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.

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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.

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Free Stuff Is Great

Well, because I’m cheap, but I love to learn new stuff, the offer was irresistable: A free copy of the Google Profits ebook if I can convince the ‘fine folks’ at ebooktastic to get me one. So here goes…

After reading eBooktastic’s Google Profits review, I believe that the fine folks at eBooktastic should give me a free copy because I’m cheap and like to get free stuff.

Okay, no really, I believe that I should get a free copy of Google Profits because I love to learn and try new methods of marketing online. I’ve been using getting my own sites ready and establishing myself online. Because of all that work I put into my business I now have the room to experiment and try new things.

I’ll also promise to try out the book and report back to you guys (and of course, those who read my blog) with my progress and how I’m doing with it: a real world battle test. What can be better than that?

If anyone would like a free copy of Google Profits, then I’d suggest getting your entry in early - the contest runs through the first week of December and they are going to give a free ebook to the 3 best entries they receive.

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New To You, But Not Really So Overlooked SEO Technique

Okay, yes, it’s been months. This blog has fallen to the wayside and I apologize. I haven’t left the internet or the blogosphere, I’ve just been working on building up my online business (which has been going smashingly, if I do say so myself).

To get things back in motion here, I was reading an entry over at Workboxers written by Jamsi called “The Overlooked SEO Technique“, here’s a taste for you:

I noticed that the keyword “Funny vids” (which I had used) was very popular, however I entered the keyword “funnyvids” and saw that it was being searched for A LOT LESS than “Funny vids” BUT still enough traffic to pursue.

I decided to start easy and aim for a top 3 spot using the keyword “Funnyvids” .. and it worked. On the 3 major search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN) I achieved a rank in the top 3. My website statistics quadripled [sic] and whilst nothing to rave about, I was relatively pleased. 90% of my traffic was now coming from search engines. (1.2% from the US Military. Should I be worried?!?)

My initial thought was - that’s not an overlooked technique. I really was expecting some wonderfully juicy tidbit, but the entry just didn’t deliver.

I have some news - this isn’t a new SEO technique, actually it’s been around for a while - it’s called niche marketing and there are a lot of websites dedicated to it (eh hem, nicheology comes to mind). There are even sites dedicated to providing you with the content for your niche site, heck, there are sites that do the keyword research for you!

Because I’m half geek and half internet marketer, I’ve been watching this bad habit of blogging inside the box. It’s as if a lot of bloggers don’t realize that the potential to earn money from their blogs and gain recognition extends far beyond what’s discussed in the proverbial blogosphere or on traditional blogs.

There are a lot more ways to make money through blogging than plastering your blog with AdSense or blogads, and there are a lot more ways to drive traffic to a blog than pinging the update servers or praying one of the A-list bloggers take notice.

Even the “discovery” of using niche keywords is kind of interesting to watch. If most bloggers actually took the time to hang out in some internet marketing forums (SSWT and the Warrior Forum come to mind), I’m sure there would be a lot more bloggers talking about how much they earn (in a good way).

If you want to “discover” more “overlooked” techniques (overlooked by bloggers) - start expanding your horizons, the sites that you visit to include more than just “blogging”, “gadget”, and other tech related blogs, you may just be surprised at the jewels you find.

Now, if it seems like I’ve brought the hammer down on Jamsi, I haven’t. I’m making an observation.

I’m glad he figured it out on his own, but it would be nice to see some bloggers expanding their horizons and visiting sites that don’t specifically deal with “traditional blogging methods.”

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Less than $10 For An Entire Year of Webhosting

Well, it seems Dreamhost is offering a gift to all new hosting subscribers, you can get an entire year of hosting for only $9.24 (this plan normally costs $119.40 per year).

If you’ve been looking for some incentive to try out Dreamhost, then this is definitely it - where else can you get:

  • 2400 MB Storage (that’s 2.4 GB)
  • 120 GB Transfer ($1/GB extra) - that’s a whooole lot of data transfer
  • 3 Domains Hosted
  • 15 Sub-Domains Hosted
  • 600 Mailboxes
  • 75 Shell Users
  • One FREE .com/.net/.org/.info domain (test out that new niche site idea)
  • CGI/FrontPage 2002 Extensions
  • PHP4, perl, python, C, C++
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases
  • IMAP, POP3, and Web-Based email access
  • Unlimited email aliases, auto-responders, announcement lists, discussion lists, media streaming, and more

Not to mention extremely reliable hosting and super awesome support for less than $10 for the entire year?!

In order to get this special price, you need to follow some basic instructions though:
1. Visit Dreamhost
2. Click on the “7.95 Managed Webhosting Plan” button and select the “Crazy Domain Insane
3. Make sure you sign up for the 1 year package (this is important) and when it asks for a promo code, use promo code 777

That’s it, enjoy!

P.S. Yes I host with Dreamhost and while the control panel takes some getting used to if you use cPanel, it’s more than worth the money.

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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.

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Accountability, It’s Not Just A Word In the Dictionary

Apparently, this is a hard concept for people to grasp, but we cannot control the actions (or inactions) of anyone but our own self. To further this point, we are not responsible for anyone’s actions (or inactions) but our own. Let that sink in for a few moments.

The first thing I tell my clients when they approach me is that they will be held accountable for their portion of the project. I will not do their projects for them, I will do their projects with them.

They will receive a to do list, I will receive a to do list, and we each receive a time line. Under no circumstance will the other person be liable if one of us does not get a task done properly or on time. We both need to deal with the consequences of our own actions.

I should note that accountability and consequences are two different things and consequences are not necessarily bad.

If we both complete our portions of the project as outlined, the consequence is having a wonderfully completed project (good). If one of us does not complete our portion of the project, the consequence can be a delay in the project (bad).

Having accountability means that if there is a hiccup, we can look through what needed to be done, but wasn’t - then correct it.

If a client is unwilling to be held accountable for their own actions, then that is a client you do not need or want. It’s usually the indicator of a person who doesn’t want to do anything for himself and wants someone else to run his life for him.

If a person shows that they do not want to be responsible for their own actions - then that person has another think coming and it’s someone you should disassociate from ASAP. You may just find yourself being blamed for something you had no control over.

With that said - remember that you are only in control of yourself. Control over anything else is an illusion. Live your life to the best of your ability. Say what you mean, do what you say, and mean what you do because you are responsible for it.

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Google Adsense Secrets - What Google Never Told You About Making Money With Adsense

Normally I don’t put up too many products by name on this blog - it’s a rule of thumb, however, I came across Google Adsense Secrets, and that I will gladly list because it’s ingenious!

One thing I want to get clear about this product is simply that it’s not just for internet marketers, or search engine marketers, or the lot - it’s for anyone who has a website displaying adsense or anyone who would like to put adsense on their website.

I’m glad I came into contact with this report when I did (and I have to admit, the selling point for me was the testimonial by Chris Pirillo). Since I decided to start a network for my highly targeted niche blog sites, I drafted a business plan and found that my 80% of the money I was hoping to generate from the blog was going to be Google Adsense revenue and the remainder would be from affiliate products and sponsors.

Although I’ve known about this for a little while, I wanted to hold off on saying anything until I could give you some figures for myself (read my earlier post on so-called internet marketing gurus and you’ll see why). I just got done checking my Adsense figures, and since implementing just one of the techniques gleaned from this resource, my Google Adsense revenue went up 86% :D - now, that’s nothing to smurk at.

This report came very timely for me because it’s definitely helping to get my cash flow up there. With this under my belt, and with some SEO strategies and traffic techniques I’ve learned from visiting various forums - this network of sites will be generating more revenue than I can expect in half the time - woo and hoo! Life is definitely starting to look up.

Honestly, if you want to implement Adsense on your website properly - you’ll need this resource - trust me.

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I’d Rather Be SEO Literate Thank You Very Much

I am subscribed to so many marketing, search engine, how to ezines that it can make anyone’s head spin. I’ve actually come to the point where I only download the headers in my email program, skim the subject lines, if it interests me I’ll download the full email. 99% of them are never downloaded.

Today, I decided to download an article that was sent from SitePro News with the subject “Google Takes Care of Idiots Too” - and on a side note, this is a good attention grabbing subject line, take note.

Alexis Dawes writes:

“As for me… well my actual sites still didn’t rise much in the ranks. I’m still hovering somewhere around #50+.

But that hasn’t phased me one bit.

I look at the big picture and understand that getting traffic from Google is much more than having my site reach the top 10.

If I have 50 advertisements (similar to the ones from Backpage.com) that are in top 10 positions, and they’re all delivering traffic from targeted keyphrases, I haven’t lost anything. All those keyphrases delivering trickles of traffic equal a flood of clicks and orders at the end of the day.

Not a bad deal for somebody who’s SEO illiterate.”

That’s all well and good, but I prefer to have my cake and eat it too. While back roads to getting into Google’s index might be a nice *addition* to your marketing strategy, I’d just as soon prefer to be SEO literate.

I’d rather have my website ranked between #1-10 or #1 on the 2nd or 3rd pages in Google, Yahoo!, and MSN for highly targeted keywords. If I can’t get ranked for a highly targeted keyword, then the back road idea is a good one. Let’s just say that this article sounds like a “Plan B” option or a compliment to “Plan A” in my opinion.

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An End to a Semi-Productive and Almost Relaxing Weekend

This weekend I made a vow to myself to not work. That’s right. I promised myself that I would not work on client projects, I would not work on my own projects, and I would not work period. The only thing I was allowed to do was relax and learn.

I’m actually quite glad I took that time to focus on myself because I was suffering from some serious burnout. I’m still a bit burnt out, but at least my head is screwed on a little tighter and I can focus a little more.

Just so you can share in what I learned up on. I went through all the PDF ebooks on my computer (there’s somewhere around 40ish), printed off the ones I knew I really wanted to read which totalled around 4 or 5. I grabbed my pen, a highlighter, and a glass of water.

I didn’t get through all of them, but I am proud that I accomplished something.

I read The Guide To Search Engine Marketing (PDF) available for download from OneUpWeb. It contains some pretty basic information and if you’ve done any research into search engine optimization, this will be old news. However, there are some good reminders sprinkled in there to keep you on your SEO toes. I also loved the glossary. I’m sure it will come in handy. They also offer just the glossary in their articles/whitesheets section, so no need to download the full manual (41 pages) if you’re only interested in the terms.

The second ebook I read was The Beginners Guide to Business Blogging by Debbie Weil. This is a really great introduction if you’re completely new to the world of blogging. While there are also bits of great information, it’s filled with a helping of fluff. Had it been edited for content/repeat information, I’m sure it would have shrunk by more than half.

On another note, however, I love the formatting of this ebook. It’s always nice to see an ebook that’s not plain jane.

Reflecting on one of the notes I left myself in the printed version:

search engines seem to love blogs

Next to it, I wrote “BURN INTO CORNEAS!” - just in case you haven’t guessed it yet, this is an important concept to grasp.

The free download of this ebook has been disabled, however, if you really would like a copy of it, leave me a comment by clicking on “Leave your review” and use your real email addy - it won’t be shown. I’ll send a copy of the ebook to that email address.

And finally, I’m reviewing a copy of Liz Tomey’s JV ebook. It’s a bit rough around the edges, but there is a lot of good information to be found within its pages. It goes over some techniques for locating and contacting JV partners which is something I will be doing in the near future with the launch of my upcoming project. I’m only halfway through it, but so far it makes for good reading.

On the “to be read” list, I have The Power of Concentration by Mike Litman (what I love about this book is that it’s an actual book - not an ebook, so I didn’t have to use any ink printing it out and it doesn’t cost anymore than the average marketing ebook does either).

I also want to get through Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill (PDF) which is definitely all the rage with the “gurus” and from what I can get through, it contains a lot of wise information. I currently have the PDF version (230+ pages) and haven’t printed it yet because I had to order a new ink cartridge for all this stuff LOL. I’d recommend getting the paperback version from Amazon - it’s only about $3 and you won’t have to worry about wasting ink or going blind.

Next after that is Scientific Marketing by Claude Hopkins. I don’t know too much about this ebook - but if it can help my sorry marketing skills, then it’s definitely on my list of “to be read immediately” books.

The list of ebooks I want to get through in the coming weeks seems somewhat endless, but I’m focused. I will only read the ebooks that will directly apply to my current project - all the rest can wait. I’m learning up on business blogging, search engine optimization, press releases/free marketing techniques, and business management (i.e. setting up business plans and setting business goals).

And for the curious people - none of these links (except Amazon) are affiliate links. This is my own personal blog, not a place for me to pimp out products. I really like these lucid days.

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