The Getting Started Post

It was actually a recent email from the WordPress Affiliate Guide notifying me about an update that got my attention. That email, though rather unremarkable, was like a wake-up call. I’d spent money all those years ago, but never took action.

So I downloaded the updated ebook, dug out my copy of the Super Affiliate Handbook, and read them both from cover to cover.

Now I will go through them again, this time taking action at each stage in the lessons. Since I’m in the early stages I’ll be relying on the Super Affiliate Handbook to get the ball rolling since it goes into topics like market research, keyword selection, and planning.

This is also where I admit to having a tiny advantage–and I do mean tiny. I intend to use a domain name that I’ve had for 5-ish years. It’s not in a researched niche, though, so tiny. I also have a hosting account through HostGator, so I’ll just be adding on the domain there rather than incur an additional monthly expense.

And that’s where I’m at.

Tomorrow I’ll start tackling the market research and keyword selection so I start planning the site.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes…

Goodness gracious, it’s been a dog’s age since I’ve updated this site. I don’t know what happened there, but what I do know is what I plan to do in the here and now.

Build my affiliate business up properly.

Years ago, I invested in two products designed to help me build a proper affiliate business. The books were the WordPress Affiliate Guide and the Super Affiliate Handbook.

Both of these books are fantastic in my opinion, but the proof is in the pudding, as the euphemism goes. Unfortunately, I got all my ingredients to make one helluva pudding, but never mixed them up. They sat on the counter and spoiled.

It’s time to try again.

For the next several months, I will write about my experiences as an affiliate marketer starting with a super-strict budget. This case study will ultimately double as a review for the products I mentioned earlier, too.

I plan to disclose everything–except maybe my niches and my websites–as I go along. I’ll disclose the methods I use, my web stats, my income and expenses, all of it. Consider it a crash course in affiliate marketing.

This time around, I can’t afford to let my ingredients spoil.

WP Affiliate Guide Review

Last week, I came across a new product. New to me, at least. It’s called WordPress Affiliate Guide (also called WP Affiliate Guide or WPAG for short — and no, that’s not an affiliate link).

The product claims to help someone build an affiliate website using WordPress and does it ever deliver. I had no problems buying this product because I’ve purchased products from Teli in the past and never had a problem. In fact, it’s always been a pleasure. My questions get answered, even the stupid ones.

Since I’ve been using WordPress for a while, some of the beginning information was basic to me. (It goes over how to install WordPress and some basic locations for settings and stuff, which I already knew.) But where it shined for me was the little nuggets like how to remove the word ‘category’ from the links when someone’s viewing a product category. Yea, you can find that kind of info online for free, but for someone who doesn’t even know to look for it, that’s a damn good tip.

It also had a nice step by step blueprint to follow from start to finish. A complete checklist that you can print off and follow as you go along. I didn’t even need to watch the videos (I’m not a big fan of videos personally) to understand what she was saying. I just printed the ebook and had it next to me while I worked.

And since it’s now officially been 31 days, I happily downloaded all the bonus items she has up and some of them are kickass. Not too long ago, the Simple Link Manager plugin (it’s a light version, but it still more than gets the job done) and the WordPress Datafeed Import script (again, a light version, but still great) were both uploaded.

Another great thing about the WordPress Affiliate Guide is that it’s flexible. It doesn’t lock you into one click here, click there formula. When you feel comfortable enough, it teaches you enough to start experimenting and playing around with different styles of affiliate sites.

For only $35, it’s definitely worth the money. You get a lot more information than some of these reports selling for $97.

Now I gotta get on my review of the Simple Link Manager plugin, which I’m totally in love with, too. I already have the full script that I use for my static sites, but the plugin is awesome for my WordPress powered sites.

Good-bye Comments

For a little while, you won’t find any comments here although, previously, there were a couple hundred throughout the posts.

Because I’d been away from the blog for so long, the spam comments accumulated in my moderation queue — there were nearly 2,000. Instead of scanning through every one of them, I decided to delete it from the database.

Well, since WP marks the comments it thinks are spam as spam, I tried that first, but only a few were nuked. So, I got the brilliant idea just to delete all the comments…it didn’t occur to me while the query was running that I should only be deleting all the un-approved comments.

Needless to say, that was a really stupid move.

If you’re in the same boat, make sure you reconsider your database query before you hit that ‘Go’ button.

Underachieving Your Way to Greatness

I’m starting to love Frank Kern’s twisted sense of humor. He actually wins my ‘best line in a sales letter’ award this year for this gem:

…my results aren’t typical. I ain’t promising anyone a damn thing. I’m just showing you what’s working for me.

and, this one comes in a close second:

Here’s my vision of retirement. I’m on a beach someplace warm and sunny. A nubile young nymph brings me a drink.

I should mention, both of these sentences are taken out of context, but they’re just as funny in context.

Buried Under the Hype

I checked my inbox yesterday evening and saw what seemed like a newsletter from Joe Vitale (and being as neurotic as I am, I glean his words with a fine toothed comb to see if I can discover any wonderful copywriting tips or nuances in his word selection).

I didn’t think it was an absolute literary masterpiece, but it was certainly well written. That’s when I got another newsletter, and one paragraph stuck out like a sore thumb:

But what you may not know is that he’s getting
married. Not only that, but he and his bride-to-be
have a lot more in common than most couples.

I thought to myself…hmmm…that looks extremely familiar, come to find out it was the same newsletter that Joe had sent out — verbatim.

This morning, again I find myself receiving the same damn sales letter from yet another marketer…at least thing one included his own introductory paragraph which made it a little more difficult to spot.

I have but one thing left to say about all the hype that’s floating around: it sucks. Chances are this program they’re all promoting is no better than the programs you already have collecting dust on your bookshelf.

It’s very apparent that the only reason most gurus even run a newsletter anymore is just so they can shove “the next best thing, end all, be all, you’re nothing if you don’t have it” product in their subscribers’ faces. It really is sickening.

While I respect Joe and the other newsletters I subscribe to, if they can’t even write up their own personal endorsement for the product, I don’t see myself purchasing it and I really don’t see any reason to continue as a subscriber.

So, before you go throwing money at someone because the guru in your inbox told you so…stop…take a deep breath and investigate whether it’s a true product endorsement or if they’re just trying to earn a commission off of you.

The Sad Truth About Working for Yourself

Today sucked to put it mildly.

I had a toothache. Not just any toothache. I had a throbbing, painful, so bad that I stayed in bed and cried toothache. I got no work done, not even for my clients.

I’ve scheduled an appointment with my dentist, but because it’s “not an emergency” I will have to wait – in pain, and to make matters worse – I ran out of Advil (and I don’t have any other pain killers in my home).

When I’m in pain, it’s hard for me to stay conscious (literally). It’s definitely hard to drive when you can’t stay conscious.

It’s evening now and this is the first time I have been able to sit at my computer without screaming out in pain all day. I’m hoping that I can stay conscious long enough to go to the store and get some pain killers.

Since I work for myself there was no work done today – sucky. And since I am my sole source of income, days like this definitely hinder the flight to financial freedom…gosh I hope tomorrow is better.

I’ll be meditating on it.

First, We Learn

Since I am achieving my goals by utilizing some foreign techniques (to me, at least), I figured it was time for me to collect some reading material. I decided that I will not choose to learn “the hard way” – it’s kind of redundant, and if someone’s already done it for me, why in the world would I put myself through the same torture :D .

<sidenote>
When starting an online business, it’s a good idea to budget for business expenses such as learning materials, domain registration, hosting, and marketing costs.
</sidenote>

I mentioned earlier that I purchased Google Adsense Secrets Revealed: What Google Never Told You About Earning Money With AdSense and I highly recommend it.

I am very glad I own this book because it will help me in structuring my three content sites. A full review has been placed on my “neverending” to-do list.

I’ve also purchased James Martell’s 2005 Affiliate Marketer’s Handbook and I will be structuring my main content site based on it’s instruction.

It’s a fairly thick book and something I probably won’t get through in the next day or two, but I feel it will definitely help me in the long run. It’s one of those “long term business” plan type books (and it’s definitely good to have a long term business plan). I’ve also added a full review on my “neverending” to-do list.

Total business expense for learning materials so far: $246 (it may even be tax deductible – please consult your accountant because I’m not one).

Both of these books were pricey to me (if you haven’t already picked up on it, I’m very cheap). I did my research to see if I could get by without these two sources, I asked trusted friends and did some research on the authors. I weighed the pros and cons and realized, I will probably earn more and faster with these books than without.

While most of the information in these book can be found online with a lot (and I do mean a lot) of research, tracking, notation, & trial and error, I don’t have that kind of time.

My best advice, do what’s best for you to get you where you need to be. If you cannot afford the outlay for instruction right now, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and work a little harder.

My final education purchase will be regarding traffic generation. In order for the AdSense revenue to come pouring in, I will need quality traffic and quality rankings.

That’s all for now. I’ll update when I’ve found a suitable program for getting traffic.