Saturday, June 28, 2008

Beware of E-Mails Bearing Gifts

One thing that I would like to make note of.

I've already told you that I tried Amway/Quixtar and Herbalife and didn't have success because I felt bad about walking up to people I don't know and trying to sell them products I don't believe in. There is something inherently shady in that approach.

Lately I've been seeing television commercials for Amway/Quixtar on television. When I became involved with them many years ago they considered one of their big selling points to be that everything was word-of-mouth and they didn't need to spend money on ad campaigns and the money they saved went into the pockets of their productive members.

You can find a lot of information on Amway/Quixtar online. You saw the same information when I was involved. The Diamonds would blow it off, saying that you can find negative information about anyone online if you looked for it. No one ever discussed the fact that ALL OF THE INFO they found about Amway/Quixtar was negative.

I've recently become aware of some blogs and websites that openly and honestly discuss the concerns I had when I was there but that there was no one to discuss it with.

So, to get to my point...

I continue to receive e-mails promising similar 'systems' with very small membership payments but still requiring you to recruit. They are those e-mails we have all seen - extravagant promises of incredible wealth but no further info unless you enter your name and e-mail address.

I can't help it, but I think the business model is valid, in the right hands. Unfortunately the "Hands" that keep delivering these new 'systems' to me are only after the initial commission they get when someone signs up, and they have no further interest in building one of these businesses, or helping their downline to build such businesses. All these guys build are downlines full of bitter and disillusioned individuals.

So if you receive an e-mail from "Nate Bianco" or "Ryan Burgard"... Well, you've been warned. My heartfelt recommendation would be to get off their lists immediately. Their return e-mail addresses are bogus, at least to the extent that neither of them have bothered to answer any questions nor even acknowledge receipt of my message. To make it worse, the "Support Group" for the system that I signed up for actually got snippy with me because my questions should be directed to my "upline sponsor" - Ryan Burgard - who appears to be nothing but a scammer, with no phone number and all e-mails coming through an autoresponder. He does appear to be making money, though.

Here is a link to a short informational movie on MyWorldPlus. In my opinion, it does appear to be a decent system. Even if I don't make a lot of money through the system itself, there are opportunities to save money every day on normal products and services that I can buy locally, in my town. It's not like Amway/Quixtar who sells me a $75.00 bottle of vitamins (which I don't receive until the following week) and tells me how much money I'm saving because if I bought the vitamins through an Amway/Quixtar RESELLER I would pay $30 - $50 more. MyWorldPlus is more like a discount shopping membership, where for a small initial payment and monthly fees of $19.95 you can get cash-back on gift cards and other online purchases for hundreds of local merchants when bought through MyWorldPlus. You can also find immediate gratification by printing out "Savings Certificates" (essentially coupons) for locally available goods and services.

There are all kinds of these "Business Opportunities" available online. The hook is that they all have small initial payments, monthly fees, they offer systems where your upline works to place people in your downline and the system does 95% of the work, but you will still need to bring in new people to really take advantage of the earning potential.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How You Can Become a Super Affiliate

The humdrum existence of competeing in the Rat Race, vying for someone else's crumbs, is a trying task for those of us who have lived all our lives doing it. We're stuck in a rut. This is why the convenience of working at home under amazingly flexible working hours, and much more pleasant conditions, is such a dazzling prospect. Doing work at home that is so much more fulfilling than having a career working for a computer on the 19th floor of a skyscraper is already a possibility in these modern times. This is because the network that is the internet has given birth to a business model that has given some people dramatically new lives doing just that - Working from Home... and making more than enough to comfortably survive.

This particular business model allows people to work from home under flexible working hours. There is no boss screaming, putting pressure on everyone about the deadline at hand. There is no clutter of messy paperwork that needs to be completed yesterday. The benefits of working at home are enjoyed by those who are into affiliate marketing, the newest way to earn money without having to go through the mind-numbing routine found in a "regular job".

Those who have been in the business long enough can attest to the fact that it is a lucrative business indeed, one that can actually give people things that they could not possibly possess or experience under ordinary circumstances.

Affiliate marketing involves an affiliate promoting a merchant's product or website. The affiliate's website advertises the product or website of the merchant through a merchant's affiliate program. Someone clicks on the merchant's website links, promoted on the website owned by the affiliate, and if that click leads to a sale, the affiliate is given a commission. This is in recognition of his effort in helping the merchant make a sale.

The system involved in affiliate marketing seems easy, but it also takes a lot of diligence and perseverance to be able to penetrate it thoroughly. Those who want to get into this type of business should possess the necessary skills to navigate the industry with confidence and self-assurance. Still, other factors are needed to be able to really break in. Knowledge about the business at hand is very important - it dictates the actions required by people who who want to be successful affiliates.

The leading figure in affiliate marketing is the Super Affiliate. He is basically a Master E-mail Marketer who collects large databases of e-mail addresses through newsletters. Super Affiliates are also those who know the business even better than affiliate managers as a result of their knowledge about the affiliate marketing industry inside out. Those who want to be Super Affiliates should know that becoming a Super Affiliate is simple, but not easy. You need to know a few basics, but these basics require practice to master.

Becoming a Super Affiliate means having your own website and autoresponder. These tools will help a lot in one's facilitation of the business. Building one's own list is another. Creating a loyal customer base and taking care of it is one secret that successful Super Affiliates have. Making good customer relations is also important if your goal is to be a Super Affiliate to reckon with.

Continuing to market to the people on your list is a must if you want to succeed as a super affiliate. Sending out quality content in lieu of ads is an advantage as products are marketed better whenever enough information is given about them.

Building traffic to one's own site is also one of the most essential points in the affiliate marketing business. You can't make money from your affiliate links if no one comes to your site to click on them. Once you have built a traffic flow to your site, you also need to capture your visitors' contact information. You need to provide a reason for them to give you that information. This is the start of building a strong relationship with your customers, which will lay the groundwork for allowing you to market to them over and over again.

The most important thing to be remembered if you want to become a Super Affiliate is to treat affiliate marketing as a business first and foremost. If you are capable of doing this, then you will never have to go back to the humdrum existence of working the 9-5 shift. A thriving career as a Super Affiliate will change your life forever!

That decision is up to you.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Information -- The 'Perfect' Online Product

Today, I'd like to Welcome our First Guest Contributor - Shelley Lowery
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


If you're looking for a great way to get started in Internet
marketing, selling information may be your answer.

The Internet has literally become the information super
highway, as millions upon millions of people logon each day
in search of the information they desire -- not just any
type of information -- they're searching for solutions! They
want to improve their health, improve their love life,
improve their finances -- the list goes on and on...

That's what makes information products, such as ebooks,
reports, etc., so appealing. They provide people with the
information they desire, almost instantly, as they can be
purchased and downloaded within a matter of minutes.

Not only do information products provide your readers with
instant gratification, but they are also the 'perfect'
product for you, as they are one of the cheapest and easiest
products you can create. What's more, the profit margin is
phenomenal -- once you purchase a packaging software, you
can sell your product an unlimited number of times with...

• No additional development costs
• No inventory
• No packaging charges
• No shipping charges and
• No hassle...

Information is the number one best-selling product on the
Internet. There are literally hundreds of Internet
entrepreneurs quietly making a fortune simply by selling
information. How? By developing in-demand information
products and delivering them instantly and automatically
over the Internet.

What is an Ebook?

Although there are several ebook format options, we will be
focusing on HTML compiled ebooks.

Ebooks or electronic books are self-contained files of HTML.
This HTML may be a web site you've created or HTML you've
specifically prepared to be compiled into a downloadable EXE
file for distribution. When downloaded, the file will
self-install on your customers' desktop.

This EXE file requires no installation and will open on your
customers' computer simply by double clicking on the file.
In addition, it doesn't require any special plug-ins or
viewers, as it relies on your readers' browser.

Ebooks are completely interactive with the Internet and can
contain live links, graphics, forms, JavaScript, embedded
video, can be protected via password/userid, search
capabilities and more.

This self-contained executable file can be distributed in a
number of ways, including CD, floppy disk, and Internet
download.

How is an Ebook Created?

In order to create your ebook, you will need to invest in an
HTML compiler. An HTML compiler is a software program that
will compress all of your files, including HTML and images,
into one file that is in EXE format.

Although HTML compilers have provided Internet marketers
with an easy way to distribute their files, they don't
provide any additional assistance in creating your ebook.

What this means is that in order to use an HTML compiler,
you must first create your ebook files within another
program and then import the files into the compiler. This
option may not be an issue for veteran marketers. However,
for those new to the Internet there is a better option.

There is only one software program that will enable you to
create your entire ebook -- from start to finish within a
WYSIWYG ebook editor:

eBook Starter

Creating your own ebook is a great way to get started
marketing online. Not only are they highly popular, but
they're cheap and easy to create, and can be very
profitable. Isn't it time to take the first step toward
securing your future? Don't put it off another day...

About the Author:

Shelley Lowery is the author of eBook Starter. Create your
ebooks quickly and easily with the first and only ebook
software that is an actual WYSIWYG ebook editor. Give your
ebooks the look and feel of a real book, notebook, manual or
report in just a few simple steps.

Visit eBook Starter to download your free demo today...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Affiliate Marketing – Making Money on the Internet from Other People’s Efforts!


“Start Making Money off the Internet Immediately!” “Make up to an Extra $6349.00 a Week… AND MORE!” “Make an Internet Fortune Overnight!”

If you’re like me, you have seen all of the “Get Rich Quick” ads, telling how to make your Internet Millions overnight and retire while you’re young enough to enjoy it. And before we had the Internet, there were the same ads in the Classifieds section of the daily newspapers and magazines.

More Money! Faster Money! Easier Money!

Isn’t that what everyone wants? More money? More time for family? You want to be able to tell your boss to take this job and… do something with it? (This is a PG-13 report, so I’m gonna keep it clean.) But you know what I mean. You’re just tired of spending your time doing what someone else wants (and pays) you to do? You want to spend your time doing what you want, where you want, with whom you want. But there’s still that money thing. You need an income (or a Lottery Jackpot) in order to afford to do the things you want to do.

And the thing is… SOME PEOPLE ARE DOING IT!!! Some people have retired from the rat race and still have a steady and VERY RESPECTABLE income stream. Whether it be an MLM, Internet Marketing, or some other home business, people are getting out of the rat race and enjoying the life we should ALL be living. Even better, some people have actually done the work and created products and systems that will show other people how they did it. And you don’t always have to buy those products yourself in order to make a fortune with them!

Welcome to the world of Affiliate Marketing.

Affiliate Marketing is, quite honestly, promoting or marketing someone else’s product and collecting a percentage from each sale that you initiated.

We’re going to look at a couple of products designed and created to teach an Amateur Web Marketer how to get started with Affiliate Marketing, Secret Affiliate Code and Affiliate Conspiracy. Both are very professionally done sets, with quality video to accompany the written portions of the courses. Both target those just getting started with Online Marketing.

Secret Affiliate Code promises to walk you through the process of getting affiliated and making it work and to have you making money by the end of the course. It will teach you money-making techniques for choosing the right products to promote and how to get the product in front of the people who want to buy it. This includes finding profitable niches, promoting to those niches, how to get paid for generating sales, and building a list of customers and repeat-customers for other promotional campaigns. This course will demonstrate how you can incorporate free online tools like Squidoo to help to generate traffic and sales, and how to achieve high rankings in Google Search pages.

The course costs $67.00 (regular price is $94) and includes a manual, 10 videos and a Quick-Start Guide to get earning even faster. The website says that there is a hidden code on the page, and if you can find it and figure it out, you can save an additional $20 off the price. It also includes a bonus of 4 additional interviews with other Internet Marketing Masters, including Eric Rockefeller, author of the other product we’re looking at, Affiliate Conspiracy.

Affiliate Conspiracy also offers a step-by-step, start-to-finish program for making money online through marketing other people’s products. It offers to teach you how to find profitable products, create winning Google Ad Words campaigns, and build a huge and responsive customer base from scratch. You won’t need to have your own website, any tech skills or a huge budget. Eric will walk you through 3 different case studies, showing how, with one product he made over $6500 in 2 weeks. He tells you the most profitable strategies that others don’t want revealed, and shows you how to overcome your competition.

This course comes in at $97 and is available only for a limited time. It includes a set of videos and documents, including over an hour of Quick Start Videos. It includes bonuses worth $450, including a video demonstrating how to use Google Adwords faster and cheaper than you ever thought possible, and the Exact Arsenal of Push-Button Easy Tools that Eric uses to test, track, and automate his affiliate marketing and how by using these little known secret tools you simply can't lose. He reveals 3 profitable but unexploited niches and 3 templates that you can customize and use to sell anything!

You can get more information here:
Affiliate Conspiracy
Secret Affiliate Code.

Both are extremely good products by VERY successful Internet Money-Making Masters. They offer some of the same information, but both have their own personal experiences to share, which is naturally going to include different techniques, utilities, and results. There are many ways to promote your products, many ways to generate traffic, and many affiliate programs to choose from.

Affiliate Conspiracy and Secret Affiliate Code both guarantee success in earning money online if you follow their steps. Both come with a 60-Day Money Back Guarantee. With either of them, you could be established and making an income in a week, IF you actually use the course and follow instructions and do what you’re told.

Neither of these authors promise overnight success (and anyone who does is only after your money). They do, however, promise that if you do what they did, you can have a respectable income in a short amount of time. You can repeat the steps as many times as you want to build as many streams of income as you desire.

But nothing is ever going to happen until YOU do something.

What are you waiting for?


More on Marketing with Kijiji

This is crazy. I'm still going back and forth with the "Support" people from Kijiji about why they deleted my ad. It's been a week and I still don't know what the problem was.

To recap, I placed an ad on Kijiji (a "Free" ad posting site) offering a free report in the Sales | Other category. I don't remember exactly what the Ad Copy said, but the gist of the report is that it covers a strategy where you can make money online even with no product of your own to sell. I said as much in the ad and provided a link where people would enter their name and email address and I send the report by return email.

2 different people in Kijiji's "Support Organization" continue to tell me that my JOB AD is too vague or doesn't describe what the job entails. HUH?!?

So it's okay to give away free kittens and puppies on Kijiji, but not to offer free information, delivered by e-mail.

And everytime I've asked 'Why" or what the specific problem is, I get clips from their policy statement regarding Job Postings... which doesn't have anything to do with the ad I posted.

Well... Kijiji is a free service... unless you count all the time and stress involved in trying to get an ad posted and/or get a simple straight answer from their support group.

You get what you paid for.

Remember that going forward. I will be reviewing free and for-pay products as I move forward. In this case, and I'm sure there will be more, it's DEFINITELY better to find an established, reputable organization, and you just might have to pay for it. The difference will be in the support you receive when issues arise.

The first task of a Customer Support professional is to understand the customer's issue. The fact that 5 days later they still think my issue is with a Job Ad when I've told them it was a Sales Ad a number of times is a HUGE RED FLAG.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Take a breath... (Transferred)

Take a breath...
06/19/2008


Well, I guess I sorta hit a wall.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, just a little inconvenient.

  When I began this venture, I simply knew that I wanted needed to do something... ANYthing to try to fix my situation.  It began with an online MLM that I got involved with.  After spending a little time with that, it seemed the natural progression is to expand it into other areas online and do as much as I could.  Heh-heh-heh...  I had no idea what I was doing.  I started gathering all sorts of info about getting this type of business started.  I read a bunch of stuff and tried to get rolling on it before I really knew where all the pieces fit. 

But then I finally found Mike Rasmussen's MiniSiteProfits Exposed videos. I've only watched them a couple of times so far (there's 12.  15 if you get the Delux set) but they really helped me to put this project into perspective and the videos gave me a much better roadmap for how to get this up and productive in the shortest amount of time.

I’ve still been trying to do what I can, at this level of knowledge.  I decided to start trying to build a mailing list, so I went out to this free ad website I found – Kijiji.  I posted an ad in their Sales | Other category offering a free report to download.  I included a link and people could click the link and get the report if they would enter a name and e-mail address.  No big deal… or so I thought. 

Turns out Kijiji declined my ad.  I asked why and got an e-mail back with a list of various unconnected reasons why an ad might be declined.  So I asked for specifics.  I got another e-mail telling me my job ad was too vague.  That’s right…  my Job Ad. (Please refer to the previous paragraph for a description of the ad I placed.)

  Hmmm…


 I almost went back and posted another ad, but then I thought about it…  This is Kijiji’s support organization that I am dealing with:
1.  They arbitrarily deleted my ad
2.  They didn’t know why
3.  They didn’t even know what they were deleting. 


I decided I don’t need that kinda stress.  I’m trying to build a business here.  I want people working WITH me, not AGAINST me.  So Kijiji is OUT! Remember when I told you that I wanted to make the mistakes so you don’t have to?  I hope you’re taking notes.  Kijiji = Mistake. 

Till next time…

Mike



Marketing Mike (Transferred)

Marketing Mike
06/17/2008
I want to take a moment and go back in time.  I think I should explain the key thought process that took me from where I've been to where I am.  It's already been established (I believe) that I intend to document my travels into online marketing, to serve as instructions and maybe a tutorial to show you how to learn this trade and save you the mistakes I make along the way.  These won't be directions for how to do it, but footsteps to follow as I learn. 

So, let's have a review of Mike's life.  

Where I came from...  I'm a 43 year old guy.  I live in Silicon Valley but grew up in Salinas, about 60 miles to the south.  I work in the Tech Industry (Surprise!!).  This is not the cheapest place to live.  The quality of life here is high, and luxury abounds for those who have the money to buy it.  Unfortunately, I am not one of those who can easily afford the life I want to live.  

I have 2 maxxed-out credit cards and a tapped-out line of credit.  I have a car payment because I could no longer afford to fill the tank in my SUV.  I also have huge student loan debt.  My debt has grown fast.  Much faster than my income.  I need a remedy for that situation.  A "Home Remedy", I guess you can call it, because I plan to do it from home.  I'm sick of my situation and I'm looking for a cure.  And being from California, I need a natural remedy.  ;-)  Where can I find the secret to improve my position in life?  

I've mentioned before that I tried other home businesses.  All they got me was angry, frustrated, and feeling bamboozled (that's a technical term).  I mean, I saw the videos of people who were successful in these businesses and was immediately filled with questions like "How can I do this?" and "How do I acquire that level of wealth?"  I read all the stellar reviews of these plans and products and was completely amazed.  I wanted to be a top producer; I wanted the best life had to offer.  I wanted to decrease my debt and remove that stress from my life.  

I had to purchase a starter kit.  Then, of course, I had to use these "Top Quality Products" in order to be able to share my story.    

Just how great are these vitamins?  Well, I LOVE them, and let me tell you why...! 

How wonderful is this diet plan?  I lost ABC pounds in just XYZ days!!

(The exclamation points were very important!)  

Share your story.  That's all you have to do and people will be falling all over themselves to become a part of this wonderful program.  Well... I ran through all of my family and friends.  Lost most of my friends (my family is stuck with me).  Then it came time to prospect.  Contact random people, engage them in conversation, then twist the conversation around and get them to admit they're broke and hate life and convince them to spend $$$ on the best solution available.  

Well, I'm painfully shy with people I don't know.  All this did was increase my level of self-consciousness and stress.  I did see a couple of checks when I was in Quixtar, but they were only for about $6.00 and I spent thousands in order to see that return.  

Now, don't get me wrong.  These programs (Quixtar and Herbalife) DO work... for SOME people.  But not everyone is cut out to be a door-to-door salesman and promoter.  And it's especially difficult if you don't have your heart and soul behind the product.  In order for you to achieve, you need to find a number of people who are as ethical and motivated as you are, and then help each of those people to find their people, and so on, ad infinitum.  That's not what I want to do with my life.  

It's not my intent to "bash" those organizations and their products and plans.  They're billion dollar companies and have made many people very wealthy.  If that's the way you want to go, all the best to you.  I'm simply sharing my experiences.  (My Story!)

This "blog post" has turned into an article.  I guess my point is, home businesses are like arts and crafts.  There are tons of different avenues you can pursue.  Some folks like knitting, crocheting, and macramé.  Others like scrap-booking, making video, and watercolors.  The key is to keep looking until you find one that makes your heart sing and makes you smile just thinking about it.

  

THAT’S the one that will make you rich!

  

Till next time…

  

Mike




***UPDATE!!***  

I just got my first affiliate agreement, so I'm adding a link. They're really good, thorough videos. A very good step-by-step of getting your website online. Start getting used to seeing this banner!!



Marketing on Father's Day (Transferred)

Marketing on Father's Day
06/16/2008

I spent the majority of the day again immersed in my new marketing business ventures.  Where does the time go?  I did have a nice chat with my Dad on Father's Day, but was unable to see him.  What I'm working on here is pretty important. For him and for me. He co-signed on one of my student loans. He's excited that I'm exploring other options.

I need to put together a more professional and personal website.  I don't have much experience with such things.  I am a Tech Support kinda guy, but I'm not a webmaster (yet) so I gotta learn fast!

Unfortunately, I'm gonna have to make a few bucks before I can run out and purchase a web design book or application.  I actually downloaded CoffeeCup HTML Editor 2008.  I found a review on Comsumer Search's website that said it's the second "Best Web-Design Software for non-Pros". 

The best one was Dreamweaver, but it costs $800.  CoffeeCup is only about $50 and you get a free trial period, which is long enough to get one or two or more sites up before you have to pay for it.  There were some free software apps too, but I decided it was time to actually make a committment, so I'm sticking with CoffeeCup.

I'm pretty impressed with myself.  I've made several actual commitments over the course of this blog (already!)  First, I made a committment that I was going to make a serious and honest effort to do this - be a success at this venture. And now the CoffeeCup commitment!  I know that first one was only last Friday, but I can't afford not to succeed.  And this is just ridiculously simple.  I would be too embarassed to fail at this.  I mean, crap!  I've already told my Dad and one of my brothers and all of you about this.  I gotta do something with this now!

I really don't think it's gonna be tough.  It's just a matter of learning HOW to do what I need to do.  I'm painfully impatient and easily bored.  I think I'm undiagnosed ADHD, and I'm gonna figure a way to put that in my favor.

G'night folks.  Gotta work tomorrow and 5:30AM comes early.  Until I can replace that income with this income, it's just gonna have to be a necessary evil.

STEP 1: HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN!!!!! (Transferred)

STEP 1: HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN!!!!!
06/14/2008

Well...  I made my first mistake today.  It wasn't a HUGE deal, but it was irritating.

What did I learn? 

STEP 1:  HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN!!!!!


I sat down this morning and whipped out a nice long blog post - I was excited and feeling good about what I'm doing.  I was really pleased with my post. 

So I saved it... and... 

HORROR OF HORRORS!!! 

My ISP ate my blog post.

It was GONE!!

I was BUMMED OUT!!  It was a good post and it's gone.  But I'll get over it.

What's the result?  I'm saving my post multiple times as I write it, and I'm saving off the text to my clipboard before I click the [Save] button, lest my another post disappear.

It's funny, but I'm still feeling pretty good about things.

That's one mistake, out of the way!  I know there's going to be mistakes between "Poor Mike" and "Financially-Free Mike".  The quicker I get them out of the way, the sooner I get to the top of the mountain.

First Website, First Blog, First Post (Transferred)

First Website, First Blog, First Post
06/13/2008
This is my first serious attempt at something like this - a Blog, and a Home Business. I've tried home businesses before - Quixtar and Herbalife - and wasn't talented at spreading the "Good News" about those businesses. I think the major issue was that I really didn't feel good about their product lines, and everything was SO expensive. Quixtar ran about $500 to get started. Herbalife was twice that.

I've found a new business with MyWorldPlus that I really feel good about. It's not too expensive to get started (less that $100) and the product is something I feel good about and can easily convey to others how it would benefit them.

Check out this introductory film or click on the "Click Here for More Info" link on my home page.