Hope you've had a good week.
This should be the first of what is fully intended to be my big round up of stuff that's caught my eye, odd ideas and anything else that I can dump out of my brain on a Friday.
The idea is that I'll turn off my filter as much as possible and just get stuff on the page and then only do editing that makes it more readable. In other words, leaving the actual message unadulterated.
Of course that means I will occasionally use some bad language. I am not sorry, it is how I speak and if it offends you then you probably should just fuck off and learn from someone who can string a sentence together without dropping f-bombs and the like.
Is this a good thing?
Only time will tell. I'm sure some out there would advise me it's a bad career move but when have I ever listened to the career advice of a coke sniffing McTingletong.
As I sit down to write this there is no agenda, there is no plan, this will just be stuff from inside my head, my thoughts and whatever.
Hopefully you will find something of value amongst my brain farts, and if not then perhaps something will amuse and entertain you instead - either is fine with me.
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.”
Now you can get into debates about whether it really is the eighth wonder of the world. It possibly was when old Einey was about.
But for the digital marketer there is something I believe is better.
And some feel it is like the "holy grail" of marketing, and because of this, perhaps many others elevate it and put it on a pedastal and convince themselves they can't create it.
But when you really stop and break down what passive income is, it soon becomes abundantly clear that there are multiple ways to get to it.
The trick is more about picking the most sensible route...
The one that will require you to do the least amount of work.
Because it's hardly passive if you have to work for it every month is it?
Most folk end up creating a membership site and posting quality tools, training and content inside on a monthly basis. And then to maintain the retention of subscribers they have to constantly work to provide new and up to date content.
The real grail, if there is such a thing is surely a subscription model where you don't need to update content or add anything regularly but that customers will gladly keep paying for on a recurring basis.
The most obvious example is software. A topic which I am particularly experienced in :-)
Over the last few years we have seen software giants like Adobe and Microsoft adopt a subscription model for their flagship software. It means the user always has the latest version and never has to pay out a scary lump sum.
And the same can be said for the various "SaaS" (Software as a Service) platforms that have sprung up.
If you have something that is USEFUL and saves people TIME and/or MONEY then you likely have something people will gladly pay you a small monthly fee for.
And when people pay for something on an ongoing basis, you can always afford to continue development, update and support it, but without constantly having to add new things.
But I am not a software developer Andy!
Do you know something the most successful software entrepreneurs have in common these days?
None of them are coders.
They pay people to do that stuff for them.
Now for the small independant guy that would mean outsourcing, but outsourcing technical work like coding can bring it's own challenges.
When you don't know the ins and outs of something people can take advantage...
I've seen marketers get screwed over by coders on freelance sites time and time again.
The only real advice I can give a newbie to outsourcing...
1) Use an established freelance site with an escrow arrangement.
2) Get a price for the finished job, not an hourly rate.
3) Specify even the smallest of details. The most money is racked up by asking "can you just add this and this". If the coder did the job for a special price, they are more likely to stiff you on addons and extras afterwards - after all they are the only one who can work with the code because they wrote it
4) Fuck stage payments! Often outsourcers will quote based on percentages of what is owed being released as parts of the program are completed. But creating vapourware (software that looks like it is working but is just faked) is easy and often the less scrupulous will show you stuff to get a payment and they never expect to get the final payment or to finish the work. I always insist on full payment when complete, tested and signed off.
5) Make it clear that you want the full ownership rights and the source upon completion.
The most direct solution is to do it yourself...
But I am not suggesting you learn to code.
Instead look for systems that can build software solutions for you!
Sure, you will have to conform to some frameworks but you will be in complete control, you can do the work once and get paid over and over for it.
Let me give you some examples...
1) AppGeni - This will let someone with no programming knowlege build a database application that runs online. They have a trial and demo's that are really pretty good.
2) SaaSet - This is the SaaS that lets non coders build SaaS apps! It is also what I personally use to put out a lot of products. All of the 5 Minute Sites range of products, my Commission Hijacker product, Evergreen Income Machines and many more are all made with SaaSet.
3) Use any form builder and do the heavy lifting with Zapier or Integromat (Integromat is the lesser know alternative to Zapier, it's more visual and easier to use. You can sign up free) and you can put together something super powerful very cheaply and with a minimal learning curve. If you've not stopped to think what SaaS products you could make using just these two thinks... I've just handed you a big money idea you can do super cheaply!
This approach keeps you in complete control, something that is important when relying on something for passive income.
It looks like a lot of Azon affiliates are going to get screwed over with the big push of the Smile program.
Basically Amazon are pushing people to join Smile which is a thing that gives a percentage of their spends to a charity of their choice and they even give out a little extension so you always get redirected through the smile link when you go to Amazon.
Clearly they are taking the cut they'd usually pay the affiliate and give it to charity instead, but this cuts out the poor guy whose "Instant, Super Mega, Auto Azon Store Machine" store they came through.
Once again a great illustration of why you should have multiple streams of online income and not be reliant on any one affiliate program.
MMO – “Make Money Online”. It’s an entire sub-culture of marketing, a mostly seedy bunch of liars preying on the newbie who wants a way to make some money on the interwebs.
And it’s easy to see how it got it’s start, before the Internet there was a wild-west in mail order.
At the top end there were companies and individuals selling quality merchandise, further down the list were the folk selling market stall quality and maybe bending their ads to imply the quality was beyond the shit from China that it actually was. Then there were information sellers, pitching diet books and sex guides and “how to get rich in mail order”.
At the very bottom of the heap were those who offered “make money by placing ads” courses, where for $15 you would get a sheet of paper telling you to run the same ad you purchased from and send them a copy of the sheet you are reading when they buy.
Then along came the Internet…
Same shit, different medium.
Online you have marketers who sell real products to real people but because of the total lack of regulation there still exists a sub culture of shit pedlars who will gladly take cash off fuckwits in exchange for some pipe dream nonsense that hasn’t even been tested in the real world.
Is it all bad?
There are of course a handful of good guys out there who go out of their way to teach sound, solid marketing. Stuff that works because it’s based on proper old school sales and marketing.
The problem is, old school marketing isn’t cool or sexy.
It’s not “new and shiny.”
And so although it works…
Although it’s proven…
Although it’s what all the big players are actually doing…
The MMO crowd walk right on past it.
Some of them will have been shown it in one guise or another…
But still they’ve chosen to ignore it.
Maybe you have to...
It’s really not your fault if you have...
Because you’ve been conditioned...
You’ve become part of the herd...
You have become conditioned to want the newest thing, the latest thing, the “cutting edge” secret or trick that’s going to solve all your problems.
And because the vast majority of “opportunity seekers” are lazy pricks who are looking for some magic, push button, golden goose there are a load of marketers who will do the marketing thing and give them what they think they want.
Except of course they can’t really…
These things don’t exist.
So although the ad copy claims they are giving you bonafide, genuine unicorn poop, what you are really going to receive is a box of horse shit.
And at work behind all of this is the age old law of “supply and demand.”
There is a massive demand for magic buttons because people want a quick fix. But because these quick fixes don’t exist someone makes something up and pretends it is one. It sells thousands, but they refund less than 10% because the 90% who keep it either never opened it or had moved onto the next shiny object before they actioned anything.
I wrote extensively about this problem and how you can switch your mindset and move to the sellers side of the table in “Be a Five Percenter”, a book I wrote in 2014 that has changed the lives of more people than anything else I’ve put out. And it achieved that by being brutally honest.
It also offended more people than anything else I’ve put out for the exact same reasons. Well that and the fact I don’t sugar coat my language…
But if you’re going to let the fact I used the f-word offend you to the point it prevents you from putting into action the clear cut plan it lays out…
Well that would make you a fucking idiot.
The truth is, the content of “Be a Five Percenter” is the exact thing I get paid $10,000 to teach coaching students who won’t read a book and take action.
There are four things wrong with the IM/MMO industry today…
1. The vendors.
2. The affiliates.
3. The customers.
4. The lack of any regulation.
The bottom line is that most of the customers that buy shitty products deserve everything they get. They are the ones who go looking for pipe dreams.
I was talking a while ago to someone who managed the support desk for a biggish marketer. He told me of a support ticket he got asking for a refund on a make money product because “it involves too much copy and pasting” and went on to say “I just want a way to click and make money.”
Yeah don’t we all?
Like I said… Supply and Demand…
Punters run about forums begging for magic “secrets” and back door loop holes. Vendors fill the demand by making something they say meets the criteria and then affiliates all jump on board and promote because that is what they’re customers are demanding.
Sure the vendor is being dishonest, the affiliate is promoting shite but all because it’s what the market is demanding.
And then the punters buy this stuff, never action it and never complain about it not being as described. Most will never even know it isn’t as described because they never read or watch what they bought anyway.
And because there is zero regulation in the industry this endless circle of shit keeps going around.
As long as idiots are happy to keep giving their money to the pedlars of crap, those vendors will continue to make more of the same and affiliates will continue to shout about how good it is because they’re getting 50% or more of the ill-gotten gains.
But what about the FTC and other bodies that are there to protect the consumer?
The MMO niche is a really small bubble.
We already know that 95% of buyers will either not open or not action what they learned and the 5% who see the shit for what it is might ask for a refund but they’re not going to waste a second of their time working out how to report the product for telling blatant lies in its sales copy.
And even if they did, nothing would ever come of it.
Because the FTC works on patterns and numbers.
The average bullshit MMO product will sell 500-1000 units.
Even if ALL of the US based people among the 5% who actually read it and saw it to be a pack of lies complained to the FTC the total complaints would be a drop in the bucket.
And what decides whether the FTC investigate?
This explanation from the Ohio State Bar Association makes that clear…
Q: How does the FTC decide what to investigate?
A: An investigation can begin in various ways—for example, by a Congressional inquiry, an FTC staff member spotting something questionable in the marketplace, or consumer complaints. It is important to know that the FTC does not resolve individual consumer complaints. Rather, it tracks individuals complaints to look for patterns of potential wrongdoing that can lead to an investigation.
And this is why vendors get away with sales copy that is full of lies and bullshit.
As long as there are lazy consumers who demand this kind of cack and don’t complain about it, vendors will continue selling it to them. And who can blame them – it’s good money.
The only way a problem like this shrinks is when the thing driving the product creators and sellers stops demanding more of the same.
Until dickwad consumers quit buying and putting up with this it will keep going.
Meanwhile if you are one of those buyers – STOP.
Learn old school sales and marketing and bring your own products to market.