Confessions of a Lazy Super Affiliate Review

Regular readers will know that I don’t think much of ebooks.

The typical ebook in this niche is full of information you can get for free other places, and mostly just forms a skeleton on which the author can hang a bunch of affiliate links. Ebooks that actually provide what they say they’re going to provide are rare, in my experience.

So rare that I gave up buying ebooks a while back. So why did I purchase Confessions of a Lazy Super Affiliate?

I’d like to say that it’s because I was maintaining the promise I made when starting this blog, to spend the money so you don’t have to. But frankly, I’d rather focus on providing information that helps you succeed, rather than spending money on ebooks.

I bought this ebook because of a very thoughtful question and answer list that came across one of the lists I’m on. The answers caught my attention, and I decided to purchase the ebook for a review.

The sales page of most ebooks is full of unbelievable hype. I was pleased to see that this ebook has a more reasonable sales page. Chris, the author, does make some claims for what he’s earned, but he also provides some useful information on the sales page itself.

If all you want to do is learn how he promotes his sites, click through to the sales page and read about it. You’ll get a list of the basic steps he goes through to start his sites ranking well in Google.

The ebook itself isn’t particularly earth shaking in any one aspect. He covers identifying hot markets, picking affiliate programs to promote, creating the site, and promoting it.

But I was impressed by the plan of action Chris outlines. He gives enough detail that you can reproduce what he does. He doesn’t minimize the amount of work involved, but gives great ideas throughout on how to outsource much of it. Obviously, if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll be spending your time instead of outsourcing until you generate some profits.

Toward the end of the book, Chris gives a look at the strategy of creating your own products and then upselling more expensive affiliate products on the back end. This allows you to recruit affiliates of your own to sell your product, in order to get people in front of the more expensive upsell.

Again, nothing brand new, but the style of writing and the action plan was appealing.

The most original part of the book is where Chris talks about using software you create to drive affiliate sales. He covers how to create the software without being a programmer, although you will need some basic HTML knowledge. If all you’ve ever done is use the visual editor in WordPress, be prepared to put some time in acquiring HTML skills.

The idea of using software submissions to get backlinks has gotten popular lately, and my position has been that those links would be useless for SEO purposes. I’m glad to see that Chris reports the same. But by combining the software submission with an affiliate promotion, he’s done well.

This ebook does have a variety of affiliate links in it. They’re all appropriate to what’s being discussed, though, so I never had the feeling that the ebook was written solely to make affiliate sales. More that those were the services the author uses, and so of course he’s linking to them using affiliate links.

The ebook should work well for someone who has been around Internet Marketing for a while, and has created a few sites but not had much luck promoting them. The promotion section, in particular, shows that a systematic approach using a variety of techniques works well, rather than the hit or miss approach many people use in the beginning of their online careers.

The biggest weakness of the ebook is in the area of actually creating the web site you’ll use for recommending affiliate products. You do need experience at creating web sites to be able to take that section and put it into practice. Again, someone who has been around Internet Marketing for a while will have already done that.

Despite my distaste of ebooks in general, I have to recommend this ebook in particular. The entire package is professional, and throughout you get the feeling that Chris knows what he’s talking about and is writing from experience.

Read more about Confessions of a Lazy Super Affiliate here.

An Ideal Advertising Co-op

I said in Monday’s post that I’d post more when I’d had a chance to think about what my ideal advertising co-op would look like. Here are some of my thoughts so far.

Inexpensive to Join

This is a big priority, because many people who could benefit from an advertising co-op are people just starting out in Internet Marketing. They can’t afford big ticket co-ops, but need something that provides a ramping up process. This is where, in my opinion, Rick Katz’ co-op fell down, when he eliminated the lower price points.

If it costs more than $50 for someone to get started, then you’ve priced yourself out of the majority of Internet Marketers out there.

Profit Sharing

Paying to advertise is one thing, but getting cash back when you do so is the big win. In some way your advertising must generate income for you. Revenue Magic does this by forcing you to buy into a co-op that advertises Revenue Magic itself. Rick’s co-op did this by having all advertising promote the co-op itself (you advertised your own programs to leads you received as part of the co-op).

Some part of the co-op must be targeted toward getting more members in order for profit sharing to work. Having multiple levels of paid participation helps to continue to bring more profit to share, as members upgrade to higher levels as they make money.

Lead Generation

Getting people signed up under you in an advertising co-op is nice, but you really want leads you can use, whether they sign up or not. Revenue Magic’s non-co-op advertising is all among the members of the program, so you’re not reaching a wide audience.

What would be ideal is for co-op members to get together and buy outside advertising (safelist solo ads, banner ads on popular web sites, magazine ads, etc), so that they can promote what they want to promote to people other than other members of the co-op.

In this, I think Rick Katz had the right idea, getting leads by advertising a squeeze page that provided a free report. Those leads were divided among each member who had paid into that advertising co-op, and they could then start trying to build a relationship with those leads. Some of them would also join the co-op, and part of their membership fees would be split among the people who’d paid into the co-op. It was possible that you’d make more back than you spent in advertising.

My Ideal Co-op

My thoughts aren’t completely cooked on this yet, but here is how I think a co-op could work to satisfy my requirements.

You join the co-op for a relatively small fee. This entitles you to participate in one campaign at a time. Higher levels of membership are possible that increase the numbers of campaigns you can join at one time.

Each campaign focuses on a specific topic (earning online, golfing, losing weight, etc), with the aim to generate leads of people interested in that topic, via a squeeze page/free report combination. 10% of the funds for each campaign will go into advertising the co-op itself, and any income that comes from that 10% is split among the campaign members.

By participating in the campaign you get targeted leads and, perhaps, a bit of cash back. Note that membership upgrades would be tracked through the lifetime of a member, so if a member joined due to a campaign you were in two years ago, and then upgrades to a higher membership level, that upgrade is also shared among the campaign members.

There would be a lot of details to be worked out, but that’s as close as I can come right now to my ideal. An advertising co-op that gets you targeted leads on a subject of your choice, with the possibility of profit sharing and future earnings.

What do you think? Does that sound like something useful?

Summer Posting Schedule

I’ve decided to cut back on my posting a bit during the summer.

There are lots of good reasons for this, including spending more time with my daughter. What’s really driven me to do it, though, is the fact that we’ll be taking two weeks during June for vacations. I’ll be out of Internet contact for those two weeks, and am facing the prospect of writing enough posts ahead to cover the time.

When you start to think about writing that many posts ahead of time, you start to realize that most of what you write won’t be good quality. It’ll be filler, because you’re forcing yourself to write a lot of posts in a short time frame, rather than wait for the post ideas to arise naturally over the course of doing business online.

So by cutting back on my posting, I hope to keep the quality of the posts up even during the time when I’m not online. Rather than having five posts a week, one every weekday, during the summer I’ll post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I hope everyone out there has some fun plans for the summer, and takes the time to enjoy them!

Revenue Magic Review

I ran across a site called Revenue Magic the other day.

The main page for the site says it provides “cash back advertising”. The idea being that you can pay for advertising, and get some cash back from the exchange. The implication being that you can get back a whole lot more cash than you put into it, eventually. On a first read, this reminded me of Rick Katz’ Co-op Ad Club, which had a similar theme.

The Revenue Magic site is low on details, though, promising a full explanation in the member’s area. Since you can join for free, I figured I’d bite and see what was inside.

There is a lot more detail inside, but it still doesn’t do a good job of spelling out exactly how it all works. They do a good job of explaining the cash back aspect of it. You can refer others, and you can also be put into a rotator that promises to fill out your first level.

But it was the advertising side of things I wanted to know more about. There are plenty of plans that are little more than self-contained MLM schemes out there, the magic would have been combining that with a truly useful advertising co-op.

The advertising works with ad credits. You get 500 free ad credits just for joining, so you can try out their advertising options. You can get banner ads, text ads, full page view ads, email ads, and top sponsor ads. That sounds like a pretty full offering, but, ultimately, you’re only advertising on Revenue Magic itself. The banner and text ads are displayed on their web site, the full page view ads are just a traffic exchange, the email ads are solo ads mailed out to the Revenue Magic membership, and the top sponsor ads are displayed in any emails Revenue Magic sends out.

All of that isn’t particularly bad, but the prices are high. They have several packages, most of which include membership in the rotator at $49.95. You then pay approximately half a cent per ad credit. It takes 40,000 ad credits to send an email ad (the most effective of the advertising options), so you’re talking about $200 for a solo ad.

While the idea is attractive, the implementation isn’t. But it did get my mind going about what a truly useful cash back advertising co-op would look like. What Rick Katz was doing had elements of it, but fell short, and Revenue Magic’s approach has elements of it, too. When I’ve worked through the brainstorming and come up with my ideal program, I’ll post the details of it here.

In the meantime, click here to see Revenue Magic for yourself.