Also, check out our Youtube channel.
I’m happy to announce that the highest paying precious metals affiliate program in the world just got better.
Let me explain…
I am part-owner of a precious metals company called RegalAssets.com, and I mainly handle everything related to our affiliate program at http://www.RegalGoldAffiliates.com
We already payout up to 12x more than our competition…
Basically, if you have traffic in the investing and/or precious metals space, we will pay you as follows:
- $30 per lead (name and phone)
- $30 per call (pay per call over 10 minutes)
- 3% of the gross investment amount (12x higher payout than similar companies who only pay 0.25%)
- 2% second tier commission (if you refer an affiliate who makes sales, you earn 2% on the sales they refer)
In addition, we offer:
- subID tracking
- a pre-made gold/silver site with your tracking already built in
- your own 800 number that tracks back to you for all calls, in real-time
- tutorial videos, including a walkthrough of my own example site, which did $455k in sales in 5 days ($12k commission)
We have lots of affiliates earning $10k/mo or more. Our top affiliate has been paid out well over $1 million.
To get in on the action, go to http://www.RegalGoldAffiliates.com
With the economy and worldwide currencies in their current state, gold/silver have a very strong future. Now is the time!
P.S. I built a blog dedicated to updates on the price of silver, including daily recaps here: SpotSilver.net
I just watched a webinar with SEO Braintrust – I like those guys. It motivated me to make this post. Its sort of a combo of my thinking and theirs (as I understand it)…
If you’ve received an unnatural links notice from Google recenlty, remember you haven’t necessarily been penalized. It takes a manual review by a person to de-index you. BUT, if you have been relying on a bad link network, those links have now been nuked, so obviously you have less links to your site now… so naturally you would lose rankings.
Now if you have ALSO done a lot of good linking practices, those links will still count, so you may only drop a few places. It depends on how heavily you were relying on the naughty links. And keep in mind, during this time, your competitor may have been doing things right, so it makes sense that he now passed you.
Google’s TOS says you cannot use the automatic distribution of poor quality content in order to inflate anchor text and links. So everyone knows what they’re doing. If you’re playing on thin ice, you know that ice may crack at any time. Its up to you. You may get lucky. You may stay under the radar.
Keep in mind, when google finds a forum that has 5 posts in the past month but 100k new profiles, its pretty obvious that they will either slap a “don’t trust” label on that forum, or they may de-index it altogether. Either way, your links are nuked.
You may get links from directories, profiles, forums, blog comments, sponsored reviews, guest posting, social, press releases, videos, etc – but if you go overboard on any one, they may go away and you’ll fall.
If you seriously never want to worry about rankings dropping, here is what you would need to do… now keep in mind on some sites I still personally use tools like UAW and some profiles, blog commenting, guest posts, sponsored reviews, etc, but I diversify so that if any of those things get killed overnight, I don’t drop too far. But when I do those things, I always try to add value – my articles dont suck, my comments are relevant to the post, I use my profile to leave decent comments in the forum, etc. (this may be considered by some as grey hat – whatevs)
But here’s what you do for real staying power, completely white hat:
Do press releases about stuff that is actually interesting on your site, not BS. If you aren’t interesting, get interesting.
Become facebook or twitter friends with similar sites, retweet for them, fb like them, converse with them, engage with them, advertise with them, follow the people that follow them, etc. Make these people like you.
Make cool youtube videos and share them… link bait.
Run contests and polls and share the results… link bait.
Give away ebooks, videos, the results of a case study, or do a hard hitting, controversial review of a product, anything of value. Link bait.
Try to get links from the same places as your competitors. Stalk them. Do what they do, while continuing to make them look good at the same time, and conversing with them.
An example at my site BringTheFresh.com is Greg Morrison – this guy has done nealy $1mil in the past 8 months or so, using our advice, and he’s given us plenty of proof and testimonials – he makes us look good – obviously we’d do just about anything for him at this point… and the same goes for others who are doing the same, whether or not they’ve mad $5k, or $500k. If they make us look good over and over, we want to help them. Don’t you think it works the same with SEO?
Many seo companies don’t have a “link building” division. They do marketing or events for their clients that lead to organic links like press releases, polls, events, case studies, a controversial opinion piece, etc. Even if its just a meme photo that gets shared. Its all legitimate link bait.
Think about the site “Cracked.com“. Take a look at their articles and tell me if they get backlinks all day. Its an obvious yes. Take a look at a company on facebook called Dayuum. They get huge interaction from just posting cool pics for guys.
Like Dan Thies says, he would pay $100+ or more per article for world class writing – because people will link back to it. LINK BAIT.
Think about what Google wants – they want stuff that they don’t already have in their index. They want unique value. Sure they screw up, but thats what they ultimately want. They don’t want less value.
If content is awesome, it will get links. Obviously, this is a much slower process than most people who want to get rich overnight or rank #1 overnight… which is why I do some greyish hat stuff on some sites. But if it stops working, I move on… I never have my stuff depend on any ONE thing too much…
Its not just SEO – your email list management company may dump you tomorrow, your merchant account may close your account without notice… STUFF happens. You need to be ready with a backup plan at all times.
If you don’t think you can create good content or hire someone for it, consider “content curation”. You can use a snippet from the original source, and/or a link, and just add your commentary. As long as your commentary far outweighs the original content, it now becomes original content, and its also an easy way to get inspiration for your writing. Adding in related youtube videos, etc can also be a good idea, or better yet, create your own.
Good content, participation, and link bait builds you an AUDIENCE. And your audience gets you links.
But if you wanna go the fast, risky route of 1000 profile links, an exact match domain, little competition, and little content, thats fine. Just don’t think the site will last forever, and don’t whine if it disappears. Just be thankful for the time that it was ranked and any money you DID make. Thats why launch jacking is so cool. By the time the ban hammer gets around to you, you’ve already cashed out.
Now carry on, and remember the sky is always falling… (if you remember the Google “Florida” update of 2003 then you understand)
I don’t know about you, but up until about a year ago I knew nothing about Gold, Silver, or precious metals in general. I’ve been told by very smart people to get into precious metals for years and years. But I never really knew what they meant, or why. I’d just say “yeah, yeah” and go on about my business.
I’ve always thought the best investment was investing in myself. After all, I know what I’m capable of. I can predict with some certainty what will happen if I seriously put my time, money & effort into something.
I’ve seen people get devastated by investments and I’ve seen people make millions. But the risk always seemed too great to me.
Then a year ago I met a guy who changed all of that. His name is Tyler Gallagher from Regal Assets.
Its really amazing who you can meet when you focus your time & energy on helping people, and only spending time with people who feel the same. Without getting weird, the universe just seems to have a way of making it happen.
Its almost serendipitous too, because around 18 months ago I was talking with my friend and fellow internet marketer, Mike Dillard, and he was really excited about getting out of MLM and getting into investment advice, because he was doing so well with precious metals.
Just to give you an example, if you put $10,000 into gold in 2002, it would be worth over $60,000 now. Thats a 600% return on investment… and obviously that is HUGE. Especially when most folks who had their money in stocks, mutual funds, etc. were taken to the cleaners.
Mike went on to create a very successful financial advice membership site called the Elevation Group. His members are blown away at his content, and so am I.
So anyway, back to Tyler and Regal Assets.
I met him through a mutual friend in Los Angeles. Tyler clued me in to the VERY interesting history of the American monetary system. The shady backdoor dealings that have gone down over the past few hundred years blew my mind.
Once I started to “get it”, I became excited. After all, if I didn’t know about this stuff, how many others don’t know it?
I strongly believe there is a real opportunity to help a lot of folks here. People who don’t know what to do with their savings. Those who have their money invested in the stock market, and fear it will disappear every day. Or people whose 401k has taken a major hit, especially since all of the banks went belly up.
Gold has worked for 5,000 years. And now that the Federal Reserve and self-serving politicians have been called out by folks like Ron Paul and Peter Schiff, for printing money out of thin air, public awareness is growing.
When we see a $14 trillion dollar deficit, its hard to ignore the facts.
And the fact is, things cannot continue at this pace. It will all fall apart.
I don’t consider myself a “doom & gloom” sort of person, or a conspiracy theorist. But I can do math.
And the current math just doesn’t work.
You cannot have an independent organization (the Federal Reserve) printing money whenever it wants, while being run by a few elite private citizens (whose names are not revealed), out of the jurisdiction of any U.S. laws. Any logical person knows that is a horrible system, susceptible to fraud and special interests.
And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that when you print more money, every dollar in circulation becomes less valuable. I don’t want to wake up one day to realize my money in the bank is worth 50% of what it was worth when I deposited it. I don’t even want it to be worth 10% less. I want it to be worth MORE.
And the only way I know how to do that is Gold and Silver.
Check out this video from Regal Assets to see what I mean:
I’m so passionate about this industry that I’ve partnered with Regal Assets.
I have created their gold affiliate program and its like no other affiliate program in the industry. Our payouts are 10 times what other companies pay. We offer revenue sharing deals, as well as paying per lead.
We can give you a high converting form to place on your site, and you can follow your leads in real time to see who called them, what the outcome was, what the next step is, when/if a sale takes place, and all of the notes regarding that potential customer. Nothing like this has ever been seen in this industry. In fact, most gold/silver affiliate programs pay less than 1% of the total sale, and many end up closing the affiliate program altogether (like Apmex recently did).
I’m willing to work with every affiliate personally, because I want this to be a WIN->WIN->WIN.
A win for you, a win for us, and a win for the customer.
This is the kind of project that will have a profound affect on the lives of many people, in a POSITIVE way. If you’d like to get on board, check out our gold affiliate program page, and we can get started right away. A recent affiliate made $2100 on the very first lead he sent us.
Of course if you’d like to secure your own precious metals to hedge against stock market or dollar collapse, I think that would be a wise move as well. Check out our homepage for gold bullion.
Another smart move may be to roll your IRA or a 401k into precious metals. Check out our Gold IRA page for details on that.
Some folks won’t take this seriously and will end up kicking themselves later.
Others will make BANK, and it will have REAL value, not just manipulated paper money.
Which one will you be?
P.S. A handy-dandy site I have that gives hourly updates on the price of silver and a recap of the daily fluctuations is at SpotSilver.net
Prologue Part 1:
June 14, 2006, I register 10milliondollarday.com because I intend for the
website I’m about to launch to do $10 Million Dollars in sales in 1 Day.
Prologue Part 2:
October 3, 2006, the $14-million dollar day:
The knock came at my door at 8:15 A.M. I was still groggy and half delirious from months on end of almost zero-sleep days.
I cracked the door open and Frank Kern stood there, grinning ear-to-ear, cheap sunglasses obscuring his eyes. “Wooo! I live for this! Let’s make $10-Million Dollars!”
I could have been annoyed. But I greatly appreciated that Frank was the one of only a handful of others who really believed besides David Mills. And not just by his words, but by his actions, that we would actually do it.
I actually cracked a smile…
My partners were without a doubt brilliant. Brad Fallon, the mile-a-minute fast talker who never saw a deal he didn’t like, and Andy Jenkins, the nose-to-the-grindstone yeoman who had helped dozens of folks conquer top SEO rankings.
But the fact remained that they had only prepared for a maximum of 300 clients, while my goal was for us to transform 1000 or more people’s lives forever, and vault them into the search rankings of Google, hopefully for good.
Frank, well over 6 feet tall, his previously mushy body now ripped from months of dedicated surfing, strode through the door with the energy of a young bull.
His energy was in part due to the fact that he had sidestepped much of the “work” of this launch in favor of surfing, while I had taken the real bull by the horns…dealing with the swarm of affiliates and partners darting and diving every which way…
…It cost me more than sleep. Hopefully it would all be worth it, not just for us, but also for the hundreds or possibly thousands of members I hoped would join us that day.
Now I didn’t resent Frank one bit for not working crazy hours every day. He had his own life, his own family and his own websites going on, and besides, we needed him to be fresh.
Frank had already created a number of very successful launch events, including three separate million dollar successes, including one with his partner Ed Dale on Underachiever Mastery, an online marketing product, one totally on his own with Serializer, an online marketing training event, and one with Neil Strauss, Matt Kadish and his cousin Trey Smith on Annihilation Method, a relationship advice product.
(I’ll explain the connection between Annihilation Engine and Annihilation Method before this is all over.)
Plus Frank had created his own niche website serving up hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of dog training advice all based on a steady drumbeat of event after event.
At around the same time I had been at ground zero for several very successful launch events myself. I was there for the Traffic Secrets million-dollar day was John Reese’s magnum opus, based on a brilliant set of moves that John formulated over 5-years of intense focus. And it totally changed the way folks looked at online marketing forever…
…Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula event followed for me a little over a year later, connecting the dots on a brilliant career that Jeff had enjoyed selling financial advice and helping others, including John, Frank and I with great ideas for launches. While PLF didn’t break the million-dollar mark it did bring in just under $600,000. I was there too.
And David Mills and I had built MTGInsider, a soft launched niche site for Magic: the Gathering strategy advice, where I’d honed my skills in mini launch after mini launch, collecting thousands of dollars a month, while enjoying more testimonials than customers, because so many of our prospects succeeded with our free materials, and because so many of our customers succeeded again and again.
David’s advice to me during the Traffic Secrets and PLF launches was, as was typically the case with him, invaluable.
Each of these situations were awesome heart-pounding, fist pumping triumphs that led to massive profits for Frank, John, Jeff, David and me, but also for hundreds if not thousands of clients.
Within a few hours of Frank walking in the front door of my La Jolla beach house the online marketing world would never be the same.
All together, the experience that Frank, David and I had, as well as the experience and effort of a number of other folks including Andy Jenkins, Brad Fallon, John Reese, Kelly Felix and many, many others came together to create a truly magical event in the history of online marketing…
…Something that has never been duplicated:
The $14-million-dollar day.
But it wasn’t as if Frank just woke up on that bright October morning and just rolled over to my house, and then we received a $14 million dollar paycheck…
The story began years before, for each of the players involved.
As you’ll soon discover, this wasn’t a story of random happenstance, but of intense and careful planning. It was a matter of winning in preparation.
As is the case with many stories, there are a number of places that I could begin…
So Here’s the scoop…
“ Annihilation Engine.”
The Rags to riches story behind the $14-Million Dollar Day.”
(by mike long)
Shortly after I graduated from James Madison University, I started a game store that I would run for five years, called “The End.”
I started it because I was an accomplished, professional “Magic: the Gathering” player. This is a strategy card game for self-declared nerds like myself, and my good friend David Mills.
There were tournaments all over the world and I was flown in to play, where the top prize was anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. Dave and I were ranked #1 and #2 in the world, and because of my success, I appeared on ESPN2, MTV, CNN, and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone and Spin magazines.
Click here to watch a video of me appearing on MTV:
During that time, I began to develop the beginnings of what I now call my Annihilation Engine strategy. It all started with 2 things: events and online marketing. And later I would learn several unique ways to combine the two into huge profits that made my Magic winnings look like peanuts.
“ Celebrating Success.”
In my game store, I started an “elementary Magic league”, built off of announcements that I made to the small email list I had been collecting on a legal pad in the front of my store. (an old-school opt-in!)
I charged $170 to join my 8-week league. By the time the store was around a year old I had over 100 kids enrolled in Magic and Pokémon elementary leagues.
I would also hold events every Saturday. At first only a handful of kids came. After word began to spread, I had 40 kids showing up every time. And it wasn’t just because I was good at Magic. It was also because I ran events where the kids felt really recognized and appreciated.
For instance, I would announce the pairings like Michael Buffer, the famous guy who says “Let’s get ready to rumble!” before big boxing matches, only I would individualize it to every kid.
It turned out that this mixture of teaching kids sound game strategy, combined with making each situation a really acknowledging event where excellence was celebrated boisterously in public, really worked for swelling my little crowd of followers…
By default, our brains want to be around people who celebrate our successes – especially publicly. That’s just how it is wired. Show me someone who truly celebrates their friends’ successes, and I’ll show you someone with a huge social circle.
An example of a bullet from one of the emails to my subscribers might be:
This week Don “The Rock” Norum took his first tournament win, with his Ocean Blue deck, upending Paulie “Pied Piper” Michel, and his signature Green Machine deck. Way to go Don!
(Note that now-a-days brick and mortar stores can even more easily take advantage of my email list strategy using Facebook, because Facebook has made it easier and easier to promote events to fans of your business.)
Another real world example of celebrating success is the fantasy football league Kelly ran last year. There were 12 of us in the league and Kelly was the commissioner. During the first few weeks Kelly would write an entertaining email to all 12 teams about the matchups, and the following Tuesday he would write a fun summary of what happened. It was like a weekly “event” for our league.
After week 2 he got sidetracked and stopped writing the emails. The result: several team owners really became uninvolved in the league and just kind of disappeared. The incentive of having their wins publicly celebrated (or their losses not made fun of!) was gone, so they jumped ship (this wasn’t a money league). I know for me, the emails really inspired me to want to win that much more, so I could see what he would write! I was really bummed when he stopped writing them.
Several times throughout this video book I share my perspective on what I’ve learned from living the stories I’m now sharing with you… “ANNIHILATION ACTION$” is where I boil down the lessons of that section into action plans and seed ideas that you can put to use in your web sites and offline business right now to give you an unfair advantage in generating profit.
That’s because I want Annihilation Engine to not only inspire and to lend insight, but also to provide done-for-you tactics and tips that you can leverage right now to get a leg up.
Our first ANNIHILATION ACTION$ focuses on Celebrating Success!
It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of Recognizing Excellence in any business relationship…
I spent over a year leading up to creating this book doing nothing but heavy duty research and I came across a study that astonishes me not only because of the clear cut importance of it…but also because of how little known it is.
Here’s the study:
The O.C. Tanner company released a white paper, using research data from the Jackson Organization.
The white papers included an eye opening study where the Jackson Group surveyed 26,000 employees at all levels in 31 different business organizations of various size and profitability.
“Respondents were asked to state their level of agreement on a scale to the question “My organization recognizes excellence.” The responses by organization were averaged and grouped into four quartiles. Those organizational results were then compared with these profitability measures:
Return on equity (Calculated by taking the fiscal year’s earnings and dividing them by the average shareholder’s equity for that year. It is used as a general indication of how much a company is able to generate given the investment provided by its shareholders.)
Return on Assets (Being the fiscal year’s earnings divided by the total assets. This number tells us how much profit a company has achieved for each dollar of asset utilized.
Operating Margin (The ratio of operating income to sales. Operating margin shows how much a company makes from each dollar of sales before interest and taxes.)
Here are the results for return on equity:
Here are the results for return on assets:
Here are the results for Operating Margin:
The businesses represented by the green column on the right are the businesses with the highest standards of recognition when it comes to the question: “My organization recognizes excellence.”
It turns out to be a very poor strategy to learn from failure. That’s because when we learn from failure we’re only crossing off one out of billions if not more ways to fail! And because when we learn from failure – whether our failure or the failure of others – then we NEED FAILURE to learn! How crazy is that?
Instead what we want to do is recognize success…indeed we want to obsess about success and duplicate success. That’s because then we are using a sure fire way to succeed rather than crossing off one of billions of ways to fail…and because that way we NEED SUCCESS to learn! (So our brain will actually seek out success to dine on!)
We want to recognize the excellence of others, and of our own actions. That will encourage us to act with excellence and it will draw others to us who perform with excellence!
And when we celebrate and enjoy that success we become a powerful magnet drawing the best out of ourselves, out of our partners, out of our prospects and out of our customers because the most important rule of the law of attraction is that we get what we give!
(Another way of putting this idea is an idea I learned from Lou Gerstner: “people respect what we inspect” – an especially powerful idea because we are a people too! So when we inspect excellence we respect excellence.)
“ Upside down.”
Everything was going great with my store, until one fateful day I got a call from one of our biggest distributors, telling me that we were massively behind in our payments. Several similar calls followed from other distributors.
That partner (I won’t give his name here) admitted that he had been gambling money out of our account on investments that he was sure were going to pan out for us, without mentioning them to me. But they had all gone south, all the while extending our line of credit deeper and deeper with a growing number of distributors to cover the shortfalls.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, I found myself scrambling and badly in debt, and wishing that I had kept a careful eye on the books. My world turned upside down. I felt lonely and scared.
The fastest way I knew how to make money was to buy cards in America and then sell them in Japan where Magic: the Gathering was taking off like a rocket. At the same time, Pokémon was really taking off in the USA. So over the next two years I would fly back and forth between America and Japan 22 times.
I frantically bought up every Magic card I could find in America and traded face to face with Japanese store owners for as much cash and Pokémon as I could manage.
Eventually I made the 6 figures necessary to pay off my debts.
Now about shortly after I opened my store, I started to realize, as many brick and mortar business owners were discovering, that there was a great opportunity in expanding my customer base by reaching out to prospects all over the world through the Internet. After all, the low fixed costs of an online business were very appealing compared to the big cost of rent and carrying a massive inventory.
So I created two e-commerce websites for my game store – TheEndGames.com and PokePage.com. PokePage.com sold Pokémon cards, and TheEndGames.com sold Magic: the Gathering cards. They were not exactly the greatest looking sites on the internet right out of the gate, but that was something I would fix over time.
I also started selling Magic cards on eBay… by the thousands. I applied a very unusual technique that no one else was using, which I’ll let you in on shortly. As a result, our online earnings quickly trumped our offline earnings.
Things really started taking off online, and I quickly realized it was time to close my physical store because the high fixed costs and the demands the store put on my focus while actually returning LESS money than my low cost web sites…
My trouble with closing my store had always been not wanting to lose the personal connection I had with my customers, and helping them succeed. I knew that I could get more customers online than I could offline. But my concern was about how deep my relationship could be with online customers. I worried about that because I got so much joy from helping others recognize their own excellence, and expanding their skills.
I started thinking about the way my online business was growing, and started to wonder if I couldn’t flat out help more people online if I could just figure out a way to capture the essence of the way that I was teaching people in the real world…
Looking back on things, there were three things that I would have done differently in my game store business:
I wasn’t nearly as self-reliant as I could have been when it came to buying new cards to sell. I was the best buyer for my business, but I often let pride get in the way of going to events or tournaments, which were the best place to get cards.
There was one time where I went to a big convention, and instead of buying cards, I played in a tournament. The top prize for the tournament was $15,000. But if I just bought cards the whole time, instead of playing, I probably could have made that much or even twice as much. I ended up getting knocked out in the top 8 of the event and making around $1,000. It was totally silly.
The second thing I would have done differently is that I would have gone for an understanding of how to rank #1 on Google for various top search terms that people were looking for when it came to Magic: the Gathering. I did some stuff to indirectly get traffic to my new website, but I wasn’t directly going for sustainable top rankings every day, and in the long run that was wasteful.
The only other real issue was getting angry or frustrated way too many times when it came to technical issues. It didn’t have to be hard, because the answer to every single issue I came across was the same every single time:
Google search + picking through the results and testing things + patience = solutions.
But there was a missing key when it came to getting all three of these ideas straight for me in my mind, which I’ll get to in just a moment.
My “home run attitude” hurt me when it came to refusing to work at that big convention, and instead trying to win the big tournament. When I say home run attitude, I’m talking about a hitter in baseball who refuses to make moves that will help his team, like getting walks, base hits, and bunting, because they are being single-minded and swinging for the fences.
Even though my website was nothing to write home about, it was doing a few thousand dollars a month right away, mostly selling card singles, which goes to show that because of the low startup and maintenance cost of building an online business, if you can put one foot in front of another with a website, you can succeed…
I got most of my traffic the same way we get most of our traffic today – by providing content. In this case, it was by writing articles. Actually, most of my business time was spent researching my articles and buying new cards, and figuring out how to fix various glitches on my website.
Anything that didn’t sell quickly on the site, I offloaded on eBay. I used a program called “auction works” that allowed me to list hundreds of auctions, or even thousands at a time.
Soon after focusing on my online business, I caught a VERY lucky break.
I decided to start spending some time with my father. We weren’t very close growing up. He left my mother when I was around 3 years old, and I rarely saw or spoke with him.
While we didn’t turn out to have a big feel good reunion, something very good did come of it. He had decided to attend an online marketing convention in Cleveland, and he didn’t want to fly because he had gotten a bit on the heavy side in his golden years. So he offered to pay for me to attend, if I’d be willing to drive him. I accepted, more to spend time with him than anything else.
The first two people I walked up to and said hello to were Jeff Mulligan, a cheery red headed Irishman who was a former top ad executive from New Hampshire, and Jeff Johnson, a blue eyed, silver haired, former stock market trader from Michigan, who was just starting out online.
We hit it off right away, and ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe enjoying beer and pulled pork sandwiches. Mulligan filled me in on many of the details of the strategic online marketing world that I was totally unaware of, like how it was possible to make six or even seven figures a year doing it!
We want to obsess about success because that will lead us to more success. But what do we do when we realize that we slipped up? Do we want to stick our heads in the sand and ignore it? Do we want to beat ourselves up? Or is there a better way?
When I made the mistakes I detailed in the last couple of sections, I used to make the additional error of either burying my head in the sand or swinging the pendulum in the other direction and beating myself up.
That’s when David Mills explained to me how important it is instead to realize that things are exactly as “bad” as they are and then not to add emotional bad to the equation.
Often times things aren’t nearly as bad as we think they are, and in those cases most of the “bad” that results is usually because we feel like we should feel bad because that’s such a strong idea in our culture.
Human beings have an amazing power to either magnify or minimize any situation. We want to magnify good situations by publically recognizing excellence…
We want to minimize our failures by noticing where we may have messed up and coming up with a plan of action to do something excellent instead in the future…
If we operate this way, in a positive an constructive way, then we’re broadcasting an extraordinarily abundant signal of safety and prosperity not only to our own mind but also to our mentors, our partners, our prospects and our customers. People respect what you inspect…
“ John Reese.”
But the main thing Jeff Mulligan insisted on was that I meet John Reese.
In a later issue of Annihilation Engine, I’ll focus fully on the relationship that I developed with John Reese, because it changed my life.
For now, sufficed to say that John and I hit it off . Seeing him speak at that event opened my eyes to what was possible online, even more than Jeff Mulligan and Jeff Johnson had. And John had heard of Magic, and he had a deep respect for me as a thinker right away.
I felt such a desire to see over the shoulder of guys like John Reese while they were making their moves with their web sites. But there was really nothing available like that at the time.
The best I could figure out was to take what I had learned at that event, mostly about writing sales copy, and apply it on my website and in my eBay auctions. The results were surprisingly good. I turned my auctions into mini-sales letters, including drawing more attention to my bonuses. I was looking for some way to add value to my auctions, so I created my own cards. I commissioned some paintings with a popular Magic artist and then used a local printer to make thousands of my own cards for less than a penny a card. They are still a valued collectable items today:
I made my auctions more of an event, and spelled out the value of buying from me instead of somebody else. The result was that more of my auctions closed and the bids were higher.
Then I found out that John Reese was the featured guest of a special “mastermind event” in San Francisco on August 20th 2003. – by “invitation only”. I nervously typed out my application, almost sure that there was no chance that I would get in. But to my surprise I was quickly accepted!
That was almost as scary as getting rejected though, because now I wasn’t sure if I really belonged, because there were supposed to be a lot of online marketing heavyweights in attendance. While I had been in business online for a while, I didn’t know half as much about strategic online marketing as many of the folks there would.
At several thousand dollars for my ticket, I was sweating bullets about getting the same value out of the event that I had put into it.
I also didn’t want to get laughed out of the room when it came to talking about my business, because I knew most of what I was doing was really primitive…
By the time it was my turn to talk, I was sweating bullets. I don’t remember a word I said, just that the room was dead silent after I was finished blurting out my presentation about my Magic business.
You could hear a pin drop… until John Reese finally broke the silence:
“You’re sitting on a gold mine,” John said dramatically. He explained that I was powerfully positioned to sell an information product on how to succeed in Magic, because of all the professional wins I had. I was still in shock listening to John, but the surprises kept coming…
“Oh my God, that’s Mike Long!” rang out an Australian voice from across the table as a guy named Ed Dale was now standing and pointing his finger at me dramatically. “He’s like one of the top Magic players in the world. A total bad boy by the way!” Ed concluded. It turned out that Ed, another attendee of the event, was a big Magic fan. Ed offered me a joint venture on the spot to help me develop my first Magic information product.
“ Frank Kern.”
John had invited his close friend Frank Kern to attend the event as well.
Frank was from Macon, Georgia. He was an easygoing southerner with sandy blond hair, and he made me feel at ease because I had mostly grown up in the south, and because he seemed easy to understand and relate to.
He explained that he was actually totally broke because he had the terrible luck of having gotten slapped with a massive fine by the FTC, due to the dirty dealings of some affiliates posing fraudulently as him.
Frank explained that he had deleted his entire massive online marketing list because he had a bad taste in his mouth from the whole FTC thing. I could really understand where he was coming from because of what happened to me with my game store.
Frank said that what he wanted to do was teach happy things, like pet advice, using what he called his “Underachiever system”. This was essentially taking advantage of extremely cheap Pay-per-click advertising, at the time around $.05 per click on most terms, to develop ebook businesses for small niches, after doing smart surveying.
It wasn’t actually seeing over his shoulder and watching him build a business, but what he was talking about was basic enough that I could at least follow the steps somewhat in my head, which was really inspiring.
After Frank’s presentation to the dozen or so people in the paid mastermind group, he and I lingered and chatted a bit. “So how much are you making right now for teaching folks how to train their dogs?” I asked him.
“$37 bucks a day.” He said with a grin. “But last week it was $18 bucks.”
“I’ll check back with you and see how you’re doing on that soon.” I said smiling back.
“Please do. Now lets get lunch.” Frank replied.
The best thing about listening to Frank was probably the reassurance that if you stuck to it with online marketing, there was always a way. But I also got a basic game plan for how to develop my Magic business based on his underachiever plan.
“ Jeff Walker.”
After lunch, Jeff Walker spoke, and I was totally electrified by what he had to say.
At the first online marketing event I’d gone to, when I met John Reese, a guy named Stewart from Amsterdam pulled me aside to tell me about how excited he was about having bought Mark Joyner’s farewell to online marketing package. I knew my father had bought it too, and I could see how vibrant they both felt about the experience.
Jeff was talking about the same kind of thing, online marketing events with a real reason why people would buy. Jeff had been selling financial advice with a partner for years, and ran launch after launch.
Jeff called himself Mr. Scarcity, something that I told him I didn’t agree with. I wanted my business to be all about abundance. But Jeff was a good-natured fellow and took my philosophical objections in stride.
His point was that in order to get folks to take action, you had to have some sort of motivating force. For Jeff, that motivating force was scarcity. But I worried that such scarcity would eventually lead to burning out his list.
Where we definitely agreed was on the point of natural scarcity. For instance, with a live event, obviously at some point the sale period has to end… That is natural scarcity. Not like false scarcity, where an e-book doesn’t really need to be scarce at all because there are really unlimited copies available. Or the phony “sale ends at midnight tonight” method, which then repeats the next day.
Jeff and I talked excitedly for hours after his talk, well into dinner.
I’ll also write an issue of Annihilation Engine in the future about my relationship with Jeff Walker, and all that I learned from him, which was a lot.
But for now, it’s enough to say that from that day on, there were few people that I would talk to or learn more from than Jeff, especially over the course of the next few years.
“ Live Launch.”
Two months later, I was back in San Francisco in Frank Kern’s hotel room, sweating bullets before David Mills and I launched our first online marketing information product with Ed Dale’s help.
I already had around a 10,000 person email list from selling auctions on eBay. Ed and I had done the surveying that Frank recommended to get the ball rolling by communicating with that list. And then we’d done a tele-seminar to give folks value, leading up to the Magic state championships.
In a lucky stroke, somebody on that call had actually won his state championship and wrote in with a really nice testimonial. Several other folks on the call also did well, so even though we didn’t have much of a track record with our product, we did have good testimonials already.
“So how much are the dog ebooks making now?” I asked Frank playfully, as I looked over the final details of the sales letter Ed and I had put together for Magic Secrets.
“68 bucks a day!” Frank cheerily replied.
“That’ll buy plenty of beer!” I rang back.
“How’s the sales letter lookin?” He said as he lounged back in his chair.
“How would I know!” I laughed back. “The one thing that makes me nervous is that we didn’t figure out a way to do videos of me actually playing Magic, so I don’t think it will sell as well without them.”
“Can you play this Magic on your computer?” Frank said, suddenly serious.
“Yes sir.” I replied.
“Camtasia lets you record anything you can see on your screen.” He said.
“No kidding?” I said.
“No kidding.” Frank nodded.
“Well then I’m putting the videos back into the sales letter!” I said back, jolly again.
I wasn’t all that keen on the idea of launching the sales letter before we had the product done. But David and I were working on the book already, and Frank made the Camtasia video thing sound easy.
While Frank was ultimately dead on, and Camtasia would not only transform my Magic business and my life, I would come to regret the decision to launch the product prematurely. Especially promising video before I had actually done it, because that added heaps of pressure for no reason, and made things very stressful.
We mentioned in the sales letter that it would take months for us to deliver the whole product, which would give us some time. But that just created another deadline, or another failure condition for the project. If I had it to do it again I would have held off on the launch and perhaps told folks about the exciting preparation steps we’d taken in the prelaunch. And then perhaps I would have found a way to update folks who were interested once the product was completed and launched.
I was still freaking out when Ed and I sat in front of hundreds of seminar attendees two hours later. But Ed was grinning ear to ear, a dead giveaway that we’d at least made some sales. It turned out that we’d made more than a few. We’d made almost two thousand bucks in just over an hour, mailing just the folks who had been on the teleconference call.
I felt so alive! Not only was I starting to make good money with online marketing, but I was finally impacting people in a way that really made sense to me.
I hugged both John and Frank as soon as I got off stage, and I couldn’t wait to get on the phone with David Mills to give him the news…
Again, I’ll get more into the John Reese Traffic Secrets Million Dollar Day back story in a later issue of Annihilation Engine, but a few months later I was in Orlando hanging out with John and Frank at an Underachiever event that Ed was putting on with Frank.
“How’s the pet ebook business doing?” I asked Frank as he drove me from the hotel to John’s mansion in Metro West.
“$212 bucks a day.” He smiled as we rolled along. “How’s the Magic secrets business?” he asked.
“A little frustrating. I shouldn’t have promised video before I knew how to do it for sure.” I admitted. “The reason I had came to Orlando was to try to get help with getting the video part of the product together. I was sitting at home, recording video after video, trying to get it to work, and I just wasn’t figuring it out. John said he could help…”
“That no good John Reese knows a lot of things about a lot of things.” Frank chimed back.
I was still buying and selling Magic cards online, which was my main source of income. But getting the information product together still hadn’t quite happened. Like I mentioned before, I regretted going on sale before finishing the product more and more every day.
I spent a few more days with John after Frank and Ed’s event finished. We didn’t quite break through on getting the video recordings to work, but we made progress. John was really patient and helpful, which made all of the difference in the world.
David Mills and I completed the book, “Magic Secrets” shortly after that. The format worked out really well because David designed it. He thought through a lesson plan in advance and wrote introductions and key lessons for each topic, and then I filled in the book with several pages of examples.
“Winning in preparation.”
He based the book on “shortcuts”, the idea that whomever had the best shortcuts for succeeding in Magic had the biggest advantage because there was just so much gosh darned information to process, and more and more all the time.
One of the most important “shortcuts” that David and I used that was one of the core parts of David’s Method is winning in preparation. Normally folks teach from a technical standpoint instead: do this, do that.
But David realizes that we succeed not by making disconnected moves, but by creating a context for success. For instance, an NFL football player doesn’t just show up one day and collect a check for $10 million dollars. And he doesn’t just watch a tutorial on how to toss the pigskin around. He first has to have the context of an athlete, which includes working on his strength, speed, flexibility and agility. Then and only then, can you start talking to him about what moves he might want to make in a game.
That player’s success comes in preparation. Even when it seems like that player makes a “lucky catch”, it was his preparation and practice that put him in a position to make the lucky catch.
Because Magic is very much a mental game, again much like success with building a profitable website, David wanted to teach our customers how to think straight first, and then what specific moves to make inside of the game.
I started adopting David’s lessons more and more. Instead of trying to find the next great tactic for instant success, I focused more on winning in preparation. Getting a good amount of sleep – around 8 hours. Practicing fundamentals like copywriting. Patiently looking things up on Google when technical glitches came up. (Instead of getting frustrated or angry and maybe running off in another direction.)
I felt really great teaching based on this winning in preparation attitude, because I wanted my customers to enjoy success, and I knew it was the best way. That gave me the confidence that our product would be really successful once I finished the videos, not just in terms of sales, but in terms of helping folks succeed.
“Triple your profit.”
Shortly after that Orlando event, on March 15, 2004, Frank and I were back in Orlando for John’s first official online marketing workshop, his “Triple Your Profit” workshop. John had gathered many of the online marketing world’s best and brightest for his sold out $4500 per person event.
There were some issues with the binders that John had ordered ahead of time, and John asked me to help remake them the night before the event. At 3AM, Frank, Jason Potash, and I were seated Indian style on John’s kitchen floor, assembling binders.
“How’s the Ebook business?” I asked Frank, with a yawn.
“$385 a day.” Frank said, still chipper. “Here you go crusher. I gotta get some rest” He said handing me a binder and standing up.
“That’ll buy a lot of hot dogs!” I said with a laugh.
I didn’t sleep that night, and a massive toothache hit me that morning as I delivered the binders to John’s workshop.
Frank spotted me swooning and immediately scooped me out of the workshop and drove me to get a remedy, and then back to John’s place for some much needed R & R.
Later, I watched over Frank’s shoulder as he tweaked some elements of his ebook business, and then he sat down with me and helped me make some final adjustments to my latest sales letter.
The night, after John’s workshop was complete, John, Jason, Frank and I sat on John’s porch sipping beers, celebrating his success and how much everyone had enjoyed the event.
“I want to thank all of you guys for your help.” John said raising his bottle in a toast.
“Mikey!” John said raising his bottle one more time. “I know you really busted your butt helping me get everything together and I wanted to say thanks, so I’d like to know if you want to join me for a west coast tour this summer? I’m planning on visiting one of Yanik Silver’s and Jim Edwards’ events. And there’s a guy named Eben Pagan who’s running a killer business called Double Your Dating, and he’s asked me to look in on one of his events. I asked them if you could come and they said yes. Then I’m headed over to a Dan Kennedy event in Cleveland.”
“Wow John!” I said excited, “That would be awesome!”
After a while, John and Jason went back inside to get something to eat and Frank and I stayed outside, relaxing and watching the sunset. In a rare serious moment, Frank turned to me, his blue eyes locked intensely but without any sort of worry or frustration, and he said, “You know, I’ve been thinking about it and all that we really have to do is focus on the copywriting, and that will get us whatever we want.”
“$385 dollars per day,” I said agreeing. I had been spending several hours each day practicing my writing since that first Internet marketing event, over a year before. I thought a bit more and added, “Winning in preparation.”
“I’m dead serious, that’s all we really have to do.” Frank said, nodding his head…
The thing that made Frank’s idea feasible, for us to both write and write until we got seriously good at our craft was that we had working businesses to experiment on.
One of the things that’s so remarkable about the web is there are just so many ways of getting visitors, which is the thing that I used to pay thousands a month for when I had my game store.
Now I had a business and I was in the inner circle. Of course it was a big advantage to be working with guys like Frank and John, but the reality is that anybody with a business is an insider, instead of being on the outside looking in…
Once you had a business, so long as you didn’t fall asleep at the switch, then things start to naturally snowball, as they had for both John, Frank and me. Leverage in terms of reputation with customers, prospects and other insiders, not to mention know how like the understanding of writing that Frank was talking about come naturally…
Frank could as well have been saying: “Dude, now time is on our side. Let’s use it!” But it wasn’t just true for us. It was and is true for anybody who’s built or who is building a business or even just a profit targeted website…
A couple of weeks after the event ended, John invited me back to Orlando to stay with him for several months leading up to the Traffic Secrets launch, to help manage the event. In exchange, John said he would help in completing my third Magic Secrets launch. He wanted to help me finish my product once and for all, and to get it launched properly.
I taught John how to play Magic, shortly after I moved in, and he took to it like a fish to water.
John called in a testimonial to my instant audio phone number, and I shared it with my list. A few days later, another customer named Zaf Molon, from Ottawa, Canada called in with his own story. And while the details of his story were very different, it sounded very similar to John’s call.
Soon after sharing Zaf’s testimonial with my list, I got several more testimonials, each along the lines of John’s testimonial, at least in some way.
Then I realized that John’s call was serving as a template for folks who already wanted to to thank me.
On John’s advice, I changed the name of the testimonials from “Shared Triumphs” to “Annihilation Reports.”
“The thing is Mike,” John said, “These guys don’t want to share their triumphs. They want to call in Annihilation Reports, and brag about how they trounced their buddy.”
Once I finally figured out how to get Camtasia working to record my videos, John spent days turning them into DVDs, using Final Cut pro.
The DVDs were videos of me playing Magic online, winning matches, and then talking about what I was thinking when I was making various moves.
When John was done, he commented: “Now you’ve got a product that you can sell forever.” That’s when the sinking feeling hit me. We had just put so much work into making these DVDs, but soon new cards would come out and they would make the old strategies somewhat obsolete. So really I only had a few months to sell these DVDs before they would lose a lot of value.
I realized that I had actually put myself more behind the curve than ahead of it by going with a physical DVD product. I decided that next time I would do my videos online, so things would be more easy to update.
But the product was finally finished, and I was relieved about that. And now that I was succeeding through preparation, instead of trying to make some brilliant last second move, my success wasn’t only much greater, it was sustainable…
Frank visited right as Magic Secrets kicked off it’s second big launch, this time pulling in five thousand dollars in the first few hours, and ten thousand dollars in the first day or so. “I think it’s the testimonials.” I told Frank, explaining how my sales had shot up much more than I had expected.
A few weeks later, on August 17, 2004, the Traffic Secrets million dollar day happened. I’m not going to get into the details of that in this issue of Annihilation Engine, but I will share some of the things that John had to say about that launch and my involvement in it:
Winning In Preparation:
When somebody hits it big, maybe with a new hit song, or an exciting invention, or with a hot website it often appears that it was some last second burst of inspiration or luck that was behind the success.
But in most cases success happens in preparation. For instance, what do Mozart, Bill Gates and the Beetles have in common?
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers”, Gladwell, a science writer, answers that question in the section called the “rule of 10,000”. It turns out that all world masters have one thing in common: 10,000 hours of focused practice with an audience, which creates a natural “feedback loop” for reflection and learning.
In fact, everyone with 10,000 hours of focused practice with an audience in their art has ended up to be a world master, pretty much without fail. And there are a number of nice thresholds along the way…
For instance folks thing Mozart was a child prodigy – a gifted composer from the age of 5. But that turns out to be false! Mozart’s early works were the same kind of clumsy copy-pasting that nearly every beginning composer stumbles though. But it was by practicing first in front of his father, and then before live audiences as a ghost writer that Mozart became a world master.
Bill Gates got his start with programming in the 1960s, when computers were rare. In fact he spent most of his time working for free just for the opportunity to learn to program! The Beetles couldn’t even find work in their native Liverpool, so they had to book gigs in Hamburg’s red light district! But after over 1000 performances, each 5 to 8 hours, the Beetles were pretty darn good.
Now two main lessons inside of this whole “rule of 10,000” is that nobody who gets their 10,000 hours of focused practice fails to become a master, and there are also important thresholds along the way where folks get significantly better…say 1000 hours and 3000 hours and so on.The reason I find this study so reassuring is because it dispels the idea of success by luck.
Folks that you see succeeding in music, acting, or professional sports didn’t just “have it” – they spent thousands of hours of practice with feedback. The same goes for folks who thrive in business…
But there’s fantastic news for those who don’t have much experience yet in building successful websites:
Very few people have any experience at all at online marketing – especially getting good feedback. (There are maybe only a few dozen to maybe a few hundred or at most a few thousand real masters worldwide because most folks flake out when it comes to getting feedback because they don’t realize how important it is.)
The earlier you get started getting practice with feedback the better because internet marketing is still in its infancy, and it’s the fastest growing market in the world and will be for years and years to come! (So even a few dozen or few hundred hours of practice with a good feedback loop puts somebody head and shoulders above even most folks billing themselves as online marketing experts.)
The very best thing to do is to get freaking started because the opportunity is great and getting greater every day, and so proportionately there are actually fewer and fewer experts every day. (Especially since, because of the low costs, utter lack of competition, and high profit margins it’s so easy to get rich and retire that many of the top guns in online marketing actually retire early, constantly leaving the playing field leveled!)
Almost all of the folks that I’ve seen become successful with online marketing either cut their teeth with affiliate marketing. And even if they didn’t get started with affiliate marketing their online marketing strategy at some point or another revolved around affiliate marketing – and that includes myself, David Mills, and the guys I just mentioned, John Reese, Frank Kern and Jeff Walker…not to mention every single other successful individual you’ll read about this book!
The next time I saw Frank was a couple of months after the Million Dollar day.
John decided to put together a mastermind with some of his closest friends. Jason Potash was there, and so was Yanik Silver, whom I’d gotten to be quite good friends with, and Dean Jackson, whom Frank had dubbed the King of Leisure.
The event was like a much less formal version of the first time I met Frank, where each of us presented ideas for where our business was taking us. This time we met in the whiteboard room in John’s pink Orlando mansion, that I had dubbed the “War Room” during the buildup to the Traffic Secrets million-dollar day.
John and Frank had gotten together and designed a software project to supercharge Frank’s ebook business, that Frank had given the code name “Serializer”. What it did was help him automate his pay per click results across a much broader variety of keywords on Google. For example, the landing pages automatically had the proper keywords inserted in the headline and sales letter, according to what dog breed the user had searched for on Google.
So Frank really only had one landing page and sales letter, but it would all be dynamically re-written, relative to the breed the user searched for on Google.
Frank’s business was now making well over $1,000 per day, and growing by leaps and bounds. I couldn’t help but look back at the progression of seeing Frank’s dream come to life.
Frank recommended that I take what he’d learned from the “Serializer” project and apply it on eBay, hitting a much broader array of keywords. So basically, selling an auction for every single card name, or at least the hot ones, regardless of whether I had the card for sale or not. Because every time, I had the chance of selling my Magic Secrets course on the back-end.
My Magic Secrets business was flourishing. The “winning through preparation” angle was coming up in spades again and again. For instance, I’d taken my conversation with Frank to heart about writing copy and now I wrote my list almost every day, in sort of a constant soft launch.
Almost every day I came up with a new angle or reason to write my list, usually based on testimonials or letters I’d gotten back from folks.
It was a lot like when John recorded that first testimonial for me, and then I’d shared it with folks on my list and gotten so many others back.
Our “winning through preparation” idea wasn’t just working for us… It was working for our customers as well, and almost every day we were hearing from somebody who had never had much success with Magic, and was finally starting to win big. Again, I would constantly share these success stories with my list because I wanted to celebrate and draw attention to the preparation that folks were putting in, and how it was paying off for them.
Another preparation breakthrough was finally figuring out how to record videos, and getting them online as lessons.
Every day that I mailed I got several more sales of Magic Secrets at $50 a pop, and my information products were finally making more money than just selling the cards.
eBay was still my primary way of drawing leads, but I’d taken an idea from Yanik and started sending out a letter with every card that I sold, offering a free trial of Magic Secrets.
I continued to drive my eBay auctions with video bonuses that were updated every week, but now I also included videos of me playing Magic in my auctions.
Many weeks I was closing between one and two thousand auctions for anywhere from $1.99 per auction, all the way up to as much as $50 for more expensive cards. But John had been right about information being a goldmine, because while I was selling the same cards as everyone else, I was getting an advantage from my information products, both in selling the cards, and in making more money per auction, because I was getting tons of people to take me up on the free trial of Magic Secrets, and around 50% of them stayed on as paying members!
“Product Launch Formula.”
A few months later, John conducted an interview with Jeff Walker for his upcoming Product Launch Formula home study course. In that interview he made mention of my roll in his launch a few times, leading Jeff to contact me and ask if I’d like to also do an interview to help flesh out his course.
The constant “soft launch” approach to our Magic Secrets business had a lot of benefits, especially the benefit of David and I gaining lots of experience with online marketing.
What was supposed to be a 45 minute interview with Jeff, turned into 2 hours. That was because David and I had put so much preparation into our Magic business that we had been able to innovate quite a bit, and we had a lot to talk about.
Something that I’ve always been grateful for, is that David and I started our first online business about something that we were already good at. Often times, folks decide to start an online business in a “hot market”, where they have little or no expertise, instead of choosing something that they are already good at.
Kelly Felix has found this to be true as well. He’s created dozens of online businesses, and he only goes into markets he is passionate about and has first hand experience in.
Because David and I focused on something that we were already good at, we were able focus more on learning online marketing, because we didn’t need to learn anything about Magic itself.
Jeff called me back a few days after our interview and asked if I’d be interested in helping him dot the I’s and cross the T’s on the Product Launch Formula launch. It was now only a few weeks away, and he said he loved my passion for marketing. He also felt that our connection from a couple of years of almost daily conversations could help me do a great job ghost writing, and to help take some of the load off of his shoulders while he handled a lot of the tech stuff that can so easily get screwed up in a launch situation.
I accepted, and quickly went to work on gathering testimonials, something that I’d helped John with for the Traffic Secrets launch. And instead of TEXTimonials, I focused on audio, to make them even more real. Nowadays I prefer video.
It’s not that easy to get a good testimonial though, because folks don’t tend to know how to give a good testimonial.
It turns out that even though it’s relatively easy to find a shoulder to cry on in tough times, it’s actually pretty difficult to find somebody to genuinely celebrate our triumphs with us when we succeed. This can be due to a lot of factors, such as jealousy.
Regardless, the skill of appreciation isn’t commonly used by folks nearly as much as it could be, thus the phrase “you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it,” all too often becomes true!
What I’d discovered with my various launches, was that even if you really helped somebody succeed, it’s a whole different job to actually collect the testimonial for it, especially a good one.
It’s not the “umms” and the “uhhhs” that are a problem. Quite the contrary, testimonials that sound too slick and rehearsed are actually much worse because they lack authenticity.
Something that I realized is that the only thing that folks are really worried about when they are making any investment is: “Will it work for me?”
As in: will this new thing that they are considering investing time and possibly money in actually bear fruit for them, in their unique situation.
And the main way folks figure that out is by finding out if other folks who are like them are actually having similar success. That is why testimonials are so important.
But what I discovered during my time with Magic Secrets and Traffic Secrets, and what I formalized in the early days of the Product Launch Formula launch, was how to gather a proper testimonial.
Jeff had helped several marketers kick off tremendous launches, but most folks were really confused as to how to explain their results in a way that would make sense to a listener who wanted to know more about Jeff’s system.
I did two things to help. One is I recorded my own testimonial for Product Launch Formula, which I was happy to do because I had gotten so much help and advice from Jeff on our Magic business.
“The Before and After progression.”
Then I would send the audio link of my testimonial to Jeff’s best customers, to use as a template. Then I would tell them to say where they were before they met Jeff, and then explain where they are now.
Some folks have heard of recent revisions to the FTC guidelines when it comes to testimonials. But I actually welcome these changes because what they basically say is that you need to share the context of how folks are succeeding, and not just the “before and after” picture. That translates to the same thing that we’ve been doing for years, including not just the before and after, but the progression between those two points. (Which makes for a much more convincing and powerful testimonial anyway!)
The FTC also specifically says that you need to disclose when a testimonial result is not common. In other words, when its extra-ordinary. Well I don’t know about you but I have no problem saying, “Look at some of our customers and their extraordinary results with our product!” That sounds pretty great to me as a marketer.
I’ll talk more about the Product Launch Formula launch in the future, including a lot of the really smart moves that Jeff Walker made both in setting it up and executing it, and some of the moves that I made that ended up panning out. I’ll also include some of the mistakes that I personally wouldn’t want to repeat. But I mention the testimonials right now because far and away the best testimonials that Jeff had available for Product Launch Formula were from Frank Kern and John Reese.
That’s because both Frank and John had enjoyed million dollar launches thanks to help from Jeff. Underachiever Mastery for Frank, and the Traffic Secrets Million Dollar Day for John. And they both publicly credited Jeff with having helped them.
Now of course I was already close friends with John and Frank, but I decided to visit them a couple of weeks before the launch, to gather insight from their launches, and the way they saw them now.
I viewed visiting John and Frank as the best way for me to succeed with good preparation. And it just so happened that Frank’s place in Macon, Georgia, was on the way to John’s in Florida. It was a nice drive for me. I would listen to marketing books on tape along the way.
During the drive to Macon, I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. “Hey Mike, this is Matt Kadish.”
“Oh hey Matt!” I said. I had met Matt when John and I visited Eben Pagan’s Double Your Dating event. He was a blogger who went by the name “Thundercat”, and he was just getting his feet wet with information marketing, about how to approach single women. We sat down for hamburgers and I drew him out the general game plan, literally on the back of a Burger King napkin.
On the call I asked him how things were going and how my advice panned out.
“Really great.” Matt said. He sounded happy. “I wanted to call and thank you for the advice. I’m actually pulling in over ten grand a month now.”
“Awesome dude!” I exclaimed. Matt explained to me how he had taken the bare bones advice I’d drawn up and added a bunch of great ideas of his own that he’d tested and figured out, and really blown his business up.
I pulled into Macon in the early afternoon, to a big brick office building that Frank rented an office from. He gave me the tour of his massive but sparsely furnished loft. (he only had a small couch, and a couple of folding tables pressed up against the wall with rolling chairs)
We raced chairs across his floor and then after he edged me by a nose, Frank turned and said “Scrambler?”
I looked back expectantly with a smile as Frank led me out the door and down the stairs to where a brightly colored Jeep was parked. “Scrambler!” Frank affirmed, sweeping his hands towards the jeep.
We raced it all over Macon while catching up on business.
“Dog Ebooks?” I said, my now customary question on the progress of his business.
“Actually, it’s awesome.” he said with a great big grin. “Over three thousand dollars a day.”
“Wow that’s fantastic!” I said, bursting with pride. “Man I remember when it was $37 bucks a day!”
“Me too! I’m doing a lot more now with live video. That and my Serializer and…awww damn!” Frank exclaimed with his traditional impish laugh.
“How is the Magic business?” Frank asked.
“Going great. Video as well. You were right about Camtasia being great. We have almost two testimonials for every customer, so it’s pretty exciting. Not exactly three thousand dollars a day, but David and I are both pulling in several thousand a month, and we’re enjoying ourselves.”
“Nothing wrong with that.” Frank said, turning his Scrambler off the road so we could do a little bit of off-roading. “How goes the Product Launch Formula?”
“I’m having fun!” I said as we hit a huge bump. “It’s kind of a weird situation because folks don’t really know exactly what it is we’re selling yet, but there’s a lot of excitement.”
“Product launches are exciting stuff.” he said as we raced past a bunch of trees.
We drove back to Frank’s house. Before we had dinner he beckoned me downstairs, where he plopped two white binders labeled “The Collected Letters of John Carlton, Volumes 1 and 2.”
“I borrowed some Dan Kennedy tapes from you a while back.” Frank said. “I lost them. Real sorry about that. Take these instead?”
John Carlton is a legendary copywriter, most famous for his exciting sales letters. Ed Dale used one of Carlton’s letters as a template for the first sales letter for Magic Secrets. “Yeah dude, this is awesome! Thanks!”
We enjoyed dinner, and then we retired to the living room with his wife India, to chat a bit before I hit the road to Orlando.
“Have you seen this?” Frank said, handing me a leather bound book with gold leafed writing that looked like a bible. It said “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-up Artists.” By Neil Strauss.
“Never seen it.” I said, handing it back.
“It’s crazy.” India, a pretty blond woman who was Frank’s high school sweetheart, laughed.
Frank explained, “It’s about these pick-up artists who run around Los Angeles and they get girls like Rock Stars even though they are just ordinary dudes. It’s mainly about this weird dude named Mystery. And there are other folks in it like a guy named Thundercat…”
“I met Mystery. And I know Thundercat.” I said, totally surprised.
“Oh yeah?” Frank said.
I laughed, “Yeah, actually it’s funny, when John and I went to California, before the Traffic Secrets launch, we went to that Double Your Dating event that Eben Pagan was holding. A bunch of interesting characters there. Mystery was first and foremost amongst them. Six foot five, plus platform shoes, a big black leather duster, a top hat, and black painted fingernails. Hard to miss him. We went out with him. I’ll tell you one thing, the guy definitely knows his stuff.”
“Thundercat is Matt Kadish. He actually called me out of the blue about an hour before I got here.”
“No way!” Frank erupted in laughter. “Well my cousin Trey found this book and he was totally amazed by it. He wants to do a launch with the author, this Neil Strauss fella.”
“Matt knows Neil. He knows all of those guys. I’ll put you in touch if you like.” I said.
“That would be cool.” Frank replied.
I hit the road for Orlando shortly afterwards and stayed there with John for a couple of days, mostly playing poker and getting what would turn out to be critical advice from John on the positioning for the Product Launch Formula launch, which I’ll discuss in greater detail in another issue.
On my way back up north Frank invited me to stop back by his office for the afternoon.
I looked over his shoulder as he worked on his dog training ebook business, and I watched the dollars pour into his Clickbank account, often by the minute. It was well before noon, and he had already pulled in over a thousand dollars.
“My cousin Trey talked to Thundercat. Thanks for putting us in touch. He thinks he can get Neil to go for it.” Frank smiled up from his screen as he scanned through his stats. “Trey is actually coming by during his lunch break from the car dealership he works at. He’s doing his first launch. Hypnosis training.”
“Cool.” I said, my eyes still dizzied by the pace of Frank’s earnings. I had seen money roll in at a massive pace during launches. But it was extraordinary watching daily income like this, especially knowing the modest start it had.
Trey rolled in shortly after 12, tall and skinny with tightly cropped hair and loads of energy.
Frank pulled up a chair to the folding table where one of his laptops was propped up, and he grabbed volume 2 of his copy of John Carlton’s collected letters, opened it to a sales letter, slapped it in his lap, and put his right finger on the headline while he began to furiously type with his left hand.
I watched as Frank used Carlton’s letter as a template to bang out a sales letter in a whirl of action for Trey’s launch, every once in a while conferring briefly with Trey over one point or another.
Minutes later it was over. Trey fired out an email to his list, and his product was live. Orders rolled in moments later. “Gotta get back to work!” Trey said, glancing at his watch, and flying out the door moments later.
I sat down to write some copy for Jeff’s launch, and Frank baked some of his special recipe cookies for me. After enjoying every last one of them, I bid Frank farewell and hit the road, my mind swirling with what I’d just beheld. I was on the phone with Jeff Walker, excitedly jabbering as soon as I started driving. “Slow down!” Jeff said, I’m trying to take notes!”
(I’ll never know for sure if it was the excitement of the situation or just how tasty Frank’s cookies were, but the next thing I knew I was in Kentucky, hours off course!)
Even though Jeff Walker had done a really amazing job of planning his launch, everything started to pile up. We both worked almost every waking moment for the next week or so preparing for the launch.
“Back to the wall.”
Inching towards the launch I started getting a feeling from reading all of the incoming emails that folks didn’t have a great sense for just who Jeff really was. As I reviewed the materials we’d released I realized that we hadn’t really said who Jeff was and what he really stood for. I called Jeff and told him I thought we needed to do something.
I interviewed Jeff privately for a couple of hours, searching for his story. When we were done I laid down and relaxed and thought through what Jeff and I had talked about. His story. How he’d been a hard working corporate exec who gave up climbing the corporate ladder for being Mr Mom and trying to figure out how make a living on the net.
His story came through for me in a very clear way. I imagined that I was Jeff going through what he had gone through. And then I wrote the “Back to the Wall” report. Jeff’s most personal story told in a personal way. I cried as I wrote one part of it. That’s how personal it was. Jeff’s wife Mary and I talked over the report, because I wanted to see if she was cool with it. She told me she cried at the same part…
The Back to the Wall report and the subsequent blog contest sent an already exciting and emotionally volatile launch situation into total hysterics. Every day I worked on the launch from the Starbucks near my house and sometimes I almost wondered how everything could seem so calm there when they were in hysterics online…
(Months later when I met one of Jeff’s customers, Liz Sherwood who built a $30,000 per month income using Product Launch Formula I was moved all over again when she said that’s why she bought.)
A couple of days before the launch, Jeff called me and asked if I could weigh in on the sales letter, because he just had so much going on with the affiliates and tech stuff.
“The amazing swing.”
I agreed, and before I knew it I had John Carlton’s Collected Letters, Volume 1, opened to a salesletter called “the Amazing Swing”, and I did my best attempt at what I had seen Frank do a few days before…
Frank called me a few hours after Product Launch Formula went live. “How did it go?” he asked.
“We’ve pulled in over a quarter a million in sales so far… Maybe more. I haven’t gotten an update in over an hour. Thanks for the John Carlton book by the way, because Jeff wrote most of the letter, but he wanted a little help with the beginning. So the collection of sales letters came in handy.”
It was exciting to feel the reward for having taken a few extra steps to prepare. Focusing some of my preparation time with John and Frank a bit before the launch had really come up big.
“Killer!” Frank said. “A quarter million dollars buys a lot of hot dogs!”
“And we’re just getting started. What’s next for you?” I asked.
“I’m thinking about doing a Serializer launch.” He mused.
“How are you going to do it?” I asked.
“I’m going to fire up ye olde Camtasia, open up my stats, show folks what you saw, and say gimmie money. Then I’ll show them how I did it.” Frank laughed.
“What’s next for you, once this Product Launch Formula thing is over?” he asked.
“What else? The next product launch.” I cackled. “By the way, what’s going on with you and Trey and the Neil Strauss launch with Thundercat?” I asked.
“We’re going to do it.” Frank said. “Like you said, the next product launch…”
Will It Work For Me?:
The number one question folks have walking into a buying situation is “will it work for me.” This is why legendary marketer Gary Halbert once asked the question:
“If you had a hamburger stand, what one advantage would you want?”
Some folks said location. Other folks said the best ingrediants. Others still said a top marketing campaign. But Halbert told them what they should really want is a “Starving Crowd” – and he was right!
Identifying a starving crowd creates an unfair advantage for answering the question “will it work for me” because folks in a starving crowd already know they are hungry!
But once we’ve located a starving crowd, if we want to put our results on steroids, then what do we do?
I decided right away when I got into online marketing to focus on video because I realized that there were basically three ways of conveying a message online, writing, pictures and video…which is basically moving pictures.
I remembered back to my days of teaching little kids how to play Magic one at a time and how if I could have recorded my lessons that I could have taught hundreds if not thousand of folks at a time, and because of that I had a lot of motivation to get started with video.
David Mills and I had spent the better part of two years recording videos nearly every day for our subscribers and our experience had a lot to do with our contribution to the Project Launch Formula launch. David figured out nifty things like how powerful it was to answer folks questions from his email inbox on video because it showed that the questions were real and because it showed that we cared about our customers.
(Again, people respect what you inspect.)
Four big keys that we learned were:
1) To constantly be filming because it’s so easy to have something worth recording and to miss the opportunity to capture it. So every time we had something that might be noteworthy to record, whether it was a new lesson, a game that we wanted to show, or an important question from a customer, we gave the benefit of the doubt to filming.
2) To watch the videos that we’d recorded and to give the benefit of the doubt to re-recording that video as many times as we needed to so we could get it right. Often times I would personally record a video half a dozen times or even more watching it each time, being my own audience and giving myself a great feedback loop until I felt I had really nailed it.
3) We weren’t afraid to come out from behind the camera and share ourselves with the camera and therefore share ourselves with our customers. We give ourselves and unfair advantage over our faceless competition when we appear in our own videos.
4) When you’re doing live video where you’re recording your face, the number one way to screw up is lighting. The only way to find out if your light is right is to test your recordings. It’s best to film during dusk and twilight, but any time will do as long as your face is lit up enough.
An idea I sent Jeff Walker March 2, 2006:
Jeff’s Response, March 2, 2006:
Months passed and it was April 22, 2006. I was standing outside of the Hard Rock hotel in Orlando. Inside, Frank was holding his sold out million dollar Serializer event, where he was teaching folks how he had been making nearly four thousand dollars a day with his pet training ebook business, for months on end. I had just started writing this book…
I got a phone call. “Hey!” Said the chipper voice on the other end of the line, “I’m Brad Fallon.”
“Hey Brad.” I said back, “Nice to meet you.”
Brad said, “I was in Atlanta the other day for Big Seminar and I met some guys who you’ve been helping out with their launches. They couldn’t say enough good things about ya.”
“Oh, Foxxy and Miz.” I said, referring to a couple of really bright guys – one in online marketing and the other in online dating, who I had lended a little help to with their launches, especially with getting their case studies together.
(Both Miz and Foxxy would both bask in the success of six-figure launches just a few weeks later.)
“Anyway, the reason I’m calling,” Brad said, getting right to business, “Is that I want to have a million dollar-day launch.”
“What do you have to offer folks in return?” I asked point blank. I figured if he could be shockingly blunt, then so could I.
He said, “I started a wedding favors business about two years ago, a Yahoo store, powered by organic search from Google, Yahoo and MSN. Now we’re bringing in about a million dollars a month in sales. Almost totally based on free search engine traffic. You can find me at the top of the search rankings for Wedding Favors.”
“Impressive.” I said. It really was. “Have you ever helped anyone build a website?”
“My partner Andy Jenkins and I launched a home study course called Stomping the Search Engines. We then sold a $10,000 per person apprentice course to around 50 people. Everyone in that program has been successful with getting top organic search rankings. Many of them have built million dollar businesses.” It rolled off of his tongue as if he had been waiting his whole life for me to ask him.
“Will they be willing to be interviewed for case studies?” I asked.
“Yes. Almost all of them.” Brad said without hesitation.
“Ok. This definitely sounds interesting.” I said. “Let me get back to you.”
Brad said, “I’m headed to China tomorrow. That’s where we get our wedding favors made. So if I don’t hear from you before then, we can talk when I get back.”
“Sounds like a plan.” I said, thanking him and hanging up.
Escape velocity. That’s what it takes for a space shuttle to reach outer space…and once it happens it’s smooth sailing…
…But until then it’s rocket thrusters and massive amounts of fuel to boost that sucker into the heavens!
Like I pointed out when I was mentioning the night that Frank Kern was talking to me about copywriting and how he thought we should focus on it because it was a way of gaining great leverage, in business situations it turns out that escape velocity pretty much equals having success with a under your belt.
In this case that success was in the form of launches that I’d been a part of.
For Brad his leverage was coming from top Google rankings and the website that he’d built based on that.
That’s what was allowing both of us to make deals at what would turn out to be the highest of levels. And this deal would turn into a blockbuster like none other in the history of online marketing…
But it’s important to note, before we get into the millions of dollars earned and the thousands of folks it inspired, that it came from the humble beginnings of a couple of successes that Brad and I were able to string together.
Those smaller successes didn’t just pay the bills for each of us individually, but they acted like the rocket thrusters on a space shuttle and helped us penetrate the horizons of what’s possible with online marketing.
That’s what it’s like to be in the inner circle – instead of on the outside looking in.
And what was intriguing to me was that unlike me, Brad had accomplished his success through Google rankings – relatively unbiased and totally unemotionally and completely non-political system for showing nearly anybody in the world who was on top (and still is – myweddingfavors.com is still #1 for wedding favors!).
More on escape velocity to come!
I walked back inside the Hard Rock hotel.
I spied Matt Kadish, who was hanging out in the back of the room with a very serious, slight, bald man with a devilish looking goatee, and very present dark eyes. “Neil, this is the guy I was telling you about, Mike Long. Mike this is Neil Strauss.”
“Hey Neil,” I said, shaking his hand.
“Hey Mike,” Neil said, lighting up instantly with a bright grin. “Sorry if I seem so serious. I just got off the phone with my ex girlfriend, Evelyn. She’s a poker player…”
“Evelyn Ng?” I said, surprised.
“You know her?” He said, looking shocked.
“Actually, she’s one of my friend’s roommates…” I replied.
“David Williams?” Neil said.
“Yeah, David.” I said, referring to the World Series of Poker champion. “I’ve known him since he was a 15-year old kid just getting his start in pro-Magic.”
“No way!” Neil said, his eyes dancing. I could see how he had become a world famous pick-up artist. He was fun.
“So you’re wrapped up in this whole launch thing too?” Neil asked.
“Mike’s actually the one who introduced me to Frank. He gave me some tips at one of Eben’s events a couple of years back.” Matt said, helpfully.
“No way. Thanks dude.” Neil grinned.
“No problem.” I said.
“What are you up to now?” Neil asked. “Launching stuff?”
“I always seem to be launching something.” I smiled back. “Actually, I’m working on my second book.” I said. (referring to Annihilation Engine, which is what you’re reading part 1 of right now!)
“Let me know if you want me to edit it.” Neil said instantly.
“Wow thanks.” I replied. “I think you’re a killer writer so I really appreciate it.”
“How goes Annihilation Method?” I asked them, about their latest dating product.
Neil got a pained look on his face. I felt like I had stepped on his cat…and wounded it fatally.
“Ahh… The tapes got kind of… messed up.” Matt said, referring to the recordings of their $7,000 per person workshop.
“Gotcha.” I said. As I’ve mentioned more than once in this issue, and as I’ll no doubt mention in issues of Annihilation Engine to come, so much of online marketing is about working our way past these glitches. Again, this is a matter of winning in preparation. I could see by the troubled look on Neil’s face that he was just finding this out…
I said goodbye to Neil and Matt and went over to chat with John Reese about the whole Brad Fallon thing. He said he thought I should look into it. And if the case studies were for real he said he would get behind it.
I talked to Jeff Walker after that. He told me that he thought I should double my asking price, with a wry grin on his face. It was flattering coming from somebody who had just written me a big fat check.
The more I looked into things the more I realized that the situation was ripe for something exciting. I realized from the launch situations that I’d taken a part of that there was oodles of money being left on the table for affiliates to snatch up…and TONS of value that prospects could be enjoying that they were missing out on during the current launches that were flying around at that time…
I started to think big. Really big…
Shortly after I got home from Orlando, I wrote Brad a letter about the launch he wanted to do. It was a long letter explaining:
If what he said was true, I thought we could build an 8-figure website, training folks in SEO.
I wanted 10% of the gross, pre-refund proceeds of the launch.
It would cost him a $10,000 retainer just for me to investigate his business to see if I wanted to get more involved.
The way we would succeed, if we did succeed, was through a great deal of preparation.
Here was his reply…
A few weeks later, Frank invited me to come and visit him in La Jolla, California, nestled a few miles from San Diego.
As he and India drove me back from San Diego airport, and we rounded the hill into La Jolla, with a breathtaking view of the mountains crashing into the ocean, Frank once again swept his arm like Vanna White. “The Jewel.” He said, proudly referring to the translation of La Jolla to English.
“Wow.” I said.
Frank put me up in a beach house just a couple of blocks from the La Jolla shore. The Annihilation Method launch he did with Neil & Matt had gone off without a hitch, and sold out in record time. Another million dollar launch in the can.
We went surfing that morning to celebrate. It was my first time.
Frank came knocking on the door to my cottage the next morning. I had just gotten an email with an attached recording from David Mills. David and I had been hard at work, recording dozens of case studies with Brad and Andy’s Stomper Apprentices. We recorded them all with Camtasia, looking up each of their rankings on Google, with the person we were interviewing on speakerphone.
Then we’d ask them where they were before they met Brad and Andy, and what the progression had been after that. We’d talked to one guy who was now near the top of the rankings for “Motorcycle Accessories.” And another couple of guys who were #1 for “Sprint Cell Phone.”
I was careful to remind myself that this was one of the most important “winning in preparation” steps for the success of the launch. Even though it might not have “looked” as exciting from the outside looking in, soon thousands and thousands of people would be studying these videos with great care…
The recording David had just sent over was our best yet.
I answered the door, and Frank was as cheery as ever. “What’s up dude?” You feelin it from yesterday?”
“Ummm. Yeah.” I laughed. My whole body was sore from my first surfing experience. “Hey, check this out.”
I pulled up my laptop for Frank, and hit play on the recording David had just sent me.
It was from a 70-year old grandmother named Sydney Johnston who had built a mini-empire for herself based on search engine optimization. She had gone from just over 10,000 visitors per month when she got started, to 70,000 per month within a year.
She had top rankings for almost every “how to sell on eBay” term on Google. And she credited it all to the training she’d gotten from Brad and Andy, and to the community that had formed around it.
“That’s some serious stuff.” Frank said, whistling as the case study ended. “Do you have more of these?”
“Only about fifty of them.” I laughed, thinking of the way that David and I had been burning the midnight oil for weeks putting together these lengthy investigations.
“What are you thinking?” Frank asked?
“I’m thinking 10-million dollar day.” I said, smiling but still totally serious.
Frank looked back, totally serious, “That’s a lot of chang.”
Something big that I had learned from John Reese while behind the scenes of the Traffic Secrets launch, was that there were really two launches going on in any affiliate situation.
One launch was, of course, the launch to the prospects. Because if nobody told the prospects what was going on, then none of them would become customers.
But the second launch was the one that needed to come before the prospects ever saw the materials intended for them. I’m referring to the affiliate launch. Getting affiliates really involved.
In fact, a big part of the reason that Jeff Walker had wanted my help, even though he’s a really tremendous writer with oodles of experience, is because so much of his time was getting sunk into letting affiliates know what to do. And because of that, he ended up needing a hand with preparing the dispatches going out to the prospects.
You see, what John taught me, perhaps more than anything else during the million-dollar day, and what my experience on Product Launch Formula and other affiliate launches after that had taught me, was that affiliates are just like prospects. But instead of just being able to order once, some affiliates can effectively “order” several times, by sending out blasts to their lists…
I didn’t want to walk into the same problem with trying to do two things at one time. So I needed to bring a writer on board to help. And I didn’t know a writer who I thought was more capable of making folks get excited about a product, than Frank Kern.
Plus, I knew that many of the top affiliates respected Frank’s writing, and I wanted to arm myself with as many reasons as possible for affiliates to promote our materials.
Even though we had these killer case study videos, it would be difficult for every single affiliate to come up with great copy to support their promotion. I wanted to provide them with a swipe file that would make them feel fantastic about promoting.
“The $25,000 copywriting job.”
I asked Frank what it would take for him to write the swipe files for affiliates. He said $25,000. I think he said that because he thought there was no way that I would say yes.
(Frank also ended up scripting our videos AND writing the sales letter, all of which were tremendously well done.)
But I had already talked Brad into hiring Frank in advance. To Brad’s credit, he never blinked at the cost.
Frank and I had a blast that weekend. It was kind of like a non-stop sleepover.
He recommended that I move to La Jolla. And I realized that I was having so much fun, and that it would probably be a great place to do this mega launch from, so I agreed.
“Annihilation engine on steriods.”
Now the whole point of my Annihilation Engine is to take stories of individuals having success and to share it back with the community as a whole, not just to encourage action, but also to get more stories of individuals having success. The snowball effect.
We walked in the door, loaded with 50 extraordinary video case studies, and with John Reese’s commitment to promote. Plus, now we had Frank Kern’s swipe files and video scripts to provide more fuel to the fire. Our preparation was really getting there!
Things were already red hot by the time that John started promoting, and affiliates started following suit, sending out Frank’s swipe files. And because I could focus in on affiliates, my constant phone calls reminded them of just exactly what John and Frank were up to, and the results we were getting.
I gained an enormous amount of respect during this launch for the work of both David Mills and Andy Jenkins, who were tirelessly forging behind the scenes. David was planning and organizing the machinery of the business, and Andy was providing content that wowed and amazed our prospects.
For instance, Andy worked tirelessly on the “Going Natural” videos that we shared, putting valuable ideas on how to rank in the search engines. And most importantly, he was willing to re-shoot the videos again and again, until they were great.
And the results once again showed the wisdom of going the extra mile to get ready, because the steady stream of testimonials that poured into our inbox from the free material alone, was staggering. Every day, we got reports of several people getting ranked for search terms on Google.
Then something happened that sent the launch into a total frenzy.
Jeff Mulligan, the guy who had insisted that I meet John Reese years before, also insisted that I meet someone else, shortly after the Product Launch Formula launch. Jeff showed me the “Rich Jerk”, a new site that was taking Clickbank by storm. He told me that the guy who founded it was Kelly Felix, and that he was actually a down to earth genius, and that I had to meet him.
Jeff introduced me to Kelly in Las Vegas several weeks before the launch began. We were at an IM mastermind, that was really supposed to be a bachelor party for John Reese. But since he had broken off his wedding a few weeks prior, it had been renamed the “Back to Bachelor” party. Kelly and I hit it off in surprising fashion.
I added Kelly to my affiliate list, and after viewing our case study videos, Kelly asked if we could meet up in his office in Carlsbad.
To make a long story short, (Once again, I will discuss Kelly’s involvement and the Rich Jerk business in much greater detail in another issue of Annihilation Engine.) Kelly asked for a broad degree of latitude in promoting the launch.
I enthusiastically agreed, because I realized that Kelly had been preparing for a massive affiliate move with his Rich Jerk list, having never promoted a 3rd party offer, and that he could put things over the top in a big way if we gave him the benefit of the doubt. I got Brad and Andy to reluctantly agree to let Kelly promote the way a “Rich Jerk” would…
Once Kelly promoted, all hell broke loose.
The Rich Jerk had never promoted anyone but himself, and in true sarcastic style, Kelly turned what was already a charged situation into a total firestorm of controversy.
His provocative emails practically begged for Brad and Andy to fire back at him…if not sue!
We had already been getting a steady gush of emails every single day from folks excited about the materials we were sharing for the StomperNet launch (John Reese was the one who came up with the name StomperNet – about half way through the launch)…
…But once Kelly started promoting, the gush turned into a volcano of sometimes heated and other times hilarious emails from prospects. Not to mention that even though hundreds of affiliates were promoting, one out of every four visitors were coming from Kelly’s super-heavyweight Rich Jerk list!
Some accused us of actually being the Rich Jerk. Others demanded that we return fire. Still, others laughed and laughed, complimenting our orchestrated brilliance.
But it wasn’t all orchestrated. In many ways it was a grand chaos, but it was built on a foundation of solid preparation.
There were so many loose cannons involved, that nobody knew what would happen next. What would Kelly say next? What would Frank write in his next email? Where would John Reese come down on things? Oh, and by the way, what would Brad and Andy say?
But I wasn’t nearly as worried as you might think, because I knew that each player involved had put a ton of preparation into this thing. And they were all drawing off of the up front work that Andy had put in, helping his customers succeed in the first place, and that David and I had documented in our 50 case study videos.
So despite the chaos, there was an underlying foundation of preparation that was robust. And that allowed us to continue to move forward, especially under David’s watchful eye, as he managed our business moves.
By a lucky stroke of fate, Frank and Ed decided to have one final Underachiever event in San Diego. And one of the guest speakers was none other than John Carlton.
Frank and I sat down with John in the secluded speaker room and asked him for his advice. I used Camtasia on my laptop to record the three of us rapping about what the exact copy should be, and I transcribed it.
That ended up being our video book that went out to prospects, plus our testimonials, almost word for word.
That video book was tremendously popular. Now, I mentioned before that it was lucky that John Carlton was there, but we were also in a position to capitalize on that luck because of the great case studies we had, because we had Frank working on our side, and because Andy, David and I were prepared to bring that video book home.
Right before our original intended launch date, Brad and Andy decided to put the launch off for a week at John Reese’s recommendation. Frank then announced through his “swipe file” broadcast that we had postponed the launch for a week, for a “cooling off” period, during which he would actually explain what the heck was actually involved in a membership for StomperNet.
This is where David Mills made a chess move that set into play a chain reaction that turned the tables and made everything go totally berserk.
I had long since figured out that Kelly was actually just a really funny guy who was trying to sort of pick a “war of words” with Brad and Andy. And I complained to David incessantly that Brad and Andy refused to mix it up, instead preferring to take the high road.
Then one night, David sent me an email with something brilliant. He had made a post on StomperBlog.com with a video where he hit back at the Rich Jerk on behalf of Andy and Brad.
Now the funny thing is that during much of Kelly’s distinguished online marketing career, he had gotten the majority of his leads through search engine optimization.
In fact Kelly’s first online business, a credit repair website, had ranked #1 for the monster search term “Bad Credit” for 3-years running.
But David did a little bit of digging and realized that he had caught Kelly with his pants down, for the moment at least.
John Reese had mentioned a couple of times that there might be a smart way to “swing back” at Kelly, but that the approach would have to be strategic…
Here’ was David’s email to Frank, Brad, Andy and me:
David had noticed that Kelly’s Rich Jerk business was so reliant on Pay-Per-Click advertising, and especially affiliate traffic from Clickbank, that Kelly had gotten lazy with SEO, and didn’t have much in the way of Google rankings to show for his 8-figure website empire.
David made a video exposing that fact, and firing back at Kelly on his implication that the Jerk knew more about SEO than Brad and Andy.
David’s video was an instant cult hit on our Blog, drawing thousands of views and loads of excited comments overnight.
John Reese seized upon the brilliance of the idea right away and suggested that we “pile on” to it as much as possible…
“Granny vs. the Rich Jerk.”
Less than a day later, we went live with a video that set the Internet on fire.
Sydney Johnston, the eBay granny, recorded a video based on David Mills template, where she lambasted the Rich Jerk for having not only worse rankings than Brad and Andy, but in fact worse rankings than her!
The result was like a howitzer shot at short range.
Within hours, traffic to StomperBlog.com exploded to the highest numbers yet.
Again, from the outside things looked like chaos, but really it was a matter of a number of threads of careful preparation being drawn together…
Hours later we sent out this swipe copy that Frank wrote to affiliates, who picked up the ball and ran with it:
Just over a week later, Frank Kern banged on the door to my La Jolla beach house.
“Wooo! I live for this!” Frank called out at the top of his lungs, as we pressed send on our launch email, and opened up the cart for business.
That day, our launch URL convertlinks.com, came from out of nowhere to become the 134th most visited site on the Internet.
Months of preparation were coming to fruition, and the 14-million dollar day was in session. And Internet marketing would never ever be the same…
I’ve fielded tens of thousands of questions from folks trying to get started building successful bootstrap sites. And by far the #1 question is: “What’s the best way to get started.”
I’ve thought long and hard about that question, and it’s taken me years to come up with this answer:
The best way to get started building successful websites is to gain escape velocity and to be on the inner circle, instead of being on the outside looking in.
(Escape velocity is what rockets and space shuttles need to reach outer space…and it requires an enormous boost of extra energy…but once it happens they can float around in space with little or even no effort at all! Being successful on the web is a lot like that!)
That’s because insiders get two key advantages that folks on the outside looking in don’t get.
Insiders have a way of accumulating useful data, ideas and strategies that are then easy to integrate in their sites, rocketing their results upwards because insiders see the world differently through their past successes.
Insiders can easily swing cash making deals that folks on the outside looking in can’t get because insiders want to make deals with other insiders because they know that there’s value to be gained from other insiders.
Every player involved in the $14 million dollar day, all of the major players like Frank Kern to John Reese to Kelly Felix, to Brad and Andy to David Mills and me were all had escape velocity and were insiders. And so were the other important players including affiliates like Jeff Johnson, Brad Callen, Cody Moya, Mike Filsaime, and of course including the folks that David Mills and I conducted case studies with who already had enormously successful businesses online like Sydney Johnston, and Michael Gelblicht who had built 7-figure businesses using SEO…
And because they were insiders each player involved already started out knowing how to accumulate understanding and integrate building blocks into their business. And they knew how to swing cash boosting deals.
Now I’m not trying to take anything away from the success of the $14 million dollar day. It’s an event that may never really be surpassed. Before things even got started Brad and Andy had to help dozens of folks succeed past their wildest dreams in building Search Engine based business successes. And then David Mills and I conducted exhaustive and probing interviews with those folks delving into their markets and their websites, recording the results for everyone to see…
It took extraordinary effort from Andy Jenkins in creating content, and from David Mills in managing the launch. Frank Kern created a fantastic and extraordinary email and video marketing campaign for prospects that thrilled and delighted…and that helped create an earth shattering pulse of sales. Affiliates like John Reese and Kelly Felix largely set the tone for the launch leveraging their mega brands and leading other affiliates by the dozens to follow.
I personally worked over a thousand hours putting together the affiliate situation, and crafting a “done for you” series of emails and videos – using Frank Kern’s “swipe files” as building blocks – for affiliates to take them by the hand and lead them step by step.
(John Reese earned over a million dollars in gross pre-refund affiliate commissions! Kelly Felix, Brad Callen, Jeff Johnson, Cody Moya and Mike Filsaime all piled up six figures in gross pre refund affiliate commissions! Mike Merz’s affiliates accounted for millions in affiliate sales with his extraordinary affiliate wrangling. And dozens of other affiliates piled up four and five figure affiliate commissions. And all in the span of just a few hours of sales!)
Plus tens of thousands of prospects benefitted from the kind of information usually reserved for a high dollar online marketing course totally free. And while not everybody who bought StomperNet found that it was what they were looking for, I’m still contacted today by folks who got their start with StomperNet and who are grateful that we put things together, which is always a humbling situation…
Now somebody might say to me, “Um, ok, but Mike aren’t you sort of putting the cart before the wheel? I mean don’t you need a successful website before you can get escape velocity and become a true insider?” Surprisingly there is a hidden way to gain escape velocity and to become an insider even before you build a successful website.
And it’s a great strategy because it’s actually much easier to gain escape velocity and become an insider first and then to use the additional leverage and momentum to build a cash spouting web site second…much better then trying to bite everything off in one chunk with building a cash positive web site without first getting escape velocity and becoming an insider! So how do you gain escape velocity and become an insider?
We want to have a way of accumulating understanding in the same way an insider does because it’s critical to have a crystallization point around which our success can build.
The way rock candy is created is kind of a funny thing. You can have a glass of super saturated sugar water and it will be 100% liquid. But then if you dip a string with a single crystal of sugar on the end of it, whammo, you get rock candy because now all of the rest of the sugar has a point to coalesce around!
Creating escape velocity is much the same. The waters of the online marketing world are already super saturated with prospective customers ready to become buyers.
All they need is a crystallization point.
In the same way your mind probably already has loads of ideas and creativity floating around like the super saturated sugar in the water that makes rock candy. But what you need a crystallization points to get the reaction started!
The Crystallization Point: Escape Velocity Done for You! Kelly Felix, David Mills and I decided to create an extraordinary training, support and most of all done for you situation for you to gain escape velocity becoming an insider and there for cash spouting web site creation success. We wanted to have all of the above steps covered not only for training purposes, but then because we care about your success, we went one step further to create a situation that’s truly done for you so you can focus on one thing: gaining and enjoying escape velocity!
That’s why we created Bring the Fresh: Full Disclosure Money Making Shortcut, our free traffic training blueprint powered by Google (plus EXACTLY how to CONVERT traffic into sales) and loaded with done for you advantages.
Listen, if you’re reading this now it means that you already own Bring the Fresh. But maybe you want even more…
Done for You Unfair Advantages:
Free Traffic! We realized that folks need an unfair advantage when it comes to getting visitors to their sites. That’s why we’ve opened the door to our secret vault of shockingly simple methods to get Google drooling over your web sites and sending thousands of cash ready prospects knocking at your door.
Celebrating Success! After spending years cultivating and leveraging a culture of success, we’ve created a culture of success that you can share with your new prospects and customers so you and your prospects and customers can enjoy the thrill of what it’s like to have excellence recognized. And then because we care about your success we went one step further and created a done for you solution for you to celebrate success and the financial benefits from that celebration with your prospects and customers! And you get our support and focus and to interact with our Bring the Fresh private Yahoo Email group where there are hundreds of detailed posts every month where our customers exchange their results, ideas and support along with Kelly and me.
Mistakes! After years of studying success and navigating our way past the mistakes that halt progress and frustrate folks we’ve developed a bullet proof set of step by step blueprints laying out exactly how we get the results we enjoy for you. Then because we care about your success we went one step further and created a special earnings program where the heavy lifting is done for you so you can focus on getting going while you’re gaining escape velocity.
Winning in Preparation! After years of painstaking preparation that’s led to over 31 million dollars in brand new bootstrap web site success we’ve taken even more time to create the exact preparation that you will need to succeed. Then because we care about your success we took things a step further and created a done for you situation where you’d get to take advantage of our preparation and share it directly with your prospects, that we’d help you find, turning them into cash paying customers!
Will it Work For Me? After years of helping thousands of prospects answer this question with a resounding YES! (And with those prospects pulling out their credit cards and becoming paid customers!) we’ve created a will it work for me system for you to leverage in your web sites. And then because we care about your success we’ve created a done for you situation
Escape Velocity! We created all of these advantages for you and then we went one step further because we care about your success to create a done for you situation because we wanted you to gain escape velocity so you could become an insider and then you could easily enjoy success with building cash spouting web site after cash spouting website!
Kelly and I have enjoyed hundreds of thousands of free ready-to-buy visitors to our sites in just the first few months of this year using this exact same system.
But who else has this worked for?
Here are just a couple of the folks who have used Bring the Fresh to get top rankings on Google and laugh all the way to the bank:
Mike Swanson: Mike started Bring the Fresh with almost no search rankings. Within a couple of weeks of joining us he started getting on page 2 and even page 1 of Google. Now he has had a several month stranglehold on the #1 spot on Google for the search term: Oil Stocks. And he’s also currently ranked #8 on Google for Stock Trading, which gets 4 MILLION searches per month according to Google, and costs just under $15.00 PER CLICK for Google’s sponsored results!
Mario De Almeida: Mario is a 23 year old affiliate marketing Rookie. In January he started using some of our Bring the Fresh tactics to boost a video he just posted up Google’s rankings. In a few days the video was on page 2 and 3 for some big search terms. Within a couple of weeks it was the top ranked video and ranked #3 overall for Mystery Method, a search term that gets nearly 2 MILLION searches per year!
And there are literally hundreds of others enjoying the same kind of results because Bring the Fresh is so easy, and yet effective!
For getting started we think there’s no better way to get free or nearly free traffic on Google and YouTube.
Bring the Fresh shows takes you step by step through our exact Google powered free traffic and show you how we’ve powered over $31 million dollars worth of sales mostly based on free traffic from Google, YouTube and affiliate.
How to get started making money? We take you through our exact step-by-step affiliate marketing blueprint to select keywords to power your websites and the right hand-picked closed affiliate program for you. And then because we care about your success we have created a done for you set of unique markets and keywords for you to enjoy with your already SEO’d in advance web site so you enjoy the advantage of having a Starving Crowd already ready for you!
Then we provide step-by-step and even done for you instruction on EXACTLY how to CONVERT your new visitors into CUSTOMERS like so many of our Bring the Fresh members are already doing for affiliate marketing or for your own products and services!
It’s all happening,
P.S. Feel Free to hand this video book to a friend. Affiliates usually contact me at my personal email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.P.S. But wait! There’s more! Frank Kern and I filmed this video about our conversion strategy for the 14-million dollar day :
P.P.P.S. Travis Sago and I filmed This Video About Free Traffic:
Posted: October 10th, 2011 under Guest Post, bring the fresh, seo, success stories - 2 Comments. Tags: andy jenkins, brad fallon, bring the fresh, david mills, frank kern, jeff johnson, jeff walker, john reese, kelly felix, mike long, mike swanson, neil strauss, rich jerk, seo, stompernet, travis sago, yanik silver
I’ve begun to realize that our forum has so many success stories which would probably be very encouraging to those who aren’t inside BTF. If nothing else, they should serve as proof that making money online is not only “possible”, but quite a lot of folks are already doing it, from all walks of life. Some make a few hundred bucks, and are thrilled. Others are making tens of thousands of dollars, or more. Heck, many people I’ve worked with, either directly or indirectly, are making a lot more money than I am! And I couldn’t be more happy about that.
The feeling you get when you help someone change their life for the better… AND to have them publicly testify about it… well it just doesn’t get much better than that. Money is great and all, but knowing you’ve sort of changed the world in a small but positive way, that’s just killer.
Anyway, before I start sounding like some sort of positive affirmation fanatic, I’d like to just share one of the recent success stories I received, and let it speak for itself.
Just a quick note that dozens of people replied with words of congratulations to Greg, and several asked additional questions. So I’m posting Greg’s answers to those as well (while leaving out the dozens of replies – or this post would take up my entire blog!)
by melovemoney » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:13 am
Hey all, just wanted to share my success story with “ya’ll”. I’ll try and make it a short version so I don’t bore anyone.
Well yes I just made $16,000 in 6 hours of work over the last 3 weeks, but I’ll get to the details of that after going to the beginning.
For me the beginning starts with “The Rich Jerk” days. I had the same forum name I’m using now if you want to look me up! Unfortunately I can’t get on that forum anymore because it doesn’t let me login or reset my password (well it does let me reset but the new pw won’t work).
BTW…As I started in RJ I was actually heavily addicted to some hard drugs and working for $9 an hour – boy I don’t miss those days.
Anyways, yea I started with the RJ. Basically I was making a little of money until I got into MySpace marketing. I basically mastered MySpace marketing – made a product on it – and then turned and taught the Rich Jerk forum how to market on MySpace for free. Back then survey sites were really big, so a partner and I made a survey site. I asked the members of the RJ forum to promote my site in turn for showing them how to market on MySpace (I was actually the creator of “The MySpace Bank” which turned into “SpaceBankers” – which was later sold to Ryan Moran for $10k – it’s still around somewhat I think).
Anyways, having a forum of people promoting your product through MySpace back then was extremely profitable (from what I know it’s much harder on MySpace now – I don’t mess with it). My partner dropped off (won’t go into that – but some of you may know Ruck – who now owns Convert2Media which is a CPA company). So the site became solely mine. It shot to #1 selling product on PayDotCom.com (site\product name was OnlineBestSurveys.com).
I was basically making around $15,000 a month, pure profit, doing absolutely nothing. For some reason about 6 months later I got a feeling that the whole MySpace thing was coming apart as it was getting harder and harder and spam complaints were becoming more and more common for my site – and I was starting to have issues with Paypal which was who I was using to sell. So I decided to sell the site.
I sold the site for $200,000 on Flippa. Well, actually it was $177,500 (gave the guy who bought it a $2,500 to travel over here, for travel expenses and lawyer fees as we met with a lawyer). And then the deal was he’d give me $10,000 a month over the next two months if the site continued doing over $12,000 a month profit. It did the first month, so I got that $10,000 (well actually it ended up being $7,500 – forget why). After that his paypal account got put on hold and MySpace marketing crashed and the site\method that people were using to market completely tanked – which I had that weird feeling was going to happen. So it was a good thing I sold.
So now I had a bunch of money sitting in the bank, and I was living GOOD. I was SET for a WHILE, right? At least I thought.
Basically I sat on my lazy ass for the next 3 years doing pretty much nothing, like an idiot.
To make a long story short I went through the money pretty quickly and learned a valuable lesson.
Anyways, 6 months ago (when I was just about all the way through my money) I decided enough is enough and I was going to get back into internet marketing hardcore. Except this time I’m NOT going to STOP like an idiot when I make a bunch of money.
Over the last 6 months I have been totally busting my ass. I got a nice income going and have around 50 different sites I’m working on right now.
So now lets get to the $16,000 in 6 hours of work.
About 3 weeks ago I had a guy contact me telling me he wanted to buy a site of mine. This was a site that I hadn’t touched in years, and was doing like $4 a day in adsense. He said he’s buy it for $5,000. I said SOLD.
After that he asked if I had anymore sites on the same topic, for different keywords. I didn’t – but I told him to send me over keywords he is interested in and I will make sites on them and have them ranking in the top of Google shortly. He gave me a list of about 15 keywords.
That was 3 weeks ago. Over the last 2 days, 3 of those sites have already reached the top 5 in Google for their main keyword (which is where he wants them, and said he will buy when they reach their). I sold those 3 sites for a combined $11,000 ($11,000 + $5,000 = $16,000). Yeah you could say I made $11,000 in 6 hours of work, but the original site he found took me only a few hours to make and SEO. So I consider it $16k.
But that’s not the end of this success story. I still have 12 more sites that I am working on for this client now, 8 of which are already either on the bottom of page 1 or the top of page 2. Mind you, each of these sites are being sold for anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000. So although I made $16,000 in 6 hours of work, there is much more to come – from ONE client.
I know some people are going to want to know how I did this in only 6 hours so I’m going to explain – and hopefully some of you can get something out of it.
Basically for each site I contacted my article writer and had him write like 12 articles for each site. And by the way, I pay my article writer $2 for each 500 word article. This is a little off track – but you don’t need to pay a lot for good articles, you just need to find the right person. It took a lot of spending money to find the right person, but it was well worth it to me.
That’s something that I think is very underestimated – outsourcing to the right people. Sometimes it takes time and money – but finding the right people to outsource to can be pivital. I pay this guy only $2 per article, but he writes them as well as most people who charge $10 per article. And I order like 300 articles a week as I am working on tons of sites – do the math of how much more it would be if I was even paying $5 per article instead of $2. So finding the write people to outsource to is definitely really important.
Anyways, so again I had him write like 12 articles for each site. I used like 6 or 7 articles for the actual site. I then used the remaining articles for promotion. I used 3 for UAW (I don’t re-write my articles in UAW that takes WAY too much time – I just have him write 3 similar articles and copy and paste – why spend all that time re-writing when I can spend $6 to have it ready to go?). I used 1 article for the link juicer. And then I submitted 1 or 2 to ezinearticles. And I just did a couple other basic SEO techniques that I usually do for my sites.
I think I also ordered profile links from Tabish for a few of the sites (not sure if it was for the ones I already sold or not). I have my own profile guy, my own commenter, my own social bookmarker, etc – so I outsourced a project or two for each site to mostly my guys I use for SEO (remember taking the time and spending the money to find the right outsourcers is pivital – I pay very little for very good results).
All in all the 3 sites I sold so far took me about 6 hours of work, and I spent maybe $400 or so for the articles and SEO outsourcing. And that’s my $16,000 in 6 hours.
So I want to give a special thanks to Kelly Felix. I probably would never be in this business if it wasn’t for his Rich Jerk product and the Rich Jerk forum. Although I knew most of what was in BTF from when I was in the business earlier, I did learn some great things from BTF – particularly the power of exact match domains. I always knew they were powerful but Kelly made me realize just how powerful they are – and that helped me with the sites I am doing and have sold to my client. And of course there are a couple other great things and ideas I have picked up from BTF.
Honestly, Kelly if it weren’t from you I might be back in my days of heavy drug use and getting payed $9 an hour still. Succeeding in internet marketing brought me out of drug use and made me want something more. I usually wouldn’t share this in public – but I heard Kelly say he loves hearing success stories from what he taught and how he has impacted people’s career – and I think I owe it to him to share my success story. And not just how he impacted my career, but my life.
And Kelly you have taught me a shitload about this business. I can tell you all that good guidance is definitely another very important for success – and you all got one of the best in my opinion. I don’t think a lot of the members know just how crazy good BTF is if you REALLY go through all the information and even more importantly REALLY implement all the information (especially SEO). One things for sure, a lot of the “gurus” out there are some money hungry bitches – and teach you some bull shit. Kelly is NOT teaching you some bullshit – trust me – I have learned most of what I know from HIS products.
So make sure you understand and comprehend that you have one of the VERY few products out there that REALLY teaches you how to make REAL money in this business. Take advantage of it, especially if you aren’t making money online yet. There are very few people making money like Kelly that will take you inside their business and show you EXACTLY what they do. I mean come on – you can’t get better guidance than that.
And this success story isn’t just the $16,000 in 6 hours – or the 12 other sites that I will be selling over the next 2 months for an estimated $50,000, it’s the whole package!
Hopefully some of you got something out of this, and if anyone has any questions feel free to ask. Whether it be about my passed, about methods I use or used, or whatever else – ask away.
Also I think you can get some great ideas from this – contacting webmasters and letting them know you can do sites for them that rank highly in google (like me one site could turn into 15, which could turn into a lot more off referrals). Kind of the same thing with local marketing – except you are getting out there and contacting people through the web. Why can’t you just research and find people who might need sites in the top of google (think company’s\businesses – but think outside the box). Hope this helps.
And remember, feel free to ask questions about whatever you want, if you want to know anything at all.
Follow up post:
by melovemoney » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:33 pm
Jack – a lot of the traffic for the survey site was from MySpace. As I explained in the post I showed a bunch of people in the Rich Jerk forum how to market on MySpace and in return they promoted my site. That got the site started. That got the site to raise in the PayDotCom marketplace – which naturally got me more affiliates. By the time I sold the site, PayDotCom showed me having over 90,000 affiliates. Of course it was no where near that amount promoting.
So the traffic was coming from affiliates – a lot from MySpace.
Martin – UAW is Unique Article Wizard. It’s a service that takes 3 versions of an article and “spins it” into unique versions and automatically submits to hundreds of blogs & directories. Basically used for link building and a tiny bit of traffic. Doesn’t work as well as it use to but it still works and is still worth it to me.
Let me tell you as a newbie you are extremely lucky to have this place as a resource. Even though the Rich Jerk was a good product and had a great forum, it is\was no where near as in depth as BTF. BTF just gives you such good step by step. And they are so right when they say forget all the bullshit and just do what they tell you (well they say it somewhere along those lines).
If you just follow what they tell you to do you will eventually succeed. The most important part is the research phase. If you can find a non-competitive niche that has good traffic that converts your golden if you implement the SEO methods they outline. Even a niche that is semi-competitive. I just say non-competitive because I think that’s a good place to start as a newbie.
One thing you have to understand is that most people are coming online for quick and easy money. They attempt to make money for a few days, quit, and fail. You have to stick with it – this is not a quick money business (as a beginner at least). It can be a VERY quick money business if you know what you’re doing.
As a beginner\newbie you just have a learning curve, that’s all. Stick with it and learn your shit, you will get it down. Trust me, when I first started I made nothing for a couple months. And I was putting in 12 hour days after my job. I just wanted it so bad, and I didn’t give up – that’s so crucial to succeed here. Not to mention I LOVE working online – I love it. It makes it so much easier to succeed.
So my advice is to start with a niche that you are really interested in, as that will help you REALLY like what you are doing.
Hope this helps.
Follow up post:
by melovemoney » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:10 pm
Martin, let me tell you something – you are going to make it.
You’re going to make it because of the way you think.
You’re 2 weeks in and you have done more than a lot of people do in their first 6 months.
And you understand the concept that even though you may not be making money now – “you’re work can be working for you” (as I like to say) in 2 moths or 4 months or 6 months or whatever the time is. As the way that we are taught to do things in BTF – these types of incomes make us money on AUTO PILOT in our sleep, 24 hours a day – just as you said.
I have sites from 3 years ago I haven’t touched doing a few dollars a day in adsense. And although that isn’t much, if you have 100 sites all doing $5 a day in adsense that’s $500 a day – and THAT is very possible. And these types continue to make an automated income.
And I can tell from your post that you understand this concept. You will be one of the few that really does well, I really believe that – and it’s because of the way you think. You will, as long as you keep it up, don’t give up, and keep on moving forward.
You know it’s nice that I made $16,000 in 6 hours of work, and I’ll probably end up doing like $65,000 for like 50 hours of work – but my favorite incomes are the ones that are from sites that are completely auto-pilot that continuously make money month after month, year after year without even touching it. Those are the sites that I love the most – and that’s currently what I am working on the most right now (hint hint).
And I’m glad my story inspired some of you. If someone addicted to drugs can start an internet business – you can definitely start one. You just need the drive and the right mind frame.
I really believe in the theory of the “law of attraction”. If this is something that’s constantly on your mind – it’s going to come. Because if it’s always on your mind you really want it, and you’ll go get it.
Follow up post:
by KellyFelix » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:11 pm
Wow, what a story. Thanks so much for taking the time to write it, and in so much detail. I think you really helped a lot of folks with that post, whether you ever find out about it or not. Thats what I love about this section. Its so motivating to see people actually succeeding.
I remember Spacebankers. One of my employees (Cam from the RJ forum) wouldn’t stop yapping about it lol. Also remember Ruck, CashTactics, etc.
Don’t feel bad about sitting around and wasting away after getting a fat payday. I think we all do that at some point, on some level. That money usually turns into a great lesson, if nothing else. As you know, if you don’t stay on top of your game, the internet / SEO / whatever will pass you by. And the money will go bye bye.
I’m stoked that you have carved out a nich in such high demand, and you’re bascially able to rank the sites at will. This just goes to show that your buyer is one of the 99.9% people out there who think that SEO is a black box, and we are basically magicians. Lets allow them to continue believing that!
BTW, I still talk to Ryan Moran.
Can’t wait to hear your next update!
Follow up post:
by melovemoney » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:55 pm
For all the people who said stuff like they should delete their success story or they don’t feel as good about they’re success story – I know you’re half joking – but please make sure your proud of your success so far because you have been more successful than 99.9% of the people who attempt to enter this business – so you’re part of the select few.
You have to understand I have been in this business for 5+ years, even though 3 of those years were spent doing like nothing – I still kept up with the business those 3 years I wasn’t active.
And understand that I REALLY want this – and I have spent and do spend a lot of time working.
And if you work hard you can make whatever you want. The more you put in the more opportunities that come your way. Just work SMART, hard, be creative and just keep trucking forward. I know I’m no where near where I want to be yet, I’m not going to be happy until I’m doing about $10,000,000 a year – that’s my big picture goal.
Wow – Cam – yeah he is one of my Facebook friends I think but I haven’t talked to him in a while. And Lance Groom was another good guy, he actually gave me a site DataPCJobs.com for free for a payback for something I did for him, forget what, and I turned that into like $100,000 – so he was another guy from your Rich Jerk days that was really a good guy.
Ryan Moran is just a horse, he’s very smart and active in this business and has come a long way. He’s very good at networking – something I don’t really do. I’m more of a keep to myself type of person (I’m not into all the internet marketing seminars and all that shit) which probably hurts me.
It’s hard not to feel bad about the last 3 years though, because I know where I COULD be right now if I didn’t stop. With the capital I had especially, I would have millions – I’m very sure of that. But, I’ve regrouped and I’ll be there within a year hopefully.
But one more time – thank you again Kelly. I can’t tell you how much your projects have helped – and you have probably helped so many more people without even knowing it (Ryan Moran is one of them and he’s very close to millions). I want you to realize that because you deserve to feel good about that.
To everyone else I can just tell you again, if you want it bad enough you’ll get it. I know I want it really bad. I got my first baby on the way and that just pushes me even harder. So just find what motivates you and get to work, and don’t stop.
Once again thanks to Greg for sharing his awesome story. There are literally hundreds of others inside of BTF, and I will continue to share them as often as I can.
It’s really nice for myself and my biz partner Mike Long, to see that all of our hard work every day is paying off for good people.
So over the past 18 months or so, I’ve been running a membership site at BringTheFresh.com – its a community for people interested in making a living via internet marketing. This basically means you create your own products (software, info-products, etc) and sell them online, or you create websites that sell other people’s products, as an affiliate.
I run it with Mike Long, and we try our best to be unlike any other internet marketing site out there.
What I mean is:
1) We don’t lie.
This is VERY difficult to do as a marketer. Lies and hype are what this industry is built on. Preying on people’s hopes. Trying to influence them with psychology, to buy something they don’t need. To make them feel like they DO need it, and to convince them that if it doesn’t work, its THEIR fault.
The most prevalent lie is false statistics. These are fake results, or results gained by using a different method, such as selling the very “system” they are trying to convince you to buy. Commonly, someone will sell an ebook or marketing course, and do a “launch” for it, where they get a lot of friends and partners to promote it. They may make $100k, or even $1 million in just a few days (before gigantic refund rates). But no matter what, they net a nice payday.
Then with their next product, they will convince you that you can use their amazing new course or software they created, and it will make you $100k – $1 million dollars. They fail to mention that the only way they really make money is by selling “how to make money”, via product launches. This is frequently referred to “fake it til you make it”. Selling a course about how to make money online, by selling a course about how to make money online. Very rarely do these people actually make any money online by “doing” anything. They just teach you how to fake it like them.
Many marketers feel this is a grey area, and hang around others who do the same. That way they find solidarity, and feel less guilty about it. There is a common excuse that, “Hey the product has some good stuff in it, so lying to get them to buy it isn’t really a big deal.” Its kinda like if you bought a car that was said to get you 100 miles per gallon on “autopilot”, but after you buy it, you only get 10 miles/gallon. But hey, it does have some nice cupholders, leather seats, and navigation, so the salesman wasn’t really THAT shady was he?
Again, its just really tough to get someone to buy an online info-product or course without making it sound like the greatest course out there. The only guaranteed way to do that is by ACTUALLY making it the greatest course out there! And then relying on your customers to get the good word out for you.
That is a great way to do it, but it takes a lot of time & effort. And while we’ve spent 18 months doing this, others have launched 4 or 5 products during that time, and made millions of dollars. And many use fake names, so they are dis-associated with it. There are little groups of “players” and they all promote each others’ stuff no questions asked. They only care about numbers. They have zero interest in what the customer actually gets.
Right now Bring the Fresh converts pretty well, but not near as well as some of the latest launch products built on hype and lies of “push button” success. As a marketer I’m jealous of their numbers. As an empathetic person, I’m not.
When we work on our own sites, its very hard for us to balance what is hype and what is real, AND what is typical. We edit our sales letter almost daily, to try to find the sweet spot where we can tell the truth and optimize conversions at the same time. Its an ongoing, frustrating thing. Sometimes a few words can change everything. But many times the best words are misleading. And don’t get me started on false scarcity! (fake countdown timers, or “only 7 copies left”.)
For certain audiences we need to “dumb down” our approach. For others, that’s not gonna fly.
2) We don’t sell our customers down the river (filled with piranhas).
The bread and butter of most internet marketing products/courses is lead generation. Many times an offer can afford to pay $100 to acquire a $50 customer, because they are going to sell that customer’s data to a boiler room in Utah. The boiler room will pay 25%-35% of whatever money they make from the leads, and these guys are good at selling over the phone!
That boiler room is gonna call you with promises of making thousands of dollars a month by working with one of their “success coaches” on a weekly basis. Nevermind that your “success coach” has never made more than $15-$20/hr himself… as a success coach. And before that, he was a frustrated wannabe marketer like you. He knows a few catch-phrases like SEO, squeeze page, optimization, ROI, etc., so at least he sorta sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. But ask him for an example of one of his own sites. Then check it out on sites like Compete.com, and you’ll see that his only “success” is the paycheck he gets from his boss at the boiler room.
They promise everything from setting you up with a website, to helping with your taxes, to helping you setup a corporation. And charges go from $1k to $20k. The difference in price really only depends on how much money you have available on your credit card. If they ask and you say you have an $8k credit limit, well then the price of their service just happens to be $8k.
These coaching floors and boiler rooms are seeing more and more scrutiny, and some get taken down by the FTC. Others just disappear when leads dry up, and conveniently forget to pay commissions, or provide the service to the customer that they were paid for.
I know a lot about this sort of thing because as I’ve said before, I sold my leads to these coaching floors back in 2007. The money was great. The whole customer getting no value thing pretty much sucked.
Again, trying to compete with guys who use boiler rooms is tough. They typically see an increase of $100-$300 per customer when they sell their leads down the river. We don’t have that luxury, so we have to resort to other high quality offers of our own to try to make up the difference. These would include offering additional products or services we create, or those our friends have created.
But our competitors do this as well, in addition to selling leads, so we need to compete even smarter.
3) We don’t burn & churn our prospect and customer lists.
I see this so many times and believe it is the most short-sighted thing a marketer can do.
Its very important to build trust with your lists and provide them value. Yet many marketers mail them every day with the next shiny object they MUST buy. But mostly, this is the marketer paying back the guys who helped him do so well on his launch. Lots of guys won’t mail their list for you unless you promise to mail their next offer (whether its good or not). So after the launch, you have to hammer your list as a thank-you to all of the guys who mailed for you.
Its unsubscribe city, and reputation game over. (if you used your real name)
I get joint-venture offers daily, asking me to mail my list to someone’s next great converting product. But its always an appeal to my greed. They never tell me whats in it for my customers. Call me old fashioned but I want to know what it is, what it does, see some proof, and try it myself. Otherwise my list will hate me.
Even when I do end up promoting an offer I think will be good for people, I cover my ass by giving a bonus that will make it worth the customer’s while, even if the product ends up being a nightmare. And I let them keep the bonus even if they refund. I want my customers to stick around for 10 years, not 10 days.
In summary, this post is just meant for food-for-thought. I’m no whistle-blower, and I don’t consider myself holier than thou, or someone who should judge others. I’m still tempted to this day to return to my grey area ways of 2007, but in the end I can’t do it. It just doesn’t feel right. I just have to live with a bit of a lighter wallet!
I’m still friends with many of the guys who do things the grey way. I think a lot of them are very bright, and I actually learn quite a bit from them. And some of them are just damn fun to hang out with!
If you find yourself in a similar situation, where you want to be known as one of the “good guys”, I’d love to hear from ya.
I’m open to working with anyone who has similar views, good products, real testimonials, and consistent results. I think a good group of like-minded individuals, with good products, and good intentions for the customer can make a difference, AND help us compete with everyone else!
Until next time,
Another SEO and Affiliate Marketing Tutorial Webinar with myself, Matt Carter and Mike Long. (and a few surprises along the way!)
(Click on the image above to start watching)