turnkey business blog

Archive for June, 2006

When the “Internet Snake Oil Salesmen” Comes to your town….

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Internet Opportunity Virtual ScamsRecently I had a conversation with a lady who is interested in having her own web presence or entity. She’s in her fifties and was looking into making some extra money online. She explained that she had gone to a seminar put on by some travelling Internet “experts”. The same old pitch by the sounds of it; give them $3000, pay a monthly fee of $29.99, and receive all the help they need to succeed with an online business. The lady I’m mentioning happens to be the mother of a childhood friend, so I was quite happy to hear she had not taken the bait.I’ve seen these travelling road shows come through town more frequently in the last few years. I liken them to the snake oil salesmen of the wild wild west.

They ride into town, promise an instant cure to all your problems, collect their money, and head out. Sure the odd person really follows through and succeeds but it’s rare. The hard working netrepreneurs follow through with the services provided by the “Internet gurus”, but they could have succeeded without ever paying for expensive domain and hosting fees, monthly membership fees, bloated pay per click costs, or ridiculous web building services. Since the services provided are all all legit, it’s technically not an illegal scam. The services provided are way overpriced and the quality of the web building tools are so weak that the user (or sucker) is handicapped from the very start.

I consider most these so-called Internet snake oil salesmen are running a “virtual” scam. The consumer is handicapped to such an extent they are very unlikely to succeed with their online business. I’m sure this article will annoy (and possibly anger) some Internet business people, but since I’m not mentioning any company names or pointing any direct fingers, this article can only compel shady Internet opportunists to take inventory on their products, services, and the true value of what they are selling. For the companies that offer Internet services for a fair price; this article is a non-issue, as they know their product or service value is high.

I’ve spoken with others that were not as lucky as the lady I mentioned above. I know a pretty smart fellow that spent over $3000 dollars on a company that rolled an Internet business seminar through his town. This company rented a conference room in one the nicest hotels in the city, and had advertised months before their arrival. They had slide shows, videos, bar graphs, a free lunch (a stale danish), a free 2 hour presentation, and of course the 5 hour seminar for the hot prospects (“those who are interested in creating massive wealth, in their pajamas, and from the comfort of their own home”). They had some “guest speakers” that claim to make millions of dollars a year from their web sites. They showed how money has been pouring in via the web sites built with their system, and all the while convincing my friend to “take action”. Well, as I mentioned prior, he took action to the tune of $3000 dollars and never made a cent. He never even found the time to decide on a product or build his first web site.

The plain truth is you don’t need to spend alot of money to launch an online business. If you are just starting out, and want to build a web site or blog that makes money, you don’t have to spend a dime. There is an abundance of free information regarding online business opportunities. You don’t need to buy domains or hosting (although I do recommend when you have decided you are destined to run an Internet business. You don’t need to sell anything, carry inventory, pay for ecommerce services, deal with refunds, or hire a web site designer. You can simply create a free blog or web site and slap on some contextual advertising (such as Google Adsense). One of my partners has a free resource for doing just that. You can surf over to Kenny Allman’s Money Traffic. I’ve mentioned Kenny’s site before and will likely be mentioning it again in the future. His blog contains 100% free information, and his system shows you how to make money without spending a cent.

The next time you are invited to a hotel conference room in your area, and promised to learn how to make millions of dollars from home, remember this article and proceed with a wary eye. These smooth operators are very good at what they do, so don’t be a sucker for their virtual con. Just remember that you can go it alone. If you do decide to buy your own domain name and hosting, you should never pay more than $10 a year for your domain name, and $6 a month for hosting. Your hosting and domain costs can be as low as $2.00 a month if you only need shared hosting. I’d throw some hosting and domain companies here with affiliate links included, but due to the subject of this article…….I’ll point out my favorite domain and hosting companies in a future post.

Online Web Site Builders – Did Someone Actually Get It Right?

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

I’ve never been sold on web site builders, as I’ve always considered designing and creating custom web sites (and blogs) the only way to go. Even in my early years of online wealth building, when I suffered long and arduous days on a beat up keyboard, I never wanted to experiment with web builders. I did have a few peers that gave these online services a go, and some of them actually did build quality web sites, hit their target markets, and began making a solid profit.

The problem is that they were paying too much for monthly fees (in my opinion) and they were restricted in bandwidth, storage, and overall site design options. I noticed that my fellow netrepreneurs using these builders were dreadfully handicapped by the lack of templates to choose from. Most of the templates offered at the time embodied bloated code and a weak sense of bandwidth conservation. Nope….the whole option was a waste of time in my books. Until recently, I have seen nothing to change my strong opinion on this. The cynic in me is convinced that 95% of the original web site builder companies were self serving entities that took full advantage of the so-called “newbie”.

They promised this and that, telling their woeful prospects that they could “succeed online” and make BIG profits using their amazing builder. The reality is that without a massive amount of perseverance, the beginner is destined to be stuck with a monthly bill, and a dead web site floundering around in the Internet desert. As you can tell by reading this, I too have been duped by the odd unscrupulous Internet company – companies that gather the innocent, empty their wallets, and disappear underneath the cyber rock where they came from.

Last week I got an email from a buddy of mine who lives in the UK, and is one of my online business peers from way back. He wanted me to check out his new web site which he used a builder to create. I was surprised that he was still using web site builders, but I promised to take a look and give him my opinion. The first thing that surprised me was his Google page rank (6). The next thing that surprised me was his Alexa rating.

I ditched email and paid for a long distance call over to the Midlands (north of London for all the folks who have never had the pleasure of visiting the British Isles). I had to ask him some questions; like how old the site was, where he was getting his inbound links, and more importantly, what kind of money was he pulling in.

We made it a short call to save me the many dimes, and we switched over to a Skype call. He proceeded to fill me in on his site and which company he was using. The web builder he used was hosted by Web.com, so I was quick to get surfing and check these guys out. It turns out they are based in Atlanta, GA, and have some serious muscle. Should have guessed, judging by their domain name.

After I prepared some of this article, I Skyped my buddy back and asked if I could login into his builder account. He said I could give it a good thrashing, as long as I backed up his site and blog. We backed it up, and I began flipping photos, loading flash files, tweaking code, changing templates, adjusting setting……you get the point right. What surprised me was the speed. All the ones and zeros were crunching along nicely, and he said that this speed was the norm since he started his project.

Just before I got off the final Skype call, he mentioned that the Web.com support staff were very helpful with his SEO. Sounded like all the right advice to me. No tricks, no scripts, and all good clicks. So my fellow cynics, I have to admit that when it comes to site builders, I think someone might have finally got it right.

Web.com’s Features

Storage – 5 GB

Bandwidth (Transfer) – 20 GB

Free Domain – Yes

Personal E-Mail Addresses – 30

Phone and Online Support – 24x7x365

Web.com’s proprietary web site builder – Yes

Upload: Audio, Video, Flash – Yes

Photo Manager – Yes

Password Protection – Yes

Web Site Statistics – Yes

File Manager & HTML Editor – Yes

FTP Access – Yes

Blogs – Yes

Marketing Features – Yes

Yahoo® Search Marketing credit – Yes

Google AdWords credit – Yes

In Victoria, Hunter S. Thompson, Financial Freedom, and Tangents

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Well my wife and I had to hit the road again. It’s the summer, and there are too many beautiful places to visit. This junket will take us to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. For those of you have never visited this Vancouver island jewel, I highly recommend an excursion of your own. There is alot to see and do in Victoria, so on your first trip you may not see it all. Just make sure you visit the inner harbor the first time you go. It’s one of the most magnificent locations in the world.

Sorry that this post is a little off topic, but it does tie into the theme of financial freedom. The freedom an Internet business affords you is priceless. I’m going to enjoy writing on this blog more than any other web entity that I’ve been involved with. I need this outlet to just spew off on any subject, even if it’s not directly related to Internet marketing, online income, contextual advertising, etc.

I’ve spent countless hours helping family, friends, and strangers get their small businesses online, so sometimes the whole subject gets a little dry for me. The thing about it is though….the answer to everyone’s question (how to make money online) is simple. Write good content that people actually want to read, and you will make money online.

Much like my article ROI in the KOA this one is all about the freedom you can have when you escape the life of an employee, or slavery brought on about by self employment. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that some people love their jobs, or their self employment work, and if that’s the case, they are very lucky. Most readers of this blog are in the business of web publishing, or on their way to being in the business of web publishing. Looks like I’m off course again. Maybe I will NEVER write an article that doesn’t touch on online income.

I’ve always loved writers that go off on tangents and that is what will be happening on Zulit.com. Readers who don’t want to go for the ride, can simply click away to another topic. One of my favorite writers is Hunter S. Thompson, and he is one of the kings when it comes to going off in tangents. He had some mind altering substances running through his blood, so I think that had something to do with his writing style. If you’ve never read one of his books, do yourself a favor, and pick one up. You might want to see the movie (starring Bill Murray) entitled, Where The Buffalo Roam, which is a humorous take on Hunter S. Thompson’s crazy lifestyle.

One of the kings of tangent-exploitation is the late Ronnie Corbett from the hit BBC comedy The Two Ronnies. His monologues were priceless, and sometimes painful, because he would drift so far off the main subject. Sometimes I just wanted him to hurry up and get back to finishing his initial story, but the tangent WAS the essence of his monologues. So if some readers visit this blog JUST to read about online income, my apologies are extended to you now, as I’m not likely to stick to any one theme. There is a category menu on the right sidebar, and there is always the search field at the top/right of the page, if you need to bolt at anytime.

So it’s 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in Victoria today and I’m off to Bear Mountain Golf Club with my best friend, whom I grew up with in Terrace, British Columbia. As young boys, we were serious golfers when we were off the ice. Growing up in any area of northern Canada, a young boy was destined to be strapping on some hockey skates and dreaming of an NHL hockey career. Wayne and I fit that description perfectly. Anyway, I better get my clubs ready for the day. Thanks for coming by again, and going on my little ride. I hope you enjoyed my “tangents”, and perhaps learned a little bit about Victoria, Hunter S. Thompson, or the Two Ronnies.

Worthy Quicky – Worthy Clicky

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

I’m not much for short posts that simply link off to another blog or web site, but when I read an interesting article that is worth sharing, I will post it. This is a good bit on what blog readers like from writers. This bit was written by Liz Strauss.

I’ll be posting today’s main article in a few hours. It’s early morning and I’m just having my wake up coffee. I found a reference to this piece when I was surfing through Darren’s site this AM. My morning routine includes visiting all the blogs in my blog roll to see what my favorite bloggers are up to.

Trump University Entrepreneur Courses

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Want to read and ebook that blows Trump’s lessons on wealth creation away! See Jeffrey Ringold’s site for step by step debt to wealth creation.

I want to keep my Trump University posts fairly close together in sequence, so for the next 7 days I will briefly outline each of the main TrumpU offers. Today I would like to list the core subjects of the TrumpU entrepreneur’s package. Just like the real estate curriculum, the entrepreneur’s curriculum offers a wide array of well conceived lesson plans. My personal favorite of this series is entitled, “The Entrepreneur’s Success Code”.

Anyway, I list off all the possible educational products available for anyone starting and running their own business. These courses are great for people in business startup, as well as for people who are already running their own business.
TrumpU has 4 standard online courses, 1 premium online course, 2 audio courses, and a short assessment course for $29.

– Online course code (EMP) the entrepreneurship mastery program is a ten week course that you (more…)

Trump University Real Estate Courses

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Learn how to make huge money on forclosures. This is a must read folks!

Well it’s no surprise to me that Donald Trump launched a series of online information products. The branding alone ensures success of some kind. To be honest, I’ve always found “the Donald” to be a fairly cheesy fella, so I was somewhat skeptical when I was asked to review the Trump University information products. I had trouble correlating Trump Plaza, Tower, Taj Mahal, Casino, Marina, Institute, and of course Trump’s Apprentice television series, with the information product business. It all makes sense though because Donald’s vast resources allow him to branch out and diversify easily. In this post I’d like to briefly review the TrumpU informational products. If you don’t want to read any further on the Donald, click here to learn how to make money my way. (more…)

Paid Online Surveys – Worth Your Time and Money?

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

Update: This week is the anniversary date of this post on Paid Online Surveys. I’ve removed three of the companies that were listed below, and there is one survey company that is by far the favorite.

When looking at which survey company was joined the most over the past year, Survey Hawk was the one chosen 90% of the time.      

Paid online surveys have become extremely popular due to the ease in which people can sign up and start earning money. When most people initially dream of financial freedom earning online income, they begin hunting for the fastest and most lucrative way to earn money. The problem the novice has is choosing an online business model they will succeed with. They soon find out that there is a myriad of possibilities, and thousands of clever Internet marketers promising to make them rich quick. The paid online survey companies are experts when it comes to convincing neophytes to join their program (for a fee). The good news is that there are some paid online survey companies that do deliver on their sales pitch.

You Should Always Be Paid For Your Information

Nothing exasperates me more than some survey company calling me the moment I sit down to a juicy steak dinner. It never fails actually; these graceless survey companies call me and ask for my time in completing a telephone survey with them. My standard answer is,

“Sure, pay me $75 and I’ll be happy to spend 7 or 8 minutes with you, giving you some information about my personal spending habits”.

It’s absurd really. I don’t say this in a rude way – I enjoy learning about all business models, so I usually continue to ask them what they do with the finished survey, and how much money they’re making with it. Information equals money – always has and always will (more…)