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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.

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Archive: Smart Guys

Bouncing Back with Offline Marketing

Man, I had a terrible day.

I sat down and tallied up last month’s PPC revenue vs costs, and the results weren’t pretty. I pretty much wiped out a lot of the success I had been enjoying, thanks to a couple of campaigns that went wrong. Pretty depressing stuff.

You know what though? It’s not all that bad. I decided to lay off on PPC for awhile and find other methods to try. Thanks to that decision, I came up with two methods that I’m going to be trying over the next week or two, and best of all they won’t cost me anything but my time.

The first method I won’t be sharing with you. Gotta keep some secrets.

The second method is publicly available. I found it here. It’s a pretty solid technique, and it’s one that I wish I’d thought of sooner. I’m pretty sure that only one person who reads my blog goes to the same University I do, so I’m going to go ahead and summarize what I’m going to be doing and how it can work for you.

If you’re too lazy to read the article I linked to, here are the basics:

  1. College students like free stuff.
  2. There are lots of college students.
  3. Print up a bunch of flyers with tear-off sections that advertise something with your URL on it.

That’s the quick and dirty. Basically, what I’m going to do is take an affiliate offer (this one, for example), find a good domain name and setup a redirect, print that domain name on 100 tear-off flyers (example), and put them up all over campus. Best part: I’m going to be printing the flyers on university printers, which makes it absolutely free for me.

I’ll pick a new offer every other week or so and see what works. If you live near a university, consider giving this method a try. If you don’t, you still might be able to try this method on community bulletin boards (coffee shops, for example), although I doubt your flyer will receive the same amount of exposure (my school has 36,000ish students).

Moral: If one method fails, try another one.

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Outsource Everything?

My conversation with Jason the other day got me thinking about the limits of what can be outsourced. As he stated in my podcast, he’s going to be getting into the Wordpress premium theme business. He also stated that he has no experience with design or coding, and that he’s going to outsource everything. Hm. I found that idea pretty interesting. Basically, the only part that he’s playing in that whole equation is branding and marketing. That got me thinking: If I wanted to save time and money, what could I outsource?

Landing page design

My first thought was landing pages. I don’t mind admitting that I’m a terrible designer, and that my landing pages generally convert worse than if I had just direct-linked to the offer. I remembered seeing a thread on Wickedfire about outsourced landing page design, and after doing a little research, I decided to order one. The guy charges a pretty penny ($55), but after seeing some examples of his work, I doubt it’ll take long for the page to pay for itself. Apparently, his services are pretty popular: His schedule was full for a week before he could squeeze me in.

Bidding way too high on my keywords, I was making $20-$30/day with this campaign. I expect that number to be much higher after deploying the new LP.

Content

I only have a handful of content sites (not counting my splogs), and I do all of my writing (or rewriting) myself. I suppose if I found a good niche I could pay someone $5-$10 per article on Wickedfire or DP, but I have yet to find said niche.

Technical stuff

I work at the Internet. Installing scripts and doing server work is sorta my thing. No need to outsource here.

Laundry

Would you believe that there’s actually a service at my university called “Dorm Moms”? You pay them a few hundred dollars per semester, and they come by and do your laundry and tidy up your room. First of all, I don’t live in the dorms, so I don’t think I’m eligible, and secondly, who the hell is that lazy? I can’t imagine anybody so busy that they can’t take two hours ever other week to do laundry.

Hey, that gives me an idea. I’ll be talking to Paul (Uberaffiliate) on my next podcast, and he makes around a million dollars a month, so maybe I’ll ask him if he does his own laundry.

“Alright, we’re talking with Paul of Uberaffiliate.com fame. Paul, let’s get down to the important issues. The world wants to know: Do super affiliates do their own laundry? What are your thoughts on that?”

Hey, it might happen. Tune in this weekend to find out.

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Poll Factory - A New Approach to an Old Technique

Remember that ebook I wrote? That simple method to use email submits and polls to make money? I’ve found an easier way to create those poll pages. My ebook calls for hard coding the page, which works just fine, but what if you want to churn out 10+ pages an hour? Wouldn’t it be easier to just put your information into a script and have it auto-gen you a site? Well, one of my nice readers sent me a script that does just that: Poll Factory.

It’s just plain easy

Take a look at the admin panel. A three year old could navigate that interface. You just fill in a few fields, supply some keywords, copy the output, and you’re done. Here’s an example of a completed page. That one took me about five minutes to create, and that was the first time I’d ever used the software.

Installation is incredibly easy, just copy the files to your server and click ‘install’ (although I’d recommend reading the user’s manual first). After that, you’re good to go. The template is already there (and it comes in four colors), so you don’t have to do any real editing. Of course, if you’d like to edit the template, you can do that too (instructions are in the manual).

Features that I like

  • All pages come prepackaged with ‘About’ and ‘Privacy’ pages. That just oozes credibility.
  • The default template is pretty nice.
  • You can import RSS feeds to display under your question (helps your Quality Score).
  • You can specify meta tags and such during page creation.
  • The menu keeps all of your polls in one place, so you can add/change/remove them quickly and easily.
  • Keyword tracking!

Overall, I’d say it’s worth the $49 fee. I’ve always gotten a good conversion % with poll pages, and at ~$1.30 per email submitted, it won’t take long to pay for itself. If you know where to get your traffic, you can easily get $0.03-$0.05 clicks, so it’s possible to make a ridiculous amount of money with this method.

To buy or not to buy?

If you’re a coding master, or your don’t want to create a million poll pages, this product is not for you. However, if you need these pages in bulk, or don’t want to waste your time mucking around with HTML, I would definitely recommend this product.

Worst site ever progress: 20/1000 (movin’ along)

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Performance Enhancing Drugs

Alright guys, desperate times call for desperate measures. As I’ve mentioned, I’m scraping the bottom of my idea barrel, so my options are limited. In an effort to keep the creative juices flowing, I’m going to resort to…

Magic brain drugs.

Ever heard of Piracetam? Apparently, it’s pretty popular among college students. According to Wikipedia, piracetam does a load of neat things to your brain, including:

Enhancing verbal memory in healthy college students in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

If Wikipedia said it, it must be true, right? Overall, the supplement is supposed to increase cognitive function through a variety of mechanisms, or as the bodybuilders put it, “make your brain work good.”

I’d be lying if I said this site was the only reason I’m going to start taking this stuff. For one, my memory isn’t what most people would call “good”, and it irks my girlfriend. Also, my summer classes begin in early June, so I’d like to have my brain soaking in the stuff by then (my GPA could use a little boost). If you check out that link above, you’ll notice that I ordered a 500g tub, which should keep me going for the next six months.

Speaking of that link

You might have also noticed that it’s obviously an affiliate link. When I found what I wanted on that site, I remembered that I was an affiliate for that company. Come to find out, I get 10% of every sale I refer through that link, which means I get roughly $1.80 back. This leads me to my next point: Even if you’re terrible at affiliate marketing, you can still benefit by joining these programs. Being an affiliate for a company is like having a coupon for anything you buy from them. If you’re not a member of Commission Junction, I’d suggest joining and then browsing their merchants next time you want to buy something. For example:

  • I wouldn’t mind having an iPod touch. As an Apple affiliate, I automatically get 1% back, not to mention all of the coupons they fill my inbox with.
  • What about if I needed a new laptop from Dell? There’s another 1% back (plus affiliate coupons).
  • How about a nice new TV from Sony? 2% back.

Those are just a few examples. CJ has affiliate programs with tons of merchants, so you can get a little bit back on practically any item you could think of.

What about free web hosting?

While I’m on this train of thought, here’s something that I’ve been wondering about: Most web hosting merchants on CJ offer around $100 for new signups. Some of their hosting packages only cost $60 per year. Would it be possible to get a year of free web hosting by referring yourself? I’ve been looking through their advertising guidelines, and I’m not seeing anything that says you can’t refer yourself. Maybe I just missed it, who knows.

Anyway, if you’re a real penny-pincher, that’s just something you should keep in mind.

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Simple SEO Tip

Hey guys, I decided to do a video post for today. This will be my first video post, so I hope you like it. It’s just a simple little SEO trick I found to increase your site’s ranking in the SERPs. Hope you find it useful.

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