Making Mistakes Faster

In late 2011 I decided to dig into more ‘larger projects’, as I was tired of playing the games with Google for all of my smaller sites. I was tired of teaching people how I did this stuff, as I eventually got burned out while giving away the same information I was using to make money, for free… yep, even for my ‘paid training’ that ended up becoming a free site for that last 1.5 years of existence. In fact, I had what I thought was a ‘friend’ who I was trying to help, as this person was basically beyond broke and having to ask his wife for a few bucks to even buy a domain. This person was extremely lazy and didn’t even try, yet wasted HUNDREDS of hours of my time over a year.

I was just tired of affiliate marketing. I was completely burned out. I was mentally taxed before I even got out of bed in the morning, and that’s not an exaggeration.

I eventually started working on a project with my Business partner and it had started out relatively well, especially for the type of site it was. I thought I had hit a home run with this project, until Google launched an update in the fall of 2012. Everything took a major hit, but I kept trying, but it was a losing battle each and every day.

It was my fault. I had let myself down, but most importantly I had let my business partner down, because I tried to rush things with this project. I knew, deep down, that my affiliate sites were going to fail soon, and I really did not care at that time… that’s how badly I wanted out of that business. It haunted me that badly at times, but looking back I can’t really understand why. I think I just wanted more.

Being an affiliate marketer is hard to explain to people. Yeah, sure, some people may understand what it means, but those times when people say “so what do you do for a living?” and then you say “Well…ever hear of Affiliate Marketing?”. That look of confusion always made me sigh, because I knew then I had to explain what it was, for the bazillionth time, and then they’d assume, like everyone else, that you were a Multi-level marketer.

Ugh, I hated that feeling. I’m not the most social person, so having to explain that stuff bugs the hell out of me for some reason.

But I do miss affiliate marketing. Well, I miss the residual income that helped me get into these other projects in the first place. I miss the whole aspect of failing fast.

See, in affiliate marketing you can figure it out quickly, whether it will fail or not. You can make campaigns with just about any traffic source and get a good feel for it fairly quickly, even with SEO. The key is finding a smaller niche, not a giant market. That’s where I failed. I got “too big for my britches” as the saying goes.

Affiliate marketing could…no, should, use a better way of creating campaigns. Before I slowly let affiliit.com die down I had come up with a thought about “Lean” affiliate marketing, similar to the lean startup philosophy by Eric Ries. Fascinating stuff by that man, BTW. Definitely check it out. If I had actually used his advice for the other projects I would have failed faster and survived in the long run.

Depending on the traffic source and the type of campaigns being used, you probably already use a similar method. Most PPC campaigns were created like this back in the day. You basically build them quickly, test, then decide whether to scale them up or toss them. I know you’re probably thinking “I already do that.” If you do, great. But I’m recommending this for any traffic source.

A quick idea for SEO would be along the lines of:

1. Find an interesting niche that looks like it could be worth the effort. Do some basic research, but try not to spend too much time or money here.

2. Build a quick, super simple site and throw up some ads or adsense on it…or leave it blank with just a little content. The key here is keep it SUPER simple. You have to be sure to throw up clicky or GA and get a glance of the traffic. If the traffic is rolling in and browsing around, try to get clicks on ads or opt-ins.

3. Scale or toss it. Give it some time and see if it may be worth it. Your gut will tell you if it’s worth putting anymore effort into this site, just be sure you’re tracking the traffic. The key here is to scale slowly. Don’t go from a small test to full blown attempt to re-create Huffington Post. Don’t do that. NO. Double the size and keep testing…it’s a lot like fishing here.

4. Repeat. Try to build out multiple sites in multiple niches. If you find a good place to ‘fish’, then you should throw out better bait (ie, more content for that site). More content COULD mean more traffic, but test slowly.

I know this sounds stupid simple and some people may even argue that it would be a waste of time. Wrong. If you’re using your time wisely you could find a few winners here. You could sell the losers or use them to build a private network for SEO. That’s something I’d like to discuss later, but it’s beyond the scope of this post.

Building tiny sites is where most of us got our start, but many people (such as myself) always drop everything for the next big fishing spot. Don’t do that. NO. If you decide that you want to go bigger – find someone trustworthy to keep doing this for you. But I’d say find a few extra hours per week to ‘keep fishing’ in waters you’re already familiar with. Don’t go out in the choppy, unpredictable waters and end up drowning when the bigger fish pulls you overboard and you discover that there really are alligators in that lake. Wait…wut? I don’t know.

My goal over the next few months is to go back to where I started. Small niches that I can conquer easily and will provide me with plenty of fish over time. They’re still out there, believe me.

Starting Fresh in Affiliate Marketing

Years ago when I was running Affiliit.com, I had been asked many times by newbies what I would suggest to them, or ‘if I had to start over, what would I do?’ …

Honestly, it was so much easier when you weren’t actually IN that position, but it was easier back in 09-10 as well. Things weren’t as hectic as they are now, especially with Google’s major algorithm changes over the past 3 years. But I still believe in one thing: start with something you KNOW. Write about it and give answers to questions, solutions to problems.

When you can help someone fix a problem or alleviate stress from the unknown, you are bound to make money. Period.

But then comes the question of where the traffic comes from, especially in popular niches. I won’t lie, it’s not going to be easy, and I no longer believe in SEO like I once did. Yeah, you can still get plenty of traffic from old ‘SEO’ ways, but it’s not the same. You have to utilize various sources and build a true ‘network’ of sorts…and that’s not referring to private networks, I’m more or less referring to a ‘community’ effort.

SEO isn’t the same these days and I don’t believe that white hat or black hat SEO are the answers. I believe that you really have to dig far, far deeper and utilize EVERY TOOL IN YOUR DISPOSAL. Black, white, gray, social media, etc. If you want real traffic you have to put in more work, assuming you want long-term success. One page websites could still work wonders for some people, but they’re not as effective as they once were. But they can still be effective. If you’re going to keep things that simple, you’ll probably miss out on the long-term success, so be sure to get extremely creative with your non-white-hat approach.

My goal over the next 90 days is to ‘start fresh’, as if I had never been in this business at all. I have NO plan as of right now, and things are so far different than they once were, I have NO idea if my plan will work…  Of course, I do have an advantage. I am still capable of using my old knowledge to help me. I won’t sit here and act like I haven’t been doing SEO, Social Media stuff, etc. I have. But I’ve been focusing on building brands that are not even using any source of affiliate marketing…at all. That will change, but not quite yet.

So, what to do now? Research. I’m going to start fresh and see what other people are doing these days. I want to get an idea of what’s working now, such as the tools, niches, types of offers, etc. I may end up doing some type of hybrid site(s), or just go the easy route and start building out cheap, one page solutions to see if I can get any rankings to them.

I’ll keep readers updated.

Where Have I Been?

Over the past 4 years I’ve posted less and less to this blog, but for good reason…well, at least it seemed. Back in 2011 I started pushing away from Affiliate Marketing, as I once knew it, and decided to start building more long-term projects with a Business partner. One started out very nicely in mid-2012, but then imploded due to bad choices that I made. I regret the risks I took, but I can’t say that things would’ve been different had I decided to not try them. I’m just too curious…

So as I watched that project/site slowly die out, I got lazy and depressed. I ended up not working on my money-making websites and strayed far away from Affiliate Marketing,, relying more on AdSense than aff marketing. Terrible, terrible mistake. It led me into more laziness and depression. It sucked having to watch my websites tank and feeling like I’d just do more damage by trying to resurrect them. I felt like everything I touched had turned to shit, so I just stopped trying.

Over the past year I have been working on various projects, one being a WordPress theme/biz and the other being a niche website using AdSense…for now. I fully intend on utilizing affiliate offers on that website very soon.

Overall, I feel like I strayed away from writing about what I enjoy(ed) and have fallen into a trap doing things I thought would make more long-term money, but I did not enjoy. Well, not in the end, of course. I enjoyed the process of building the site, adding (some) content, etc. — but I got caught up into trying to do more with less, rather than focus on quality all the way around.

Over the next 3 months I intend to get back into affiliate marketing a bit more, using all of my sites to promote different offers, even testing things for the hell of it. Anything other than AdSense. Ugh. Frustrating and lazy. The sites I have been working on throughout the past 3 years are still alive and kicking, but they just need new life breathed into them, and the conversion rate and payout for AdSense is tuuurrrrible for most sites I’ve used it on.

This site has been updated. The old theme was ugly and tired. It was going on 6 years old lol Wow. I am leaving it as it is for now, because I really don’t have time to focus on the look of this site for at least a few months, but I also enjoy the simplicity of this ugly theme.

WealthyAffiliate.com: Pay Us to Promote Our Ethical Program!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but lately I’ve been wanting to re-build this blog and get new content up. So, let’s start with some new content…

I joined Wealthy Affiliate back in 2007 as I heard great things about the community. I was happy to join and it was a great place to be for the first few months. Lots of great people.

The community was so great that I decided to become an affiliate of their program. I met some great people there as well, people who I still talk to. I ended up sending a lot of people to that site and many of them stayed around for a while.

But one thing I always hated about Wealthy Affiliate was that it was full of irony. You had to PAY them $30 (now it’s even more) to get paid commissions that you worked for.

Now things have gotten worse. If you decide not to pay them a monthly fee, all of those recurring commissions, as well as CURRENT commissions, are theirs to keep. They only allow you the privilege to promote their product if you pay them to be a member of their community that’s run off other paying members.

Pretty good scam, right? Sounds very multi-levilish to me.

I always thought these guys were good, stand up guys that really cared about their product and wanted to help people. Now I’m seeing the truth… they’ve actually become worse than the big gurus that they’ve bashed over the years.

I won’t lie, I have always been a bit leery of these guys, as I noticed that my commissions went down dramatically over the course of a few months, right after they implemented their new “updated” affiliate program. Even though I sent more than a dozen new members, I was losing money. No biggie at the time, I was sure it was a temporary problem…however, it continued to go down each month.

A few years ago they stated that they were making their affiliate program “free” (oh, hooray!) so that anyone could promote them. I even asked Carson, who always seemed to be helpful, if he could switch my account so that I don’t have to pay them a portion of my affiliate commissions to get the money I earned for promoting their product.

He wrote back and said he’d do that, but then went MIA. From there Kyle would respond and was determined not to let my $47 a month get away. How helpful of him!

I wrote an email to Kyle from Wealthy Affiliate an email last week. My concern was that suddenly I wasn’t even getting commissions at all, although I know that I had recurring commissions for years.

His response was:

We have already explained to you how the program works Clint. You were
paid all commissions while you were a member, when you were a non
member you did not get these commissions because you were not a member
of WA.  That is how the program has always worked.  You will get any
commissions going forward that you earn while you are a member.

There is nothing elusive about what we are doing and we retain the
highest level of ethics in the industry Clint, if you were active
within the community it wouldn’t take you long to figure this out.  I
do appreciate all you have done and that you have promoted us in the
past and I am sorry the rules conflict with how you thought the
program has worked.

Cheers,

Kyle

(Great grammar, I know)

“Highest level of ethics in the Industry”!

I’ve heard this before. Was it EWA? COPEAC? Hmmm, something sounds familiar about this term, regarding ethics in the affiliate marketing industry.

Anyways, I’m sure that most affiliate programs force you to pay a fee to promote their program, or in order to get paid.

Nope, wait, that’s Multi-Level Marketing. You know, the scheme-based type of “marketing” that has always given Affiliate Marketing a bad rap, although they’re supposed to be nothing alike?

Good for Wealthy Affiliate for sticking to their industry ethics that they claim to be superior in. I’m just glad I was given the PRIVILEGE of being able to pay money to promote a company that wanted more people like myself to pay for promoting their company…that’s built to teach people how to pay to promote their company. Ahhh, MLM-life.

Why am I writing this post? Because I’m sick and tired of seeing new affiliates getting ripped off. WealthyAffiliate preys on new affiliates, does their best to push their own affiliate program, and then takes them for a ride. That’s not affiliate marketing, that’s Multi-Level Marketing.

A LOT of their members are either broke or on the verge of being broke. They’re looking for a way to make an honest living, yet they’re getting screwed over by dishonest people.

This isn’t really a review of wealthy affiliate, it’s a warning to those who may come across their program. If you’re cool with paying money to guys who don’t appear to be actual affiliates and use their community to do their training for them, that’s cool. This is more of a rant about how fucked up this industry is and how even guys who were supposed to be all about helping new affiliates are preying on those same people for a few bucks.

“Highest level of ethics in the industry” seems to end with a twist. Affiliate Marketing is not MLM. But, I suppose WealthyMLM.com was already taken.

Things Will Get Better, I Promise

I’m not surprised to see the amount of people focused on Google and the Penguin update. It’s like this every year, it seems. People whining, bitching and moaning and using it all as an excuse to not get anything done, as usual. Why work when you can pretend to be while visiting forums full of (broke) experts?

If something is broke in your Business, you fix it. There’s no reason to sit on forums all day “studying” what others are saying. Most SEO “experts” are running services these days and not doing much more than selling something. If you’re going to listen to them and not try things yourself, you’re going to fall behind and eventually fall victim to your own clueless mishaps.

I don’t care if 98% of your traffic comes from Google. There’s always a way to fix it and you should be doing everything you can to keep that traffic coming back. No excuses.

As for Google, it’s screwy, it’s all kinds of ugly right now. That’s life. But it will get back to normal soon and you can’t do anything about their Business. I’ve seen hundreds of bloggers talking about the Penguin update and giving all kinds of cool images, graphics and theories, and most have a lot of Matt Cutts stuff in them.

Awesome.

Neat.

Yet, not one of them has any real clue about what’s really going on, and not one of them is going to help you get your Business back on it’s feet.

Work on new traffic sources and come up with new plans on how to deal with these types of issues. It’s nobody’s fault but your own and reading a bunch of blogs about how [x] found cool data and theories on how to get your site back to normal is not going to help your Business.

SEO is a crazy Business these days. Moreso than it was in the past. No biggie, this is why you should be working on diversifying your portfolio and learning how to work with every traffic source you can, until you find that perfect source of traffic.

You should also be focusing on building lists on each property, too. If you’re not, you’re missing out BIG time.

Either way, stop focusing so much on things you cannot control and work on things you can.

Blogs talking about Penguin = not something that will help you.

You working on getting more traffic = something that will help you.

See the difference?

Article Marketing – You’re doing it wrong

I’ve been doing Article Marketing for many years now and it seems like all of the information you read or hear about is all about getting links. This is foolish, and if this is what you’re focusing on, you’re going to be poor.

Article Marketing is a great tool, but like with any tool you have to use it correctly or you’re simply wasting your time. Writing Articles isn’t for a link on the site you’re submitting it to, and if you’re spinning that article and submitting it to a bunch of crappy sites, you’re wasting too much time on nothing.

I don’t care how high your site ranks today or tomorrow. If you’re doing things correctly you should be building a site with authority. A site that will exist years down the road and still be making money. You may get lucky and find a site that makes you some money years down the road after a lot of “testing.” Consider yourself lucky.

Building an Authoritative site consists of time and patience. You need to be persistent and you need to build a ton of content. For most sites, this content is articles. When writing articles for marketing on other sites — you need to focus on VALUE.

Articles that provide no value are deemed useless. Google has been saying this for years, yet we’re still trying to “trick them” for quick and easy links… derp.

When you provide value you will be providing your users with answers. When you provide answers you give them what they wanted. You have no earned their trust.

Oh, cool, you’ve ranked #1 for Make Money Online and it was because you built 45,584 links this week? Sweet, I’m guessing that site of yours will be there for a while and I’m guessing it provides users with great content, spun like crazy. Spinned like insane. Turn like bonkers. Around similar to deranged.

You get the point.

Those who want overnight results will find little use in providing their users with great content and that’s good news for the rest of us. It allows us to build something that people will trust and continue to visit (and subscribe to your list, hopefully).

When writing articles you want to do more than build it around a keyword or a title. You want to provide answers to questions. Everyone has problems and everyone is trying to find a solution to those problems. This is why you need to build off-site content on other properties that allow you to become an Authority. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, as long as you’re staying relevant to your niche.

Sure, the article will give you a chance to throw in some keywords, but this is where you want to do more than throw in a keyword in the anchor text. Add your URL. Trust me, post your URL/domain instead of a keyword and it will be just as good as sneaking a keyword in there. You can usually add 2 links per article (sometimes more, read guidelines), so use the other for a keyword, use one for your URL.

The point is that you want the reader to see the Domain, too. This is what I believe is the starting point to building a true Authority site vs. building a quick buck site. You’re getting the domain out there and that will hopefully (keeping in mind that Authority site domains do not look like keyword-keyword.com, etc) help the reader to remember your site, especially if/when they click it and arrive at the domain to read the (hopefully) QUALITY content of your site.

The point I’m trying to make is this:

1. Articles should be meant for MARKETING, not link building alone. Those are cool, but the articles should be marketing you, as an authoritative figure in your niche, to help build long-term traffic. It sets you up to get more subscribers, more readers, more conversions over a longer period of time.

2. Article Marketing isn’t a one-time thing. Building 2-3 articles isn’t enough if you’re really wanting to build your Business. You need to constantly be adding content to your off-site accounts, whether it’s via an Article Directory or Social Profiles (think Blogs, updates, etc). You should be spreading the content around, but adding content will get more traffic and builds more trust.

Again, if you’re writing articles for links, you’re doing it wrong. That’s not what Article Marketing is about… you’re a writer at that point (even if you’re outsourcing it), so the entire reason you’re writing these articles is to get people to read what you write and do what you want them to do (follow your link and get more quality content).

Also, if you’re outsourcing your articles, make sure that you’re paying for quality, not quantity. It’s great to have both, but quality is always better than quantity.

SEO is broke money

Many months ago I remember someone mentioning how SEO was “broke money.” I couldn’t believe that person said that, but then I realized he was a CPA Network owner who was simply protecting his business. Slow money doesn’t fit in at CPA Networks, then again most CPA Networks have no clue how to utilize SEO and CPA offers, making them work in harmony.

The people who say SEO is “broke money” is always going to be either:

1. Someone who has no clue on how to REALLY make SEO sites rank (much less convert), and…

2. CPA Network owner.

We always hear about how “X” made $20,000 every day for 30 days. That’s awesome. It really is. The problem is — how much money did they spend to make $20,000 every day? I’m guessing $10-$15k per day, if not more. So let’s exaggerate and say that they made $10k per day for 30 days and then the offer they were killing it with was pulled… that’s $300k per month. Excellent money, no doubt!

But there’s still a problem. Most people who suddenly produce these numbers have never been there before and, honestly, got lucky. Most of them will spend that money on douchebag type stuff that is meaningless in life and makes most down to earth confused. We see it all the time, and some people have the balls to admit it on their own blogs (UberAffiliate gets props for that). It’s not easy to make $300k a year, much less a month, so when we see a person hit these numbers we’re all pretty curious about how they did it, and the fact is — most of them talk about it after the money is dried up for them. Campaigns die quickly in the CPA world, that’s just a fact.

So what does this have to do with SEO? A lot, actually. I’ve been a huge SEO advocate for years, but that doesn’t mean I bash paid traffic. Quite the opposite as a matter of fact…

It’s human nature to get worked up over seeing someone say “I made $600k in a month,” right? Of course it is. We’re in this business for that sole reason: money, and lots of it. But how much profit comes from those numbers, and how much money did they make after that? Most likely not much more after it died pretty quickly.

Now what if someone said that their SEO site made $20k per month? Doesn’t really compare to the look of that $600k, I’ll be honest. But let’s take a deeper look at those numbers.

Most SEO sites last for years (in my experience). It’s not hard to rank a site if you’ve been doing it for a while, even in more competitive environments. We don’t always need #1 rankings for keywords like “diet.” In fact, we don’t care about those keywords anyways, but let’s stay on topic (I know it’s just me, but pretend we’re having a conversation so I don’t feel crazy while typing this).

In my experience, most of my SEO sites last for 3-4 years, depending on what they’re about. I try to stay pretty general or very exact. Very rarely do I go in between. I either produce a branded (Authoritative) website or an Exact Match Domain (EMD) for a specific product, service or niche. Now if someone states that they’ve got an SEO website producing $20k per month, that might end up being pretty decent after all. If a website lasted 3 years and produced $20k per month — that comes out to be $720k in those 3 years. Of course, most Affiliates also have more sites, but we’re trying to stick to some basic numbers.

With paid traffic you pay for…well, the traffic. So $600k is RARELY profit for those who brag about those numbers. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but it’s not realistic. $720k for SEO in those 3 years costs…I guess you’d have to say we’re using a Dedicated Server, so we’ll be generous and say $200 per month x 36, which equals $7200. So $720,000 – $7200 is still not bad, right?

Now there’s always going to be people who will still bash SEO and say that these numbers don’t matter, but my point is that SEO is slow traffic, which is not appreciated by those who need fast sales. Those people will always bash SEO, and that’s OK. It creates less competition!

I’ve always told members of Affiliit.com to be diverse with their traffic. Use PPC for their SEO sites if they’re quality sites. I also believe that there’s more to Internet Marketing than building SEO’d sites and running PPC to them. You should always test different traffic sources and offers and find out what’s best for YOU. Not everyone is going to be successful in SEO or PPC or Media Buys or whatever… everyone is different and everyone has their strengths. This post is for those SEO’s in Affiliate Marketing that hear people bash SEO.

Now, to dig a bit deeper — what about other SEO sites that make $500k+ per month? That’s for another post, but that’s real. Don’t let the unknowing make you feel the need to switch before you get moving, prove them wrong and ignore those with an agenda!

A Lot Of Lessons Learned

It’s been a year since my last blog post and I have had little desire to continue posting, but I figured I needed to update it every once in a while…once a year just makes me feel a little too special, and my ego can’t handle that.

This is more of a series of rants…

Over the past year I’ve had to deal with a lot of new stuff. New projects, failed projects, almost shutting down Affiliit.com at one point, jumping in and out – then back in to different Traffic sources. Success, failure and everything in between. I’ve been pretty busy, too busy as a matter of fact, but thankfully I’m starting to become more organized and the stress levels have come down quite a bit.

I have a habit of trusting people too much. It’s a bad habit that I’ve carried around my entire life, but I don’t regret it as I’ve met a lot of good people because of it…unfortunately, I’ve met more bad people than good, but the good seems to over shadow the bad.

One thing I had experience with is that I was nice enough to hand over a bunch of free subscriptions to Affiliit.com when we originally opened. Most of those subs were rarely used, a good portion of those people who did use theirs have been extremely helpful, a few have hit SERIOUS goals (including a Million dollar success story, etc.), but then there’s always a bad apple that you help far too often only to have that person stab you in the back. But I’d do it all over if I had the chance. You always have people who don’t actually do work, yet they want to talk down on your program. Then you have people who NEVER get involved in the program, yet come back to post their success stories (pretty awesome!).

It pretty much averages out across any training program, I’m sure. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of people through affiliit.com and hope to meet a few offline at some upcoming meetup’s in the near future.

Over the past few years I’ve done a lot of Lead Gen, but over the past 4 months I’ve become more and more involved and have been learning a ton from it. It’s funny that some of my SEO sites never even had email forms on them, and some still don’t. I still have a ton of sites to work on, but I’ve slowly updated most of them over the past few months to make sure I collect as many email addresses as I can (I know, this site doesn’t have anything right now…but it did!).

I’ve learned that people love to criticize tips and tricks without even trying them. “Test everything, assume nothing.” Don’t be an idiot. If someone tells you they’re making $500 a day with a little tip, give it a shot or leave it alone, but why criticize someone for the tip? I see that all the time on various blogs, forums, etc. it drives me crazy.

I’m still amazed by how people freak out when Google Updates their Algo. Really, do we have to do this on every update? If you’d just optimize your sites the right way – you’d NEVER have to worry about the updates as much as most of you do. Leave the tricks alone for important sites.

Why do people think you have to be an expert at everything in this Business? There’s so much stuff involved in Internet Marketing that you could never know enough, much less everything. I’ve made money with every traffic source possible, and I’ve lost money as well…but if someone said they were EXPERTS at every traffic source, I’d stay far, far away from that person. I don’t consider myself an expert on any traffic source, but I have more working-knowledge than most so-called “experts” that you’ll find. I’ve been in this game for a long time and I’ve forgotten more information that I could ever teach.

I got back into PHP this year and learned that I still hate it. At least I was able to brush up on my skills, improve some tools on Affiliit.com and also develop some other tools for myself, along with other useful stuff.

There’s too many Affiliate Programs out there that do everything they can to screw their affiliates out of money…if the affiliates would rise up and walk away, those programs would die, along with the product(s) behind it. I’m not talking about CPA Networks, or even networks at all. I’m referring to private networks for products/services. I have issues with people trying to save a dollar through PayPal Mass Pay and instead want their hard working affiliates to get raped on the charges… stupid. Lazy. Pathetic. If I had more time, I’d create a competing product just to take them out. And I know I could, because I helped them become who they are.

If you really take a look into training programs out there, you’ll suddenly get the feeling that only a few are run by real affiliates who actually do what they teach… ;)

I’m currently brushing up on my design skills (if that’s what you’d call them) so I can create new designs for some of my sites. I actually enjoy designing stuff, and I could never find any good designers that were worth a damn that didn’t charge an arm and a leg for simple shit.

I sometimes get caught up in trying to make things perfect, as if I were going to be criticized for the work I do. I’m not sure why I do it, but I’ve come to the realization that it takes me a lot longer to finish projects because of that. On the other hand, I can’t stand working with people who want to throw up bullshit and think people should be OK with it. “Just get it done quick” is a stupid idea unless it’s done right… it actually caused me to nearly give up on Affiliit at one point. I hate being rushed.

I’m currently in the process of creating multiple projects and have teamed up with someone I actually met through affiliit. I’m hoping things get moving so we can get one of them done within the next few months. I think it will be pretty awesome!

Eh, again, this is really just a bunch of rants. I guess it’s a way to feel like I’m catching up on this blog. I’ve already got some posts in the works, so I’ll be posting them this week.

To that one reader who went through this…thanks, Mom!

Competitive Intelligence Advantage

I love learning and I have a habit of purchasing multiple books at once (2-5 at a time) to keep my mind occupied. I’ve read through about 10 times more Business books this year (so far) than I did in the entire year of 2009. But as usual, I have a favorite of the bunch.

Being a Michael Porter fan since about 1999, I saw this book “Competitive Intelligence Advantage” and purchased it immediately… although it wasn’t written by him, I figured it would fill in some more updated information gaps I may have on the subject.  I actually purchased this book back in February and I planned on writing about this in March… as a matter of fact, this was a Draft from March, but I really haven’t had much time to finish it up.

The book isn’t for everyone, but if you have a lot of experience in Business, this book will be very beneficial. If you’re an experienced Affiliate Marketer, I still believe this book will help your Business quite a bit. In Affiliate Marketing we’re taught to collect a lot of data and focus on stats. While I believe you HAVE TO do this to get a good understanding in a lot of aspects of this Business, I believe some people spend entirely too much time on numbers.

What Competitive Intelligence does for you is to help you get past the “stats” aspect of Business and explain what real Competitive Intelligence is. Let’s face it, most people actually believe that CI is simply grabbing a bunch of information of what the company has done in the past. Wrong! Keyword: Past. There’s nothing intelligent about that…

What I won’t do is explain everything about the book right here in this post. That’s not fair to the Author, who has been extremely helpful and responsive, and I won’t even use an Affiliate Link for it. I think it’s a great book for anyone serious about Business. So, without blabbering on too much, here’s the link.

Competitive Intelligence Advantage by Seena Sharp (not an affiliate link)

JetSubmitter

A few years back I used a service called JetSpinner which was OK, I guess. It was like any other average, free content spinner out there. But they had this service called JetSubmitter that was supposed to submit your articles to all of these article sites.

After I tried it out (signed up for a trial) they made sure that you were screwed and they were VERY sure to make contacting them nearly impossible, especially for refunds once you found out that their article sites were absolutely horrible and worthless. They were no different than hiring a spammer to find old, irrelevant blogs that had PR 0′s.

When the owner, Todd, tried to screw me out of money and then gave me an attitude about it, I wrote a JetSubmitter Review. Apparently he didn’t like it when he did a search for “JetSubmitter” and noticed my site with the title “JetSubmitter Sucks.”

Well, I can’t lie – I’m happy to say that I’m still appearing at the #2 spot after all of these years. I mean if the owner of the product was actually a customer friendly guy/girl, I’d feel a little guilty… but, since this clown still doesn’t understand what Customer Service really is, I’m going ahead and “re-warning” people about this company.

Let’s take a little quote I found in the comments today of the old review:

Just stumbled on this site again… It appears to be the only place people complain about Jetsubmitter.

It appears there are roughly 10-20 people on here who had issues with jetsubmitter and decided to complain publicly.

But I want to make it clear Jetspinner has over 40,000 users, these few users on here are in no way the majority opinion. Unfortunately it’s generally only people with a problem that feel the need to post on threads like this.

And yes I do expect to ’stay in business’ Jetsubmitter has been around for over 3 years, has over 40,000 users and practically runs itself. Hundreds of users pay monthly for access to premium features and love it.

I try to be respectful in replies to customers, but quite frankly, its not burger king. The customer is not always right. I’ve had to fire a couple of customers for not wanting to listen or do anything for themselves and instead choosing to complain and cause trouble. But, this allows me to spend more time helping customers that are focused on results.

If this isn’t the classic “Hey Fuck you, I’m rich Bitch!” type reply from your local grease-ball, I don’t know what is. What an arrogant prick to come onto my site and rather than try to fix the problem, he tries to back hand every person in the comments section, except himself (see “Ron”) when he tried using an alias.

(also, note that he says “10-20 people” and it’s “the only place people seem to complain.” Right. Nice try, Todd-ler.)

Here’s the reality: JetSpinner may have 40,000 users. Hell, everyone wants a free content spinner. But to try to pretend that you have “40,000 customers” is kind of like calling everyone who you hand out a flyer to “my customer.” No, it doesn’t work that way. You had HAD 40,000 users sign up over the years for your free, yet average, content spinner, Todd-ler. You didn’t build something customers wanted to PAY for. Right?

Right…

Now let’s continue.

Jet Submitter is absolutely worthless. Period. End of conversation.

If you pay for this service after reading this, I can’t help but to think you’ve licked a few windows in the back of the bus in your lifetime, much like Todd himself.

See, here’s what Todd did:

1. Setup a free service to attract Article Marketers. (bait)

2. Give a Free or Cheap Trial (whatever he’s doing these days). (trap set…this is where he tried screwing hundreds of people, obviously. He made it nearly impossible to cancel before the trial was up)

3. Rather than acting like a real Business, he simply hides behind a scheme to keep you from ever having any contact with him. (aka you’re screwed, bitches! This is where he tried SO HARD to hide any form of email address. I had to use my searching skills to find his email and he made sure to make a refund a serious hassle, and he did this with a lot of other people.)

The fact is – there’s more comments talking about how bad JetSubmitter is in that little blog post than you’ll find from even the Affiliates.

Sad. Truly.

There’s so many LEGIT companies out there that actually provide customer support, rather than talking to you as if you were a total piece of shit for even asking a question.

This guy reminds me of another guy I recently had issues with. Rather than providing his customers with support – the guy would talk down to you.

Hello Business. Hello Customers. Hello Money. Goodbye Suckers.

It must really suck to have customers pay you money and you actually have to offer support, right? Such a tough world.

JET SUBMITTER SUCKS. STAY FAR, FAR AWAY from this company if you don’t want hassles and problems.