I’m not trying to pay my light bill with internet marketing. This is a cash flow positive adventure for me, I admit that, but I don’t have this overwhelming money drive thing going on, so I don’t have to choose between stretching the truth and feeding my family. I have this latitude to just tell the truth.
I’m not saying that everybody who makes their full time living is that way. In fact, I’ve cited many examples – Pat is my favorite one – of honest guys who are doing it right. I have some ability and some latitude to just not really worry about anything other than my personal integrity, which is a really nice thing about doing this the way that I’m doing it.
I really appreciate those comments. There were a lot more on the blog. Thank you so much for that.
There were some points that were made in the comments and a couple of those that I thought that we could address in this episode that would be helpful to you; people that either made points that I really resonated with or who raised questions that I wanted to address. So what I’d like to do for the remainder of the episode is tackle a few of those. So here we go…
The first thing that I want to talk about is the fact that this stuff doesn’t happen overnight.
If you read a sales letter for an internet marketing product or a small business product online, you get the impression that you can throw up a website and be making money tomorrow and in two or three months you’re off to the races, or two or three weeks in some cases. Sure that happens, there are documented cases and I don’t dispute that. But that’s not the average.
On average it’s a journey. David makes this point in a comment and I want to read this to you from David, I thought this was an excellent comment.
My journey has taken almost 10 years. From the beginning I understood what my goals were. Don’t get me wrong, I have dreams of something bigger, but my dreams have always been balanced with reality. Am I making money? Yes. Can I pay my mortgage, feed a family of five, and save with my online business? No. Do I consider it a success? Yes.
David has a very healthy realistic assessment of where he is and where he is going. That is an awesome place to be. When you know where you are and know where you’re headed, and you understand that the success that you’ve built is worth acknowledging and celebrating in a lot of cases, and then you can plot where you’re headed. I think that is a really great mindset to have, so I wanted to bring that out to you and applaud David for that comment.
The second thing I wanted to grab out of the comments was a comment by Mitch. He talks about the fact that he wonders how many of these people actually take action.
Now, as we pointed out, Mitch is talking in the broad case. I just want to make sure we give credit to people. I know, as we talked about in the last episode, there are people that take action, and they take the prescribed action, and they’re not successful. There is a failure rate. That’s something we’re going to talk about with Andrew on this show in a couple of weeks. In fact, I was supposed to interview him while I was sick and that didn’t work out because I had a 103 degree fever, that wouldn’t have been good. We’re going to reschedule that interview with Andrew and we’re going to have him on the show and have him address this kind of topic.
Quite frankly, Andrew has another product coming out that’s along the lines of Forever Affiliate, and we’re going to talk about that product. I’ll probably even host a webinar about that product. We’re going to try to understand this kind of stuff happened with Forever Affiliate, what’s different with this new product, are you really still making money, can you stand here and tell us you’re making money using these methods. We’re going to ask those hard questions.
Mitch makes the point and says he doesn’t have the numbers, but he is pretty confident that most people who listen to shows about making money online never take any action towards that goal. Once you take action towards that goal it’s no longer a fantasy, it’s work, and you might fail. I think that’s just right on point, Mitch.
I always talk about doing a little towards your internet business every day and all these kind of things that I preach. I’m not always successful in doing all these things that I preach, by the way. As you guys know, it’s not easy.
But Mitch is absolutely right here. In fact, a lot of people will pull the trigger on a course, download it to their hard drive or get the login information or whatever, and maybe even make it through the welcome video, but never really complete the course.
How can I say that? Because I have done that. I have courses that cost a three digit amount of money that I’ve downloaded and never even really used since I’ve been doing this, since 2007. So I know this happens. It happens to well intentioned people, like me. I’m far from a lazy guy, so I know that in the broad spectrum of people who are lazier than me and who work a lot harder than me, I know this is happening out there because it happens to me. You get distracted, something else comes up, you decide that’s not really what you want to do, or you get too many irons in the fire. Whatever the excuse code is, this happens.
The key idea from Mitch here is you have to take action. Once you take action, it’s work, it’s real work. I think that you have to have that mindset that if you’re going to build your business online you’re going to have to do some work. So we love Mitch’s comment. Thank you, Mitch.
The third comment I really like comes from Paul, who talks about the fact that he resonated with the part of the show where I talked about people getting bogged down in the commenting method that was used in Forever Affiliate where you needed to go to blogs and make comments and they needed to be reputable blogs and those comments needed to get approved, and you needed to get the backlinks that way.
That works really well, Andrew has very clear data on that, but it’s time consuming. If you’re running five or 10 sites and you need 50 links per site or something, you’re looking at hundreds or thousands of comments that you need to put out there and it’s hard to stick with that day after day. Paul had trouble with that too, and he owned up to that, which I liked. Thank you, Paul. Then he says he tried this RankCrew product that I’ve been talking about (LateNightIM.com/rankcrew) from Jonathan.
Now, I’ve deposited a ton of money in RankCrew, but I haven’t finished testing it. I’ve been so distracted by other things going on in my life, including being sick, that I haven’t actually gotten this done.
RankCrew is getting some pretty good press and Paul talks about the fact that he ran a couple of different SEO orders within about 10 days. One was the comments package where they go out and they make blog comments that link back to your blog and the other one was the link building package where they get social media links, like from profiles and other places like that.
He talks about the fact that he got 79 new referring domains over 44 days, he was able to actually get some links showing up in the link analysis tools like ahrefs.com. That’s a good indication that RankCrew is actually working in some way. Again, I haven’t tested it to say exactly what’s going on there, but Jonathan Leger is a good guy and I like his product and I like the RankCrew product and I like the way it works on the backend. That product is pretty cool and it’s inexpensive to use and get started with and I like that about it too, the barrier to entry of that product is really low. You can check that out using my affiliate link if you’re interested.
I’ll tell you there are a couple of takeaways from this. One is just the stick-to-it-iveness that Paul had, “I don’t like doing this commenting, what else can I do that will meet the requirement? I’ll find a tool,” and he found a tool and he’s able to get that done another way. That’s a key idea in outsourcing and when you’re a solo entrepreneur. If there’s stuff that has you stuck because you don’t know how to do it, you don’t like to do it, it’s not in your core competency or it’s taking too much of your time, that’s one of the first places you want to look to find another way to do that. Automation, like with RankCrew is a way to do those kind of things. Outsourcing, as we’ve discussed many times, on places like Fiverr is a good approach as well. I really like that feedback from Paul.
The other thing that I like about this feedback from Paul is it shows a willingness to just get through. We can’t go down Path A, I don’t want to do this commenting, I’m going to find Path B. Rather than just quit and say, “Commenting is not for me, I quit, I’m going to go try another program,” Paul says, “Here’s another way I can solve this problem.” That shows a level of what I call stick-to-it-iveness.
It’s the reason that I tend to hire kids with Master’s degrees with a thesis option instead of Bachelor degree students or Master’s degree students without a thesis option, because in order to get a thesis you have to have a certain level of stick-to-it-iveness. You have to deal with your research advisor, stay focused on research for months and months, deal with the annoying thesis clerk. (Those of you who have written a thesis out there know what I mean. These people can be really difficult about things that really don’t matter very much.) You have to push through and get that thing approved by your committee and you have to stick at that. Man, that can be a tenacious activity that you have to go through.
If I hire someone like that, I know that they have this stick-to-it-iveness quality about them. That’s why I like those kind of hires at my day job.
Likewise, Paul’s comment to me indicates a level of stick-to-it-iveness. “I couldn’t do it this way, I’m going to find a way to do it. Here’s a tool I can use to make it easier.” That’s what I think about Paul’s comment. Paul, thank you very much for that feedback.
The one sort of more negative comment, or maybe a little bit more controversial – I don’t want to say negative because it was honest, so I wouldn’t say it was negative. The one comment that was a little bit contrary was a comment by Chris whose opening line in the comment is that it seems to him that the only person who made from the system in the snapshot is the guy that was selling the system. By the way, just for full disclosure let’s put it out there, not just the guy who was selling the system, Andrew, but the guy who was promoting the system, Mark Mason at Late Night Internet Marketing. Let’s just put that out there.
That’s the common complaint, theory, thing that’s thrown out there on all make money schemes that I’ve ever seen advertised, all the way back to before internet marketing when these things used to come on late night TV about flipping real estate and all these kind of things, “If you can make so much money doing this, why are you telling other people about it? It must be that you can make more money telling people about it than actually doing it. Why are you doing that? That doesn’t make any sense.” These sorts of controversies around this.
First of all, technically let’s be very clear, from what I can see in the Forever Affiliate forum there are people that made money doing this. And I can guarantee you there will be people who will go and take this method and the things that they learn in Andrew’s class and they will grow a business over time and they will free themselves from whatever economic peril they’re in, or they will somehow leave their current job or pay off their medical bills, or whatever is going on in their life, buy a new car or whatever – that will happen. There are always success stories from these things. Those people will point back to Andrew and say, “Andrew Hansen changed my life.”
This happens. It also happens with Jason Van Orden. Jason and I were talking about this at lunch one day when he was in Dallas about this same kind of issue with success and failure. There are these people that fail that you just can’t seem to help. You put everything out in front of them and they’re not successful, for whatever reason. They chose the wrong niche, they don’t apply it right, they’re unlucky, whatever the reason is. The system is not full proof, that’s certainly part of the reason.
One of the things that happens is that they take away something from it that they add to their toolkit and when they’re eventually successful that set of tools in their toolkit is indispensible. This has certainly been the case for me.
I’d suggest to Chris one of the issues on this is timeframe. You could say, yes, over the six months Andrew probably generated more revenue from this product than any one individual generated, many more than many of the individuals generated; I don’t know what the numbers are and we’ll never know. But I can tell you that that’s a very short term view. If three years from now that person who just got started in internet marketing with Andrew’s course and builds on that with more training, more experimentation, and lands in something with a great deal of success and is successful, they will look back at that and consider it a dramatic success.
That’s another way to measure this. What is the value of the education? I can tell you that the fundamentals that are taught in that course are outstanding. The value in that course for what is charged is just outrageous. There’s an outrageous amount of value in that course for the price that is charged, there’s just no two ways about it in my opinion, in the way that I think about the value of that information, the potential for earnings and so forth.
I agree with Chris’s observation in a short term view, but I think a long term view informs you a lot differently about how to look at this. Still, however, I have to agree with the point, it’s the reason I did Episode 67, if you take this snapshot in time the way we did, you get the answer that we got, which is that there are a lot of people that weren’t successful. I think that’s just a fact. I applaud Chris for calling it out like that, but I think that’s a pretty short term view.
The other thing that Chris says that I thought was a really insightful point, he says that it seems the only way to make money online is to teach other people online about making money. I will tell you that’s clearly not the case. You can look at all of the affiliate payments that are being paid out. If you go to someplace like Affiliate Summit or one of these places where these affiliate networks are reporting the amount of money that they’re paying out, that’s clearly not the only way to make money online.
Some well documented cases out there that we’ve discussed are clear. Pat throws up this website about security guard training, which I didn’t really think was all that great an idea when I first saw it to be honest, and it continues to make a couple thousand dollars a month and he’s not doing anything to it, as far as I know.
So there’s that idea. The other thing that he says is that it seems that you have to have money to make money in this business. I thought that was interesting. His point is pretty well taken here, I thought this was pretty insightful by Chris.
A lot of times when I go to throw up a website to create a revenue stream, what do I do? I do some research on my own and then I ask my virtual assistant who I have on a monthly salary to go create the website and do all the stuff that’s required to create the website. I buy content for the site, usually I pay writers. Then usually I do some work to monetize the site and then I buy links and I add graphics that I’ve paid for. I spend money to do this stuff.
One of Chris’s points is that if you have a lot of money, sure you can go blast out sites. Maybe you have enough money you can do 100 of these and two of them stick and you’re good to go. That’s a really point, Chris, I never really thought about that.
What I will say is that in every case that I can think of, all of the stuff that I pay for, with a few possible exceptions like graphics where I just have no talent there, all of the stuff that I talk about I’m trading time for money. I’m not really trading money for more money, I’m really trading time for money. So I think that’s the difference there.
Your point is still well taken, Chris. I think it’s easier to make money if you have got money. I think this is an age old principle in making money that you need to have money to make money. In some cases I think this is actually what makes internet business special, because if you don’t have money you can trade time and sweat equity to make money, and those things are pretty much completely directly exchangeable.
That would be my response to Chris on that. Chris, I really appreciate the comment, I thought it was very insightful and I appreciate the bold reply on the blog. You guys should go over and read that at LateNightIM.com on Episode 67’s show notes, it’s a really good comment.
The last point I want to hit today is this point I just mentioned about low barrier to entry. My buddy James Kinson who has his own podcast up and running – we’re going to try to have James on the show, I think, he’s an awesome guy. James is talking about, first of all he doesn’t think the episode was a downer, but he thinks that maybe the failure rate in internet marketing could be even much higher than brick and mortar business because this barrier to entry is so low.
As we just mentioned, if you have sweat equity and time you’re capital outlay that you need to start an internet business is you need an idea and some sense of what you’re going to go do, and then maybe you need a domain name and some hosting, which is going to cost a few dollars a month, and you’re off to the races. That means that no one ever asked you for a business plan, no bank ever loaned you money, no one ever vetted your ideas necessarily. It means in general no one ever vetted you, no one ever looked at you and tried to make an assessment like a bank would about whether or not you were a good risk to start a business.
So the barrier to entry being low means that the filtering of who is going to be able to be successful and not successful doesn’t happen before the business starts, it happens after the business starts, because there’s no stopping you from starting an internet business. If you want to start a McDonalds you have to get approved by McDonalds, a bank has to loan you $750,000 or something to start a new McDonalds (probably much more than that actually.)
So there is a whole lot of stuff you have to do in order to start that business so that you can then fail, but in internet there’s nothing you have to do to start. You just declare, “I’ve started.” And then if you’re not successful you just declare, “I’ve failed.” There’s no other things going on, because of this low barrier to entry there’s no controls there, no filter to filter out the people who are likely to fail.
So, yes, James is absolutely right. It’s an excellent point. The barrier to entry is so low that the failure rate must be higher. Good point, James, thank you very much, I appreciate that feedback.
If you have more to say about this topic, I would love to hear what you think about what I have to say on this. You can find this on the show notes at LateNightIM.com/068.
Wrapping Things Up…
Thank you very much listening. This has been great and it has been good to be back on the mic. As you can tell, my voice is still not exactly right, but we’re getting there. Maybe I’ll add some electronic un-sick filter to make myself sound better.
In the next couple of weeks I have some great stuff lined up for you. One of the things that I want to talk about next week is this idea of if you’re starting an internet business is it because your day job is junk and you don’t like it, or you didn’t get the promotion you were looking for? I might have an answer for you. We’re going to talk to Farnoosh Brock again.
We talked to Farnoosh before, we’re going to talk to her again next week. She has a new product that may help you. I think it’s an interesting perspective and we’ll have an interview with Farnoosh. If you’ve got a day job and you’re looking for how to get ahead, Farnoosh has some tips for you next week that won’t cost you a dime to implement.
Then after that I wanted to talk to somebody who has done thousands of these websites, because after all our sample is this guy did five, this girl did three sites, this guy did seven sites, so that’s not a great statistical sample. Why not talk to somebody who has done thousands? So I went and got a hold of Justin at Empire Flippers and we’re going to talk to Justin in a couple of weeks right here on the show.
That’s what I have coming up for you in the next two weeks. I hope you have an absolutely fantastic day.