All Posts

New Direction

I have decided to restart blogging, but this blog is not going to be about making money online… mostly because I sucked at it! I stopped blogging because I no longer felt good leading people down a path that I didn’t have firmly in my control.

The new direction is just going to be anything that I want to comment on that isn’t suitable to post on Facebook. I use the FB to keep in touch with my family, but they don’t share my views on politics, religion nor an interest in science or specifically computer science and artificial intelligence. So I’m going to stop posting all the interesting things I find there and post them here instead. So if there are some people out there who agree with me (or are open to an honest discussion), then read away. Otherwise, go away.

I’ll leave the earlier posts, but read them with a huge grain of salt!

Adwords Interviews & Cheat Sheet Guides

If you are or are interested in working with Adwords (and I suggest that you do), then I have to recommend a set of audios from Glenn Livingston. He interviews Perry Marshall (author of The Definitive Guide to Google Adwords), Brian Therry, (author of Google Adwords for Dummies) and reveals his own insights from a running the only Adwords management company endorsed by both of the above authors.

There’s over 17 interviews and cheat sheets for you to receive and they’re some great insights into finding the right market, surveying the market to get a competition beating edge and then running your campaigns to reduce your costs and increase your traffic. Everything that Glenn has produced has followed the maxim of underpromising and overdelivering. If nothing else you should check it out to see how he’s making money/running his email autoresponders, etc. 

Check it out at: AdwordsAudios.com

Culling the Herd

There are some great time wasters out there – TV comes to mind – but there is something else that I think is an even greater waste. People – specifically ignorant, stuck in the mud, unhappy with their own lot so they need to bring everyone else down type of people. People who don’t understand you or what you are trying to accomplish and have no compunction about letting you know. You can argue back and forth with these people for hours and they still hang about refusing to be convinced, but aren’t willing to agree to disagree.

My solution: kick them to the curb. You don’t have the time or energy to deal with these ignorant, time-sucking vultures. In your personal inventory of friends or associates (or social networking gateway – Facebook, MySpace, etc) hit delete. What if they are life long friends or even family? Well, then don’t hit delete, but avoid contact with them as much as possible at least until you get to where you want to go. Then you can resume regular contact with them, but I suspect by that time you will have changed enough that they won’t bother you or you won’t even like them anymore.

The amount of mental energy consumed in dealing with these people is time better spent on building a business, pursuing your hobbies, spending time with those you love and don’t cause you aggro, or on social projects to better the world.

In order to build a better life. Sometimes you have destroy a little bit of the life you already have.

Another Example of Making Money From What You Have

Back in 1994, Linda Katz was teaching herself HTML. As a joke, she mocked up the Prairie Tumbleweed Farm. She didn’t really have a tumbleweed farm and I imagine to her they were so ubiquitous it seem hilarious to her that anyone would ever buy them.

Until the first order came in. And then some large orders from Hollywood studios. And then a flood of orders from Japan. Suddenly, it didn’t seem like a joke but a way to make some extra cash from something laying around their farm. I’m guessing the appeal is the constant presence of tumbleweeds in old westerns and the Japanese love of Americana.

From the reports I’ve seen she makes around $40,000 per year from tumbleweed farm. She charges between $15 and $25 per tumble weed, depending on size and they even come with the guarantee – that the weeds will tumble when exposed to wind. I imagine most of the $40k is profit. Her only expenses would be in the ‘harvesting’ of tumbleweeds and most of her neighbors probably are glad to have her pick them up plus packing/shipping expenses.

In addition, it doesn’t seem like the website has been updated since 1994 (www.prairietumbleweedfarm.com). I’m sure any net savvy person who lives on a farm in the Midwest could provide her with some competition (price, better looking web presense, driving traffic from keywords she hasn’t thought of), but she is pretty entrenched at this point.

What could you use that’s readily available around you to sell to enthusiasts? There’s probably something at hand that will remind people of home or of their favorite movie or some nostalgic idea of where they would like to visit. I recently also heard of people selling peat smelling incense with a little thatched Irish cottage burner. Peat doesn’t have a nice smell, but I guess Americans are snapping up these smells of Ireland like crazy. I’m sure there’s something around you could pack up and sell to enthusiasts.

Google Cash Detective

A long time ago I hit unsubscribe on a long list of email newsletters I had been receiving. I remember getting a flood of emails from different people all promoting the same product – I can’t even remember what it was – I remember I wasn’t  very impressed with whatever it was. Right then and there I decided whoever sent me an email promoting that product I would unsubscribe from their newsletter. I think I ended up unsubscribing from around 15 newsletters. 15! 15 people had the ‘inside track’ and got to see a ‘special sneak peak’ at this product. Credibility 0.

Any way, I received an email recently asking what I thought of Google Cash Detective from a fellow IMer in Ireland. I hadn’t even heard about it. I take the Tim Ferriss view of things – if there’s something news worthy somebody would ask me or talk to me about it. So now this got me intrigued and I checked it out.

Now this is version 2 of the product, version 1 was a complete flop. To sum up what it does: it allows you to ‘spy’ on people using adwords to promote an affiliate program and it lets you know how long it they’ve been running their ads. The idea is then you can go in and copy their long running campaigns (if they’ve been running a long time they’re either making money or have more money than sense) and start making money by cloning their campaigns. Now, this only covers google ads that use direct linking, in other words, only if they go directly to the sales page and not if they go to a squeeze page (Please correct me if I’m wrong). 

The cost for this software is $2,000 up front and $100 per month after that. And I imagine a lot of people are going to want to be in on that action. In fact, I think it’s sold out at the time of writing.

Now what do I think?

Just another product in a long string of overhyped IM products. It will, at best, be effective for 6 months.Then you’ll need the next big thing to get around what this is missing.

It’s better to be the product owner with all these affiliates fighting over sending you traffic than to be the affiliate sending them traffic!

That’s what I sent back to this guy. And I’m standing by it. You’re going to be better off being the owner of products these guys are trying to promote and sending traffic to than getting in the cat fight to be profitable on AdWords. Plus, you’re only getting a tiny sliver of the affiliate market – anyone really worth their salt will be capturing email addresses on their own squeeze page before sending you to the sales page.

To sum up. It doesn’t seem like it’s worth the money! Of course, you can’t order it now, it’s ‘closed’.  So a lot of people were willing to chase the next big thing! Insane…

What Is Your Time Worth

One of the things you need to sort out is identifying the things in your business that make you the most money and then do more of them. Here’s my general rundown of tasks and their values in my business to make money online.

  1. Burning, packing and shipping product. My value: $5-10 an hour. A local high school kid or a stay at home mom could do this for you fairly cheaply. Or you could automate the entire process (see PayPal Kunaki Integration Software). 
  2. Online marketing after a product is launched. My value: $5-15 an hour. This includes blog carnival submissions, article writing, social bookmarking, article submissions, link building etc.  I’d say offload this as soon as you can because there are better ways to spend your time.
  3. Technical support and technical jobs. My value: $10-50/hour. This is anything that requires dedicated skills to do. Fortunately you can get fairly cheap labor online that specializes in these types of jobs. Open a job on oDesk or one of the many other sites and forget about it.
  4. Product Development. My value: $50-250 per hour. You’ll start to want to do keep these inhouse as the value increases. Teach yourself how to edit video using Sony Vegas and capture screen video with Camtasia Studio and you’re on your way. You’ll need to establish your own product with your own flair using the specific market research you’ve gathered to deliver a product perfect for your customers.
  5. Copywriting. My value: $100-1,000 per hour. Great copy will convey the specific benefits of your product and make them open their wallets. It’s of no use to have a fantastic product that people want and need, but don’t buy because you don’t convince them of it in the sales letter.
  6. Marketing Research. My value: $1,000 per hour.  It’s been said (I don’t remember by whom) "It’s easiest to sell to a hungry crowd." You have to get into your customers mind and understand what they want. Do keyword research, do surveys, do phone interviews and then analyze all the data. Figure out if you can reach people in a cost effective enough way to break even. Do all this before ever getting into a market because all the other tasks in the list above will be a waste if you aren’t selling what people want to buy. Money spent here is worth 10x the cost down the road.

So there you have it. Where should you spend your time? On the more valuable tasks!!!! Market research, copywriting and product development. Of course when you start out you’ll probably have to do everything, but slowly start outsourcing or hiring staff to do the stuff from the lowest cost to the highest, so you can get on with more and more of the higher priced stuff. And that’ll allow you to make money online exponentially.

 

Tracking SEO Marketing Efforts

I have been spending quite a lot of time lately on my make money online business in trying to improve my search engine optimization for various other websites that I have.

I had been using the ranking tracker from SEOBook to view and update the results from the search engines but a few weeks ago I found a free tool that allows me to see the rankings in a graph over time for any number of keywords for any number of domains. This was something I wanted so bad I was considering developing my own software to perform the task.

It’s the keyword tracking tool from Digital Point.

In addition to tracking ranking for various keywords and sites, you can also track how many backlinks you are getting as a result of your link building efforts. And for SEO purposes, incoming links are the most powerful way of gaining high rankings.

Go check it out and sign up for free here: Digital Point Keyword Tracking

Make Money Online With Article Marketing

From the Google Keyword Tool, you will see the millions of searches done to a certain keyword. When these keywords are typed on search boxes of search engines, indexed websites containing articles with those keywords will be displayed. And this is what leads traffic to websites with keyword-rich articles. Content is king online and written articles are still the best way to provide indexable content.

Content is king. Content is king. You can’t say it enough. Content is the reason why writing articles is one of the best and most used techniques in internet marketing today. Web surfers can’t get enough information about what they are interested in, whatever that may be. Providing timely, useful information to surfers is a guaranteed way to herd targeted, interested traffic to your website or blog.

Why is this the case? Here are a few benefits article writing can give to your online business and help you make money online.

  1. It’s absolutely free.
    Too good to be true? Not really. Okay, you have to pay for your Internet Service Provider. That’s it. All you need is your thoughts, your computer, and your hands. If you have those, nothing will stop you from typing words that will make you complete that article for your website. On which aspect of that process did you really shell out any cent? Maybe later when your electric bills come.
  2. It takes very little time to get noticed.
    Submit that article of yours to article directories that get the most web traffic and in no time your web site will be crawled. That is if you don’t forget including your resource box or byline.
  3. Obtain back links automatically.
    When you submit your articles to directories, surely, other websites will make use of your article too. With the copyright terms of your articles, the URL of your website will still be intact and will subsequently direct more traffic to your website.
  4. Improve your standing.
    As an internet marketer, if you boldly display your products and services on your site, you will not have a very high conversion rate. Traffic resulting in a sale is a conversion. To get your conversion rate up you have to show that you are knowledgeable in your chosen field. There’s no better way than by writing informative, useful articles to establish yourself as an expert.

Just make your creative juices flow and jot down or key in those ideas quickly to jumpstart your article writing momentum. With those benefits listed above, a writer’s block is the last problem you want to face.

To aid you in your efforts to make money online with article marketing you can get my free article marketing software.

Make Money Online With An Affiliate Program

Ever hear of affiliate programs? These are forms of online advertising that rewards others for sending a product developer traffic which result in sales or leads. The product developer pays the affiliate to place a link on their site or promote the site in other ways and this generates traffic for the advertiser. To put it another way, it’s paying commissions to people who generate sales. You don’t have to pay anyone until you start making sales.

Affiliate marketing has its ups and downs. It could be draining if you are not armed with updated information and the technical how-tos. But this article’s sole objective is to reach out to you and not to badmouth affiliate marketing.

Here are some reasons on why web marketers go nuts over affiliate marketing as a form of internet advertisement.

  1. Low cost upfront
    Many people are frightened of starting a home based business because of the money required upfront. In affiliate marketing, you don’t have to invest much to start seeing a return.
  2. Inventories not included
    Product management fuss could be very stressing. An inventory is not asked to be maintained. The merchant does the maintenancerequired.
  3. Leverage provides unlimited income possibilites
    When you have a regular job, your income is based on you showing up to work on the days your supposed to. With affiliate marketing, your affiliates can send you traffic without you having to do any work after you have created the ad copy and links.
    Though not all internet marketers earnings are limitless, it is still possible for the advertiser or internet marketer to be highlysuccessful.
  4. Go worldwide.
    With affiliate marketing, you get to deal with a worldwide marketplace. All you have to do is develop a specialty product, then prepare the necessary links, sales pages and tools for your affiliates to send traffic to you from anywhere.
  5. Little risk
    The biggest reason for most internet marketer’s enthusiams with affiliate marketing is the tiny risk. For those with a small budget for advertising, affiliate marketing is best way to do it on the cheap.
  6. Open 24/7
    In addition, your affiliates will be sending you traffic every single second of every single day while targeting a global market! What could be better than an army of people constantly sending you traffic?

But all of these will be put to waste if you don’t have the right niche product and all the other important tools to make it big in affiliate marketing, i.e., well positioned product, good sales copy and automatic product fulfillment process. So better work on these aspects first before ever considering starting an affiliate program to make money online.

If you’re looking for a program and some great products to promote, you can join my affiliate program. I pay out 51%! Or if your looking to learn how to promote your own affiliate program, I cover this in my online business intern program. It’s free and all you have to provide is a little "sweat equity", so to speak.

 

Focus On Making Money Online, Let Your Computer Retrieve The News For You

Is there an easy way to retrieve news articles and blog posts so I can focus on making money online instead of surfing the web?

Yes, there’s a really easy way to monitor news articles and blogs. It’s called Google Alerts. With Google Alerts you enter a keyword you’re interested in, for example I’m always looking for people who are talking about Kunaki. So I enter kunaki and fill out the rest of the form and viola whenever kunaki comes up in Google’s index I get an email.

In order to set up each of your Google Alerts keywords, you’ll need to complete each field in the form.

  • Search terms – the keywords you want to monitor. Enter something similar to “kunaki”, or “make money online”. I have alerts for my name, main keywords for my products, potential products and names of competitors products.
  • Type – Choose what areas of the web you’d like to monitor for your given keywords. These follow the general lines of google’s specialized searches.
    • News – covers news outlets – you’ll be notified when they publish an article with your keyword.
    • Blogs – monitors blogs for mentions of your keywords. Great for getting in on a discussion about topics on related to your products – you might even get some related pages backlinks if you comment on the blog. Don’t spam them though!
    • Web – covers general websites. Anytime a page is indexed that contains your keyword, you’ll be notified.
    • Groups – monitors Google Groups for mentions of your keyword.
    • Comprehensive – notifications come for all of the above.
  • How often – do you want to be notified immediately or get digests daily or weekly.
  • E-mail – You receive the alert via email – so enter a valid email address here.

Once you’re finished filling out the form, click on create alert and you’ll be taken to your google alerts management page. Here you’ll be able to view, update and delete all the alerts you have.  If you’re not logged into google there’s a double opt-in process to confirm you want to receive the alert.

Now you can concentrate on making money online instead of pretending to work while surfing the web!