
So how are you still online?
You might ask yourself but how come you are still online after all these disasters has happened to you? Well someone once said: “What does not kill you, makes you stronger.” This has all just made me stronger and I have learned so much from these experiences that I will never again make these mistakes and I feel that I have a responsibility to share with others the pitfalls of the online marketing world that no one else tells you about. Yes, I must confess I did not have control over all that has happened, but the major mistake I will never ever make again is to buy plugins from third parties that do not support their plugins. I now make use of only one premium trusted WordPress theme that contains all the plugins that I would ever need and this reputable company fully supports their plugins year after year.
What is your motivation?
There should always be a reason for doing what you are doing, as time is precious. Well my reason for helping others here through setting up Product Spotlight is because I am a firm believer in the pay it forward principle. I do believe that you will reap what you sow and sooner or later the help and support you offer to others will lead to you becoming super successful yourself.
My main motivation for success online is the love and respect that I have for my family and I believe that I have a responsibility towards my family, myself and the world to reach my full potential. Someone once said: “The definition of a day in hell is when you meet yourself and see what you could have become”.
I want to leave you with another quote by Richard Branson: “If someone gives you an amazing opportunity, but you do not know how to do it, say Yes, and then learn how to do it later”.
The internet provides us with an amazing opportunity to sell to the world and more and more people are now starting to buy online. We are now presented with an amazing opportunity which we were never entitled to before. I recommend you grab this amazing opportunity with both hands, even if you are not sure where to begin, and then learn how to do it along the way.
Now it is your turn
Why don’t you take the time to reflect upon your motivation for a second. Why are you here? What is it your are looking for? What is it that is important to you in life and how are you going to achieve your goals? And how much time are you willing to put into the process to achieve these goals? I have four questions for you to answer and this exercise is for you to start setting yourself some goals as this is the first step towards achieving online success! Go ahead and answer these four questions in the comments box below.
QUESTION #1: What is your motivation?
QUESTION #2: How much money would you be happy earning?
QUESTION #3: How much would you be ecstatic earning?
QUESTION #4: How much time are you willing to invest to achieve these goals?