Here’s a recent webinar I did with Mike Long and Anthony Trister where I reveal exactly how to rank top 10 for almost any keyword (for free).
(Click the image to play)
Here’s a recent webinar I did with Mike Long and Anthony Trister where I reveal exactly how to rank top 10 for almost any keyword (for free).
(Click the image to play)
Here’s a screenshot of the Clickbank account:
The bonus I offered:
There are 2 simple steps to get my bonuses.
1) Purchase George Brown’s “Google Sniper 2.0″,
which was released today, for $47, via this link:
2) Purchase Anthony Trister’s “Coffee Shop Millionaire”,
which will be released on Thursday, for $37,
via this link:
Here is a list of everything you’ll get when you
buy both products through my links above:
1) I’m going to give out ALL of the contacts
I use at Freelancer.com for ALL of my outsourcing
(this is the stuff you guys keep asking me for,
and I’ve unfortunately had to decline up to
These are the people I use for almost all of
my backlinks to my websites, and some other
sneaky stuff I outsource that I’d rather not
I’ve burned through at least 50 link builders
at Freelancer.com, at a cost of tens of thousands
of dollars. I can tell you exactly who to use,
what their strengths are, and who NOT to use.
There are a couple of guys I use who do backlinks
in a way I’ve never seen anyone else do. I’m amazed
at what they provide. Its pretty genius. This info
will all be included.
2) I’m going to give out templates, and exact copies
of the way I word my job postings on Freelancer,
as well as a couple of BIG tips that will get people
to work harder and faster for you (and still cheap).
3) I’m going to show you a neat trick to get a
lot of quality backlinks from software related
companies, even if your current site has nothing
to do with software. One of my freelancers showed
me this, and it’s brilliant.
4) I’ll show you another cool trick from one of
my freelancers that gets a bunch of awesome links
from video related sites, with basically zero work.
I had never seen this before either.
5) I’ll show you what I do when a launch is taking
place in a few days and I still want to get ranked
in Google for it before it launches. For example,
last week I created 4 websites that are currently
ranked in the top 10 for Trey Smith’s launch. Go
ahead and Google “software system”, “software
system bonus”, “software system review” and
“software system trey smith”.
You’ll see I have multiple top listings, AND
I’m the only top 10 site for “software system”
that is related to this launch. Even Trey’s site
is not there. There are over 11 million competitors
and I got top 10 in one week.
I’ll show you EXACTLY how I did this, with a
walkthru video. (hint: it was so easy, I guarantee
you will say: “That’s it?”)
6) I’ll give you the email addresses / url’s to
join lots of lucrative, private JV lists. This is
where you find out about launches before anyone else,
and grab awesome domains. And I’m not talking about
JV forums or anything like that. These are private lists.
So that’s it.
Would you pay $84 for all of the above? If not,
you are certainly insane, or not serious about
By the way, George and Anthony each have an upsell
or two. I will be giving a private, unannounced
bonus to anyone who upgrades on both products.
George’s upgrade is $97. Its a video where he walks
you through himself making a website from start to
finish, and showing how he quickly makes $400 bucks
with it. Pretty cool.
But here’s a hint: Decline it at $97, and he’ll offer
it to you again for $67
He also offers an ongoing membership for $47/mo. You
are not required to get this to get my unannounced
bonus. But I recommend checking it out. If you
don’t want it, you will need to uncheck the box
in the shopping cart.
Anthony’s upgrade is $197 for 90 days of direct
contact with him (one on one emails, etc). You
can decline it the first time around, and he’ll offer
it to you for much less.
I think you will LOVE my special bonus! It has
a REAL value of $1k or more. But I’m keeping it
a secret for now. It’s DEFINITELY the best bonus
of the group, in my biased opinion.
Here are the 2 links again:
Every business loves a good affiliate, right?
They refer you lots of new customers and you pay them well for it. (hopefully)
An even smarter move would be to give those affiliate “perks”. I’m not talking about prizes and stuff during a product launch, and then a “see ya later”. I’m talking about things like ongoing recognition, inside info, and random acts of coolness.
I’d also like to tell you how I get killer new affiliates who I DON’T have to pay anything.
But first, let’s talk about how to keep your current affiliates rocking and rolling.
Recognition: One thing I’ve realized over the past decade is that marketers love a public, virtual pat on the back. Oddly enough, this can go a LONG way. After all, who doesn’t like reading about how awesome they are?
For example, I frequently talk about our rockstar partners like Travis Sago, Tiffany Dow, Mike Hill, Dan Brock, Tim Donovan, and Adam Horowitz. Whether its in our forum, email, Skype conversations, whatever. I sing their praises. Even if some of them only did a one time promo, why not continue to recognize their awesomeness? Goodwill among marketers is fleeting. And if you don’t feed the relationship, it can, and will fade. No matter what, your relationships are going to have peaks and valleys, but everybody needs a favor at some time or another, so continuing to APPRECIATE your peers for helping you out just makes sense. And at some point you can return the favor, even if its a ways down the road.
I’ve come to realize that over time, people don’t tend to remember exactly what you did or said to them. They may even have a convoluted story in their head of how things went down. But they DO remember how you made them FEEL. So make them feel appreciated, and you can’t go wrong, even if you don’t talk frequently, or much at all. They will remember.
Travis Sago literally put BringTheFresh.com on the map, when we were just starting it out from scratch. He was the first “big” guy to vouch for Bring the Fresh. And he continues to write great stuff about it every month. He even comes in our forum and shares tips. How cool is that? Very rare. This is the type of guy you want on your side. There’s no way we could ever really show how much we appreciate him, other than by simply doing that… appreciating him.
One pretty big marketer, Mike Filsaime, actually gave me an amazing testimonial and promoted BTF. And I’ve been sure to take care of his referrals. Because that will just make him look better, ya know? If someone refers you customers, and you treat them well, it just makes the affiliate look that much better to his list.
Inside Info: I like to share tips, tricks, and stuff I’m testing with my best affiliates. This often leads to nice discussions where we both learn a thing or two. Pretty cool.
I actually learn a good amount from my customers as well. When you have thousands of people using your advice, many are bound to figure out stuff you’d never thought of. Lots of bright minds all working in a similar environment, following similar tactics, brings about a lot of cool ideas.
And that leads me directly into FREE SUPER AFFILIATES.
I’m talking about customers. Not all of them, but a select few.
Here’s what happens:
1) You take an “active interest” in your customers. (aka you don’t take their money and disappear)
2) You encourage your customers.
3) Your customers do well.
4) You begin to know a lot of your customers by name, and actually become virtual friends.
5) You create a community/forum where all of these awesome people can communicate with each other.
6) You frequently enter the community and foster good ideas and relationships.
7) Stars begin to emerge – those people who think in totally unique ways, provide massive value to others while expecting nothing in return, and who you KNOW are going to be successful, because they have that don’t-quit attitude. And they have a deep desire to find out how things work, and why.
8- You recognize these people in a public way, and they appreciate it. You also share tips and tricks with them, and you potentially even take an interest in their personal lives… (Wait… taking an interest in your customers’ personal lives and situations? WEIRD!!!!)
9) Now the REALLY cool stuff starts happening. These stars begin to foster MORE stars in your community, from your same group of customers. And then things begin to snowball. You now have tons of people so stoked to be a part of an awesome community, they will do just about anything for you. They will leave you testimonials. They will share what’s working for them, in GREAT detail (so you learn yet again). They will go into other communities and RECRUIT new members to your community. It’s like an MLM where nobody gets screwed, and instead, people learn a lot, feel GOOD in the process, AND find success. (Successful customers? Again, WEIRD!)
10) You remember to continue referring back to # 1.
So that’s my version of affiliate/customer relationships 101.
If you’d like to become a BTF affiliate, find out more here.
My recap of Affiliate Summit: (warning – this is long and perhaps a bit too detailed?)
First of all, when you go to an event like this, its probably a good idea to try and stay in a hotel that is close to the event, rather than the one the event is taking place at. I stayed at Trump Tower for $119, while Wynn wanted $500-$700 for a standard room. Supply/Demand. Not only that, but for $50 more, the Trump gave me an upgrade to a huge suite on the 55th floor overlooking the strip! The had a free shuttle to the Wynn every 5 minutes and it was less than a mile away.
So anyway, I arrived on Sunday late afternoon after missing my flight from Diego – thanks to over 100 people in line just for baggage check! Not to mention the 200 person line for security. I’ve never seen anything like that on a non-hoilday. Usually San Diego airport is the easiest major airport I’ve ever been to. Oh, and it didn’t help that my new car decided to pop on its check engine light 5 minutes after I left my house, and started riding like it was on its last breaths. So going back home to switch cars just added to the delay.
Luckily flights to Vegas leave every hour so I hung at the airport bar for a much needed alcoholic beverage and a xanax (I’m notoriously nervous about flying). I’m still trying to get used to flying coach, because for 9 years I only flew first class, for FREE, thanks to Google Adwords, and American Express reward points. But now that Adwords isn’t my friend anymore, especially with bizopp stuff, my Amex miles have been all used up. But it was fun while it lasted! I can’t justify spending $1500 or more of MY OWN money on a 1st class ticket, but if you use adwords a lot, you should definitely use a credit card that earns you mileage points.
So I happened to meet a cool guy while waiting for the next flight, who was on his way to Aff summit as well, and he gave me some good tips on CPA networks I had never heard of, while we discussed lead shaving, and possibly taking our own offers to networks other than just clickbank. I don’t remember his name off-hand, but I have his card somewhere (When you get home from these events you typically have 50-100 biz cards, half from people you don’t remember even meeting).
He told me he particularly liked OfferWeb.com as a network, as well as “Unique Leads”, and the BizzOppNetwork.
Fast forward and we get to the hotel. “We” being myself and my girlfriend Sarah, who for once would like to go to a Cirque de sole show or anything OTHER than IMer mingling when we travel, lol. (maybe next time?) She told me a lot of funny stories about IM’er conversations she overheard, as well as the obviously over-liquored few who approached her and commented on her body parts as a means of introduction.
Trump towers is a great Vegas hotel in my opinion. I think its in my top 2, the other being THEhotel. I like them both because they are not casino themed, and don’t have a million tourists suffocating you. They are chill & classy, and again they aren’t expensive at all.
I got to Aff Summit around 5pm and it ended at 6pm. I am used to no longer being recognized at these things since I’ve been out of the scene for so long, and its been a couple of years since the RJ days. I kinda felt like the kid walking into the school cafeteria in high school for the first time, wondering if I would see anyone I knew from middle school. Finally I heard someone shout my name and it was Steve Iser. I had talked to him on facebook before but never in person (like most of my FB friends) and he was a really cool guy. He said he’d been hearing good things about BTF and would like to promote it, which was awesome. I also ran into a BTF’er named Chris Parkinson (the only new customer I met at the entire event!). He was super polite and said he was really digging the BTF content, and that made me feel pretty good! I was really surprised I didn’t run into more BTFers at the event. I know we all have our lives to lead, and live far away, AND the event was during weekdays… BUT I’m telling you, one chance meeting can change EVERYTHING (more on that later). So I really think you ought to reconsider missing the big events. Again, you don’t need a ticket! Hold onto the $2k you’ll save by not buying a ticket and just get a cheap flight, and a cheap hotel. Just get your arse there!
I planned on not buying a ticket to any part of the event, because I don’t enjoy keynotes or panels or any of that stuff due to my ADHD, but I did want to visit the clickbank booth and the offerweb booth, so I caved and paid $450 for access to the expo hall. It kind of irked me that I could have gotten the same ticket for $99 just 8 weeks earlier! Oh well. Its funny, I used to spend money like there was no tomorrow but in my old(ish) age I’m starting to get frugal. I never thought it would happen, but it has.
While entering the expo hall (with only 15 minutes to spare before it closed for the day) I ran into BTF superstar Rick Rivera. Rick was wheeling and dealing as usual. I’m pretty sure he lined up a lot more webinars and jv deals than I did! I’ve taken a liking to Rick, and at the past 2 events I’ve basically taken him around with me to all of the little parties and jv happenings during these events.
Personal note to Rick: Get a freakin prepaid U.S. Cellphone! You are the most difficult person in the world to reach when you are in the states! Rick calls me from his hotel room, and we make plans, but they often change and I have no way to reach him lol. For some reason, my iphone/ipad just will not work correctly in Vegas, so I can’t even email. AT&T I blame you. And I am planning on switching to Verizon and getting the iphone 4 soon.
So anyway, I talked to a few cpa networks about adding BTF to their lineup in the near future, and that was cool. I also talked to the reps at the Clickbank booth, who made me feel very humble when they had no idea who I was and had never even heard of the Rich Jerk or BTF . I gave them my contact info anyway and asked them to get in touch with Jennifer Johanssen, my favorite person at CB. I’ve known her for 9 years now. I was suspicious if they would actually deliver my message. My intent was to get access to the private clickbank party which was taking place at Tao nightclub at the Venetian, prior to the general clickbank party. At this point, I wasn’t feeling very special!
To my surprise, later I received an email from Jennifer with an “of course you’re invited!” subject line, so my ego felt a little better at that point.
The clickbank party was monday night, and since it was still sunday I was trying to see what everyone was doing for nightlife/networking. I contacted Jay Deiboldt, Adam Horowitz, Dan Brock, Tim Donovan, and nobody knew anything. No news, so by midnight I just went to bed. 5 minutes later, Jay let me know there was a party at a big suite just 8 floors above at the Trump. Since it was so close, I reluctantly got up and got dressed and headed up. Man, I’m sure glad I did. There were about 60 marketers up there, most of whom I didn’t know. But luckily I ran into Anthony Trister, who I remembered from a few years back when he ran the Arbitrage Conspiracy launch for Aymen B. He is the ultimate networker and introduced me to a ton of people. Some of the people I remember best were Dush from clickbank (VP of Marketing), Melford Bibbens, and Jonathan Herbet (who was throwing the party). The Mobile monopoly guys were there too. I also ran into Jay Deiboldt, who was with Alen Sultanic (currently has 2,000 gravity on clickbank!) I’m not the greatest with names, but I met a bunch of other people that I will be contacting once I go through my phone and all of the biz cards. Anyway, I left with Jay, Anthony and Alen (I think lol). Memory is a bit fuzzy but I know at some point I was denied access to “the bank” – a club at the bellagio because I was wearing tennis shoes. (even though I might add they are very slick looking air jordans ) We ended up at Alen’s huge suite at the Palms eventually, with Michael Kim and some others. After 7am, I decided to call it a night. The sun sure has a way of making you feel guilty for still being awake.
Next day I arose gracefully at 3pm and decided I should head back over to the expo. My poor girlfriend Sarah was such a good sport the whole trip. She went to bed at a reasonable hour the night before, and also woke up at a reasonable hour and did her own thing. So I headed over to the expo, just wanting to check it out b/c monday was said to have more vendors, but also keeping in mind that the College Football national championship game was approaching quickly. I went through the expo, much larger this time, with fancy shmancy looking booths, but it was very uninteresting to me for the most part. Just lots of people who do the same stuff. Mostly CPA networks. Anyone can have a CPA network really. You just need to buy the software. I wandered around, talked to HasOffers.com about their tracking platform, and left without seeing anyone I knew except an old buddy Jason Adams who was off to a party for some PPC company.
Next I headed over to the Wynn sportsbook to try to grab a seat for the big game which was starting any minute. There was literally only ONE seat left, but it was at a guy’s table who was sitting by himself. I asked if I could sit with him and he welcomed me to it. He asked me about myself, and I gave him the whole spiel. He seemed particularly knowledgeable and interested in SEO. He asked me to go into a lot of detail and I did. We really hit it off on a personal and professional level. Then I asked him what he did and I was blown away. He was Paul Edmondson, CEO of HubPages, lol. We talked for the entire first half of the game and this guy is brilliant. He gave me more good ideas than you can imagine. He even shared upcoming info about where hubpages is headed. Really cool stuff they have coming up. The guy couldn’t have been nicer. He even paid for my food and drinks, which was a nice touch. We exchanged info, and he asked for access to BTF! So shortly, he will be checking out our SEO stuff, and we may potentially work together on a project.
I was in a bit of a dilemma because the Clickbank private party started at 6:30 and it was now 7:00 and I had been talking to Paul for 2 hours. I really wanted to hit the CB party, but how often do you get a chance to rap one on one with a guy of this caliber? At the same time, I didn’t want to be a “clinger”, so I bid him farewell. One cool thing was that we were both rooting for Auburn, and we all know how that turned out . As a side note, I actually did a tour of Auburn when I lived in Alabama, and got accepted. I very nearly went there, but the lure of LA and meeting Katie Holmes was more important (if you don’t know what I mean, you can check the full story on this post)
I didn’t have time to change for the cocktail party now, so when I arrived at Tao, I believe I was the most underdressed person at the shindig, wearing my Marvin the Martian t-shirt.
I saw the Mobile Monopoly guys there, and also got a chance to talk with Ryan Deiss and Perry Belcher for quite some time. They invited me down to Austin to check out their operation and their next mastermind in late February, which sounds really interesting. Another big plus for me was running into Mark Jenney. This guy is definitely one of the most forward thinking IM’ers I’ve ever met. He got his start with RJ, but now he is the student teaching the teacher. This guy always amazes me.
I talked to Sean Casey for a bit and a few other peeps, but the best part was I FINALLY got to meet all of the Clickbank executives I’ve been emailing with for the past decade. I gave a great big hug to Jennifer Johannsen and I also met Tom Denig of clickbank security, as well as Monty Sooter, the COO. Monty was very receptive when Ryan Deiss and myself discussed with him our future suggestions/changes/additions to clickbank.
Tom was quick to remind everyone that the best (or should I say the most *interesting*) gift they ever received from a vendor/affiliate was back in 2007 when the Rich Jerk sent them a care package full of liquor, cigars, condoms, RJ t-shirts, RJ thongs, and other mischievous items.
I discussed the future of BTF with them and we’re probably gonna roll it out to the CB marketplace publicly soon.
Next, it was off to get ready for the final partayyyy – I was meeting up with Nate Hopkins (Ryan Deiss’s JV manager) and Anthony Trister (Deiss’s Forex partner) at Marquee – a new club at the Cosmopolitan hotel.
My good friend Ted Dhanik had also reserved a table so it sounded like things were definitely gonna be fun. Ted used to be a big shot at Myspace, before creating his own ad network EngageBDR.com. I used to party with him in LA many years ago. We even hung out with Tom a few times. (You know Tom, the first friend you ever had on myspace lol)
Anyway, Sarah and I got to the club 5 mins late, so it was really rough trying to get in, since Nate Hopkins and his crew were already inside. The place was an absolute ZOO. I’ve never seen such chaos outside a club. Luckily I spotted Ted just about to go in and we jumped in line with him. He was with my buddy Nima from VictoryPoker.com.
So we get inside and this place is huge, but there’s almost nowhere to move. And I am quite claustrophobic, so this was not my cup of tea. They ushered us out to the pool area where there was room to breathe, and they had available cabanas/tables. Problem: this area is OUTSIDE of the club and it was currently 40 DEGREES. No bueno. The good news is, I spotted Nate and they had an inside table with plenty of room, so we all joined forces there for a night to remember! All the usual suspects ended up there: Dan Brock, Tim Donovan, Adam Horowitz, Anthony Trister, etc etc. I think we left around 3am.
That’s when some people called it quits and others went to the Palms where I was told John Chow had the “hardwood suite” which actually has a basketball court in it. And Jamie Lewis had a huge party suite as well, but I don’t remember the name of it. It was across the hall from the Barbie suite, lol. While waiting for a cab to go there, I ran into Simeon Moses. He is a “pick up artist” who won the VH1 reality show “the pickup artist”. He was really interested in learning some SEO so you’ll probably see him inside BTF soon. I had met him once before at Neil Strauss’s house, and he’s a cool dude.
Anyway, I opted for Jamie Lewis’s party because I wanted to meet him (especially since he said nice things about me on the warrior forum recently ). I also met Rob Benwell there. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a guy with more energy! We both used to be at the top of Clickbank back in the day. Me with RJ, and Rob with Blogging to the Bank. It was cool to meet the whole UK crew.
Eventually things started winding down, and while some of them were headed to another party, my body said playtime was definitely over. I headed back to my room for another “sleep until 2pm” session.
Another cool thing about the Trump Tower is they will let you check out at 4pm with no issues. Big ups to them for that! I will definitely stay there again.
Before heading to the airport, I had a quick meeting with Anthony Trister and we discussed/strategized his upcoming Clickbank product. This guy is awesome. If you ever get a chance to talk to him, DO IT.
Well thats about it. A bumpy flight home and doggies happy to see us come through the front door!
My advice: Do NOT miss these events in the future, especially if I give you the thumbs up that good people are gonna be there! Next up is Yanik’s underground seminar in March, in Wash DC. If you’re smart, you will be there. And again, you don’t need a ticket. The speakers are there to SELL you more stuff (while also providing some decent content). I would ignore that stuff (unless you like that sorta thing and have disposable cash), and stick to the bar outside the event, where the real deals are taking place. Make a friend and who knows, maybe you’ll get to tag along to a super secret meeting or mastermind that will change your life?
Here’s a replay of our latest webinar with Dan Brock (including a $140k case study): http://deadbeatsuperaffiliate.com/btfreplay.html
Its 3 hours long, with tons of SEO and affiliate marketing content. You’ll likely learn a few interesting, profitable tips, so check it out and let me know what you think!
Hey everyone, just back from Vegas and Mike Filsaime’s event. It was my first event in quite a long time (at least 2 yrs).
As usual, I didn’t go inside the actual seminar room for long (maybe 10 minutes total), because I don’t like to get sidetracked with notes about what other people are doing, knowing there is a missing key component that will be pitched at the end for $2k from each speaker. I already have enough ideas on my plate as it is.
One bummer was that I stayed at the Venetian, and it was a $50 cab ride out to no man’s land where the M Resort and the event was. I didn’t know it was gonna be so far away, so I only attended on Friday. But while I was there, I had lunch with George Brown and Tom Miller. Tom has some amazing Facebook software I’m really looking into. I’m probably going to do a webinar with him about it because its just so killer. I’ll talk more about it once I’ve used it a bit more. It can get very black hat, but Tom’s been using it for about a year now himself, and just recently he started selling the software. It creates tons of accounts, gets 5,000 friends on each account, and a bunch of other crazy stuff. One post on a newsfeed to all of the accounts and instant sales of a Clickbank product. He updates it almost daily, to avoid ever-changing facebook codes. It reminded me of the days back in 2006 when you could make a killing on Myspace with bots. Obviously, if you aren’t comfortable with blackhat stuff, just skip it.
Aside from that, I got approached by dozens of people that want me to promote “the next big thing”. When I ask for specifics about how well it was working for their customers, most had no answer other than “good”. No specifics. No shining star case studies. Kinda bummed me out. But they were quick to tell me it converts well, which is classic IM.
I also met a few people who said they got started with the Rich Jerk a long time ago, and that now they had very successful businesses. I got a little emotional about it! Especially this guy “Gunner” from Germany. He seemed very nervous to approach me, and when he told me his story and how he went from nothing to 6 figures a year, providing a nice life for his family… man that was a really cool moment for me.
Anyway, Friday night I took Georgy Boy and Tom Miller and BringTheFresh.com super-member Rick Rivera out to Tao for George’s birthday. Mike Dillard stopped by, as well as Bryan and Ryan Tate (cool guys). Fun times.
Saturday I was wiped and didn’t even leave my room. Didn’t answer the phone or check email. It was awesome. Note to self: blackout shades are amazing. Apparently I missed a night of debauchery at Club XS. Oh well.
Sunday I took my girlfriend sight-seeing, as it was her first time in Vegas. This included dinner at my favorite restaurant in the world – CraftSteak at the MGM – owned by Tom Colicchio of Top Chef. Amazing stuff there.
Then Sunday night was THE night. The affiliate appreciation event where Mike Filsaime rented out half of the club “Lavo” at the Palazzo hotel. It was pretty nuts. More alcohol than anyone could ever consume, but I stayed sober enough to talk to a lot of IM’ers. I met tons of new people and reunited with others I hadn’t seen in years. I was most impressed by Rich Schefren. I sat down with him for at least 30 min and he really blew me away with how he is providing value to his customers. I was shocked that he actually cared – pretty unusual these days.
All in all it was fun. A few key conversations made the whole trip worthwhile. Same thing for Rick – he made a lot of good connections.
It just goes to show, the money and “secrets” are never from the seminar, but from the conversations that take place outside. Especially at the bar. So don’t ever feel like you’re not welcome to attend anyone’s event, just because you don’t have an invitation. Nobody cares, and one solid connection or conversation can change everything.
I’ll probably be back in Vegas in January for Affiliate Summit West, and then Wash DC in March for Yanik Silver’s Underground seminar. (again, not buying tickets to either one, or listening to any speakers) Let me know if you’re gonna be at either event, and if there’s any synergy for us to hang out or chat.
I recently revealed the whole history of how I’ve been able to make a very profitable living online for the past 11 years at BringTheFresh.com. But it was a very condensed version and many folks have asked for the unedited, somewhat shocking version…
So here goes… this is where I come from, and it ain’t pretty.
Including how I grew up dirt poor, ended up as a pretty successful actor in Hollywood, and how I threw it all away and eventually created an 8 figure success called “The Rich Jerk”, and made tens of millions of dollars in the process. I guarantee you’ve never read anything like this…
May 21, 2013:
For the past 10+ years, I’ve tried my best to remain a mysterious, behind-the-scenes, Internet marketer. Throughout that decade I’ve had several six, seven and even eight figure businesses.
During that time, I created an Internet marketing company called “The Rich Jerk”, which sold the # 1 eBook on Clickbank.com for several years. It was a great experience overall, and I learned so many lessons about running a big business. I was also fortunate enough to meet a lot of interesting people, many of whom I’m still friends with today.
But to understand how and why I’ve achieved such great success online, I think it’s important to start from the beginning and mention a few personal things that I’ve rarely shared with anyone…
Okay, here goes…
First of all, I grew up on a farm in a very small town called “Roy”, about 100 miles outside of Seattle, Washington. We had a mule, a horse, 2 donkeys, a miniature bull (only 32 inches tall), a llama, a goat, geese, peacocks, pigs, and chickens. I made money as a child by selling eggs to the local town folk. A dollar a dozen!
My dad was a parts manager at a Chrysler dealership and my mom was a print model and actress in commercials (I always got a kick out of seeing her on TV). To this day I have no idea what the purpose of our farm was, or why my parents purchased it, but we had one nonetheless. If that weren’t strange enough, we also lived amongst many wild deer…and they would follow me home when I got off of the school bus, and I would feed them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my backyard right out of my hand – I kid you not.
Anyway, enough about the farm…
At the time (1987), my mom was always good about buying me the latest Nintendo game when I got straight A’s in school. I turned this into my first business venture. I made money as my elementary schools’ lone entrepreneur; I had the Nintendo games that other kids’ parents wouldn’t buy for them. Then I would rent my games out to the kids for $1/day. I basically ran my own Blockbuster inside the school!
When I was 10 years old, I used my first computer. It was 1988. I was in a gifted program in my school with one other kid named Chris Meyers. We both apparently did well on an IQ test. So once a week, the two of us were bussed to a larger school about 30 miles away. I always felt a bit strange about having a whole bus for just us.
At the gifted school, we were surrounded by the smartest kids from every school in the district, and to me it was a bit intimidating. I felt smart, but these kids were exceptional.
There were around 20 of us or so. We would come up with inventions, advertising campaigns for fictional companies, play quiz games, solve puzzles, etc . We also had access to a few Apple 2E computers and IBM PS2’s. The whole situation was like a playground for brainiacs. The teacher used to tease me because I was never really interested in anything in the class except the computers. I always had to be pried away from them.
One day we were asked to write a letter to someone influential in the world. I wrote to Bill Gates. I thought he was the coolest guy in the world because I was obsessed with computers. Being a bit precocious, I warned him to watch out because I had plans to take over his company someday. I never got a reply, but my mother still has a copy of the letter and I get a laugh out of reading it every now and then.
Back on the farm, things began to go downhill, and eventually I found myself in the midst of a nasty divorce/custody battle. I recall several visits to a mental institute to see my mother in a straight jacket. She was not coping well with the situation, to say the least. That was rough. But over time she got the help she needed. And eventually she met someone else. And when she did, I had to make a choice of who I wanted to live with – my alcoholic father, or my mother and her new husband who were being relocated to a place I’d never heard of – Mobile, Alabama.
I chose Alabama, and unfortunately I’ve only spoken to my father a handful of times since then.
I was a teenager now, and down south I quickly learned that being a “white boy” was going to cause me a lot of problems. In order to get by, I did a complete 180. The straight-A student became a rebellious, fight for my life kind of kid, frequently having issues with violence, drugs, and the police. I went from farm living to having guns pulled on me a few times. And I was no stranger to juvenile hall. I think the 7th time was finally my last. I still often wonder how I made it through those years alive.
I didn’t realize it at the time but we lived in poverty. It was the early 1990’s and our house cost $20k. Dirt roads and dirt yards. I worked at least 20 different jobs throughout high school – Kmart, carpet cleaning, making bagels, washing cars, pumping gas, fast food, etc. But none lasted very long, as I had developed a problem with authority.
When I was 16, I remember purchasing the only infomercial product I’ve ever ordered – by Don Lapre. He claimed to “make millions using tiny little classified ads.”
Here’s the commercial that convinced me to buy:
I eventually returned the program and got my money back, but it did spark an idea. I owned a book about how to make a cable tv descrambler (which would get you free cable), using a few supplies that could be purchased at Radio Shack. I re-wrote it into a short manual with pictures, had some printed up, and sold the plans in the local newspaper using my own little classified ads. I ended up breaking even and eventually gave up, but I was amazed that someone had actually mailed me a money order.
Around that time, my stepdad was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Unfortunately there’s no cure for this disease, and it’s very painful. Surgery after surgery, and more pills than anyone would ever want to take in a day. We had some good times watching his favorite football team, the 49ers, but they became few and far in between as his condition worsened.
One night I came home and found him very drunk & angry, stumbling around yelling. This was an often occurrence, as alcohol was his only escape from the pain. But this time was different. He was an ex-cop, and this time he had his 9 millimeter Beretta in his hand, and he put it to the back of my head. I instantly ran as fast as I could to my room, slammed the door in his face and locked it. I called 911 as he banged on my door. Seconds later I heard a shot. I slowly crept out of my room to find my mother crying on the floor and my stepdad laying there lifeless. He had taken his own life. I remember it like it was yesterday.
You may be wondering why I’m mentioning some of these things. I don’t bring them up for sympathy, or to show you how hard I had it. This isn’t a pity party. I realize many people have had it much, much worse. But I think it’s important for you to see where I came from, and to see where I’m at now…because basically anything is possible. As cliché as it sounds…it’s true.
Fast forward a few years to age 19. I was going to college at the University of South Alabama, majoring in computer science, and failing miserably. When I was supposed to be learning C++ code and Novell Networking, I tended to play around with Windows 3.1 and get online to explore the coolest thing I’d ever seen – the Internet. It was 1997 and it was the first I’d ever seen of it. Writing 12 pages of C++ code that would calculate a phone bill didn’t seem very interesting to me. Why not just use a calculator? But I always wanted to be around computers. They fascinated me. The only PC I had ever owned was my stepdad’s old IBM PS1, circa 1984. It had 256kb of RAM. All I could do was run DOS, play the text-based game, “Escape from the Titanic”, and eventually upgrade to 512kb so that I could play “King’s Quest”, which came on 5 ¼ “ floppies!
At around this time, the strangest thing began to happen – as I continually accessed the Internet during classes, my perspective began to change. I realized there was this huge world out there that I knew nothing about. All of these websites from all over the world, and I was talking to people on IRC (internet relay chat) from the U.S. to China. I began to feel like I was possibly meant for bigger things than small town Alabama had to offer. Absolutely none of my friends had any real interest in ever leaving. It seemed their highest aspirations were to work at the local paper mill, or the Pepsi distributor, or in construction. I found that so odd. At the same time, I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do – I just wanted a REASON to leave. And just about any reason would suffice.
So this is what happened:
I’m 20 years old. I’m sitting at home watching “Dawson’s Creek”. And I had a huge crush on Katie Holmes. I wondered how I could meet her…until…voila! It came to me – I needed to get on that show.
Now I had never been an actor. Never considered it. Nothing. But I instantly wanted to be an actor…so I could meet Katie Holmes. Makes sense right?
The next day I called u-Haul and soon I was headed to Los Angeles – la la land. I didn’t know anyone there, or what the future had in store. But I had a u-Haul with all my earthly possessions, a 92 Toyota Celica in tow, and $5,000 in my pocket, which my mother gave me as a parting gift. I’m only guessing, but I’m pretty sure it was everything she had.
A buddy named Dennis L’Orange rode with me. Actually he drove most of the way while I slept. And when we finally arrived, there was a problem. You see, I had used “ye olde” Internet to rent an apartment in Los Angeles, sight unseen.
What I failed to realize was what part of town the apartment was in. It was $500/month, which was 3 times the cost of an apartment in Alabama, so I assumed it would be nice. But as I walked up to the building and brushed my way through a gang of unsavory characters to get inside, I felt sensory overload. The smell was almost unbearable. The “manager”, who was apparently drunk, led me up to my new apartment. I didn’t even get inside. The door next to mine was open, and the resident was repeatedly punching his female companion in the face while he screamed obscenities. That was enough for me. I quickly exited and found a cheap motel an hour outside of LA. My friend decided to take a bus back to Alabama the next day. He had had enough.
That night I felt the most alone I’ve ever felt in my life. I was a young kid in Los Angeles and didn’t know a soul. I had no clue what I was doing. I remember listening to “Mayonnaise” by the Smashing Pumpkins on repeat as I cried myself to sleep.
Over the next month I stayed at the Wilshire Motel in West LA until I found an apartment I could afford that was livable. On move-in day a really nice guy saw me trying to lift my refrigerator up the stairs and offered to help. If not for him I probably would’ve had major back problems my whole life! His name is Fernley Phillips. He went on to write several movies in Hollywood, including “The Number 23”, starring Jim Carrey. We still talk every now and then. I’m so proud of him and his success. We used to go to McDonalds together on 25 cent hamburger Tuesdays and load up. We were so broke. We also frequently snuck into theaters for double features.
Fernley introduced me to a woman named K Callan, a famous Hollywood writer/actress, who then introduced me to her acting agent Martin Gage. Martin signed me on as a client for the following reason: He was openly gay and thought I was cute! LOL. Hey, whatever works – as long as I wasn’t required to, ehem…do anything in return. Now I was one step closer to Katie Holmes!
I started going to Santa Monica College and taking acting classes, because I figured if I was going to be auditioning for TV and movies, I should probably know a little bit about acting right? I also started taking HTML classes as well because I still had a burning desire to understand how websites were made. I was majoring in theater with a minor in computer science. Interesting combination?
Over the next few months I crashed and burned dozens of auditions for shows like Gilmore Girls, Touched by an Angel, That 70’s Show, the movie “Dude Where’s my Car?”, etc. I was going up against guys who had done this their whole lives, understood the industry, and had booked major roles before. I was very intimidated, and I actually developed an anxiety disorder. I would throw up before every audition…
Then one day I got the call – I was officially auditioning for Dawson’s Creek! How crazy is that? Less than a year prior I was sitting at my house in Alabama watching the show, and now here was my chance to meet Katie!
Now I’d love to say that I got the part and my dreams came true, but… in reality I was a terrible actor. I had no idea what I was doing, and the casting director didn’t hesitate to remind me of that fact. Sufficed to say, no Katie for me.
Now with my dreams a bit dashed, I went on to stink up another 50 auditions or so for various shows/movies such as the lead role in Spider Man (Tobey McGuire’s part), the lead role in Star Wars (Annakin Skywalker), and many other roles I had no business competing for. I’ve gotta say, my agent, Martin, was really awesome. He got a complete unknown into all of these huge opportunities. I think I got around 60 “no’s” before Martin finally sent me packing. No hard feelings, I just wasn’t making him look good, OR making him any money. After all, it’s a business.
Now I didn’t know what to do. I landed an administrative job at a small investment banking firm because acting wasn’t paying the bills, and my $5k from mom was long gone. My job was basically to set up the faxing software to spam fax businesses all night, every night, promising to take their private company public for $100k via a reverse merger into a public shell, helping them raise capital, blah blah blah (we would later be investigated by the SEC). This glamorous job also included perks like cleaning the owner’s house, his car, doing his dry-cleaning…that sort of thing.
But one day while I was dropping off some things at his house, I noticed something. His tax return was laying out on the kitchen counter. I admit it, I looked. And my jaw dropped. He had made $374,000 in the last year. It was amazing to me because I obviously knew people made that kind of money, but this time it was up close and personal, and I could see it and touch it.
This simple event re-invigorated me with the desire to get out there and put a lot more effort into the things I was passionate about, because I wanted to be as successful as my boss. You’d think I would just decide to be an investment banker and follow in his footsteps to get rich. But I just wasn’t passionate about investment banking. I was passionate about 2 things – acting and websites. And I would no longer settle for half-assing either of them.
This was a major turning point in my life, and what I was about to learn over the course of the next year has shaped my professional and personal life ever since.
The first thing I decided to do was figure out the best possible way to gain an unfair advantage over other actors. They obviously had several advantages over me – whether it was more experience, a better resume, a better look, more confidence, more connections, etc.
So what could I do to figure out EXACTLY how to book auditions over them?
I needed to get direct access to the people who were the decision makers for every acting job – the casting directors.
Almost every actor tries to get an “in” with casting directors, but they do it by sending gifts, or postcards informing them of a show they just booked, or by sending pictures with clever packaging. But since everyone was doing it, and only a few were successful, I was suspicious of those tactics.
Then it hit me – I needed to be in the room during auditions, not as an actor, but on the other side of the camera as the casting director’s assistant. That way I could get raw feedback about what other actors did in the audition room, and perhaps more importantly, what the casting director says about them after they’ve left the room.
However, I quickly found out that casting assistant jobs weren’t exactly easy to attain. First you have to intern as an office “gopher”, basically getting treated like garbage while you tend to each person’s personal needs. Then you work your way up slowly over time. So it would take a major time commitment, and I would have to be willing to work for free.
But I was willing to make the commitment in order to get the answers that I needed. And, I figured that even spending time as a gopher would probably allow me to chat with the casting directors occasionally, or overhear their conversations from time to time. I needed to get inside their heads any way I could.
After applying at several offices, I finally got “hired” as an intern at the office of Victoria Burrows, who had been the casting director for The A-Team, 21 Jump Street, MacGyver and about 100 other shows/movies. I was stoked to be in the company of such a legitimate casting office!
Long story short, I didn’t stay employed long enough to become a full fledged assistant because I couldn’t handle being berated every day by the other assistants. BUT, I did stay long enough to get the feedback I needed. You see, occasionally the assistants would be busy, or unavailable, and the casting director would need someone to “read” with the actors who came in.
A reader simply reads the lines of the other characters in the script that the actor is supposed to be talking to. This was EXACTLY what I wanted, and I was more than willing to be a reader anytime they needed it. I actually got to read with many people who I recognized from other shows. They weren’t big-time A-listers, but they were “working” actors. Guys like Peter Graves, who has done tons of movies, and Kristoff St. John, who has done 700+ episodes of the Young & the Restless.
Actors would come and go, and some would really be great, and others not so great. And to my surprise, the best actor in my opinion almost NEVER got the job. After they left, Victoria would say things like “ Wow he seems like such a nice guy”, or “That guy reminds me of my father”, or “Wow that woman really seemed like she was having a bad day”.
It finally became clear to me what they were looking for. They weren’t looking for good actors. They were looking for someone who already “was” the character.
In other words, they don’t want to see someone come in and “turn-on” their acting ability. They want to see the character come through the door. If they want to cast a bratty kid, they want to see a bratty kid come through the door, and when they inevitably talk to him and ask him questions before the audition even starts, he should answer like a bratty kid would. So ultimately when he leaves the room, they would be thinking, “Wow, what a brat!”… “He’s perfect.”
Once I realized this, I quit the job and sought out another agent. I ended up signing with an agent named J Michael Bloom, who was pretty well known. I just sent in my picture, got a call, went in for a meet and great, and he said “What the heck, I’ll give you a try.” I felt pretty lucky.
In any event, now I was ready to audition with my new found knowledge.
I booked my first 6 auditions. I did a national Hot Pockets commercial, 5 episodes of a show on MTV called “Undressed”, small parts on shows like Young & the Restless, 7th Heaven, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Power Rangers, and a few other shows on the Sci-Fi channel. I felt like the king of the world.
Here are some of my gigs (I wasn’t the greatest, but I knew how to get hired!):
But what I also realized was that although I enjoyed getting the parts, actually working as an actor wasn’t my cup of tea. 6am call times and 12 hours of sitting in a trailer waiting to say 5 lines was miserable to me. And I felt like I never got to do the part how I thought it should be done. Directors will have you do it their way, and the version that actually airs may be one that you absolutely hated, weirdly enough. The whole thing just wasn’t fun for me. I only enjoyed booking the part, and getting the satisfaction of being the one they picked, not doing the job itself.
During my hot streak I was up for a major role on a soap opera called One Life to Live. It was down to me and 2 other guys, and they wanted to fly me to New York to “test” for it. Testing is when you actually go on the set and film a real scene, so they can see exactly how you would come across. It paid $2k a week, which might as well have been a million dollars to me at the time.
At exactly this same time, I had done something equally amazing to me – I had my first website making money – $300/month. And I’ll tell you exactly how I did that in a moment. But because I was succeeding online (even on a small scale), and because I was quickly losing my interest in acting, I decided to turn down the soap opera. I also called my agent, thanked him from the bottom of my heart, and let him know I was quitting the business altogether.
My heart just wasn’t in it anymore, and the website was much more exciting to me. And Katie Holmes was engaged or something anyway.
So here is how I created my first profitable website:
After I made the decision to deeply investigate how to become a working actor, and I began to see success, I decided to try the same thing with websites. In other words, I would create a website about something I was passionate about, but also look much deeper, in order to get the raw feedback and knowledge necessary to set myself apart from the rest, just like I had done with acting.
At the time, one of the greatest struggles in my life was bad credit. I had several maxed out credit cards that I couldn’t pay back. Many had already been “charged off”, which means the credit card company wrote it off as a loss, and subsequently reported that on my credit report. A charge-off is terrible for your credit score, and I had several of them. And according to my credit report, they would remain there for 7 years, making it nearly impossible for me to get any other credit card, loan, etc. during that time.
I had FINALLY gotten my own computer, so I was able to spend a countless amount of time online. And I typically found myself looking for a solution to my bad credit. I had heard of credit repair, but didn’t really know what it was exactly. So I investigated everything I could find on the subject.
Most websites simply made claims of what they could do. For example they would say they could remove a charge off for $500. But I wanted to know HOW they removed it. It seemed like a closely guarded secret.
I finally came across the most pathetic looking website I had ever seen. It was completely amateur, and was selling an e-book on how to repair credit yourself. This was the first time I had ever heard the term “e-book”.
The one vital thing about this website that struck me as odd was that the bottom of the site had a visitor counter that said there had been 70,000 visitors to the site. This completely blew my mind. I started doing the math. In my opinion this guy HAD to be making a decent amount of money. (Keep in mind that this was before I knew counters could be faked, etc., so I believed what I saw.)
It was shocking to realize that a website so pathetic looking could get so many visitors and possibly be making money selling a do-it-yourself credit repair e-book. I bought the book and it basically told people to write letters to the credit reporting agencies denying/disputing everything. Not exactly great content, but he was probably making money nonetheless.
After taking a few HTML classes, I was sure that I could make a website that at least looked a little better than this one. But that wasn’t enough. I wanted to be able to create a REAL do-it-yourself credit repair guide, with REAL examples and step by step instructions. And I wanted them to be backed up by PROOF.
So what better way to do this than to use myself as an example?
And instead of relying on the countless ebooks and services out there, I decided to go straight to the source – The Fair Credit Reporting Act itself. (FCRA)
I wanted to read the actual law, and see exactly what was true & false.
The document was over 100 pages, and I read the entire thing. While reading it, for some reason I got the feeling that very few people had done this. In any event, I narrowed my focus down to 2 sections – both regarding how & when negative items must be removed from a credit report.
At the same time, I also discovered that there was a similar act called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and I read it completely as well.
The FCRA applied to the laws that the credit reporting agencies must adhere to, such as Transunion, Equifax, and Experian.
The FDCPA applied to the laws that must be adhered to by debt collectors, such as banks, credit card companies, etc.
Both clearly spelled out exactly what steps that the agencies and banks were required to take when a consumer disputes a negative mark / debt as being not entirely correct.
Without going into too much of the boring legal details, let’s just say I discovered a loophole.
According to the FCRA, all disputes must be handled within 30 days, and according to the FDCPA all disputed items must be marked on your credit report as “disputed” within 30 days, by the debt collector. This is regardless of whether or not the dispute is valid. A dispute is a dispute, no matter what. You can dispute the fact that you have a mortgage, even if you have one!
So here’s what I did:
I disputed all of my debts – all 11 of them – credit cards, phone bills, etc., anything that was on my credit report as having had a late payment. Since I knew they only had 30 days to investigate, I sent all of my disputed certified mail with signature required, so I would get a receipt of exactly when the dispute was received.
Here was another key – not only did I send the disputes to the credit reporting agencies, but I sent them to the debt collectors themselves as well, since both were covered under separate laws. I figured this would increase my chances for one of them to screw up and not perform their legal duty within the 30 day allotted time.
So here’s what happened:
All 11 of my debts/late pays/charge-offs came back as “verified” by the credit reporting agencies, and lucky for them they did it within 30 days.
BUT, the debt collectors themselves did not mark my debt as “disputed” on my credit report within 30 days. I made sure to get my credit report on the 31st day after they had signed for my certified letter, and sure enough NONE of them had complied with the law. They were now in violation of the FDCPA and liable to me for damages of $100-$1000 per offense.
Now that I had the upper hand, and I had the evidence, I contacted each of the creditors and offered to NOT file a lawsuit against them, in exchange for them permanently deleting my record from my credit reports. Not one of them budged.
So I went down to small claims court, paid $20 per case, and filed a lawsuit against all 11 of them for violating the federal law (FDCPSA).
Now I mailed a copy of the lawsuit to each of the creditors, again offering to drop the suit in exchange for deletion. A handful of them caved. Not only that, but some of them removed my record AND paid me for my trouble. American Express actually sent me $1,000 and an apology!
Now there were still a handful of creditors left that were willing to go to court. So we did. I was as nervous as could be. I knew I had evidence in my favor, but they had savvy lawyers who may try to confuse me or the judge with a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo.
Amazingly, just before the cases were heard, all but 2 of the companies approached me and offered to remove everything in exchange for dropping the case! I was thrilled. I guess they just wanted to see if I would actually show up.
The 2 remaining stubborn companies were ready to battle it out in front of the judge. They argued that the debts were in fact mine, and that I simply disputed it because of the loophole, and that I had acted unethically. My argument back was that whether or not I acted unethically, I had exercised my legal right to dispute anything on my credit report, and they had simply broken the law by not abiding by the procedures clearly laid out in the FDCPA.
I won both cases, which included removal of the negative items and $100 in damages from each!
I was elated. I was 11 for 11. I found a loophole and exploited it to my advantage, all while acting in accordance with the law. It was an exhausting, frustrating experience, but I had prevailed.
Of course I knew that my actions weren’t exactly ethical, but if we’re going to get into an ethical debate, perhaps we should consider the fact that credit card companies blatantly market their cards to naïve 18 year old kids who have no idea how credit works. And how the introductory interest rate can go from zero percent to 33% overnight. Kids can quickly get into trouble this way, resulting in serious consequences, such as 7-10 years of bad credit, which will cost them thousands upon thousands of dollars in interest during that time.
I still think they should teach this stuff in school, but perhaps that is a discussion saved for another day.
All I knew was now I had “the goods”. I had 11 case studies showing that my methods clearly worked, and I had more than enough knowledge to write a competent e-book about it. I also had the ability to create a decent looking website to promote it, since I had taken a few HTML classes.
I hope you can see the two parallels of what I did in both acting and with websites; I went deeper than the rest of the crowd and got real-life, raw feedback, and used it to my advantage.
I wrote my entire story into Microsoft Word, including a step by step guide. I then converted it into a PDF file, and now I had my first ebook. I was officially a published author… well at least self-published.
I made my first website at http://www.CreditProvide.com using a very basic WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) website builder that came with my hosting plan.
You can check http://www.archive.org to see how it looked in 2001. I wasn’t exactly an award winning graphic designer.
But what I did was learn “enough” to make it look decent.
I wasn’t the greatest copywriter in the world either. But again I did “enough” to make it compelling and different from the rest.
When I’m working on a project, I’m a firm believer in being able to do at least one thing great, and being “good enough” at everything else required to complete it. In this case, I had a great product (the ebook), and very mediocre programming/designing skills, copywriting skills, and marketing skills.
I think it’s important to note that I also didn’t hire one single person. No outsourcing at all.
I had been reading WarriorForum.com for months (this was 2001). I learned how things worked -how to sell the book through a merchant account and how to promote it using Google Adwords. That was about the extent of my knowledge at this point. I wasn’t anywhere near being ready to tackle SEO, affiliates, banners, etc.
I started off slow, simply using Google Adwords to target cheap long-tail keywords related to credit repair, and I began spending $300/month, which resulted in $600 in revenue. A profit of $300/month. I was absolutely ecstatic. It was working. People were buying my stuff because it was flat out different than everything else. I answered every email inquiry myself and was genuinely glad I was helping so many people in financial trouble. I received so many emails from people thanking me. It felt great.
After a few months I had gotten up to profiting $600/month. And that was exactly equal to my rent. I now had an online business on autopilot paying for my living expenses. That was so amazing to me. Unfortunately I just didn’t have the cash flow to go bigger yet, and I also didn’t realize how much bigger I could go, if at all. I was actually pretty satisfied at $600/month. But that was all about to change very soon.
One fateful day:
I checked my inbox one morning and I had received an email from a company called Virtumundo. They had seen my site and said they were interested in sending an email out about it to their list of subscribers. In exchange we would share the sales 50/50. I had no knowledge of this type of thing but they were willing to do everything, so I said sure! I asked how many people they would be sending it to. They said 12 million… and I couldn’t believe it.
The next day:
I knew that the email had gone out. I went about my day and in the evening I checked sales, hoping to see a spike. What I saw still sends chills down my spine.
Total sales for the day: $90,000.
I was floored. If my math was correct, this 21 year old kid had just made $45,000 in one day. I really can’t describe that feeling and do it justice.
From $600/month to $45k profit in one day. I instantly knew online marketing was the life for me!
Virtumundo would go on to promote several more times over the next few months, and I felt like a very, very rich young man.
Now that I knew this was possible, I scoured the internet looking for other companies with lists to market to. I made a few more deals with similar companies and before I knew it, I had a $250k company on my hands. I bought my first brand new car – an Audi A4, and a 1 bedroom, 600 square foot condo in Tarzana, CA for $78,000.
I had received a lobotomy in marketing. I now realized how much money was out there for the taking – and all the while I was helping people who were desperate. It was win/win situation, and it became addictive. I wanted more.
Now I wanted to learn SEO and get my site ranked highly for more traffic. More, more, more.
At the time, getting a link back to your site that was from a PR9 (PageRank 9) website was like the holy grail. It was almost impossible because only a handful of sites had that status. Sites like Yahoo.com & Microsoft.com. And good luck getting a text link from them! It was nearly impossible. They just didn’t offer it. But if I could find a way, I knew it would instantly make my site a PR8. And as a PR8, I was almost a lock to be # 1 for my most coveted keyphrase, “bad credit”. There were over 100 million competing websites.
One day I was reverse engineering another website that ranked # 1 for a credit related term. Their Google PR was 8. I researched where they were getting links from and found out that one was from FoxNews.com, which was a PR9. And low and behold FoxNews.com had 8 text links on their home page. I immediately inquired with their advertising department and they told me one of the 8 spots was coming available soon for $2,000 / month. At that price I only had one question – “Can I send you the money today?”.
That was an unbelievably low price for a PR9 link. I immediately negotiated a one-year contract with the option to renew, and locked in my spot for a year.
30 days later, I was # 1 in the world on Google.com for “bad credit”. This resulted in revenues on average of $20,000 per month. I can only imagine what the revenue would have been if I really knew how to monetize my site better!
Over the next 3 years I remained # 1. I was on top of the world. I left that site on autopilot and created about a dozen other websites that sold various ebooks about anything I was interested in. I learned about www.Clickbank.com, getting affiliates, and how to do better at Google Adwords.
I built these sites up to maximum profitability and anytime the sales started to slip due to competition, I would sell the sites on eBay.
One of my sites was ForeignPharmaciesOnline.com (which no longer exists). I had been taking anxiety medication ever since my auditioning days, and it was expensive, even with insurance. So I researched foreign pharmacies that would provide medicine to people in the USA without a prescription.
I scoured forums, chat rooms, etc. where people would report on the legitimate companies that would not only send them the meds (more than half just took your money and sent you nothing), but also those that actually sent you REAL meds – meaning they were still in the original manufacturer’s packaging, not a zip lock bag filled with God only knows what.
I bought from several of them myself. And those that turned out to be legit, I asked if they would be interested in letting me be an affiliate. To my surprise, several of them were willing to give me 25% of all sales referred.
Not only that, but I realized that a list of legit, SAFE overseas pharmacies would be worth money itself.
So I made my website a members only site where you had to pay $19.95 for access to my updated list of overseas pharmacies. Now I had a front end (membership sales), and a back-end (commissions from people buying the medicines).
I advertised again soley on Adwords. The first month revenues were $180,000 and I spent around $90,000 in advertising. Another big winner.
Unfortunately I got into the game too late though, and only enjoyed this run for 4 or 5 months. It was 2004 and the government began cracking down on sites that had anything to do with getting medicine without a prescription, even though all I was providing was information – I wasn’t actually selling pharmaceuticals.
The U.S. pharmaceutical industry doesn’t like when people can get their stuff overseas for 10 bucks, when they can charge $100 for it in America. So they lobby to the government, and somebody important finds extra money in their pockets. And the next thing you know I’m being strong-armed by the government to take my site down. They kept shutting down my hosting accounts, merchant accounts, sending threatening letters, etc. Even though I wasn’t breaking any law whatsoever.
And they had gotten to Google too. No more ads about foreign pharmacies were allowed.
So once I’d had enough, I sold the site to someone for $100,000. It still had value because it had some good organic rankings in Google, and that was still allowed. It also had value because a new owner could re-incorporate the company/website in a country like Gibraltar and not be exposed to U.S. government pressure.
I sold the site on eBay and openly told prospective buyers of the risks. Oddly enough, someone who lived 2 blocks away from me ended up buying it. His name was Ryan Kaltman – and that’s how I met the guy who would later become my right hand man at the Rich Jerk company. Ryan later told me that he made his money back on the site, but ultimately gave up on it because he was getting threatening faxes, and he was becoming very paranoid anytime he saw a black towncar drive by his house! LOL.
Another site I had around the same time had made about $900,000 in the past year. And once the sales started slipping due to increased competition, I sold it on eBay for $379,000. That was in 2005, and the sale generated a lot of buzz in marketing forums. Everyone tried to figure out what the site was and who owned it (I had kept the URL private during the sale and only shared it with the buyer). The site was www.TopSiteReviews.com (it doesn’t exist anymore but again you can check it out on archive.org to see what it looked like).
With all the buzz, I wanted to parlay that into something. I was encouraged by many people to become a “make-money guru”, basically teaching people how I had been so successful online.
The only way I would agree was if I could somehow be completely different than everyone else, and I also wanted to keep my anonymity as much as possible.
I found all of the other gurus so funny – such as Tom Vu and Don Lapre – how they flaunted their success.
Check out an old infomercial from Tom Vu here:
So I decided to create a caracature of them, in an over the top, mean, Howard Stern-like character who shoved his success in your face and looked like Leisure Suit Larry.
His name: The Rich Jerk.
This “love him or hate him” character created a HUGE buzz because he was so unique. And the ebook was pure gold at the time, if I do say so myself, because I actually showed proof of my businesses and what I had done. The character may have been ridiculous, but the material was the real deal. And the earnings and testimonials were legit.
According to my research, one of the most respected online marketers was Yanik Silver. I sent him a copy of the ebook and asked him to look at the sales letter, and to consider giving it his stamp of approval. He replied that he didn’t think this thing would fly.
I was a bit deflated, but I went forward and approached another marketing guru – iconic marketing legend Gary Halbert. I spoke with Gary on the phone and told him my whole story. I was so nervous. Sure I had been successful, but this guy was a legend. And being judged by my peers was nerve wracking, especially after Yanik had already given it the thumbs down.
Gary not only liked the whole thing, but he also said he would give it the first and only G.H.S.O.A. (Gary Halbert Seal of Approval). You can see what he wrote here:
After Gary vouched for the me, the forums went nuts, tons of affiliates jumped on board, and sales went through the roof.
$10,000 a day in profit was common, and I had another big winner on my hands. But this time, I wanted to take it to a whole new level. And over the years, through many joint ventures, it became a multi-million dollar behemoth.
Unfortunately though, after several successful years, the old adage “more money, more problems” came around and bit me. I had brought on partners, family members, etc. And the situation became far from optimal. Unbearable really.
Without going into too much detail, I took a back-seat and let others run the show how they thought it should be run. And the rest is history. It’s still chugging along to this day, but I am minimally involved at best. And aside from that I cannot legally comment.
The family situation didn’t mix too well with the business either. I had gotten married in 2003 to a girl I met in an acting class. I brought her parents on board as 2 of my partners at Rich Jerk. Long story short, I’m a divorced dad with two awesome kids.
Now I have decided to “give it another go” at teaching online marketing. But this time, anonymity be damned! And by the way, I don’t call people losers anymore either, LOL.
I’m just me, doing my thing, trying to help others better their lives financially and creatively, so they can spend more time doing the things they love.
I admit, running the Rich Jerk company, I actually became quite a jerk. I lost respect for money, people, customers, and even myself. I went on ridiculous spending sprees for things that don’t matter in life. I rented out the Playboy Mansion for $250k for one night, lived in ridiculous homes, had a garage full of ridiculous cars, and spent money like it was going out of style. And it was all just an ego trip.
I cared more about money and possessions than I did about the things that really matter, like the people who care about you no matter what. The people who stick by your side. Not even necessarily family, because some family members can flat out be no good for you. I’m talking about the people you would probably think about most if you were taking your last breaths.
When I finally couldn’t accept the person I had become, I made my great escape. I sold all of the fancy schmancy stuff, and moved from LA down to a sleepy beach town in San Diego. I called up my friend Mike Long, who has had his own share of ups and downs, and asked him if he wanted to start over with one thing in mind – helping people.
I had always gotten a lot out of my conversations with Mike, so he flew out from Virginia and we decided to just start recording conversations between us to see what would happen. Four months later, BringTheFresh.com was born!
And now, we couldn’t be happier. We get testimonials every day from people who have gotten their first site to # 1 in Google, and received their first paycheck from it. People are digging in and changing their lives.
And we enjoy chatting with our customers often. While we’re not necessarily the big dawgs on the porch anymore, we feel like an Indie band with a nice core group of people along for the ride. People who appreciate us, and who we appreciate in return. We chat with our members daily, whether its by phone, skype, email, etc.
But before this starts getting all mushy, its not all snowflakes and dandelions.
We’re nowhere near the smartest, coolest, nicest, richest, or best internet marketers out there. Sometimes we make mistakes. We get frustrated. We make bad decisions. We’re just normal people, and we’re teaching the simple stuff that works for us, the best way we know how. And we’re learning from our members just as much as they’re learning from us.
While we love to stay positive and encourage our members, its ultimately up to them to make the choice to dive in 100% or not.
If you’re in, awesome!
If not, we’ll be here waiting for ya.
Come by any time and check out what we’re up to. And feel free to contact me. No guru here. You WILL get a reply.
And by the way, if you made it this far, you are a ROCKSTAR. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this entire post, and I hope that it has helped you or motivated you in some way.
Yo – its been a while huh? How the heck are ya?
I’m going to link here to a webinar I did with Travis Sago & Mike Long. It’s 4.5 hours long and AWESOME content.
Feel free to give me your feedback!