Are You Searching for a Way to Make Money Online?
Do You Buy Lots of “Internet Marketing” or “Make Money Online” Types of Offers?
Are You Getting Nowhere With Them and Just Wasting Money?
Yeah, that was me… for a long time. This isn’t a good way to live. When you go from program to program, just hoping and praying, it’s a lot like an addiction. If this is you, then it’s time to learn how to manage it. I don’t say you have to go completely cold turkey but you need to first realize what’s going on so you can make some wise decisions.
Let me explain a few things in this article:
- First, let’s go over how I fell into a trap of making money online and what effect it has on you.
- Second, I’ll explain how I got out of that trap and that sick cycle.
- Third, I’ll give advice to everyone selling on Warrior Plus and JVZoo regarding what they’re doing wrong (and right).
By showing you my failures and mistakes, I hope to help anyone else who may be stuck in this trap, looking for a way out. The good news is, there IS a definite way out and it’ll really help you truly make some money online.
How I Slipped Into the Trap of Making Money Online
Quick note: Before I get into my story, please know there are two sides to internet marketing and making money online. You can either help people get to what they’re looking for by giving them good, solid information, help them learn how to ethically make money online, or there’s the route of scamming people – where you’re only doing it to better yourself – not them. I’ll touch on this at the very end, too.
It all started on accident, really. It started around 2007, a bit after I set up a local directory website that was getting really good traffic. At that point, I was really happy just getting traffic and making some money with ads I had running.
I then got a hold of some software that put tons of Amazon products on my website. It was the perfect storm or something where I had good content, Google wasn’t too picky yet, and I had a solid domain name with a good reputation and traffic. I loaded those products in October and up until Christmas, it just took off. I was making like $125 per day on Amazon. A check for like $4500 showed up in the mail (I don’t think direct deposit was a thing back then) and I was hooked.
I tried a few things, then in early 2009 I got into a new program. Google still was easy to hack and I was ranking sites at #1, getting tons of traffic and raking cash in using Google AdSense. Wow.
Then Panda and Penguin hit and that all went to crap, really. I was able to sell that #1 website for a very nice sum still, so I was still on Cloud 9 at that point.
At this point, I was close to making around $100,000 online. Not bad for a Wisconsin boy.
Once the money ran out, I started looking for the next thing, then the next, then the next, and so on. A few of them worked out well and that’s the problem… a few of them worked out well. Not many but some did, so that kept me hooked – looking for that next, quick way to earn money online. If 1 in 10 offers worked, that would be fine – was my reasoning. And it’s not bad logic, really, but what happened was, I’d try things and if they didn’t instantly take off, I’d be on to the next thing.
It became like a drug, really. I needed a fix. I remember how I’d buy an offer and then be in “bliss mode” where I’d imagine how that money could do things for me if the offer worked. That was my high and I’d ride it out. I’d then later sit down and check out the offer and finally learn it was the same, old crap packaged a new way. The depression would sink in and I wouldn’t even ask for my money back since I felt so bad. Maybe I’d try it and nothing would happen and I’d think it was me and I did it wrong.
The problem was, there would always be a next offer and if I could just get one to work, I’d be done… or would I? It was kind of like feeding money into a slot machine.
And not giving an offer a chance to work kind of made me lazy – to be honest. I’d justify it by calling it my litmus test. This was becoming something bad, which was growing on me.
I then noticed this kind of behavior carrying into other parts of my life – like going to gym or getting fit. I’d try a little, fail, and stop. Maybe I’d try a diet supplement or some new eating plan. I wouldn’t stick it out and feel like a failure.
When this kind of thinking and behavior finally carries into all parts of your life, you’ve really become consumed by it and usually without even knowing it. It’s easy to hide usually but it’s there. I need most things to work instantly or I’d quit – even relationships. I wouldn’t have patience for things and most good things do take time, so this is just not a good combination.
This is real, folks. It starts slow and creeps in without you even knowing it. You get on these people’s lists and you get flooded with offers, seeking the next, big thing. That’s no way to live. I hated being there.
How I Got Out of That Trap
I got to a point where I had enough. I knew I had to make changes in my entire life to get out of the pit I was in.
I made some changes like I started using a personal trainer and going to a gym that just had classes. It took me probably 10 months before I saw decent progress. Sure, there were some instant gains, but then it took time. And what made the difference was adding just a bit more per week. It put me over into the land of success, you could say. Hanging on and just doing the minimum doesn’t get you the success you need to really reap the benefits. I finally learned that and more… as I’ll explain next.
What really helped was when I finally bought yet another program that was really cheap (like $5) and at the end, the guy had a really great video about how to go forward from the course he laid out. He was really honest about things and he had some great points (with my notes/spin added in – READ THIS):
- In a few days, you’re going to see another offer in your email, you’ll buy it, and continue in that cycle.
- You need to become a producer first and a consumer second. Flip the script. instead of buying, you need to sell.
- Get a producer mindset from now on and stop consuming these programs.
- First figure out what you’re going to sell to others.
- Run a real business online. It should make money and produce profit. From there, go and do the other things you love.
- It’s not all fun and games. It takes work. You’ll do things you hate to do but do them – get the work done. It’s important. You’ll then get to enjoy other things more. Get the work done and do it well – not half assed. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. If everyone’s doing it, then the market is over saturated and it’s not special. Be special by putting in the effort/work.
- Don’t just survive but thrive. Try to do more than you think you’re capable of. You can do it but you have to try.
- Don’t quit too early. Do stuff that sucks. Push through because only then will you see results. Other things in your life get easier because you’re doing things that you hate / that pushes you. Be willing to do it and you’ll get paid like you’re willing to do it. That’s how you get ahead. Stick it out and wait – be patient. Push! Don’t wimp out.
- Go above and beyond – try to be the best at whatever you do. You might not get there but try. Put your heart and soul into it – and then a little more. Do it for yourself to know you did it the best you could. That goes a long way in many ways. It carries over into your life. Live up to your potential.
- Don’t look back on your death bed wishing you did better. Go hard – as hard as you can. It won’t be fun – no way, but buck up and do it. The reward is worth it. You gain self-confidence by accomplishing things.
- Money will only get you so far but knowing you gave your all is even more worth it.
- When you go out and have fun, you have no worries because you know when you were working, you gave it your all. There’s no guilt and no regret (no worries).
- You might suck at first – you will. Expect that. Keep pushing through.
- Failure breeds success. The more you fail, the more you learn. You will get better but it will take time. Expect that. Every time you fail, you get closer to success but if you quit, then you’ll never see success.
Do Work and Provide Tons of Value
In 2009, when I hit it big, ranking on Google. I remember writing tons and tons of short articles. It was terrible. I hated it but I set goals and I got it done. I was later rewarded… big time. It worked (and it doesn’t work now, by the way – that was a long time ago). I worked one program hard and it paid off… that’s the point.
The mindset of dipping into this program and that one and not seeing it through is terrible. It’s the opposite of what you need to be doing and it’s addictive. Get out of that.
From all the programs/offers I’ve seen, I’ve gained experience and I’ve learned what to do and what not to do. There were lots of program I bought that were complete crap.
In fact, in this Internet Marketing world, I’ve noticed one guy out there with a really weird name that literally keeps producing a product per month around the same theme. It’s the same thing with a different name. What crap!
What you need to do is provide value. Make that your brand. You know something others don’t – everyone does. Think about what advice people always come to you for and what advice you give them because you know it really well. It’s probably a few things. Those are ideas for books and courses.
That is where you start. There are some skills and tools you’ll need to get going but it’s really not too tough. You do it once, at a minimal level and go from there.
It Doesn’t Have to Be Absolutely Perfect
The worst part is the “perfect” attitude. Below, I’ll list some things that don’t work but don’t keep refining your product until it’s absolutely perfect because it doesn’t need to be. Yes, make sure it’s good, understandable, and quality but don’t keep revising and revising because you’ll then never get it done and that’s useless. Get started and get to a point where it’s finished.
Google things like “good enough principle” to see what I mean. Doing that changed my life… seriously.
Get the Producer Mindset
Again, the main thing here is to change your mindset to be a producer. Change your point of view and just doing that will go a long way! Look at those offers that come in emails, check out what people are doing but don’t buy them – just use them for ideas and apply it to what you’re going to produce. Be a producer, not a consumer.
Like I’ve eluded to, make sure you produce offers or programs that will actually help people – not feed their addiction. To produce something like that, you’ll have to do it on purpose and work hard at it. To help you get there, I’m going to next list what not to do – my gripes about this industry. I do this so you can learn the best way to create a good JV offer.
To Everyone Selling on WarriorPlus and JVZoo
Since I’ve bought a lot of programs/offers, I have some tips for those who buy and those who sell on WarriorPlus, WSO and JVZoo. I’ve flat out turned down offers I’ve seen because someone didn’t use apostrophes correctly (or use them at all).
Your Spelling/Grammar Matter to Me
OK, I get it that the people selling their products and programs aren’t New York City advertising firms. My expectations aren’t that high for these sellers. I make mistakes, too. But if you’re asking me to spend my hard earned money on your products, you need to at least have someone look through your sales page and the materials you’re providing to proof read and step things up a notch. If that doesn’t matter to you, then to me, that’s an indication of the quality of product you’re selling. Don’t write your sales page like you’re writing a text message to a friend. Be professional.
If you don’t know the difference between “it’s” and “its,” then that’s an issue for me. I know English is confusing but deal with it. Learn it to get ahead in life. Learn some correct grammar, it’s worth it.
Hint: “it’s” ALWAYS means “it is” so there you go.
Oh, it’s “etc.” not “ect.” – pay attention to these details because they might not matter to you but they matter to a portion of your audience. Also, you look kind of silly. Maybe nobody’s saying anything because they don’t want to be “that guy” but they’re thinking it… for sure.
Think about this – the average member of the audience you’re reaching probably makes about $14 per hour (just a guess). If your product is $27, then you’re asking them to work 2 hours at their job in order to make enough money to buy what you’re selling. That’s 2 hours of lifting boxes, flipping burgers, mopping floors, taking orders, or whatever… 2 full hours! Not 2 hours watching a movie – 2 hours working.
So if they’re doing all of that in order to buy your product, why not at least ensure that a somewhat small detail like saying “let’s” (“let us”) instead of “lets” (the verb) is correct? If you’re not good at that, maybe first spend your own $27 to have someone look it over for you. It’s a two way street.
If you cannot do that, then how do I know your software isn’t full of glitches or not have things labeled well where it’s too confusing to use? You’re obviously not paying attention to details on your sales page, so I have to assume it’s going to carry into the rest of your product.
It also tells me that you’re working fast and furious to just get my money instead of delivering quality products. Wouldn’t I have to conclude that? You are in control of what you produce and if you want to send that message to me, it’s your choice. You’ll have to deal with the consequences – people like me thinking your quality is poor.
Your Course Videos
And with video training with your course, if your accent is very strong and if you’re trying to target the US market, maybe consider paying someone else to do the speaking for you. It’s just common sense. You’ll have less charge backs/refunds. And for goodness sake, do not put background music in your training videos or make them difficult to hear. That’s distracting and isn’t helping us understand your accent better. It’s noise. Stop it.
I was sold a course with an English speaker doing the voice over on the sales page and I then get a course with someone that’s hard to understand… that’s pretty close to “bait and switch” in my book – very deceitful, so be careful with that.
Oh, when you’re showing your WordPress Dashboard, make sure it’s up to date so that we know your plugin works with the latest version. Why are half of them showing that WP needs an update. And that just looks really sloppy, too.
Also in your videos, turn off any notifications like Skype and other programs that will make a sound or have a popup when you’re making a video. Basically, turn everything off that you’re not using. Turn off your phone or mute it, too. Be professional.
Someone a little while ago, whom I bought a program from, came back a few weeks after I bought it and offered more training – for free! And I don’t mean another, similar offer that complimented their product (cough… upsell) – but real training on their own product. They showed additional methods and strategies to make it work. Wow. That blew me away.
A Program With Less Steps / Videos is More Appealing
To me (and probably most people), a 22-series video sounds like it’s going to take up too much of my time. You may think that many videos makes it more of a value but it’s just more to go through to learn a simple method. I have to invest too much of my time to get to the point. This shows me you don’t respect my time, so think over that strategy. Simple is better, really.
Break things up so that if I know how to install WordPress, I can skip that part but hours and hours of video and reading is just more work for me.
Fluffy content isn’t adding more value, it’s adding more work… of me going through your lengthy videos. Let me skip ahead.
Don’t add more videos just to add more videos. If you can do it in 3 videos, then do that. If you do have to go through WordPress setup and basic things, then give me the option to skip ahead, past that, and get to the meat.
In the First Part of Your Program, Lay It All Out – Don’t Keep Me Waiting
There are different types of learning styles out there. Your program needs to work for all styles.
For me, give it to me in a nutshell and I’m off and running. I don’t need all the details – just the important ones. Let’s not go through how to set up WordPress for the umpteenth time. Sum it up right away so I know what I’m getting into and if I should spend time going through every… single… video or chapter. Sure, there can be some fine points that I need to know but tell me the general plan and then where I need to pay attention for it to work successfully.
When you do that, you’re covering how I learn. If you don’t do that, I’m frustrated throughout the whole time, I’m going through your course or program. I need bullet points. Do that and then go into detail because you have other types of learners and newbies who actually need all those details. Just cover all types of learners and you’re good.
Don’t Create All Kinds of New Terminology to Be Cool
Yeah, there’s enough words in English to cover about everything – at least everything we need to know, so don’t wrap what you’re doing in all kinds of fancy words to be “cool” or something. That’s not branding. Naming everything with a word like “Boss” or “Turbo” or something can really start confusing your audience if you’re not careful. You think you’re doing that to make things make more sense and for you to be cool but no, that’s not working. You’re basically talking someone OUT of buying your product by making it more confusing.
I get that you’ve lived and breathed your product for the last 4 months, but there’s us out here who have never heard of it, so don’t forget about us. Bring it down a level and explain it nice and simply. Say what it is and what it’ll do. Don’t try to be too fancy or cool, just explain it as if we haven’t ever heard of what you’re selling before because… we haven’t.
Your Money Back Guarantee Needs to Be Stupidly Easy
Again, I maybe ask for a refund once in maybe 15 or 20 times, so I’m not a piker. There was one I returned recently (it was for my company, not me, actually) and they asked me lots of questions and made me jump through some hoops just to get my money back. I won’t buy from them again, no way.
Maybe the program I bought isn’t for me or it happens to be crap but if you put out another program that is really great, I might buy it – but only if getting my money back the first time was simple. If you gave me a hassle, then you’ve lost trust with me and it’ll be difficult to get it back. Your product would have to be 100 times better than the first one instead of just a little bit better. You’re just creating more work for yourself by treating your customers that way.
If what you’re offering is really good and worth the price, people won’t ask for refunds, so you can have a stupid, simple guarantee and not have to worry at all. Do that.
Why Are You Offering Me Resell Rights When I Haven’t Gone Through It Yet?
“Hey, would you like to resell this course you haven’t even seen yet?”
“What if we lower the price?”
Um… are you on drugs?
Seriously. It’s a one-time offer (OTO) that I have to decide on right now. But wait, I haven’t even gone through your material yet and you’re asking me to buy it to resell. That’s like asking a girl to marry you on the first date, right? Maybe it’s time to rethink this strategy. Offer it to me after I’ve gone through it. If it’s a great program, then I’m in!
Maybe there are people that are looking for the reseller right. I get that you have to make it available and you’ll get more sales if you offer it. Some people already have the audience and they have a place to add more programs easily. Sure, that makes sense but for the end user, maybe let them check it out and then offer it later and guide them how to make money doing that. Don’t make it a one-time offer that’s gone right away. Just a thought.
Over Freaking Deliver!
Does that make sense? Give me more than I thought I’d get. Add a surprise bonus or two.
I’ve bought courses where the bonuses were worth WAY more than the courses themselves… which is lame but I, at least, got some value. Over delivering makes me not want to ask for a refund, so it’s in your best interest.
Do Good Customer Support
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business.
If a problem comes up, that’s actually a good thing. Just like with my business, I want my clients to tell me when there’s a problem. It’s an opportunity. You get a chance to show them how much you care by fixing the problem. If that problem never came up, you wouldn’t have that chance.
What happens is, customers stay with you longer when there was a problem and you fixed it. This isn’t an excuse to cause problems, of course, but if someone does complain, don’t get emotional and reactive and take it personally. Just take care of it the best you can – even go the extra mile to make sure your customer is really happy. That’s how business works.
Don’t give your customers a reason to leave but give them too many reasons to stay!
That’s the key.
That’s how you want to be treated, right?
I don’t understand and I’m actually very shocked when I run into a situation where the person or company I bought something from treats me badly. I don’t get it. They either haven’t been in business long or they think they’re a god or something. Very strange. It’s especially more important in this age of online reviews since you have to work hard for good reviews and bad reviews spring up too quickly. As a business owner, you have to be on top of that but it’s not difficult.
You need 100 raving fans to have a successful business. They’ll keep sending other people they know to you. Treat them well and they will take care of you… period. If you do anything else, you will fail.
Respond quickly (that’s huge), communicate clearly, don’t get emotional (learn self-control), and do whatever you can for your customers. Love them and they will love you back!
And if you can have a way for people to easily ask pre-sales questions, that’s good. They might not have questions but they might just be testing your support to see how quickly you respond. This matters more for products where your offer is a monthly subscription because you’re asking people to commit to your product/service and they want to know they’ll be taken care of. That $27 per month (or whatever) per month is a bag of groceries – think about that. That is what you’re asking people for. They’re going to want to know if your support is good.
Put Your Full Name on it!
I seriously get marketing emails from “Paul” or “Steve” or names where there’s just one first name and no last name. What that tells me is they are not willing to put their full name it and they do not stand behind what they’re trying to push. They’re trying to hide.
If you have a good product, you’ll put your full name on it and back it up. Most, good Internet Marketers you see use their full, real name. They work hard. Their products or ones they endorse are their brand, which they stand behind.
If you’re going with just a first name (that’s probably not even your real first name), then I delete it before I even read it. You’re fake. Please get out of this industry.
Send More Emails to Me Than Just Asking Me to Buy Stuff
When I see your name, do I first think that you want me to buy something or that you’re offering me value?
Definitely email your list often (something I learned from Anik Singal) but don’t make every email an offer. Instead, give me something I can use… for free. Give me a tip or some kind of advice. Heck, tell me about your dog. Just don’t ask me to buy every time.
There’s one girl I see online that offers her list something free once a week. What a great idea! Do that!
Need Help with Your Offer Page?
If you’d like someone to look over your front end (FE) launch/sales page on your offer before it goes live, I’m available for that kind of work – just contact me. I can objectively look it over and give you feedback along with things to fix or make more clear. If that meant 50 or 500 more sales, wouldn’t that be worth it?
I do this exact kind of work for a living. A third party looking at your offer before it goes live can cut down on support questions, increase the perception of the quality of your product, and help you convert more traffic into sales.
Note: I didn’t write this article for this reason but I actually added this section after I was done writing it because I was thinking since I’m saying what needs to be fixed, I should also offer to help. I especially want to help someone who is new or someone who is not a native English speaker. I said how things don’t have to be perfect but if you make things clearer and fix mistakes, I believe you will sell more products.
It’s not all bad. I believe there are a lot of hard working Internet Marketers who put out good products and their aim is to help people. It’s tough to see the right programs / offers – I admit that.
If you feel like you’re stuck like I was, then try doing what I say and change your mindset. Take a look at this whole industry from the producer point of view. See how they have to keep sending out offers to their list – then picture yourself on the other side, responding to their offers. Stop and really think about that.
Here’s what I suggest – you have three, main options:
- Stop or pause – If you can or if you feel you have to, stop buying new programs and offers that come out. Go cold turkey if you can.
- If you do find a good tool that compliments or helps with what you already have planned, then maybe consider buying it but don’t do it right away – wait half a day or until the next morning.
- If you find a product that looks good but takes you off your current course, then close that browser tab and stay away from it. New things will come out all the time, so don’t get distracted. You’ll even start feeling good buy NOT buying stuff. That is what happened to me!
- Consider taking a pause when you see a new program. Keep the tab open in your browser but come back to it later. You’re then letting emotion go away. When you come back, you can look at the offer more logically with less emotion going on. Even if they say the price is going up, just pause and come back to it later.
- If you do want to buy something, then maybe check out this website I found called JV Leaks. I think what they do is they buy reseller’s rights and then post things there at a pretty big discount… something like that.
- Stop and choose – Another option you have is to look over the programs you have bought and see which one looks the best or the most comfortable to you.
- Work that program. Do what they say. If you run into problems or questions, ask them for help. Make them work for the $27 (or whatever amount) you paid them. They have a reputation to uphold.
- Keep working that program for 60 days. Stick to it.
- At the end of 60 days, you’ll know if you either have a winner or a loser but what you get is you learn things. Better yet, you stuck with it and gave it a good shot. If it takes off, then keep working it or modify it to work better. Later on, you can repackage this method as your own with your own spin and sell it to others.
- STOP – I don’t want to send a mixed message here… if you are seriously having a big problem buying offer after offer and you feel like you might be addicted, then you should stop – immediately. Recognize offers and delete those emails. Don’t click on those ads. Run away from them. Seriously… this is your life we’re talking about.
If you pick a program and work it, that’ll help you ignore new offers. You know you’re busy with something and new offers won’t seem as desirable since going to them will take you off track. And don’t expect awesome results right away. Very often (most often), you have to work at something a bit for it to work. Too many of these offers promise fast results and that’s bad because that’s not how the real world works. Work a program for a while. Know that you’re at the start of something and it’ll pay off in a little while if you keep working at it.
Then the ultimate goal is to become a producer yourself. Again, you can start and just take a method you’ve used (maybe the one you’re going to start now) and put your own spin on it to make it better.
IMPORTANT: If you do continue and become a producer, I’d suggest you please look at what you’re doing. Are you actually helping other people or are you leading them down a path that can become an addiction?
Take a good, hard look at what kind of internet marketing you’re doing. Make sure you’re not trying to scam people but in fact help them. Scamming can lead you to a dark place, very slowly. I’m glad I’ve only peered into that realm and didn’t get in far at all before I turned around and ran. Don’t go there. It’s enticing for sure but lies and leading others to lies can only lead to destruction. Run and go the other way. Try to help others. There are two sides to internet marketing for sure. Really think about where you are.
Thoughts or Comments?
Whew! There’s a lot here. Please contact me or leave comments here either about what you think of this article or about your results. I’d like to try to help and encourage you on your journey. I’d also like to know that I haven’t been the only one out there who has felt this way.
Please also do me a favor and share this article on social media or forums.