Let me start bluntly by saying I personally hate programs full of hype that promise the moon and never deliver anything more than smoke and mirrors. The thing that baffles me the most is, no matter how many times people hear or read the old adage "it's too good to be true", they STILL fall prey to these scams.
There isn't a day that goes by where I don't see someone in a forum flogging some crappy program promising you'll retire in a year or make 30k a month within 30 days, if only you pay out X amount of dollars. Total BS.
The sales page blinds you with images of flashy cars, huge mansions and fat stacks of cash, but what you actually end up with is a dent in your wallet and being a slave to that program owner by recruiting other suckers into the program under the disguise of an "opportunity". (By the way, I own several cars, including a Porsche, but I didn't get them through ANY program. I worked hard online, the right way, to earn what I have.)
So, how do you tell a legitimate opportunity from an MLM scam or pyramid scheme? Please read this informative article by MLM attorney Kevin Thompson, as it sums up some very interesting points you should consider before joining anything: http://www.scribd.com/doc/17733330/Legitimate-MLM-or-Pyramid-Scheme-How-can-you-tell . You should read it VERY carefully and learn from it. Knowledge is power, after all, right? I'll offer my thoughts on the topic below, but all references in quotation marks are from Kevin's article.
While I'm sometimes blown away by the lack of common sense some people show with what they do online, it really boils down to greed and/or desperation. People WANT it to be true and they NEED the money, so caution gets thrown out the window. They will spend $97 on a product that claims they will make 1000's, even if the sales page itself isn't clear or makes no real sense. I read a Clickbank sales page last year that was a mile long, claiming you would get rich the easy way and never have to worry about bills again. It tugged at the heart strings with images of poor, desperate people and told of how bad the economy is and how you can rise above these problems affecting everyone. The interesting thing to me, though, is that after an hour of reading through all the hype, sad pictures and vague "proof" there was NO indication of what you were actually about to buy...seriously! Was it a program? Ebook? Software? Keys to the kingdom? Not a clue, yet the greedy and desperate bought whatever it was in droves, as it had a very high gravity score at CB. It's the magic beans everyone is looking for. Unbelieveable!
While there are legitimate opportunities, they involve working on yourself more than other people. The MLM scams and pyramid schemes, on the other hand, involve recruiting others into the "opportunity" itself to do better. As Kevin says "If the compensation plan requires you to recruit other participants in order to advance up the pay scale, it's a factor to consider...Or is success described in terms of the number of distributors in your downline i.e. if you get x people below you, you can earn $y. If advancement is explained in terms of recruitment, it's a factor...An easy example is with forced matrix plans. If a plan is 5 x 5, the only way to advance to the next level is to fill the first level by recruiting 5 active distributors".
A legit business sells products to CUSTOMERS...not to each other in the business, and that's one of the biggest factors the FTC looks into when determining what is legit and what is a scam or pyramid that should be dismantled. So, a legit company must have product to sell to customers outside of the opportunity to be legal, and training materials (including your own personal sales website the program gives to you upon joining) do not count because they are not sold to customers, and only distributors use them, so "it’s illegal if the company is paying commissions on the sales of training materials".
Many of these scams also inflate the prices of whatever products they do sell and ask their recruits to buy them as part of the requirements to keep your "business" in good standing in the program. Kevin recommends asking yourself “If there was no income opportunity associated with this product, would I still buy it as a customer?". For example, if a store sells cheap pens for $1 each to real customers visiting the store, then it's legit, but if they sell the same pens for $10 each, and only the store staff is buying them and they get a bonus compensation for recruiting other staff to buy the overpriced pens, then it's an opportunity only to get scammed.
A real example I noticed recently is for a program where the "product" is way overpriced traffic. It sparked my interest because I sell traffic myself, so I looked into it further. I'm not going to mention the program name because I don't want to help advertise it, but it might sound familiar to you. They sell 1000 visitors for the high cost of $10 (2000 for $20, etc), which is far too much. If I charged that much I'd hang my head in shame, as the going rate is $2-5, the higher range being for extra factors, like targeting, control panel, etc.
With that program the product itself is overinflated, but people are pushing it because of the income opportunity. I've never once seen anyone posting about the program for the product itself, because most people have the common sense to know it's overpriced, but it's the "opportunity" to make money that people push, simply to recruit others into it. Also, the program used to be called something else, but changed after only a short time online...yet another warning sign. Legit businesses build brand name recognition and trust over time.
Normal affiliate marketing is fine, where you have an actual product to sell to consumers. I do very well myself selling online game guides to gamers, as an affiliate AND as a vendor. That's an example of a legit way to earn money online, but the rampant MMO scams are steering people in the wrong direction and hurting the overall potential for those people to really earn a living online, like I do.
As Mr. Thompson puts it: "When fraudulent schemes masquerade as legitimate companies, it affects the reputations of all companies in the industry." It's sad to me because I know first hand what it's like to be conned online, but I also know that you CAN legitimately earn online, if you do it the right way and stop believing the hype. Are you up for the challenge???
Monday, February 25, 2013
Let me start bluntly by saying I personally hate programs full of hype that promise the moon and never deliver anything more than smoke and mirrors. The thing that baffles me the most is, no matter how many times people hear or read the old adage "it's too good to be true", they STILL fall prey to these scams.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I've decided to add more short "Tips And Tricks" type posts, since I realize there are a lot of newbies who read my blog who would benefit from it. One of the most common questions I see asked on webmaster forums relates to backlinks and how to get them. My response is usually something like "Get a link to your site on a large, popular site that gets crawled frequently by the SE's", but to someone just starting out in online marketing this is easier said than done.
Sure, some backlinks are easy to get, such as on Facebook where you simply create a fan page or business page for your own website with a link to it, or YouTube, where you upload a promo video to create a page and channel with links to your site. However, there are others that, while not technically difficult to create, are not as well known, but can be a very important part of your marketing strategy.
The site I will focus on for this post is the large ecommerce giant known as Amazon. They have been around for a very long time and carry lots of authority, as well as lots of traffic. To get a backlink from Amazon you simply need to create a free account there and then fill out your profile info. There is a field to include a website url, so you can simply add your link there.
Once that is done you will need to promote it, or it will be buried and forgotten. You do this by adding your own customer reviews to product pages, but make sure they are popular products, as those pages will get updated frequently and, therefore, visited by the SE's frequently, who will in turn follow through your website link.
This works best if you are among the first 3 or 4 reviews for a brand new product that just came out, as those reviews will stay longer on the main product page, while any reviews after that will end up summarized in the right sidebar. It's best if your site sells products or services, as Amazon traffic consists of BUYERS, so if you have something to sell, then this will benefit you the most.
TIP: This works even better if you have an Amazon affiliate site because your cookie will then be dropped to the visitors computer so that you get the referral commission, no matter what they end up buying later. I've sold jewelry, hats, electronics, etc, to visitors who originally were just looking for pet products through my dog supplies site.
As a side note, especially if you're new to affiliate marketing, you should be aware that many affiliate programs are set up to only recognize and credit the first cookie dropped and override any later ones, so if a potential buyer visits someone else's affiliate site after yours before ultimately buying something, then you get the sale, even if it's made on their site. I've made sales where the referring site was not mine, but I was the first one the buyer visited, so my cookie was the one used. Get creative and take advantage of it!
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Ok, rant time...anyone with sensitive ears should stop reading right now!
Clickbank has just implemented a buttload of strange new fees and it's easily on the top 5 most idiotic, incomprehensible, hurtful and just downright evil things I've ever seen a company do online so far, in my several years of working online for a living. They are outright penalizing both affiliates AND vendors for the stupidity of a small percentage of bad buyers and sellers.
Everything is supposed to be implemented by January and some of the biggest changes will be to charge affiliates and vendors when a customer requests a refund or there is a chargeback. The vendor will be charged a percentage of the retail price as a penalty, which they not only lose the sale, but they are now OUT MORE money because they have to pay the fee on top of losing the sale. Ridiculous!
In theory, this is meant as a way to weed out "bad" vendors with poor products, and we all know that Clickbank is loaded full of shady crap (especially MMO products), but they are going about it ass backwards. First of all, it penalizes the WRONG people. An affiliate shouldn't get dinged because of a vendor problem. Affiliates promote products in good faith, just like Walmart promotes products they don't manufacture themselves. Some are good, some may be bad, but it's not Walmart's fault if there is a product recall because of faulty manufacturing. By the same token, an affiliate shouldn't be faulted if a product they link to turns out to be "bad".
For vendors, it puts the cost of doing business too high and they are unfairly put at the mercy of those buyers who request refunds just because they know they can get a digital product free that way...and there are many unscrupulous buyers who do just that. There are forums full of people who swap stuff they get for free on Clickbank.
Part of these new "quality control guidelines" at Clickbank involve adding star ratings in the marketplace and, right now, color coding to show "risk management". Certain colors mean you're ok, but if you are orange or red it means your account is at risk of termination as being "unacceptable".
In my case, my account shows red, which baffles me completely. I've only had 4-5 refunds in the history of my vendor account and the last 2 were from buyers who simply didn't read what they were buying. My sales page CLEARLY states my product is an ebook delivered in pdf format that is downloaded upon purchase, yet both buyers requested refunds by saying they wanted a physical book. Doesn't anyone read what they are buying anymore? I notice a lot of Fiverr too that buyers order without even reading the description! That's like walking into a store blindfolded and buying anything they pick up!
I understand that refunds are part of any business, but should I be penalized ON TOP OF losing the sale because of an ignorant buyer who doesn't even know what they are buying? It's not my fault! I clearly state what the product is they are getting. It ends up making it not worth doing anymore. Clickbank now charges me a $4 "risk" fee on every sale, and since I generously give my affiliates 75% of the sale, that only leaves me with $1.24 earned. Uh, no thanks.
The final straw comes with the chargeback fee, which is $36-45. Chargebacks suck, but they almost always involve a stolen credit card or hacked Paypal account. Should vendors be on the hook for that? How is that the vendors fault??? So, if I'm only getting $1.24 per sale and I get stuck with even just ONE chargeback, then it has effectively wiped out all my profit for the previous 40 sales. Wow!! Unreal!!!
I can see a lot of vendors leaving Clickbank now because there's no longer any money to be made there, but make sure you research for good alternatives first. Plimus doesn't have nearly the fees, but they still suck because it's not a good place for new vendors. They have a stupid inactivity fee, which means they reward successful vendors, but anyone starting or struggling is left in the dust. Paydotcom is better because they only charge a flat $2 fee and don't gouge you like Clickbank does. Their interface is simpler and you have to pay your affiliates directly, but at least it's beginner friendly, if you need an easy place to start out. Have a look here. I'll be moving one of my other ebooks there soon.
Ok, rant over. Feel free to comment, if you have something to add, as I'm interested in hearing from the experiences of other vendors and affiliates as well. Enjoy your day!
Friday, September 7, 2012
Ok, this will be a bit of a rant, but cathartic for me at least, so please hang in there!
I've done fairly well on Fiverr with over $8000 in sales in the past year and for the most part it's been a really great experience. However, even though 99% of the buyers are a pleasure to deal with, the bad ones, on the other hand, tend to be REALLY bad over there. I've written about one experience in this post, but here are a few quick examples of other dumbasses on Fiverr...drum roll please!
- The most common problem seems to be buyers who don't respond after placing an order. It's so common that it's already a dropdown menu option in the support form. At first I thought it was really bizarre that someone would pay for something and then never follow through by giving instructions on what they want done, so I used to cancel the order and issue a refund. Not anymore. Now I just mark it complete with no need to deliver anything...free money for me! Thanks guys!!
- Users who complain to me that their order hasn't started, when they haven't even placed one with me in the first place! I get one of these once in awhile and got one today from a user who complained he never got any visitors to his site, while quoting my "guitar lessons" gig...lol. While I do sell traffic on Fiverr, this dummy had never purchased from me ever. Maybe he thought I was psychic??
- I have a popular gig with almost $2000 in sales that can get overwhelming sometimes, so I state twice in the gig description that the potential buyer must contact me FIRST before ordering, as I may be unable to do it at that time, yet only maybe 20% actually do. I've had to cancel orders many times because of this. C'mon, buyers! Is it really that hard to read and understand a description?
- Those buyers who leave negative feedback without contacting me first to resolve it. In all cases except one it was just a miscommunication or something they did not understand. I have no problem issuing refunds either, but contact me first!
My personal award for the dumbest buyer on Fiverr goes to username "doculeak" though. This idiot placed an order with me for my signups gig, in which I post his link on my GPT site for my members to signup to and I reward them with points for doing so. When the link is placed I give the buyer a test login to my site where they can see that their link has been placed on the member only page without needing to join my site, if they don't want to. Most buyers just need to verify that it's there and don't want to bother joining a site just for that.
My gig description explains exactly that and yet this nimrod posted a negative review within a few minutes of me posting it saying there was no place to login and that it was fake "BS" information that any kid could do! Say what????? He said he couldn't find the login to my site, even though it's CLEARLY posted at the top, like on most websites.
So, I wrote to him pointing out where it is and asking him to remove the negative feedback, as it was just a misunderstanding on his part, but instead he left ANOTHER bad one saying my site is a pay site and it wanted him to pay, which it clearly is not. It's a free to join GPT site. Nothing complicated about that.
He was the only buyer for that gig ever who didn't understand the instructions...the ONLY one out of almost 400 buyers for that one particular gig who couldn't simply find the login and check his link, like everyone else had done. I seriously was floored that anyone could be that idiotic and unreasonable. Nothing he said made any sense at all. I thought it might just be a language barrier, but he appears to understand what English is, and can use the words, so it may be a visual thing where he doesn't understand what he sees. He claims to do SEO work, but he wouldn't be very good at it, if this is any indication. He kinda looks like one of those Jersey Shore douchebags on his profile pic, so maybe he really is just that stupid.
Anyway, rant over. Ahhhh...that felt good! If you are a seller on Fiverr and have any "dumb buyer" stories yourself that you'd like to share, then feel free to comment below. Get it all out...I promise you'll feel better!!
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
It's time to get back to school and get over the slow summer period online (finally!!). I love the warm weather, but not too fond of how many revenue streams seem to dry up as more people are outside and spend less time on their computer. Stay inside people!!! lol
Anyway, to celebrate, Hostgator is offering a 40% discount off their usual hosting prices until August 31st. Simply click here and enter 40off for a coupon code during checkout. Enjoy!
Now to go back outside any enjoy the sunshine. :)
Thursday, August 23, 2012
As many of you know by now, the program known as Zeekrewards (and it's offshoots of Zeekler, Got2seconds, Shoppingdaisy, blah, blah...) has finally been shutdown by the government for running a ponzi scheme to the tune of 600 million dollars (reportedly the largest in history because of all the investors involved. My immediate reaction was "YES!!! It's about time!"
I hated that program...indeed, I hate ALL programs where you have to refer others to succeed, as they are all ponzi's to some degree. On Fiverr I have a gig where I sell signups, but I refused to accept any of the "Zeek" sites, or any of that other crap, like Wazzub, Justbeenpaid, ZnZ, etc, that just takes your money and screws you in the end. Sure, they all pay out a bit when you first join to keep you hooked, but overall you are losing, as most affiliates will invest back into the scheme...that's what ponzi creators are hoping you'll do. If it looks like a pyramid, then it will collapse, as Zeek did, as they were reportedly about to fall financially anyway even before the govt stepped in.
The reason why these scams get so many investors (victims) in the first place is because of desperation in tough economic times. People WANT to believe they can get ahead simply by posting a few ads a day. Truth is that it takes a LOT of hard work and dedication to succeed, whether online or offline. I don't make my living online by only doing 30 minutes worth of work a day, like the gurus would lead you to believe can be done. I work hard to get ahead, and so should you.
As I have said many, MANY times before, never EVER let your success depend on others, as you are doomed to fail. All these programs, scams, and schemes designed to get you to recruit others are a total waste of time AND money. Stop recruiting people to build a stupid downline, that only makes the program owner rich, and start building your OWN sites and promote YOUR OWN stuff so that your success or failure is controlled by YOU and not on whether or not your referrals are active or upgrading to a "premium" whatever or any of that other crap. STOP PROMOTING THE PROGRAMS AND SITES OWNED BY OTHER PEOPLE!!!!
There, rant over. I feel sorry for those who have lost 1000's of dollars, but come on! If it looks too good to be true, then IT IS!!! Open your eyes! Read, research, and learn from your mistakes. Then you may actually have a fighting chance to succeed online.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
While I believe firmly that good SEO efforts provide the best quality traffic you can get online, I also know that many people find it difficult to understand and not everyone can be in the top 10 for their keywords. Sometimes it's just easier to simply buy traffic for a website (I recommend http://www.proexpertstraffic.com/order.html) then it is to wait several months or even years for SEO to pay off. However, it's also been my experience that at least 90% of traffic buyers have no idea what they're doing and are bound to fail without proper preparation. For this reason I have decided to write this short traffic buying guide in an effort to help those still struggling with trying to generate visits to their site.
- Optimize your landing page or squeeze page: Do NOT send paid traffic to a blog or page full of distracting links! In almost all cases, except for a TE or PTC, visitors you pay for will come from some form of redirection or pop advertising, which means that someone looking at another site will be shown YOUR site and you have a mere couple of seconds to grab their attention before they decide to explore further or click out and leave forever. That's the reality.
You don't want that potential customer to be faced with dozens of links first thing and have no idea what your site is about. Use a clean, simple graphic with a bold headline and brief description with a distinct call to action, such as to join a mailing list for a free giveaway, or mention a special discount, etc. Tell the visitor exactly WHY they should explore your site further. You don't need to change your site at all, as you can simply add a page to your existing site that you specifically use for your traffic campaign.
This may sound strange, but try to make your page look somewhat like an ad. People are used to ads on websites, and are generally ok with them, as long as they fit the user experience and have added value. So, for example, if someone is visiting an arcade online because they want to play a game, then they aren't going to be interested in being redirected to your insurance blog, but if you create a landing page of just one game, or theme, with the call to "Click Here To Play Now!" then they are more likely to check it out, as you've gained their attention, even if it looks like an ad to visit another site.
Also, do not use a page or site with automatically playing sound or that has pop ups. It annoys the visitor and makes them click away before they even get chance to read what you have to offer them.
- Use targeted traffic correctly!! - Most people get this one wrong, as it's not always obvious. The average traffic buyer will buy health traffic to a website selling health related products, or dating traffic to a dating site affiliate link, etc, because that seems like the most logical choice. However, online marketing is much different and involves a certain degree of trial and error, as well as proper research.
Did you know that the highest conversion rates for diet products online come from white males over the age of 50? This is because many of them are self-conscious of their midlife "spare tire" and would rather work on it discreetly at home than go to a gym full of fit 20-30 year olds or be seen running around the block with their belly hanging out. So, they order pills online shipped directly to their door.
Therefore, with that demographic as your potential customer, it's your job as the marketer to target the right category most visited by these older males, such as news, politics, golf, etc. Do the research BEFORE starting your campaign!
- Promote a product that is worth the investment! - Here's another one people miss. Purchasing traffic costs money, so obviously you should be promoting a product or service that provides a reasonable ROI (return on investment). By far the most common question people ask before buying traffic is "Is it safe to use with Adsense?" and the answer is it doesn't matter because you shouldn't be using Adsense when buying visits because it doesn't pay enough to be worth it...ever. I don't care if your niche pays $2 per click or whatever it is...most visitors simply won't click third party ads on a redirected site, so the 1 or 2 clicks you MAY get (if you're extremely lucky) simply aren't worth the overall cost of a typical campaign.
What you should be using instead is a high end product with a decent profit margin, so that even if the conversion rate is low, then you still come out ahead. A good example would be using some of the advertisers on Commission Junction that pay $100+ per lead. Pick one with a good conversion rate (high EPC shown in their stats over 3 months AND at least something showing for the past 7 days). Then create a catchy landing page for it and research possible categories and demographics to target.
Once you are ready then buy a small campaign of 5000 or 10000 visitors to test response to your page. If there is no response at first then tweak the page or switch categories until you get a few "bites" and scale it up. For example, if you get 2 leads per 10k, then 100k would give you 10 times that, or 20 leads, more or less. If even just 2 of those "qualify" (most advertisers scrub leads and will find a way not to pay for them...that's life, so just assume it will happen), then you've earned $200+ from a $160 investment for $40+ profit. That's not bad considering many power sellers are scrapping out a living on Ebay at only 3% profit, or others using programs online that only pay out 2% or less.
- Be realistic - This should be a "no brainer", but yet it still needs to be said. Don't expect to make $100 off 5 bucks worth of traffic! It just doesn't work that way. I've seen customers complain that they didn't make a sale from their tiny 1000 visitor campaign to their site stuffed full of random ads, while I have other customers order 100k worth of traffic consistantly month after month because they know how it works and what to do with it. The truly successful sites are the ones getting 1000's of visits per DAY, not 1000 per month.
Small campaigns of under 10k are used for testing purposes only and should not be assumed to bring sales, especially to unoptimized pages. Any sales you may get should be seen as unusual and good luck, but don't expect miracles. Get 5 or 10k to test your page to see how effective it is first, and THEN scale according to your results.
Also, paid traffic typically has a high bounce rate, as it is not organic and only the truly interested visitors will explore your site further, and THOSE people are the ones you should concentrate your efforts on. A 90%+ bounce rate is common, but it's the 5-10% who stay, especially from a large campaign, that will make the difference. A high bounce rate WILL NOT affect your Google ranking in any way, as they only measure the rate from visitors through their own search engine. Outside stats like this have no affect, so don't worry about that and start working on your new customers instead. Plus, it should be a given that anyone buying visitors isn't already doing well in the SE's anyway, or why would they bother?
Bottom Line: Research, optimize, test, tweak, then do the math and scale your efforts accordingly. I personally use an advertiser on CJ that pays $110 per lead that converts at 2-3 per 100,000 visitors. That's $60-170 profit per campaign!
Friday, May 18, 2012
By now tens of 1000's of webmasters all over the internet have noticed their sites getting penalized by the latest Google algorithm change, adorably nicknamed "Penguin". I happen to like penguins, so I wasn't bothered by this one bit. The main target of this change was over-SEO'd sites with too much irrelevant linking (spam) and too many over optimized backlinks.
There is a good analysis of the data right here, but the gist of it is that the majority of sites were hit because more than 60% of the anchor text links to their site was for its main keywords. Well, duh!! I've been saying exactly that about anchor text since way back in 2008!
The lesson to be learned here is, while it IS important to have relevant text backlinks pointing to your site, you shouldn't overdo it. The new rule for 2012 is DO NOT OVER-OPTIMIZE YOUR SITE!!! I actually welcome the change as it helps get rid of sites with poorly written crappy posts that are created solely to manipulate their SEO factors with perfectly placed keywords that make no sense at all.
Let's all hail the Penguin!
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
I know many of you are using free classified ads sites as part of your overall marketing strategy, but have been finding it more difficult lately to produce worthwhile results. The big sites with tons of traffic, like Craigslist, will remove anything that even remotely looks like spam and many internet marketing type ads get flagged and removed in less than 15 minutes, which can be obviously very frustrating.
There are lots of tips on the net about how to avoid getting flagged, or at least keep your ad up longer, such as to word it more naturally, avoid adding links and simply use an autoresponder with your link in the email response. However, as with most things I do online, I'd like to suggest tryng a completely different approach.
What I do instead is post in Backpage with ads selling specific niche products and it works beautifully. Simply grab an affiliate product from Amazon, Clickbank, etc, and write an ad to sell it. Make sure the ad contains the niche product keywords, as an ad page can be SEO'd as well as any webpage, especially if the item is in a microniche with little competition.
Do NOT put an affiliate link in the ad!!! Too many people make this mistake and their ad gets flagged faster than they can count to 10. Instead, link to your own site, either to a product page or review blog post.
The advantage to using Backpage is that they are one of the oldest and largest classified sites online with a lot of traffic, plus they allow a clickable backlink for free AND they allow multiple city listings. Just post your ad as if you had the item physically in front of you, with the description and price, and give the link to your site where it can be purchased (and where your affiliate link is, of course).
If you use the Amazon affiliate program it's easier making money from free classified ads posting than dropshipping and you have a huge inventory of products to choose from. Good luck!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
As anyone who knows me on all the various webmaster forums can attest, I'm a very reasonable person and I'm willing to help out wherever I can. I'm very honest and listed in the top 1% of the largest webmaster forum online, Digital Point, and a top rated seller at Fiverr with close to 1000 transactions there.
I mention this not to brag, but to explain that I do a lot of business online and I work hard to make sure buyers are happy when they purchase anything from me. I process about half a million visitors in traffic sales EVERY MONTH and have only ever had one complaint, and that was from a guy with a splog that just wouldn't have worked well with ANY traffic source.
Well, an hour ago a buyer with the username Printsteals on Fiverr ordered one of my traffic gigs and then cancelled it just 5 minutes after placing the order. Since I hadn't even processed the order yet (I still had 2 other Fiverr ones in my queue that I was working on), I just figured the buyer had changed his mind...nothing wrong with that.
Then I logged in to review the order and he claimed I sent him bot traffic from ip address 126.96.36.199 which seems to be from a company called Hurricane Electric in California. Since the buyer's site, www.printsteals.com , is a business printing company, it just looks to me like a regular visit from a company maybe looking for printing services. However, since according to Alexa, most of Printsteals traffic comes from India, maybe this USA visit confused the buyer.
Anyway, he accused me of sending this bot to his site and that's his reasoning for cancelling the order. I tried to explain to him that I have nothing to do with that visit, bot or not, as I couldn't possibly have even processed his order in the amount of time between his purchase and cancellation. He wouldn't listen to reason and continued to be unreasonable throughout our conversation on Fiverr.
He said he would reorder and I told him not to because I don't need the abuse. Can you imagine what this guy would be like in another order? It would be hell! "I got a visit from Maine. I don't like Maine...its YOUR fault!!" or "That visitor only stayed 37 seconds. It's not my site they didn't like...it's YOU!" Every single thing he doesn't like would be blamed somehow on the traffic, even if it wasn't even from me!
If he feels reasonable to cancel an entire order based on ONE hit from somewhere else that had nothing to do with me, then imagine how bad it would get with an actual processed order! He would be complaining about every single visitor!! It's not worth the hassle to me, and I told him so. I've attached a screenshot of our conversation, as I think it's important to put it in context and to note that he never even apologized for his mistake and somehow still thinks I sent him fake traffic, when I never sent ANY traffic at all...that's how bulb headed he is. I always try my best to please a buyer, but I'm not about to accept being wrongly accused of something I did not do!
I don't usually air my grievances in public, but I'm doing so here because I sincerely want to warn other traffic sellers about this guy, as he plans to buy traffic from someone else and I feel sorry for anyone who accepts his order. Do not sell traffic to, or send visitors to, PRINTSTEALS as it will only cause you aggravation, like it did for me.
If anyone reading this is a seller who has dealt with him, or anyone like him, before then please sound off in the comments so we can warn other honest sellers not to get burned.
Thanks for reading!!
Sunday, October 30, 2011
I sometimes give newbies a hard time about not having their own website with an original domain because the reality is that it's MUCH easier to promote something when you have control over your own content, meta tags, ad placement, etc. Promoting ANY program, opportunity, product, affiliate link or whatever is harder when so many other people are doing it. The advantage comes with creating your own site that is well optimized through SEO for your keywords and that contains your own ads placed on it.
It's not nearly as complicated as it might sound at first. You simply buy a $10 .com domain from a registrar like Godaddy (specials can be found through the banner on the right) and then get a basic "unlimited" hosting plan to host your site files (such as the Hostgator "Baby" plan, also on the right). That way you can always expand your online "empire" in the future and the cost won't increase at all, as your hosting provides free scripts to build sites (including forums, blogs, classified sites and more), plus your own personal email addresses so you have that professional edge over your competition.
To get you started I have worked out a deal where you can get free traffic to kick start your shiny new site, once you have it setup on your new hosting plan. You can read the details at the free website traffic offer here. The visits are good for getting a targeted visitor flow going right away, so you don't have to worry about the usual wait time or exhausting promotions to get a fresh website "off the ground".
Saturday, October 15, 2011
I've been reading a lot of forum threads lately about "get rich quick" schemes and other scams that online money seekers fall prey to, so I thought I'd address my thoughts on the subject here.
The biggest problem is that these scams feed into the desperation and lack of knowledge that newbies have when starting out seeking their "fortune" online. The sheer amount of ways to earn money online is overwhelming to anyone just learning the ropes for the first time. Some are legit...most are not. Telling the difference takes knowledge and common sense that amounts to quite a steep learning curve.
It happens to almost everyone. These desperate economic times cause more and more people to search online for ways to earn extra cash, but the first thing they are exposed to is usually some mile long scammy program squeeze page that promises instant riches with headlines like "GUARANTEED INCOME", "RETIRE WITHIN A YEAR" or, my favorite, "TURN YOUR COMPUTER INTO A PERSONAL CASH POURING ATM OVERNIGHT!!".
It may seem ridiculous, but yet 1000's of reasonably sane people every day push all common sense aside and actually BELIEVE the hype and flashy sales pages full of sweet rides and fancy mansions. Smoke and mirrors is all it is. They con people out of their hard earned money by promising MORE in return. It's a bad combination of greed and desperate times.
However, I don't totally blame the scammers. I dislike them and I think they're sleazy, but like most things in life, the path you choose is YOURS to take, so it's ultimately up to you to decide what is right and wrong. Too many people refuse to accept personal responsibilty for their own failures and that needs to change before you have any hope in succeeding in life or online.
We learn from our mistakes, hopefully. Trial and error is how we know what works and what does not. Most of these "get rich" programs involve telling others about it so you get referrals and make money from them joining. That's marketing. The truth is that most people are REALLY BAD at marketing and that's the real problem.
We've all seen testimonials that say in very small print at the bottom: "Results Not Typical". That means most people do NOT acheive those results that the entire testimonial just bragged about and impressed you into believing. It's the same with online money making programs: MOST people will fail (some statistics say around 97% who try to earn online will fail within 4 months)...97%!!!!!!
Does that mean you should give up? No, it means you shouldn't try to climb a mountain using a strand of spaghetti. In other words, realize your strengths and weaknesses and either adapt or prepare to fail. That philosophy can be applied in all aspects of living, whether it be online or offline.
Are you a great marketer? Could you sell ice to an eskimo??? If so, then maybe you'll do well with a money program. Look at a super marketer like Stone Evans (Google him)...the guy is everywhere. He shows up in top lists all over the net for highest selling marketer...he's a marketing genius and there are few people like him out there. We've heard the names of those that are successful...Evans, Shoemoney, Chow, etc. They provide inspiration to others to show it CAN be done, but they are also among that 3% success rate. Are you? Do you have what it takes?
I titled this post "Redefining Scams And Learning From Them", not because I wanted to expose how bad scams are. That should be obvious...use your head!! What I wanted to do is change your way of looking at a scam. Don't look at a money program as a way to realistically make a million dollars overnight...instead, look at it as a learning opportunity. Could you sell that idea to someone else? Are your marketing skills strong enough to make it work for YOU, even if most other people would fail at it? If the answer is "YES!", then you might be able to make a living from online work as part of the successful 3%. Maybe not with a scam, but by using your great skills on a legit opportunity that others couldn't make work for them.
If, however, you expect to get rich by simply flogging a gateway page from a crappy program that 1000's of other people are also promoting by spamming forums, blogs and traffic exchanges, then be prepared to be gone in a few months as part of that other 97% group. CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK!!!
The reason I'm still earning a living online after several years is not because I'm some marketing genius (I'm not), but because I have the will to succeed and the stubborness to keep at it. Like I said before, it's trial and error when learning. If something doesn't work after a trial period, then I drop it, but when something DOES work then I fine tune it and continue to improve upon it until I am happy with the results.
Be prepared to either succeed or fail, but always be aware that the choice is yours. To your success!!!