Monday, February 27, 2006

The Merry-Go-Round System

How easy is this to do?

  • You set up accounts with ClickBank, Google AdSense, Google AdWords and The cost of all this is zero apart from a $5 activation fee for AdWords
  • You find suitable products to promote as an affiliate on ClickBank. Then you drive targeted traffic to the products' sales pages through your affiliate link using AdWords. This costs as little or as much as you like. You're in total control. All you need to do is to make sure that your affiliate inc.ome is greater than your AdWords spend
  • You build a few blogs at (no skills required) and add some content to each (there's plenty of sources of articles around). You put AdSense code in these blogs - and some of your ClickBank affiliate links. Another $0 spent!
  • You get your blogs indexed by the search engines and your blogs start earning you both AdSense and ClickBank income

So there you have it. A way to generate income online with no website and no products of your own.

So, how easy is that to do? Very easy.

But how easy is it to do well? Ah, that's a different story!

I've done all of these, and I know some of the pitfalls. And I've learnt some of the "tricks" to make these strategies more productive.

You need to know which are good products to sell. You need to figure out which keywords to target for these products when you're setting up your AdWord campaigns. You need to know how to get your blogs into the search engines quickly.

And you need to know a heck of a lot more than just those three things. I can't pretend to tell you that I've got all this knowledge and skills. I haven't. But I know a man who has..

Richard Quek. He's was a Chartered Accountant before he 'discovered' the internet. I've been dealing with Richard for quite a few years now, and he's one of the few internet marketers that I both trust and admire.

He's really gone deeply into this "merry-go-round" system (that's my phrase, by the way, not his). And now he's put all his ideas together in a couple of eBooks (and bundled in a load of other very useful resources).

Please note that his system is really aimed at newbies, not experienced marketers. Having said that, I learnt some new techniques with 5 minutes. For example, I hadn't realised how easy it is to set up a "WordPress" blog as an alternative to Right, so that's something else I've got to have a play with!

Richard's reports are concise and free from "fluff"! Wish I could say the same about the other half dozen I've ploughed through this week. OK, want to know more?

Read more about Richard's system here

(From my Marketing Magic "News Update" newsletter)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Handy Online AdWords Tool

If you use Google's "AdWords" pay-per-click system to drive traffic to your website, you'll know that you shouldn't just target two or three keywords.

You bid on dozens or hundreds to have an effective campaign. Maybe you use a service such as WordTracker or software such as AdWord Analyzer to research your keywords. Either way, you end up with a big list.

But then, there are three keyword matching options in the Adwords system:
  • Broad match: If you have jewellery box in your keyword list, your ad will show when the searcher includes both these words in the search term - in any order. So if the search term was "silver box for jewellery", your ad will be displayed. This is the least targeted option.

  • Phrase match: If you enclose your keywords in speech marks thus: "jewellery box", your ad will show if the searcher includes those words in the same order. So your ad will show if the search term is "silver jewellery box", but not if it is "silver box for jewellery".

  • Exact match: If you put square brackets around your search term thus: [jewellery box], your ad will show only if those two words were searched for without any other words in the search term. This is the tightest of the targeting options.

It's very useful to use all three matching methods to get as broader coverage as possible. But there's a problem..

I've just used the AdWords system to generate keywords starting with the initial word "jewellery". It came up with 140 different keywords. Now how long will it take me to produce two more variations of each phrase - one with speech marks and one with square brackets? And how boring is that job?

Fortunately, I've found a handy (and free) web service that does the job in seconds. It's kindly provided by a guy called Mike. Just copy your keyword list, paste it into a box on Mike's page, hit a button - and out pops all the keywords with all the match options. Great stuff! And there's no fluff about having to sign up for anything. Just use this great little tool if you are an AdWords user. Go to it here.

Incidentally, even if you aren't an AdWords user, you can still use the AdWords tool to generate keyword lists. This can be handy for all sorts of purposes. Access the AdWords tool here.

(From my Marketing Magic "News Update" newsletter)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Email Postage Charges: Fact Or Fiction?

It was announced recently that AOL and Yahoo! are going to start using the "Goodmail" system to implement a "sender certified" email system.

This means that every message sent through Goodmail has a little tag which identifies it as "certified" and it then goes through whatever spam filters the participating ISPs use.

Email senders have to go through an approval system, which costs $399 ($199 before 31 July 2006). Although I couldn't find it on the Goodmail website, I believe that email senders are charged 0.2 to 0.4 cents per email, depending on volume. Oh, and your business has to be based in the USA or Canada to be a Goodmail certified sender.

So what does this really mean to us? Certainly, the media have hyped it up. "AOL to charge fee as way to cut spam" was the USA Today headline. Total rubbish! It will not impact on spam at all, and Goodmail don't claim this.

And it's entirely optional. If you decide not to join the Goodmail system, nothing will change at all. Your chances of getting emails through to AOL and Yahoo! mail boxes (which account for about 50% of consumer mail boxes) will be just as good (or bad!) as they have always been.

Is Goodmail the thin end of the wedge? Won't it be just a matter of time before we all have to pay to send email? Maybe. But I doubt it. Goodmail aren't the first providers of such a system. Habeus and BondedSender have been around for much longer. And they haven't made much impact.

My advice to you? Don't panic!

(From my Marketing Magic "News Update" newsletter)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Google's Bigdaddy - Prepare For Some Changes

In case you hadn't heard, Google has been working on a new search technology called "Bigdaddy". At the time of writing, it's still in test phase but it's expected to become the Google default search mechanism this month or next.

The main aim of Bigdaddy is to deal with "web spam" (e.g. pages consisting of 'scraped' search engine results) and a number of cheating re-direct tricks For example, the search engines see one page; human visitors see another. BMW's German site was removed from Google's index for pulling a stunt like that! BMW sensibly removed the re-direct and they're back in. Bigdaddy could also result in many near-identical websites being removed.

It's important to understand that this is not just an algorithm change like big updates in the past. It changes the way in which the whole Google search engine works. It contains new code for sorting and examining web pages.

Matt Cutts is a Google search engineer who has become quite a public figure. He's a very useful channel of communication between Google and webmasters (I had a talk with him at a "Webmasters World" conference in London a couple of years ago - he's a very approachable guy).

Matt has a very informative blog, and he's been drip-feeding us with info about Bigdaddy on a regular basis. On 1st February, Matt posted news to his blog that Google was converting data centers at the rate of one every 10 days (Note: Google uses a network of data centers with different IP addresses to answer search queries. These decentralized servers share the workload of indexing web sites.)

There are now at least 3 data centers running Bigdaddy. There's one you can test here. Note that this may not always show Bigdaddy results because data centers are sometimes taken out of the rotation for testing purposes. One way to test it is to enter the search term "sf giants". If the first site on the results page is '' then it's a good chance that the data center is running Bigdaddy.

You can read Matt Cutts' blog here. Check out various entries in January and February for his Bigdaddy news.

So what does Bigdaddy mean for most of us?
Possible very little, if you have a normal website and you don't try to fool the search engines. In fact, if some websites are removed from the index, others are going to move up the listings.
I was please to find that when I typed in "selling and marketing techniques" into a Bigdaddy-powered search box, my Marketing Magic website was at #1! And I couldn't find my site with this search phrase when I used one of the older data centers.

But if you have a website which is nearly identical to other people's sites, you could well have a problem. That's why, as a matter of some urgency, I am replacing the current AdSense Starter kit in my Newbies Starter Kit with a site that owners of the Kit can easily customise and make unique. I needed to find a way for people to do this easily.

(From my Marketing Magic "News Update" newsletter)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Affiliate Honesty

Why did I decide not to promote "Butterfly Marketing"?

It's all to do with my conscience!

I've nothing against Mike Filsaime. He's produced some great products from which I have benefited. And it's nothing to do with the Butterfly Marketing product, which I have not seen.

Quite a while ago I made the decision that I would not put my name against any product which I had not personally reviewed and liked. It's subjective, I know, but that's the way I work; I sleep easier at night :-)

Mike Filsaime is an astute marketer whom I admire and, in some ways seek to copy. His pre-launch of Butterfly Marketing was brilliant. But there was a flaw, in my opinion. A big one..

No-one, except a privileged few, saw the product - or even the sales page - until launch day on 31 January. Yet dozens of people sent out email after email extolling the virtues of the package; many of them will not have even seen the sales page. Is that being honest? I don't think so!

OK, I believe and respect the opinions of some of the 'big hitters' who probably did have sight of the product, and, having seen the sales page when "Butterf'ly" was launched, I think that they are right in saying that it it is a great product - for certain types of people..

But having read the sales page several times (and I re-read it just before writing this), I am still happy with my decision. My impression is that "Butterfly" is not for inexperienced marketers, and quite a few people will have bought it thinking it will solve all their problems.

The whole concept of Mike Filsaime's software and home study course is, I believe, brilliant. But from what I've read - and what other people are saying - if you are not already an established marketer, "Butterfly" is unlikely to be very helpful to you.

But, bear in mind that this is my uninformed opinion. I could be wrong. Remember, I haven't seen or experienced the product. If you want to decide for yourself then go to the website: and make up your own mind. Incidentally, I can't put in the full URL for "Butterfly" because it's already in a "block" list!

Not for you? Here's an alternative
If you decide that "Butterf'ly" isn't for you, there is an alternative which I do endorse. It's the late Cory Rudl's "Insider Secrets To Marketing Your Business On The Internet" course. I've owned it for a couple of years now, and a few weeks ago I took delivery of an updated version.

This is a home study course for both 'newbies' and experienced marketers alike. The course comprises two thick ring-bound manuals and three CDs. One of the manuals covers the basics of internet marketing and the other deals with more advanced techniques (some of them were real eye-openers for me).

What I really like about the course is not just the content, but also the presentation. This makes the course highly readable. There's too many topics covered in the course for me even to put them here - there's a good description on the sales page (you have to wade through a lot of hype, though!)

Again, you will need to form your opinion. Here's the sales page - and yes, it is an affiliate link!

(From my Marketing Magic "News Update" newsletter)