Autopilot Profits Review

Autopilot Profits is an ebook that says it’ll guide you through the process learning Internet marketing and building an autopilot income. The ebook sells for $27, or you may find it offered through a site you already are a member of for $17.

The ebook covers four main areas:

  1. Finding a hungry crowd
  2. Determine what to feed them
  3. Tell them about your offer
  4. Put it all on autopilot

As a bonus, the author says he’ll identify a hungry crowd for you, tell you what to feed them, and provide you with a sales page and make it all automatic. What a deal, right?

None of the information in this ebook should be news to anyone who is willing to spend a couple of weeks reading blogs on Internet marketing. It’s all out there, for free, on the web. The ebook could have provided additional value by going into great detail on the four areas above, going beyond what’s available for free. But it didn’t.

Instead, there’s just enough information to give you a vague idea of what you’re supposed to do, and affiliate links to websites and products that will help you to do it. I’m really surprised the author didn’t give this ebook away for free, since he’s bound to make more money from the affiliate links in the book than he does from sales of the book.

The ebook gives you just enough information about Google Adwords to get you into trouble, and then affiliate links out to Perry Marshall’s Definitive Guide to Adwords. If you want to find out more about Adwords, get Perry’s book and skip Autopilot Profits.

The ebook continues on to give introductions to blogging, Ebay, forum marketing, traffic exchanges, and article marketing. Also covered are software for generating content automatically (either by scraping it from other blogs or by computer generating it), and another tool for creating hundreds of blogs automatically. At least he does mention that the last one is a black hat technique.

The special bonus, of course, is that you can market Autopilot Profits to other Internet marketers to earn affiliate commissions. You earn $17 out of $27, and meanwhile the affiliate links in the ebook continue to generate profits for the author. He doesn’t even offer a way for you to rebrand the ebook so the affiliate links pay you instead.

Frankly, if you have $27 to spend on learning Internet marketing, give it to me and I’ll give you special unrestricted access to my blog archives (yes, that’s a joke). You’ll be no worse off than if you’d spent that $27 on Autopilot Profits.

Oh, and one good piece of advice the author gives is to market Autopilot Profits by providing an honest review on your blog, noting that honesty will sell more copies. What do you think, did my honest review sell any copies?

Where to Get Freebies to Build Your List

I’ve talked recently about using freebies to build your list.

Finding suitable freebies can be tough, though. Well, the problem isn’t so much finding an ebook you can give away, but finding ones that your visitors haven’t all seen hundreds of times. And sometimes it seems as if all the ebooks are about Internet marketing.

I ran across the Home Income Team today. The site itself is a downline builder and list builder. I’ll review it properly in another post. What I want to talk about now is the OTO you get when you signup for Home Income Team.

It’s for a product called Instant Profit Brander.

The idea behind Instant Profit Brander is that, by giving away ebooks to build your list, you’re also giving away advertising for someone else. People don’t write ebooks just to be nice, generally, they include monetized links inside the ebooks. You don’t get any money from your subscribers who buy from those links (some ebooks offer rebranding, which you should always do…this replaces their affiliate IDs in the ebook links with your own. Instant Profit Brander is for those ebooks you cannot rebrand).

The software generates a package that shows your ad before the user sees the ebook. So you’re building some brand recognition, and reminding them where they received this useful ebook.

But the software isn’t the main part of the OTO. You also get a huge collection of niche ebooks with resell rights. The best part is that some of these are not about Internet Marketing! If your niche is guitar playing, there’s an ebook on learning how to play. There’s a German phrase ebook.

You can do a web search on Instant Profit Brander and find the basic set of ebooks and software for $47. Through the Home Income Team OTO, you get that plus a large set of Internet marketing related ebooks for the same price. The OTO claimed the $47 was only good for the first 250 people who took it, but I suspect it’ll be offered for a while yet.

The extra ebooks also include a Health related package (“How to Stop Smoking Forever”, and similar titles), article submission software, mailing list management software, float-in window generator software (I actually prefer the peel away ads, but lots of websites use float-in windows), website creation software, ebook writing software, Software Designer Pro, and more. I’ll review the software packages in a later post, too.

Frankly, it’s a ridiculous amount of extra information and software to give away for no more than the price of Instant Profit Brander. This seems to be the trend with OTOs lately, though, to provide you with enough value the OTO seems like an obvious choice.

The main benefit of this OTO is the huge collection of ebooks you get, all of them ones with resale rights. You can process them with Instant Profit Brander so your list subscribers don’t forget who provided them with a useful ebook, and offer them as incentives for people who join your list.

To get access to the OTO, go to the Home Income Team website and signup for their free membership.

If you do, let me know if you get the $47 early-bird price or not.

Internet Marketing Starter Kit for $2.95

I’ve mentioned the Internet Marketing Center in another post about affiliate marketing.

Just recently I received an email from them about a promotion they’re doing. They’re offering an Internet Marketing starter kit for $2.95. This isn’t an ebook, but actual printed material sent to your home via Federal Express. You get 64 lessons in over 800 pages, plus 4 CDs and a DVD.

This is labeled as a 30 day free trial (apparently the $2.95 is for shipping), so it isn’t clear to me whether you need to send back the material if you don’t want to keep it, or what. But if you’re a newcomer to the Internet marketing arena, $2.95 is worth 30 days to look over the material. You can always copy what you find valuable, and if you don’t think the rest of it is worth whatever they’ll charge you after 30 days, send it back.

I’ve signed up for it to see what all the package contains. You can get your copy sent to you here. I’ll post a review of it once I have the material, but the $2.95 promotion will be over by then.

Downline Partners Review

Downline Partners is a downline builder program.

If you’re not familiar with downline builders, they provide a collection of MLM opportunties that you join. You then promote the downline builder, and your referrals go under you in all the MLM opportunities in the collection. Marketing Pond is a downline builder for free money programs.

Downline builders also provide a sense of community that’s sometimes missing from MLM programs. You’re not joining alone, hoping to hear from your sponsor, you’re joining with everyone else in the downline builder. You have fellow members to ask questions of if you get stuck or need help.

Downline Partners focuses on paid programs. At first glance, I took the site for the typical downline builder. After joining I found several features of the site that are worth a second look.

The first feature is the ability to sponsor a new opportunity. When you sponsor a new opportunity, you are the top of the matrix for anyone else in the site who joins that opportunity. This can be powerful, and as such is reserved for those who promote Downline Partners (you need 50 referrals to sponsor a program).

Another innovative feature is their discussion forum. It uses something they call company codes, instead of referral links. I can link to a specific forum post, such as this one talking about the benefits of Kiosk, and you’ll see normal looking forum posts between members of Downline Partners.

Notice in the messages there are various referral links that all have my ID in them. What’s happened is that when the posts were written, instead of placing referral links, the authors placed company codes such as $$kiosk$$. When the forum is viewed through my member link, those company codes get replaced with my referral link for the program.

This is a powerful technique. You can advertise the forum in whatever way you want, using your member link, and if someone joins any of the programs, or Downline Partners, you’ll get the referral. There may be other programs using this technique, but this is the first time I’ve run across it.

Downline Partners has another unusual marketing tool.

Referral TV is a collection of videos in an embedded viewer. Here’s their collection of Great Tricks videos. Note the ads on the right. Each has my referral link for that program, at least for those programs I chose to join.

You can always choose not to join some of the programs right away, which is a nice feature. With paid programs you can’t usually afford all of them in a downline builder. Making them optional means you can build one income up to the point of being able to afford the others.

There’s also a rich collection of splash pages for you to use in your advertising, and program specific pages.

Of course, there’s also a paid upgrade option. With a paid upgrade of $5 per month, you can place your own links in your member pages. For example, in any of the pages linked above, toward the bottom will be sponsor links. When you pay for a sponsor link, your link shows up for any of your referrals, or for people you send to your member links.

As a bonus for paying the upgrade fee, you get put into the Downline Partners’ rotator until you get a free referral. This is a bit of a gamble. If the person you get is already in all the programs, you won’t get anything from them. If they’re not, and choose to join one of the MLM programs, you may get your $5 back from the referral commissions.

All in all, Downline Partners is a cut above the other downline builders I’ve seen. Clearly, some thought has gone into providing better promotional tools than the competition.

I hadn’t intended to get involved in another downline builder, but I think I’ll stick around this one.

Having Trouble Building a List?

While you may have the greatest list in the world, and while you may be giving away tons of free goodies to entice people into joining your list, you may still have trouble getting people to signup for it.

The main problem is making the right people aware of your list, the ones who would want to signup for it. If your list is about low-cost business opportunities, then you can advertise on the various paid-to-click sites (the members of those are already working a low-cost opportunity). If your list is about Internet marketing, work the traffic exchanges (the members of TEs are looking for more visitors to their sites). If your list is about dog grooming, use forum marketing in appropriate forums.

Always direct visitors to a splash page. In that splash page, give the top couple of benefits to joining your list, and give a signup form. Do not provide any other links off that page. The visitor’s only choice is to close the page or signup. Quite a few will close the page, but some will signup.

Safe lists are another way to try building a list. The same rules apply here, link to a splash page. Your first hurdle in a safe list is to get the person to read the email, so the subject has to grab their attention. Stay away from extravagant claims, even if true, because 90% of the other emails have the same extravagant claims (“Make a million collecting bottle caps!”)

A new safe list just started that’s targeting list building. It’s called List Bandit. Unlike normal safe lists, List Bandit is built in a 3 wide forced matrix. You get to send emails to anyone below you in the matrix. Since it’s a forced matrix, even if you do no referrals at all you’ll get spillover from above you. I’ve been a member for a few days, and have 16 people under me from spillover.

List Bandit also has a random matrix. The random matrix is just that, a random rearrangement of members into a new matrix. You can send to anyone below you in the normal matrix, or below you in the random matrix. One day you might end up at the top of the random matrix.

You also get to specify a text ad that is displayed to all members when they log into the system. Members who click that text ad are saying, “I’m interested in what this person has to say”, and get put into your personal list, which also gets emailed.

What List Bandit gives you is the opportunity to sell your list to a constantly changing membership. Your entire job in your List Bandit mailings is to get the reader to opt-in to your real list. Since it’s a mailing, you need to follow safe list rules. Make the subject of the email grab their attention. Offer them something free if they join your list, but make sure the free item is on topic for your list, otherwise you’ll get subscribers who aren’t interested in what you have to say.

Membership in List Bandit is free, although they have the usual too-good-to-pass-up one time offer after you signup.

Build a List by Offering Free Information

One of the interesting trends in the Internet has been that of free information.

Back when the web just started out, everything was free. As the web commercialized, you had to pay to get access to information. Now that competition is fierce for your web dollars, free information is back as a marketing tool.

The Free Money Formula people use free videos on Internet Marketing as their tool for getting subscribers. The videos are primarily targeted at people looking to create websites for selling affiliate products. The videos cover finding a market, finding a product, creating a website, and getting traffic to the website.

So how do websites like this make money providing free products?

There’s a saying in Internet marketing circles, “the money is in the list”. To get access to the free videos, you have to signup for their mailing list. Being on a mailing list means that you’ll get various offers from the Free Money Formula people. You’ve already, by signing up for the videos, shown that you are interested in Internet marketing, so they have a targeted list for Internet marketing products.

The Free Money Formula people also provide all members the opportunity to make some money by referring others to their site. How do you make money as an affiliate by referring to a free site? All the offers that get sent out to members will have some sort of affiliate link in them. 50% of the time your affiliate links will be used, earning you commissions.

Providing free information to build a list is a technique worth remembering for your own Internet marketing efforts. You’ll end up with a targeted list, although members haven’t yet shown a willingness to spend money. So you’ll need to send out regular mailings with opportunities for them to spend. Some members of a mailing list don’t buy for years, until you send out that one product that appeals to them.

To use a list, you’ll need access to quality autoresponders. The two top autoresponder companies are Aweber and Traffic Wave. Both will provide you with capture forms and unlimited autoresponders.

You’ll also need access to free information. While you can find various free ebooks on the web that have give-away rights, keep in mind that your target audience may have already seen the ebooks available on other sites. Your response rate will be higher if you provide unique free information. Either write something yourself, or higher a writer to produce something for you. Or, like the Free Money Formula people, create your own videos!

The Tag Society

You may have noticed the I’ve Been Tagged band across the right side of the blog’s logo.

I don’t normally talk about directories I’ve added the blog to, considering that to be just normal SEO for the site. But the Tag Society is a bit of a different beast.

The Tag Society looks to keep a higher quality of website in its directory. In their own words,

We review each website so that the quality of the websites within this directory is kept at a higher level than many other web directories.

They also have a referral system in place. Your position in the directory is based on how many other websites you have referred. You get one listing point for every website you have referred, and the sites are listed in their categories by listing points.

While the goal of the Tag Society, to create a listing of quality sites, is a good one, I’m not crazy about the way their listings look. You can click here to see some of their listings. The little images that are presumably supposed to identify the website aren’t always meaningful. I always have to click through to the website to see what it actually is.

The Tag Society also requires a backlink in order to keep your listing points (the I’ve Been Tagged band counts as my backlink).

While a single directory listing doesn’t mean much in SEO terms, something as different as the Tag Society might become a nice traffic generator as it becomes popular with web surfers.

Click here to add your site, and don’t forget to tell them who sent you!

One Time Offers and Special Pricing, Oh My!

Signup for any free service on the Internet these days, and the chances are good that you’ll immediately see a one-time-offer (OTO).

OTOs are a widely used marketing technique that tries to build on the action that you’ve already taken to get more money out of you. For example, let’s say you’ve signed up for a free traffic exchange service. The OTO might be to upgrade your account so that you get free credits each month in the traffic exchange, and instead of paying the normal $10 monthly fee for the upgrade they’ll give it to you for a one time fee of only $97! What a deal!

The key point to remember about OTOs is that they wouldn’t offer them if they weren’t making the company money. In the case above, by offering an OTO that seems too good to pass up, and that makes the commitment you’ve already made (to get more traffic to your website) easier, they hope to get some money out of a free member. And you can believe that once you’ve established your willingness to pay for upgraded services, you’ll get additional too-good-to-pass-up offers later.

That’s not to say that OTOs aren’t worth taking. But you can’t take all of them, or you’d be out of money in short order. I generally say no to OTOs, since at the time they’re offered (right after I signup for a service), I don’t know if the service is worth investing more money into or not. Some OTOs I take because I know from experience that the same sort of service has been effective for me at other sites.

When you refuse an OTO, the chances are good that you’ll get a second OTO. Assuming that the price of the OTO was the only thing keeping you from taking it, they’ll offer reduced services for a reduced price, immediately after you refuse the first OTO. This is happening more and more these days.

Another common Internet marketing technique is special pricing. You’ll typically see something like this on a blog or website.

I highly recommend using Vista Print for your business card needs. As a service to my loyal readers, I’ve negotiated a special deal where you can get 250 free business cards if you haven’t used Vista Print before. I’m not sure how long I can keep this deal going, so get yours now!

Or it might give you a special code to type in when you’re buying to get a discount.

Special pricing like this is a regular service that companies offer to their affiliates to help them attract new customers. There’s nothing that needed to be negotiated, and no worries that the deal will go away any time soon. In the example above, if you click the link and get your 250 free business cards, Vista Print gives me a nominal fee (a bit over $3) for sending a new customer their way. You win because you get free business cards, Vista Print wins because they get a new customer, and I win because I get a bit of cash.

If you come across a product or service you want to buy, and you see a box for entering a promotional code or discount code, it’s worth doing a web search to see if you can find one on a blog or website somewhere. The chances are good you will. You’ll get a discount, and some random webmaster will get a commission.

When you’re learning Internet marketing, it’s important to learn from these sorts of techniques as you’re doing your own buying online. When you see an OTO, pay attention to whether you feel compelled to accept it or not. It’d be a good idea to keep a collection of OTO headlines and ad copy to use as inspiration for your own OTOs later. If you’re able to offer special pricing on your product or service, don’t just offer it to the general public, save it as an incentive for affiliates.

What’s the best OTO you’ve seen lately?

Trackback Submitter: The Dark Site of Blog Comments

After installing DoFollow, the blog started getting hit by a peculiar sort of spam comment.

Akismet had always been catching the porn comments, and those submitters didn’t care whether DoFollow was installed or not. The latest spam comments are from someone using a tool called Trackback Submitter. The comments were obviously auto-generated, and included a programming bug. Here’s the one that keeps showing up:

This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title nline Opportunity. Thanks for informative article

Note the title of the blog is missing the first O. The sales page (link omitted because I don’t endorse this software) for the software claims it’ll help your SEO efforts by providing your choice of anchor text submitted to thousands of targeted blog. Never mind that you’ll be spamming all those blogs with automated comments.

One of the interesting selling points of the product is this:

The only trackback submitter on the Internet which bypasses comments anti-spam plugins used on blogging software. That’s right! It does not matter that your website is not any kind of blog and you do not link to blog where trackback links are submitted, because unique Anti-Spam Killer feature makes your website to look like a standard blog which is linking to victim’s blog. Make other webmaster to worry – “How the hell this trackback got approved by anti-spam plugin, if it is not any kind of blog and even does not link to me!?”.

That’s funny, since the first I saw of these comments was in Akismet’s spam folder. Another selling point was the autogenerated comments that appear natural, when the only one I keep getting in my spam folder is the one I quoted above.

When you run across products like this, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the bloggers you’ll be spamming. They have full control over their blog, and can easily delete comments they consider to be spam. The only thing you accomplish by using a product like this is to alienate thousands of blogs on subjects similar to yours.

Put the time into making productive comments on those blogs and you’ll see much better results than by using a spam engine such as Trackback Submitter.

Picking a Domain Name for Your Blog

I don’t recommend the use of for blogs you intend use to make money.

The reason is that blogging is more than just writing interesting posts. You’re going to do a lot of work building backlinks to your blog. If you eventually outgrow and want to move to your own domain name, you’ve lost all those backlinks and have to start from scratch.

So if making money is your goal, start with your own domain name. You can get your own domain name with free hosting (see my series on making your own website for free), or you can go with paid hosting (my favorite paid host is Site5, their $5 a month deal gives you enough space and bandwidth to run several websites).

Having your own domain name helps in two ways.

Branding Your Blog

Branding your blog is the process of making its name recognizable, and considered as a resource for your niche. A domain name for branding purposes doesn’t have to have anything to do with the topic of the website. Consider how has become a household name for an online bookstore, or is synonymous with search engines.

Branding makes it easy for people to tell others about your blog (“Hey, have you heard about”).

Search Engine Optimization

Search engines, unromantic that they are, consider a website to be relevant to a keyword if the keyword appears in the domain name. The effect is not huge, and can be overcome if your domain name has nothing to do with the topic of your website. But if you’re starting a site from scratch, consider if using your site’s primary keywords in your domain name is a good idea.

For example, if you’re starting a blog about car repairs that can be done at home, you could use and get a relevancy boost for people typing in “how do I fix my car”. Yet it’s still a brandable name, if not as obscure as

Don’t worry too much if you can’t get the exact keyword domain name you want. Like I said, you can overcome the small relevancy hit you’ll get by not having keywords in your domain name. Search engine optimization is mostly about backlinks and anchor text, with domain names playing a smaller part.

For this blog, I wanted a domain name that was brandable and yet would also be meaningful for the topic of making money online. Online Opportunity seemed like a good choice. The .com wasn’t available, and I wasn’t willing to pay a premium for it, so I went with the .org.

If you have a blog already, how did you pick your domain name?