Free Gift Card Marketing | CPA arbitrage

This CPA arbitrage method has been around since I first used the Internet in the 1990s, except it wasn’t as developed as it is right now. This method is used to build lists of audience categorized based on detailed demographics, pushing the prospects through marketing funnels before they end up on a highly targeted mailing list.

I’ll explain it with an example so that it will be easier to understand because we all have seen this example. It’s the “free Walmart gift card” email that we all received in our junk mail folders. This free gift card is offered by many marketers trying to build a list of a special kind of audience. I’ll explain this in a sec, just bare with me a little.

The funnel goes like this:

An offer of a free Walmart gift card that appeals to a wide range of audience. The marketers hire CPA affiliates to get their offer in front of as many people as humanly possible. The value of the card ranges depending on who they want to target. Usually $50-100 gift card is used if they want to target realistic audience who will immediately spot the fraud in a $1000 gift card offer.
When a prospect responds to the ad they are asked an easy question that could be answered by selecting from multiple choices. This question is used as a shopping behavior classifier.

The prospect is then taken to a landing page that congratulates him/her for entering to get a free gift card and the landing page goes over the many “free” offers that could be filled by the participant in order to qualify for a free $50 Walmart gift card.
Usually the offers page has other CPA offers that pay anything between $12 and $30 for a free trail lead. Based on which offer the prospect will respond to they are classified according to their shopping interests and behavior.

So right off the bat the CPA arbitrage marketers are making money from those free trial offers on the landing page.
If they don’t respond to any thing they are taken to another set of offers that doesn’t require any credit card info (usually pays around $1-2 per lead).

Now the marketer has a list of people that he knows their demographics because before any cards could be sent to them they need to enter their shipping details. And here comes the interesting part.

The marketer has to deliver on the free gift card promise, or else. The FTC is waiting for any complaint and they will get the marketer no mater where he/she hides.

The offer page always has a fine print somewhere says that it’s a draw and the participants need to qualify for the draw by responding to some free trial offers. So once the prospect is done making the marketer some money already as a commission on generating leads for the free trial offers, they receive a message that they entered the draw advertised on the main free gift card offer page.

Do you remember the qualifier question at the beginning of this process of list building? This qualifier is an indicator of what the prospect might be interested in buying right now. And based on that they will be receiving emails promoting exactly what they expressed interest in. All of the other qualifiers are used to decide what offers to be sent to this particular prospect.

So the marketer built his/her own list using someone else’s offers to finance the list building process. Genius, isn’t it [grin]?

Article Marketing: Personal Approach

Article marketing has been one of the best ways to drive targeted traffic and to build back links to a website. In this article I’ll emphasize on the personal approach in article marketing and how this should be the way to generate good income on the Internet.

Actually I’d like to call from this article for a “revolution” in making money online against the teachings of the “black hatters” and the “loop-holers” so that we all make money on the Internet while enriching the web with valuable knowledge and life experiences.

Without any more delays here is the theory around which this method is built:

In the real physical world the best kind of investment is real estate. And the best of which is the one that generates residual income on monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. Examples are rented apartment buildings, vacation time share, and hotels. It’s the best in terms of the amount of work from your side in order to get this money. All of the work is done by the acquisition of the property and hiring someone to do the maintenance and collect the rent, and in case of hotels you hire a company to manage it for you and collect the money.

At the end of the day your property is still yours, and could be acquiring more value with appreciation, and you get to make stable residual income as long as you own it. If you need a loan to start another business you can easily get one because you can back it up with your property ownership.

So far so good, but how to do that online?

On the Internet there is a whole virtual world of property called “websites”. Yes, people buy and sell websites, and rent advertising spaces on high traffic sites, and there is a whole industry built on flipping domains and websites.

If you can control a website or a blog with high traffic volume you can rent advertising space for a certain amount of money that’s proportional to the amount of traffic and the kind of audience of your blog.

The beauty of the idea is that it’s easy to own such property because a domain name is in the $10/year area and a hosting could be as low as $1.99/month (All Inclusive Plan for only $1.99/mo). Even if you can’t pay for those now, you still can build a free personal blog on blogger.com and when you have the money buy a domain name for $10 and change your blogger blog settings to be on your new domain.

What do I Mean with Personal?

When I say personal I am not talking about the whole “you” here. Personal can also mean just one side of you. Maybe the one side you don’t want to speak about out loud with your friends and family who don’t understand you, or the most exciting experience you ever had in your life, or even the hobby that you have a strong passion for and have gained experience around it over the years. Anything you like, but just one thing, is what you can blog and write articles about from a personal perspective.

I know that you might be thinking that article marketing can not be personal and successful at the same time. Don’t jump to a conclusion yet. I have a plan for you, just be patient and keep reading.

Why Personal?

If you have been around the Internet marketing field for a while you must have been over exposed to the “keyword research” concept. There will be a little keyword research that anyone can master in a matter of minutes, and does not involve a lot of thinking because you will be doing it in a “personal” way. Here is how:

The best company to rent your advertising space to is Google through Adsense program. The program displays Google ads in blocks that you have already installed the ad code on.To be accepted by this program it’s easier if your blog is personal.

Another reason is that we want to make money while enriching the Internet with your knowledge and experience. It’s YOUR touch that’s needed here for two reasons:

1. The audience gets more easily attached to a personal blog than to a corporate website. This means more loyal visitors to your blog.

2. You can be referred to as an authority in your subject by name. Names are easier to remember than urls or brands. It’s also easier to credit you for any content copied from your website even if the copier don’t do so. Your audience will know and your job of getting their host to take them down will be easier.

Most importantly, a personal blog complies with all the TOSs of advertising companies as far as I know (not a guarantee though).

Where is the Article Marketing Part?

It comes after you blog about yourself, your passion, your hobby, your education, your political or religious views, or anything you want to blog about. There is no keyword research here. All what you are doing is that you are spelling your guts out on the web.

This blog will be your personal website where people who want to know more about you can come and visit, like your friends on facebook and twitter.

The article marketing comes after you have a few posts on your blog, got accepted by Google adsense as a publisher, and you are ready to receive traffic to your blog to read your content first, and to see the ads second.

This blog will be your signature everywhere you go; in your email, on the forum signature, in your social media profiles, on your personal cards … everywhere.

The article marketing will not be marketing at all. It will be a contribution from you to the Internet society with your knowledge, views, experience … anything you like. And your signature here is no exception from the above list.

How to Do the Article Marketing:

Here comes the technical part which involves keyword research, but it has nothing to do with keyword tools. Here is the plan:

1. Go to Google Trends and find out what is the buzz about now. See if you can write about one of the top 10 hot searches or topics. If yes blog about it on your personal blog.

2. Go to ezinearticles.com and rewrite what you had on your blog in a formal way and publish it. Your bio box will include your personal blog and a few words about you as an author.

3. Do that daily if you can. Some days you’ll not find something you can write about. Take what you wrote yesterday, rewrite it and publish it elsewhere, like Squidoo.com, HubPages.com, GoArticles.com and AcrtilesBase.com.

The above plan takes 30-60 minutes at most if you are blogging about something that’s part of your personality. I mean you are not going to need a lot of research to come up with a 300 word article about something you love.

The kind of people who will visit your website is the “general audience” type. This means that a lot of “branding” advertising will show up on your blog. The beauty of “branding” advertisers is that they don’t care about immediate direct response and they do have the budget to burn. All what they care about is getting their name in front of as many eyeballs as they can, which is what they will get from your blog visitors.

To keep track of who visited your site, where they came from, what did they do on your site, how they exited your site, and how long they stayed there you can install the code from statcounter.com.

Let’s all focus on providing the valuable content and money will follow.

Are you with me?

The Three Main Components of Any Internet Business

Internet business can take any form and still need three main components. Without them there is no business. You can still make money with one or two, but to build a business that can become your rewarding career you’ll need all three components. These are only the basics though. Still you need more resources, tools, skills, and mentality in order to succeed as a strategic entrepreneur.

These three components are: a website, traffic to this website, and a list.

1. A Website: Despite what others might tell you, or the fact that it’s possible to make some money on the Internet without a website, you can not build an Internet business without a website. The website is the store front in some cases, like when you are selling your own or other people products. It could be your property that you rent (advertising space) or flip for quick profit as a virtual estate (as opposed to real estate). No matter what, you need the website. Even brick and mortar businesses that operate mainly off-line need websites. On the website you’ll have all the means to sell, presell, upsell, downsell, close, and serve your customers.

You can also use your website to get your customers to help you spread the word about your business to their contacts. A free website or a blog can do the job, but you are leaving hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the table to save a few bucks. A website is an asset that you can sell for big lumps of cash if you need to, but only if you own it in the first place. A free website is not yours, it’s someone esle’s.

2. Traffic to that Website: A website without traffic is as good as none. If no body sees the website no one will take any of the actions that make you money. There are two main ways to get traffic to your website: you can buy the traffic, or generate it. Buying traffic is the first option for serious businesses because it’s predictable.

By predictable I mean that you know that you need a certain number of visitors to make a certain amount of money. So, you can buy just as much traffic as you need to make as much money. The downside is that the traffic comes to your website only when you pay for it. If you need more traffic tomorrow, and you will, you’ll have to pay for it again. Generated traffic, on the other hand, is considered perpetual (or residual) traffic. By generated traffic I mean organic search engine (through search engine optimization) and social traffic, and by perpetual and residual I mean that you work for the traffic today and get traffic for this amount of work for a long time, and every amount of work you add to generate this traffic adds up to the amount of traffic you’ll be getting every single day on the long run.

Of course there are other factors to consider. A good business practice is to get traffic to your website from both ways, and to diversify the traffic sources within each category. For example, don’t rely totally on Adwords while you know that Google is so moody that you could lose Adwrods traffic overnight. The same for generated organic traffic; diversify.

3. A List: Also known as “virtual ATM machine”. Make collecting your website visitors emails your top priority. Give something cool for free and ask for email to send it to. Keep sending them cool stuff for free to train them on opening your emails. The more cool free stuff you send them the more authority you’ll give yourself and the more eager they will be to open your emails. The result is a loyal responsive list. This is the kind of list that can make you money on demand. All what you need to do to make money is to have something to sell, whether yours or as an affiliate, and recommend it to your list in an email. This IS money on demand.

Specialization or Diversification?

Carrying on any type of business comes with a certain amount of risk depending on the nature of that business. But no matter how secure your business looks and how stable your market sounds, the risk is there.

For this reason you might have heard a lot of business coaches, or from your instructors in the business school, that you need to diversify your business and never to “put all your eggs in the same basket”.

Sounds wise, no doubt. But it also means a lot of distraction if you are going to do business in 3 or more different markets. In order to succeed in any business you need to focus.

How would you focus and diversify your business at the same time?

This is a controversial dilemma, but I’ll try to put my own experience in this article. If I were to go back in time this is how I would do it:

First I’ll study the market and pick up 3-5 business models in totally different markets. Then I’d put a business plan for myself so that I get to start each business at a certain time in the near future. Based on information interviews with other business owners in each one of these models I would have put a time table for starting each of project once the previous one has gained momentum as planned.

My goal would be to get each project to be able to support my business as a stand alone project (as if the others don’t exist). Then I would pick the one I have more passion for and take to the next level.

This way I would have achieved the diversification to reduce my risk focusing on each project at a time, and specialized when appropriate in the one field that I would like to end my career in.

Iceland Volcano Can Make You Rich

It’s almost one week now since the first eruption of the Iceland volcano. Smoke and ash clouds have been costing airlines tons of money (in the $20 million/day range). Both airlines and passengers (including the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harbor) are canceling their flights to Europe due to the ash clouds.

I truly feel sorry for those trapped in the airports waiting for their governments to make other arrangements to get them back home, and for developing countries that are loosing millions of their originally tiny income from exports to Europe.

But as a marketer this is what I see:

Developing countries like Kenya exports flowers and fresh vegetables to Europe. For Kenya in particular, these exports account for more than 20% of the Kenyan GDP. Due to the current situation the Kenyan loss is estimated as $3 millions/day.

That’s a product that has already been produced, cannot be delivered to the buyers, and at the same time can not be stored or it’ll lose value.

What would you do as a marketer?

Exactly, find another market.

And that’s not a big deal of effort. If you can’t go North .. go South.

These fresh products were being delivered to Europe by air anyway. So, if you are in the import/export business and can see the opportunity you can make a few phone calls to prepare the market in some of the southern countries like Australia, or even other African and Arab countries and arrange for exporting these same products to them. In most Arabic countries there is no agriculture, or at least not enough to feed themselves (that’s why they import their food from Europe and the Americas). It will even be cheaper for them.

And don’t worry about the quality. These products were prepared to be imported by European countries. They had to pass the European standards check, which makes them good for all other nations.

This will solve a big problem for most of the affected parties, except for Europeans, but they have a bigger problem to worry about.

Brand Names Are Taking Over

During the first quarter of 2010 it was obvious that the biggest names in affiliate networks are flirting with brand names. And although these networks are criticizing the Google slap and it’s impact on the affiliate marketing industry, they are doing the same.

Small affiliate marketers are now having their accounts terminated or suspended for low volume. This means that small affiliates are now facing the challenge of either growing into big boys or losing their business. This challenge is time sensitive. And affiliate marketers who are just starting and those who lost their Adword accounts are supposed to find an efficient way to grow their business according to a plan.

The picture is not different on the other side of the coin. Small advertisers are now facing the challenge of being crashed by the big brand names. Some networks,  like hydra, is now moving on this new trend: brand names. If you don’t have a well known brand name your offers are facing the threat of elimination.

Which brings us to the point of this article. Branding is the key to succeed in 2010. And it works for both advertisers and affiliates.

What I expect to see during the rest of 2010 is as follows:

1. Advertisers will be spending more on branding their names. This will open the door for new positions in those small companies that will focus only on media placement and getting their name in front of as many people as they can, for as long as they can. Fly-by-night businesses will be having hard time getting their offers accepted to rotate on big affiliate networks, and as a result scams artists will be very busy finding a way around the new situation.

2. Affiliate marketers will also try to brand their names, or turn their small home “commission-based-sales” businesses into registered marketing companies with their own trademarks. This will put the marketers in a position that they will have to be picky on what to promote in order to maintain a good reputation for their trademarks.

3. The very limited liability of affilaite marketers will be a history due to the new FTC regulations, and the branding trend they have to take in order to succeed.

4. The small affiliate networks that deal with small advertisers will have a lot of work to do due to the increasing demand from the small advertisers who can not, or are not willing to, brand themselves, and due to the termination/suspension of low-volume affiliate marketers by the big networks. It’s pretty obvious that the quality of offers on these networks will be questionable and this will push their affiliates to work hard on protecting their anonymity.

As have been seen before in the offline world, small business will shrink, or be forced to the back alley, while big brands will be expanding. Good for the consumer, good for the super affiliates, good for the affiliate networks either way, and bad for the scam artists. New and low-volume affiliate marketers have to take it seriously from now on.

The “Not So Secret” of Super Affiliates

If you have been around doing affiliate marketing for a while you must have noticed that there are some names that are always at the top of the list of super affiliates. And since you have been around for quite a while you must be at the same time on some of the lists of those super affiliates.

Whenever a new product is about to be released you’ll get emails from those top super affiliates giving you heads up about the new product, warming you up and preparing your mind set to be in the buying mode. And when it’s time for the launch you’ll receive an email (or several ones) telling you about their bonus for you in case you buy through their affiliate link. Sometimes, actually most of the time, the bonuses value is way beyound the commission that you’ll earn from buying that product through your own affiliate link, and difinitely more than what you are going to pay for the actual product.

That makes it look like a better deal for you to buy through the super affiliate’s link than when you buy directly from the seller or through another affiliate link (including your own link if you are allowed to).

And that IS the “not so secret” of the super affilaites. Build a targeted list, keep in contact with your list with bonuses and free information (keep moving the free line), and give incentives for them to buy through your affilaite link.

The real secret though is how to engineer this process. You’ll need to prepare a list building system that is engineered to funnel in a certain demography, subniche … whatever your target is. But first you’ll need to study this market and be aware of the past and the forcasted trends, the products that serve this market, and evaluate your share “to be” from this market and how to get it.

There are resources that will help you with engineering your list building system. In addition to the basics (the hosting, autoresponder or list management system, tracking software etc …) you’ll also need to have at your disposal a stock, or a source of, master resale rights products that you can use as bonuses (in case you don’t have your own products).

If you find this process intimidating it is recommended to get yourself a coach who knows the ins and outs of this business and can hold you accountable for your business building tasks as scheduled.

Unforunately I have too much on my plate to think about coaching, besides I don’t see my previous students doing any good (perhaps because I am not harsh enough or easy going). But don’t hesitate to ask any questions using the comment feature below.

The good news is that there are super affiliates out there who are willing to share with you their secrets, for a fee of course. And those super affiliates are the only ones you can trust in this environment of deceptive misguidance (to rob you off your money and minimize the competition). And at the top of list is Jennifer Ledbetter (aka potpie girl). In her private training she teaches how to use free resources to generate cash as an affiliate. She also teaches how to expand on a successful free campaign into a serious source of income they professionals do.

Her methods are time proven and have been generating cash for me since 2009.

Click here to get a free taste of her training.

Forex is where the real money is

I have been working online for years, and this is how I provide for my family. But recently I attended a webinar by a real estate and forex multi-millionaire and I was shocked.

It turned out that the real money is in the trading of oil, precious metals, and currencies.

The real money is in FOREX!

Every day, every single day, there is an average of $3.91 Trillion being traded.

Can you imagine how much is that? Every day more money than enough to feed the whole world for years is being traded in certain places accessible from anywhere as long as you have a computer and Internet connection.

You can buy and sell oil, gold, sliver, platinum, and foreign currencies for less and sell them for more. You can do that several times a day.

Is it ethical?

Whatever it is … it doesn’t seem to bother the governments, national central banks, other banks, and all sorts of financial institutions that participate in the trading activities every single day Monday to Friday.

Individuals engaging in Forex trading are increasing every single day. And those come from all walks of life. I personally know a university professor and a college drop out doing it and they both seem to be happy with their results.

Is it a good time for you to hop in?

An honest answer from what I understood is that it is not. The best time to take your share in forex trading is long gone already.

But …

Now is better than later. Today is better than tomorrow. Here is why (according to the seminar and after I searched Wikipidia):

Since 1971 the whole world adopted the currency floating regulations so that any currency is just a piece of paper with no real money deposited in the central bank (formerly known as bank notes, now it’s just currency).

With the exponential inflation rate the currencies tend to lose value over time, and this is expected to continue until the currency value equals 0.

It’s not something new or mere predictions, the currency systems have been used 4 times in human history, and every time the currency ended up with 0 value and a disaster (usually a war).

If you want your share you need to start immediately. Don’t wait until tomorrow. I am personally starting to devote 1 hour/day from now on until I get hold of it.

Where to start?

If you are a regular reader of my blog you’d expect me to refer you to a really good course out there to help you understand the basics before you start. But not this time.

This time I recommend that you download a piece of software and practice on it. After you see how the software works and practice enough (for a couple days, weeks, or as long as you need) you can start experimenting with real money while reading and learning how to do it manually.

You see, this software automates every thing, it reads the charts for you, predicts the trends and gives you recommendations in real time so that you don’t need to be good at understanding trends, reading charts, or making predictions. You only need to know how to click with the mouse!

It is also useful to understand how it works and to know how to do it manually. But you can put that off for now. Just make money and then learn how it works. It’s really that simple.

Here is my affiliate link to download this software:

===>> Click Here to Start Anywhere in the World.

Please come back after you try the software and let me and the readers know about your experience. I promise to approve your comments as long as you don’t insult or spam :-).

Why do you need to build a list?

There are several models of online businesses. There are online shopping malls, niche stores, affiliate marketing, memebrship sites, and a lot of other forms. There is one common feature among all forms of online businesses: Money is in the List.

Even offline, stores like Old Navy, Sears, Gap, Banana Republic, Best Buy, and a lot more are using emails to multiply their sales several folds through coupons and special offers.

They all do that for a reason. They all realized the MONEY is really in the LIST.

Building a list is the one trend in marketing that never gets old. The method of communication might change with the advancement of technology, but the principles are the same.

The first thing that might have come to your mind is that those businesses are big already and they are seaking to spread their businesses to reach more customers. You are right, in a way.

Those businesses started on the ground. They have locations and over the years they have already built a brand name with reputation. But for you to start a business on the virtual world, whatever your business model is, you’ll need to build a list and capitalize on the power of email marketing.

Think about it as a crowd of customers that gave you the permission to sell to them. All what you need to do to make money is to find what you’ll want to sell to them, and  send them an email about it. That’s it. It’s like a virtual ATM machine.

Your list can also be the fastest source of traffic to flood any website with visitors.

This is as true for affiliates as for merchants, except that affiliates have no after-sale obligations.

List building is easy, it is actually the easiest thing to do in order to create a steady source of decent income within weeks from now. But not any list will do it. There are strategies and research involved in the process. You need to know those in order to be making a good use of your marketing efforts, time, and budget.

About the budget, it doesn’t have to be a big one. In fact, there are ways to build that list without any upfront investment. Just keep in mind that as soon as you have the money you’ll have to start investing in building your biggest asset for earning online; your list.

In the following few days I’ll be writing regularly about list building stages, strategies, tools, and how to monetize the process of list building.

Stay tuned my friend. This is going to be the best investment of your time.

FOMT Admin

Work At Home does not equal MLM

Whenever you mention working from home people jump to a conclusion that it is an MLM. Whether they are negative or positive about it, it is not necessarily the case. There are hundreds of ways to work from home without having to be involved with a multilevel marketing (network marketing) company.

Nothing against the industry, but a lot of scams have been disguised as MLM companies. This gave the industry a bad reputation even to those who’d never heard about it. Consequently, when you mention that you work at home, some people start judging you without even giving you the chance to explain what you are doing.

There are hundreds of work at home models that don’t involve recruiting, autoships, commissions, or any MLM-like activities.

Examples are: Virtual assistant, customer service representatives, catering, baby or pet sitting, dog breeding … just to name a few.

There are companies and small business that outsource some tasks, like writing, coding, accounting, designing, even some lazy students outsource their assignments.

You see … Working from home does not equal MLM.