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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

Don't kid yourself...

You want to get rich with your blog? Maybe you think Adsense will let you retire? Sorry, it's not going to happen.

Archive: Dammit

Oops…Lazy Day

Ever sleep in til 2 PM and then play Starcraft for four hours (MY LIFE FOR AUIR)?

Yeah…oops. I have Wednesday’s off from work, and I typically take it easy, but not that easy. That’s not to say I completely wasted the day though.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Network with your peers. Send them the occasional email. Talk to them on AIM. You stand a chance to learn way more than you ever would have just reading their blog or forum messages. Two examples:

  1. Matt and I talk on AIM almost daily. We had lunch last week. Through these conversations, Matt has increased my knowledge about incentivized marketing 1000%, and also let me in on a few of his more ingenious ideas (ideas that I will not be sharing with you guys =P).
  2. Mr. Shady has spoken with me on AIM a few times, and recently revealed to me an approach to marketing that I hadn’t thought of. He told me that it’s a fairly easy market to get into, and that if I started now, I could easily make the $2,500 I need to take my trip overseas this August. I spent a few hours today doing research and setting up campaigns according to his advice, and if it comes through for me, I’ll definitely be bringing him about a thousand boxes of Pocky when I come back.

So yeah. Since I really didn’t do much today, I’d like to challenge you to do what I’ve done: Join online communities (Wickedfire, in my case), ask questions, be active, and keep asking questions. Eventually, you’ll get answers that work for you.

Oh yeah, and go do it now. No sense in waiting.

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Podcasting Bumps and Potholes

So…this has been an enlightening week. I’ve run into a few…issues making my first podcast (due out Saturday by the way), and I was hoping I could share them with you guys so you could learn from my mistakes. Let’s jump right in.

Vista hates me

Most competent operating systems allow you to record whatever it is you’re hearing, in addition to what’s being said into the mic. Vista, of course, is not a competent OS. I really don’t understand this one. XP let me do it. Maybe Microsoft is trying to prevent music piracy? Whatever the reason, it’s really annoying. No matter what I did, I could not get Audacity to record what I was hearing. That left me with two options: Use the ‘line in’ port or find a different program. Thankfully, I found a program built specifically for recording Skype calls, so disaster averted. The only minor annoyance was that it exports files in the .ogg format (stupid open sourcers), but Audacity can read and import those as well.

Make sure your setup works before starting the interview

Props to Nick for having a lot of patience. I called him up, hit record, and hit a brick wall. As I mentioned earlier, it was recording me and not him. After keeping him on for a few too many minutes, I told him I’d call back later. Several hours later, I finally had things working and did the interview.

Keep in mind that, unless you’re paying them, the people you interview are doing you a favor. Keeping them waiting is unprofessional, so make 100% sure everything is working before calling them up.

Make sure your volume matches theirs

My interview with Nick is going to sound a little…odd. It wasn’t until after I had finished the whole thing and started playing it back that I realized that my mic’s volume was sitting at 2 while his was ALL THE WAY UP TO 11. It took me over an hour to get my volume matching his, and it really doesn’t sound right. For starters, you can hear a lot of white noise when I’m talking. Secondly, if we’re both talking at the same time, you can barely hear me at all. Lesson learned: Turn up your mic. It’s easier to lower the volume than to raise it.

Practice a bit beforehand

Always know the direction your interview is going. Keep a list of questions open and try to make the conversation flow without any long pauses or awkward transition. Also, keep in mind that interviews require a bit of improv, so just do your best to keep things fluid and moving.

Learn from my mistakes

Yeah, it’s been frustrating, but it’s really rewarding to see (hear?) it all come together. I’ll be interviewing Jason later today, and after that I just need to stitch the whole mess together. Come Saturday, it’ll see the light of day. I hope you guys like it.

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You Can’t Get Rich if You’re A Tone-Deaf Indie Myspace Band

About a block from where I work, there’s a coffee shop that makes the best quesadillas in town. I go down there two or three times a week to grab dinner. Unfortunately, it seems like every time I walk in, there’s some horrible local emo-pop band in there hell-bent on wrecking my eardrums. They always have overpriced Cafepress shirts, they always have flyers advertising their Myspace page, and they always suck.

Thanks digital distribution

The one that was playing last night even tried to charge me $2 to get in. I told him to piss off and that I was there for the food, not the band (tech support puts me in a bad mood). I ended up having to use a combination of sign language, writing, and pointing at the menu to communicate with the barista, since the band was so loud. After I placed my order, I had a good ten minutes to witness a terrible assault on my senses and enumerate their many issues. If you’re a part of, or have ever wanted to make your own band, pay attention:

The venue is everything

The coffee shop I was in is about the size and shape of a shoebox. Shoeboxes don’t have good acoustics (only slightly better than a two-dimensional shape). The band, of course, compensated for this by turning up the volume to glass-shatteringly high levels.

The singer is probably holding you back

I have to admit that the drummer, guitarist, and bassist were all pretty good. The vocalist, on the other hand, was too loud, off beat, and tone deaf. Ruined the whole experience.

Make sure your equipment is working before going live

Apparently there were two guitarists, but one was having technical issues. For three songs.

Don’t send mixed signals

You have depressing, emo clothes and haircuts. Your backdrop is black. Your hair has been dyed black. Your logo is a skull (on a black background). Why are you dancing around like monkeys and singing about how life is great and you’ll never give up?

Don’t quit your day job

If you’re performing in a coffee shop to 13 people, you’re probably not very good.  Fire your singer and stay in school.

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Guest Posters Wanted

Guys, I have to be honest with you: I’m getting a little burnt out. I’ve been updating this blog every day for nearly five months, and I’m suffering from major writer’s block. I’d like to take a week off to let the creative batteries recharge, but I don’t want the blog to go un-updated. That’s where you come in.

I’m looking for seven articles to fill the void. You can write about whatever you want, but I’d prefer that you stuck to the make money online niche, especially if you can tell us a tale of failure and woe. Submit your article(s) directly to geoff AT cantgetrich DOT com. If I like it, I’ll let you know and then schedule it to be published.

Guest posting here probably won’t drive a ton of traffic to your blog. I only have 100ish RSS subscribers and I get around 150 uniques per day. That being said, this would be an ideal opportunity for a smaller blog to get some publicity. I’d love to have a bigger blogger post here too, but you probably won’t get much more than my gratitude.

Anyway, if you’re interested, you know how to contact me. Thanks in advance.

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Facebook Nazis

It seems like I can’t get a single ad past Facebook these days.

They’ve been shutting down my campaigns left and right, citing rules that are so obscure that they could apply to nearly anything. For example: I created an ad group with three ads in it yesterday, one ad for each country I was targeting. Ad #1 was disapproved for capitalizing every word in the title, ad #2 was disapproved for violating the ‘no-scams’ rule (could you be any more vague?), and ad #3 was disapproved for leading to an iframed landing page. All three ads were exactly the same and led to the same page (with different tracking code). Also, fun fact: That exact same ad ran for 16 hours and got hundreds of clicks the previous day. Way to go Facebook.

Seriously, how am I supposed to use Facebook to make any money? If you link directly to the offer page, they shut you down for having an ugly URL. If you try to promote an email submit, they shut you down for collecting personal information. If you try to promote any digital product at all, they shut you down for ‘being a scam’. You can’t promote ringtones, dating offers, or anything that appeals to college students. The same network that allows the random hookup application won’t allow you to put a picture of a bikini-clad woman in your ad.

What about physical products? If you try to promote any sort of diet, they shut you down for ‘unverified pharmaceutical claims’. The same seems to apply to workout supplements. What’s maddening is that I see people promoting these offers every day on my personal Facebook account. Why can’t they be consistent on what’s allowed and what’s not?

It seems like Facebook is out to get affiliate marketers. If you want to advertise anything at all, I’d recommend doing the following:

  • Create multiple advertiser accounts from different IP addresses.
  • Create the same ad on each account and stagger the submission times by 15-30 minutes.
  • Start with a large daily budget/CPC, and scale it back if your ad actually gets approved.
  • Submit your ads at 4 AM. It’s worked for me.
  • Start with a landing page that has absolutely no chance of violating their rules, and change it after the ad gets approved.
  • Just keep trying. Your ad will either be approved or your account will be banned.

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