Epic Fail: Passive Income Site Off To A Bad Start!

A little update from my on going series of posts/tutorials on how I AM building my passive income through niche affiliate websites and automated blogs.  So if you remember, our mission Tiffany lamp website got off to a good start.  I got on a one on one basis with my affiliate manager (Linkshare.com is the network and LampsPlus.com is the advertiser our website is promoting) and I got some good old social website traffic heading to our posts, which basically feature a product from the vendor site, with a little blurb and some anchor text.

Everything was going well and the site is getting increasing amounts of traffic and clicks – but what do you see wrong with the screen shot below (taken today from my linkshare account):

I’m staring at an order, but zero commissions or sales reported?!?!  Anyways, so after a while of sifting around, and calling my affiliate manager to inquire, I ended finding out how to generate detailed reports (Linkshare’s selection of vendors is AMAZING for niche sites, but their reporting system is not user friendly).  Here’s what I see in the report I generated which details the transaction in question:

EPIC FAIL MOMENT: Our first sale for our much anticipated, super killer niche website was canceled!  How’s that for a bright future??  All joking aside, I felt it was necessary to share this with you guys to prove a point

If you fail, try again.  Plain and simple, just like they tell you in the text books, at school and at your AA meetings.  Just because our first referral canceled their order, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to as well.  More importantly, it doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with the website or what we are doing.

Shit happens!  I don’t want to hear any excuses about why you’re not putting what you know into action.  Even if you don’t know everything that’s needed, allocate energy towards learning where you lack.

How about that for a kick in the balls Epic Fail?!?



CPA Offers And Offline Marketing


For those of you who are unaware, Toronto is a massive metropolis – to the likes of New York or Chicago. When I was still working a shitty cubicle-bound day job, I would ride the subway to and from work on a daily basis, and during this ride it’s common, almost ritualistic, for the commuting gerbils to pick up a free copy of the local paper we have here called the Metro. Now more than often I go straight to the business/financial section, peruse through some classifieds and continue on to my daily horoscope on the second last page – and this is where I was struck with an “outside the box” moment…

Newspapers are slowly dying…

Let me get right to the point – every town, city and county has several free local newspapers which all survive off of the advertising revenue they receive. In a city like Toronto, the Metro paper gets into the hands of probably half the population (3 million +) which presents a great opportunity for some prime time, low cost, creative marketing.

I went onto the Metro website and took a peak at the advertising program they have, and some of the pricing options available, and found out that I could get a reasonably size block on the front page for less than $50/week – are you kidding me?? I found this to be absolutely scalable, and well worth a trial run.

Here’s the plan…

Grab 1 or 2 of the more popular free local newspapers in your city or town, go to the classifieds section (usually near the back) and you should find info for advertising – usually a phone number or email address. Find out the pricing info, as well as reach for the first 3 pages of the paper.

Find a strong performing CPA offer from Neverblueads or Copeac, keeping in mind seasonal and social factors that may cause certain offers to perform better. Here’s an example of what I mean: It’s Christmas time, so you could find a dating offer and put up an ad like “Don’t Spend The Holidays Alone – Hot New Local Dating Site, Sign Up For Free! www.blahblah.com”. Another offer that might work now is targeting last minute Christmas shoppers with a free gift card, or another incentive based CPA offer and post an ad up like “Guilty Of Last Minute Shopping? Claim Your FREE $250 (enter store name) Gift Card Now! Limited Quantities Available! www.blahblah.com”

Are you getting my drift?

Many top performing CPA offers have custom landing pages available, so all you need is to grab a domain name to host it, or if permitted by your affiliate network, redirect straight to the advertisers landing page of your choice.

If you’re even half decent with Photoshop, you could make a really attractive ad in under an hour, $7 for a domain name, and if you want to take it an extra step – make some flyers that are similarly branded and post them up around busy sections of the city.

Most dating, scholarship, loan and gift card offers range from $3-$20+ payout for a simple form completion. When you look at the investment compared to potential return – one would be stupid not to take advantage of the struggling local newspapers that provide cost effective advertising options. What if that $60 translated into $400 dollars per week, would you consider that to be a sound investment? I think we all know the answer here.

Think outside the box, because each day that passes more people are getting into “online” methods of marketing, which means saturation and intense competition – especially with a platform like Adwords. By utilizing offline advertising mediums, one can cash out with minimal time and monetary effort – and after some initial testing you could have a hands off proven stream of revenue to add to your online wallet.



Are You Ready For Christmas Traffic?

Are You Ready For The Christmas Traffic?I’m not feeling 100 % sexy today as I seemed to have picked up some flu-like hitchhiker while driving carelessly through the blogosphere this week.  I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m going to bank as an affiliate with the gravy boats full of hungry, credit card ninjas that will be shopping online this Christmas – and I’ve also been thinking about what market I’m going to focus my efforts in.

I’m excited because this will be my first Christmas “online” as an imitation money maker, and I really do want to provide some genuine resources for the shopping traffic, rather than setting up a bunch of mistletoe-domains cranked with Adsense and scraped content.  I haven’t started a list of possible avenues yet, so why not start my brainstorm right now as I’m typing this prize-winning post:

Where To Find Christmas Ideas

  • eBay’s Hot Brands section
  • Google Trends
  • Amazon
  • Your nearest shopping mall
  • Ikea
  • Your affiliate managers
  • Your kids

I’m sure you guys could have filled in the bullet points I just listed, but I don’t like assuming that everyone reading this blog already knows how to search for profitable niche markets and products.  Personally I prefer studying Amazon’s marketplace over Ebay, simply because the prices are not auctioned off and it gives me a better idea of what people are willing to spend for something “brand new” online.  You’d be surprised how much you could learn about the marketplace from your kids and the young children in your family. If anyone has a handle on what is going to be hot this Christmas, it’s them!

Once we’ve got some sort of list going on regarding products/markets, it’s time to think about how we are going to enter this market, our advertising budget (if any) and what mediums we plan to use for traffic generation. Here are a few proven methods:

Promotion Methods

  • Pay Per Click (most profitable/risky)
  • Article Marketing
  • Classified Ads (Craigslist, USFreeAds)
  • Squidoo, Hub Pages
  • Forum Marketing
  • Myspace Groups/Facebook
  • Link exchanges

I’m confident that most people within my inner circle of collaborators will be utilizing as many free methods as humanly possible, and keeping away from PPC due to lack of experience.  ***Warning – If you have never made consistent profit using Pay Per Click marketing to drive traffic to an offer, you will get eaten alive if you try to jump in during the Christmas rush! Christmas is when all the big dogs make their big money, and if you’ve only dreamed of big money, stay away from the big dogs and let them do their thing.  I really hate hearing horror stories of how somebody lost their kids college fund on PPC during Christmas… I can see it now “Merry Christmas Johnny!  I got your McDonalds application framed for you!”

Go play in traffic dad…

I’m sure you get my point.  There are TONS of free ways to generate traffic to your Christmas offers, just be unique and find those niche markets before hand – and don’t forget to make money off your friends and people you work with!  It will get more and more difficult to locate profitable keywords, or find good domain names the closer it gets to Christmas, so start to think about what you’d like to do now – and take your time to use the tactics that work for YOU, and make some money to pay for all the wonderful gifts you plan to buy for your friends and family – and if you do super well, you can even grab something indulgent for yourself!



Site Flipping Madness – Bum Marketing Update 837

Hey guys.

I don’t have too much to say right now except that I’m exhausted, and would have preferred to do a video post but I can’t find the SD card for my digi cam – dammit Veronica!  Anyways, I have successfully flipped my niche blog and it is now live and active on the Sitepoint Marketplace.  I’m nervous, tired, and accomplished all in one breath.  This was a great experience and I look forward to my next flip, but first things first..

I’m going out tonight to see the Bedouin Soundclash in concert – for those of you who’ve never heard of them they are a local ska band from Toronto who rock with good vibrations.  Check them out.

Time to get drunk.



20 Questions With Paul Piotrowski From InspiredMoneyMaker.com

It’s time for the 2nd “20 Questions” interview, as promised I have lined up some great one on one Q & A’s with a few of the Internets well known bloggers and money makers – on that note, I managed to get a hold of Paul Piotrowski from InspiredMoneyMaker.com to grace us with his knowledge.

For those of you who don’t know Paul, he is the owner and force behind InspiredMoneyMaker.com, and more recently, InspiredAffiliate.com.  I’ve been a follower of his since I began my quest online, and I’ve witnessed his growth as he has evolved into a well respected authority in the blogosphere.  “Make money doing what you love” is something he stands by and teaches through various methods and mindsets, one of his specialties being the law of attraction and how to find your passions.

Paul’s been kicking ass with affiliate contests and establishing his new site, InspiredAffiliate.com, but was kind enough to take out some time to get down and dirty Elijah style – so without further ado I give you 20 Questions With Paul Piotrowski From InspiredMoneyMaker.com:

1.    Who are you and what do you do?

I’m just a regular dude, with a lot of ambition.  I won’t settle for mediocrity, and the thought of working at a 9-5 job I hate until age 65 makes me want to vomit.  When I was younger, we didn’t grow up with a lot of money.  My biggest ambition was to be rich.  People who think that there is some redeeming quality in poverty are nuts.  I truly believe that if we are blessed with the ability to build wealth and help the world with it, it’s our duty to do so.

Once I got a little bit older and built a bit of wealth, I realized that it was no longer just about the money for me.  I realized that what I was really seeking is to make money doing what I love, and so my quest to become an Inspired Money Maker began.

One of my biggest passions in life is personal development.  When I graduated from high school (13 years ago), I realized that 95% of people in life live in mediocrity and in order to go past that I would have to do what 95% of people are not willing to do.  So, I began my 13+ journey of intense personal development and growth.  I’ve lost count, but I would estimate that I’ve read over 1,000 books on personal development in that period of time on everything from entrepreneurship, to time management to spiritual development.

Presently I run a Blog at InspiredMoneyMaker.com which focuses on helping people to Make Money Doing What They Love.  A few weeks ago, I also started another Blog at InspiredAffiliate.com which will document my journey to becoming a “Super Affiliate”.  Inspired Money Maker is mostly about the philosophy and mental game of learning how to make money by doing what you love, whereas Inspired Affiliate is more just an example of me applying my philosophies to a very competitive industry.  This way people can watch my
journey right from the beginning.

2.    In 7037 words or less describe how you made your first profit on the Internet.

In 1995 I started a little web site project where I had very simple, one-page business card type web pages created for businesses looking to get themselves onto the Internet.  I can’t specifically remember the exact one that paid me first, but I believe it may have been a horse ranch up in northern British Columbia.

I created a one page site for them, which I believe they paid me $10 or $20 for.  The project never did end up going anywhere because back in 1995, most businesses had no clue how the Internet worked and trying to sell them on a “Website” was not easy.  I think my idea was probably a few years ahead of its time, but I did end up learning how to develop HTML pages and stuff which helped me to make a pile of money later on in various jobs and companies I’ve worked with.

3.    Were you born in Canada, or do you just live here like everyone else?

Nope.  I was born in Poland and have been living in Canada since 1986.  I was just a kid when I came here.  I love living in Canada, and more specifically in the Greater Vancouver region of British Columbia.  Even if I was a Billionaire, I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else.

4.    I’ve been hearing a lot of stories about young kids in high school making cash with Affiliate Marketing. If I email them death threats and momma jokes does that make me an e-bully?

Absolutely.   🙂   A lot of people feel threatened by the younger generation, much the same way the people before us felt threatened by our generation.  I’m 31 right now, and it doesn’t really “bug” me that some 15 year old out there is making cash from Blogging or Affiliate Marketing.  I say good for them.

That’s a much better thing for them to be doing than breaking into cars or loitering at the local 7/11.  Don’t forget that just because someone at the age of 15 has found a market they can make some good cash with, that doesn’t mean they have life figured out.  There are a lot of other moving parts to life than just making money.  Kids have a lot of time on their hands and typically very few responsibilities at that age since their parents usually pay for their living expenses.  It’s not surprising that they are able to be “profitable” online.

5.    Coffee or tea?

Tea, all the way.  I can’t stand Coffee.  I get my caffeine from Tea and Coke, although I’m trying to cut back on both.  To me, coffee tastes like someone mixed some black tar with some water and tried to pass it as something humans are supposed to consume.  I’ll probably get a lot of slack for saying this, but one of the places that I absolutely try to avoid going near at all cost is Starbucks.  Every time I go into one of them, it just seems like everyone inside is on a big Ego trip for who can order the drink with the longest name.

Starbucks has definitely got it figured out.  People want to be unique.  Give them a fancy, unique sounding drink with a name like “Grande Mocha Triple Berry Frapuccino Al-Pacino Poo Poo Extra Hot No Whip Cream Extra Caramel Shaken Not Stirred” and they’ll gladly pay $4.50 for it.  You’re paying $1.50 for the coffee, and $3.00 for the name (smiles)

6.    If you could have 15 minutes with any successful businessman or woman, who would it be and why?

Since I’m only allowed 15 minutes, I think my best bet would be 15 minutes alone with Angelina Jolie.  I would ask her about her charity work (smiles)

7.    I really feel that the internet contributes to Insomnia, do you ever dream of blogging?

I don’t remember any dreams about Blogging specifically, but last night I had a dream about AdWords, LOL.  I think I was tweaking one of my Affiliate campaigns in my dream, hehehe.

8.    Name the artist and title of the last full song you listened to.

Cypress Hill, (Rock) Superstar.

9.    In your opinion, name 3 tools or services that are necessary to run a successful business online, and briefly explain why?

It’s hard to just narrow it down to three as there is a lot of interdependency between tools.  Just off the top of my head, I would say WordPress to run a Blog, AWeber to build an email list, and the Photoshop for graphics.  You can do a lot of damage with just those three tools.  However, that already assumes that I’ve got a computer, with Internet connection, a mouse, Firefox and notepad at my disposal.

Of course, if you get into PPC Affiliate Marketing, things change.  It would be hard to succeed in that without AdWords for example.  So it’s kind of a hard question to answer unless I know what kind of online business you’re referring to.  But in general, WordPress / AWeber / Photoshop are mandatory in my books for any online business.

10.   You’ve shared with me that your attending your first ever Blog World Expo in Vegas this month, If I showed up dressed as a woman in her late 70’s, would you have any problems introducing me as your Aunt Estelle?

Only if you promised to bake me some cookies.

11.   Do you watch TV, if so, name one of your favortie programs and explain why?

I try to watch less and less.  Lately, the two shows that I’ve been watching regularly are “Paranormal State”, the documentary style show about some students from Penn State University that explore paranormal activity, and A&E’s “Mad Men”.  Prior to that I was addicted to 24, LOST and Soprano’s.  However, I typically don’t watch them on TV, instead I wait for the full season on DVD and do a weekend marathon.  It’s way more fun!

“Paranormal State” I watch because I find psychic phenomena very interesting and I find watching the show much more freaky than the crappy “horror” movies out there right now where human bodies are being mutilated to get a reaction from the crowd.  The show kind of reminds me of X-Files which I really liked as well.

“Mad Men” I like because it’s set in the 60’s and it portrays just how different the world was back then, even though it was only 40 years ago.  I think the show is made by the same people who made Soprano’s which really liked as well.

12.   People know you for InspiredMoneyMaker.com and you recently announced the launch of your InspiredAffiliate.com blog. How long did it take you to think of the name for your new blog?

As soon as I decided to launch a Blog about Affiliate Marketing, the idea for that name popped into my head instantly.  Took about 8 more seconds to check if it was taken, so a grand total of 8 seconds.

13.   Christopher Reeves, George Reeves, or Dean Cain?

Christopher Reeves.  For me, he was the real Superman.

14.   I recently saw the results for Yaro Staraks Blog Mastermind Contest and you placed in the top 15, congrats! How was the experience for you, and what were some methods you used to generate traffic for this offer?

I actually just promoted it on my Blog, telling people about it.  In my opinion, the program is by far the best Blog mentoring program on the market.  Yaro did a really good job on it, so it wasn’t hard for me to say good things about it.

Looking back, I wish I started my Affiliate Marketing path a bit sooner.  I could have used what I’m learning about PPC traffic to promote the product even more for the competition.

15.   I know you’re huge on the law of attraction. If I was to do the opposite of everything you’ve taught me, would it help me get rid of some people and things in my life?

If you want to “un-attract” something in your life, focus on attracting its opposite instead.  You can’t become rich by “un-attracting” poverty.  Don’t push against what you don’t want.  Instead, turn around and go toward what you do want.  If you try to focus on getting rid of someone or something in your life, you’ll just attract more of the same into your life.

16. Ham and cheese or tuna on rye?

Ham and cheese.  Oh wait… Tuna on Rye….nope… uhhmm… You’re making me hungry.  Either sounds good right about now.

17.   In 357 words or less explain why most people fail to make a living doing what they are passionate about.

In one word: Fear.

In a few more words:

People are afraid of the power that dwells within them.  Anthony Robbins calls it “Awakening the Giant Within”.  I sometimes call it “Connecting to your True Self”.

If you can find that true self, and connect to it on a daily basis and begin to bring that to the surface, you have no choice but to be successful in life.  Abundance is out natural state of being.  The only thing that holds anyone back is ourselves.  As soon as you stop looking “out there” for the reasons and excuses why you’re not able to make money doing what you love, the sooner you’ll be taking your first step to living a life as an Inspired Money Maker.  It’s important to realize that it is a journey, and not something that happens instantly.

On my Blog, I wrote an article about making your first Inspired Dollar.  That would be a good first step for everyone to take.

18.   Where do you see yourself at this time next year? Long term goals?

A year from now I’ll be making a mid six-figure income from my Inspired Money Maker and Inspired Affiliate projects, and I will have inspired and helped hundreds of people to take the first steps towards becoming Inspired Money Makers themselves.

Long term my aim is to help people to awaken to their true potential.

19.   Jurassic Park or South Park?

South Park hands down.  The last Jurassic Park sucked so bad, I wanted to cry for wasting 2 hours of my life watching it.  South Park is my kind of humor.

20.   Why did you accept this interview?

1. My intuition said yes.  2. I like helping people.  3. It was fun.

Bum Marketing Madness – Update

bum-marketing-madnessAfter my post 2 days ago I hit the web with a rapist’s wit and immediately logged into Wordtracker and started digging away trying to find some sexy niche key phrases for me to exploit this upcoming week – and to my delight after an hour I managed to stumble upon a niche with 18 key phrases that have a KEI rating of 100 and above (7 of those 18 are above 200) .  Great success!

For those of you who don’t know, KEI means Keyword Efficiency Index and it is determined by the popularity of a particular keyword, and the amount of competition it has.  A keyword or phrase with high popularity (searches per day) and low competition (competing websites with the same phrase) will have a high KEI rating.  When it comes to niche marketing you ideally want to focus on keywords that have a KEI of 100+ with a minimum 300 searches per day and less than 4000 competing sites in Google.

A little side note…

If some of you reading this have yet to experience the greatness that is Wordtracker, please do yourself a favor and sign up for the free 7 day trial – If you need help getting started please contact me.

Once I found my niche and keywords I stopped by Clickbank and began looking for related products that I could start promoting.  It just so happens that I was familiar with the top Clickbank products in this niche, so I already had an idea of what I was going to be dealing with.  Very nice!  It’s times like this that social networking is very important – I just so happened to hop on Skype and a fellow Shaolin Affiliate Master you guys might know was hanging out, so I dropped him a quick “yo yo homie g funk” and told him what I was up to and he gave me tons of great info regarding certain things that worked well for him in that same niche.  I’m not going to inflate his head by shouting out names – but you know who you are.

I’m Rick James Bitch…

So anyways, that was day one (technically night one) on my Bum Marketing Madness campaign and I managed to grab a dot com domain name that contained an exact key phrase from my list before I hit the sack around 4 a.m. yesterday morning – wicked awesome!  It looks like I managed to knock of steps 1, 2, and half of 3 in the first 24 hours.  The hard stuff is coming up next – finding a WordPress theme that I can tweak out and customize to fit this niche and writing the articles.

It’s time to up the ante a little bit…

Today Veronica and I went grocery shopping, and had to pay with one of our credit cards because we’re broke – so I told her, as we were at the cash register, that whatever the total was that I would try to make that money back as a goal for my Bum Marketing Madness week.  So I am officially challenging myself to generate $84.85 in commissions by the end of Sunday, September 15th, 2008.

I’ve yet to make that much money in one week, so we’ll see what happens!  Wish me luck…