Taking A Maine Vacation

 The Ledges By The Bay

We’re off today, Friday 10-9-09 flying to Bangor Maine for a week’s vacation. We will be in Bangor for 3 days to visit my wife’s family and then it’s off to Camden, Rockport and Rockland, all picturesque towns on the rocky coast of Maine. We’ll be there for 4 nights staying at The Ledges By The Bay in Rockport. The picture above is the view we will have for those 4 nights and days.

The weather has been a bit rainy, but we think we’ll get a few days of sunshine while we’re there. We are also getting there in time to see the height of the changing fall colors. I’ll be blogging about o the adventure on my vacation rentals travel blog if you’d like to follow along.

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Commission Blueprint 2.0 Review

Commission Blueprint 2.0 ReviewOkay, what’s the big mystery training course I’ve been using for the last two or three weeks in my affiliate marketing business? It’s known as Commission Blueprint 2.0 and it’s pretty massive in its scope as it will take you a good couple of weeks to watch all the videos, read all the manuals and test out or at least look at all the tools you get with the course.

This is not a scammy make money ebook that tells you just a couple of techniques and charges you $97 for very little info, it is a complete training course with 10 modules that covers the gamut from ppc, to joint ventures, to building websites, to keyword research in affiliate marketing and on and on. The course designed by Steve Clayton and Tim Godfrey and comes with 50 videos, 20 ebooks, 8 or 10 different tools and a forum that the developers personally answer questions in on a regular basis. Now for the cost. It isn’t cheap at $497 but, it is about as comprehensive of a course as I have seen in a long time. I purchased version 1 of this training and although it was great, this is much bigger.

The course is great for newbies to intermediate affiliate marketers, but for the more advanced, you may find it lacking. However, there are some jewels that I have gleaned from the course and are already starting to work on. One of the those jewels is they show you how to build a link juice machine that will send quality links, the lifeblood of your rankings, to your site.

There are lots of ways to build a blog or site hub like this, but this one is based on buying domains with PR already established so you get a quick benefit instead of having to wait months while your new domains mature and get some good PR. And the great thing is that you can get these domains for cheap. I’ve alread picked up 2 PR 3 domains for $25 each and I’m watching a PR 4 domain that nobody has even noticed yet. It’s just sitting there waiting to come to papa for next to nothing. You can’t buy permanent links for this cheap, so this is a great technique.

I also tried out their strategy for joint venture product launches and could see some immediate results in ranking a few blogs and Squidoo pages I started. I didn’t continue with that because it took too much work and was taking me away from things I’m trying to focus on, but it is definitely a workable business model for someone to do just that one thing. Another reason I dediced not to continue with that technique is because I don’t like trying to sell products I don’t own or don’t have a lot of knowledge about. Just not my thing, but anyone could make it work.

The Commission Blueprint 2 course comes in 10 modules listed below with comments on each:

Module 1 – Welcome & Introduction – Pretty much sums it up.

Module 2 – Keyword Research – This is where you use their proprietary KW research tool. It’s pretty good, but could use a few improvements like being able to copy individual keywords into your clipboard.

Module 3 – Finding Products To Promote – Where you will get to use their Offer Evaluator tool that will tell you immediately based on traffic, ppc prices and offer payout whether or not you should even try to promote something. I learned something here – some offers are pure junk and will never convert at a profitable rate. You could probably save the price of the course in shying away from junk offers in yor ppc efforts by using the Offer Evaluator. This is one of the tools you get in the 7 Day Free Trial.

Module 4 – Building Converting Sites – Haven’t spent much time here, but besides the obvious, this module contains the developer’s templates they’ve used to build out their sites and have helped them earn their big bucks. They’re supposed to be proven converters.

Module 5 – Sales & Conversion Strategies – This is one of my favorite modules and where they teach you how to do the joint ventures mentioned earlier.

Module 6 – Search Engine Optimization – This module is massive. It contains 20 videos, 4 small ebooks and 2 tools and probably will take a couple days just to get through it. One of the tools here I have an issue with. It’s called Article Blueprint and it sends out your spun articles to several article directories and the developer’s network of sites. My issue is that some of the directories aren’t worth even having your article in and it seems to take a long time for your articles to show up in them. Hopefully though, the bonus coming out will make this a moot point.

Module 7 – Adwords & Paid Advertising – Another huge module with 22 videos, 3 ebooks and 3 tools. One of the tools is a tracking system and Adwords campaign building system that looks a bit complex, but overall it should really help you with tracking your ppc campaigns to the minutest detail. This one looks like it works somewhat like Speed PPC. I’m not a huge fan of tracking systems because they tend to be overly complex, besides, I just do something very simple that works fairly well.

Module 8 – Social Media & Article Marketing – Not a lot here, but does have some good suggestions on getting more out of your article marketing efforts.

Module 9 – List Building & Email Marketing – Honestly, this one is just another reminder on why I ought to be creating an email list.

Module 10 – Conclusion – Offers a blueprint on what to do after absorbing all the material. There are a couple of great, easy to follow one page plans that got me motivated until I tried to print out the PDF’s and they came out black on my HP Color Laser printer. I wish they would have tested that, but I just used the FinePrint free utility and it printed them out fine. 

The Bottom LineCommission Blueprint 2.0 is worth it to me and may be for you, even at a cost of $497 because it really is a one stop shop for just about all the training your will need in this business. Besides that, the forums are pretty amazing and are frequented by some of the nicest people you will ever meet online. No really, my first post at the forums stirred things up quite a bit and almost everyone was exceptionally nice, in kind of a cult sort of way. (Just kidding on the cult thing)

I’d rate it at about an 8 for newbies and about a 6.5 for experienced affiliate marketers. Right now you can get the Keyword Blueprint tools and the Offer Evaluator tool as well as a 50 page PDF manual to try for 7 days, so it’s at least worth it to check it out. Even if you don’t get the training, I’m sure you can keep the 50 page manual.

Check out Commission BP 2 here.

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The Dreaded Adsense Login Loop – Are You Experienced?

Yesterday it hit me like a bad Purple Haze trip, it was the Dreaded Adsense Login Loop (cue dramatic music). If you’ve never experienced it, count yourself lucky because it is one of the most frustrating, nonsensical, dealing with Google experiences you can have. Here’s how it unfolds:

You login to your Google Account where you have all of your Google stuff, Google Groups, Blogger blogs, Adwords, Gmail, Adsense and other things. You click on your various tools and you are automatically logged in but then you click on Adsense and this is what you get:

Adsense Login Loop

What? I thought I was logged in. Okay, so now you log in through this screen and here’s what you get:

Adsense Login Update

What? I merged my accounts about 3 or 4 years ago, why do I have to do this again? On, I see it says, “Are you one of the following people? email @ email.com” That’s me. “If so , then you’ve alread updated your login to a Google Account. Return To Adsense and use your Google Account to sign in.” Follow those instructions and you go back to the previous screen above in a never ending loop.

Okay, I’m thinking, I’ll just contact Adsense Help and they’ll fix the problem? After spending 15 minutes going through the help files (why is it that they never really answer your question) and not finding any contact info you’ll finally run across a link to contact Help, but click it and it sends you to the Adsense Login screen because you have to be in Adsense to contact Adsense Help. Brilliant!

Right now I have confusion “all in my brain” and all I can hear is that Fender Strat Hendrix chord ringing in my head.

Adsense Login Loop Solution

Fortunately after spending about 4 hours perusing forums last night and about 15 minutes this morning I found out there is a solution to this dreaded issue for some. It worked for me, but I can’t guarantee it will work for you. Here’s an alternate Adsense login url that doesn’t go through the normal login path:


You have to be logged into your Google Account first and then all you do is paste the link into your browser and you get in through the back door. It appears the you have to paste the url into the exact same window or browser in a new tab in the same browser. It won’t work if you click on the link or open another window. But then like magic you are now in your Adsense account and the Purple Haze music slowly starts to fade away and life makes sense again.

I think this had something to do with a change Google made to there home page. If you watch when you first go to Google there’s only a search box and the Google logo and in about 5 seconds the text and links start to fade in. I’m guessing this is just a way to get people to actually search more because all you see for a few seconds is a search box. Really, it’s just very frustrating because I thought there was something wrong with my browser or computer. But, then there is something wrong with the Adsense Login page through your Google Account.

Hopefully the solution url will work for you. Don’t you just love Google?

Update 10-8 – Thanks to Curtis1 for leaving a solution in the comments. Just go to the Google Adsense Forum to find the permanent answer.

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Affiliate Marketing Training Update

I had intended to get a review of the product mentioned in the post on Affiliate Marketing Training up a bit earlier, but I wanted to fully evaluate it so I could give the most honest review possible. I’m writing that review right now and wanted to get it published today, but won’t be able to finish it because it’s huge.

I try to cover as much as possible in the review so you can decide if it’s worth adding it to your arsenal of tools and stuff for your online business. It’s worth it to me, I bought it and will be keeping it because there are some valuable things I’m learning and valuable tools I’m using.

There are also things I don’t like about it (I wasn’t making any friends in their forums with my first post), but the developers promise to make things better, so I’m sticking with it. Plus, there’s a couple of bonuses coming that I don’t want to miss and one of them promises to help in building links to your sites. That’s one of the most neglected facets of my business, link building, and I’ve only just started doing that on any worthwhile scale. So any tool that will help with that, I want it.

Anyway, the review isn’t done yet, but will be tomorrow sometime before noon. So, stay tuned.

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BANS Is For Sale For A Mere $500,000

Owners of Build A Niche Store just got word that the eBay affiliate store builder is going on the auction block. Yes, BANS is for sale. Actually it’s already up for auction at Flippa.com and you can own it for a Buy It Now price of only $500,000. Or if that’s a bit too steep for you and you think you can get it for cheaper through the auction process, the opening bid starts at just $200,000. I’d sure like to collect an affiliate fee on that sale.

Not only is BANS for sale, but everything related to BANS including N1Way (which was honestly a bit disappointing) and 27 related domains in various stages of development go along with it. It does seem kind of odd that the developers just came out with the new ebook or e-online-whatever, The N1Way or The Number 1 Way To Make Money Online only 3 months ago and they are now selling the whole show. Actually when you see that the total revenue generated from the ethingy N1Way was only $16,926.59, it’s not quite as surprising.

It’s a pretty interesting read at the auction page to look at the profit generated from BANS and all the domains that go with the sale as well as how the profit from BANS took a serious nose dive late last year and into this year. Profit for 2008 was $267,985 and profit so far for 2009 is right around 20% of that at $54,009. In reading the auction page you see the revenue drop off beginning in July or August of 2008 where they state:

At this point BANS was starting to get a bad reputation as being used by spammers so we re-developed the sales presentation and user forum accepting a significant cut in revenue so that it would have a legitimate shot as a long term project.

It was about that time that several people including myself started seeing some of their version 3.0 BANS stores getting deindexed by Google. I’ll take part of the blame for that in that I was putting up too many stores and not having enough time to fully develop them, while a lot of the blame goes to eBay affiliate spammers who used BANS for hundreds or thousands of garbage sites with no content and only auction listings. The general consensus was that Google didn’t like this and identified something in v 3.0 that was a footprint and removed many, many sites from its index. Some of my eBay affiliate income has returned since taking a big dive around the end of 2008, but it’s still not where it was at its height of around $1,000 per month.

While BANS is for up for auction, it in no way changes what I’m doing with it. Since the glory days, I’ve continued to work on a couple of my sites with one taking up the majority of my BANS related time. Getting backlinks and working on a blog added to my primary store has made somewhat of a difference and that will be the direction I’ll continue to head in for the time being as far as BANS relate affiliate revenue. I also have several other sites with eBay auctions and the good news is that my Quality Click Pricing Report last month was significantly more than twice the actual revenue earned. As long as that holds, I’ll have nothing to complain to eBay about its new click pricing model. If it doesn’t, well then, it will be suspect.

BANS will still continue to be a great product regardless of who owns it as long as you develop your stores and treat it like a business.

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