DealDotCom Update

DealDotCom has been live long enough now to start getting an idea of what it’ll be like.

Frankly, I’ve been disappointed.

The initial offering was EasyMemberPro, software for running a membership site. The pricing was at about half off the price on the sales website, around $150.

Half off sounds great, but that was half off the version of the script that allows you to run unlimited membership sites. The version that allows you to run one membership site cost around $150.

As a programmer, I know that the price difference between the two versions is purely a sales tactic. It’s a bit like one-time-offers. If you don’t know that the software will work for you and make you money, why buy the version that works for unlimited sites?

On the other hand, if you can make money with a single site, then financing the purchase of a second license is no big deal.

So I don’t consider the price on DealDotCom to be much of a deal.

Other products were similar. $1 for a membership to sounds good, but then after that it’s full price ($30 a month, I think). So basically you’re getting a trial membership and paying for it. Another product included master resale rights at the same price that you would buy the regular product without resale rights for…well, you know my opinion of resale rights.

Lots of no deals.

There have been a few gems. WPAffiliatePro is a nice system for cloaking and tracking affiliate links in a WordPress blog. You can do the same cloaking and tracking for free, but not so nicely integrated with WordPress.

BayRSS integrates various affiliate programs such as Amazon and Ebay directly into WordPress blogs, making it trivial to link to suitable products to monetize your blog.

Overall, though, the basic strategy at DealDotCom seems to be to offer the higher, overpriced versions of products at a more reasonable price, and call it a “deal”.

The combination of time pressure and scarcity mentality that DealDotCom uses is inspired, and a great tactic for selling to Internet marketers.

Just do your homework, and make sure that you’re really getting a deal.

Bravisa Update

The kind folks over at Bravisa emailed me to let me know that I’d left something out of my review.

In my comparison between Zlio and Bravisa, I hadn’t realized that they work from slightly different models. Zlio works off the salesperson model, where you get a commission for every item sold from your store. Bravisa works off the wholesale model, where you specify the markup from the wholesale price, and you keep the markup.

Here’s the example they used to illustrate the point:

As an example, the Yankees Toy Box made by Guidecraft is available at Bravisa as well as at Zlio.

Bravisa works directly with Guidecraft (the manufacturer), whereas Zlio works with who in turn works with Guidecraft.
At the same sales price ($160) to the customer, for each sale:

Bravisa shop owner makes $51.07,
Zlio shop owner makes $ 4.80

The added income from your own store makes Bravisa more attractive, provided you create a store and market it well. Zlio’s referral income makes Zlio more attractive if you primarily want to just recruit others into the program (although someone has to sell products for you to make any money).

Ultimately, if you want to create niche stores online, it’d be worth creating one in Zlio and one in Bravisa, and running a test to see which produced the most income for you.

Bravisa Review

Bravisa is a site that allows you to start an online store for free.

It’s tempting to compare the site to Zlio, since they both have the same overall goal: to let you make money opening your own shop. I never have been able to resist temptation, so I’ll do this review as a comparison between the two sites.

Both allow you to pick a title and a web address for your shop. A Zlio shop address looks like this:, while a Bravisa shop address looks like this:

The advantage here goes to Zlio, since a subdomain based address is a bit more SEO friendly, directory friendly, and people friendly. For example, I can use Directory Maximizer to auto-submit directory entries for a Zlio shop, but not a Bravisa shop.

Both sites allow you to pick products to sell in your shop. In Zlio, your shop starts out empty and then you search for specific products to add. In Bravisa, you choose a category of items and all items in that category are added to your shop. You can then remove individual items you don’t want to sell. Which way is best? This is purely personal preference. My mind works more naturally in the Zlio model, but I got along fine in the Bravisa model.

Both sites provide a wide range of products to choose from. My quick test on the breadth of their offerings was to search for roleplaying materials (a nicely obscure niche area). Zlio had quite a lot available, while Bravisa had none. This isn’t really a fair comparison, though, since Bravisa is brand new and Zlio is more established. If you really want a product at Bravisa, ask them to add it to their catalog.

Both sites allow entering the Google webmaster tools ID. Zlio allows putting your own Adsense ads in your shop with a nice point and click interface. I didn’t see any way to put Adsense in with Bravisa.

Bravisa has some great tutorials, including one on getting your products into Google Base. This should help expose more people to the products in your shop.

The one area where Zlio has the clear advantage is that when you refer other people who create a Zlio shop, you earn a percentage of what they make. Bravisa doesn’t appear to have any referral program.

It’s still a bit early to say which online store creator I like the best. Zlio is more polished, but that’s to be expected since Bravisa is still in beta. I’d expect Bravisa to improve quickly and address the areas where Zlio is clearly superior.

Click here to check out Bravisa.

Can You Get Paid to Post Classified Ads?

I won’t keep you in suspense, the answer is “Yes”.

A site called will pay you 25 cents for every ad you place in the following categories:

* Free Stuff
* Stuff for Sale
* Real estate (non-commercial ads only)
* Rentals (non-commercial ads only)
* Vehicles (non-commercial ads only)

On the other hand, you get charged $10 to leave an ad in the Business Opportunities section. So I doubt this will be a popular place for Internet marketers to leave ads, unless they have fairly liberal guidelines for the Free Stuff section.

But you can expect all the other sections to be very popular!

September “No Contest” Contest Drawing To A Close

The September contest is approaching its end.

To enter, be listed in the top commentators’ list by the end of September 30th. The winner gets a discount on two years of top quality web hosting through Site5. Or, if they don’t need web hosting, we’ll work something else out that they’ll like.

The bottom of the list is currently held with 2 comments. So make 3 and you’re guaranteed to be on the list in time for the end of the contest.

Unless someone else has the same idea.

Gallactic Blaster Review

There’s a product making the rounds right now called Gallactic Blaster (apparently the misspelling is intentional).

The ad copy states that you can send your safelist ad to 37,221,932 people. That’s a curiously specific number, but the point is that you can send the ad to a lot of people. No more trolling individual safelists, instead send to lots of them through a single interface.

What’s even better is that you get lifetime access for a single $10 payment!

And this is the point at which I’m supposed to tell you how great the product turned out to be, and encourage you to buy it. Mostly because I get the full $10 payment, and the product owner tries to sell you things on the back end.

The truth is, you don’t get a single interface. Instead you have three separate interfaces, two of them available for free anyway. The one you actually pay $10 for lifetime access to accounts for only 5% of the people you can send ads to.

And in a test mailing to that 5%, I didn’t get a single view of my credit page.

There may very well be products out there that take a NicheBot like approach to safelists, which would be great. But this product isn’t it.

You’d be better off spending your money on a couple months of web hosting.

The Secret Project Revealed

I’ve been working lately on a Secret Project.

In fact, it’s so secret I managed to not let anything slip about it in my posts lately. It was close, though…I ranted recently about “systems” that fail to empower their members. I almost let slip in that one that I had a “system” in development that would strive to educate and empower, at the same time as it made money for participants.

I’ll start advertising this to the general public next week on traffic exchanges and safelists, but I wanted to share a sneak peak with all of you. The “system” is a couple of email courses. One called Traffic Exchange Secrets, and the other called Safelist Secrets.

Both courses cover what you should and shouldn’t do with each method of advertising in order to get the most out of them. The courses are nearly identical, since many of the same principles hold true for advertising, whether you’re using traffic exchanges or safelists. The focus in the courses is to provide helpful advice, and links to the tools you need to act on that advice.

I’m particularly pleased that all of the tools linked to in the courses are free, except for one.

That one is an MLM that provides critical Internet marketing tools. It breaks even when you have recruited three people. To help people break even as fast as possible, when someone joins the program through the email course they’ll send me their referral link. I’ll put those referral links back into the email courses, so that future subscribers who sign up for the MLM program will sign up under earlier subscribers. Once a member has their three referrals needed to break even, I switch the email courses to the next member’s referral link.

I think I’ve succeeded in my goal of providing education and empowerment, along with helping those who decide to take the step into the MLM program to break even as soon as possible. The MLM program provides critical Internet marketing tools that can be used to market other programs.

Who knows? It all may flop horribly, but I’m pretty pleased with how it’s setup.

Wish me luck!

Niche Blogging

A past post of mine talks about how to pick a blogging niche. When I first started this blog, I thought I was starting a niche blog.

After all, it’s about how to make money online, right? It isn’t a personal blog, so it must be a niche blog.

Months later, I find that my chosen niche is far too large.

For example, I write about affiliate marketing, internet marketing, MLM programs, and ways to get more traffic to your blog. After all, without traffic you won’t make money. Those various categories are loosely tied together by the idea of making money online. But someone interested in SEO might not be interested in the other topics. Someone interested in MLM might not care less about general affiliate marketing.

Part of being successful in a niche blog is to have a niche that is very focused.

A good niche will have its categories tightly tied together, such that a reader who lands on a post in one category will be interested in posts in other categories, because they’re all part of the same niche.

A niche blog can monetize in ways specific to that niche. For example, a blog about restoring a specific sort of car can link to online sources for parts for that particular car. The readership might be low, but they’re ultra-targeted for that product. A blog about restoring old cars in general has much more diluted monetization efforts, because they’re trying to serve an audience with wider interests.

So if your purpose starting a niche blog is to make money, make your niche as tightly focused as possible. If you have a related topic you find you want to write about, start another niche blog in the new niche and link to its posts from the other blog.

Laser focusing your niches should result in better conversion rates however you monetize your blog.

POAD Team Removing Inactive Members

The POAD Team Exchange is now automatically removing members from the database who haven’t surfed in the last 30 days.

Presumably this applies to pro members, too, so if you have a membership at the exchange it’d be a good idea to stop in and surf now and then to keep your account active.

I’m not entirely sure of the reasoning behind this automatic pruning, since inactive referrals do no harm other than taking up space in the database. Removing them seems to eliminate any possibility that they’ll return and be active later…who would want to rejoin a program that has removed them without even so much as a warning?

Likely this is another of the growing pains that new programs go through. I’m getting decent results with the exchange, now that I’ve switched to advertising a program that isn’t being advertised by everyone else.

If you’d been signed up with POAD and had your account removed lately, you can click here to signup again if you want to give it another try.

My apologies for the shortness of posts the past couple of days. I’m hopeful that the flu will be gone next week and I’ll be able to devote more energy to the blog.

Avoiding Spam Filters

It’s hard to do business online with people who have certain email addresses, due to the strict spam filtering used.

Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL are some of the strictest. The main problem is that subscribers might not even see the email in some systems, making it critically important to avoid triggering the spam filter to start.

You’ll see all sorts of different techniques used to avoid triggering spam filters. One is to use punctuation inside of suspect words, such as using “fr*ee” instead of “free”. Personally, I think that gives emails an extremely unprofessional look. And, as a programmer, I could update a spam filter to find those punctuated words in about half an hour.

What I do is run my emails through a spam filter that tells me what it found before sending them out. Here’s the one I’ve used most recently.

What will happen is that you’ll copy the body of your email into the submission form on the page, and also fill in the from and the subject. When you click the button, it’ll run the email through a spam filter and give you the results. They say anything below a 4 or so is fine. With Hotmail getting ever more strict, I’d say to try and stick below 3 if possible.

If the word “free” comes up as a trigger, use some common phrases that mean the same thing, such as “no cost”. Try to avoid repeating the same word or phrase over and over, again substitute some of them with synonyms.

Cleaning up your emails before you send them will help to ensure they actually arrive.