3 Tips that Guarantee Success

Don’t Overstate Your Expertise

3 King Penguins walking on a beach
This many Tips

For me, it is just as important to know and understand what I am not as what I am.  For instance, I’m not the CEO of an internet marketing firm.  I am the only employee (I hesitate using that term, it implies payroll) of my internet marketing firm, does not follow that I am CEO.  Not even in my dreams can I call myself a CEO.

I am an internet marketer, and I actually make a little money at it.  Does that make me a professional internet marketer?  No.  Professional invokes certain educational and practical standards that I simply do not possess.   Will I one day be a professional marketer?  Continued hard work and perseverance will answer that question.

Tip #1:  Don’t try to say you are something that you are not.  It’ll show through as certainly as it would if you put your underwear on backwards.  People might not notice right away, but they will see it eventually.

Don’t Sell What You Don’t Buy

If you don’t own a product, if you can’t personally guarantee that a product works as advertised, don’t try to sell it.  I watch CTP chat pretty regularly, and I see about a half dozen TE owners pimping their product with regularity.  That’s sorta OK, to me it is just discourteous, not a violation of the rules.  What bothers me is they are trying to get members into their program and to upgrade without being upgraded at CTP or the program they are chatting from.  That is just real close to as classless as you can be.  It just stinks.

Tip #2:  Don’t try to sell what you do not buy.  Would you buy a car from a guy that doesn’t own one??  Why would I buy an upgrade from a person that doesn’t buy them??

Get in Line, Stay in Line

There is no shortcut.  Sorry.  To succeed in this or any business there is only one pathway.  Get involved, learn your craft, practice your craft, perfect your craft. Then, and only then, you will find success.  Right here, right now is the time and place.  If you can’t commit to the long haul that it takes to be successful, why start?  If you are looking for the magic bullet, it doesn’t exist.

Tip #3:  It’s a long road to success.  If you aren’t in for the whole trip, find something else.

And in the End

It just never ceases to amaze me how many people come and go in this business.  I’m guessing if you have read this all the way to here, you aren’t going to go away anytime soon.  I’ll see you on the road to success!

I’m just sayin’

 

Tracking for Profit

Tracking for Fun and Profit

bloodhound is tracking
One way to track

Now there is a sexy title if ever there was one!  I’m sure that 90% of the people that look at this will roll their eyes and move on.  Tracking is not exactly the perfect water cooler topic, it probably isn’t going to get you much action at the night club,  but it should be part of your basic tool box in this industry!

Tracking, in theory,  is pretty easy.  You put a marker on the ad or website that you want tracked then see what it has done.  Tracking in practical terms is often not so easy. Sometimes it’s just easier to get a bloodhound and do it the old fashioned way.

Why Track?

Several reasons:

1:  To know who is clicking on your site and from where.

2:  Fraud Prevention:  Not every TE owner delivers 1k views for 1k credits. Just sayin’.

3:  Testing:  Which page works best?  How do I know?  Track results!

4:  Coolness factor:  You get a new vocabulary and ability to use it.

5:  Cool Graphics:  I check into my tracker several times a week just to look.

Tracking Made Easy

I use trck.me, have from the start of it.  I had begun to feel the need to track, and signed up at TE Toolbox when TimTech changed to trck.me.  I am still billed for a TEToolbox subscription…

Trck.me makes tracking just stupid simple.  It’s a two step process that takes less than a minute.  1:  Copy your ad location.  2:  Paste it into the appropriate line on the ‘Links’ section at trck.me.  That’s it, you are now tracking.  Want to track banners?  Add a step because there are two locations for a banner.  The ad itself and the target it goes to.  Call it a minute and 10 seconds worth…  Want a counter on your website?  A little strip of code on the site and done.  I did it first try, it must be very easy.

Tracking for Free

Trck.me is not free.  It is a very reasonable $9.95 per month, a bargain for a full featured (and then some) tracker.  But they have a 30 day free trial, and I am telling you, in 30 days you can be a tracking wizard and get a very honest idea whether or not you really need tracking (you do).

Tracking for Me

Here’s the deal.  Sign up under me, and I’ll share everything I know about trck.me.  Heck, even if you don’t sign up under me, I’ll be glad to help anybody with the program.  You can leave contact information in the comments here, or you can email me at tom.bigs@gmail.com.  That’s my real email address, I’m pretty easy to get hold of.  And glad to help!

And in the End

This is a program that I believe in completely.  It is so versatile I could write an entire book about it and never get it all in.  It’s so easy it is fun.  It’s one of those rare Goldilocks products “Just Right”.

I’m just sayin’

Inspiration Beyond the Quotes

Inspiration Beyond the Quotes

Picture of the book cover Inspiration Beyond the Quotes
Inspiration Beyond the Quotes

This is the newest book from Justin Ledvina and Patrick Griffin, the 4th in their “Beyond the Quotes” series.  It is a terrific book, maybe their best.  Set up (like the others) to read one quote per day, with articulate discussion and a place to write your own thoughts.  This one focuses on inspiration or ‘do it now’.  You can get it right here, right now.  Do it!!  NOW.

It’s a serious book with serious goals and words that will help each and every one of us on our journey to success.  Buy it, and read it.  As good as it will look on your bookshelf, it’s much the better to be read!

Inspiration beyond the Book

OK, I’ll admit, I am completely freaking shameless.  I intend to use Patrick and Justin’s book and my thoughts on the daily readings like a rented mule in this post and quite possibly others.  I’ll not use their words, and wouldn’t even think of using their quotes, but this book has me fired up and I intend to carry that fire through to this.

Dedication

Pick a task or a skill that you want to excell at, and dedicate yourself to the mastery of that skill.  Nobody, not any one ever in the history of earth has bowled a 300 game on their first attempt.  Statistics show that a huge fraction score under 100 in their first attempt.  Yet many, many people learn and master bowling.  Check your local paper, chances are that there were several 300s bowled in your city this week.  What’s the difference?  Dedication to learning a skill.  It’s that simple.

Never Up, Never In

It’s a golf saying.  If you don’t hit your putt hard enough to go to the hole you have no chance of making the putt.  Likewise, if you don’t try, and try your best at anything, you will never succeed.  We talk ourselves out of trying something to keep from failing, but, truth is, not starting is failure of the worst sort.  If you never try you can’t win.  That easy.

And in the End

In case you can’t tell, I’m really excited about Justin and Patrick’s new book.  My sincere wish for them is to sell a million copies, and thereby help a half million to succeed.  Only half that own it will read it, but that half will be enriched.  I guarantee it!  It is “Inspiration Beyond the Quotes”  get it here.

I’m just sayin’

This and That and Mini Rants

Notes Pile

This and That button
This and That

It seems my pile of ‘Things that need to be mentioned’ is about to tip over and flood my desk.  Again.  I’ll take some of the most pressing to task today…

This

OK.  I’ve thrown David Easton and Traffic Browser under the bus twice.  To his enormous credit, he has stayed with it, made changes and now has a useable product.  It’s not perfect yet, but it is very useable.  I find myself using it about 3-4 times per week.  When it works it really is fast, and it is the ultimate way to surf for credits.  And get your CTP badges (allow pop ups, and you will have to sign in once).  Kudos to David and Traffic Browser for the hard work and continuous changes that the program has taken.

That

Nerdbux is absolutely on a tear.  TimTech has their PTC site over 105,000 members, advertising and results are flowing like beer in a Liberty Port, and everything and everyone is happy.  It’s hard to remember that this site is just over 3 months old.  What an exciting process this is to watch and participate in!

Mini Rants

The quoted lines are taken directly from advertising that I have personally seen around TE Land.

“Your Downline is Safe With Us”  No it’s not.  Nobody should ever turn over their downline or list to a third party.  Any third party.  They want your list so they can promote what they want and to sell your list’s addresses to even less ethical advertisers.  DON’T DO IT!!

“100% Legal”  Really?  If you need to put that disclaimer in your advertising, you are probably advertising the wrong product.  I for one, don’t believe you!

“Let Me Show You the Money”  OK.  I’m sure.  Show me the path to the money, maybe?  I’m pretty skeptical.

“Pack More Fun Into 2012”  I don’t know about you, but I’ve packed all the fun into 2012 I could stuff into it.  I’m ¾ done with 2013.  Time to update your ad, maybe??

Are there specialty sites that turns out those really crummy looking splash pages and landing pages?  It seems like I am seeing more and more of them.  Looks like they were made on a regular browser based editor by a clumsy 3rd grader.  Do you really expect people to click on that junk??  Really??  How can that even exist?  There are several really good places to build good solid pages, you really can’t afford to put out junk.  AdKreator is my favorite, but it is not the only one available.  Have a little pride, please!

And in the End

It looks like I got seven ‘little slips of paper’ out of my stack.  It’s reduced it enough that it’s not in any particular danger of flooding my desk.  A roaring success at that, at least.

I’m just sayin’

Cash Surfing Network

Cash Surfing NetworkCash Surfing Network Banner Image

This site is a new collaboration between Eric Goettman and the Legacy Team, big players in the business,  It is only a week as a membership site, but the caliber of the people involved means we better pay attention.  Close attention.

What’s New

Cash Surfing Network on it’s face, is a place that provides rewards for surfing a particular course of sites.  A $12.00 sign up bonus ($2.00 at each individual site) is a terrific incentive to a newcomer in the TE business, it’s a chance to make some money doing what we do.  Surf rewards after the sign up bonus are straightforward to obtain.

So near as I can tell, this is the first time 2 separate ownership teams have combined forces in a distinct separate site with it’s own unique goals and vision.  It is unique in that it is the first.  If you take the total membership of all the sites involved, it adds up to a mega site with around 100k members…

The site itself is new.  I would place it in ‘advanced beta’ status.  In other words, it’s no where near done, changes are coming hard and fast.  It has better than 7000 members in it’s first week of operation, a very impressive number.

What I really Like

For me, it is a very convenient way to surf 6 high quality sites that I want to support.  All 6 are top tier traffic exchanges that provide great opportunity for advertisers and surfers both.  This is not penny-ante business, these are 6 hitters.

I really like that Cash Surfing Network has a ‘one button surf all’ feature.  I really don’t like that it is buried in step one and you have to look for it.

I really, really like the promotional opportunity at Cash Surfing Network.  I predict that this is going to be a big deal in the not too distant future.  A huge chance to build a personal list, and possibly to make a few bucks in commissions.  What’s not to like?

What’s not ready for Prime Time

The upgrade.  The biggest upside to the upgrade is the ability to use Cash Surfing Network’s downline builder and the increased commissions.  I think they need 2 tiers of upgrade, and a better definition of what they have.

What’s Coming?

The guys have plans.  They have ideas.  The really, I mean REALLY good news is that this team has the money and the talent to make good stuff happen.

A centralized command post is in the works.  One place to see how your credits and ads and downline are doing for all 6 sites.  I can’t wait.

More downline builder sites.  As this project grows (and it’s growing FAST) more and more and more program owners will want to have their programs affiliated with Cash Surfing Network.  The list is already pretty impressive, with more certainly to come.

My Recomendation

Get in, get in now, upgrade, leveredge a serious site for all it’s worth.  Huge upside here.

And in the End

I didn’t get to CSN until several days had passed.  My biggest regret is that I didn’t get in sooner.  I think this could develop into a ‘hub product’ on the lines of CTP.  We all know what has happened there…

 

The Perfect Job

This post is a direct result of Seth Godin’s blog post from Sunday, August 15, 2013 titled “What if Surfing Were your Job?.  Gave me pause to think, I hope you will read it, too.  In fact, I strongly recommend a subscription to Seth’s Blog.  He publishes at least once per day.

Surfing next to a wave wall
Could you do this job?

What’s your Job?

What would happen if the one thing you like most on earth were your job?  Would you still love it, or would it become a drudge?  Would having your favorite thing as a source of income make you worry about others that enjoy it?  Would you bellyache about the hours and the conditions?  Would innovation scare you or excite you?  Would you perform to the best of your ability or would you sluff off?  Why or why not?

Whose job is It?

There are at least a couple things in play in this line of reasoning.  After all, it is my job, and my attitude towards that job is directly in my control.  I can choose to be pleasant and positive and productive in my job, or I can choose to be churlish, petty and spiteful.  If I am truly in a dead end, suffocating job, I have the ability and responsibility to make a change.  What a concept.  That I might take personal responsibility for my own situation…In this case, by applying for other jobs that provide better circumstances.

What about the Dream Job?

If you could make a living by doing the thing you love most, would it be enough for you?  Would it?  Would you find reason to complain about the circumstances of your job?  Amazingly, this too is under my direct control.  I can choose whether I will like or dislike any given activity or part of an activity.  I am personally responsible for my attitude and outlook regarding any given thing.

What I Do

I genuinely like what I do for a living.  Some aspects of what I do (writing this post, for one) are positively exhilarating to me.  Some aspects are not as much fun (deleting spam posts from my blog) aren’t near as much fun, but taken as a part of the greater whole, not a chore but a task to be accomplished in pursuit of my job.

But is it My Favorite?

No.  For me, compared to riding a motorcycle, internet marketing and writing about it is clearly a second choice.  I get many job related benefits from my pride and joy, but the two are distinctly different.

Why?

Exactly.  My why in life is simple.  I want to ride when I want, where I want, how I want.  No more, no less.  So I need to continue on with a profession I merely enjoy a great deal to be able to accomplish my Why in life.  That was Easy!

And in the End

I have chosen to do what I do based on many inputs.  Very much at the top of the list is the enjoyment I get from it and the passion that I feel for it.  Viva Fun!

I’m just sayin’

 

On Creativity

On Creativity

BREAKING NEWS!!  Justin Ledvina and Patrick Griffin’s new book is available NOW.  Get it HERE!!

Entirely Black Rectangle
The Best Blog Post Ever

Creativity for me is like a fickle lover.  No telling when you are going to get it, but it’s always wonderful when you do.

The idea germ for this post started on a Sunday morning as I did some pleasure reading. One site that I genuinely like is Brain Pickings.  The author, Maria Popova publishes at least 10 times per week, always thought provoking and well written and researched.  This week’s digest had several items that resonated with me, and I will shamelessly use them.

“Creativity is Subtraction” by Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist) is part of the feature.  With that theory, this black block is the greatest blog post ever written.  All I have to do to make it be so is remove the excess black from it and leave the appropriate white spaces.  It’s all there, the challenge is mine.

Common Creativity

Creativity is never common, but some of us show it more commonly than others.  Justin Ledvina (CEO of TimTech) is a very talented designer, creativity is a hallmark of his designs.  I don’t think it comes real easy for Justin, but he grinds along until the page looks like his vision.  It’s that ability to transfer vision to reality that defines creativity.

But there is more!  Justin is the creative genius behind AdKreator the design software that allows the rest of us to express our creative drive.  Not only does he have the ‘creative bone’ but he has the talent and ability to design creative software for the non creative masses.

Uncommon Creativity

The other side of the coin.  Many (most) simply take the creativity of others and hijack it to make it seem to be theirs.  Their only creativity is in the lengths they will go to keep from being caught.  Plagiarism is one blatant form, to the point where most writers of substance embed code in their writing to at least get it attributed to them.  Design and code copy is an epidemic on the internet.  A new design feature will be copied exactly in days.  And no recourse for the creative mind that really did the work…There are more than a few ‘snake oil salesmen’ that will steal whatever you will pay for.

The Answer

It’s easy, really.  Appreciate and support true creativity.  Detest and expose fraudulent and shoddy practices.  Like always, it boils down to personal responsibility.  I can choose to make a difference, by supporting the creative among us, and not supporting the frauds.  I told you it was easy!

And in the End

Did I cross the line on ‘creativity theft’ with my greatest blog post section above?  I identified the author and the work that inspired my take on the matter.  Am I too close to the theft of creativity?  What are your thoughts on it?

I’m just sayin’

 

Promises Broken

Where from Here

This post is later today than I would normally post, and I am just beginning to write.  Actually, I’m am just beginning a re-write, and not the first of those.  Why?

With this post, I am done writing a regularly scheduled post on PTC.  I am clearly not the person to do this needed service.  I have done enough research to know that the PTC segment of the industry needs an articulate and passionate spokesperson.  I really think there is a living to be made in the long term by work performed now and on into the future.

Opportunity

However, making money and doing a needed service is not enough to carry ME through the grind of a regularly scheduled blog.  I lack the required fire, the passion in the business to carry it on.

If you think you have the passion and fire that it takes to write about PTC, by all means, go for it.  If you get up in the morning thinking about and wondering about PTCs, this might be for you.  I know there are a thousand reasons why you can’t, but if you have the required passion, you can.

Writing, of itself, is a learnable skill, like tennis.  ANYBODY can look up the rules, learn the basics, and become proficient.  Anyone, that is, that cares enough about tennis to be able to find joy in the grinding practice and failure that will be with you from the start.  It’s that passion that carries you through the 3 early morning practices per week…

And in the End

I will continue to report on PTC issues and news in the course of my regular blog writing.  I sincerely hope you will understand why I can not do the thing I promised to do.  For me to continue this would be less than honest, and less than what I have promised you, my trusted reader.

Questions that Beg Answers

New Questions

Man's back with question marks
I have questions!

Everybody that has a pulse has questions.  From newborn (I wonder when that food service comes around again??) to the very oldest (I wonder when that food service comes around again??) every single one of us has questions that are important to our lives.

Some questions are of vital importance to our very survival, some are completely frivolous wonderings that have no impact on anything.  The questions that I ask today fall somewhere between these two benchmarks, I would hope somewhat nearer the second than the first.  We will see…Today’s questions deal with ‘Newness’ and when a thing isn’t. New that is…

Questions

When is a thing no longer new?  I realize that this is a marketing medium, and NEW is the ultimate, best, most used word in all of marketing.  Just the word itself carries excitement, I always want to see what’s new.  When is it not new?

Ninja Surf:  Really guys?  There is nothing new about the Legacy Team, they are all grizzled veterans of the internet.  They have owned and improved this site for quite a long time, isn’t it time to advertise another aspect than “Under New Ownership”?  Ninja Surf is a terrific TE that the Legacy guys have taken to greatness.  Please let it quit being new…

Nerdbux:  OK, this might qualify on time, it’s only 2 months old.  But at 85,000 members, it seems to me that the ‘newness shine’ may have worn off this.  It’s not brand new, it’s an incredibly successful and fast growing (Alexa top 1000) site that has tons to offer. Nerdbux is not ‘brand new’.  Can we agree that 100,000 members is no longer new? Gives TimTech about 2 weeks to change the advertising…

Ripplin:  No link, I have no part of this.  My question would be:  How long can 60 day prelaunch continue to be sold?  This product has been 60 days from release for way over 6 months, and nothing has happened.  As of this morning, it was still 60 days out, predicted to be ‘bigger than email’, and continuing to sell pre memberships.  When does it end?  When does it release?  How long can this carry on?

There are at least 1000 sites that have been advertising a ‘brand new way’ to make a million overnight.  With the same exact ads they were using when I came to this world over two years ago…Same DUSAP ads, same, same, same.  Nothing new at all on this front, there is no way to make a million in a month, new or old.  It just doesn’t work.

And in the End

It is truly ‘Caveat Emptor’ (buyer beware) world.  ‘New’ is the most overused word in the entire advertising world.  Judge for yourself, carefully.  I’ll have more questions shortly, no doubt.

I’m just sayin’

Consistent is as Consistent Does

Consistency

Just do it, Then do it again.
Consistently

There is a lot to be said for consistent positive action, no matter what it is you are trying to do.  An athlete puts in all that practice with the goal of consistent performance in the game.  The concert pianist puts in untold hours of practice with the goal of consistent optimum performances in the concert hall.

How does that relate to me?  I’m certainly no athlete or concert musician.  It does relate, and hopefully, I can show it.

Consistent Goals

One thing that each of us needs to do is have a master goal.  The reason why we spend all the time, money and effort with what we do.  If you can’t state your reason right now, with no uncertainty, you need to spend some time sharpening your focus on your dream.  A clear, consistent and unfailing goal will keep you going when times get tough.  And they will get tough.

Here’s a look behind the curtain.  My goal is this:  I want to be able to ride when I want, where I want, how I want.  That easy, and I am working towards it every day.

Consistent Thought

How will this help me reach my reason?  That is the main question I ask myself several times per day.  I need to channel my thoughts toward the reason so that I can make consistent progress toward it.  It’s a goal in itself, consistent thought.  No one can focus their thoughts at anywhere near 100%, but I can train myself to do more to be consistent.  It is doable.

Consistent Action

Get in line, stay in line.  Spend some time deciding the pathway to your reason.  Write it down, and write down intermediate goals that will propel you in that direction.  The secret to consistent action is planning.  I set quarterly goals, annual goals and 5 year goals.  I write them down, and write notes about HOW I am going to achieve these goals.  I review and modify my goals every quarter, and give myself a grade on how I did for the last quarter.  Some are better than others, but I still am able to maintain good, positive, consistent action on my search.  I make changes in the direction, but not in the action.

Consistent Results

I keep plugging away no matter what.  Sometimes the results are very good, sometimes not so much.  I work hard at trying to keep the results trending upward, on a gentle slope.  Truth is, I don’t dream of the ‘big score’, I dream of a thousand little scores.  I want the trend to be upward and little steps and successes make that possible.

Consistent Effort

Keep on keeping on.  Sometimes it is just that simple.  Consistent effort daily, every day, keeps the trend moving upward.  This is my 100th post of 2013.  A big deal, certainly, but only as part of the deal.  When I started this project in January, my goal was 3 posts every 2 weeks.  Obviously that has changed, and I now publish at least 3 times per week.  Consistent effort has, in my case, led to consistent output.  It really does work.

And in the End

I’m proud of my 100th post.  It shows me that I have made the effort to give my readers consistent new content.  I hope I have some success, there.

I’m just sayin’