Updates from July, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • NegBox 2:41 pm on July 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Blink, Globe, National Enquirer   

    Thin-Slicing Your Customers 

    They say to hunt something you have to become it. I (you) need to understand your customer’s motivations, and particularly the stories they’ve been telling themselves.

    Here’s what I picked up at the store…

    Amazing read, both of them. I didn’t know poor ‘O’ had been a teenage prostitute that had a secret child with a customer who paid her $5… Or that Obama had been born in Africa, and here all this time I was thinking he had had a tanning bed accident.

    I’m looking at EVERYTHING in these two magazines. They’re targeted at a demographic I need to hit, and they’ve been at it for a long time – Clearly they’ve got something good here. I’m looking at the ads inside – What do they sell? How do they sell it? What are the stories that these folks tell themselves (example: gifting a diamond means I love you, getting a Harley means I’m wild)? … What are the headlines like? How does the cover present things so people “click” and buy the rag? What are the colors they are using? What words do they use?

    Did I mention about the ads..? You owe it to yourself to look at the ads on magazines like these – the big ads, the ones that have been professionally written and tested. These magazines are also full of quizzes and IQ tests… That’s exactly the kind of connections I’m trying to uncover.

    If Malcom Gladwell’s cited research in Blink is right (and it seems it is), this is pretty much all I need – more would probably hurt my efforts.

     

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  • NegBox 4:57 pm on July 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Looners, Pop,   

    Pop Me Baby, Pop Me! 

    Following Jonathan Volk’s lead I installed one of LeadImpact’s adware crapware toolbars into my machine. I tried Hotbar first but my antivirus kept deleting the executable in the middle of the installation… Fortunately they have several crapware offerings and I managed to get one going.

    Platrium Crapbar

    The Platrium Crapbar

    Pop me, baby… I want to see what this looks like! I’ve never had this kind of trash installed on my machine.


    <ramble> Speaking of popping… Reminds me of balloons… And the girls on this site.. All combined reminds me of an out-of-this-world sex fetish I saw… Some folks get turned on by popping balloons… Like girls squatting over baloons till the balloon pops – I’m looking it up now and they’re called “Looners“. Can you believe that?

    You gotta be kidding

    If you’re reading this and that balloon stuff turns you on, I’d love to know what childhood experience caused this – Believe me it ain’t freaking normal to get turned on by balloons. If you can’t even believe this exists – check out the link. Its just… weird.</ramble>

     

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  • NegBox 6:19 am on July 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cpanel, DNS, , Plesk, VPS, WHM   

    Five Hosting Tips for Newish Affiliates 

    Tip 1 – Get Dedicated Servers or a Virtual Private servers. I just spent the last two days migrating and consolidating hosting accounts. Total waste of time, but had to be done. Be smart, not like me.

    Tip 2 – Use the Domain Registrar’s DNS service, not your server’s. The main reason is because if you have a dedicated server and all your domains are being served by a single domain name server, which is highly likely, or by different domain name servers that share the same IP addresss, once a competing affiliate develops an interest on one of your campaigns, figuring out the entire portfolio of sites on your server is trivial. If you are using your registrar’ DNS, the same lookup will return thousands of other unrelated sites, essentially cloaking yours even if you have them on the same registrar.

    Tip 3 – Don’t skimp on IP addresses – Get one for each domain name. Same reason as for the DNS servers above. You could share some betweena few campaigns… Its not the best of ideas, though.

    Tip 4 – Parallel’s Plesk control panel is more user-friendly, but less feature rich. WHM from Cpanel is chock-full of features, but really unfriendly (check out a screenshot of WHM here).

    Tip 5 – You NEED a “Managed” server or VPS. Whatever you get make sure it says its “Managed” or get the “Managed” add-on option. This way when it turns out you need a newer version of MySQL to run Prosper, you can just pick up the phone or open a ticket and get it upgraded instead of messing everything up yourself.

    Got any other affiliate hosting tips? Share with a comment!

     
    • Joseph 2:55 am on July 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I have a vps where my lps and prosper is setup, do you think i should move over to dedicated or storm on demand?, really appreciate it. I am really worried that the redirects are a bit slow plus lp load times are a bit high

      • Slave Rat 5:08 pm on July 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Joseph, as long as you can control how much CPU you get and how much bandwidth I don’t see a reason to move. I tried DreamHost’s VPS offering and you could not control the CPU (they would only tell you the amount of RAM) and were not terribly helpful when I needed MySQL to support partitioning, so I cancelled that. The amount of CPU is an estimate (1 Gigahertz is just a measure of frequency, not of compute power or I/O power).
        I’d stick with brands you’ve seen before. My suggestion of Rackspace is solid, a bit on the expensive side, though. You can also check out vps.net – amazing offering but its not managed from what I remember.

        Best suggestion is to test it. Almost all the companies will give you your money back if it doesn’t work out. Another thing you should could into is using Amazon’s CloudFront to store your landing pages, or at least any graphics in them. The graphics on this blog, are all coming from CloudFront. I talked about how I’m using CloudFront on the post titled “How to Accelerate your Site to Warp Factor 9.9 without paying $99 a month” here: http://negbox.com/how-to-accelerate-your-site-to-

    • joseph 9:28 pm on August 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks man, i currently use a wiredtree vps storing my lp images on amazon s3 . It helps. I tried vps.net, but it isnt managed, and it has a fifficult interface.

      • Slave Rat 3:20 am on August 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Well, hang on to your hat – I’m going to post a little script I had developed to pre-load landing pages from CloudFront while all the redirects happen in the background – The script is already up inside the Affiliate Twins’ Internet University message board. I should have it up today/Friday soon for everyone. It works well.


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  • NegBox 3:50 pm on July 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Image, Picture   

    Picture of ClickBank Check Gets All the Attention 

    The picture of my first ClickBank Check is bringing a constant trickle of traffic to this blog. I’m result #14 on Google right now.

    Why are people searching for ClickBank checks???

    If you’ve landed on this post searching for the Image of a ClickBank check, lets trade…

    You tell me what dark and dubious purpose you want it for here in the comments section, and I play nice and give you a link right here.

    Anyone have a clue?

    Picture ClickBank Check

    Picture of ClickBank Check

     
    • Meg 5:43 am on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I need to cut out a blank clickbank cheque, put my name on it, and paste it on my vision board. I’m a new affiliate of clickbank. In this business world, I’m new to everything.


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  • NegBox 8:24 pm on July 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cayman, , Legal, Limited Liability, LLC, Shell Game, , Taxes   

    5 Steps to Cover Your Legal Ass 

    Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer. Do not use any of the information on my site for anything other than wasting time.

    A note on playing nice

    The goal of this post is to protect you from the casual “oops” of business – NOT to arm yourself for battle. Oops happen. Keep an open line of communication through your site (a monitored e-mail address, or feedback form, for example). You’re not trying to be invisible or anonymous, you’re trying to shield yourself from legal retards, and want to listen for real communications. If John Doe wants to sue you because your logo reminds him of his favorite cat, you’ll be well protected. If Lady Gaga’s agent wants you to stop using something, you might want to stop or change regardless of where your corporation is based or how many shells you have – Consider it a bonus you most likely won’t have to pay legal fees, produce ridiculous logs or settle anything. Try to keep it at the goodwill level – the last thing you want is someone very pissed at you – The way to keep people from getting pissed is to let them get a hold of you easily, and right any wrongs quickly.

    I just watched the new Shoemoney System video and felt it was missing information. I find the multinational perspective missing from a ton of folks and material – Its like World War III broke out, the entire world is a nuclear barren wasteland but only the US survived… Only that didn’t happen – everyone else is still there, folks!

    Jeremy did an awesome job on the videos and it is really cool that he is sharing the information he is… Well, that and he is also sending a message out to the marketplace. The message reads “Don’t fuck with my brand and my stuff, or I’ll unleash the Sith Lords on your sorry ass“. Nice dual-purpose video! Wish I had thought of it.

    What Jeremy doesn’t mention is what he does when he is faced with an international dolt stealing his stuff. Are all his cases US-based? Only the ones worth pursuing?

    If you’re going to run ANY sort of business, you need to protect yourself legally. While Jeremy comes across as a nice guy, the world is full of assholes (I know this for a fact – just look at all the shit around you… And where does shit come from? Assholes, of course!)

    How you go about creating your little legal cocoon can take many forms. You can wrap yourself in the equivalent of bubble-wrap by incorporating an LLC in Delaware, or you can order a Stealth Klingon Bird of Prey from eastern Europe – it all depends if you want to protect yourself from a knee scrape or a plasma cannon, which in turn depends on what you’re trying to do – sell an eBook or scam the planet. Let’s assume you are not out to screw everyone, but would much prefer to stay away from trouble…

    The key to preventing problems in the US is to not be there. Simple, huh? It all hinges on what laws affect who and where. Your state laws do not affect other US states, and US federal laws do not affect other countries. What DOES affect other countries are international treaties and how different countries have implemented them – The nice thing about international treaties is that bullshit rarely makes it into a treaty, so you’re safer from some of the sue-happy legal circus.

    Here are five steps to ‘be gone’. You only really need Step 1 and 2 to protect yourself from 90% of nut cases. Step 3 and 4 if you’re paranoid. If you need to go as far as Step 5, please do not tell me what you’re into.

    Step 1

    Create a limited corporation overseas… You are an investor in it and a managing director – The “limited” means your liability is limited. Different countries will call this a bit different, but they all have this figure… Sociedad Anonima de Responsabilidad Limitada (Anynomous Limited Asociation) in most of Latin-Ameria, osaühing in Estonia, GmbH in Germany, Société à Responsabilité Limitée in France, etc… You get the point. Talk to a lawyer. A corporate lawyer. A good one. A very expensive one. You need one with experience in this or living in the country you’ve picked. Alternatively, there are a TON of online services that will do this for you in whatever locale you heart desires. I hear the weather in Cayman is awesome this time of year.

    Step 2

    Get all the papers squared away. Expect anywhere between two weeks and two months for this. Make sure you document your funding into the company, as well as who gets what share, and any major decisions, such as appointing yourself king of Umpa Lumpa Land and Managing Director of your company. Sounds retarded and ridiculous, you appoint yourself, yes… Just trust me you have to do all this paper stuff – don’t dismiss it.

    Step 3

    Register any domains you will use with a registrar located in your favorite jurisdiction – For example gandi.net in France. If you have to ask why, watch Jeremy’s video again.

    Step 4

    Get hosting overseas, and MAKE SURE their data center and your server is overseas. Ideally, make sure they don’t have a US presence at all (like a sister company). Some companies resell us-based virtual servers or will use a European IP that by some magic maps back to the US. Avoid with simple geo-location tools. Re-test the geolocation using traceroutes and network assignment maps after getting the hosting to make sure.

    Step 5

    Beware of anything linked to the site. If you have AdSense in the site, or drive traffic with AdWords, or if you promote a zip submit with neverblue, think what jurisdiction(s) neverblue or Google are in.

    A note on taxes

    If you are a US citizen or Permanent resident, make 120% sure you PAY YOUR TAXES. Consult a good tax person. Understand that whatever money you make (you, not the corp) will be taxed by the US just as if you had earned it in the US – Don’t let an overseas lawyer derail you here, taxes are serious shit – And remember the corp will be paying taxes wherever it is based. Again, I can’t stress this enough… Remember Capone, do your taxes right.

    Reprise of the note on playing nice

    The goal of this post is to protect you from the casual “oops” of business – NOT to arm yourself for battle. Keep an open line of communication through your site (a monitored e-mail address, or feedback form, for example). Listen for real communications. Try to keep it at the goodwill level –  The way to keep people from getting pissed is to let them get a hold of you easily, and right any wrongs quickly.

     

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  • NegBox 1:54 pm on July 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Burnout, Vacation   

    Avoiding Burnout 

    Imagine not caring anymore about your work or projects, and worse yet, not being able to find motivation to continue to work on anything. What would happen then?

    That’s what burnout feels like. It feels like your brain went on vacation with your drive and left your body behind with the mess.

    I used to think burnout was sissy bullshit excuses – I clearly did not understand where the line into burnout was, or how severe the problem could be, until I crossed it.

    I’m nowhere near burnout right now, but I did experience it several years ago. Since then I take regular vacations, breaks and decompress my mind.

    I’m going to give you just one tip: Be awake and present in the here and now with the people that matter the most to you.

    Take the time to turn off your computer, turn off your cell phone and let time roll by where you are present in the moment. Eckhart Tolle is full of shit, but he wrote a great book called “The Power of Now” – his entire book can be summed up in one paragraph, but if I do that you won’t get the little stories that make the knowledge stick. Get that book from Ekhart Tolle… Now.

    I’ve yet to see a good piece on work-life balance in the affiliate industry.

    Right now I’m on vacations, I’ve been off the grid since Friday and I’m coming back on Tuesday, wanted to drop a little note about unplugging… Which is what I’m going back to now.

    NO CARRIER

     

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  • NegBox 11:30 pm on July 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Warning   

    FUCK YOU GOOGLE – An Illustrated Love Story 

    Jake, your mother called and she said you kissed Melinda five years ago while we were dating - And now she's pregnant. It must have been you, filthy bastard.

    Woha Mary, that's not true... And why do you bring this up when we're getting along so well?

    Mary, let me call my nosy mom and see what she meant. I'm sure I did nothing wrong!

    See? Like I said...

    SEE! I think it was just a kiss. ONE KISS six months before we met!... We were experiementing. Why are you getting so worked up? Why do you take it so seriously?

    You know what Mary, I'm sick and tired of your High Maintenance stinky ass. I'm leaving - FUCK YOU BITCH!

     

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  • NegBox 10:56 pm on July 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ShoeMoney,   

    ShoeMoney System Postmortem 

    WHM Control Strip

    If you understand these terms, the ShoeMoney system is not for you. If you don't, you're fucked.

    The Shoemoney System should have been titled “The ShoeMoney Internet Marketing Hands-on Review”. It was clearly not geared towards me, or anyone that has half a clue – I thought Jeremy would go in-depth somewhere, but that was not the case. My bad, that sure was some money down the toilet… Jeremy’s toilet.

    So who is the ShoeMoney System aimed at? Its aimed and complete n00bs with no tech experience and no business know-how.

    This is a segment that honestly needs to know the truth and its a little disappointing when the truth is sugarcoated this much – never mind the claims of $2.5K in coupons, which turned out to be ‘$300 in coupons you already have and and are tired of getting in the mail every week’.

    I’m not saying my particular path to profitability is the one everyone should follow, but to this day I’ve done all of the six paths Jeremy mentions (yes, even eBay) and they’re all both A) Hard as balls to work profitably and B) Require a level of tech expertise well beyond the newbie. Forget the business aspect… The tech aspect should kill most folks dead in the water.

    Jeremy covers outsourcing the creation of things, like your logo or maybe a product. What these folks really need to know is to outsource the technical or specialized work – figuring out who to send it to and what to expect.

    Somehow.. I don’t imagine a 50-year old mother of three understanding what the hell is going on the WHM control strip in the picture to the right… The Business concepts are nice, but how the hell do you give folks the “technology common sense” so they can figure stuff out? I’ve seen it dozens of times – Folks that are over 40 today as a general rule did not grow up with their hands on computers and half the time they’re afraid they’re going to break something.

    It seems half of this internet marketing business is actually figuring out WHERE the business is. For that you need a basic understanding of how Web servers, DNS, and HTML work.

    It was fun – and I did pick up a trick or two, but if you’re reading my blog, you’re not the audience for the ShoeMoney system. Moving along…

     

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  • NegBox 6:34 pm on July 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Frank Kern, List Control, Mailing Lists   

    List Control 2.0 from Frank Kern Capsule Review 

    Disclosure: I’m not an affiliate for this product, I don’t know Frank and I get no compensation of any sort here… Not even good Karma… I don’t even have to justify to myself I made a good decision spending 2K on a training course – ’cause I sure as hell didn’t. You can put down your shields.

    After watching the videos almost twice over I wanted to write a little review here.

    In a nutshell: List Control covers it all – Coming up with a potential niche, identifying personas, building the website, promoting it, maintaining it. It is very complete.

    How well does it do it? Pretty well I must say. He has the right focus -or at least my same focus- across several KEY areas.

    1 – Frank mentions in one of the early videos of the program that the goal of promoting someone’s product via your list isn’t to be an affiliate – its to test the market for YOUR OWN PRODUCT. Yup, he knows where he is going. Even before I started promoting shitty Clickbank eBooks I knew the criteria wasn’t just popular stuff – it had to be something I could visualize myself with my own product out there.

    2 – The way the program transitions from ‘driving-to’ the list and selling products is so smooth I wonder if Frank even makes the distinction in his head. The constant throughout is good will – see #3

    3 – Good will. This shines through his entire program. “Do the customer right and they will do right to you.” Now I don’t ascribe to the ‘kumbaya drum circle hippy surfer pothead lets-make-the-world-a-better-place philosophy – the way Frank presents it, however, works. It works for very simple reasons, see #4

    4 – Frank seems to have read a couple of texts on NLP and influence. I’d bet any money he has read Robert Cialdini’s original book on the six principles of influence -that one is a masterpiece. Now NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic-Programming, is a pseudoscience at best – however the parts of NLP that seem to be in the program (you can tell by the funky names of mundane shit) are very mild and clearly in line with more scientific literature, so it works well.

    Some higlights that come to mind as I’m writing this:

    1- Understanding that you want to be selling your own products, and even have affiliates sell your stuff.

    2 – The idea of forming a Trade Union. Good discussion on how to go about it.

    3 – The explanations of his tactics on what he calls ‘triangle of trust’, boomerang, and results in advance.

    4 – The discussions and highlight of what worked in about 4-5 other launches and products – those are invaluable case studies.

    5 – The walkthrough the “mysterious stranger’ video he put together earlier this year – really good. You can see he is thinking of the emotions he wants to evoke on his target market. I’ll add to this that the idea of evoking emotions is a great thing to do while creating text for websites of sales pages. I’ve got an interesting process to do this for written pieces, which I’m hoping to share someday when I get a bit of time to write it out.

    6 – Walthough the Magic Bullet System launch videos and messages.

    7 – The ideas on building trust and understanding trust as a currency with your list subscribers – as well as mean of generating reciprocity, scarcity, and authority.

    Somewhere along the line you have to ask yourself how much Frank knows about marketing stuff to people outside the internet marketing community. Its a bit of a mystery – it does seem Frank has been extremely focused on the Internet Marketing market for the past few years, and that takes away some punch from the program.

    The bottom line is that this program is very-very good. However this doesn’t matter one bit unless you put it into practice.

    Is it worth the $2K price? It depends. If you’re not going to apply it, then it isn’t worth two cents. If you’re going to use it then it might be worth it.

    There is, however a way of selling via mailing lists that I believe is just effective, does your readers not just good but “awesome”, it isn’t new, and Frank doesn’t cover. I think its a real gem since I don’t see folks really doing it – probably because everyone has their heads up the shady Acai rebills instead of focused on getting folks to their destination. I’ll write up on this idea in a future post – not to be a dickhead and leave you hanging, I’d like to test this stuff before I write about it.

    PS: If you want to go get List Control – Google it, lazy ass.

     

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