Why The Rich Jerk Is SO Pathetic

December 13th, 2006

If you’ve been in this game for even a short while, I’m sure you’ve come across this character in some form or another.

He’s the “filthy rich, couldn’t give two shits about you ladies man, who can show you how to be rich like him, if you buy his book, but could care less if you do”. (WOW that’s a mouthful!)

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t doubt his wealth for one second. I’m sure he’s “earned” every penny he claims to have earned and I’m convinced that he stills makes a killing, BUT…and this is a big BUT, it’s not from affiliate programs, at least not anymore.

Contrary to the title of this post, I really respect this guy. Yes, I said it! Why? Because he’s a marketing genius. His entire approach to selling works like a charm.

He made me so curious about his stuff that I signed up to his newsletter, bought his book, and have been watching him like a hawk ever since.

Happy to finally satisfy my curiosity, I “swallowed” the book in under an hour. So how does it compare to the other 10 or so affiliate marketing eBooks I own? Killer.

With this information I could be a millionaire in no time…had I learned it 5 years ago!!!

I requested a refund right away (and have been waiting for a reply ever since so a chargeback is on the way) because the info is so outdated.

One of his “genius” methods to becoming a rich jerk yourself is Adwords/Adsense arbitrage. You basically bid on cheap keywords such as misspellings and send people to your site filled with content that triggers high paying Adsense ads. You pay pennies for Adwords and make dollars with Adsense.

But didn’t the “Google Slap” already take care of this? True, you COULD still do this if you’re buying traffic from second-tier PPC engines and serving up Adsense, but trust me, this is not a long term wealth strategy! This hurts all advertisers in the end, so to start applying this method now, way after Google has caught on to it, WILL NOT make you rich.

So I’m guessing he’s not “sustaining his wealth” with PPC arbitrage. He’s also not taking advantage of the “gambling losers” he refers to because the US no longer allows credit card processing of gambling related sites.

It seems to me that his top techniques have been “taken away” from him, which brings me to why he’s so pathetic. For someone who could care less if you buy his stuff or not he’s going to great lengths to advertise. He put his ad on Howard Stern for god’s sake!

Now his careless attitude IS part of his brilliant marketing strategy but his follow-up seems to negate the intended effect. I got a call from one of his “people” a few days after I bought the book! How many other authors have contacted you by phone after you purchased their products. Speaking for myself: NONE.

But the kicker of it all, the ONE THING that made me feel compelled to post this was his recent promotion! I’m still laughing at this one.

Apparently he’s going to train some “lucky people” at his mansion to become super-affiliates. The standard messages started flooding my inbox about this offer, and how time-sensitive it is…you know, the usual marketing BS we use in our everyday work.

But the funny part of it was the e-mail I received AFTER the promotion went live. Now mind you, this thing was supposed to sell out in seconds according to Mr. RJ. Here’s a couple of excerpts from the second e-mail:

“…37,343 of my subscribers crammed themselves through
the front door at…”

“Apparently I underestimated the sheer volume of
people who are interested in learning from me face
to face at the Rich Jerk LIVE experience in January 2007.

And the astonishing thing is…apparently most of our loyal
subscribers did not receive any of our email
communications in the past week.

It looks like nearly 60% of my list of subscribers never
got the video message last Friday, the FU picture
request email yesterday, or any of the exciting notes I
sent out today.

Someone is getting FIRED

Here’s what I’ve decided.  Because more than half of my list
missed out on all of the FAST MOVER bonuses, I’m going
to give out ONE MORE unforgettable weekend experience at the
Viking Resort (Cat69.com).

It will be awarded to the BEST application submitted for the ENTIRE two day Rich Jerk Experience by midnight tonight.”

I’ll ask you this, if over 37,000 people have applied and you’re only going to select a handful, do you really want another 10,000 applications? (or however big the list is) Probably not! Maybe you didn’t get enough in the first place? Hmmm….

So here’s what I think. The Rich Jerk got rich, got used to the “good life” and now that his well has run dry, he’s, and to quote Ewen Chia (one of my favorite “mentors”) “selling people the shovels to profit from the niches”.

That’s the only way he’s going to keep living the way he’s living…and that’s why I say, Rich Jerk: you’re f*cking pathetic man! I hope you read this, and I hope you tell me to f*ck off because you’re a real f*cking jerk…but to the untrained eye, you’re pure genius ;)

Clickbank Case Study: Keyword Research

December 12th, 2006

If you’ve done your homework over the past few days, you should now have a product ready to promote. All you need is to drive traffic to the site (or your landing page) and start racking in the cash, right? WRONG!

Just like proper product selection plays a big part in your success (or failure), keyword research plays an equally important part.

I’m not going to get into too many details on this topic (because Andre has done quite a good job of it already), but I do want to stress a couple of important points.

First, keyword tools can make or break you (and it’s not what you think).

People (myself included) are always looking for the easy way out when it comes to making money online. Automation is a key factor to making internet marketing work but certain parts of the equation must be done “manually” and with extreme care.

With that said, I’ll tell you straight off that I hate keyword tools. I hate how every salesletter stresses the fact that you can get 10,000+ keywords in 5 seconds and crap of that sort.

You know what? 10,000 keywords will actually hurt you, not help you! Do you have any idea how much work managing that amount of keywords entails?!!!! Especially when you’re entering a new niche you probably don’t know much about?

Don’t get me wrong, keyword tools are essential, and you should use them, but take a conservative approach first when building your list –> then expand. A couple of tools I use on a regular basis are the Overture search suggestion tool (free) and Wordtracker (paid).

So what’s better, free or paid?

To generalize, if a tool is free you can be sure that everyone and their mother is going to be using it, which levels your competitive advantage before you get started. There are a lot of “cheapskates” in this business, and god bless them because, the less people that buy the “essential tools”, the less competition for me.

But while a paid tool can give you an advantage over others, you’re still competing with savvier marketers.

For those reasons above, this is how I break down my KW research:

  • Brainstorming by reading the salesletter of the product I will be promoting and of competitor’s products, websites, and forums…when you’re looking for keywords, you’re not actually looking for keywords, you’re trying to get into the heads of your potential customers and what they really want. Never lose sight of this. Keywords are irrelevant; it’s the searcher’s intent behind those keywords that truly matters.
  • Overture
  • Wordtracker

That’s basically it. I generate my own ideas trying to go as laterally as possible and then confirm/expand my list by using the latter two keyword tools.

As I said before, you want to start off conservatively and then expand…and expanding is what will take a measly 20-30 bucks/days and possibly make it into 200-300. I’m not joking on this.

So how do you expand?

First determine which keywords are profitable and which ones are not. Get rid of the latter, and try to figure out why the former work: why are people purchasing using these keywords and not the others?

Second, look through you web logs. There is gold to be found in there. Go through them and add negatives and new keywords into your list on a regular basis and before you know it, you’ll be dominating your competition.

That’s it, now get cracking.

 

Clickbank Case Study: Product Selection & Sales Letter Analysis

December 11th, 2006

OK. We’ve gone through a lot in the past couple of days. Now it’s time to pick out a product and analyze it thoroughly. I’m choosing to promote Gabor Olah’s Proffesional Cover Templates and here’s why:

  • Sales letter passed the initial “scan test” (in-depth analysis to follow)
  • Keywords costs appear to be low as reported by the Google Keyword tool
  • Competition on Adwords is not too heavy
  • All other metrics seem good (refer to the previous day - look at Excel spreadsheet)

The only downside (for me) to promoting this product is that I’ll have a much harder time coming up with creative keywords because it’s a “tangible” product in a sense.

It does solve a problem (every product does) but it’s not your classic type of problem such as “make more money”, “get out of debt“, etc. that can really be attacked from all angles.

Regardless, I’m going for it.

First thing I want to do is look for a similar product so I can split test it against this one to see which converts better. The only other one worth examining is this eCover Creator Software.

I went ahead and ran the metrics on this one (as in the previous post) and put the two products side-by-side in my Excel sheet.

The second product actually has a price of $97 (merchant is probably testing this). It’s a much older product (2004) and has a lower gravity. The metrics tell me that it probably won’t do as well as the “control”, but the market will ultimately decide.

Now let’s break down the salesletters into parts just to make sure that sending our traffic there is really worthwhile.

As a start, both sites look good first glance. If you don’t already know this, you have no more than 8 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention before he/she hits the back button! That means when they get to your (or your merchants) landing page there better be something good there to “hook” him into sticking around to read the sales copy. I believe this to be a product of the headline and the initial look of the site. Nothing else!

Both headlines look decent, although the control’s one is more appealing to me:

“Discover How You Can Generate BIG Profits Online by Giving Virtually Any Product a New, Exciting And Professional Look For Sale on the Internet! It Took Me Just Minutes To Create My Product’s Packaging And The Jaw-Dropping, Profit-Boosting Results Were Seen Almost Immediately!”

vs.

“Finally, You Can Skyrocket Your Sales Using the Same Powerful Software the Pro’s Are Using to Make Stunning eBook and Software Covers!”

They are both benefit-driven headlines. That’s good, because benefits sell. The first headline however, stresses the ease and speed of which you will generate big profits by buying this product. Nothing sells better than the benefit of “quick easy money” - you know, stuff like, “make thousands per month working only 15 minutes/day from your home” ;)

Next is the “readability” of the copy. People “scan” online, they don’t read. If the text is too small, too wide, or has too many lines per paragraph (kind of like this blog :) ) then people will consider it “too hard to read” and just leave the site.

You’re looking for short sentences, short paragraphs, and many subheadings (especially subheadings full of benefits) that break the page down into parts and give someone an impression of what the deal is fairly quick.

Next, you want to make sure there are no outgoing links on the page. If the visitor clicks away, he’s probably not coming back. People have really short attention spans on the web. If they get caught up in another page, forget it, you’ve lost your sale.

The control salesletter does have outgoing links (which open in a new window) in the testimonials, however, I’m sticking to my guns and promoting it anyway.

Other things of importance: testimonials and a money-back guarantee. People need proof that they’re not going to get scammed and that they’ll have a chance to get their money back if the product doesn’t suit them for one reason or another.

Once all of these criteria are satisfied, I’ll dive into the salesletter and start reading it, making sure it evokes some emotion out of me. If it’s dry and boring to me (doesn’t stress benefits), it will most likely be boring to others, and they’ll hit the back button.

That’s a “general overview” of salesletter analysis. I could write an entire book on this topic but for the sake of brevity I just outlined the most important points to look out for.

Next, I’ll go into KW research and promotional strategies (my weaker points). If you’re new to all of this then you’ve got a full load on your hands with just the info presented in this post. Remember, don’t overanalyze, the market will decide in the end.

That’s it for today - happy trails.

Do You Need Some Spare Cash?

December 10th, 2006

I knew that Nigerian e-mail scams were a big thing, but not THIS big. Check out this Yahoo video reporting on some of the victims and the crackdown that’s going in Lagos.

I feel for those guys, but sorry to be blunt, I find this stuff quite amusing.

These guys are victims of their own human nature. Throw in the promise of “quick and easy money” and greed overcomes common sense 10 out of 10 times.

Now as you read this, I wanted to let you know that *I* recently inherited a large sum of money and…HAHAHAHAHAHA!

I’m an ass, I know!

Get your mortgage with www.saveonrefinance.com and forget about scam!

Clickbank Case Study: Product Analysis

December 10th, 2006

So you’ve made it past the first day, got your short list of potential products you want to promote, and now you’re ready to get your hands dirty and pick out a (possible) winner.

Congratulations, here’s where the fun part starts.

Before I start hitting you with all the technicals of detailed product analysis I want to mention a couple of things.

First off, nothing can take the place of experience when it comes to doing this, so keep in mind that the more you work at it, the better you’ll get.

And second, DO NOT get caught up in all of these metrics. At the end of the day, you have to trust your gut instinct. The key thing to remember is that there’s a real person conducting the search, reading the sales letters, and making the decision to purchase something or not.

With that out of the way, here’s the 9 products I picked from my initial research yesterday. I like to put them in an Excel file so I can analyze them side-by-side to see which one will be worth my effort to pursue further. Here’s the columns explained:

Product. Self explanatory.

First Appeared. The date which the product appeared in the Clickbank Marketplace. This is important for a couple reasons. Number one, products tend to have a “lifespan” - they surface, sell for some time, and decline. Depending on the product, some will never sell at all and disappear, and some will rise to the top of their category and stay there for months, or even years. I tend to stay away from older products, but that’s me, you might have better luck. Second, if it’s a new product and gaining popularity fast (explained below) you’ll want to jump on the bandwagon and start promoting it as soon as possible.

Gravity. In the simplest of descriptions, this is the number (not absolute, it’s a weighted figure) of affiliates promoting the product in question. A high gravity means that the product is popular and making people good money. This is a great indicator. The higher the gravity the better, but this also means more competition for you. Although gravity is a very important metric, I don’t always rely on it 100%. I’ll still promote a new product with a gravity of 0 if it looks good to me.

Trend. This is a graphical representation of a product’s metrics such a gravity and popularity that can you can see at CBtrends which Andre also mentions in his blog and Chris in Adwords Miracle (this is where I learned it from as well). I just make a little note if the product is on the up or down here depending on the graph.

Ideally you want the Popularity curve to be declining and the Gravity to be increasing.

CBtrends

This product (Stop Being Tired) is gaining momentum fast and it’s also new (first appeared ~1.5 months ago) so this graph is a good indicator that this can make you some good money if you start promoting it before it gets too popular and competitive.

Price. In my experience, the higher the price, the harder it’s going to be to get the sale if you’re just sending people directly from Adwords. This is a different story if you have a squeeze page and warm up the potential buyer by sending him a few emails first, or you have a list of your own, but I’m assuming for the sake of this case study that no one is using an existing list. Don’t know if squeeze pages are “allowed” :)

Besides the first product on my list, the prices range from $30-$67. Not an unreasonable amount to ask from someone on their first visit to your merchant’s site, in my opinion.

Commission. I jot this down just for the sake of calculating potential refunds (will explain this later).

Earned/Sale. My favorite number :)

Potential Refund Rate. I’ll stress the word “potential” here. Two affiliates can experience two very different results with this one depending on how they choose to promote the product. This figure is calculated by the product price, commission, and the earned/sale metrics and with a little tool I got as a bonus for purchasing Adwords Empire. Check out this cool screenshot.

I’ll usually shy away from a product if the potential refund rate exceeds 20%. There’s nothing worse than having something convert for you like crazy just to have those sales revoked in the next few days. The only exception I make to this rule is if the net profit is high enough to “overcome the pain of the dreaded refund”.

That wraps it up for metrics. In the next post I’ll pick one product based on all the metrics here, analyze the sales letter and then move on to KW research.

Now go analyze your own products and don’t come back ’till you finish all your homework :)

Clickbank Case Study: Preliminary Product Selection

December 9th, 2006

There are several key skills you need to succeed in affiliate marketing. You can’t afford to be sub-par on any of these if you hope to stay alive in this “game”.

The first skill you need to master is product selection. If you pick the right product you’re well on your way to a good-sized Clickbank check. Pick the wrong one and the only winner at the end of all this will be Google (holding all of your money).

There are two points to consider here. Number one, and I’m quoting Andre on this one, “I don’t care how good or advanced you are, you will ALWAYS have more losers than winners”. And number two, all the right products in the world won’t save you if you can’t market them correctly.

But assuming you have some decent marketing sense, some experience under your belt with Adwords and Clickbank, picking the right product greatly increases your chances of making some money with this campaign.

Now enough of my ranting. It’s time to pick some products.

Your goal is to put together a short list of possible promotions. In fact, you should ALWAYS have a short list of products you’re keeping an eye on with the intent to market them in the future. Always have several, and always refresh your list. Dump one’s you think will be losers and keep adding “potential winners”.

For this exercise, I drew up nine possibles from the Clickbank marketplace using the following preliminary selection criteria:

  • Commission - I like to promote products that have commissions of $20 and up (not a hard and fast rule, however)
  • A quick glance at the website to make sure it’s even worth analyzing further
  • Quick competitive analysis on Google

Now I’ll give you a further explanation on each of these 3 points.

Commission: The higher the better (obvious) but it’s important not to settle for something too low. If you figure in the CPC in Adwords of $0.10, a conversion rate of 1% (both good estimates when you start promoting something new), then you’re spening $10 on average to make a sale. If you pick a product that pays out $13, that leaves you with $3 after you pay Google, making it not worth your time, unless you find much cheaper clicks and/or significantly increase your conversion rate.

Quick Glance At Website: Here I’m just making sure the website looks “presentable”, has a decent headline, and the copy is easy to read. Quick rule of thumb (which should be a no brainer), if the website looks like crap, I hit the Back button right away, and so will most visitors you send there. If there’s no headline, or something that “hooks” you into spending a little more time at the site, chances are others will follow suit and leave as well.

Quick competitive analysis on Google: If I had to pick my best skill so far in internet marketing I would definetely say it’s coming up with a lateral approach to product promotion. I have a long way to go as far as copywriting, preselling, and other skills go, but this is one which I’ve become extremely good at.

Lateral thinking is an extremelly important skill you need to master if you want to make serious money with Adwords. It’s a way of eliminating your competition, or drastically reducing it. For example, if you’re promoting an ebook about cheating, how many of your competitors will be bidding on the “cheating” related keywords? 100% is a safe bet.

If you’re bidding on obvious keywords in a competitive market (unless you have rock solid copywriting skills and a fine-tuned “sales funnel” which you are constantly testing for improvement) you’re going to go down hard. This is why you need to think out of the box a little and target the not so obvious keywords.

For the previous example I might type in infidelity, adultery, two-timing and other synonyms into Google  just to see if there are other bidders there. If there’s a decent search volume (as reported by your favorite KW research tool) and a significantly smaller number of bidders I’ll examine the product further.

But those are just synonyms. Going really lateral is about knowing your market. You must know your market in order to break down the product into a series of problems/solutions that revolve around what you’re marketing.

I’m going to go a bit off-topic here and rant a little on lateral thinking so bear with me.

Earlier this year I was promoting spy software (I’ll spill the beans on this because Google deactivated my KW’s and I’m not running it anymore) with a very lateral approach for great profit. While everyone else was bidding on KW’s such as “parental control software” and phrases of the sort, I was bidding on “find myspace password”, “get yahoo password”, etc…There were hardly any bidders and I was getting clicks for $0.03 and converting 1:50.

Go try this for yourself. I guarantee you’ll make some money before (and if) Google deactivates your keywords for “hacking related content” (what bullshit).

That’s all for now. I went a bit overboard with the preliminary selection and explanations, but it’s pretty exciting stuff :) Tomorrow, I’ll show you which products I selected using the above three criteria and delve into further analysis so stay tuned.

Andre Chaperon’s Clickbank Case Study

December 9th, 2006

I have been following Andre Chaperon for the past couple of months ever since I stumbled on his review of Adwords Miracle. I liked his pre-sell so much that I went ahead and purchased the book (a great buy btw), and have been reading his blog regularly ever since.

About a week ago I got an e-mail from him mentioning a Clickbank Case Study he’s conducting that basically outlines the “Anatomy” of setting up a new Adwords campaign to promote a Clickbank product.

He’s urging everyone to follow along and apply his knowledge (combined with their own) to go through all the steps needed to select and (hopefully) make money from a brand new niche/product.

I love interactive stuff like this. Even though I do this on a regular basis, this time around it’s much more exciting because I feel like I’m “synching” directly with others on this. Results (everyone’s) should be interesting.

I decided to set up a blog and mirror the case study using the methods I apply to Clickbank product selection and promotion. A lot of the techniques are the same because I’ve learned from him and Chris (Adwords Miracle author), but I also throw in some additions from other sources.

If you haven’t ”jumped on the Clickbank bandwagon” yet, now is the perfect time to start by visiting Andre’s site and reading days 1-3 (as of this post). Good luck!

Finally Got Around To Blogging

December 8th, 2006

I’ve been meaning to put up a blog since the summer of ‘05. Fast forward a year and some months later and here it is. That didn’t take too long, did it? :)

Regardless, I’m going to be posting on a regular basis different rants about internet marketing products and the experience I’ve had with them.

That’s it for now. Back to work!