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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8
Jun

Sunday’s Thoughts – What Makes A Viral Success?

Today’s thought may be a little different in that some may consider it a little negative, but what I’m exploring here is what makes something go viral against all odds, or what seem to be negative odds. Right now as I write this post I’m sitting in the Java Surf Cafe in Indialantic FL next to what has become a cultural phenom, at least for a place like South Brevard County, that has no culture.

The cultural phenom for Indialantic? It’s a pizza place called Bizarro’s and, okay here comes the negative part, they serve slop. Really, they serve the worst pizza I’ve ever tasted, but people flock to this place like they’re giving away free money or something. The pizza has the most flavorless, thinnest, white flour crust you can imagine and the subs are equally as appealing, yummy. It’s one of those things that just doesn’t make sense to my wife and I.

When I used to work at BellSouth, one of our artists used to rave about the place as lots of people do around this area. It kind of makes you wonder why anything goes viral at all on the net, in society, in fashion, whatever. However, I think the message here is you can’t really make something go crazy viral and instantly get filthy rich or suddenly become the next guru in your niche. Either it will happen or it won’t. However, it certainly will never happen if you aren’t being serious about what you’re doing online.

You have to be creative in your online endeavors and work like you want it to happen though. The odd little pizza shop hole in the wall over here on the beach didn’t become famous by sitting on their backside and then one day decide to start selling subs by asking people on the boardwalk if they were hungry. They had a plan, built a restaurant, hired employees, ordered food and performed a thousand other duties necessary to open their business. I don’t think they planned to be one of the top pizza places in the entire county, but they built the foundation for their business as if it were going to happen.

Even though their product leaves a whole lot to be desired, Bizarro’s had every intention to be successful. What about you, do you want to just make a quick buck on the net, or are you planning to be successful for the long haul? Without at least some plan, you stand a zero percent chance of making that viral jump.

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12
May

Tomorrow Is It For The Webmaster Talk Contest

Finally after a long 33 days, The Webmaster Talk contest is coming to an end. I know I’ve been blabbing a lot about this one, but this is a huge contest with $25,000 in prizes going to 5 fortunate winners. That’s right 5 winners will each get $5,000 in prizes including a sweet MacBook air and some other killer prizes including:

$750 in cash combined from MaxBounty and Pepperjam Network
24 custom T-Shirts
An Apple iPod Touch from Rocket Profit
A Professional Shopping Cart Solution from Interspire
The Flip camera from Advaliant
The complete multi-pack of the Revolution Theme
$500 in gift certificates to Text Link Ads
A Nintendo DS Lite
3 Months Of free training in Aaron Wall’s SEOBook
and I think that’s it.

The contest has been based on a points system and the top 5 people with the most points totaled each win one of the $5,000 prize packages. If you have already entered the contest and want to earn a few more points before it ends tomorrow night at midnight, then check out the full rules here.

In the mean time you can get a ton of great information at Webmaster-Talk.com forums including help on CSS, HTML, PHP, website design, directories, making money online, blogging and a whole host of other topics. There are more than 50,000 members registered at Webmaster Talk and more than 130,000 threads. It’s definitely no fly by night forum and worth joining in on the discussion, even if you aren’t into contests.

You can join Webaster Talk forums here.

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7
May

One Week Left For Webmaster Talk Contest

If you’d like to have a chance to win one of 5 great prize packages that include a Macbook Air and are valued at $5,000 each, you have just under 7 days to do so. Webmaster Talk has recently merged with the Earners Forum and is offering some great prizes besides the MacBook Air such as:

A Flip Camera
An Apple iPod Touch
$500 cash from MaxBounty
$250 cash from Pepperjam Network
24 Free T-Shirts from Ndesigns
The cool revolution blog theme
A professional shopping cart from Interspire
3 Months of Aaron Wall’s SEO training

and much more.

This is one of the best contests I’ve ever seen on the net and if you want to win one of these great prizes, you better get on it. The end of the contest is May 13th at midnight and all entries must be submitted to Webmaster Talk by May 16th at 12 noon. There are a variety of things you have to do to earn points that go towards you winning one of the prize packages. You can get all the details of the contest by reading all the rules here.

The number one rule to enter the contest is to be a member of Webmaster Talk forums and you can join right here. Even if you aren’t interested in the contest, you should certainly be interested in Webmaster Talk because they are about as extensive as any forums I’ve ever been a part of. For the online marketer or someone wanting to learn how to build a web site they are a great repository of information, tips, tricks, Photoshop advice, CSS advice, affiliate marketing advice and lots more. With over 58,000 members, there is probably someone there that can answer any question you have.

Of course you can always offer your expertise in the forums as well and that’s always a good way for people to get to know you and trust you. And trust helps you build your brand and will ultimately make your business more successful. So head on over to Webmaster Talk forums and don’t forget to check out the contest.

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2
May

April 2008 Affiliate Earnings Report

It’s time for another affiliate earnings report and income was down a little bit from last month mainly because expenses were about $200 higher this month. I’ve been doing a little more advertising, experimenting with PPC and paying for some services over at Elance.com. Hopefully these things will produce an increase for this month’s earnings. I also discovered that Microsoft Adcenter affiliate program is now run through the Microsoft Partner Program as it has been for some time, so I signed up for that again and that should increase revenue as well. Currently Microsoft AdCenter is offering $75 in free clicks for new sign-ups. It’s a great way to start off learning how to do ppc without risking your own money.

April total earnings came in at $2,602.64 and after much higher advertising and other expenses, net revenue was $2,352.31 for the month. The breakdown of earnings is below:

Google Adsense – $1,298.93
Commission Junction – $335.99
EPN – eBay – $361.56
Meal Planner Ebook – $136.00
TripAdvisor – $183.68
Auction Ads – $77.19
Clickbank – $164.29
Private Advertising – $35.00
Other Affiliate Programs – $10.00

Total Revenue – $2,602.64

Advertising & Expenses – $250.33

Total Income – $2,352.31

I did get an email from Commission Junction earlier in the month stating that they were going to include a make good adjustment in our next check for ACRU’s (new members) earned through eBay because of reporting problems that go back as far as February. We’ll have to wait and see how much that might increase income at $25 a pop. I have no idea whether I’ll get several or none.

Combined earnings from CJ and the new eBay Partner Network came in better than just CJ did last month, so it looks like the new EPN is going to be a good thing although myself and others are still seeing some anomalies in EPN reports.

This month will continue to see expansion of my Build A Niche Store network as there are 10 stores now online and more content is being worked on by writers hired through Elance.com as I write this. The Black Ink Project with Jeremy Palmer starts on Monday and I continue to work my way through Aaron Wall’s SEOBook learning much about SEO, PPC and other marketing info. If I get nothing more than a better education on how to build successful PPC campaigns out of these 2 courses, I’ll consider that a success.

Looking forward to a busy month of May.

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