Monday, April 30, 2007

Long Live the Ice Queen

With a background in politics and a degree in Communication Arts and Sciences I learned long ago to read between the lines of the propaganda spin artists.

I will hand it to the Ice Queen, aka, Rosalind Gardner - she's very good.

If you don't know the background on this story, let's summarize it briefly.

In January 2007, Rosalind promotes my Affiliate Marketing Sham report to her list - with the promise I pay her .35 per lead. So, she sends traffic and I get a nice chunk of new subscribers to my list.

That's great - I write her a personal note to thank her, to tell her that her ebook was the first I ever bought (a little too basic for me even back then, but I could see how it might be helpful to a real newbie none-the-less).

Before any promotion has occurred, I make it very clear that paying for leads and paying for sales that result from those leads are two different things - first, this is common practice and second, the reasoning is that I want my affiliate's to promote both.

She knows this and she chooses to proceed of her own doing.

After dear Ros promotes the report, she turns around and bashes it - and implies the people who would be my customers are undereducated, naive and immature.

I don't know - does that describe YOU?

In essence, she wants me to pay her for leads that she then "ills the water" for.

Naturally, this doesn't set well with me - and I call her on it.

Her response was a matronly "Fine young man - I'm going to show you. I won't even watch the DVDs you sent me - they're still sitting here on my desk."


Do I want to pay her for this? Aren't affiliates supposed to be compensated for AIDING THE SALES PROCESS? Has she aided the sales process at all?

I say no on all three counts.

But, I finally decide to pay her and be done.

And yes, while laboriously tabulating her leads - something that had to be done by hand because 1ShoppingCart's reporting system is seriously crapped out right now and has been for the six months I've had my account - I disapproved her account which she received an email about, automatically from the system. So there is no surprise here, however dumb she wants to play it.

Is it merely coincidence she attempts to login into her account the very day I disapprove her?

No. It's just a little propaganda ploy because someone called her on her shit (and you can tell by reading her post it got her goat . . . :-).

Folks, this is the most manipulative two-faced act I've seen in . . . ever.

While she attempts to portray me as a scam with her clever language, let's be clear; The only thing she ever promoted for me was the report - and affiliates were notified in January that I would only pay for leads up until January 12th. Since she's never promoted the Black Book DVDs, there are no dead links sitting anywhere for her.

I don't care to have her as an affiliate - would you? - it was my prerogative (and mistake) to have approved her, and it's my prerogative to REMOVE her.

She's been flushed, and she ain't gotta like it.

Look, Rosalind's crap is the kind of old-school BS that you and I are just plain sick of. I can't even begin to count the number of emails sent to me saying ".X., thank you for telling it like it is with this woman."


Yes, Rosalind is a part of the crap clique and I could care less what kind of spasmodic gyrations she's going through right now.

If you've ever seen an ant interact with boric acid, you've got the picture.

Rosalind is very good at manipulating the newbie crowd. If nothing else, go read her post and use it as a study in propaganda communication. She doesn't say anything that you can pin on her - but her use of implication is masterful.

Long live the Ice Queen.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Product Creation Recommendation

I know that many of my readers are primarily affiliate marketers. And I will continue sending them this message:

EVERYTHING CHANGES WHEN YOU HAVE A PRODUCT - ( instead of building somebody else's business as an affiliate, you can get affiliates to build yours; and for the truly ruthless, you've never had more fun as a marketer than you will when you start stealing your competition's affiliates away, he-he-he).

Product creation can be intimidating to some and that's why I'm giving you my highest recommendation here.

I bought a $7 guide from Kevin Riley on this subject - it's excellent:

First, it's TRULY better than 90% of the products I've ever bought.

Second, it is probably the best written guide I've ever bought.

Third, you want to pay attention to how he markets this and ties it in with other product - this is a lesson in marketing everyone will benefit from.

Fourth, this guide is so comprehensive that I'll use it as a training guide for anyone I hire to create product for me in the future.

What? You thought I actually WROTE the Adwords Black Book?

OK, I did.

At 7 bucks, you can't go wrong - I highly recommend this Recipe for Product Creation.


PS - I also subscribed to my buddy Woody Maxim's physical newsletter yesterday. He's running a promo that ends tomorrow, the 25th, where you can get the first issue mailed to you for only $15 - I haven't seen it yet, but feedback has been excellent in the forums.

Woody Maxim

Monday, April 23, 2007

Demographic Research Tool

With taxes, some family health issues and a touch of burnout, I haven't been on my "A" game lately (or keeping on track with this project).

My new example "guitar site" is bringing in some sales - but not what I want or expect after Undercover Profits pointed out what to promote (no problems there).

When writing copy, we have to make assumptions about the audience we're writing to - and clearly, I don't know the audience very well!

Here's my assumption about who plays guitar and looks for lessons online:

- Male
- 16-24
- Single
- High School or some college education
- No children
- Income under $24,000 per year

Accordingly, I took the "learn to play guitar and have all of the women you want" route.

Later in this post, I'll reveal a new resource that gave me a VERY different picture of who I'm writing to - and how I've been writing my copy is WAY off target.

In fact, I'm so far off target that split-testing would be a waste of time - split-testing is a great thing we should all be doing, but if your initial premise stinks then everything you try is going to stink.

Before you can hit a ball out of the park you have to BE IN THE PARK.

So, here's what I found by doing some demographic research on who visits the site of the product I'm promoting.

- Sex: Male (the only thing I got right)
- Average age: 35-65+ (my guessed age group is LESS likely to visit this site and my 35-65+ demographic probably isn't interested in becoming a rockstar sex symbol)
- Marital status: Married
- Education: No college/undergrad degree
- Children: Yes
- Income: 24-60K

With this information in front of me, I can take a better educated guess - these are guys with some money spend (from steady jobs), they're middle aged and they have families at home.

Playing guitar is a hobby and a passion - not a way to pick up chicks (as it were for me back in the day).

The tool that gave me all this terrific FREE info is

Since conversion IS the most important aspect of marketing, knowing who you're promoting to is VITAL.



Monday, April 16, 2007

Vista Sucks

For all the bitching and moaning I do from time to time, I have never been a complainer about Microsoft products.

To me, it's most just one of those things people like to bitch about because people like to bitch and it's one thing most of us have in common.

Well, I'm here to tell you - Windows Vista sucks. Half the software I own won't run correctly with it. Camtasia keeps freezing up - AFTER I've recorded something. Dreamweaver, same issues.

And those ads on TV - you know the one's with the dorky PC guy (I guess that's me) and the Mac guy who's supposed to be cool (are they serious?) - and the body guard who keeps asking the PC guy "Approve or Deny"?

We'll it's dang close to the truth. Everytime I open a program "Do you want to open this program? Approve or Deny?"

Yes - I want to open this program. If I didn't want to open it I wouldn't have double-clicked the icon you meathead.

Look, that's a small annoyance I can live with - programs not working a freezing up? That I cannot live with.

Don't buy a machine that insists you buy it with Vista - I thought I'd do it because it's just inevitable. Truly, you'll hate life with Vista.

I hate it.

On a more positive note . . . I finally got a second monitor to hook up to my computer and I love it. It makes my work a lot more efficient (I usually have at least 10 windows open and I'm usually jumping between more than one of them).

If you're still working with only one monitor, leave the dark ages behind.


A Landing Page Secret

1. Commit to winning
2. Do your research
3. Create a landing page

- "Buyers"
- "Shoppers"
- "Info Seekers"

The other "Adwords Gurus" talk about creating seperate ad campaigns and adgroups - they spend a lot of time targetting people based on keyword phrase groupings. This is smart and we'll get to it down the road.

But I have NEVER heard any of these guys (or gals) talk about the fact that the nature of traffic differs. While they recommend you put effort into seperating out keyword phrases into ad groups, you'll never hear them tell you this golden secret:

Different searchers are in different mental spaces - some people are non-commital and looking for information. Other people are ready to buy.

Send those people to the same landing page?

Nuts. A recipe for wasting money, nothing more.

I go into more detail about how you should approach each of these groups in the Black Book DVDs - it's a simple thought tweak that makes a huge difference.

You've heard the saying "One man's junk is another man's treasure?"
Well, same story here. If another marketer can't make a phrase work, that doesn't mean it can't work - it means the approach was wrong.

With all of the info on the market about how to make money with Adwords, it's amazing how poor execution is - and it's widespread.

Forget the tricks - learn to execute better - learn that you cannot approach every prospect the same way and expect to succeed.

You can't.

Just a little thought into "what is a person thinking when they type this word into their search box" can make you rich.

Take those ideas, and put them into your landing page - forget these lazy shortcuts, like software that will do dynamic keyword insertion for you.

Junk - and damnit, I have resell rights to products that will do that for you and I can't sell it to you because it's . . .


OK, gotta go for now. Time to write a really damn big check to the IRS.

Do you feel sorry for me?

I didn't think so.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Yahoo Search Marketing News

Yahoo wants to update you on two changes coming your way:

1. Short descriptions will be required when you create or modify an ad, beginning in May 2007.

Long descriptions will be optional. Currently, you have two options for your ad descriptions: long (up to 190 characters) and short (70 characters or fewer).

2. Yahoo! Search results will only show short descriptions beginning in June 2007.

If you only use long descriptions, your ad will be automatically cut off to fit within the 70-character limit, which may impact your ability to communicate valuable information to users and your results. We recommend that you create a short description for any existing ad to guarantee that your most important information is included.

In the example below, key messages, such as competitive pricing and free shipping, are not included in the "cut-off" ad:

Why are we making this change?

We've found that ads written more concisely give users a better experience and generally get better results. Users are exposed to higher quality search ads and advertisers may attract more interested and enthusiastic potential customers.

So don't wait until June-- start now.

What You Need to Do

  • Don't have short descriptions for all of your ads?

    Start now! Please create short descriptions for these ads before June 1. How to add short descriptions.

  • What happens if I don't do anything?

    Any "long description" of more than 70 characters will be automatically cut off in Yahoo! Search results. We will shorten the description at the complete word nearest to 70 characters, then add an ellipsis ("…"). If you haven't added short descriptions to your ads by June, your ad quality could be impacted.

  • When am I "required" to provide a short description?

    Beginning in May, when you create a new ad or modify an existing ad, you will be required to write a short description. We recommend that you add short descriptions to all of your existing ads so that your key messages are presented to potential customers.

  • Already have short descriptions for all of your ads?

    You don't need to do anything-these short descriptions will be displayed in Sponsored Search results on Yahoo!

  • Is anything else changing?

    Display URLs will be limited to 35 or fewer characters. Please shorten your display URLs as needed.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Do your research

2. Do your research

You will be investing time and money. You can invest that time and money into anything from selling flower seeds to Lamborghini's.

Your income will be directly tied to this market.

CRITICAL ERROR ALERT: We're working with paradigm shifts. When you select your target market you should do it with an eye on selling big ticket items in the future (or continuity programs, like a membership site).

These can be yours, or they can be someone else's. If you can't see a backend then you may be making a poor long-term choice.

I recommend that you visit and pay attention to 2 things:

1. What they are promoting - what niches they are in, and

2. How their selling process works.

You will notice Agora works in this way:

1. Free subscription (just like I show in the Money Map X )

2. Frequent follow-up with compelling copy via email.

3. Offers for low-cost physical mail subscriptions ($15 per quarter).

4. Physical mail subscriptions follow same formula as email follow-up; compelling stories that end with a sales offer.

5. Backend offers include:

  • $70 items such as an ebook titled "How to Retire Young in Mexico and Live Like a King"
  • $300-500 offers of live workshop packages, like "Investing in Real Estate in Mexico"
  • $1000-5000 live workshops on the subject where youget to "meet the experts"
  • The experts are agents, often selling services that help people buy real estate in Mexico.

Of course, the REAL money is in the packages starting at $300 and up. It's not that difficult to bring together a group of professionals, all wanting to sell their services, and take a percentage (we see this in the IM seminar circle 'ie, pitchfests', all the time).

Get a group of experts together, deliver valuable and wanted info, record it and make money. [If you don't want to hassle with the expense and headache of physical product creation, SOON you'll be able to deliver that content - in high quality - over the Internet - And I DO NOT CARE what John Reese says, people WILL spend as much, and often times more, for digital products. I have proven this a number of times and anyone who wants to argue that possibility is stuck either in ego, the past, or small thinkingness. Sorry, it's the truth - do YOU want to argue with the truth?]

If you can't "see" doing this with what you're promoting, then you need to start looking in a new direction [A great mastermind group can help too].

If you can't see a backend, you have a serious problem to deal with before you've begun.


PS - I've heard that Alex Nghiem's Backend Cash Manuscript is good - any opinions?

PPS - Just when you think that every niche in IM has already been staked out, here comes someone who's claimed the "Backend".