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February 28, 2002

Table of Contents

 

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Administrative Stuff

Staff Article - Be Careful Out There!
Tax Tip of the Week

Guest Article -  The 3 Common Traits Shared By 'Mom & Pop' Web
    Sites Earning $100,000 To $600,000 A Year
Guest Article 2 - Unleash the Power Of Inertia!
Parting Comments

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Quote of the Week

One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as
the most beautiful.

-Sigmund Freud
 


Administrative Stuff

We've opened a new section of our website for our program recommendations. We have more than 140 programs currently under evaluation and we will use this section to provide information on the programs that pass. We are also constructing a section on programs we do NOT recommend which should be ready within a few weeks. The program evaluations are located at:
http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/program_recs.htm


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Staff Article

Be Careful Out There!
by: Cary Christian

This is not the article I wanted to write this week, but something just happened that made me change my mind. As most of you know, we join a lot of different programs in order to evaluate them and report on them on our website. We test affiliate programs, MLM opportunities, traffic generating programs, banner programs, and just about everything else you can find on the Internet. We also evaluate advertising sources.

Recently we placed an ad with one of the "two bucks an ad" type of programs that for $10 will place your ad to a group of ezines that covers about 30,000 subscribers in total. This is very cheap advertising so we wanted to see if it was worth the effort. So we paid our $10 and placed an ad for an MLM program we are also evaluating. Our ad was to appear in nine different ezines.

One of the reasons the ads are so inexpensive is that you are actually placing your ad in return for becoming a subscriber of the ezines that run your ads. The advertising sales organization, in this case the "two bucks an ad" program, gets new subscribers for ezines which in turn provide free ads. The "two bucks an ad" program earns $10 for putting you together.

Now I don't mind being subscribed to additional ezines. I believe it's important to read a lot in this business and get as many viewpoints as you can. But what I found out bothered me a little.

You see, most of these ezines allow their subscribers to post free ads anyway. So you could subscribe individually and post your ads for free. But that's not a big deal either. The $10 might be worth it to have someone do all the work for you. The real problem is that your ad is just one of many, many ads in these publications. Some of them even have a separate ezine run that contains nothing but ads. So your ad gets lost in a jumble of anywhere from 20 to 100 other ads. How much response do you get under these circumstances? Well, we got one clickthrough with our ad supposedly going out to 30,000 subscribers.

But that is not what upset me. I sort of expected those results. Here is what got me going tonight:

I received today's edition of one of the ezine/newsletters that I had placed an ad with and there, right in the middle of the newsletter, was my ad. The only problem was the URL supplied with the ad was the URL of the owner of the newsletter! She had copied my ad word for word and placed her own URL at the end.

Now I know my ad wasn't copyrighted, nor would I ever attempt to copyright it. But doesn't that strike you as a little sneaky? If any of you placed an ad in this newsletter, I would never dream of turning around and using it here, or anywhere else for that matter, after you entrusted your advertising to us. To me that is just plain ethically wrong!

This story just tends to highlight what all of us must watch out for as we try to grow our own businesses online. There are some larger lessons here to be learned.

First, the Internet is full of people who are trying to nickel and dime their way to wealth. And it's YOUR nickels and dimes they are after. Let's take the "two bucks an ad" deal. The people putting these programs together know that you can place your own ads for free with most of these ezines. If you're willing to do a little research, you can find lots of ezines where you can place your ad free or for very little money. But they have devised a program to get $10 from you for doing the legwork for you.  Is it worth it?  It would be if the response from the ads were high. It can take a lot of time to track down appropriate individual ezines to advertise in. If the response is poor, which it certainly is, you've just wasted $10 for nothing.

How many other programs have you tried that got you for $5, $10, $20 or more only to find out later that if you had a little more information to begin with you could have saved your money?  They are all over place. They prey on people's lack of knowledge to make a living. If they truly provided an outstanding service that got results, it would be a different
story, but most of the time you get very little in return for your money. And the cost really adds up over time.

The second lesson from this story is that you have to be careful who you trust. Now I know ripping off my ad isn't a capital offense. But it is a character flaw that would prevent me from ever doing business with this person again. If I can't trust her with an insignificant ad, could I ever trust her with more? She damaged herself by her actions. What if I had wanted to run the ad in three or four more issues or purchase a solo ad from her? She had the opportunity to attempt to create a
lifetime subscriber and customer but decided to try to generate a short term profit instead. (The ad was a very good ad :))

Overall you have to realize that you get what you pay for on the Internet just like everywhere else in life. There are no shortcuts. Quality is quality. If you settle for less to save a few bucks, you're going to get less in return. Most of the time, you get nothing in return. Seek out quality. If you find it and can't afford it, save your money until you can. It's better to wait and save than to throw your money away on things that simply do not work.

If you're new to Internet marketing, take the time to learn before you spend. Read everything you can find on marketing.  Over time you will develop a picture of those marketers who are trustworthy and have the ability to give you solid advice.  Invest in a good marketing course written by one of these trustworthy individuals. Participate in forums on marketing and get other people's take on what works and what doesn't.

Take this article as a small example. If you are reading this, you are not likely to waste your $10 like we did. Some of you may say "It's only $10!" Based on our current bids on Overture and FindWhat which range  from $.01 to $.40, $10 will buy us from 25 to 1,000 HIGHLY TARGETED hits depending on the search phrase.  These are people looking for what we have to sell. Compare that with the ezine ad to 30,000 people with one click through and no sales. Quality, not cost, is the name of the game. Quality is ALWAYS LESS EXPENSIVE!

If you're not new to Internet marketing, you should still take the advice given above. The Internet changes daily and you need to stay on top of the changes to survive. It's a lot of work to succeed in this business, but it will be well worth your effort if you persevere and constantly educate yourself.

Copyright (c) 2002


Tax Tip of the Week

We received a question about what to do if one receives an incorrect Form 1099. In this case, the individual received a 1099 that should have been issued to his company and the income was reported as "miscellaneous" income rather than proceeds from the sale of stock. Since miscellaneous income is taxed as ordinary income and stock sale proceeds are capital gains, the difference in tax would be enormous in his case. What do you do if something like this happens to you?

If you receive an incorrect Form 1099 you need to contact the  company that issued it and request that it be corrected. The IRS does attempt to match the income reported on your return with Forms 1099 that have been filed. If you do not report the income exactly as it appears on the Form 1099, you'll have to explain the difference. The IRS may simply adjust your return to match the Form 1099 and either reduce your refund or bill you for additional tax, penalties and interest.

If the company that issued you the 1099 will not issue a corrected form, report the amount on your return as it is shown on the 1099 received and show an adjustment to correct the amount reported. Then attach a statement to your return explaining the difference. Taking this proactive approach will save you lots of correspondence with the IRS and a few migraines.
 


Guest Article

"THE 3 COMMON TRAITS SHARED BY 'MOM & POP' WEB
SITES EARNING $100,000 TO $600,000 A YEAR"


This issue, I would like to share some personal insights with you that I believe will really help you to move forward in your online business goals.

The spark of inspiration for this editorial came when I was reviewing the interviews we have conducted for our new private site http://www.secretstotheirsuccess.com where each month we interview two real people who have had  extraordinary success on the Internet.

Each interview tells a real-life story of hard work and dedication, but there are also messages that are not so obvious at first glance. It is these underlying "common threads" that really interested me.

I wondered, "What are the common traits shared by these one and two-person Internet business owners that have allowed them to build web sites that generate incomes of $100,000 to $600,000 each and every year?"

Since they sell everything from body building programs to designer soaps to courses on daytrading, "what" they are selling is important, but it is NOT the key factor in their success.

Their ages, formal education, or prior knowledge of the Internet did not appear to be relevant to the ability of these men and women to make money online either.

The closer I read, the more it became obvious that besides all of the strategies and techniques these people reveal as part of their "success formula," there are actually three common traits shared by ALL of their success stories that have allowed them to grow their businesses to generate such extraordinary incomes...

TRAIT #1: THEY JUST PLAIN GOT STARTED.

Most of the people we interviewed had little or no prior knowledge of the Internet. Typically, this was their first Internet business. Some had never even turned on a computer!  And that is the first point I want you to know. It doesn't matter what your knowledge level is when you start -- the important point is you need to begin.

You don't have to do everything well. In fact, you don't have to do anything well when you start! But you have to START.  Take the first steps (no matter how small) to move your web site dream into reality. You don't need to wait until you know "everything."

These successful netrepreneurs did not wait until their web sites were "perfect" or until they knew everything there was to know about selling on the Internet before they got started; they're living proof that you don't need to be an Internet marketing guru to start making money online.

I am sure you, too, have a great idea that has been percolating in your brain. You just need to start.

TRAIT #2: THEY FOCUSED ON ONE THING AND DID IT WELL.

The second common thread I want you to know about is that each one of these people focused on just one marketing strategy at a time, did it well, maximized profits, and then moved on to the next one. That's why they also said that they know there is so much more they can do.

There are many ways you can promote your web site:

- Some of them will give you a quick traffic boost (such as pay-per-click search engines);

- Others will establish your reputation more slowly (such as writing articles and providing free content for other webmasters);

- While others (such as finding strategic partners who will link to your site) will pay off well into the future for the work you do today.

That's the good news. You don't have to put a lot of pressure on yourself believing that you have to do it all or know it all.

To follow their lead, focus on just one marketing strategy such as submitting your site to the search engines, publishing your own newsletter, or learning about how to write effective sales copy... and then really master it.

Learn all you can and apply the knowledge as you learn it.  This is how you can generate $100,000+ from your online business -- by focusing on one marketing strategy at a time.

Start by choosing the theme of your web site and then strive to become the dominant site serving your niche market.

Next, make a list of all the different ways to increase the sales to your web site and then decide which one will make you the most money and start with that one.

Leave the rest on your "to-do" list until you have squeezed every dollar out of the traffic generation technique, sales strategy, or design element you are working on. There will always be loads of other ideas just waiting for you to use to earn even more profits.

TRAIT #3: THEY WISH THEY HAD MODELED SUCCESS SOONER.

These successful candidates confess to having made mistakes -- costly, frustrating, and time wasting mistakes that could have been easily avoided. This is the hard way to learn. After all, you don't have to be the one who makes the mistake to learn from it!

It is much easier to learn from other people's mistakes. They all said that they could have been earning a MUCH bigger income MUCH faster if they had only started their Internet education earlier and modeled the success of others.

And that leads us to the third common thread I want to share with you which is... all of these people have committed to educating themselves in the most profitable marketing strategies and techniques.

You don't need to personally conduct your own "trial and error" experiments to discover what software to use, which online resources are the most helpful, or which overall web site designs are producing the best results in today's competitive Internet environment.

Others have already cut a path through the Internet jungle for you. Just get on the right trail and apply the strategies and techniques as you learn about them. Great ideas are transferable. What works for others can be adapted for your site, too.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Building a successful online business is more of a journey than a destination. What works today may or may not work tomorrow.  That's why the learning process never stops.

The fact that the Internet continuously changes is the NUMBER ONE ADVANTAGE YOU HAVE over your competition if you stay ahead of the learning curve and they don't.

Make a commitment to continuous learning. Study top sites like the ones on http://www.secretstotheirsuccess.com and model your web site after them.

These successful netrepreneurs are regular people who did not start out with multi-million dollar advertising budgets, huge staffs, or advanced technical knowledge. In fact, most of them started out with almost no budget, by themselves, and with little prior knowledge of marketing on the Internet.

Your site does not have to be perfect to make money, but you can't make money until you start!

----------------------------------------------------
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Corey Rudl is the owner of four highly successful online businesses that attract more than 6 million visitors and generate over $5.2 million each year. He is also the author of the #1 best-selling
Internet Marketing course online.

To check out his site that's JAM-PACKED WITH THE EXACT INFORMATION YOU NEED to start, build, and grow your very own profitable Internet business, I highly recommend visiting http://www.marketingtips.com/t.cgi/649034

This guy really knows what he's talking about!


Guest Article 2

Unleash the Power Of Inertia!

The law of Inertia (pronounced - E-NER-SHA) states:

============
An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to remain at rest unless acted upon by an external force.
============

It's far too easy to become complacent and not do the things we know we should. It's hard to get started unless you have a strong external force to make you do something. Maybe not having the things you want in life isn't hurting you bad enough yet. Maybe you've convinced yourself that everything is just fine the way it is.

Only YOU know for sure, but if you're reading this article I have the sneaking suspicion that you DO want more. The problem most people face is that their circumstances (outside force) haven't reached a point where it inspires action.

Waiting until you're in debt before you get serious about your business is a big mistake. Waiting until you're about to have something repossessed is too late. Do everything you can to make your business all that it can be NOW before something major happens.

Kick The Procrastination Habit
http://www.givetogetmarketing.com/motivate-procras.html
http://www.powerhomebiz.com/vol59/procrastination.htm
http://www.globalbusinesscafe.com/article1015.html

If you need an extra shove in the right direction here are a few ideas to get you started...

1) Create a simple report that can be sold for $19 or more and get setup with ClickBank - http://www.clickbank.com

What you want to do is design a site for your report and let other people sell it from their sites through YOU. It works like this... You create a sales letter and let other people host it on their server. They would link to your order page like this...

'http://www.clickbank.net/sell.cgi?link=affiliatenickname_ yournickname/1/Product_description

This is so your affiliates can sell your product directly from their website. There are all kinds of advantages to YOU and to your affiliates if you decide to do this.

Download a copy of "Working With ClickBank" for more info:
http://www.getfreeadvertising.com/download/clickbank.zip

You retain control of the product which means that you control the price. When you sell the rights to a product people can give it away if they want and you can't really do anything about it. This option lets you retain control.

ClickBank will let you give affiliates up to 75% of the profits so this is what you want to do.

The reason?

You want to give people as much incentive as possible to sell your information. ClickBank also gives your affiliates the names and email addresses of the people who buy through them.  So not only will your affiliates make money without creating anything they also get names and email addresses to follow up with.

Your affiliates can also add their own unique bonuses to your offer to increase the perceived value to make more sales.

It's a WIN-WIN deal.

2) Do you have the rights to a report? Why not let others "give" it away as a bonus for the products and service they offer by linking to a download page on your site? Give them a Username and Password so they can give access to the "secret" download.

Your customers or subscribers get a way to refer new business to you while looking like the "good guy" in the process.

3) Got and idea for a software product? Stop sitting around wishing it was created and do something about it! Get programmers to bid on your project.

Use 'Rent-A-Coder'
http://www.rentacoder.com

4) Do a little writing every day. If you hate writing this will get you past all that. The important thing is that you get moving in the direction you want to go. Remember... Inertia. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. By constantly writing you're putting yourself in a position to get free advertising.

* People can distribute your articles in their newsletter or post them to their websites. Put a notice in plain site that says you give permission to distribute your work.

* Your affiliates can turn your articles into an autoresponder course to send traffic your way.

* You can turn your articles into an ebook and let affiliates customize it and give it away.

* You can expand your articles into short reports and sell them. Internet Cash Machines started out as a free article and now sells for about $15.

* You can expand your articles into reports and use them as bonuses for other products and services you sell. You can also sell the rights to your reports as a group to let others give you free advertising.

5) Test some aspect of your website.

* Your Headline. Is yours getting attention? Is it compelling?  Does it stop your readers in their track? Does it point out something your visitors should be interested in? What does it do?

* Your Ad Copy. Does your opening sentence invite readers to find out more about what you're offering? Do your "bullets" entice? Are your bonuses freely available on other sites? Does your guarantee inspire trust?

* Follow-Ups. Do you actively go after email addresses? Do your pop-ups load fast and offer something for free? Do you try to sell products right away to the people who join your list through a series of automatic follow-ups?

Usually you want to only test one variable at a time so use a program like CopyClicks to test two different versions of the same page: http://www.cgitoolbox.com/free.html

There are so many things you could be doing right now to make your business more profitable that there's really no reason to ever get complacent.

Inertia - Get moving and it will be easy to stay moving.

-------------------
Anthony Stillwell is the author of "Unlimited Free Traffic" and publisher of the EnterNet P R O F I T S newsletter where you'll get the hottest tips and the coolest resources to give you the advantage. http://www.getfreeadvertising.com


Parting Comments

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