Frustrations Creating Video Tutorials

Okay, so for this new ebook I want to create video tutorials as part of an upsell package.

My general philosophy on upsell packages is that they should be unique content that makes using the original product much easier for the customer. So those customers that are willing to pay for the upsell package get an easier experience than those who don’t. For my ebook, video tutorials made a lot of sense.

Unfortunately, the freely available products for creating video tutorials fall just a bit short of being as convenient as they could be. My biggest problem is that I’m often demonstrating using a variety of applications, which require dynamically zooming in to show detail. The paid products will do that, but the free ones don’t, at least not so that I can work with them.

Another problem is me…I’m a perfectionist, and it’s nearly impossible to get through even a short video segment without making some sort of mistake. I know that I need to move on and get over it, but I keep wanting to redo the video to fix the mistake (and of course I’ll make a different mistake).

Obviously my talents don’t run to creating videos! I’ll keep at it, though, and get them done.

Blogging – The Path Of Least Resistance?

Progress continues on getting the web site set up for my latest ebook. But slowly.

Every time I start working on the upsell package (a video tutorial series, plus some WordPress goodies), it’s ever so tempting to just come over here and write a blog post instead.

Blogging is easy, and that’s part of what makes it attractive. Who wouldn’t want to make a living writing about what you had for dinner the night before, or what you watched on TV? Writing blog posts is just about the ideal job for anyone who is literate. You don’t have to put too much thought into them, you don’t have to think too far ahead, and you don’t have to spend the entire day at it.

By contrast, Internet Marketing is more time consuming, and harder to put together. The possible returns are greater, but putting the effort into getting there is tough, when the ease of blogging beckons.

Average blogging income is pretty limited, though, which will keep me working on my IM projects. My tests with Adsense on this blog, which gets about 100 unique visitors a day, is that it’ll earn $0.50 a day. Granted, the IM audience isn’t crazy about clicking on ads, but that’s still pretty low.

So, the work continues…

Work For 3 Dollars Review

I joined this program as a favor to an online friend.

I figured I’d get a case study out of it, promoting a simple low cost program to see how it did in various advertising venues. I’d hit safelists, traffic exchanges, the usual places. It’d give me something to write about while I’m still working through all the details on my next ebook (the ebook itself has been done for quite a while, but getting the site set up and figuring out how to make money from it is harder going).

So, what is Work For 3 Dollars?

List Builder

This is one of those sites that says it’ll build your list for you. It’s a bit like a safelist, except that you can only email the people who are in your referral tree. The tree goes 15 levels deep, though, so that could be quite a lot of people. You can email them once a week.

Since they’ve paid $3 to be part of the program, they’re prequalified as far as being willing to spend a little money for a larger return. This isn’t the audience to send a mailing about a high ticket item like Perry Marshall’s Bobsled Run. But low priced ebooks and other one-time payment programs might do well.

Digital Products

The member’s area has digital products you get with your membership. Right now there are four ebooks there, but I’m sure that’ll grow with time. The four that are there now are: Million Dollar Emails and Autoresponder Magic by Yanik Silver, 1001 Newbie-Friendly Tips by Bob McElwain, and Working with ClickBank by Tom Hua. Each comes with resale rights.

The books are a nice bonus, and worth the $3 one-time fee.

Income Opportunity

You earn $0.50 for every referral you bring in, regardless of where they end up in your referral tree. You also earn $1.00 for every person on your first level, and $0.12 for every person on any other level, down to 15. The matrix is 3 wide.

So, if you recruit two people directly, you have your $3 back. If your upline recruits three people into your first level, you have your $3 back. It’s a pretty easy program to get into profit. From there it depends on whether the people you’re recruiting are active themselves, or if they’re just waiting on spillover. With an active downline, your total potential is pretty good.


While this isn’t the sort of program you get into to make a ton of money in, it is a good value for your $3 one-time fee. You get some quality ebooks as well as the opportunity to refer others for income.

If you’re just starting out, or (like me) want something low cost to test different advertising methods, Work For 3 Dollars is a good deal.

Use Gmail and Google Analytics and Get Indexed

A lot has been written online about how to get your sites indexed in Google.

Generally, the advice runs in two flavors. One set of people say that you need to submit your site and do a fair amount of work. These are generally the people trying to get you to pay them to do the work. Another set of people say, just put some links out there and Google will find you.

I subscribe to the second theory, but had it brought home to me recently just how easy it is to get a site indexed in Google. Remember that Google *wants* to index good sites. That’s its job, to index good sites and deindex bad sites.

I wrote a site about places to get organic food in the small town where I live. The search volume on the town’s name and “organic food” was non-existent (I was probably the only one searching on it). So I didn’t bother creating links to this site anywhere, submitting it to Google’s webmaster tools, I didn’t create a sitemap file, etc.

What I did do was use Google Analytics, so I could see how few people visited the site, and I sent out a few emails to local people I knew who might be interested.

Less than a week later, the site was indexed. Maybe sooner than that, since I didn’t bother checking until a week later, out of curiosity.

So the moral is, if you’re creating a site and you don’t want it indexed, don’t use Google Analytics, and don’t send the URL around in emails that might pass through Google.

Google Calendar Plugin

I’ve been a bit sidetracked from my IM efforts lately, because of the need to build a web site listing local organic food resources in my area.

As part of that site creation, I needed to display a list of dates in the sidebar. I run an organic food co-op, and members need to know when to order, when to expect delivery, etc. I wanted a solution that did not require any manual updating on my part.

What I found was the Google Calendar WordPress Plugin.

This was really ideal for my needs. I could set up in Google Calendar repeating appointments specifying ordering and delivery dates, so that my only manual updating would be around holidays when the dates shifted slightly. The plugin would then automatically display the next 5 (or however many you specify) dates from the calendar, so that co-op members could hop onto the web site and check the upcoming dates just by looking at the sidebar.

I also embedded the full view of the calendar inside the pages dealing with ordering and delivery, but the sidebar view was far more convenient for members doing a quick check of dates.

If you deal with anything involving displaying recurring appointments, Google Calendar plus the plugin will make it a hands free affair.

Choosing Affiliate Programs – The key to success

Also as part of Phase Three, I’ll continue to run guest posts to give other people’s writing exposure. Here’s a post with great advice from Daniel Kane on choosing affiliate programs.

There are essential elements required to become a successful online affiliate marketer. The first is the ability to attract a reasonable number of visitors to your website(s). The second is making the correct choices about which affiliate program(s) you choose to promote.

The first question you have to address is demographics. Who visits your website(s)? Men, women, or both? How old are they? What are their interests, needs, and consumer habits?

These questions, and the answers to them, are nothing less than critical. You’ll need to spend a lot of time thinking about which products and services are most likely to be attractive to your audience. Even more important than determining what they buy is identifying what they are willing to buy online. And, be prepared to make changes in what you offer them if your initial attempts are unsuccessful. A bit of trial and error can often be effective.

When considering affiliate programs, you might also want to give extra consideration to those that pay you for leads rather than actual sales. Some programs pay more than $70 for a qualified sales lead. Mortgage companies, banks, schools, colleges, and insurers are only a few of the kinds of organizations always looking for more leads.

Because these and other organizations want to grow their mailing lists, you can also earn a commission when one of your website visitors signs up for a coupon, a free restaurant meal , free business cards, introductory offers of various kinds, or other freebies.

Of course, you should try to choose affiliate programs which pay high commissions, but commissions by themselves won’t determine your earnings. Try to find those which will pay you for attracting other affiliates. Those with two, three or more tiers offer even greater potential.

You should probably limit yourself to affiliate programs which:

1. offer you daily online tracking and meaningful statistics so you can determine how you are doing and make necessary changes quickly.

2. attractive, tested banners and/or text ads that get results.

3. respond to your inquiries quickly, provide you with good suggestions and advice, and pay you on time.

4. offer your website visitors a good product at a reasonable price.

Lastly, here’s the best business advice I was ever given… track and carefully analyze everything possible to identify trends and areas in which you can make adjustments to increase performance.

Daniel Kane creates and maintains websites (supported by affiliate advertising) on scholarships, career schools, career colleges, college admission, online degrees, and online colleges.

Online Opportunity’s Phase Three

It’s time for another change for the blog.

Phase One of the blog was the initial phase, where the focus was on regular posting and education. This was a year long phase, and most of what I was sharing was what I was learning as I was going, although a portion was the typical “Here’s a new program” sort of post.

Phase Two also focused on regular posting, although not quite so often, but more on mentoring. That phase focused more on posts from my actual experiences, designed to be helpful to those just starting out. I also started an official mentoring program over at The Advisory Panel, but that didn’t do well. It’s apparently tough to find people actually willing to put effort into being mentored.

Phase Three has come upon me as a bit of a surprise, because of other (non IM related) projects I’ve gotten involved in. I haven’t had the time for regular posts for a couple of weeks now, so I’m going to make it official. From now on, every post on this blog will be directly related to IM projects I am working. There will be no more of the “Here’s a new program” type of posts, unless I have tried and seen value in the program.

Frankly, I expect the irregular posting to kill my search engine rankings. I’ve made some good money in the last year and a half from Google sending people my way (and continue to do so, through residual income), but I’d rather increase the quality of the posts than keep them coming at regular intervals.

So, what can you expect as an RSS subscriber? Less frequent posts, so don’t delete the blog from your RSS reader. The posts will all directly apply to either a project I’m working on, or a technique or service that I have personally tried (whether I’ve seen positive or negative results from it).

I hope you all stick around for Phase Three, and enjoy the posts!

Advisory Panel Member To Speak At National Conference

Connie, one of the most active members at The Advisory Panel, is scheduled to speak online as part of the Invisible Illness Awareness Week. An “invisible” illness is one that isn’t immediately obvious to someone looking at you…chronic pain, for example.

As a reasonably healthy adult geek, I knew intellectually the opportunities that the Internet provided for people who couldn’t work otherwise. But I didn’t really appreciate how much opportunity there was until I started the Advisory Panel and met Connie (she writes Brain Foggles, along with other blogs). I get migraines, and moan and complain when they’re bad, and pretty much am laid up for the duration. But I cannot imagine coping with what Connie copes with every day, and still being cheerful and energetic, and earning her income online to boot.

I applaud the people who are blogging about invisible illness, and the folks at Rest Ministries who are sponsoring this conference.

If you have a chronic condition, or know someone who has, head on over to one of the links above.

Project In Development

My apologies to my regular readers who missed a post here last night. I’ve been using my online time to work on a new project.

This one’s an ebook, but rather than a general information ebook like Link Cloaking 101, this one is going to be a down and dirty, nuts and bolts, how-to for creating your own neglected niche sites.

I’ve posted now and then about my neglected niche sites, and how they’ve done surprisingly well, given how little work they require. In the new ebook I walk you through creating and promoting such a site, using one of my latest as an example. The site I use as an example is currently on page 1 of Google and in the #1 spot on MSN for its keyword, so you’ll be able to verify that the techniques work.

The ebook itself is ready, but I’m determined to do this one right, so I’m setting up Rapid Action Profits to handle the distribution of the ebook.

I’ll let you know when it’s ready for download.

Building Trust

You hear all the time about how it’s important that you build trust with your prospects.

It’s 100% true; nobody will spend money or send contact information to someone they do not trust. But actually building that trust is a delicate business.

Take a website I ran across today. Here’s the link.

In that website (which is not an affiliate link, by the way, since I wouldn’t recommend you opt-in), there’s a statement to the effect that the only thing stopping you from making money is your lack of trust in him.

That’s a pretty powerful statement, and some great sales copy. It might even be true. But consider the conflicting messages being presented in this page. The “From The Desk Of” line at the beginning has his last name fogged out. In the video, his face is fogged out.

How is this building trust? In fact, since he brought up the lack of trust idea, that caused the ways in which he doesn’t trust his visitors to stand out to me.

Frankly, I wouldn’t sign up with this guy no matter what his pitch.

As I said before, building trust is a delicate business, and something you really want to consider as you’re writing content online. Every time you copy and paste an affiliate sales letter instead of using your own words and opinions, you’re losing some trust from your readers (half of whom probably have access to that same sales letter, and the other half have seen it from a dozen people already).

Be a real person, and provide your prospects with real value, and you’ll build the sort of trust that will carry on for years.