Author Archives: Clint Lenard

About Clint Lenard

I am Clint Lenard. That dude... yeah, that's me!

Learning About Client Acquisition for SEO

I’ve been involved in marketing for a long time. I actually started reading books about marketing when I was in my teens, because I always knew that one day I wanted to own my own business and I knew that without marketing I wouldn’t be successful. So I went to the library (remember those things?), which was the only place you could find these types of books without buying them.

I remember checking out a handful of marketing books and being really excited about them. I have a weird habit of needing many books just to learn a subject. I feel like I learn more, but in reality I go from book to book and rarely finish one. Strange habit.

A few years later I eventually got into automotive sales, which is what my grandfather had done for almost 50 years. He had his own dealership and I hung around there quite a bit as a kid. He seemed to enjoy it so I decided to give it a shot. I went through 40 hours of sales training before realizing that I didn’t want to sell Ford vehicles (tried for 3 months). I ended up going next door to the Chevy dealership that was twice the size (at least) and paid very well. It also had better sales training and a lot of cool perks. I went through another 50+ hours of sales training while also listening to my sales training CD’s by Joe Verde. I was a sponge. If I wasn’t learning I felt like I was losing out on too much knowledge. I loved it.

What I didn’t love was dealing with humans. Yep, that part was always awkward for me. Many of these “ups” were very cold (just looking) and I hated dealing with the SUPER SALES managers that thought they could close everybody that walked onto the dealership. I even challenged many of them to go and close them. The best any of them could do was to take a test drive, which I then had to do…then if I couldn’t close them from there I had to deal with the asshole manager again. Such a clown show. I would challenge them again and they ALWAYS failed and got mad. I nearly came to blows with one guy, which is a reason I left the Ford dealership. He was a joke, like so many “super salesmen”.

I’m just not a sales person in the end. So now that I’m getting back into client SEO on my own, without a way to have clients brought to me with deals already agreed to, it’s tough. I have had to start all over again. Over the past few months I’ve had to go through many videos, books, etc., as well as documenting strategies so that I could test out processes and build systems to make this stuff easier.

Now I have a cold email strategy that brings me a lot of warm leads. From there I give them a video analysis and ask them to schedule a call. If they get to that point they are now a hot lead. I simply discuss the analysis over the phone and remind them of their issues and why they’re failing. I’m not selling, I’m pointing out the realities of their current struggles. I can help in almost every case.

The issue here is: are they actually qualified?

  • Can they actually afford my services?
  • Will they balk at the price and attempt to haggle? If so they need to be removed from my pipeline, in most cases. Low paying customers expect everything. They are a headache in most cases.
  • Are their websites actually in need of SEO?
  • Is the website penalized by Google?

There’s a lot of questions to be asked, which is a part of the system I’ve created. Email > Analysis > Phone Call (or email if they prefer) to Qualify > Proposal > Close > On-boarding

I have various email campaigns that I work on, but there’s one that is super easy and probably something I will hire a VA to work on soon. I will test other methods over time. For now, while I build up my client list, this seems to work for me.

Delivering is the easy part. I’ve never had an issue here if the website and service/product wasn’t junk, but there’s still things you have to be worried about. If the website has technical issues and they expect fast rankings, this can come back and bite you in the butt. I make sure I get a good idea of what’s going on prior to the proposal. ALWAYS do your due diligence before writing the proposal!

Cold calling is not for me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be doing it in the future. In fact, I may simply hire someone in-house (or outsource) that knows about SEO and create a script to help get to the point of qualifying the lead and then closing on a proposal.

Lumpy mail is something I’ve actually done in the past, about 10+ years ago, but it’s something that seems to still be working.

Of course, FB advertising is most likely effective as well if you can find a great way to create a tripwire/offer to get a foot in the door.

One other thing I’m having to learn more about is CRM’s. Oddly enough, back in 2004 one of my first PHP projects was to build a little CRM for my own company, or what I thought would turn into one. It was a pain in the ass and I learned about vTiger CRM. It was a cool CRM and worked for what we wanted. But we never really used it and I’m not very organized anyway, unfortunately. At least compared to some people I know.

Now I’m trying to figure out a simple, yet effective way to organize leads. I’m currently using Streak CRM for Gmail, but I still don’t get it. It’s actually a pain in the butt so far, but I’m sure I’m doing something wrong… seems way too easy to fail that hard. If anyone knows of a solid CRM for this stuff that would be great!

Another thing is knowing your target audience when cold emailing. A lot of people talk about “finding your niche.” This is really the best advice I could give anyone starting fresh. Now I don’t agree with niching down so hard that you’re a Plumbing SEO guy or something along those lines. That doesn’t always work for everyone. Some people simply play the number’s game and some focus on a certain market or demographic, if you will. Either way, you need to understand that audience you are targeting.

This will help you for keyword research, outreach models or processes, phone calls, etc. Know what they’re dealing with so you know what you’ll be dealing with.

I know a lot of people use free SEO audit forms like MySiteAudit or whatever it’s called. I’d say give it a shot. I signed up for a free trial to test it out but it expired before I got the chance to actually try it, within a few days. Very weird. But it may be a great way to get some warm leads.

One thing I do know is that you need to have more ways of finding clients than one. It will help bring in fresh leads each month, and if one source dries up you still have the other sources.

Moving Forward with SEO

Over the past few months I’ve realized that passion and money don’t always work out the way you would hope. My passion (Baseball) is very limited compared to what I’ve been doing over the past 13 years now. Unless you’re a high-level coach or you own an incredible product that sells extremely well, there’s just not enough money to reach your goals, financially speaking.

So since September I’ve dug back in pretty hard to learn more about SEO, now and in the future. My knowledge from the past is still there, but brushing up a bit on some stuff always helps. I mean I just drove a brand new site from 0 searches a day at the end of 2015 to 58,xxx/day in late 2016. Not bad.

I’ve been working with clients over the past few years but I didn’t really feel that most of these clients were difficult as far as “having fun with it”. These days I’m working on client acquisition myself, focusing on generating my own leads and working with clients throughout the whole process. I think that doing white label stuff was decent money, but there’s a lot that is left on the table when you’re behind a wall and not able to get a good understanding of the job that needs to be done, no matter what information that the middle-person gives you. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for those that brought me clients… it just felt like thankless work though.

In 2016 I am revamping my digital marketing agency that I started back in 2008. I feel like it was left to rot since then as I was working on just affiliate stuff, then on to startup projects that eventually failed (but those were fun to work on!), at least for now.

Now I want to focus more on generating a client base and overseeing the work being done. I don’t mind doing the work, but there’s parts of it that I would rather hire others to do. That will be my strategy for 2017.

Of course, I also have other stuff that I will be working on. I have some side projects going on and I will also be digging into affiliate marketing again. If that takes off then good…but I will continue on with my clients either way.

I intend on making 2017 the best year I’ve ever had by far. Financially and physically (the big 4-0 coming up soon…yuck).

Why I Miss Affiliate Marketing

It’s been a while since I really took Affiliate Marketing seriously. I’ve been so caught up in chasing dreams that I left my old businesses to rot. I got tired of what I was doing. Boredom, I suppose. It was a foolish mistake, but it’s also one I’ll always have.

I get bored easily. I get tired of doing the same thing over and over. I’m a learning addict as well. I cannot stop learning, but it has to be something different. For instance, over the years I’ve gotten involved pretty heavily in coaching baseball. It’s something I DO NOT get bored of. I’ve gotten many health and fitness certifications during this time too, because my theory is that if you’re going to learn something in detail – get proof of that, if possible. I’ve gotten nearly a dozen different certifications over the past several years and it’s been fun, because I’m an addict when it comes to learning, as stated earlier.

But I still have to make money the way I know how, the way I prefer: online, in my own comfort of my own home in my own time, etc. But because of my issues with boredom I lost a lot of money. When I had projects fail (and I worked HARD on those) I had to figure out how to pay my bills. I had to get back into client SEO.

Honestly, it’s not even close to being a passion.¬†I sometimes flat out dislike it. The money is (usually) great, although that’s been tough this summer since the industry I focus on is a bit slow, but it’s not something I wake up to thinking YEAH! LET’S GET TO WORK! Nope, I usually wake up thinking “I cannot wait until I get time to read that new book on plyometrics…oh yeah and the new Frans Bosch book that just came in the mail!”

My addiction haunts me.

My brain doesn’t quit until I have to do something I just don’t want to, then it suddenly slows down.

This is why I miss affiliate marketing. No reports having to be done, no worry about a client finding a cheaper deal, or possibly getting shut down by the attorney general shuts them down (this just happened to a client). No more proposals being submitted, etc.

Obviously affiliate marketing isn’t any more stable than other types of businesses, but for me it was much more stable than what I have to deal with these days. I HATE SELLING, but luckily I have a great company that finds me business…unfortunately things are slow on that end. It was always so much easier just working on my own sites when I wanted.

I’m slowly trying to get back into affiliate marketing, but it’s tough. I’m not even sure where to start anymore, because my brain tells me to do this…and that…and also that. I’m all over the place, so I’m currently working on a few projects and I’ll watch them grow, slowly but surely. I realize that this can cause issues with getting one thing moving, but after watching several projects go to crap after many, many months of hard work I have given up on that idea. I just can’t put that kind of faith into 1 project like I used to. Plus my brain doesn’t seem to work well with that type of philosophy. My Adult ADHD makes it tough on me. I’ll be trying to update this blog a bit more, but yeah that hasn’t worked out too well in the past ūüėČ

Website Auditor Review – SEO PowerSuite

I’ve been involved in SEO for over 13 years now, which is a long time. It’s been an interesting road, looking back. I’ve seen a lot of crazy changes happen with Google, many SE’s disappear, and many start up.

In that time I’ve used a lot of tools, many I can’t even remember the name’s of. WebCEO used to be one of my favorites before I found out about SEO PowerSuite. I still use some tools like SEMRush, Majestic, Ahrefs and others, but when it comes to creating nice reports for customers, I still like SEO PowerSuite by LinkAssistant.

The fact that I can run reports that can be labeled with my company name, logo, etc – and easily sent to that customer/business makes it more than useful.

Why I use it

I like to use Website Auditor to create reports for customers that lets them see issues with their sites in detailed or summary views, depending on on the customer, of course. It allows me to show them all of the issues that were found with the site, add notes (if needed) and send it out via PDF or HTML (I prefer PDF).

I normally use PDF’s so they can open it up easier and have a copy of the issues on their machine. I don’t worry about them having the “issues” in front of them, because most people that are looking for a professional SEO are looking for someone else to do the work. Plus, most of these clients aren’t that savvy, so they wouldn’t be able to make these fixes anyway.

By running these simple reports on my own machine, I feel more in control. I haven’t tried Raven…well, I have, but I’ll admit that I didn’t take the time to really learn it. But I like having tools on my own machine. I always have the reports, even if I go on vacation and can’t find WiFi (been there).

As an SEO it’s important to have many different tools when you’re doing Website Audits, Link audits, etc.

What it Looks Like

Website Auditor provides you with a very detailed view of issues going on with your site, from internal and external links to missing pages, meta tags, etc. I love the simplicity of it.

* I also use Screaming Frog at times, but when it comes to reporting I always use Website Auditor.

The views are awesome.

As you can see, you can create summaries or detailed views for these reports, giving your customer an easy-to-access report that shows them exactly what’s going on with their site.

Most customers LOVE these reports, even when they’re clueless as to what they mean. I’ve actually given a report to a company who used it to fix some issues, but then hired me to finish out the larger issues that they didn’t feel comfortable with. While I didn’t get the “big” contract, I still got a client.
Website_Auditor_CL_2

 

Website_Auditor_CL_3

There’s also a other tools within this app, such as content analysis, domain strength, etc. — all valuable tools that can help you dig deeper into the clients’ website(s) when you have them under contract.

What version should you buy?

The issue with this app is that you really need to purchase the Enterprise version in order to unlock the branded reports. While this does cost a bit more, you can do a lot more with this version compared to the professional version.

The Enterprise version allows you to create branded reports for clients, which means that you can easily add your company name and logo to the reports you send to your hot leads.

There’s a ton of options in this tool, so it’s well worth the cost if you’re serious about getting more clients.

How to use it to get more clients

When I first purchased the software years ago, I had this big plan to build tons of reports for local clients. That didn’t happen. The one negative about this software is that you’ll have to wait for the reports to run, especially if you have larger sites with tons of pages.

However, that’s pretty much the same for most other, similar, tools that I’ve tried (online and off). They all take time to be created, because they all rely on various resources. What I like about this one is that I can drill down specifics much easier, much similar to Raven. If I want to analyze social media, I can. Pages, links, etc. – I can keep them or remove them.

How I use this software is simple: I submit “applications” or inquiries to companies that have been looking for help, or local companies that I run across that need help.

Tip: check out sites like YellowPages.com and find companies that are already advertising there. These companies are already paying money and not quite sure what they’re doing…they could use a pro SEO to help them get more traffic.

When I find a warm lead, I run a report for them and then give them a brief summary of what I found with the report (and Screaming Frog, sometimes). I sent them the branded report and do my best to sell them on the service.

Pretty simple. For those that love SEO and want to do this full time, this is a great tool. Absolutely awesome.

You can pair this up with RankTracker once you get the client to sign in, and you can then use SEO Spyglass or SEMRush to get a better look at what they have going on with keywords, links, etc. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Spyglass as it takes a while to run, whereas Ahrefs, Majestic, Moz and SEMRush are very fast as they already have data in there. But if you have it and want to run additional queries, it can be useful.

RankTracker takes a bit of time to run, but as long as you have Proxies you can get the data much quicker.

Summary

This program¬†is a great tool for any serious professional SEO, new or old. I’ve used a lot of tools, including Moz Pro recently, but I just can’t find anything that works as well. This program gives you everything you need to quickly create powerful, branded reports to send to your leads and clients.

What this tool does is run website audits for your client’s websites, complete with on and off-site settings to choose from. It also gives you additional tools for content analysis, domain strength and more. You can set it up to use Google Analytics as well.

You can learn more here.

So Many Things Have Changed

It’s been a year since I’ve updated this blog, and I believe it’s been going on like that for about 4 years or so now. I think part of the reason is that I’ve (sort of) moved away from Affiliate Marketing during that time and started focusing on a few other projects. My last update was stating that I would be getting back into aff marketing, but I lied…I never did.

In fact, I got back into client work with SEO and I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it. While I’ve worked on some fun projects, I hate¬†having to sell. Most SEO projects are always short lived, which means you really need to sell yourself pretty often. Yuck. That’s actually why I got into aff marketing in the first place.

Lately I’ve found myself falling into a trap of wanting to move on and get back into my own stuff, yet I’ve fallen so deep into that trap that I’ve gotten stuck in lazy mode. Maybe it’s depression? I don’t know, but it sucks. I’m not inspired at all when it comes to “work”.

Baseball is my life. It’s always been my ultimate passion and I’ve been coaching for many years now, with a desire to get into private coaching as well. However, to do this you have to have a decent budget and right now I don’t, unfortunately. I fell on hard times and it’s been my own fault. I’m slowly picking things back up, but it’s going to be a slow process.

My goal is to get into private coaching full time while I have some other projects running that make money each day (ie, affiliate marketing).

I’ll eventually figure out what to do with this site, but it won’t be “affiliate marketing” focused, as that’s not something I’m super focused on anymore. I haven’t for quite a while. I’m ready to move on, yet at the same time I do want to get back into aff marketing over the next few months. In fact, I already started updating some older sites, but they’ll take time.

Physically, things are a lot more busy in my personal life, whereas in the past it’s always been work, family and a girl in my life, and that was about it. But at this point in my life I’m very determined to do what I love. I’ve never been very passionate about what I did for a living. Growing up all I did was play Baseball, but my career was derailed twice due to elbow and shoulder injuries. But I was OBSESSED about playing, learning and even practicing.

Now I have that same passion for coaching, which means I’d like to give back, as I have, yet also get paid (private coaching). I’m not sure if I’ll actually post progress with that part of my life, at least not here, but I will probably start posting about what I’m doing to keep that dream alive (ie, websites I’ve built and building).

It’s weird, when I first started to learn how to build websites in 2000 or so, I had really just given up Baseball a few years earlier, something I wish I hadn’t been so quick to do, but the pain in my arm was a constant reminder. While I enjoyed building sites and making money, I didn’t realize how much I missed the sport.

My next goal is to build upon some older sites, but I have already started working on 2 new one’s in hopes that they help get me out of client work before the end of the year. If I had a bigger budget I have no doubt that I could be done with client work within a few weeks, but unfortunately I messed that up for myself, and maybe for a good reason in the end.

The experience I’ve had over the past few years have been very humbling, yet I also have more things I enjoy. Financially it’s been more hectic, but I finally feel like I’m growing up a bit and getting to enjoy things I haven’t had a chance to enjoy in a long time. But those financial issues are quite depressing and stressful lately, so I need to get my ass into gear, finally.

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?