If I make a mistake running my business I want it to be my fault, not because I copied a competitors ideas.
Many people know that I built my first website back in 1996, and that building that website was the start of my online world.
I actually tried to build that same website in 1994 but it was a little hard for me to figure it out. At the time, I had no computer skills, so I quickly gave up, and gave the idea a rest for a couple of years.
In 1996 I repurchased the domain name LelandsWallpaper.com again, and gave the site a second try.
At the time I talked to a few people that design websites to get prices, and other information. I knew that the new website would be a long term project, and that I would need to learn how to maintain the new site. I knew that I could not afford to pay someone to handle every update that I would need for the rest of my life. My goal was to hire someone that worked in house and could teach me how to maintain the site while building it.
One day while I was sitting at the office I received a phone call from a new developer. The developer knew I was looking for someone to build a new site, and offered to build mine at half the price everyone else was charging back in 1996.
His voice sounded really strange. It was as if it was cracking, or breaking up. I finally realize it was a young person whose voice was changing, I asked him ” how old are you”. He replied I am 14.
I was shocked that I was on the phone with a 14 year old kid who was trying to charge me $40 an hour to build my site! I told him I would think about it, and call him back.
After I talked to him I immediately called the local high school, and asked to talk to the computer teacher. They connected me with the teacher, and I asked her if any of her kids could build a website.
“Everyone of my 3rd year students can” she said. I asked her to tell them I was looking to hire someone to help me build a company website.
The next day a student showed up and I hired him at $7.00 an hour. He worked for me until he finished college, and for a few years more.
I remember calling my vendors and asking if they had any images of wallpaper they could send me to use. Back in 1996 there were no digital cameras to use for taking photos.
All of my vendors laughed when I told them what I was trying to build. They all said ‘people will never buy wallpaper on the internet”. I always replied that I would, so I thought there were other that would too.
We ended up using scanners as they had been invented in 1996. We scanned wallpaper patterns out of the wallpaper books, and added them to the website.
It was a learning process for sure, but as we built the website I learned the basics of coding.
Don’t get me wrong I am still not a great coder, but I can get most stuff accomplished with time. Also things are so much easier thanks to tools like WordPress and WooCommerce.
I am so glad I did not listen to all the people who told me how stupid I was to attempt to sell wallpaper on the internet.
Just as an FYI the site that I originally built in 1996 is still up and running, and business is as good as ever.
You can take a look at LelandsWallpaper.com
Back in 2010 I was on Fox News about Fastpitch TV.
It was a pretty interesting experience.
They sent a driver to pick me up and take me to Dallas. Once I arrived in Dallas I went up to the 10th floor. It may of been the 11th floor, I can really remember.
Then I went into an office/studio and there was just one guy there. I thought it was so funny because I really expected it to be this busy TV Studio. I thought there would be all kinds of people buzzing around doing TV Stuff.
Instead it was basically one guy with a camera, and the camera was pointing at a chair. I was told to sit ion that chair and wait.
After waiting a few moments the interview started, but it was so weird because I was talking but could not see the people I was talking to.
It was just me, and the guy that worked at that location. It really changed my concept of what a TV Studio was.
My studio in my home may of actually been a better studio than the one I went to for the interview.
All it takes is one great idea to be successful, or just working really, really hard. Which do you think is more likely?
If you have followed me at all then you know I am a big believer in Multicasting. Just to be clear I did not make up the concept of multicasting. I actually got the idea from an old friend Paul Colligan.
I thought I would create a post about a new podcast I have started, and the circle of marketing I am building around it.
The new podcast is the Fixer Upper Podcast. If you are a fan of The Home And Garden Network (HGTV) you are very familiar with the Fixer Upper TV Show. The TV Show stars Joanna and Chip Gaines.
The Gaines family live in Waco, Texas and together they remodel homes. They attempt to take older homes (Fixer Uppers) and make them into a Dream home for their clients.
This is a very popular show, and the host Joanna Gaines is quite the marketer.
My wife is joining me on The Fixer Upper Podcast. This is actually the first time we have ever recorded a podcast together, and that has been a new experience for us both.
I believe this may be the first independent podcast of an HGTV Show.
Now that you understand the podcast subject lets get back to the marketing circle which like I said is the multicasting part.
In case you are not aware my wife and I own, and operate the largest wallpaper store in Texas. I built my first website for this store back in 1996 at LelandsWallpaper.com
Everything I am going to talk about building in this post is being built to market the wallpaper store and website. The podcast, the blogs, the Facebook accounts, the Twitter account, everything is built to help sell more wallpaper and decorating products.
Another great thing for me is the fact that Joanna Gaines has teamed up with York Wallcoverings to come out with her own line of wallpaper. Of course I already have Joanna’s wallpaper books on my website at LelandsWallpaper.com/JoannaGaines.
This will add a special touch to the podcast and marketing of the wallpaper website since Joanna is now putting her wallpaper into some of the homes she decorates.
Step 1: Create the Podcast. I am not going to go into this very much. Their are plenty of sites that explain how to podcast, but I will run a commercial for the wallpaper store on every episode
Step 2: Set Up A Blog. This was another basic, and easy step to do. We set up a WordPress Blog for the podcast at FixerUpperPodcast.com. This also allows up to post banner ads and sidebar ads for the wallpaper store.
Step 3: Make A Facebook Group. Of course you need a Facebook Group to get your fans involved. I made one at Facebook.com/groups/FixerUpperPodcast. Of course we will post about decorating, and the wallpaper store here too.
Step 4: Set up a Twitter Account. For this podcast I decided to use my wife’s Twitter account to make it more personal. Her Twitter account is at Twitter.com/KathyLeland
Step 5: Set up a corresponding blog. This blog works to market the podcast, and the core business which is the wallpaper website. For this podcast I took InteriorDecorate.com as the blog name.
Step 6: Podcast Directories. Now of course I have set up the podcast on the major directories like iTunes, Stitcher, Spreaker, and etc.
Step 8: Started a newsletter: Gathering names for the podcast mailing list will not only allow me to send inrormation to fans of the podcast, but it will allow me to send special offers from the wallpaper store.
Step 9: YouTube Videos. I have built a YouTube page to market wallpaper. My wife Kathy creates video reviews of new wallpaper books. We have actually done very well on wallpaper sales already from these reviews at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLVIkpCq1M9aSW58Sayuxhg/videos
Step 10: Set up a secondary Facebook Group at Facebook.com/groups/DecorateInteriors This is just anther place to attract people and get them involved.
These are my first steps in creating my circle of marketing around my Wallpaper Store, and will grow as time goes by and I add more, and more resources. I know there are plenty still to go, but I am moving on them all as fast as I can.
I thought I would at least share what I have going on so far.
I am hoping this will give you some ideas of your own, and help you make your own Circle of Marketing.
I have been a salesman my entire life and I have never had a mustache. I believe they make people look kind of sneaky.
I have had Twitter accounts for years. Actually I think I started my first Twitter account the first month, or so that it was online.
Even though I have several accounts on Twitter until recently I have only spent time on my softball account at Twitter.com/FastpitchTV. I feel like I have been somewhat effective at building the account for Fastpitch TV as I am over 29,000 followers.
I am not very active on that account, and only follow 14 people at the moment, but the account has grown just the same. The main reason that account has grown is the fact that my staff puts out a lot of great softball content everyday.
Lets move on to my personal Twitter account which is at Twitter.com/GaryLeland. This account has been just sitting there for years. I have really never done anything with my personal account until recently.
I decided I would start using my personal account, and build up my followers. I started posting more, and more often and I am even interacting with other people.
I have to admit I am happy with the growth in my number of followers. It went from almost none to 3,000 followers in a very short amount of time.
I have actually started spending a good bit of time on the account. I have been reading a lot of post from the 300 or so people I follow.
I am really in shock at the number of people that just post other peoples quotes. Quotes are close to 40% of what I see in my Twitter feed.
I don’t mind the idea of quotes that much. It is just the fact that they are all other peoples quotes. I wonder do these people just buy ebooks of quotes on Amazon. Then copy and post a couple of new quotes every day.
I figure that buying the ebook would be the easiest way to do this, so I searched for books of quotes on Amazon.
OMG there are literally tons of books of quotes on Amazon, so I think I am on track here.
Then I have to wonder are there that many people that want to see quotes that bad. I mean if there are the guys who write these quote books must be making a ton of money since there is so much demand for quotes.
Then I wonder is there not a copyright on quotes? I saw one book that had 1000 quotes in it. I just can’t imagine someone is paying 1000 people every time they sell a copy of there book?
So to get back to Twitter, I just wonder if there are many people who really love seeing the same quotes over, and over again from all there different people?
My video camera bags really are getting smaller
I shoot a lot of video, and I mean a lot.
I started recording back in 2006 when I created the first episode of my first video podcast.
The name of the podcast was the Fastpitch TV Show. I am probably getting close to 1000 episodes of the show, and it has been very successful. It has also really helped my website at SoftballJunk.com grow over the years.
As the title of this post states the bags that I use to carry my equipment have really been getting smaller, and smaller over the years.
The main reason they have shrunk is due to the size, and amount of equipment I use. In particular the size of my camera has really shrunk.
When I first started recording video I used a camera that held mini tapes to record on. This was not only a big camera, but I needed to carry extra tapes to record on.
Then I moved from a camera that used tape to a camera with a hard drive. That helped me to downsize my bag the first time. Yes, not only was the camera smaller, but it was a lot better, and easier to use.
Now I record almost all my video with my iPhone. With the updates to the camera on the 6S version of the iPhone it records great video. The iPhone really shrunk the camera load I carry.
The iPhone not only does a great job of recording, it can also handle my audio recording too.
So now my video camera bag is my podcast equipment bag too.
Yes, my camera bag has really shrunk, and I love it.
Please remember lying is only hard for honest people. Dishonest people have no problem at all lying.
If you are not familiar with this show let me give you a real quick description.
The show hosts are a couple that live in Waco, Texas named Joanna, and Chip Gaines. Joanna, and Chip have like 5 children that appear on most every episode.
On every episode Chip and Joanna work with a pair of home buyers to take an old house (Fixer Upper) and completely remodel the home for the new buyers.
The Fixer Upper TV Show is starting their fourth season an as soon as the new season start Kathy and I will start the Fixer Upper Podcast.
Kathy and I are going to watch every episode as it comes out, and then record a fan based podcast about the episodes. Basically we will record our thoughts.
We will also try to get inout from the fans of our Facebook Page at Facebook.com/groups/FixerUpperPodcast.
If you are a fan of the show you are really going to want to subscribe to the podcast.
To subscribe on your iPhone or iPad just text fixer-upper to 33444. I will text you back a link to the iTunes store where you can subscribe.
Then every time a new episode of the podcast comes out you will automatically receive it on your iPhone or iPad.
I hope you enjoy our new show. You can get more information on the podcast at FixerUpperPodcast.com
I have been making fun headers on my Instagram account for quite a while.
Over the last couple of years I have made dozens of images which I photo shopped into well recognized movie scenes.
These photo shopped images have received thousands of likes, and have actually helped me grow my following on Instagram.
They are also fun to create. They get a lot of comments from my followers that I love to read.
I find it amazing how many people do not know the magic words, “Please and Thank You”.
I have written quite a few fastpitch softball books over the years and I realized that I didn’t have a site where you could review them all and order the ones you wanted. FastpitchBooks.com serves as a one stop resource where you can order any of my books in paperback or for your e-reader.
At the moment I have fourteen books. Thirteen of the books were written by me and one, A Series Of Their Own, was written by a friend of mine. My books contain content over coaching, The Women’s College World Series, and more. In addition, I have books that cover all the positions in fastpitch softball and give you effective drills to improve your game.
The following books were published by Fastpitch TV Publishing:
Fastpitch Softball Magazine Book 1
2016 Women’s College World Series
A Series Of Their Own
Travel Ball Advice Book
The Fastpitch Book
Great Fastpitch Softball Questions Book 1
Great Fastpitch Softball Questions Book 2
Great Fastpitch Softball Questions Book 3
The Complete Book Of Softball Drills
Softball Catcher Drills
Softball Fielding Drills
Softball Hitting Drills
Softball Pitching Drills
Softball Running Drills
If you are interested in finding out more information on any of these books go to FastpitchBooks.com
If you know me, or if you have looked at all my websites you know that I own a lot of domain names.
At this time I guess I own around 600 different domain names. That may sound like quite a few, and you are correct it is.
Since I operate over 50 websites at the moment, and have many books, apps, and podcasts it may not be as many as it sounds like.
If you understand that I own the singular, and plural version of every domain name that is affiliated with any of my websites.
Then some are either investments, and others are for future use.
Many years ago I found out that I could open a GoDaddy sales account, and I did so right away.
That is how DillDomains.com was born.
I pay a yearly fee to be a reseller of GoDaddy products. Now this is not an affiliate program, it is more of a wholesale selling program.
Now I can sell domain names to anyone that is interested including myself.
In other words it allows me to buy my own domain names at wholesale. This saves me so much on domain names that I pay the yearly fee to GoDaddy, and still make money every year.
Other people also buy domain names from my site. I also make money from them every year when they renew.
If you are in need of a domain name consider using DillDomains.com. You will continue to get the same service you always get from GoDaddy. The only difference is that I will make a couple dollars.
If you love the idea of never being off work then you are well suited to be an entrepreneur.
This is a WordPress Blog with posts about the top fastpitch softball websites, and resources on the internet. Every weekday I write a review/post about a website, video, book, app, or softball product. I hope you are able to find this information useful in your search for great softball content.
This site is fastpitch softball information, and that is it. It has nothing else but fastpitch softball information. Like I said this is a simple site, but it should be very informative, and helpful to anyone who loves the game of fastpitch softball.
To take a look, and see what it has to offer go to PlanetSoftball.com
My Softball Travels
I have been traveling the United States for a few years now going to fastpitch softball events. Sometimes I go to clinics, and sometimes I go to games like the Women’s College World Series. I go to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association every year too.
One thing you can bet I am doing everywhere I go is taking photos.
I have taken thousands of photos over the years. I actually take thousands of photos every year at the Women’s College World Series alone.
After every event I edit all the photos, and add the Fastpitch TV watermark in the corner.
Then I upload all of them to SoftballShots.com.
Need a photo for a blog post? Go to SoftballShots.com and help yourself.
You mind is a super computer. You can program it to win, or lose. It just depends on the type of information you enter.
While the Softball Cruise is just in the planning stages, I have no doubt it will become a reality.
As normal I am taking an idea someone else had, and reshaping it to fit my needs. in this case I am using an idea my friends Dan Franks, and Jared Easley had with the Podcast Cruise.
Dan and Jared are also my partners, and fellow founders of Podcast Movement. They had their first Podcast Cruise in 2016, and it was a great success. They are having their second Podcast cruise in 2017.
One day while at my office I was looking at their website, and thought to myself “wow, this would be a great idea for softball”.
If you know me at all then you know that is all it took to get me moving on the Softball Cruise.
I immediately made a webpage for the cruise, where people could sign up to be on the email list. This list would send them updates as they happen. With over 1000 people signing up so far for updates it looks like I am going to have to move forward, and make this a relity.
If the idea of a cruise with other softball coaches, players, and parents sounds like a great time go to SoftballCruise.com and add yourself to the email notification list today.