Lessons In Perseverance Part 2

Say No To EcoQuest International MLMYesterday I covered a little bit about how my wife and I persevered through the beginning of our MLM days in EcoQuest International. Today I’m going to cover how even when you get going, you still may be facing a bumpy ride. This will probably relate more closely with affiliate marketers and bloggers since getting started with a blog is fairly easy, but trying to make money once you get going may be a bit more difficult.

Once our network marketing business started to get going, things were pretty smooth for a while. We were getting close to what was called a Manager position which meant you had to have roughly $30,000 worth of air purifier sales go directly through you three months in a row. We made this happen 2 months in a row and then things got weird. EcoQuest headquarters found out I was generating my own recruiting and air purifier leads via one of my websites and they didn’t want anyone using their company name or images of their products on personal websites.

Of course, this is one of the basic things that is wrong with MLM. You supposedly own your own business, but you can’t advertise as you please and can’t actually use the company name in any of your advertising. So essentially you don’t own your business. This was a hard lesson for me to learn, but the value in all of it was that I had started to figure out how to generate traffic and do a little SEO in the process. After I removed the EcoQuest company name and pictures from my sites, the number of leads plummeted.

On top of all that, a friend who I was in business with, purchased some email leads from an unknown spammer on eBay for me. I used them and my autoresponder company banned me from using their service due to spam complaints and deleted all my legitimate email addresses in the process. Needless to say, I didn’t make the Manager qualification I had hope for and missed out on a significant percentage increase in bonus check income. However, we stuck it out and eventually qualified for the Manager position almost exactly 1 year later.

During that year I had learned more about internet marketing and PPC advertising and was able to produce my own retail leads without being in violation of any EcoQuest guidelines. We also got in with a group of people who were running an expensive, but profitable radio advertising campaign so things were looking fairly good for some time. I had also quit my job (the best paying job I had ever had) as a graphic artist with the Yellow Pages to work my EcoQuest business full time.

Things went pretty well in EcoQuest for a few months and we were making some good money, but our advertising expenses were very high. The radio advertising campaign was costing us over $1,000 per week and my ppc costs were about $500 per month. We were spending a total of around $4,500 per month on advertising. But there was a bigger issue, I was spending a huge amount of time helping retail customers fix or troubleshoot their air purifiers, ordering parts and shipping them to customers and even replacing machines on occasion.

The final straw with my mlm adventure in EcoQuest came when after returning from a drive to Maine for Christmas of 2004 we had a total of 8 phone messages or emails regarding quality issues with the air purifiers. To top it off I had to fight with EcoQuest customer service to get them to replace a couple of machines. I had been working at home around 8 months when we decided it was time to move on and leave the EcoQuest business. I could no longer in good conscience sell these air purifiers that were not top quality products, nor did I have the time to deal with 2 to 3 angry customers per week.

Fortunately because of what I had learned about internet marketing and because we had started a couple of websites that were making some decent money from Google Adsense we didn’t take too much of a hit on our income. We had also made a nice real estate investment back when things were still doing well and we made a nice chunk of change from that.

The lesson in all this is that it it so important to diversify and not let your income be generated from only one source. We didn’t rely completely on EcoQuest income to keep us going and internet marketers shouldn’t rely on one advertising source such as Adsense, or one affiliate program or even one single niche to generate their income. What is profitable and popular today may not be 6 months or a year from now.

In part 3 I will go over our ups and downs with Adsense, more PPC advertising and various affiliate ventures. Throught it all we stuck in there and rode the roller coaster. I’m hoping this year will be a much less bumpy ride.

I hope you are having a productive New Year so far. Stay tuned for more…


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6 Responses to “Lessons In Perseverance Part 2”

  1. Personally, I think that your decision of not selling a product which did not live up to your expectations as far as quality is concerned was the right thing to do. After all, it is hard to be excited about a product you don’t believe in.

    Alan Johnson

  2. Yes, our excitement had been waning for some time about the product and when the quality issues got worse, it was time to part ways.

  3. There are lots of ways to make money. Taking the high road may not always be the easiest way, but it is the best way.

  4. I love reading about your past experiences. It seems like you certainly have made a serious effort and I hope you continue to be successful for a long time. :)

    Keep up the good work!

    ~Jonathan Volk

  5. Thanks Johnathan. I see you’re working towards $83,333 per month, I’m just working towards a meager $25,000. Best for your continued success as well.

  6. It is good to have multiple streams or at least to use multiple marketing techniques on one good stream until you get more going. Ironically, me and my sife are currently looking for an air purifier. We live in an old house and have air quality issues. Drop me a line if you find another company with a better product.
    I didn’t know that MLM companies crack down so much on the use of their name. Is this industry wide or limited to a few companies?

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