Perseverance and Success

Perseverance as a Muse

Man running empty stadium steps
The Way is Long

Not a good sign.  It’s 0 dark 30 Monday morning and I am sitting here watching the cursor flash.  Nothing.  I decide to go to all my friends TE blogs to get some inspiration.  I waste ½ hour cleaning up my blogs folder.  Deleting a couple that are no longer viable, cleaning up the descriptions, etc.

Then I start reading.  No, more correctly, I start looking at the posts that I have already read.  What is it with you people?  How am I to get inspiration if you don’t write?  What am I supposed to do?

A Glimmer of Hope

The very last entry in my folder is Geri Gershner’s blog, and I am getting desperate.  Geri’s current post is titled ‘Everyone Fails At First, But…”  Oh great.  I wrote about this very thing not too long ago…but then I looked at the post prior, and the one prior to that and, well the topic came to me.

Perseverance and Success

Geri isn’t the most talented writer on my list of blogs.  She writes with complete honesty, from her heart, and with stunning regularity.  Geri perseveres.  She writes because she said she was going to do so, and that is of primary importance to her.  There is a lot to be said about perseverance and success.  I might even argue that perseverance, carried to it’s end IS success.

I think about the two bookmarks that I deleted when I was cleaning my folder (All right, I was stalling for time) that no longer exist.  Both had talent and promise, or else I’d have never added them to the list.  But, something happened and they are both gone to black…they didn’t persevere.  Simple as that.

Perseverance and Me

So, here I am.  I realize this isn’t my best post of the year, or even the month.  But I am able to persevere, to publish on schedule, with at least a few words that might help somebody just try it one more time…to persevere, to take that one more step on the road to success in life and business.

And in the End

A quick, final word about Geri’s Blog.  It’s a gorgeous site, clean and attractive.  It was set up for Geri by Sunny Suggs at Built Just 4 U.  A very good do indeed!

I’m just sayin’

Latent Marketing

Marketing Slow and Dirty

Turtle walking.
Just keep on keeping on!

Latent Marketing or Land Mine Marketing in a nutshell, is the planting seeds for leads and sales that will sprout and grow some time in the future.  It can be used to boost your bottom line now and into the future, without much effort from the marketer.

The classic plan of action is to electronically publish (PDF or Ereader) an information product with referral links in the text.  Publish and promote the piece, the theory being that people will keep recycling it and clicking your links for the duration.

The Pizza Plan 2

This is probably the most classic ‘Latent Marketing System’ ever.  Jon Olson has written a book about budgeting and how to that is must read for everybody that is going to be in TE marketing for more than a week.  It’s a great read, and just loaded with links that go on and on.  This product is available for ‘rebranding’ (a process where you substitute your links for the authors.  For a fee, of course.) and has been remarkably successful.  Although I don’t promote it much anymore, I am still getting the occasional referral from PP2

The CTP Manifesto

This is certainly the example that I am the most familiar with, as I wrote it.  It started life as an index of CTP training for my personal use, and came to be a 13 page latent marketing e book.  Contains tips and tricks and how to information, I bought a rebrander and really had some dollar signs in my eyes.  After a month of fooling with the project, I decided to not use the rebrander and just give the thing away.  The only cost is your e mail, and you don’t even have to provide that to get the download link.  Strictly voluntary, and all the links in it are mine.

Six months after I have last really advertised the Manifesto, I am still getting referrals from it.  I average about 3 per week.  Not much but significantly more than not at all.  It’s a good latent marketing tool.

What about You?

The point of this exercise is simple.  While Pizza Plan 2 is a well written and researched book with wide circulation, CTP Manifesto is a specialty piece with a limited circulation that I wrote with minimal research and editorial restraint.  Both have provided me with a fair number of referrals.

What if you can’t write a lick, or are afraid to try your hand at writing your own?  There are (literally) hundreds of e books that you can promote and rebrand for yourself.  Trust me, there will be some latent effects if you choose well.

Free TE Credits from Eric Goettman has a whole bunch of choices for latent marketing (and is a good resource all by itself) as does Get Rich with Jerry Iannucci.  Both have all kinds of tools and possibilities for you to explore.

And in the End

Latent Marketing is definitely about the long term.  If you aren’t planning on being around a year from now, don’t even start.  If you are, you can get some of the pleasant surprises that are unexpected referrals like I do.

I’m just sayin’

 

The PTC Funnel

The Funnel Revisited

Funnel diagram for marketing
Marketing Funnel

The PTC funnel is different than the TE model In several ways, but completely the same in many, too.

You remember the funnel concept, don’t you?  It’s a fundamental part of marketing in general.  Put X number of prospects in the top of the funnel, and through a series of intermediate, qualifying steps, you end up with a single, laser targeted customer.

More people in the top means more targeted customers at the bottom.  Real straight forward.  Prospects in the top, customers out the bottom.  Everybody is happy.

The PTC Funnel

Advertising in a Pay to Click has different needs and results.  PTC customers are, by definition, in a hurry and motivated by money.  It’s what brings them to sign up at a PTC in the first place.  Any advertising you do better take these to factors into account.  You had better make your offer fast, and hold out at least the promise of the ability to make money directly from your offer.  Those are the first two keys to success.

PTC sites deal with a staggering number of participants every day.  Even a new site like Tim Tech’s Nerdbux will consistently generate 10,000 views per ad every 24 hours.  Comparatively TT’s hottest TE, I Love Hits generates just over 1000 views per URL per day.  Big difference.

The Secret to the Funnel

What is the secret to monetizing the advertising at a PTC?  Numbers.  Great, huge, enormous numbers for those of us from the Traffic Exchange world.  We need to pour way more PTC prospects in the top of the funnel to get the same rate at the bottom.  Or is there something else?

I believe there is another way to think about the funnel and the way to maximize it’s use at a PTC.  I like to look at the PTC as another level at the top of the funnel.  Another much larger ring that will hold WAY more prospects as they make their way down and through my funnel.

The Conclusion

The same funnel will work just fine at both places, it’s just that the PTC prospects will probably go into the funnel above your TE prospects.  You may have to patch some leaks in your funnel before it is optimized, but that is true no matter what.  It’s a big numbers world, and a lot more people will drop out of the funnel earlier with PTC prospects, but the process remains the same.

And in the End

So far, in my research, I haven’t found a better single source for information on PTCs than Eric Goettman’s PTC Professor.  If you are only going to use one source for your information, this is it!

I’m just sayin’

The Answer IS:

“There is no Right way to do the Wrong Thing.”  Calvin Coolidge

Street sign:  Right Way  Wrong Way
There are always choices

If you follow along with this blog, you know about my recent moral dilemma with a program that doesn’t work as advertised, and the fact that a friend brought it to me and promoted it heavily at the start.  I didn’t (don’t) want to cause my friend any grief, but today, I am going to do what I probably should have done some time ago.  Throw the program squarely and purposely under the bus.  I have rewritten this several times, we’ll see how it goes.

Traffic Browser Blows

The program in question is Traffic Browser from David Easton.  Now I’m not saying that the idea isn’t great, it is.  Tab management when surfing is a terrific idea.  I’m not even saying that it hasn’t worked for me a time or two in the 23 days it has been out.  At least it worked a time or two for a couple of hundred pages at a time, before it needed to be reset.

I AM saying that Traffic Browser doesn’t work as advertised, and isn’t ready for prime time.  I could take that, I have worked with others on products that weren’t entirely polished.  In fact, I think it is generally a good idea to put a product out and patch the leaks in the product on the go.  Most people will stick with you and even help you, if you have good product support.  There’s the rub.

Product Support

So, this is really about product support and public relations, and at this aspect Traffic Browser really sucks.  Just for starters, there is no way to send a support ticket.  I’m sure that simple fact cuts down on support needs, but really…I have tried at least 6 times to send a support ticket, there is no send button.  I have loaded screenshots, and explained my problems to the very best of my ability, but can’t get it sent.

Contact Form

I did discover that if you log into the homepage (not the browser, mine is completely useless and non functional) before you actually click the button to log in, there is a contact form, with a send button.  I know it sends, but have no idea if it works because I have never been acknowledged or answered in any way.  But at least it pretends to send, where the support ticket doesn’t even do that.

What it Needs

It needs the human touch.  I’m sure David has his hands full, and is trying to the best of his ability.  He has had at least 4 updates since the 1st of July (my browser has been TU since the July 11 update) two in the last two days.  No love for me.

It needs to have somebody answer EVERY complaint and problem.  EVERY time.  Let the customer know that somebody cares and is working on the problem.  If I had any glimmer of hope that my problems were being dealt with, I’d still be in his corner.  I would volunteer to help if I had any way to get hold of the owner.

Here is the REAL Rub

Most programs that are junk are really easy for me to discard.  Not so with Traffic Browser.  It’s a terrific idea, and when the thing works, it makes surfing fun again.  Lets me look at and study and click ads that I wish, and quickly dispose of those that have no interest to me.  It’s great that way.  I REALLY like that freedom.

So, I’m not going to do what I would normally do.  I’m going to keep the browser on my computer, try the updates as they come out, and see if David gets it fixed.  I’m not upgraded, and certainly won’t until this product is thoroughly tested by me.  I would have upgraded by now if it worked…

And in the End

I’ll be sure to let you know if anything changes on the Traffic Browser front.  If the miracle happens and everything turns to candy and rainbows, I’ll let you know…

I’m just sayin’

 

The Moral Is

The Moral of the Story is…

Road sign with 3 choices.
Choices. Which way is best?

Everybody has morals.  Everybody’s moral standard is set at a different level.  Everybody knows when they cross that moral line in the sand and are doing something wrong, when they have passed their own moral barriers.

What I want to discuss here is moral choices.  We all make them, everyday.  Many of them are easy, no brain choices that we don’t waste a second of our lives making.  In many cases we don’t even know we are making a decision because they flash by so fast.  I want to discuss the other kind, the kind that I think about and ponder and lose sleep over.

Here’s the Deal

I signed up for a newly released product that came with significant hype and promise.  The idea of the product was/is great, it has very clever advertising and introduction.  The problem being that it just doesn’t work.  Released July 1 (late) it had an update by July 2.  Another update by the 11th of July, and I haven’t even been able to start it since that update.  It’s junk.

My problem being, my moral problem being, that the primary instigator of this product is a friend of mine.  And not just an ordinary ‘hi how you doing’ friend, a confidant.  A person (maybe THE person) in this business that I trust enough to show my vulnerability and weakness to.  THAT friend.

The Choice

I promised you and me when I started this blog that I would tell the truth, good and bad, big and small, the truth would be my guide, always the truth.

Telling the truth about this product is going to put some egg on my friend’s face, and no way to soften that up.  This friend was intimately involved with the launch and initial marketing of this product, and if I post the truth of the product it’ll reflect on my friend.

Moral This

The problem for me is simple, but so complex.  I am nothing if I am not loyal to my friends.  Always been.  I’m not a guy with hundreds of friends, I have a fairly small list and guard it with my life.  But there is the matter of telling the truth, and maintaining my moral standing with you, my trusty readers, and with me.

Can’t I just let this junk product die of it’s own weight?  I mean, it doesn’t work, it’s not going to go very far, can’t I just let it fade away all by itself?  Can’t I just let it lie on the pile of failed good ideas?

Well, no.  At least not easily.

My next post (Tuesday, July 23) will have the answer in it, for those that follow along.

I’m just sayin’

The PTC Adventure

PTC is here to Stay

Stepping off in Monument Valley
Start the Adventure

Well, here we go.  My first blog post on the PTC Universe.  I started a bit over a week ago, promising you that I would do my research and due diligence and report to you.

PTC Professor

My immediate need for basic knowledge was helped significantly this week by the introduction of a brand new product from Eric Goetman called PTC Professor.  If you have any desire to learn about the PTC world, and need to start from scratch, join now.  I’ll wait for you.

PTC Professor is a wonderful ‘entry point’ to PTC usage.  Very nice design and coding, it’s just plain easy and intuitive to use.  Starts right at the start and carries the reader out quite a ways on the road to profitability in PTCs.  According to Eric (and/or Professor B) it’s pretty easy to make $500 per month on an hour or two per day.  Nice!

But Wait, There is More!

PTC Professor is not the only place to get information on PTCs.  Every one seems to have a blog attached, they are more or less helpful.  But all offer some usable information.  Probably even more helpful to the newbie (that’d be me) are the forums that most of the good active PTCs host on site.  You can get massive information on what works and what doesn’t at the forums.

Nerdbux forum, in particular, shows me that many in the PTC world are not only very knowledgeable about the PTCs, but are also willing to take the time and energy to share their knowledge with the rookies among them.  What a great deal!

Speaking of, the Nerdbux forum is a great resource for what ever you need to know about the site.  The administrators allow a banner in your signature line, an unprecedented opportunity in the PTC world, and it seems to be working.  Some hippy looking guy with a backpack seems to be a very active moderator, answering questions and concerns promptly…

And Then

That’s all for today, but I want to talk about this post and my site.  I will post about PTC every Thursday, and I am going to give PTC it’s very own page, if I haven’t already.  The tab will be PTC Life, and as it generates more and more interest, I will post more and more.

I hope you enjoy the direction and order of this page.  I am certainly having fun doing the research.  See you next Thursday!

I’m just sayin’

Piles of Stuff

Stuff in the Corners

Unruly pile of file folders.
All carefully filed!

I collect stuff, no doubt about it.  Good stuff, bad stuff, nobody knows stuff.  When you have this much stuff, some of the good stuff gets shoveled into the corners.  It’s time for me to root around in the corners of my mind and drag some of the good stuff out into the light.

Much of this stuff has been laying around for a while, looking for the right place and time to publish it.  Some is ‘less than fresh’ some is from this week.  You just never know when I start into the stuff pile!

Free Stuff:

Stop Spammer Registrations really works, I installed it about a week ago. As of this morning, it has blocked 132 spam attempts, and better yet, has gotten every one, without blocking a single legitimate poster!  And it’s FREE!

Stuff that is just too Creative:

This is an ad from Eric Goettman, just blows me away everytime I see it!

This one, from Jerry Iannucci (and Kathleen VanBeekom)  may never make it to ad status but is worth the watch!  Great stuff!

New Stuff that Works:

I have joined a couple of programs that just work as advertised recently,  Time for a ‘stuff review’:)

All of My Links:  From the mind and fingers of Sunny Suggs and Jay Hines.  It’s just exactly what it says it is, a place to park your links.  It’s not free.  But let me tell you it is worth the price and then some.  In my case, I had a spreadsheet for affiliate links, a folder for TEs, a folder for Motorcycle places, a folder for blogs, a folder for mailers, and much, much more.  Now I just have the icon for All of My Links on my bookmark bar and done.  It is searchable, sortable and fast.  Some of the best money I have spent in the last few years.  At least go take a look.  If you are organized anywhere near like me, this will HELP!

Sweeva Tips:  Speaking of Sunny Suggs, if you haven’t joined Sweeva Tips, why not?  This isn’t new stuff, but it is timeless.  In my opinion, Sweeva is the pivotal Exchange in the business, the absolute best place to test and refine advertising.  Sweeva Tips tells all there is to know about Sweeva.  All.

Traffic Exchange Stuff:

Cup Of Traffic:  The newest member of the mastery program at CTP, Russell Stockley has some cool stuff, no doubt about it.  He has also taken over Matt Baker’s ‘ring or no ring’ show on Thursday night (in the States) and called it Cuppa Time and it is great fun.  Coffee or Tea?  See you Thursday evening!

Ninja Surf:  Just one of my very favorites.  The Legacy guys just keep improving this place, and it’s a great place to surf.  Very smooth site operation and low timer makes it great!!  If you haven’t been in a while, go check it out!

Well, there you go.  It’s just stuff, but at least I moved it around a little, changed the look of the pile:)  Hope you found some stuff here, too!

I’m just sayin’

Am I a Qualified Pinch Hitter?

Pinch Hit for Justin Ledvina?  Really?

Babe Ruth Chew Ad
Pinch Hit for RUTH?

I wrote this a couple of months ago, when Justin and I were first talking about the possibility of ‘guest posting’ at his blog.  It accurately captures the agony and the ecstasy of taking on a new challenge.  I hope you enjoy.

Listening to Justin say “I should get you to write for me.  People really seem to like my blog and I haven’t done much with it lately…”  Not an exact quote, and I hope I got the morsel of it right.

Of course!  I’ll jump at the chance.  How could I not?  Pinch hitter for a guy with a huge following?  Gimme my bat.  The one with the star on the knob, that’s my gamer, the best I can bring.

Doubts and Confusion

So I stroll to the on deck circle, and pick up the weighted bat.  And all the doubts and wonderment starts to creep in.  Pinch hit for Justin?  What are you thinking?  Not only is he a Titan in this business, but his writing is very good.  Ah, man.  Can I do this?  Will I do this?

Justin’s writing is so good because he doesn’t put any air in it.  Every sentence, every word is necessary to the telling of a powerful story.  He brings big ideas into laser focus.  He makes the reader think.  The whole way.  A home run hitter who takes it out with startling regularity.

Focus on the Task

Concentrate.  Focus.  See nothing but the pitcher’s release.  Narrow down to that.  Let the rest of it go, think of it later.  Focus.

Somebody thinks I can, else I wouldn’t be here with my bat in my hands.  It’s up to me, now.  2 on, 2 out, takes a single to tie the game.

A single.  I’m not here to win the game with one swing, I’m here to put the ball in play, to keep the inning going until we can get the studs up again.  Put the ball in play…

Action Required

It takes action to play this game.  I hear the announcer say my name, I’m in the game. Now it’s time to take my hacks and see what happens.  I’ll take the best swings I’ve got, do the very best I can.  Is it good enough?  Really none of my business.  Just my best swings. That is all I’ve got, that is all I can do.

“Put me in coach, I think I can play”

I’m just sayin’

I Enter the World of PTC

On PTC

3d pie chart comparing PTC to popular search engines
Pay Per Click Pie Chart

Paid to Click.  PTC.  I know that much and perilously little else.  It is a subset of the industry that I simply haven’t paid much attention to, through gross ignorance on my part.  That is about to change.

There are few challenges that I can resist, and a public thump at TE live is not among them.  I dislike being ignorant of a topic or category that is of premium importance to me and my business.  I am embarrassed at my ignorance, a condition that I do not suffer willingly.  For today, I have a single source of information, TimTech’s Nerdbux and partner Jon Olson.

So.  I give you fair warning, all you gurus and leaders and authority figures.  I’m coming. You had better keep your nose to the grindstone, because I will, and if you don’t, I will pass by you like you never even existed…

The premise of PTC

In the traffic exchange industry the basic premise is ‘show me yours, I’ll show you mine’  In the PTC industry, the basic premise is ‘click here, watch this ad, and I will pay you a prearranged price.’  It is one of the few places to make direct money online.  The amount is not large, typically under 25¢ at each site to be earned by direct usage.  But there is a further subset or two that can increase that amount dramatically.

Direct Referrals

Like the TE industry, the PTC industry rewards you for referring members to their site.  In this case direct referrals can bring you up to 100% of the amount they earn.  If they make 10¢, you make 10¢.  If they make $2.00, you make $2.00.  Enough good active referrals and it can add up pretty dramatically.

Rented Referrals

For a nominal fee (in the case of Nerdbux, the length of rental and max number depends on the membership package) you can ‘rent’ the services of other members.  You have no choice in the individuals, but what your ‘rentals’ make, you make for the length of time of the rental.  At the current time in Nerdbux there is a waiting period for more than a few.  A popular option indeed.

According to my source, it is a pretty simple matter to climb over the $2.37 per day needed to make $1000 per year.  $60 invested per month in a PTC can pay a significant amount over that.  It appears there is money to be made, always a good option.

And in the End

This is my last post made on the subject in ignorance.  I will bring more and better soon.

I’m just sayin’

Pet Peeves

I Don’t Pet Peeves

Wet, angry cat
I am very angry right now!

Really, they are just peeves.  I like my pets, I like to pet my pets, but I don’t like to pet my peeves.  So long as we are clear on that, I have some pet peeves that need to be exposed.

It looks like ‘the Angry TE Surfer’ has taken an extended vacation from the task of maintaining the moral high ground in and around our industry.  In his absence I will, once again, pick up the load.  Does anyone know?  Does he have a new girlfriend?  Perhaps he is making so much money that nothing aggravates him?  He’s not suffering from some weird illness is he??

Hands full of Hundreds

A pet peeve that needs revisiting.  Does anybody, anytime believe that shocked look with both hands full of hundred dollar bills?  Really?  I have been using a computer on my desk for over 30 years, and I have never, ever, had a bill of any denomination drop out of it.  Really, not once.  I thought some change rolled out once, turns out it was just the contents of my pockets poorly placed.

Pre Sales

I’m seeing a really disturbing trend, a pre launch with NO INFORMATION ABOUT THE PRODUCT AT ALL.  In some cases, they are just a ‘sign here’ sheet, or, even worse, “It has a 4×10 world wide matrix”  Make $960,000 off the matrix alone!  Please, Please, Please.  Buy and promote products that you know work, not payment plans and promises.  Please.

I see a big idea being circulated.  It has a flashy video and very attractive professional graphics.  Before you pull the trigger on this, check out the owner, and most specifically, his arrest record from the immediate past.  I’m just sayin.

Mentorship

A pet peeve of epic proportions.  Mentorship does not consist of selling a product with a follow up newsletter.  Really.  I have been fortunate enough to have 3 mentors in my life, and this line of advertising demeans their memory.  A mentor takes you personally under his wing and teaches, by example, a thing that is important to both.  That is a mentor.

Short Pet Peeves

A ‘click here to get your letter’ ‘you got another letter, only 10 more to get’ every 30 pages is not gamification.  Really.

Twitter is not now, never has been, and never was personal ad space.  Shame on you.  Posting 500 links per day on twitter is just another bad example of Push Marketing that does not work.

So.  In conclusion:  Don’t sweat the petty stuff….and don’t pet the sweaty stuff.

I’m just sayin’