4
Jun

Working Towards Unemployment – It’s A Beautiful Thing

Your goal as an affiliate marketer, should you choose to accept it, is to ultimately become unemployed. With that said, if Al Gore decided to flip the switch and turn the internet off, I’d be in trouble because I don’t know if I could ever go back to working in a cubicle again.

When you come home from working for someone else it will probably take some time to get used to all the things you have to do working for yourself. You have to do everything from taking out the trash, to figuring how much money to spend on advertising to making management decisions to being the one and only IT person to cleaning up after the cat. The multitude of things that need to be done every day can be a bit overwhelming until you get into the stride of your new gig. Once you get into that stride though, you then begin to realize how fortunate you are to be able to earn a living from the comfort of your home (or drinking coffee at B&N where I am now).

It also takes some time after you start working at home before you get to the the point where you realize how restrictive the job environment really was. However, at the same time you realize that, you kind of get a shock to your system when it dawns on you that you may not be able to ever return to that previous lifestyle. Congratulations, you are now totally unemployable!

While growing into your work at home affiliate business you will experience many a roller coaster ride when one month you are doing great and the next month you’re trying to figure out how you can afford to start your next ppc campaign or even buy a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks or Barnes & Noble. Over the more than 4 years I’ve been working at home I’ve made from $600 per month to $10,000 per month and literally everything in between. I’ve had so may sources of income dry up and so many others come from out of nowhere, it’s completely unbelievable sometimes to even contemplate how that has actually happened.

But that’s the way most affiliate marketers experience their business and watching things happen like this makes you much more able to see opportunity and capitalize on those opps that can make a difference in your business. All the while this is happening though you always want to be working towards those things that will provide you much more stability than some flash in the pan trick that you learned in the latest ebook you paid way too much for.

The shock to your system when you realize you are no longer job material I mentioned earlier makes you all the more an entreprenuer. Eventually, what was once a challenge to figure out where your next source of income will come from becomes a mode of everyday thinking. Seeing a ppc campaign dry up or not earning as much from your latest BANS site as you thought you would is no longer a big deal because you’ve already figured out how to do the things that can earn you a nice income. It isn’t like starting over, it’s just continuing down the path of being an entreprenuer. No worries, you’ll figure something out.

Having the determination to work through those days and extended periods in your affiliate business when things aren’t going that well will develop your attitude from an, “OMG what am I going to do?” minset to a, “No biggie, I’ll figure somthin’ out” attitude.

Set your mind on working towards unemployment, because it really is a beautiful thing.

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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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20
Jan

5 Reasons I’m Done With Acai Berry & Green Tea Diet Scams

I’ve been messing around with these ridiculous Acai Berry Diet and Green Tea diet scams for some time now and I’m finally done with them for several reasons, but I’ll limit the reasons to just 5 for the sake of brevity. Honestly, a lot of stuff available on the ad networks aren’t good for the consumer because of the cost, but these things are the worst.

1. These Diet Programs Are Scams– Have you ever taken the time to read the terms of service for these supposed free trials of whatever diet pill you’re thinking of promoting? That’s where you read what these weight loss supplements will end up costing you. The fact is, they are rip-offs of the worst kind. When someone orders a free trial and types in their credit card info, their 14 or 15 day free trial begins immediately even before their supplement has been shipped. So, by the time they get their free Acai Berry diet pills in the mail, the ordering individual has just a few days to try this new weight loss deal.

Then Mr, or more likely Mrs, Desperate Dieter starts getting billed on a monthly basis for a bottle of pills. And this ends up being quite expensive because when you actually read the fine print in the terms (usually hidden at the bottom of the page) you see that the cost is somewhere between $59 and $89 and sometimes there’s even a monthly newsletter or advice forum that’s an additional $15 to $30 per month added to the bottom line. I’ve seen charges as high as a total of $129 per month when you add everything up. Does that seem like a good deal for anyone except for the people selling this garbage?

2. All of The Acai Berry Scam & Review Sites, Are Scam Sites – Have you tried googling acai berry scam? What you’re going to get on the first page of results are nothing but results, except for one, and ads that lead to sites that supposedly review these products and give you the straight facts, when in reality they’re just trying to sell you these products. So much for Google being able to guess the intent of what people are searching for.

If you want to find out the true number of people that are ticked off about these scams you have to head over to ComplaintsBoard.com and read the 30 pages of complaints about acai berry diet pills. This should tell you that these supposed free weight loss trials do little more than just piss people off.

3. Google Hates These Products Because They Are Scams – Have you tried running any of these things lately on the content network? Google must be letting long time advertisers get all the advertising space available because you still see lots of these ads (the ones that make Google lots of money), but many, including myself, have had their entire ability to run any ad on Google’s content network because we have used the words free and acai berry or green tea in our text ads.

That’s just when the trouble started with with me. I was happily getting some killer traffic from the content network, but when I started running diet type ads about 3 to 4 months ago everything started getting squirrley and just before Christmas things really started to go downhill. While I thought I recovered after Christmas, it was only for a short while as the content network one day sends me a little traffic and the next it barely even trickles in.

Oh yea, try running one of these offers on Facebook now. It ain’t happening there either.

4. Diet Pills Aren’t A Good Way To Lose Weight – Losing weight isn’t about taking pills, it’s about changing your lifestyle and changing what you put on the end of your fork. I don’t believe in taking most diet supplements so I shouldn’t be trying to make money with them.

If you want to learn how to lose weight, check out our healthy diet website.

5. Neither Oprah Winfrey Nor Rachael Ray Endorses Any Of These Products– Seeing some of the landing pages of these offers you think the queen of cooking and the queen of daytime TV must own stock in them. Their pictures are all over the place when it comes to acai berry supplements, but I’ve seen several warnings from affiliate managers not to associate these two individuals with diet offers such as this. Funny, then why do they keep showing up on banners and landing pages?

And why do we see offers being discontinued on what seems like a weekly basis and new offers showing up at nearly the same rate? And why do the landing pages look the same, but only with different names? And why do the bottles have similar labels, but different names? My theory is that Oprah’s lawyers find one acai diet offer and shut that down and all the manufacturers do is change the name, get a new domain name, change their landing page and boom, you have a brand spanking new Acai berry diet or green tea patch or diet offer.

The way Google and Facebook have been treating advertisers of these products lately just shows how decpetive they really are. It should also be a warning to affiliates that these diet offers will soon be revamped because of regulation by the FTC, or some other alphabet soup government agency that Obama creates, just like what happened with ringtones some time back. Look for payouts to drop, serious issues to crop up from using Oprah and Rachael Ray in your advertising and probably these offers to be regulated out of existence soon.

There are just too many opportunities and too much to do to get caught up in the latest diet fads. There are also too many real products to promote that offer long term money instead of promoting scams that just end up taking money from people in a deceptive manner. As for me and my business, I’m done with them.

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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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29
May

Reinvesting In Your Online Business

Invest In Your BusinessPart of the winnings I accrued in the Webmaster Talk contest was $750 in cash and that’s a nice little chunk of change to go have a big party with, go out to a nice super expensive dinner and a show, go buy a nice gadget or rent about 175 movies from Blockbuster. But are any of those things a smart move to make for the affiliate marketer?

If you said yes, then it’s time to stop playing with your blogging and affiliate business and get your lifetime membership to your choice of online video stores. Hopefully most everyone reading knows that’s not the best thing to do with a windfall of $750. As long as I’ve been writing Affiliate Confession and even before that, I decided any contest winnings or excess monetary gain would be invested right back into my affiliate business in the form of either advertising for this blog or into getting a better grasp on the pay per click game.

What I intend to do with the $750 is put all of it into PPC a little at a time as I try to figure out and benefit from a few new things learned over the last couple of months. For some, $750 isn’t a lot of money to spend in even a week on Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing, but the plan is to carefully research various ClickBank and affiliate products and try to at least double that money and reinvest the profits again. As reported previously, I am seeing a little bit of profit in a couple of PPC campaigns I’ve been running lately, so at least there’s a little track record of success to build on.

I’ll be basing my PPC campaigns on information I’ve learned at Super Affiliate Mindset, Cash Tactics and CDF Networks (Thanks goes out to Poll Factory for alerting me to those last two resources). There’s also a good rundown of 3 distinct PPC bidding strategies that’s a good resource for search marketers I will be testing from. I especially like the tactic that Kris Jones from Pepperjam has used in the past and will be giving that one a try. You’ll have to go read the article mentioned above to find out what it is.

There’s a lot of info in the above mentioned blogs and article and you should be careful not to try too many different things at once, as I will be trying to avoid. As I’ve read, spreading yourself too thin and not really doing your due diligence in a niche and with a specific PPC technique may cause you to never find a profitable campaign. It may take failing a few times in the same niche with different strategies and keyword combinations before you find profitability.

I’ve been given a nice opportunity to delve into an area of online marketing that I frankly have not done very well in and I don’t want to squander the $750 winnings on something that isn’t going to ultimately benefit my business. Reinvesting in your business is really no secret, it is a necessity. Stay tuned for updates on hopefully good results. 

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