Burts AIS, osCommerce & More Blog
New URL: www.osworld.biz

Friday, December 30, 2005

Subscription Thoughts/Meanderings

I've been thinking in the last few weeks about setting up some sort of a subscription based AIS (or Semi-AIS if there is such a thing). I know what I want to do, and I know it'll be workable. I tested it out by adding a subscription package on one of my template websites, and have around 20 live subscribers. Anyway, I was wondering how to keep subscribers "live" - would it be best to let subscribers unsubscribe and only target new subscribers (thus the churn rate would be quite high) or is it best to do everything possible to keep the subscriber once they've signed up. So I joined a Forum to test it out... To test this I recently joined a Marketing Forum which is run by someone who is renowned as one of the better marketers...the forum in question is one which supposedly mentors people into achieving their aims. Anyway, I signed up and stayed for the first few weeks; I made a few good posts and offered some advice to other Forum members. In other words, I did what I could to get my name onto this marketers radar... And then I cancelled... I then cancelled the Paypal subscription simply to see what the marketer would do. ~ Would he email me to ask why? ~ Would he simply ignore me? ~ Would he try to entice me back at a lower cost? ~ Would he offer me something free of charge to get me back on board? The answer... I was never contacted. Conclusion As an ex-salesman this seems anathema to me - I think I'd do all I could to retain subscribers. After all, they have already made a buying decision, and should therefore be treated with a little bit of respect for that. Perhaps I need to test this again with a different marketer and see what reaction they have to a subscriber who leaves. It may be that I chose a marketer who does not care about his churn rate. But this leads onto something else;

Is this particular marketer really in it to help people out on his mentoring forum? Or is he just in it to have the subscription money coming in each month?
I'm not going to divulge which Marketer or Forum this happened with, that would not be fair. I will test out someone elses subscription offering though, and see what reaction they have, it'll be interesting to see if there is a difference. What will I do? When I have a subscription based site, I know for a cast-iron certainty that once a person has made a decision to buy, I'll do everything possible to keep them as a customer for as long as possible.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Google Reader

If you're like me then you spend a fair amount of time daily reading other peoples blogs...I just found Google Reader which is an online tool that makes it easier to keep up with your reading list of content from sites and Blog. Basically you can: ~ Automatically get the latest news and updates from your favorite sites. ~ Sort your reading list based on what's most relevant to you. ~ Organize what you read with labels and stars. ~ Quickly share interesting items with friends via email or by blogging them, directly from Reader. I've found it quite useful to keep track of everything I read - though I must admit that I do like using Firefox Live Bookmarks for feeds. Take a look: Google Reader You'll notice I also added a little "Google Reader" button in my syndication list in case anyone wants to read my blatherings via the power of Google ;-)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New Years Resolutions

I'm not a great one for making plans and lists and stuff like that. I prefer to do things on the spur of the moment. However, I thought it might be interesting to write down some (business/AIS) resolutions and see if they can be maintained over 2006... Burts Resolutions for 2006 1. Create at least 15 Adsense/ClickBank AIS sites per month. These type of sites are easy to set up and very easy to maintain. The perfect AIS. In addition, this will increase my portfolio of web properties... 2. Implement a new long-term AIS to replace the Oscommerce Books site that I sold. Losing the almost guaranteed monthly income from osC Books means I need to replace that on a long term basis - I have an idea about this, but cannot move ahead for a couple of months. 3. Get at least one person per month out of the AIS starting blocks. The more people that I can get onto AIS, the more incentive I have for staying around! 4. Create at least one subscription based AIS. This is something I have been mulling over. Subscription based offerings are more work and not particularly AIS, but the potential returns can be much higher. 5. Rationalise my portfolio of web properties. I need to start monetizing some of my domains that are unused. I have around 100 domains that need sites putting onto them! That'll do for now.. What are your New Years (Business) Resolutions going to be?

Monthly target exceeded...

A couple of weeks I was a little concerned that I would not hit this months target, so I lowered my target from $4247 ($137 per day) to $3100 ($100 per day) for December. Well, I'm pleased to say that I exceeded the $4247 today, and with another 4 days to go in December, I should be able to add to that total. I should have had more belief in my actions! Anyway, I now need to get on and start my new AIS for my challenge. I hope to launch on January 2nd, and need to do about 15 hours work in total to get it all up and running... I'm very pleased about exceeding my monthly target as I was quite despondent about it a couple of weeks ago.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Xmas, Kwanzaa, Hannukah, Yule...

I'm takeing a break for a few days, then I need to get on with my new AIS, so I won't be posting much in this Blog over the holidays. Have a good one all.

Must Have Tools for AIS

Here's the lowdown on the "must have tools" for creating Automatic Income Sites: 1. A private place to bounce ideas around with other like-minded people. Keyword Avalanche Forum 2. A list of Keywords each week. Keyword Avalanche 3. A site building tool. Niche Creator 4. An article grabber. Article Miner With these 4 items you'll be spending out a fair amount, but with the ability to easily build 3 sites per day, you should be able to recoup those fees within a couple of months. After that, it's plain sailing.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Niche Creator - Static Articles

I've been working on a way to link articles to pages using Niche Creator. Anyone presently using the script will know that the "content" of the page is determined by one of a number of text/html files that are uploaded into the /text/ directory - one of which is randomly selected to show when the page is "built" (pages are made "on the fly")... The problem with this approach is that the majority of the content is changed on every page load. This wouldn't be a problem if the amount of change was less than say 40% on a per-page basis, but the articles make up much more % than that. The answer is "sticky articles". I've coded this up - in fact what I did was recode an entire module into more clean PHP and add my own "sticky article" code. This took only an extra 3 lines of code! I've now tested this on a number of sites and it seems to work very well, in fact I think I'm just about ready to release the code into the wild. I'm unsure whether to do this for kudos (in other words, free), or to charge cash for the code. The last time I released code for free to the NicheCreator Community I asked for feedback on it; of the 53 people who I gave the code to, only 6 provided feedback! I think I will provide my code free of charge to those 6 and then release as a payable module to everyone else... Now released: Sticky Articles

Thursday, December 22, 2005

At last! ProfitsGuru has a new design

Profits Guru Blog This one has always been broken in Firefox. It now has a new design which is readable in FF! Hurrah. There's some pretty interesting stuff in here, so it's well worth bookmarking (or live bookmarking in FireFox).

Do AIS Sites Work ?

Here's something which I received by email the other day. I've been asked not to divulge a name or URL, so you can take this at face value (or not). I made a post on DDN Forum about offering refunds to buyers;

I didn't want to post too much on there [DDN] as I dont want any bad visitors to the site (just in case). Basically I've done really well: Up to Todays date: 19th dec ive earnt - Adsense: USD 359.16 Clickbank: USD 138.15 ebook sales: USD 7.95 total: USD 505.26 which I am extremely grateful for :) I'm waiting for the cheque to arrive, once I have that then I'll be looking at getting another.
This person spent $47; the site I provided produced $505 within 90 days. That's over a ten-fold ROI, which cannot be bad! However, some people cannot get AIS to work, and I do not know why. So I am working on 6 month experiment to get some efficacy data which I can then use to see what works and what does not. Should be interesting.

AIS Income gone downhill rapidly!

All my AIS sites cater to the business needs of others, for example sales of Website Templates and eBooks. My Adsense AIS sites are almost all business oriented. What this means is that many people are off work over the holidays, so are not thinking in business mode & therefore not buying my products (or visiting my sites). During the past 5 days, my daily average stands at just under $29. For me, this is problematic as I have no "day job" to fall back on, but is not a great drama as I have done quite well this year. Had I been more forward thinking I would have started a few AIS's which are seasonally influenced - this is going to be my next task I think.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

AIS Sites need Articles - get Article Miner

All AIS sites need some content. The best way of getting content is to write it yourself, but we all know how long a good article can take to write, and if you need 30 or 40 of them, it's a total Pain In The Arse. Some of my readers will know that I am about to embark on 6 month experiment to see what works and what doesn't with regards these AIS sites. So, some will have old domains, some wil be newly registered, some will have a linking strategy, some will bo "Blogged & Pinged". All will be built with Niche Creator along with Articles to give content. Anyway, the sourcing of Articles has been driving me insane. I was recommended to try Article Miner - this is a piece of software that searches through articles and returns those that match your keywords. It's a bit of a clumsy piece of software, but it does the job really very well. I've been using it since yesterday, and I can now source tens of articles in just a few minutes. The tool also allows to save the articles using a template, so my template is quite simple: a h2 heading and then the text of the article. This then plugs into my version of Niche Creator and means I can make articles sticky to a particular NC page. Link: Article Miner - very highly recommended if you need to source articles without wasting time !

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Burts Challenge - my own entry

OK, so I now know exactly what I am going to do for my own entry into Burts challenge. However, it's going to take quite a lot of work to realise, so mine won't be ready until Mid-January or so :- obviously this means I start the race way behind everyone else, but I'll try my hardest to get a good result!

Forums

A forum is a great tool for bringing people together to talk about any subject under the sun. There is an inherent problem with Forums - all you see of a person is what you read - therefore the reader can form an opinion of a person when the truth is that the person might be totally unlike that opinion. I decided to remove myself from one particular business-oriented forum (I'll still use it now and then), but won't visit regularly anymore. It's been going downhill for a while due to the actions of one particular member and the clique, and the (in)action of the moderators. And no, it's not DDN.

Monday, December 19, 2005

To AIS or not to AIS? That is the Question.

Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of Automated Income Streams (sites that run themselves day and night producing an income with very little interaction from me, also known as "Silent Sales Machines" and many other names)... 100% of my sites are built then take very little extra work to carry on producing an income. My latest AIS (Project NC) is one that sells website templates for a particular piece of software, and it's going very well - I'm upto about $4k earned in the first three weeks of the site - not bad! Particularly as I spent only a couple of hours work to make the site and the products. But then I got to thinking; Sure, I've made $4k in a short amount of time, which is about 70 customers. What if, instead of offering a one-off price for a product, I had offered a monthly subscription for a new product each month. I reckon I could easily have charged $27 per month and would have ended up with 100 subscribers. That's $2700 recurring! I think my next project will be some sort of a subscription based offering - which is obviously not AIS, but with the right project, there does not need to be a lot of work done to earn the money. I tested this by adding an extra option to my Project NC site - this has brought in a number of subscribers, which will earn me a few hundred every month for about 20 minutes work per week. As we can see those 20 minutes means it's not a true AIS... My ongoing mission for Project NC is to find more subscribers for my service, as this can be a good way to produce a nice monthly income, 80% of which you can bank on (with the other 20% dropping out after a month or two)... What can you do in your sites to realise the benefits of having clients who subscribe?

Dragons Den This Week (UK)

Tuesday 20th December, 8pm BBC2 The behemoths of big business give their verdict on an invention to take hte boredom out of exercise, a revolutionary new sick bag, a vest to exercise chest muscles and a childrens meditation business...

Tonight, the prickly business series winds up with one question hanging over proceedings: will steely American tech mogul Doug Richard finally take the plunge and invest in something? So far this series, he's preferred to pour withering scorn on all the the hopefuls, dashing their hopes with a "just so you know, I'm out" every time. Meanwhile, if you've waited all series to see meanie health-club king Duncan Bannatyne put in his place, now's your chance. He gets into trouble when he sneers at one budding entrepreneur too many; a sports academic who gives as good as he gets, to the delight of the other dragons. The star of the show is Ryman supremo Theo Paphitis. His one-liners are always a joy: tonights gems include telling a nervous engineer, "you come across as a bloke who could work out the square root of a jar of whelks, but if I ask you to take the lid off of that jar, you're going to struggle".
Wednesday 21st December, 7pm BBC2 Dragons Den - Where Are They Now? - Umbrella Vending Machines on London Stations (Bannatyne & Jones) was just one idea from the 100-plus entrepreneurs who entered the Dragons Den. A year on from the first series, Evan Davis investigates if any - including designer jewellery (Elnaugh), a glamorous glossy magazine (Jones) and a board game (None) - have been successful.
Whenever you see the stumbling courtship dance between budding entrepreneurs and wealthy backers on Dragons Den, you wonder how things went after everyone left that scruffy warehouse to return to their day jobs. Did the hopefuls who landed investment deals sail on to success? Did those who went away empty-handed crash and burn? Here's our chance to find out.
Dragons Den Book Your Idea Can Make You Rich
Many of us dream of running our own business, but lack of experience and entrepreneurial skills often prevent people from making that first step. For those with the nouse, confidence and, crucially, vision it should be easy - but a great idea doesn't mean investors will be queuing up at your door. In the BBC TV series "Dragons' Den", entrepreneurs were put on the spot in front of a panel of potential investors. Given only minutes to pitch their idea, the pressure was on - some simply frazzled in the fiery breath of the dragons, others sweated it out, made it through, and saw the money on the other side. Using case studies from the series, updates on the progress of the successes and failures - here's one of the "successes", but who got the best deal: Tracie Herrtage wanted GBP 54,000 for her suspendable Le Beanock - think the bean bag meets the hammock suspended from high ceilings and lofts to replace your sofa at a price of around GBP 900! The male dominion of Dragons mocked the idea and thought the prices swung too high, the concept ungrounded and it wasn't an interesting proposition for their equity. Rachel Elnaugh wasn't put off and agreed that Tracie's vision hit a niche market. Yet business is business; unflinching Rachel seized her opportunity and cut the tightest deal yet, buying 49 per cent of Tracie's company as sole investor. The done deal: 49 per cent company shares for GBP 54,000 investment. With essential insider advice and tips from the Dragons themselves, this handbook will guide you through the hazardous process of finding your product, identifying your market, developing and maximising your business acumen, honing your presentation skills, and finding the right partner. And most importantly, how to close the deal when you do find it.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Using Google Adwords to Drive Traffic to your Website

Highly targeted traffic is one of the most important entities in the internet universe. Any website owner or administrator recognizes the importance of driving traffic to a website. The success of any website does not rely entirely on the site itself. You may have a terrific idea for a website, offer an excellent product or service, or have an exceptionally designed site with superb content, but if you do not use the right strategies to advertise, your site would not attract the high traffic you need. Attracting targeted traffic is a task that should be taken seriously for any site to succeed or make a profit. Fortunately, there are internet-marketing tools that help the website marketer to drive traffic to his website. One of the most significant, and effective, of these tools is Google's Adwords. Adwords is one of Google's advertising services. How does Google Adwords work? Google is the largest search engine on the web receiving over 200 million queries each day through its various services. As Google is the most popular search engine today, webmasters are keen on having their websites achieve a higher ranking in the search engine results it provides. A high ranking can mean high traffic for that website. The search engine results page is also a great venue for advertisers to promote a product or service through ads and links. Consequently, Google launched its Adwords service, as a way for businesses to advertise products and services to a targeted audience. Google Adwords can guarantee instant traffic. In this service, Google displays relevant text based ads within its search engine results page termed as "Sponsored Links". Whenever a particular keyword is searched on, these relevant links appear in a separate section giving excellent exposure to the sites listed. How do you use Google Adwords? First, you have to open an account with the Google Adwords Service. Then, you should indicate your target language and country. This is important because you would not want your products advertised in countries where your product or service cannot be sold. Afterwards, you should now create an ad group. This involves designing the ad, selecting keywords and determining maximum cost per click that you are willing to spend and defining bid amounts. The most important step in creating a successful Adwords campaign is selecting an effective title tag that will catch the attention of your target audience. The title tag, generally a short phrase, is the most important part of your Adwords campaign so make sure that it is attractive and catchy. You should describe the website clearly and accurately. The most effective advertising conveys a clear message to the target audience. With a clear message, you will be attracting qualified leads, which can eventually convert to sale. Thus, the importance of selecting the right keywords cannot be overemphasized. There are keyword variations you can adapt to reach more prospects. Using these varieties, misspellings and derivatives can help increase the chance of your ads being served. Broad match is targeting keywords in a loosely defined manner. Here, the ads appear based on the keywords that have been queried by other users as opposed to exact match, which calls for the keyword to match the query exactly. Meanwhile, a keyword phrase set to phrase match will only appear when the exact phrase is searched on. A negative keyword is helpful in filtering unrelated pages. After you have decided on what title tag to use in your ad, you must now define a budget in order to maximize exposure. Google Adwords recommend a daily budget for each campaign. However, you should determine a budget that is suitable and affordable. You should also determine the maximum cost per click. Google will offer a recommended cost per click, but you do not have to stick with this. Usually, a number one position is not ideal as it can also attract unwanted traffic and useless clicks. A number two position is more preferred as it can filter useless clicks and provide traffic with a higher conversion rate. To conclude, Google Adwords is an excellent strategy and tool in giving your site maximum exposure. Nevertheless, Google Adwords should not be your sole advertising campaign. It will definitely help you find the all-important, highly targeted traffic you need.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Burts Challenge

OK, I have now emailed everyone who expressed an interest into entering this competition...if you did not receive an email from me today then I am not aware (or accidentally) missed your email to me... please feel free to re-email me on oscshops@gmail.com There are 2 prizes on offer; ~ $100 to the person who makes the most money. ~ $25 to a random entrant I may add more prizes. Entrants; If you have adsense on your site, please create a "channel" for it in your Adsense Login so that you can easily determine how much revenue has been raised via this method. At the end of the challenge, we'd all like to read about your adventures over the 6 weeks, so be sure to remember all the important high and low points! The Challenge starts tomorrow and will conclude on February 1st. I wish you the best of luck with this challenge!

What a Great Day...

Today has been just perfect so far. I rolled out of bed at 9.30, by the time I was showered and dressed the Liverpool vs Deportivo Saprssa match was about to start. So, coffee & croissants whilst watching Liverpool play an exhibition match. What could be a better start to the day? I'm just about to do a couple of hours work, which is the great thing about being self-employed. No hours to stick to, no boss to answer to. Life is good. I just helped to sponsor a child at Yaro's blog. I must be going soft in my old age :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Top Seven Ways Writing Articles Can Explode Your Business

In today's highly competitive internet universe, the importance of attracting highly targeted traffic to your website cannot be overemphasized. Routing web traffic to your site can be your only means of survival, especially in the cutthroat world of ecommerce. Getting a high search engine ranking can be very difficult. Fortunately, there is plethora of website promotion strategies you can use to drive traffic to your website. There is a wide variety of strategies you can adapt, from paid advertising to affiliate marketing. However, most of these techniques require payment. Nevertheless, there are ways to promote your website and increase your web traffic without spending anything. Writing articles is one of the best web site promotion strategies you can use, and they can be very effective. How, you may ask, can writing articles help improve your web traffic? Here are the top seven ways in which it can help explode your business. 1. Reach more people When you write good articles, it would be a shame not to share them with other people. You can post your articles in your website or you can submit them to other sites such as e-zines and online publishers. By submitting your articles to these sites, you give exposure not only to your ideas but also to your website. Simply include a link back to your site or include your information in the resource box. With this, you get exposure and free advertising as well. Submit your articles to popular e-zines and take advantage of their popularity. Other sites who find your article relevant may also link back to you. Thus, you increase your link popularity, which is one of the most important strategies in the internet world. Remember that most people are looking for information online and by filling this need with your quality article; you may reap the benefit of more exposure and higher web traffic. 2. Free Advertising Submitting your articles to other websites presents an opportunity to advertise your website without paying exorbitant fees. Although you should avoid marketing language in your articles and make it informative and useful to your readers, you can always include your site's link in the resource box. In addition, by making your article relevant and helpful to your readers, you are making a good impression for your website, which could ultimately lead to a visit and hopefully a purchase. Good quality content in an article is far better and more effective than a few lines of ad space. You have a very special opportunity to presell your product or service to your prospective customer. 3. Gain High Search Engine Ranking Create a new web page for your article in your website. Optimize your article to make it search-engine friendly. Use top-ranked keywords and Meta tags that can give your website a high search engine ranking. As soon as you upload your new webpage to your server, search engines will spider through it and you can gain an increase in search engine ranking. Remember that search engine optimized content is a very effective strategy to gain a high ranking in search results. 4. Increases Link Popularity Instead of looking for other sites who would want to establish reciprocal links with your site, you can simply submit an article to other sites. Just do not forget to include a link to your site in your resource box. When these websites pick up and publishes your article, you automatically get a link partner. Try to get as many link partners as you can. Link popularity is one of the factors used by search engines in determining search engine rankings. Make your article especially useful and appealing, so that more websites will be encouraged to publish it. 5. Optimizes your site for improved search engine ranking By making your site keyword rich, you can greatly improve the search engine ranking of your site. Remember that keyword density is one of the most important factors that search engines use when determining the search engine ranking of site. However, you should always provide relevant, useful and pertinent information. Avoid the temptation of overusing keywords just to gain a high ranking as this may turn off most web surfers. Relevance and quality is still the most important things to consider when writing articles and it will be doubly useful to your site if you make these articles search-engine optimized. 6. Establishes a Good Impression and Reputation By writing excellent, original and relevant articles, you not only give your site exposure, you are also creating a good impression on your prospects. Encourage more people to visit your site and do business with you by establishing an impressive reputation through your articles. Be seen as an expert in the field and your will ultimately gain more customers eager to do business with you. 7. Enhances your credibility through references and testimonies Certainly, your articles are going to receive feedbacks and testimonies when you publish them in e-zines and free article sites. Record these positive feedbacks and comments and use them as promotional material in your website or in any of your advertising efforts. Your credibility will be greatly enhanced by this feedback, as it will create a good impression on your prospects as well as your existing customers. In this highly competitive world, excellent credibility and trust may be the only things you need to attract new customers or make loyal patrons out of your existing customers. Original, relevant, useful and pertinent articles are important tools you should utilize to improve and explode your business

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I'm done for the day + eBay Story

I just hit this weeks (7th -> 14th) target of $959, a day early. So I'm done for the day and I've decided to take tomorrow off as well. Give me a chance to recharge my batteries a bit... I recently found an eBay listing for a bicycle from a newish eBay user - obviously as a new user he couldn't put on a "buy it now" button. In his description he said that he would sell for £325, so I contacted him and offered £325 to end the auction early and sell to me...I would have travelled to Plymouth to pick it up as well. Didn't hear back so thought no more of it. The bike ended up selling for about £280 (as I forgot to place a bid on it), so this guy ended up £40 down on what I would have paid. Oh well!

Dragons Den - 8pm tonight BBC2 (UK)

Tonights entrepreneurs include an avant-garde circus, an extreme go-kart, functional jewellery and a new board game. The last board game they looked at was "Destination ..." which all the Dragons turned down. It went on to become one of the top selling board games of Xmas 2004, so it should be interesting to see what the Dragons make of this one.

Why Do People Do This?

In one of the Forums that I subscribe to, someone is coming out with a super new tool. The sort of tool that will make you a cup of coffee while it does the washing up - the best thing since sliced bread. You get the idea. Anyway, the forum is totally private, and yet he requires anyone interested to download a NDA Form, fill it in and then *fax* it back, then open up an account on some ticketing site he runs to tell him a fax has been returned. He'll then call back by phone to make sure that you are who you say you are...and all that is only to get a product description!!! Problems: 1. He hasn't included a price in his "sales spiel". 2. I don't have access to a Fax Machine 3. I disagree with having to give personal information to anyone without a good reason why. Why do so called "marketers" do the NDA thing? I'd probably buy the software if I could see it would do my businesses good, but be damned if I'm going to jump through hoops just to see a product description.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Last few days round-up + more

Rather busy today working out the logistics of my latest AIS site (the one for entry into my own challenge). I'm not sure it's going to be workable, but I'll give it a go. Other than that, I also created another 3 templates for one of my template AIS's; as well as opened up a subscription service on one of my sites - which I've already had a few sign-ups for. As of right now, I am at an AIS average of just under $210 daily. Adsense is averaging about $23 per day. I decided to remove Adsense from this Blog as it was not bringing in hardly any clicks - I think it's quite difficult to monetise a blog by using Adsense, it's better (in terms of money earned) to promote individual products & services. I know that my average will go down substantially in the run-up to Xmas as people spend less (on businessy stuff) during this period. I'll be happy if I can earn $3100 during December (equivalent to $100 daily, rather than my stated $137 daily target). We'll have to see, at the moment I am short by about $600, so can I earn another $600 in 19 days? The answer is probably "yes", as Adsense should bring in at least another $400 or so until the end of the month. I still need to get an monetize some of my other domains that I have doing nothing - I have a few ideas about long-term income producers but need to do a little homework first on those...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Comments I found...

Finally got around to popping a few adsense links on our ... site and made 46 cents in the last half an hour! I think I'll be adding some more ads to the other pages tomorrow ... I admit to having been sceptical but its working so far
So far doing about $4 per day - $3.54 already today ... At this rate it could pay for a nice little holiday!
Having been a sceptic, I'm now converted. Niche sites, high in the rankings and its an earner for sure.
These comments are from someone who has a well established website on a certain subject - basically perfect for an Adsense AIS. By adding in a few well placed Adsense blocks, is seeing a good income being produced.
Why didn't I do this months ago?
Why indeed?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Football - World Cup Draw

The World Cup Draw is live tonight at 8pm onwards. I'm really hoping that we (England) get a nice draw...we shall see. My money is on: England, Australia, Netherlands, Japan. Didn't get much work done today as I've been down in Wales for the majority of the day - nothing to report on the AIS front. I did just click past 50% of my monthly target, which is nice - 6 days ahead of schedule... I also added another prize into the Business Challenge... Have a good weekend!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

How to make a persn say "yes"...or "no"...

As I mentioned in my last post, I used to be a salesman (I still am really I suppose, just a self-employed one). My very first sales job was with a "bottom of the barrel" UK insurance firm. The ambulance chasers - you get the idea... It was OK to start with though - quite good fun really. Anyway, each time a new person joined the office there was an "in joke" where they'd be asked questions and they'd be forced to answer "yes" or "no" at will...without knowing about it... How? Ask a closed question - if you want a "yes" answer, then nod your head while asking it. If you want a "no" answer, then shake your head while asking it. Don't do it overtly, but do it so that the person you are asking can subconsciously perceive your nod or shake...next time you're in a face to face conversation, give it go. You'll be surprised at the results, I bet. It's basically using body language to get a message across...it's a very basic form of NLP...read more about Neuro Linguistic Programming

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Six Honest Serving Men

During the mid 90's I was a salesman, not a particularly great salesman as I never liked bending the truth to make the sale, but for about 5 years I was fairly successful at it. I've sold all sorts of crap to all sorts of people, ranging from Wills to Cars to Life Insurance to Mortgages to Websites to Domain Names... I joined up with one of the largest North American Life Insurers and their training methods were very good, much of it based on Frank Bettgers teachings (check out "How I raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling" if you get a chance). One of the older guys in the office I worked at was the top salesman for something like 20 years running - his secret; A Rudyard Kipling Poem;

I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who...
If you apply this poem to asking questions, you will get your prospect to give the answers you require; most people asked closed questions (where the only answer can be "yes" or "no"), by asking open questions you force your prospect to open up and talk about himself and his goals. By understanding your prospect, you'll be able to recommend products and services that he will be interested in..an open question is one that begins with "What", "Why", "When", "How", "Where", "Who" and "Tell Me"... Example: [closed] Do you think that George Bush is a good leader ? The answer can only be "yes" or "no"... [open] What do you think of George Bush ? The answer: you'll learn what your prospect believes; "Well, i think he's..." By allying this method of asking questions, to Frank Bettgers way of working, you will get great results in sales. What is Frank Bettgers way of working:
I no longer worry about being a brilliant conversationalist. I simply try to be a good listener. I notice that people who do that are usually welcome wherever they go.
In other words: Ask an Open Question, then sit back and listen closely to the answer. A good salesman has 1 mouth and 2 ears. Use them in that proportion...

Nice Comment about My Templates

I think I should provide an unsolicited testimonial for Gary's templates. Having had good experiences with templates for other site generators, I was pre-sold on trying Gary's. I was very pleased with the first three I received, and even more so with Gary's responsiveness to suggestions. And then he keeps on adding value! I tried editing some commercial and freeware templates that I had. I soon decided that my time could be better spent building sites.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Heads Up - Dragons Den (UK)

Tonight at 8pm. Includes an idea for inflatable concrete buildings!!??!! Also on (I think) Wednesday 21st December there is a one-off special showing some of the entrepreneurs from the last series, including those who got funding from the Dragons, and some of those who did not. What's become of them 12 to 18 months on...

Burts Challenge - Will You Accept ?

Here is a challenge which I lay down to everyone who reads this Blog... Buy a new Domain Name. Build a Site. Launch it on Friday December 16th. Whoever earns the most from their site upto and including January 31 2006, will be declared the winner. The winner will receive $100 (via Paypal) from me. You will need to let me know your Domain Name before the 16th. Summary: ~ new domain name ~ build and launch a site ~ monetise it ~ advertise it ~ have fun with it There are 2 rules: ~ Your site must be on a brand new Domain Name (this is because everyone will start without an advantage over anyone else). No cheating to get around this please. ~ Each entrant must agree to let everyone else know their URL and the methods they used to monetise/advertise the site, as well as their monetary results - AFTER the competition ends. OK, that's the basics of it - it doesn't need to be a complicated competition. Who is up for the challenge ? Email me to provisionally enter: oscshops@gmail.com

Monday, December 05, 2005

Download Links & Work

As you may have gathered I recently set up a new AIS selling a downloadable product, looking at my stats I could see that people using hotmail, yahoo and gmail email addresses generally didn't seem to be downloading their purchase for a few hours... I got kind of concerned and made some tests, and the emails all seemed to arrive OK - slightly slowly maybe, but not overly so... Today, I decided to clear this up once and for all, so I emailed a buyer who used gmail to ask if the download link was received; Here's the reply;

The email to my gmail actually came quite quickly. I'm at work now and won't download until I get home to my home PC.
Of course - why the heck didn't I think of this - becuase I'm able to download anything at work (as I work for myself). People in offices obviously can't download stuff due to filters and firewalls and whatever. And of course people use throwaway email accounts all the time for checking webmail... Can't believe that I did not consider it - perhaps I've been working for myself for too long and have forgotten what it's like to be bound by rules and constraints.

Procrastination is the Enemy of us all

Procrastination. I used to be guilty of this, but around 18 months ago decided that I would never say "what if..." again. When I get an idea, I carry it out almost straightaway. When I see a product that I think can help me to grow my business I buy it, if it's affordable! If it's not affordable then I hunt for scripts that will do the same job or pay to have them built (or build them myself). Here's a quote from an email I received today:

Basically I bought 2 domains to sell templates from ... I know you've already started selling them ... so I have missed the boat I'd imagine..
Procrastination killed this guys idea stone dead! He spent out on a couple of domains (OK, so it's next to nothing for a couple of .com's), but then he never took the idea that he had forward! And someone else, namely me, got in first to bring a product to market. If he had not waited, and spent a few hours sourcing a couple of products, he could have been the market leader for this idea, easily. Here's another quote, taken from a Forum:
Hey, price went up already! Darn, I was going to buy for $47. I can justify that ... but not $67.
This guy wanted to buy the new product I released - but held back from doing so. I posted that I was about to raise prices and left it overnight so that anyone could buy at the lower price. Procrastination - he could have nipped in at $47, but chose to wait...now for the sake of an extra $20 that he is not willing to spend his business will suffer! So, are you guilty of procrastination? Why is that? What can you do to make sure that you never say "what if..." again?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Keyword Avalanche Forum (spots opening 03 Dec)

I've just received notice that the Keyword Avalanche Forum will be re-opening for a short period tomorrow (03 Dec) from about 3pm Central Standard Time (I am unsure what this is in UK Time). I estimate that there will be between 20 and 25 spots available... For me, this Forum is absolutely worth it's weight in gold. Very highly recommended. Link: Keyword Avalanche

Niche Creator (Again)

I just noticed that the Niche Creator program has increased in cost from $299 to $499. It's still worth the cash in my opinion, but obviously spending an extra couple of hundred is annoying :( Oh well, I gave you all fair warning of the price increase...procrastination is the enemy of us all!!! To make the $499 price a bit sweeter - if anyone purchases Niche Creator via my Affiliate Link, I'll send you a ready made pack of Niche Creator Templates (value $97) + all future Niche Creator Templates that I build... Affil Link: Niche Creator

Email (spam) Marketing - Interesting Effect

Over the past few days I've been getting email spam that is laid out as a "reply" from someone. Though I absolutely hate Spam, I have to say that this is one of the best & most interesting spams I have received... This actually bypasses most of my Spam filters, and because it's a reply it actually goes into my "to read" inbox... Here's an example: You can see that it's set out as a reply to someone, the actual SpamURL is located in the message that has been replied to. Looking at the headers reveals where it comes from and it's not been replied to at all - it's just laid out that way to entice people into thinking it's a real message and the the SpamURL might be something nice to look at. The SpamURL links to a webpage on geocities (so people think it's a nice homely homepage of someone) which then redirects to some Replica Watch site. This is an example of really great marketing in my opinion. Just wish that spammers would concentrate their efforts on playing the SEO game rather than hoodwinking people.

eBook Review - Joel Comms Adsense Secrets

The other day I purchased this eBook in the hope that I could use some of his techniques to increase my bottom line. I won't go into detail about this eBook, suffice to say that the eBook is 90 pages of filler, with perhaps 20 pages of halfway useful content. I picked up no new ideas from the eBook at all. Basically everything in it can be reduced to 5 mainstays; 1. Place Adsense in the correct position on your page(s). 2. Integrate the Adsense so that it looks like part of your design, rather than something that has been added as an afterthought. 3. Give your browsers what they are looking for: content 4. Always use Text Ads 5. Track your Adsense Stats to see what is working and what isn't. Doesn't everyone already know this? If you didn't already realise these 5 things, then this book may be useful for you. In my opinion this eBook is so basic that it's not worth $9.70 let alone $97. Not recommended. I am considering asking for a refund which will be the first time I have ever asked for a refund on an eBook - it really is that bad :( $97. Wasted. Link: Adsense Secrets

Thursday, December 01, 2005

November Round Up AIS

Stat Attack Best Day: 27th - $542.88 earned Worst Day: 19th - $10.34 earned 31 Day Average: $133.54 per day Best performing day of the Week: Mondays Worst performing day of the Week: Tuesdays Breakdown Adsense: 18.72% eBooks: 11.84% Templates: 46.73% Other (aff earnings etc): 22.71% Sales/Commission Largest Sale/Commission: $125 (multiple times) Smallest Sale/Commission: $0.30 [excludes Adsense] I worked for approximately 5 hours in total to earn just over $4000, which entailed; ~ answering a few questions by email ~ making and answering some posts on my forum ~ creating a new AIS and product ~ writing one small eBook Adsense I know that most readers are interested more in the Adsense side of things than my other online adventures, so: Screenshot of November Adsense (some areas blanked out to comply with Adsense ToS). Once again, this is a nice steady increase in Adsense Income from last month. Major Happenings This Month ~ One new AIS launched which has raised well over $1000 in it's first few days. ~ My main AIS site (oscbooks.com) sold to Paul who offered a very fair price. This has caused a downturn in my eBook revenue (for obvious reasons!). Minor Happening This Month ~ one small eBook written which gives more detail about the AIS I set up. ~ added extra Monetization to one of my small AIS sites, as well as corrected a silly mistake on the same site. These changes are creating an extra $5 per day on average! ~ 1 sign up to the Adsense Affiliate Scheme, but not converted to a paying sale yet. Last Months Targets 1/ Get Adsense up to 20% of overall AIS earnings Failed. Adsense Income stands at 18.72%; which is close, but no cigar. 2/ Use a couple more methods outlined in the Rich Jerk Book to start more revenue streams. Achieved. I used a leverage method outlined in the Rich Jerk eBook to make 2 Affiliated Sales (worth a total of $236.80), as well as applying some Adwords Advice which has worked well. 3/ Start on my super-secret new project which will be AIS, but will take around 3 months of work before it is available for release. Failed. I did not start this project at all. Target for December 1/ Maintain Adsense Income at about 20% of overall AIS 2/ Create 10 AIS Style sites, based on the new Niche Creator package. This month, 2 quite easy to achieve objectives - I intend to have some time off during December.

I would like to read about your November Adventures on your blog or site!

New AIS Style Blog - pesos per diem

Pesos Per Diem - another to watch, I hope he has good success with AIS style stuff! Good luck to "geebandit"...