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Volume 3 - Issue 8 11-1-08

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Table of Contents for this issue.....

1.    Authors Comments

2.    Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

3.    Commission Blueprint – Continued

4.    Five Minutes of Fame

5.    Food, Shelter  ……  Internet?

6.    Pushing Through the Slump

7.    Craig’s List Search Tool

Author's Comments


I apologize for being late with this issue, but I am the Finance Director for our Church and this weekend was the start of the annual Stewardship pledge drive.


I had to prepare several presentations to give at a parish lunch on Sunday and it took more time than I thought it would.


Anyway, here is the issue a day later than I planned.  Linda and I hope you enjoy it.


Thanks for being a subscriber.  We appreciate you very much.


Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

I really appreciate it when a reader catches a problem for me so I can correct it.  My thanks to Jack for letting be know I had some bad links on the site.  He also suggested a great tool for checking all the links in your website.  Check out this tool yourself.

Email from Jack dated October 23, 2008 ---- 

Hi John, 

I really enjoy your newsletter! I wanted to let you know that your

link to the HDTV site is incorrect at the moment - it causes an error

when I try to click the link. It looks like there's an extra period in

the domain name. 

so you may want to check out the retirement jobs website and make sure the links are correct. 

I use a free tool at to help me do a

quick check of my live sites. 

Best Wishes,


Jack Tackett, Jr.

jtackett at

Compliancy Software, Inc.


Jack’s catch of the bad link was very much appreciated.  Unfortunately, I had propagated that bad link over 40+ web pages on the website.  It took a lot of work to edit and upload all those pages, but the job is now finished. 

Thanks, Jack.  I hope I can return the favor some time. 

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.

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Commission Blueprint – Continued 

In the last issue, I mentioned that I had signed up for the Commission Blueprint class.  I finished it after the last issue was sent, and I was really disappointed in the end. 

The instruction and information supplied by Commission Blueprint were very good.  However, I felt that the people who created it did not fully disclose some information about the course and how it related to Clickbank. 

During the class, we were taught to narrow our target products by only focusing our efforts on products that have a commission greater than $30 and gravity greater than 100.  Gravity is a measure Clickbank uses to indicate click rate and other variables. 

The 30/100 rule was taught by Steve Clayton, one of the creators of the course.  This seemed like an easy way to narrow the over 10,000 products on Clickbank into a manageable number to evaluate for promoting using pay per click advertising. 

Steve then showed how to use a website named CB Engine to search Clickbank for top products.  He searched for the top 10 in each category.  Here is the search the way that Steve used it in the video: 

CB Engine Search Options

This brought back 719 unique results.  My initial reaction was “Wow, look at the potential here and this will spread the competition from the people signed up for this course over plenty of products so we are not killing each other”. 

Well, the top 10 in each category do not necessarily meet the 30/100 rule.  After researching several of the results, I found that few met the 30/100 rule so I decided there had to be a better way to do this research than to plow through each product on Clickbank. 

I went back to the search on CB Engine and played with the options.  In a few minutes, I found that I could set the search parameters to select all products that paid a commission over $30 and sort them in descending order by gravity.  The top products on the list would meet the 30/100 rule.  Here is the search with the search terms set for this search:

CB Engine Search Options

Guess what?  The search brought back 32 unique products with commission over $30.  Only the top 21 were 100 or higher gravity.  Further research showed that four of these products were banned by Google leaving 17 products out of the thousands on that met the rule

My disappointment was that these two men sold this class knowing full well that it would concentrate a large number of people into competition for very few products.  The parties that benefited the most were Steve and Tim, creators of the course, and Google since I expect that the competition drove the click cost up. 

I personally do not believe that Steve did not know how to use the search to narrow the products for the 30/100 rule.  It took me very little time to learn how to use it.  If he had shown this in his video presentation, it would have been damaging to the rest of the video. 

When I posted my disappointment on the Commission Blueprint forum, the response was that the 30/100 rule was not a hard and fast rule and you had to evaluate each product.  I agree, but I feel that those who took the course were misled. 

I will say that the tools and the techniques that were taught were valuable, but I was turned off by what I felt was deception. 

Five Minutes of Fame - Associated Press Article 

We have all heard the saying about having fifteen minutes of fame in our lifetimes.  Linda and I had five minutes of our fame this last month. 

During last of September and the first of October when the market was melting down, Tim from the public relations department of contacted me and asked if I would grant an interview to a reporter from the Associated Press (AP).  The reporter wanted to discuss the impact the drop in the market was having on retirees’ savings.  I told Tim that I would be glad to do so. 

Tim had talked to me before about retirees and retirement jobs due to my website and the Retirement Jobs Group that I manage on 

It just so happened that Dave Carpenter from the AP called me the afternoon the market dropped 777 points.  He was asking how retirees and people close to retirement were feeling about what was happening with the market.  My reply was, “A lot of people are saying to themselves, “I am probably going to have to work until they put me in the hole””.  This was intended to be a general statement about how I thought many retirees and almost retirees might be feeling. 

Unfortunately, when the article was published, I was quoted as saying this about myself.  Things are not too bad for Linda and me.  We could certainly stand for the market to rise and increase the value of our retirement savings, but I will not have to work forever in my regular job.  I plan to continue to work in my online retirement job as long as I am able since it requires a few hours a week to make money to supplement our retirement savings. 

The reporter asked if I could arrange for a picture so I set up my digital camera, set the self-timer and took the picture that accompanied the article.  I got my favorite hunting dog, Jane, out of the kennel so she could be in the picture since having a dog in a picture always attracts attention. 

John Linda Jane Five Minutes of Fame

This article was picked up by many newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.  It was also on Google News, Yahoo News, MSNBC, and other news websites.  We heard from old friends from all over the country who read it and sent us clippings. 

To read the article, click the following link.   I guess this is five minutes of my 15 minutes of fame.  I wonder what the other 10 might be?  Good, I hope!

Food, Shelter  ……  Internet? 

This title and information is taken from an article in the Corpus Christi Caller – Times, our local newspaper, dated October 25, 2008. 

A recent study conducted in the United States and Canada indicates that if consumers are forced to reduce spending, unplugging their computers or switching off their Blackberries will be one of the last things they do. 

The computer has become an essential utility like water or electricity. 

The survey showed that the expense reduction would be in this order: 

  1. concert tickets
  2. sporting events
  3. movie tickets
  4. DVD purchases
  5. premium cable packages
  6. video game purchases
  7. home phone services
  8. wireless plans
  9. DVD rentals

This is good for those of us who are using the Internet to generate income.  It means that during the downturn, business on the Internet will not drop like offline businesses will. 

I have read several recent articles that say business on the Net has actually picked up in the last couple of months.  I can tell you from personal experience that several of my websites are seeing record traffic in the last month.  More people are surfing the Net rather than going out or spending money for DVD’s for entertainment. 

An online business is a great business to be in and just keeps getting better. 

Pushing Through the Slump ęDiego Norte 

Our thanks to Diego Norte at for being a guest author in this issue.  We all reach the point where we get discouraged and are ready to quit.  This article addresses ways to get thorough this time. 

There comes a point in the life of any business owner when it seems like you are staring at a wall.  Maybe sales have slowed to a crawl, maybe the work has become monotonous, or perhaps a few setbacks have happened recently.  Whatever the cause, there may be a day when you are tempted to just forget the whole thing.  Here are a few simple ways to get past that inevitable slump: 

1.  Think of the time and money you have already invested   

It may seem that you're not getting anywhere, but if you look back several months into the history of your newly formed business, you will be able to see that you have already made quite a bit of progress.  You have already put in your blood, sweat, tears, and probably lost a little sleep over this venture.  It would be a shame to just throw it all away. 

2.  Rethink your business plan 

If your slump is caused by a slowdown in your sales, it may be time to think of something new.  Put your current ideas on hold for a day or even several days while you sit down and rethink your direction and focus.  It may be that the ideas you're trying just aren't working and it's time to inject some fresh ideas into the mix. 

3.  Take a short vacation 

Your frustration and lack of motivation could be your body's way of signaling that it needs a break.  Running a business, even online, can be stressful and mentally exhausting at times.  You've probably been working longer hours than you expected and facing challenges on a regular basis at this stage.  Stress can deplete your body of important nutrients, so it might be time to take a short break and let your body recuperate from your hard work.  

4.  Ask for help 

Friends and family can be a great resource at times like this.  You may need help getting everything done or it could just be with some brainstorming for new ideas to put into place.  Close family may already know some of the struggles you've had and might have helpful suggestions for you.   

One word of caution:  Make it clear upfront if and how they will be compensated for their help.  It's not worth risking a relationship over. 

5.  Write down a list of reasons you started this business 

When you started, you had dreams.  You had an idea of what you wanted to accomplish.  Sit down and remember what those ideas were.  Seeing things in writing can help to motivate you, so make a list and hang it in a visible place like your workspace or even on the fridge. 

These tips will help you to get past your slump and back into business with your online business.  Remember, you started your online business for a reason.  Keep that reason in mind to keep your motivation level high.  And don't be afraid to give yourself a break when needed.  Happy selling! 

Craig’s List Search Tool 

I must give Jim Cockrum credit for showing me this tool.  Jim published an article about it in his latest ezine, Creative eBay Selling Newsletter.   

You can subscribe at Jim’s Newsletter at this link.  This is a sales page for Jim’s all time best selling book about doing business on eBay, but you can subscribe to the newsletter without buying the book. 

Jim’s newsletter is one of the best newsletters I read.  So many newsletters by other authors are filled with junk.  Jim’s newsletter really contains great content and many helpful hints that are not limited to eBay. 


Here's a cool website that allows you to search all of the listings around the world with one search

box. I played around with different search phrases like "I

need", "want to buy", "please help", and "looking for" to

see what others are needing on craiglist in my town and

around the world.  

It's a great brainstorming tool. Lot's of ideas...

Jim also has two websites that are worth exploring. 

My Silent Team Site

From the About My Silent Team page

Although you may never actually meet (in person) many of the experts and friends we've gathered here, we can promise that they are here to help you find success on eBay and the Internet. Many of our members and experts are enjoying six figure incomes from home based eBay and Internet businesses - and more are coming on board every day!

Since launch we've added over 2,400 members and we're still growing every day! That large of a community with a common goal makes for a fantastic discussion forum where you can ask for help and hear back from industry experts and fellow members quickly on just about any question you could have!

Check out

Offline Biz Site 

From About Me page on has the sole purpose of teaching you how to become a highly paid Internet Marketing expert to the "real world" business in your local area and beyond. They know they need help and you are the one to give it to them!

With only the most basic of knowledge of Internet Marketing (NO design, programming, HTML, etc. skills needed) you can consult with nearly any business and earn a very nice recurring income paycheck in the process!

As an Internet Marketing consultant you don't need to be a techie geek - all you need in order to succeed is the right ideas. That's where OfflineBiz comes in.


Most businesses know that they need to be visible online, they just don't know how to get there. If you can show them, they will happily pay for your services because you're making them money. This is a win-win situation.

We'll show you how to outsource all the "hard work" and make a great profit providing an in demand service.

  • Everything you need to become a success helping local businesses succeed online
  • Quick Start Strategies for instant results
  • Step by step instructions on finding customers
  • An unfair advantage with cutting edge Internet Marketing strategies
  • Interaction with industry pros and other members
  • Constant updates, new resources and 24/7 access to our forums

Check out 

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

John and Linda Howe

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