Avoid the scams, find out which Business Opportunities actually work
14th July 2010
Filed under: Internet Marketing,Useful Tools — Ben @ 7:46 pm

The Rich Jerk caused a big storm when it was released in 2005.

This, of course, was back in the day when everyone was buying.

The “Jerk” was a cartoon character created to mask someone who wanted to remain anonymous but it worked a treat. The sales letter sold thousands of copies at as much as $97.

Of course, over the next couple of years there were more products including some very dubious “coaching programs” and also an infamous party at the Playboy Mansion.

More recently the man who was behind the idea has come out and revealed himself. He has even created a blog that gives some insight into his past and some of the quite fascinating success he had even before becoming the “Rich Jerk”.

It’s well worth a read so I’m happy to provide a link:

Prelude to a Rich Jerk

It seems like a lot of the biz opp related news on this blog recently has been negative. That’s just the way it is unfortunately – good products are very rare at present but scams and junk are plentiful.

Previously “successful” internet marketers are finding it very difficult going in the current environment, despite what they may say.

One UK-based marketer was this week found to be having some serious financial problems, perhaps explaining why his software suddenly disappeared from the market a couple of months ago.

Another US “guru” is now at the point of having to go back to getting a regular 9-5 job despite having several top-selling Clickbank products in the past.

And I’m having a lot of trouble getting paid commissions going back to February 2009 from another US marketer who is universally considered an internet marketing “guru”. Everytime I ask for a payout I receive the same reply to my support ticket – “Payouts are scheduled for this week” – but this is the fourth time I’ve asked. I’m starting to think he just doesn’t have any money to use to pay me!

There’s no denying it, things are bad.

However, there is some good news – a decent product at a very attractive price.

Info Product Killer is a set of templates, videos and reports from Craig Kaye that show you how to make big money selling REAL products for commission. By “real” products I mean consumer products that you can touch – not the “how to make money on Clickbank” junk that’s usually thrown about.

I’ve just bought it this afternoon and after looking through the member’s area I can see it’s a great little package.

The problem is that it’s almost sold out so I can’t go into too much detail now except to say go and check out the sales page before it’s too late. Apologies in advance for the auto-start audio. It might be an idea to turn your speakers down now, before you click:

Info Product Killer

Craig has said there were only 300 or so spots available and just 47 left now so be quick.

I’ll be doing a full review very shortly.

12th August 2009
Filed under: Domain Names,Internet Marketing,Useful Tools — Ben @ 11:55 am

Big news this week as the popular URL shortening service tr.im announced it was going to stop forwarding links from the end of the year.

In addition, it stopped allowing people to create new shortened links and prevented existing members from logging in to see what links they had made.

For those people that had used the service extensively it was a huge blow because, basically, they lost a load of links at the click of a mouse. There was no way to discover what links they had made and where they pointed to.

The reason for the closure given by the owners was that they were finding it difficult to make any money and were feeling hobbled by the fact that flavour-of-the-month social networking site Twitter.com pushed bit.ly to its users rather than their site.

Predictably there was a bit of a backlash from tr.im users – many who had plastered their shortened links everywhere – as their links would become redundant at the end of 2009.

The decision to close the website was reversed yesterday due to the owner feeling “absolutely overwhelmed by the popular response, and the countless public and private appeals I have received to keep tr.im alive“.

So it looks like tr.im will live on for the moment. However, this whole show (whether staged or not) teaches us a couple of lessons…

Lesson 1: Never rely on a free service to provide an important function for your business. These sites can disappear with no warning – or just shut up shop as we saw with tr.im.

Lesson 2: Not every website makes money on the internet, even if it is very popular. Even Twitter doesn’t seem to have any kind of monetisation in place and it intrigues me as to what they plan to do in the long-term to make any money. At some point if they are still not making any profit, they are also likely to close…

18 months or so ago I launched a URL shortening service using one of my domains – kliq.com – which I thought was perfect for the task (kliq, it’s like “click“, get it?).

It wasn’t hard to get some software to run it, or to install it.

I didn’t even promote the site and yet still got quite a few people to use it.

One problem was that sites like this attract spammers. After all, they can simply use your site to shorten a website address and then send that address in emails to hide their real website address from spam filters and blacklists.

Another problem is that it’s very difficult to include any sort of monetisation on a URL shortening site.

You can provide advertising on the front page such as Google AdSense or banner ads but they don’t tend to attract many clicks as visitors are there for a purpose – to shorten a link.

Some URL shortening services include a short delay in forwarding where they show an advert. Not many do this though, as it tends to put people off using their service. Let’s face it, if I want to use a shortened URL, I want the person clicking the URL to go to the website I specify. I don’t want them distracted by adverts. This is why using frames will not work either.

If you try to use advertising or frames, you’ll suffer a loss in users because there are plenty of services that don’t inflict this on visitors.

In short (no pun intended), URL shorteners are a great idea in practise but apart from hoping for another company to buy you out, it’s difficult to make any money from them.

And if you’re planning on using one to shorten a link, remember that the link could be useless tomorrow if the service decides to shut up shop on you. In many cases you’d be better off creating a redirect link using your own website so you control it.

16th June 2009
Filed under: Internet Marketing,Useful Tools — Ben @ 8:49 pm

One internet marketing forum closed just this week with the owner basically blaming it on ridiculous amounts of spam and lack of interest.

The big internet marketing forum – perhaps the most popular – is noticeably going down in quality week on week.

It’s a far cry from the good old days where you could go to any one of a number of forums and get good advice, chat freely about the industry and perhaps even ‘rub shoulders’ with some of the more successful marketers.

You’ve probably noticed, and I have too because it’s obvious, but many of the ‘big boys’ of IM – the ones really making money online – are keeping clear of the well-known public forums.

But they aren’t steering clear of forums altogether.

Instead you’ll find that a lot of marketers are posting in places where they know constructive, useful information is being exchanged.

Forums where they know they can share great info, meet other people who can help them and, I like this phrase, “form powerful strategic alliances“. Yes it’s a bit corny but it’s true.

In short, the experts are spending less time in the large popular forums and more in forums that can still be considered professional. Forums where they can avoid all the numpties who ruin most public message boards with spam, deceptive promoting and whining.

So where do you find these forums?

Easy – usually by recommendation from someone you trust.

For example, I’ve often mentioned that I’m in a mastermind group that meets once a month in a hotel central to where we all live in the north west of England.

When somebody in that group recommends something to me, I take notice.

So when one of the group started talking about a particular script, raving about how great it was, I took a good look at it and eventually bought it. And he’s right, it is great and it’s worked well for me.

Another member was telling us about a great membership site – so I checked it out (more on this in a second).

I also give back – I tell them what’s working for me and help them if they have problems. I’m always raving about the offline seminars I attend and finally I managed to convince several of my fellow mastermind group members to come to one. They all agreed it was a terrifically useful weekend.

In my opinion it’s fine to take advice from a big, public forum – if you trust the person giving advice.

But when the forum allows any Tom, Dick or Harry to join, you can never be sure you’re getting good advice. And because the forum lets anybody become a member it can suffer from problem members who end up driving away a lot of the good members.

Let’s face it, a public forum is usually only created to make money for the owner who may dot AdSense ads throughout the threads or charge people to sell products on the forum.

It’s in his or her interest to attract as many people as possible so that he makes lots of money.

Consider a different forum which doesn’t suffer from these problems. It is part of a membership site which charges a monthly fee for access. That stumbling block immediately stops the ‘chancers’ from joining and posting rubbish on the forum – they aren’t willing to pay $37 a month to try and pitch their junk schemes in every thread.

Instead you have a membership that is more willing to share and learn because this membership fee is an investment, and they realise that the more you put in, the more you get out.

The forum I am talking about is the one which is joined on to Willie Crawford’s Internet Marketing Inner Circle membership site.

Over the last three years or so, Willie has managed to build a great forum full of industry experts who talk shop and share ideas in a professional setting – without the usual internet marketing idiots and the spammers.

New members don’t just get the forum but they also get a whole host of bonuses including a load of interviews that Willie has recorded with other internet marketing experts. Experts including Yanik Silver, Dr Mani, Mike Filsaime, Stephen Pierce, Marlon Sanders, Ray Edwards and many more (see the sales page for more names).

[Link removed – site no longer live]

I’ve been a member of IMIC since March 2008, paying $37 a month. For some reason I decided to pay monthly rather than the one-off fee for Platinum Membership ($497).

Recently (May 2009) I changed my mind and paid to become a platinum member simply because I knew that I was going to stay a member and it would be cheaper in the long term.

I wouldn’t have paid so much money if I didn’t think this was a superb resource.

But don’t take my word for it, check out the testimonials on the sales page:

[Link removed – site no longer live]

And, to get a feel for the kind of advice you’ll get, check out this report that Willie put together for potential members – free of charge and no email address needed – just the straight download link:


When you become a member, come say hello in the forum.

I’m positive you won’t regret it.

** Update 3rd July 2011 **

Having been ignored by Willie Crawford for many months now I can no longer promote his Inner Circle site so please ignore the above post.

If you’d like to know why I am withdrawing my support for Willie, see the following report:

Willie Crawford and the Internet Marketing Inner Circle

20th March 2008
Filed under: Internet Marketing,Useful Tools — Ben @ 11:25 pm

I’ve got to take my hat off to the creators of this one – Peel Away Ads.

I know it’s pretty old news as far as internet marketing goes but if you haven’t seen it in action before, take a look at the sales page:

Peel Away Ads Salespage (opens in new window)

See in the top left hand corner?

Hover over that little triangle and the corner just “peels” away to reveal an advert.

Click on it and you are taken to whichever page the advertiser wants to show you.

It’s eye-catching, innovative and looks great…

Problem is, it isn’t advertised very well in some cases.

For example, check this screenshot I found on somebody’s blog today:

Peel Away Ads screenshot

It says “Currently 250% Off Standard Price“.

Fair enough, you may say – until you think about it.

How can something be 250% off? Isn’t that impossible? Surely the most you can discount a price by is 100%?

Without getting too technical, let’s consider the maths:

Example -> 50% off £250

£250 x ((100 – 50) / 100) = £250 x 0.5 = £125

Another example -> 75% off £250

£250 x ((100 – 75) / 100) = £250 x 0.25 = £62.50

So, it follows that 250% off £250 would be:

£250 x ((100 – 250) / 100) = £250 x -1.5 = -£375

Minus £375?

Unless I’m completely wrong, does that not mean that to give a discount of 250% on a price of £250, you would have to give the customer £375 in cash?

Peel Away Ads, brilliant advertising idea let down by poor maths!

Peel Away Ads

25th February 2008
Filed under: Internet Marketing,Special Deals,Useful Tools — Ben @ 1:39 pm

Here’s some great news if you’re an product owner and want to severely ramp up your traffic and sales.

By far the easiest way to get a lot of traffic to a sales page is to offer an affiliate program.

Affiliates will send you traffic day and night and you only pay them when they produce sales.

It’s a great traffic generating method.

What holds some people back from promoting your products as an affiliate is that they are worried about losing their commission.

If they send visitors to your site using an obvious affiliate link then some visitors may use their own links to get a “discount” on their purchase.

Clickbank can be a nightmare for this.

This is where this new product that I’d like to tell you about is so powerful.

It’s a system that allows people to market products as an affiliate but without using affiliate links.

It’s a brilliant idea, even if I am biased (a couple of my friends have developed it).

I’ve written a review explaining why this is such a great program for any digital product seller:


AffPayPro takes payment for the product, delivers it securely and also emails the customer with the download link to make sure they can get their product.

But, on top of all this “standard” stuff, it has a built-in affiliate system which doesn’t use affiliate links.

Find out how it is able to do this here:


It’s ingenious!

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