Prospecting Your First Offline Consulting Client

Hey guys, short post today.

I just finished watching a wack load of videos from a guy named Kelly Verge.  If you’re interested in getting into the offline consulting game i.e. being hired by local businesses to promote them online, build a website, ppc etc…  You’ll definitely want to watch these videos.

I think there’s 4 in total – and this dude goes into really good detail regarding prospecting, inbound marketing, and how to speak with local business owners in a way that will close sales. I’ve posted up video number 2 which I really dug.

Postcards is where the party is that!

Hopefully he’s got a Google Alert on his name and will come by and comment – cause I don’t even know him and I’m promoting his shit for free.

Ah well.  I got my own money pffft.



Mindless Distractions: Taking a Break From The Internet Marketing Game


Internet marketing causes insomnia.

I know there are more than a few of you out there who suffer from this addiction I have (financial and mobility freedom via making money online).  Some nights I just simply can not turn my brain off.  It’s almost as if when I lay down to sleep, my brain turns on.  Occasionally, in the midst of domain names, methods and tricks flashing rapidly through my head, I will hit something that is genius.

Most of the time it’s a pain in the ass and stresses me out.  I’ve never been a good sleeper – natural born insomniac.

When I know I need to get to sleep sooner than later, I will stop all work related stuff and randomly watch videos on good old YouTube to distract me, empty my brain and help bring me down.

Tonight was flipping through the recent hockey fights on HockeyFightsDotCom tube channel.

Say what you want… lol.. I’m Canadian, I love hockey and fighting is what we do when the passion is high or someone cheap shots a team mate of ours.  It relaxes me.


9 Reasons Why I Love Black Hat Forums

This awesome image courtesy of Albita on Flickr.comOh no!  Elijah’s gone to the darkside.  Stop freaking out.  I’m sitting in front of my lap top, not on a starship.

I’m about to go to bed – and as I do often – end my day off with a cruise around the cracks and crevices of internet marketing forums and their interesting inhabitants.  I’ve met some of the most interesting people in forums and I absolutely love how in a split second a thread can go from good to great or bad to suicidal.  I guess forums are kind of like my soap operas.

Anyways – Black Hat Marketing Techniques – some people use em, most people don’t.  Those that do usually make insane, short bursts of money.  The turnaround is much faster and the risk is much greater.  It can definitely be exciting.  If you’re wondering whether or not I’ve ever made money with Black Hat, in short, yes.  I find it great for beer money – as you can see above.

Now even though the Warrior Forum is lurking with guru wannabe’s and special offers, I always find myself attracted to the underground message boards.  I’ve learned some great stuff on White Hat forums over the years, but nothing compares to the innovation I’ve encountered when tip toeing over to the other side of the lawn.

I absolutely love Black Hat Forums – and here’s why:

  1. They are less stuffy – and a lot more comical (sometimes twisted).  I enjoy this.
  2. They are huge on sharing.  I’m sorry, but even if I had the money to waste, I wouldn’t pay $997 for a digital product.  It’s just not happening.  You can get the latest and greatest ebooks, courses, scripts and methods for free.  Always be sure to support if something has made you money.  I have had the entire woo themes library cracked for a year, yet as soon as I had some money to spend I started purchasing developer licenses for the themes I already have – just to be legit and show mad love.
  3. One of the main purposes of Black Hat is to cut corners, be steath and automate as much as possible.  Though I wouldn’t try half of the major techniques, learning about them really helps me to be innovative in my White Hat ventures.
  4. Black Hatters are always willing to lend a hand, and can be at times less judgmental.  Forums are all about authority, clout and respect.  I’ve contacted the owner of one particular BH forum several times with honest CPA related questions and he’s given me some really great feedback.
  5. You see more and more young kids in Black Hat forums.. I mean 15 year olds who are banking $5000/month.  This is an interesting spot to be in, especially when you can get a glimpse of how the younger generation is viewing internet marketing techniques, and what they bring to the table (considering this is their era).
  6. Black Hatter’s tend to be a little more compu-savvy.  They’re great for getting design, html and coding tutorials/answers.  Need to do a meta refresh?  Black Hat forums will help you out.
  7. From a personal standpoint.. if I had to hats in front of me and needed to put on one for a portrait of some sort, I would – without hesitation – put on the Black Hat.  Johnny Cash wore black hats… pffft.
  8. Money making methods are free.  Where you’d be paying $17 for a WSO, you’d never have to pay money for a method in the Black Hat forums.  It’s actually common courtesy to post up a method if it has worked for you.
  9. Most Black Hat forums have White Hat sections – and 90% of the time, the White Hat techniques are leaps and bounds more lucrative compared to their cousins in the real White Hat forums.

Anyways – all in all – being open minded towards all methods and mediums of business is essential.  Lots of people think Black Hat is about scamming people and ripping people off.. and sometimes it is!  But the amount of methods which fall into that category are pretty minimal.

If you’re really interested in scaling up your business a bit or need some creative juices for a new idea, just type in “blackhat forum” into Google and you’ll find exactly what you need.

If you’d like to do some reading, I’ve taken a few minutes and compiled a bunch of documents which I’ve directly profited from at one point or another.  These are all “grey hat” techniques, minus 1 or 2, that take no time to set up and could potentially make you money within 2-3 days… sometimes within 24 hours!  I am not the author of any of these methods, I’m merely passing them on to you so you can make some money too.

Here’s the link – all you have to do is donate something.  No set amount, whatever you feel like throwing my way.

Think about this for a second – who’s really Black Hat here?  The search engines who can see into your front window?  Or a bunch of ambitious people in a forum who’re trying to avoid being “seen”?  Stick that one in your pipe and smoke it.



They Thought Killing Us Would Be Easy

elijah-mug-shotDo you see this face?  This is the face of a man who will not go quietly.  This is the face of a man who will not give up on his dreams of financial freedom and mini retirements; all because the system refuses to cooperate.  Technology tried to crush our focus.  The corporations tried to give us the runaround.

They tried to kill TheAtHomeCouple.

They tried to kill Elijah and Veronica.

They tried to kill us and they failed.

For those of you who’ve been wondering if we’re doing ok, here is a brief, but graphic summary of the last 8 weeks:

The light bulb in my desk lamp blew out.  At first it didn’t seem like a big deal, but later I would realize that it was a symbolic gesture foreshadowing the mind-numbing course of events to follow.  A few days after that our Internet stopped working.  It had been 3 years, with the same service provider, without a bump.

No internet equals no money.  Funny how the guru’s never mention that one.  Note to self.

With the obvious sense of impending urgency, we decided to give them 2 weeks to fix it.  3 technicians and 2 weeks later the problem was still occurring, so we made the executive decision to cancel services (broadband cable internet and digital cable television) and call up our voip provider and get some DSL web service bundled-up and running.

If it were only that simple.  There is no “option” in “monopoly”.

6 weeks, 40 phone calls and 7 support tickets later, we have no high speed internet, our credit cards are maxed out and we’re 2 months behind on all of our utility bills with $20 in the bank.  There is no bail out for ambitious home business owners.  Help was not on its way.  We were 1 click away from checking out the cubicle-job market on Craigslist.

Apparently hitting rock bottom is required and we were fulfilling our obligation.

Today is Wednesday, and today we have high speed.  We’ve come full circle to our original service provider, but discovered along the way that they have business internet and phone solutions that offer a more robust support package, with a considerable increase in service speed and features.  Where was this 6 weeks and $3000 ago?

Please listen to what I’m about to tell you…

If you have or are planning to quit your job and work online full time – make sure you have a solid,  back up resource for high speed internet.  Whether it’s your grandmothers place, a Starbucks downtown or a 4G usb internet stick – know exactly where you are going and what you will do if you suddenly have no internet access.

I realize that in this day and age we completely abuse and take advantage of our dependency on technology.  Money spends the majority of our lives in a virtual state.  Our banking, businesses and social black books rely on technology.

If you’re chasing this money making dream – please take at least 30 minutes to think about what I’ve just shared with you.  Yes, we can all make money online.  Yes, we can quit our jobs and cash Adsense checks once a month.  Yes, we can visit each others blogs and make little jokes about things we’ll do when we’re “at the top”.

But what will you do if all these great things were coming into fruition and your internet connection fails?  Simple, yet deadly.



An Adsense Virgin No More

This might not be gigantic news to all you dot-com early birds who jumped on the train in the early to mid 90’s –  especially those of you who are making $4000/month off 372 crappy looking websites with really bad formatting and brutally scaled background images that haven’t been updated in 7 years.  I’m not hating, I’m just saying…

I got my first Adsense payment today!

It was totally by surprise as I was under the impression that I would be getting  a cheque (Canadian spelling)  in the mail.  Not that I was disappointed to see a direct depost, but I was kind of hoping for the cheque so I could take a picture ($130) and make it famous like Shoemoney.

Wanna see?


Anyways… I just wanted to share this moment with you guys, and also permanently place it on the Internet so I can always go back and revisit the sense of accomplishment I’m feeling at this exact moment.

The funniest thing about my Adsense earnings is that they only took off once I started flipping websites.  What does website flipping have to do with making money from Google Adsense?  Well, a nice chunk (almost all) of the people who buy websites online seem to overlook changing the affiliate links over to their own – despite instructional emails, documentation and follow-up reminders.  And because most of my niche sites involve heavy keyword research, and targeted domains – the traffic usually comes knocking within a week after the first article is published.

Pretty interesting, right?

All in all – my first Adsense payment is really motivating me to grow my Adsense portfolio and spend more time studying different techniques for optimal CTR.  I’m actually quite excited!



Music And Making Money Online

It should be of no surprise to all you crazy kids that I am a child of music – I mean I sang a song for you guys!  I was fortunate to be born from two families that are very inclined when it comes to music; my father is a multi-instrumentalist, all his brothers and sisters play instruments and/or sing.  My grandma is killer with the maracas, and my mom is, well, my mom!  So needless to say, since I was able to speak I’ve been singing and once I had the hand/eye coordination in my middle school years, I began to play any and every instrument I could get my hands on.

Music evokes emotion.  In it’s truest form it is harnessed and expressed through moments of praise and inspiration – and I’m not necessarily talking about religion.  Music moves people from the side of rooms into the middle and makes them act like idiots.  Music apparently causes people to wear trench coats and shoot up their schools, because clearly it has nothing to do with parenting.  There would be no film industry without music as I’m sure staring at moving images in silence wouldn’t have lasted – the entire horror genre would be non existent because it is the sound accompaniment which creates the sense of impending doom.

What does this have to do with making money online?

Well, let’s think about this for a second… You’re having a bad day and nothing is going as expected.  No matter what you do you can’t concentrate on the task at hand – whether it be finishing an ebook that you’re writing, or doing some more link building for your latest affiliate driven review site.  In an attempt to shake off the dissatisfaction you get up from the computer and start pacing around your home, with your thoughts moving a mile a minute – and this is obviously not helping.

When you’re in this state of mind there is no point working at all.  It’s better to pack it up and call it a day, because without the right state of mind and focus on what your doing, the results will not be optimal.

The cure: listen to your favorite song!

Personally, I have music playing in the background all day while I work.  I don’t have it blasting at 11 on the volume meter (spinal tap?) but I do have my speakers set to a nice listening level where it is not distracting, so I can still absorb the vibe and good feeling while increasing my productivity.  I create a play list to typically last 1-2 hours and when it’s done I’ll create another depending on my current mood.

If you don’t typically listen to music while you work, this could be even more effective for you because once you feel yourself getting off track or loosing your groove – close whatever windows you have open and find that favorite song.  Let that song play and allow yourself to feel the goosebumps forming.  Take a deep breath and sing/hum along.  Close your eyes and pay attention to the lyrics so you can subconsciously translate them into your current state of being.  I can almost guarantee that after listening to a few of your favorite songs, you will go back to the task at hand with a clear mind and a better sense of what needs to be accomplished – and you WILL get it done!

Remember – music evokes emotion.  Happy, sad, mad, etc… Use the power of music to change your mood and remind yourself that it can be used strategically to accomplish exactly that.  One could even go as far as creating play lists for various situations i.e. a “tight deadline” play list which energizes you fills you with excitement at the challenge ahead.  A “creative” play list which sparks your mental palate while working in Photoshop or Illustrator.  A “brainstorming” play list when you feel an idea coming on and you need to map your thoughts.

Here’s a little taste of what I listen to depending on what I’m doing (keeping in mind that my music taste is extremely broad:

  • Jazz (Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Bob James) – Usually when I’m building sites for flipping.  I find the varying tempo and chord progressions keep my momentum going, while the pleasing tone of piano, sax/trumpet and contra bass prevent me from getting ahead of myself.
  • Hip Hop (De La Soul, Talib Kweli, Common) – I typically have consciously-driven hip hop playing during the mid-day afternoon.  After I eat lunch I get a wave of tiredness, and this is easily combated by the grooving percussion and rhythmic lyricism of my favorite hip hop tracks.  Sometime’s I listen to my own music as well.
  • Heavy Metal (Metallica, Killswitch Engage, Tool) – I’ll sometimes have a few beers while I’m putting in hours on the weekend, and nothing blends better than alcohol and hard rock.  I find I come up with the most genious ideas while getting drunk and listening to people scream.  I’m dead serious.
  • Funk/Soul/Big Band (Frank Sinatra, Lou Rawls, Willie Hutch) – The raw aspect of live instrumentation from the 60’s to the early 80’s accompanied by the unbelieveable vocal stylings of the greats always brighten my mood.  Soul music can take me from thoughts of burning my computers and crushing my dreams to regrouping and appreciating what I have – rather than what I don’t have yet.
  • Pop (Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson) – Pop music makes me feel good.  I’ll usually put on some up tempo tracks when Veronica comes home from work, so neither of us have the time to engage the thoughts of dissatisfaction and stress.
  • 80’s Retro (Hall and Oates, Journey, Madonna) – We absolutely love 80’s pop!  I guess it’s because it was playing all the time when we were children, and we absorbed the nostalgic elements which satisfy us now as adults.  We rock out to retro on weekends.

What kind of music moves you guys and gals?  I’d love to know!