23
Mar

Economic Collapse Is Coming – Working Towards Self Sufficiency

I believe we are headed for an economic disaster in this country that will be bigger and worse than the Great Depression.  After spending some time reading the Generational Dynamics website I am fully convinced of this. The site has a terrible design, but has a wealth of information and research on stocks, economics, politics, culture and historical events through the flow of generations. If you spend some time at GenerationalDynamics.com you will be shocked at how accurate and repeatable the trends of history are and the trend we are presently headed for.

In light of this, my wife and I have started growing our own food, composting, getting our finances in order (we’ve been doing that for years though), and generally working towards self sufficiency because we don’t want to have to depend on a system that is failing. That’s also why we have our own businesses, because we want to be in control of our income, time, vacations and lives as much as is possible. Self sufficiency in our income will come when my affiliate marketing earnings are enough to support the both of us.

With looming economic problems on the horizon, what can you do to make sure your affiliate business has the best chance of surviving? You know that being an affiliate marketer takes a lot of personal initiative, but that is even more important today. Being able to spot trends, figure out things for yourself and become innovative will be critically important with a radically changed economy. When people’s spending habits change, we as affiliate marketers will have to be able to figure out what they are buying and why they are buying it even more so than we do now.

The kind of products that will sell will be things that help people become self sufficient themselves, get out of debt, grow their own food, do something with the home they can’t afford to live in any more, work for themselves, stay secure and on and on. There will be a much greater opportunity in the near future in helping people solve their serious problems than there will be in putting products in front of them that give them pleasure and make life fun. Products of necessity will replace products of enjoyment.

Affiliate marketers that can’t think out of the box and in an innovative way, will be in a heap of trouble and those that expect to be held by the hand and led through every step of the money making process are in for a rude awakening. If you can’t innovate in your affiliate business, you very well may have to dig ditches or stand in a soup line.

I received a comment here on Affiliate Confession a few days ago where the individual was hoping I could lead them to an affiliate program featuring a web site that was already set up, that already had programs in place, that were making money and all they had to do was plug into the system. While it is understandable someone would want that kind of a system, anyone that has ever made a dollar on the net knows that just isn’t how affiliate marketing works. People that think they’re just going to plug into a system without having to do a heap of work and be innovative, may as well grab a number and take their place in the soup line.

Learning To Be Innovative

Even though tough times are coming and those that can’t adapt will suffer, you can learn to recognize opportunity, adapt sufficiently and innovate in your business. But, as anything else, it requires work. If you love to read, you’ll have no problem, if you don’t, then start. It is a good practice to consistently take time away from your computer and go to the library or Barnes & Noble and read something other than whatever niche you’re working in. At least once a week I’ll head to B&N and spend from 2 to 4 hours reading about technonogy, business, economics, franchising, business management, motivation, and anything from Seth Godin.

I want to know what new gadgets are coming to market and how the manufacturer is doing that, how businesses are run, what people are doing to innovate, how entrepreneurs come up with new ideas, why consumers buy the things they do, what new businesses are starting up, why companies succeed, why companies fail, what people did to overcome adversity and multiple other subjects. I’m not smart enough to come up with that much on my own, so I read about how other people have done it and then try to think like them.

But being innovative also involves taking risks. You have to see what works for you and what doesn’t. I spent a whole lot of money dabbling in the world of pay per click marketing without showing much profit before I found PPC Coach and completely turned that around. By watching all the videos and reading everything I could about how successful people at PPC Coach had made money I was able to almost immediately make a decent amount of cash and then come up with a system that’s working like a charm since I started it a couple of weeks ago.

Going through the lessons and reading the forums at PPC Coach taught me to see beyond the usual help files at Google Adwords and info on blogs and learn how to innovate and see what I hadn’t been able to see previously. But even then I didn’t just follow along and not try things on my own, I’ve taken the lessons and put them into practice to see what works and what doesn’t and then put together my own system. And that’s what’s going to be required in the coming months and years as the economy works itself out and we experience changes not seen in 70 or 80 years.

We are facing touch times no doubt, but it doesn’t mean the end of civilization just yet. Every affiliate marketer that succeeds in the coming collapse of the economy will have to be able to rely on innovative thinking and the initiative to implement their ideas.

Sorry to sound a little doomsday here, but I don’t want it to be said that I didn’t sound an alarm. Get prepared.

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23
Feb

Central Florida Dot Com Steak Out – Virgin Edition

Dot Com Steak Out 

Without the aid of a government check or government workers, bloggers, business owners and affiliate marketers stimulated the economy in Central Florida this weekend. The virgin edition of the Dot Com Steak Out (Facebook Group) took place at Logan’s Roadhouse in Kissimmee this past Saturday Feb 21st and had a pretty good turn out for a first time meeting of affiliate marketers, newbies wanting to get in on the game and CPA networks from around the central Florida area.

We didn’t talk a whole lot of business, but it was great to meet some of the peeps you correspond with online and over the phone, and read their blogs and tweets, but rarely get to see in person. Plus, we got some cool schwag from Convert2Media and Amped Media. C2M has a nice bling T-shirt you should get, but hey, don’t expect freebies every time we get together now.

Dot Com Steak Out schwag:

Dot Com Steak Out Schwag

Every third Saturday of the month we meet at a steak house somewhere in Central Florida and the group is open to anyone associated with affiliate marketing, blogging and making money online. All you have to do is sign up for the Facebook group so you get the updates and attend the meet-up whenever you can. You don’t even have to live in Florida. If you’re going to be down here on vacation or whatever and it’s convenient, join us for lunch, ideas, entrepreneur talk and general discussions on how to make a living in a different way than most of the world does.

Meet-ups like this are incredibly motivating, at least for me, because it continues to remind me how much money can be made in the affiliate marketing space and how much opportunity there is.

Those that attended are below:

Kiley Lenstrom – Thanks to Kiley for getting this gig up and running.
Gary
Billy
Alan LeStourgeon (me)
Ken Jenkins – Newbie and willing to learn
Steve Katz (Market Leverage)
Richard Bruner (Market Leverage)
Ralph Ruckman (Convert2Media)
Ryan Machara (C2M)
Steve Howe (C2M)
Johnathan Gies (Amped Media)
Nicole Gies (Amped Media)
Edward Murray (Amped Media)
Janell Kowalski (Amped Media) + guest
Amanda Colvard (Amped Media)
Nick Waddle (Amped Media)

Hope to see you next time at Dot Com Steak Out.

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10
Feb

Screw Adsense, Just Be Like Julio Osegueda Work At McDonalds For 4 Years

Watch the video below and weep. If this is the mindset we have in this nation, we are done.

Julio Osegueda is a 4 year employee of McDonalds and can’t get another job even though he’s going to school so he expects the government, or rather The Immaculate One (President Obama), to do something about it.

While I commend Julio for working and going to school to better himself, it’s not the job of the government to bail people like him out. Sorry, you want benefits from Uncle Sam because you’ve been at McD’s for 4 years, it doesn’t work like that, or at least it did’t used to. Julio, by the way, is quite excited about meeting The Immaculate One. Did you notice his shirt? It say’s “King Obama”…scary, just scary.

When is the government going to send a check my way for some of the stupid things I’ve tried to promote through PPC or because I’m still not making $2,000 a month through Adsense?

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31
Dec

Business Goals For The New Year 2009

Another year passes us by and new opportunity is always around the corner so it’s time to set some goals for 2009. Unfortunately the year ended on the downside income wise with not even being able to get close to the $10,000 earnings goal I had set for December. Thanks to what’s going to be a less than stellar month from eBay and Google completely shutting me down on the content network for the last 2 weeks (more about that in a post later) income is way off from what I had projected. If you haven’t figured it out by now, that’s just the way it goes with affiliate marketing and the only thing you can do is continue to press on.

With the volatile nature of affiliate marketing I’ve decided to make some some significant changes in the way I’m going to do business this year. The things that have generated a steady income for me over the years will be where I’ll be spending a majority of my time in 2009. Gone will be much of the experimental things I’ve been doing with PPC and many of the weight loss, diet type offers I’ve been toying around with. I don’t believe green tea and acai berry pills and potions are a legitimate way to lose weight and stay healthy, so what the heck am I trying to sell that garbage for?

On the plus side I’ve found a few CPA offers that seem to work very well and are good solid, legitimate products and I’ll continue to work with those and look for more like them. But PPC is not where I’ll be spending the bulk of my time. The three main areas of business I’ll be working on in 2009 are as follows:

Travel Sites– This is where the bulk of my Adsense income has come from for the last 4 years and it’s time to seriously expand this part of my business. Right now I have 1 travel site and 1 travel blog that brings in 85% of my roughly $1,200 to $1,500 per month Adsense income. My initial goal is to double the Adsense income or bring it to a steady $3,000 per month and increase TripAdvisor income to $1,000 per month.

This will be accomplished by adding a blog to my travel site (which I’ve already done) and outsourcing content for both article marketing and adding new pages to these sites. I’ve outsourced content writing before, but this will be on a much larger scale and plan to pay for some 20 to 30 articles a month and possibly double that when I get a good system going. There also may be another travel site going online depending on how quickly I cab increase Adsense income.

Healthy Eating Sites and Blogs – This is really the core of our belief in what’s going to make a difference in your health and I need to be putting much more time into writing content and blogging about what were doing around our home and yard to make this a reality. We’re transforming our yard into a mini farm and I’ve hardly written about this at all. And with the the way the economy is going, I can see a lot of people heading in this direction.

My initial goal in this area is to do 2 to 3 blog posts a week about nutrition and add 2 pages of content a week to our healthy diet site.

Attitude Adjustment– I’ve had to ask myself if I really have the mind of an internet entrepreneur and have come to the conclusion I need a new attitude for a new year. I spend way too much time fretting about Google, losing money with pay per click marketing, dwindling revenue, CPA offers not converting, checking stats and on, and on. I also tend to be way to negative and that attitude just has to go.

Things are going to be way different in 2009 with the way the economy is going it will require extraordinary thinking and innovation. There is always opportunity regardless of what happens and it just takes a little more thinking outside of the normal way of doing things to be creative and to find out what works and what doesn’t. Time to stop sweating the small stuff and see a much bigger picture.

So, my initial goal is to bring Adsense income to a steady $3,000 per month, get TripAdvisor to $1,000 per month and earn $1,000 from all other sources including eBay, through PPC and all other sources giving me a solid $5,000 per month. When that goal is realized hopefully in 6 to 9 months, I’ll start working on doubling it.

Are you ready for 2009? What are your goals?

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10
Dec

Try Selling Cheeseburgers In China

Cheeseburger In ChinaHonestly, sometimes when I see what other people have to overcome to be successful in their businesses I feel like a total wimp. I love to complain about Google, Facebook ad editors, article editors at EzineArticles.com and just about anything that doesn’t suit me well. But some people are on a mission and regardless of the obstacles they just keep plugging away doing business.

Case in point – Yesterday Jean and I were trying to decide what to have for lunch so we got out the menu from one of our local Chinese take out restaurants and phoned in our order. During the process we quickly figured out that we didn’t have the updated menu from the restaurant and the numbers and prices of the 497 items on the menu didn’t quite line up. As you might guess there was quite a large language barrier going on here and it took a little while to get the guy on the phone to understand what I wanted.

After running my mouth for awhile I just stuck with the names of the old items on the menu such as, “bean curd, Szechuan style”, and everything was fine. Once I got to the restaurant to pick up lunch, the hilarity continued as I tried carry on a conversation with the guy at the counter. “Were you the person I talked to on the phone?” was met with a smile and a nod. “I guess we had the numbers mixed up” was again met with a smile and a nod, but when I used the word menu in conjunction with the fact that we had an old one, he knew exactly what I was talking about and nodded vigorously.

At that point I figured out we could have a conversation as long as I stuck with keywords like order, bean curd (or any ingredient on the menu), credit card, thank you and a few others. It was also interesting to note that the guys running the restaurant were all talking to each other in their native language and it wasn’t English.

And that’s when it hit me…

I thought of the incredible barrier language is, yet these guys don’t let that stop them, they have a booming business and they keep plugging along despite the fact that they can hardly communicate with their customers, except for when it comes to food. And it’s not just Great Wall Chinese Food in Palm Bay Florida, if you haven’t noticed there’s probably a Chinese take out restaurant within walking distance your home. In fact, a quick mental check brings up 7 of these restaurants within about a 10 minute drive of our home. And yes, 2 of those are withing walking distance.

Many families run these restaurants and they have become incredibly adaptable to the American way of life. Even though their English may not be the best, they may not know the customs of our land all that well and they probably had limited start-up capital to get their businesses going, they have succeeded and keep pumping out Kung-Pow chicken and broccoli with garlic sauce as fast as we can eat it.

Compared to these food service entrepreneurs we affiliate marketers have it easy. The next time you think you have it difficult in your online business and are ticked off at Google for one of their slaps or some such thing, think about how difficult it would be for us Americans to start a family business and sell cheeseburgers in China.

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