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Volume 3 - Issue 7 10-1-08

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Table of Contents for this issue.....

1.    Authors Comments

2.    Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

3.    Advertising on RJO Website

4.    Commission Blueprint - Selling Clickbank Products

5.    Affiliate Success Checklist

6.    Pay Attention to your Web Sites

Author's Comments

 

The continuing melt down of the world economy is on everyone’s mind.  On September 29, the Dow lost 777.68 points (7%) for the single largest drop in the history of the index.  Those of us with investments in the market in 401K’s, 403B’s, or IRA’s watched the value of our savings drop significantly.

 

Since those investments are our retirement savings, we as a group are hit hard and we need to rethink our plans for retirement.  You know that I am a great supporter of having a retirement job to extend our retirement savings and to generate that needed additional income in retirement.  In my mind, the current conditions make that concept of a retirement job even more important.

 

Linda and I continue to press forward with creation of income from our online Internet business.  This business is much more important for us now than it was when we first got the idea and started developing the business over three years ago.

 

The good news is that it is starting to generate a regular income stream.  It is not as much as we need with the recent changes in value of our retirement savings, but it is enough to build on and grow.

 

Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

 

 

I was contacted by one of the members of the AARP Retirement Jobs group that I manage about an article in “AARP Bulletin Today” about phased retirement.  This email exchange developed from that contact.  I am including it since I offer Jim advice and I feel it is worth sharing with you.  It contains some of my personal concepts for making money on the Net, finding items to sell, and for naming websites.

 

From Jim – September 20

 

It's very interesting that your thoughts about work beyond retirement age seem very similar to my own. I too plan to work my way out of the kind of work I've done for the past 30 years and create an online business that will allow me more freedom. I've been doing research in that regard for about 1.5 years. There is a lot to learn! I've read a lot of books so far. Have you read "Internet Riches"? Hate that title but Scott Fox does a pretty good job covering all the bases. I'd like to know what you've found to be most helpful.
 
Thanks again for your thoughts and do stay in touch.
 
Jim

 

My reply – September 22

Jim,

I have not read “Internet Riches”, but I read the reviews on Amazon and some of the other websites that discuss it.

I believe that I have read many books that contain much of the same content.  I do not know if you have visited my www.retirement-jobs-online.com site, but it covers most of what I consider the legitimate ways to make money on the Internet.  I have tested and experimented with all of the methods listed on the retirement job online site.

My business model preference is the affiliate model which I use on my websites.  The Adsense ads and some of the referrals on the retirement jobs online site bring in a steady $300 – 400 per month.

My other two money making sites are www.the-best-gps.com and www.the-best-hdtv.com.  The GPS site has risen in search engine rankings where I do not spend any money for advertising.  I sell over $100 of GPS units each month on Amazon from search engine traffic (even in these bad times).  I advertise the HDTV site on AdCenter using pay per click campaigns.  I expect to sell at least one unit per month.  The commission on a $1,500 HDTV is $60 so you can afford to spend in the neighborhood of $.50 per click when the commission is so high.  With the down economy, the big ticket items like HDTV’s are not selling as well as a year ago, but they will recover.

I am a great supporter of Site Build It.  All of my successful websites are hosted using Site Build It (SBI).  You ask what I found to be most helpful.  It is Site Build It.

If you are interested in learning more about SBI, let me know.

My approach to making money on the Net is to build several (example 10) websites that make $200 – 300 per month.  I believe that is much easier to do than to build one site that makes $2,000 - $3,000 per month.  Plus, if your one site has problems, you are dead.  If one of the several sites has problems, you are still in business.

Thanks again for sending me the article.

John Howe

Jim’s reply – September 22

John,
 
It sounds like you are pretty well on your way with your internet business models and beyond the book study stage. I wish I was as far down the road as you are now. I have read two or three of your posts but hadn't pulled up your web site yet.  I guess I didn't realize what it was about. I'm going to check it out as soon as I finish this. I think your affiliate approach that relies on multiple modest sources of income is best for the reasons you cite. The trick is picking the right products I'm sure. Yours sound like good ones.  How do you pick your products? That's my stumbling block right now. But maybe I'm asking too soon. The answer might be on your website.
 
I have been through Site Build It's video presentation and like what I see there. Funny thing; Scott Fox (Internet Riches) is big on them as well.
 
Well, I'm going to jump over to retirement-jobs-online now.  Thanks again for your input, John.
 
Jim

My reply – September 23

Jim, 

Keep the faith.  It takes a while.  All the Internet marketers have built an aura about the Net of instant success and instant wealth.  That is like winning the lottery.  It takes steady work to find the right combination.  Several of my attempts have flopped, but I had to test the idea to determine it no good.  It took a year and writing lots of web pages to get the retirement jobs online site to #2 on Google for "retirement jobs".  I am satisfied with that position since the #1 position is sewed up by a company with a full time publicity staff and Internet web designers. 

What to pick?  Tough question.  I look for what is hot and what will have a long life.  I do not want something that will flash and be gone without returning my investment of time to develop a site.  I chose GPS because we purchased one and I liked it and became interested in the industry.  The HDTV industry caught my interest because of the emerging technology and the fact that all analog TV's will be obsolete next February without a converter box.  The downturn in the economy has hurt the sales on the HDTV site, but that will recover. 

To find best selling items, you can use the Net.  I use Amazon to find the best selling GPS or HDTV.  Go to Amazon and search on your general topic (Electronics - GPS).  In the upper right corner there is a box that usually says "Relevance".  Click on it and select "Bestselling".  The items in the search will be sorted from high to low by best selling. 

A good name for a website is "best-whatever" or "the-best-whatever".  Many people search on the Net with the word "best" in front of the "whatever".  This will bring you traffic just from these searches.

You can use the Google keyword tool to find searches on the Net. 

You are welcome and good luck.

Jim, I ask your permission to print some of these email in my monthly eZine.  Exchanges like these need to be shared with my readers so they can benefit from this information.  I will omit your full name and your email address.

John Howe

Jim’s reply – September 23

John,
 
Thank you for you answers to my questions and your encouragement. Your answers provide great insights to an area I personally struggle with right now in my own quest to develop internet income sources. I've been looking at your "Retirement Jobs" website as well. It's huge and full of great stuff! How long have you been at this?
 
As far as quoting my comments are concerned, please feel free to use anything I say. I appreciate our communication and am happy to be of any help that I can.
 
Thanks again, John, and please stay in touch.
 
Jim

My sincere thanks to Jim for his questions and his permission to use our exchange in the Boomer eZine.

 

If you have anything for this section or you have a suggestion for a topic for an article, please use this suggestion form to give us your suggestions or your input.  With your help, we can improve the Boomer eZine.  This link will open a new page.  Close the page to return to Boomer eZine. 

Advertising on RJO Website 

This last month I realized that our Retirement Jobs Online (RJO) website had finally “come of age” when I was contacted by two reputable companies asking about placing ads (links) on the website.  I felt complemented.  At the same time, I found myself in unknown territory since I had never sold advertising space. 

I guard the reputation of the RJO website since I want to make certain that there is no question about the quality of the information or the products offered on the site.  The first thing I requested from the companies was the HTML code and the location on the particular webpage where they wanted the code placed. 

From the code, I could see the text that they wanted inserted in the RJO webpage and the website where the reader would be taken when they clicked on the ad link.  The last thing I want is for someone to click a link on RJO and land on a porn site. 

Once I was satisfied that the landing pages for the links were on quality websites and offered quality products, the challenge became what to charge for the advertising.  I thought about this for a while and decided to ask my client contact what they normally paid for the link.  The answer surprised me.  $300 for a six month placement!  I am certain that she left some negotiation room with this offer, but I decided not to be greedy and accepted it.

The other placement was stricter about the placement and required that I agree to their “Terms and Conditions” which does not permit me to discuss the transaction in detail.  Their offer was also what I consider an attractive offer for a one year placement.  I changed the pages and inserted the ads they wanted.  I emailed them when the pages were modified.  They paid me using my PayPal account. 

As a follow up to this, I set up an Excel spreadsheet that lists the date the ad started, the date it will expire, income, location, etc.  I will check this spreadsheet on the first of each month to see which ads will expire that month so I can invoice for a renewal term.  I hope that more advertisers like the traffic that comes to RJO and want to buy advertising. 

The lesson in this is there are several ways to make money from a website.  The RJO site generates income from the Adsense Ads on its pages.  It generates money from the sale of items that are referred and recommended.  It sends viewers to other of my sites where products are sold.  And now it is generating advertising income. 

The site was started in May 2006 so it has not been an overnight success, but the mascot of Site Build It is the tortoise.  Slow and steady will get you there. 

Commission Blueprint - Selling Clickbank Products 

Comission Blueprint Picture

I joined Clickbank a couple of years ago and occasionally sell a product on Clickbank that I recommend on one of our websites.  However, I have not spent enough time on Clickbank to really become proficient in selling Clickbank products.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jim Cockrum, author of “The Silent Sales Machine Hiding on eBay”, and the owner of “The Silent Team” membership website.  If Jim recommends something, you can bet that it is legitimate and very good. 

Jim recommended the course “Commission Blueprint” which teaches you how to sell on Clickbank.  I have bought so many classes that were no good that I really thought about this one for a while, but I had a good month this month so I decided to reinvest some of the income in education.  Based on Jim’s recommendation, I purchased the class for $97. 

It consists of 14 videos and several manuals or guides.  I am almost half way through it, and so far, it looks very good.  It is a nuts and bolts class that shows you exactly how to find profitable products on Clickbank, how to test the profitability, and how to set up a Google Adwords campaign to sell large numbers of the product. 

I will finish this class after this issue goes to press so expect a follow up article about it in the next issue.

Affiliate Success Checklist
(c) Charlie Page
------------------------------------------------------

Author’s Note:  Charlie Page is the owner of the Directory of Ezines (http://www.directoryofezines.com).  I rate his newsletter as one of the top newsletters that I receive.  He has great content and shares it willingly.  The Directory of Ezines is an authority site for ezine information on the Net.

Directory of Ezines Picture

My favorite Internet business model is affiliate marketing and this article covers it well.

If you are not yet making a full time living online,
and want to, then you will like what this article
offers - practical advice to help you build a rock
solid foundation for success.

It all starts with something you have heard about, but
might not have yet mastered ... affiliate marketing.

Do you understand affiliate marketing?

Do you know what is required to succeed as an
affiliate?

Most people don't, which is a shame because this method
of making money online is very powerful indeed.

The reality is this - making money as an affiliate is
the easiest way to get started making money online.

After 10 years of working online I believe that
affiliate marketing is the foundation of most true
success stories, and can quite easily create a full
time income with little or no overhead or technical
skills.

And that is just too good a situation to pass up!

So let's look together at what affiliate marketing is,
and then I will share my own "affiliate marketing
checklist" and provide a few resources to help
you.

Sound good? Then let's get started.

>>> WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING ANYWAY?

Being an affiliate simply means that you sell someone
else's product and earn a commission when you do so.

Webster's Dictionary defines the word 'affiliate' this
way...

Affiliate: [verb] To associate as a member "affiliates
herself with the local club"

That's exactly correct. When you become an affiliate
you are associating with the product or service you
will be selling.

You are loaning them your reputation.

Please don't forget that.

Every email you send, every contact you make, reflects
on you. And the company's action will reflect on you as
well, so choose wisely.

So, being an affiliate is simply a fancy Internet way
of saying that you are going to be a commissioned
salesperson.

>>> DOES IT REALLY WORK?

Yes, it does. It is true that you can make very good
money with affiliate programs, but it is not automatic.

You must still understand the PROCESS of marketing and
do the work.

But if you choose great programs, do some of the work
(and take advantage of the tools they offer) you can
grow a powerful income in a short period of time.

It's equally true that you can waste tons of time and
money on them and your reputation can suffer if you
don't choose carefully.

That is why it is vitally important that you understand
as much as you can about any program you join online.
If it makes sense to you, it will make sense to others
to whom you offer the product or program.

If it does not make sense to you (and especially if you
are confused) the by all means *wait* until you fully
understand what they are offering.

Over the years I have developed a checklist of 10
things people need to know before taking the plunge
into the world of affiliate marketing.

This checklist has proven invaluable to my clients and
friends, and I hope it helps you as well.

--------------------------------------------------
MY AFFILIATE SUCCESS CHECKLIST
--------------------------------------------------

1. MAKE SURE THE PRODUCT BEING OFFERED MATCHES YOU

If your passion is embroidery, you probably won't do
too well with car parts sites. Stick with what you know
at first and, once you learn how to promote on the
Internet, move on to different products.

2. CHECK IT OUT

Don't just jump in because it's easy. Ask yourself this
question; is the product or service you are affiliating
with something you would bring to your best friend? If
not, you may want to keep looking.

3. TALK TO CURRENT AFFILIATES

Ask for a list of happy affiliates. Ask them some key
questions such as did they get the help and support
promised? Are they being paid on time? You get the
idea.

4. THINK LONG TERM

If your first arrangement doesn't pan out, don't give
up. Many people on the net are making excellent incomes
with affiliate programs. You can too.

5. GO FOR QUALITY

Make a checklist of everything you want, find two who
meet the criteria, and go all out with those two.
Remember that it will be your reputation on the line.

6. HOW WELL DO THEY SELL?

You need to ask how well the product or service you
will be promoting 'converts'. Conversion is simply the
number of people per 100 who buy something.

For example, at the Directory of Ezines we convert 8 of
every 100 visitors to buyers. We know this because we
do the hard work of analyzing our traffic and sales,
and have for 10 years now.

This is the hard work that affiliates never have to do,
which is why being an affiliate is so much fun! You
make the money but don't have to do the copy writing or
figure out conversions or any of the back-office stuff.

For most established products you will promote you can
expect this number to range from .5% to about 10%.
Anything higher or lower and you need to be careful
about them telling you the truth.

Also, be aware that 'hot' products convert well while
they are hot but conversion drops with time. So be sure
to get *current* conversion figures.

7. WHAT IS THE COOKIE DURATION?

Most affiliate programs track using 'cookies' that are
set on the visitor's machine. You need to know how long
this cookie lasts and if it can be overwritten.

The reason this is important is that it will change how
you market.

If a company has a short cookie duration then you want
to focus on ads that make the sale now. If they have a
long duration you can use other methods (like banners)
that are more passive.

You also want to know if the cookie can be overwritten.

If it can, then someone who first learned about product
X from you, but clicks another link to buy, will not
earn you the commission you deserve.

Neither of these factors are good or bad (Amazon has an
incredibly short cookie but people still make fortunes
as affiliates for them) but are worth knowing.

8. DO YOU EARN 'BACKEND' COMMISSIONS?

This means do you get paid when someone you refer buys
a second product? This is vitally important. People
often buy two, three or more products from one site.
You should earn commissions for every product they buy.

9. DO YOU EARN RENEWAL COMMISSIONS?

If you send someone to a site where they pay a monthly
or quarterly fee, do you get paid every time or just
once? You should get paid every time.

10. DO THEY SUPPORT YOU?

Most people don't know, or have the time, to write ads
and create banners or graphics. You should expect the
program you join to provide these tools as well as some
training on how to sell their products.

>>> WHERE TO FIND GOOD AFFILIATE PROGRAMS <<<

My favorite tool for finding great products to sell as
an affiliate is Affiliates Alert.

They offer a free version, which does an excellent job.
As soon as you've earned some affiliate income, you
might want to consider the Pro version, as I did.

You can get the free version here ...

http://www.directoryofezines.com/affalert.html

Forums are excellent resources to learn what really
works. Here are my top three forum choices.

1. Anthony Blake's Marketing Forum

http://www.ablake.net/forum/

2. The Warriors of Internet Marketing.

http://www.warriorforum.com/

3. Michael Green's Marketing Forum

http://www.howtocorphelp.com/forum/

--------------------------------------------------

Here are THREE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES that will help you
succeed as an affiliate fast.

Allan Gardyne of Associate Programs.com. Great advice
from a guy who has been there.
http://www.associateprograms.com

A great site to learn and earn is Ken McArthur's site.
http://www.affiliateshowcase.com

Without a doubt, using ClickBank to find products is
the smart choice for a serious affiliate.

It costs nothing to become an affiliate and they offer
over 11,000 products. Many a real-life fortune has been
made promoting ClickBank products.
http://www.clickbank.com

--------------------------------------------------

If you are committed to quality, and only offer your
people quality resources, time will become your ally
and your affiliate commissions alone can quite
literally pay for the lifestyle of your dreams.

The best way to start is to choose three programs that
meet your criteria, and let them teach you how to be
successful with their program.

After all, when you win, they win.

And that's a beautiful way to make a living online.
--------------------------------------------------
Charlie Page helps people succeed online with products
that educate combined with personal support. To see all
that Charlie offers, including a chance to work with
Charlie personally, visit ...
http://www.RealWorldTactics.com

Pay Attention to your Web Sites 

The title sounds like a no-brainer, but I found that I was working so hard on building a new website (www.best-retirement-calculators.com) that I neglected my GPS site and my HDTV site.  These have produced some steady income selling products through the affiliate program on Amazon so I felt they were on autopilot. 

However, I wondered why the income was dropping off.  At first, I thought it was due to the economy.  When I spent some time and checked both sites, I found I had let them get out of date. 

Garmin had discontinued some of the hot sellers on the GPS site and introduced a new line of GPS units that look really great.  Samsung introduced a new line of LCD HDTV units for 2008 that are a significant improvement over the previous models. 

Time for a wake up call! 

This month. I have been working on these sites www.the-best-gps.com and www.the-best-hdtv.com to bring them up to date. 

I am about finished with the updates and I am seeing my traffic pick up on Amazon.  Yesterday, I sold the first of the new models of Samsung 52 inch LCD HDTV for a nice commission of over $80.00. 

This is a lesson to me.  I have set up a first of the month task list on my Outlook calendar to remind me to update the top 10 best selling list for both the GPS and the HDTV sites.  I get the information from the top sellers on Amazon.  I am adding a task to that list to check the blogs and the Samsung site to see if any new HDTV’s have hit the market.  I set up another task to check the GPS blogs for any new units that have been released. 

Websites have a very distinct advantage over blogs since you do not have to update them nearly as often as blogs.  However, you do have to pay attention to the websites to make certain that they do not go out of date. 

You can be certain that I learned a lesson from this and will remember to circle back and see how the old sites are doing. 

That wraps up this issue.  Until next month, stay tuned. 

John and Linda Howe 

www.boomer-ezine.com

www.the-best-gps.com

www.the-best-HDTV.com

www.the-best-web-host.com

www.best-retirement-calculators.com

www.boomer-marketplace.com

http://www.spend-til-the-end.com/

 

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