Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Midway Battle - SBI! vs GRWeB 3.0

I just reached midway in both SiteBuildIt! and Getting Rich With eBooks 3.0. I have promised you a review, so..  Let's make them battle!

Yes, I know this is not an even fight. SiteBuildIt! is an all-inclusive passive income business building program, while Getting Rich With eBooks is a course for making best-selling ebooks. But, for a newbie they stand almost on the same line.

"I want to start earning passive income online - tell me what to do!" - They both promise to deliver that.

Also, SiteBuildIt! costs $299 per year and Getting Rich With eBooks 3.0 costs $400. So why not compare them?

Time required - Winner: Getting Rich With eBooks 3.0

I used about 40 hours to reach the midway in SiteBuildIt!

Reaching midway in Getting Rich With eBooks took me 8-10 hours.

Getting things done - Winner: SiteBuildIt!

After SiteBuildIt! day 5 I have:

  • Preliminary site map for my future site. That is, plans for 57 pages with SEO-friendly keywords
  • Draft for my site's home page. It is not search engine optimized yet, but otherwise ready
  • A domain. Included in the price, it is registered and ready for me
  • Learned a lot on copy writing and search engine optimization
  • Learned how to evaluate my ideas
  • Knowledge that my site has commercial potential
  • Monetization plan for my site

After video 4 of Getting Rich With eBooks I have:

  • Homework to write the whole book
  • Homework to invent a top-selling book title
  • Homework to buy a domain
  • Homework to design graphics for my book and web site OR to hire a designer to do that
  • Homework to check legalities around my subject OR to hire a lawyer to do that
  • Learned how to evaluate my ideas
  • Learned some valuable tips and tricks about eBook writing and publishing 
  • Knowledge that my idea has commercial potential

In SiteBuildIt! you'll do the work during the course, not as an extra homework. It is like a parent holding your hand when you have to face something scary. Whenever it is time to do something, it says: "Do it now and then come back to me".

In Getting Rich With eBooks you'll watch the video first and then you get an assignment for the next week. After the first 3 videos I felt that the homework was reasonable. The video went through the information needed to do the tasks. But the fourth video was different. It skimmed through an awfully large topic - writing a book, and then gave an assignment to write it. Now I have a horrible list of homework to do.

Extra costs - Winner: SiteBuildIt!

When I joined these courses, I did expect to have some extra costs. I expected that I need to buy a domain and get some graphics for my site/book.

SiteBuildIt! gave me a nice surprise gift - the domain is included in the price. Not only that, also the WordTracker credits needed for keyword research were included. So I now have this impression that with SiteBuildIt! there might not be any extra costs for me at all. We'll see.

Getting Rich With eBooks gave me a disappointment - it suggests that I should hire several experts to help me with different issues. Well, it does say that I can do them myself too, but that it is not worth it. I assume Vic is right here. It may not be worth it to do everything yourself. But it sure would have been nice to know there are so many extra costs *before* I joined the course.

Simplicity - Winner: Getting Rich With eBooks

SiteBuildIt! will overwhelm you at the start. You'll get this feeling that it pours so much information to you that you'll choke. It has its own concepts, abbreviations and tools. And you'll lose some precious time learning them. But on the other hand, the tools save you a lot of time.

Getting Rich With eBooks is not complex. It tells you the minimum what you'll need to do and then asks you to do that. Simple tasks after another. The downside is that you'll start to wonder if the course really told you everything that is important. If it does, he offers nice counterbalance to SBI! Maybe all those well planned steps are not required to succeed. If it doesn't... well, then your chances of succeeding may be smaller.

Worth per penny - Winner: Who knows?

Worth is very hard to evaluate. It might have been either of these two courses that gave me the critical piece of information. If you take the opportunity, I think one can succeed with either of these programs.

However, I do think Getting Rich With eBooks costs too much compared to what I have got from it this far. Especially taken into account that it contains very little information that SiteBuildIt! wouldn't have.

I bought SiteBuildIt! with the monthly subscription option. It costs me $30 per month and I think it is reasonable priced. However, if you don't know how to transfer domains and web pages away from SiteBuildIt! system, they will charge you the monthly subscription price for as long as your site is up.

Worst this far

In SiteBuildIt! the worst is definitely "The Way of The Tortoise". Everything proceeds so slowly!

Another thing that I have grown a bit annoyed is the repetition and constant material over-delivery. They want to make sure that everybody surely get the main points. I feel that is a bit outdated thinking and would prefer more condensed course, implemented in a way that I would not feel that I'd miss something important if I took the shorter route. But both of my problems here are just minor annoyances.

In Getting Rich With eBooks the worst for me is the lack of trust. It feels like I would be dealing with a car salesman. Can I trust what he says?

Also, the videos are of poor quality. They are not cut in any way, even to hide the technical problems they had in the live courses where the recording was made. I'm not really interested in waiting 15 minutes if someone raises her hand or not. While in SiteBuildIt! the slowness comes from the huge amount of study material, in Getting Rich With eBooks the slowness comes from laziness. This man supposedly sold eBooks for million dollars, yet he cannot afford to get his videos properly edited.

Best this far

SBI! has removed the pressure from my project. I don't need to hassle around, worry and get everything ready today. With this program, it is easy to believe that I will succeed. But it may take a bit longer than I expected. Fortunately, there is still plenty of time before my goal deadline.

That is my best benefit, but then, I am a programmer with over 10 years of experience. I'd bet that most people would say that the best thing in SiteBuildIt! is that it frees you to concentrate on the business. It handles all the technicalities for you so you can focus on the issues where the money is.

Getting Rich With eBooks has taught me an effective way to do simple keyword research. Even though I now have all the nice tools that SiteBuildIt! offers, I still do quick sanity checks for the main keywords using Vic's method. Simple, fast and easy.

Another great thing in Getting Rich With eBooks is the Affirmations Audio. That 20-minute recording is a work of art. It has perfect affirmations needed to succeed in a passive income project. I do have my own affirmations, but I really like these. I still listen to this audio almost every day.


I think SiteBuildIt! is the winner for me, no doubt there. I feel that it will teach me everything I need to know about passive income web business. If something, it may teach me too much!

I also like that in SiteBuildIt! I can access all the information there is after the initial $30 payment. You cannot access all the tools right away, but that is not needed. Right now I feel that the biggest reason for Getting Rich With eBooks to hide parts of the course is that if people would be able to see everything right away, they might turn back and never return.

At the end of my first review I thought that Getting Rich With eBook did offer value for a newbie. But then I found SiteBuildIt! Of course, they work on a bit different subjects, but this far Getting Rich With eBooks has contained very little information that is not available in SiteBuildIt!

If after all this you are still interested in Getting Rich With eBooks, here is my advice:
Pay the initial $12, watch the available two videos and download Vic's keyword research excel. Also get the affirmations audio. After that, evaluate the situation again! Do you really want to continue? If not, just remember to cancel your subscription so that they don't continue charging you. 

Right now I'm really exited about SiteBuildIt! It is a solid program. It is so good that I am thinking whether or not I should buy a one year subscription for my sister as her birthday gift.

My second advice to you is:
Visit SBI! Order Page right away and take their monthly subscription option. That will give you access to a goldmine of passive income study material and still leaves you a nice way out if you find out that the program is not for you. They do have 90 day money back guarantee too, so there really is no risk seeing the course material.

Even though I no longer recommend Getting Rich With eBooks, I'm not resigning either. There are 4 videos more even though the eBook is (or should be) ready already. Vic has several times mentioned how important the steps after the book creation are, so I am really eager to hear what he has to offer. But you'll have to wait some time for the next review... it will take me some time to write the book!

Overall, I'm glad that I have two programs instead of just one. It gives me some perspective on what things are really important to earn passive income online.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Week 11 - Relaxing Pays Off

Look at this:

That is 19 hours!

I can honestly say that Freckle saved this week. I had a feeling that I did very little for my passive income project this week. But Freckle says I did over 15 h of SiteBuildIt!, which is more than in any previous week.

So, what changed?

I stopped trying so hard.

When I wrote my last week report I was a bit fed up. Things were not proceeding with the speed I was hoping for and the sparkle of this passive income project was wearing off. I definitely did not start this week with enthusiasm and motivation. As my goal states that I should have fun and relax, I did that. I decided that this week I would concentrate on other things and do my passive income project on the side, only when I feel like it.

On monday, I did not really feel like doing SiteBuildIt!, so I stopped just after half an hour. But on several other days SiteBuildIt! just captured me. Still, I did A LOT of other things, including some things that I have been waiting to do for a long time.

If I would not have Freckle I'd say that I just skimmed through the week doing things that I enjoy and visited my passive income project every now and then. But the pulse disagrees - telling me that this is the best week this far.

I definitely need to continue taking things more easy!

Halfway there!

Freckle tells me that I have now put 40 h to SiteBuildIt! That have taken me to the end of day 5 and I am now officially halfway to finish that course.

I am also halfway in Getting Rich With eBooks 3.0 after spending little over 4 hours on it. Quite a difference.  But I do think I may have spent couple of hours to this course before I got Freckle, so the actual amount might be 6-8 hours.

Tip of the week

This one comes from Steve:

Getting too excited or passionate about a goal actually pushes it away. You wouldn't feel so excited if you were already there and living it. It would just feel normal to you. Excess emotion, even positive emotion, can be a source of friction that makes it harder to achieve your goals.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why I Choose To Pay

I'm 10 weeks into my passive income project. By now I have bought several eBooks, joined Getting Rich With eBooks 3.0 course and become a member of SiteBuildIt! My former self would be asking me now:

She is a smart person. Why on earth is she buying that stuff when there is so much material and tools available for free? 

Well, dear former self, I have several compelling reasons.

I want to attract nice and happy customers

If you act like a poor customer, you'll attract poor customers. No matter what your affirmations say.

Yes, that is about mindset issues. Soon after I started this project, I was getting feelings that I should change my shopping habits. At first I did not realize why I was so compelled to do that. Then I read this wonderful article series by IttyBiz: Your 5 Customers, or How To Sell To Damn Near Anybody. That is a bit long read, but you will not regret it.

While I was reading, I was trying to find out which customer I am myself. I did not perfectly match to any of the categories, but I did find myself somewhere between Bob and Daniel. When I read the personality description for those customers I was shocked:

Bob - He is anxious, concerned, and risk-averse.

Daniel - He’s pessimistic and has a low tolerance for risk. At any given time, he’s pretty sure things are not going to work out in his favor.

I realized that even though I had worked on changing my limiting beliefs, I had not changed my behavior accordingly. I was still acting like a whiny poor customer. Doing that, I would come up with business ideas that appeal and attract people like that. People who don't buy so much and tend to need extra customer support.

Since that day I've made some extra effort trying to think and behave like Amy:

Amy is a basically happy and logical human being. She’s reasonably confident, mostly optimistic, and her purchase is a fairly logical act. She has a high risk tolerance.

Who does that describe too? Well, to me it describes a successful person.

This approach has already paid me off. I have recognized several product possibilities that would appeal mostly to Daniel and Bob. I have thrown those ideas away. I have plenty of better ones now that target to happy Amy.

I want to feel the abundance - I want to be generous 

You need to live according to your beliefs. Telling yourself that you live in abundance has little effect if in everyday life you feel that you cannot afford the things you want and need. Successful people let other people help them. When someone offers them a helping hand, they accept it smiling.

The loser instead, he thinks that he gets cheated by everyone.

My current affirmations include (but don't limit to) these:
World is a wonderful place full of opportunities. People are always friendly and everyone wants to help me. I accept help and I am glad to help others. I live in abundance. I have a beautiful home and a lovely husband. I have plenty of money to buy what I need and what I want. I can select where I live. I can select which projects I take part in. I achieve my goals easily and I enjoy life.

With a worldview like that, why wouldn't I buy products that sound interesting? I especially enjoy buying from little bootstrapped businesses and people like you and me. I prefer those over large companies. And what my affirmations say is true - I really can afford it.

I need to benchmark level of service and delivery methods

How can I offer good service to my future customers, if I have not experienced it firsthand online?

I am to produce services and product that are either used online or downloaded. That means I definitely need to know how that works from the customer point of view. Buying books from Amazon is not enough. I need to get some idea what good buying experience is about. I need to know the differences between the service providers.

I already know I'm not going to handle the charging of people's credit cards myself, nor am I going to implement secured product delivery myself. It is just not worth the trouble, and those parts are critical. If something goes wrong there, I want to be able to just switch the provider instead of crashing and burning myself. That means I need to find a service provider for those services.

So every time I buy something, I check who does the actual delivery. Did I enjoy buying through them? Could I use this service provider myself?

While I go, I evaluate my buying and usage experience. I carefully check what kind of support options I have. I give feedback and see how the seller reacts. If I have the slightest reason to get support, I do that - just to get the feel of how they provide it.

I don't want to waste my time

I want to learn from an expert who already lives on money earned online. Nothing beats the experience.

Put your ego aside and you'll succeed faster! For long I had this stubborn idea that I want to succeed on my own - but not anymore.

Let me tell you an example. Some years ago I learned silver jewelry-making. I learned that online, using only free resources. I read forums and blogs and browsed through web pages that had free courses. I had great fun and the jewelry looked great. But eventually I wanted to meet other people doing jewelry too and I signed to a silver jewelry course.

In the very first lesson we did a trivial but a time consuming preparation task while the teacher approached me. She gave me little tips and tricks that more than doubled my speed on that task. I did a mental head-desk when I realized how much time I could have saved by taking the course earlier. Plus that change in technique fixed a little quality problem that I had long struggled with.

I have also learned that the same lesson applies on computing world - except the effect is much greater. An experienced programmer can be tenfold faster than a beginner and still produce better code.

The same applies to the process of making good money online. Unlike in real life tasks, just getting something done is often not good enough. There are others who already know the tips and tricks - they'll run right past you. In the web "not good enough" is spelled "failure".

I need to know that I know enough

As a newbie to passive income, my biggest problem is: "How do I know that I have not missed anything critical"?

You might have thought that the biggest problem would be how to get information. It is not. World wide web is here. There are plenty of free tools, courses and material. Don't be disillusioned and think that good stuff is not available for free. There is plenty of free good stuff. More than we can digest.

You can learn all the bits and pieces for free. But bits and pieces are worth nothing if I don't see the big picture (or process) and be able to apply them in practice. As a beginner, I don't have that big picture - I don't know the process.

For example, look at this demographics report from Quantcast:

The report shows the site visitor demographics for my competitor site. I had no idea that these kind of reports are available for free on this detail. I might have stumbled on this by accident though - or then not. Even if I had, I may not have known that this is critical information for me.

I know I'm not missing any critical steps, when I learn the process from someone who already earns his/her living online. Just to gain that confidence is worth the course. When she/he tells me the things I need to know, I don't have to wonder around the net reading "just a little more" to make sure I know enough on some subject. I accept help and let other people solve that critical problem for me.

That is also the reason I joined two courses instead of one. As a newbie I cannot objectively evaluate the information given to me on a foreign subject. When I was younger I thought I could do that. But I've grown wiser. So while I follow the courses I pay attention to the differences in them and the emphasis each puts on different steps of the process.

Final Thoughts - Let other people help you!

The prerequisite to make this approach work is that I have chosen good courses. And that's where Steve comes in. I have decided to let him help me.

I am well aware that the products Steve recommends are his affiliates. But I have chosen to trust Steve. Of course he has different opinions and worldview than I have, but he recommends quality stuff. I may not like all of what he recommends, like Sedona Method and Marty Lefkoe's method. But me not liking them does not mean there is no value in them. There is just no value for me, at this point of time.

There are thousands of products with affiliate programs and Steve is in a position where he can pick the ones that are really good. I believe I need to let people help me in order to succeed. I am letting Steve, Vic, Allan, Amy, Ken and everybody else with the right knowledge and attitude to help me. Including you. Thank you so much!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Week 10 - Enthusiasm Wearing Off

Here is my Freckle pulse from last week:

That is 16 hours. Most of it went to SiteBuildIt and I'm ready to start the course day 5. That means I now have my site concept (idea, monetization, structure) studied and I'm ready to refine the concept and register a domain name for it.

I also watched the 4th webinar of Getting Rich With eBooks 3.0. It is going to take a while before I'll get to watch the next part. The assignment for this week was to write the book and get it ready for publishing. I'm not going to do that in one week, not even in one month. I want to make it good and properly collect some material for it.

The overly enthusiastic feelings about my passive income project are finally wearing off. I welcome that as it makes my life more relaxed. I no longer dwell on my ideas while I should be sleeping and imagine what it will be like when my "web empire" is ready. This leaves me energy to spend on other things and that is nice.

I want to have a daily routine that is not only hard work. 10-15 hours of work per week that actively takes my project forward is enough. Thanks to Freckle, I now see where my time goes. Sometimes I feel like I did much and then it says I did, but only wrote blog articles or did something else that does not actively take my project forward. This week 11 hours of the work I did was taking me forward. The other 5 hours did not.

Tip of the week

Carry a notebook or a journal. When you get business ideas, just write them down. Then you don't have to dwell on them, but you don't forget them either.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bootstrapping Design eBook Review

I read a lot. I have read well over 10 books during the last 10 weeks. I am not going to list all of those books, but I want to tell you about the best of them. I think the books that will increase my changes of succeeding in my passive income project ought to be mentioned here.

I'm going to start with a review of Jarrod Drysdale's Bootstrapping DesignBootstrapping Design is a great read, but it is also inspirational in several ways.

Bootstrapping Design shows you the money

Jarrod was kind enough to reveal in his blog that Bootstrapping Design made $30.000 in two months. Seeing those figures is superbly motivating and highly inspiring. Especially when he has also shared his story about his previous online business that failed.

Even though I have not yet shared my previous failures, they are there. And Jarrod shows us an excellent example on how the past success does not determine the chances of succeeding in the future. If after reading his blog you still feel that you could not succeed like he did, you should read Steve's latest article about dissolving limiting beliefs.

Bootstrapping Design teaches you a lesson on pricing

Jarrod's guest post in A Smart Bear blog compares Bootstrapping Design to another eBook that was published on the same day, but with a completely different pricing strategy - Perfect Pricing Part Deux — More money from fewer sales. That post explains how concentrating on the problem that you are solving instead of the product you are selling is the correct way to price the product. The value is in the mind of the customer, not in the product itself. Add there the fact that how the product (and its sales material) looks like affects on how the customer sees it, and you are more than tempted to buy Bootstrapping Design.

I first read about Bootstrapping Design from that blog post. Why didn't I buy the other book that was on the same subject, but cheaper?

Bootstrapping Design solves a problem

I did compare Bootstrapping Design to Sasha's Step by Step UI Design. But I did not buy Step by Step UI Design because it did not promise it would solve my problem. It also looked long and detailed, and what I needed was a book that would tell me only what I need to know and what is important. I had the same attitude than Vic Johnson, when he bought a ten-page eBook for 100 dollars. I don't care if there are 40 pages or 300 (Bootstrapping Design has 156 pages), I just care that my problem gets solved. 

You see, I have designed user interfaces since 1999. I really did not want another book on just how to do that. But my problem was that even though I have long experience on UI design, I've only built desktop applications and I have worked on a large company with strict guidelines for look and feel. Web publishing and web applications are a completely different animal. I've never done commercial design starting from scratch. I've never picked fonts and colors all on my own. That was all forced on me by the strict company guidelines. However I know enough on the subject to know that I should learn (or at least refresh my skills) about design as I'm going to publish eBooks and applications on web. Another areas where I have a lot to learn is marketing and business in general. If I can get the design problems solved easily, that gives me more time to concentrate on those other topics.

When I read the sales page of Bootstrapping Design I got a feeling that it was an easy solution to my problem. It would give me a condensed set of rules that I could start with until I have more time to read about the subject.

Bootstrapping Design delivers what it promises

I feel Bootstrapping Design delivers just what it promises. It contains a set of rules that make it possible for anyone to design a web page that looks professional enough to deliver a message that you are selling quality content. Design is a horribly large subject, and if you try to learn it on your own you will be drowned in information, not knowing what is important. I think Jarrod has succeeded perfectly in picking the subjects that are worth concentrating.

Bootstrapping Design contains the most important design principles, but also some advanced concepts like negative space. I was never taught to use negative space while learning UI design, I later learned that from art studies. And it would not have occurred to me to pick it to a book like this. But that is essential, and I'm glad Jarrod has brought it up. 

I did expect Bootstrapping Design to mention about consistency between elements and language used, but I don't recall seeing that subject. But that was the only subject that I was expecting but did not find in this book. And omitting it might have been on purpose. I've noticed that web applications often are not so strict on consistency.

Overall Bootstrapping Design was just what I needed! I also think that this book will work for beginners too. You'll  save a lot of money being able to create the necessary designs by yourself.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 9 - An Eye Opener

Here is my Freckle pulse from last week:

That is 15 hours. It is not as much as I hoped for, but I don't want to push myself either. At least the amount is getting up from previous week. That is nice and I want to keep that trend going.

Most of the hours were used on SiteBuildIt! course. Right now I feel it is a real eye opener to me. I did not know that there were so many little things to take care of when doing a passive income site. When I wrote my post $1000 Passive Income Site Walkthrough I thought I did pretty nice analysis, but I knew I was going to outgrow it. But I thought that would take maybe month or two months. Instead, it took less than a week. Had I started creating my site just based on that analysis, I would have missed so many things. I have also gotten plenty of nice new business/site ideas thanks to SBI! I'll try not to be overly excited about this, but well... it is a bit hard right now.

I reached all of the goals I set for myself last week, except "Watch the next lesson of Getting Rich With eBooks".

Right now I feel SBI! is so much more relevant to me. I do want to make an eBook too, but I can take my time. I do want to follow the schedule on that course, so I'll probably watch the next lesson this week or next week.

Tasks for the next week 

  • Monday: Hobby programming 
  • Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: SBI! 
  • Wednesday: Programming/learning web apps  
  • Watch the next lesson of Getting Rich With eBooks

Tip Of The Week

Accept help - let other people assist you. Admitting that you don't know something is not a problem. Not knowing that you don't know something essential is the problem.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

SBI - Why People Fail?

Oh, I laughed SO hard.

... but my laughter did not last long. Intelligence is not the only thing I need to get through SBI!

The above picture is from the SiteBuildIt! course material called Why People Fail. There is also another material that goes through the biggest mistakes people make while on SBI! I was surprised to find out that the biggest mistake of them all was not to get past first 5 modules of the course. There are 10 modules in the course and over 40% of the people don't get to the module 5.

But sure enough, after couple of hours studying I knew myself why that is the case. I was feeling completely overwhelmed! There is just so much material. Videos and pages contain link after link that you can follow, and the forums contain years and years of posts. If you follow all the links you will be gone for days!

I always like to read all material of the courses that I attend to, but I need to make an exception now. Fortunately the course came with a checklist that helps me find out when I have gotten enough out of the modules to proceed.

I also made some rules for myself:

  1. Only follow links from videos if they are relevant right now
  2. Don't follow links to the forum while watching the videos
  3. Use the checklist - when you've checked all boxes for the day/module, the day is done - no more reading 
  4. Only go to the forum when you have specific information to find or problem to solve

Still, by the middle of the module two I was weeping. I had just tried BrainStormIt! for the first time and it either gave me errors or omitted the keywords that I wanted to get info from. Every successful search subtracted from my search credits (I had 25 to start with). If they run out, I'll have to buy new ones.

I am not a person who gets easily overwhelmed by courses or information. And I am definitely not a person that cries if a software does not co-operate with me. After all, for over 10 years my work have been to solve problems and write software. I have written software more complex than any of these SEO tools. I have fixed bugs in them. I have solved other people's problems using them.

I was weeping since the buy credits made it impossible for me to find out the correct way to use to tool by just trying it out. I was weeping since I knew what a swamp of information I'd need to wallow through to find out what was wrong. I was weeping since I had just paid to get nearly 500 garbage keywords into my keyword list that I'd need to sort out later - item by item. I was weeping since I was tired after watching and reading the course materials for over 4 hours straight.

After using 45 minutes reading support page after another I gave up and wrote a post to the forum. Next morning the answer was there waiting for me and I'm ready to go again. Yay! After all, there was a check box in the checklist that said: "I will reach humps along the way and beat them". And I checked that box.

Right now, even after these little obstacles, I am so glad I joined this course. I should have done it already earlier. SBI! is a solid no-nonsense course that I believe will work if one is ready to work for it. 

The only problem I see this far is that its creator believes in OVER-delivering content. While that is a great strategy to make your site popular and get people to return there time after time, it is not maybe the best strategy for learning new things. I'd rather see a course that contains just the key points and action steps. It annoys me that there are so many SomethingIt!-tools and 3-letter abbreviations made up just for this course. But I believe this course will help me reach my targets and that is what really matters.

I wish resilience for all the people who are taking this same course right now! We CAN do it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

$1000 Passive Income Site Walkthrough

Meet Becky Turner, a successful affiliate.

At May 1012 she made $7000 from her affiliate business that includes several sites. Most of her income comes from her site that sells her own eBook, Lucid Dreaming Fast Track. But I am more interested in her site called Improve Vision Naturally that earns her $1000-1500 per month. That is the income range I am targeting now. At the time Allan interviewed Becky that site had 13.000 unique visitors per month. 

When I first saw her page my first impression was - I could do that too! I know a product that changed my life too. At that time her site was looking much different than today though. It had just a fraction of the content that it has today. What it tells me? Start small, test the concept, make it larger later.

As Becky started with SBI! this is a perfect learning opportunity for me. Becky is well into her business, so I will not hurt her by analyzing her site. Can I spot what is really important?


When evaluating things in the web it is well worth checking how old the information is. In this case, I want to know when Becky started and how long it took her to build up the site.

Becky's domain was registered 2008 and the site of the product she advertises, Rebuild Your Vision, was registered 2002. Ten years and still going strong. As we can see here, good info-products can have a long life!

What Problem Becky Solves?

Her site is an honest review of a course that helps people to improve their vision with eye exercises. A lots of people are searching for help on this issue, but many of them go for laser surgeries. Becky wants to help people who want to try natural remedies first.

Market Research - Is The Problem Worth Solving? 

I expected to work hard to find out Becky's keywords, but I just needed to open the html and it gives me the following keyword list:
"eye exercises, improve vision naturally, better vision naturally, improve vision, nearsightedness, vision exercises, Rebuild Your Vision"
Let's see how Google ranks Becky's site for those searches. Here are all the searches that show Becky's site on the first 2 pages of results:

Improve vision naturally - 9900 searches per month - Becky's site is 6th in the results
Better vision naturally    - 4400 searches per month - Becky's site is 7th in the results
Rebuild your vision        - 2400 searches per month - Becky's YouTube video is 2nd in the results

She has keywords listed that have 50.000-90.000 searches per month, but those above are the keywords that actually show her site. Of course, as she works to put more content to her site, she may eventually be able to tap to those larger searches too.

I don't think that these searches are able to get her all of that 13.000 people per month. That would mean almost everybody searching for those keywords would go to Becky's site. I'm guessing she has some other means to drive traffic to her site that I just cannot see now.

I am quite surprised that a successful passive income site can be built on a topic that has this little searches. What a great inspiration!

I did a full market research for these keywords using method Vic describes in his Getting Rich With eBooks course that I am on now. All the results don't fit here and I will not bore you with them, but I do want to mention one thing. It does not really matter if you get a lot of visitors, if they are not in a buying mindset. Only visitors that are going to buy matter. Becky has succeeded in picking keywords that bring in people who want to buy something.

How To Monetize It - The Affiliate Program

The affiliate program that Becky uses is here: http://www.rebuildyourvision.com/affiliates/. She gets $25 per sale. For $1500 per month that means 60 sales. 60 out of 13.000 is 0,5%

If you have been using large scale affiliate programs, like Amazon Affiliates, the provision may look high to you. But in ebooks they just often are that high. 

You also may have thought that more people would buy. Well, as I said that depends on the audience and I think 0,5% is well done. So on a topic like this that is what I can expect to have myself. Or maybe a bit less. Becky is a writer by profession and I assume English is her native language.

Next Step - Just Do It

This is how far my current skills get me. Of course I could also analyze the structure of her web page or the content on it, but I'll leave that to later. I'll do it when I am writing my own site.

Some time ago I would have just started writing it right away. And yes, I did the market research for my topic already. But this time I am going to let other people help me. That will dramatically increase my chance for success. I don't want to take any more rounds of trying and making stupid little mistakes that crash my project.

So instead of tackling this myself, I'm going to go to the SBI! order page and join the course. No more waiting, I'm doing it right now.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Week 8 - Finally Some Action!

This week I did the keyword research for my eBook ideas and picked the best idea for my book. Doing the research was a must - I would have picked a different idea without it. It took me some time to get started, but the next time keyword research session will be fast and easy for me. Vic's method and templates were really useful. We also planned some of the book content as the course homework.

I started to collect my ideas to a little notebook. That way I can put them aside without forgetting them. I no longer want to process my ideas before I have the keyword research results to back them up. Also, I am becoming more innovative as days pass by and I have ideas almost every day. They are also getting better - at least I think so!

I recently registered to Freckle, a time management tool that I told you about in my previous blog post. I just finished logging my first full week so I sat down and looked at my project pulse. I got in 13 hours. I should be working full time on my passive income project and this is what I get in? Where did the time go?

Well, this week I have been busy with the web app I am doing with WebServerGuru. So busy that I even dropped my fun hobby day. I think that is fine, but I cannot continue like this. Doing that work is important, but in order to reach my goal I need to get in more hours. So, in order to not slip into just fulfilling other people's dreams I made a schedule for the next week. A schedule that includes my fun day and a bit more work for the passive income project too.

I also noticed Steve's comment on Google+ about how people should not get overly excited about their goals. Why? Because you should be living your dream, and if you did, you would not be overly excited about it. It would just be your life.

I reflected that idea on myself. Fortunately I am already living my life as I want it to be in the future. I have great fun. But I still admit being overly excited about my passive income project. That is just how I am with new shiny things and projects. Give me one month more and the excitement will start to wear off as routine sets in. Give me 3 months and all this is just my daily work. That's how it goes, I know. Good for me, I don't need to show the results now. So even if this enthusiasm would have negative effect, it has time to wear off.

I am learning to accept the abundance in my life and I am showing it by supporting others who are in the same path. This week I bought a Bootstrapping Design eBook. It has a good sales speech and it is done by another startup bootstrapper. I want to support that!

Goals for the next week
  • Monday: Hobby programming
  • Tuesday & Thursday: Programming/learning web apps
  • Wednesday & Friday: Make a study of an affiliate site, then join SBI!
  • Watch the next lesson of Getting Rich With eBooks

Tip of the week

Log your time for a week. At the end of the week, take a look at what you did for your passive income project. How many hours did you put in? Did you do something that will take your passive income project forward? Will you reach your goal with your current input?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sharpen Your Focus With Freckle

I want to build a SaaS(Software as a Service) application as a part of my passive income project. While I am learning the technologies, I am also checking out what others have done on that area. Whenever I stumble upon tools that are useful in my passive income project, I'll let you know so you can benefit from them too. The first lovable application I want to introduce you is Freckle. They offer free accounts that lets one person work on one project. Freckle is a perfect tool for a project like mine.

Why I Fell In Love With Freckle

It is a a nice day and I start working on my passive income project. At some point I notice a popup of a new mail arriving. I go to check my email... and then I find myself on Twitter. I follow an interesting link that I find in a tweet. And before I know it, I've used several hours just surfing on the web. I have wasted massive amount of my prime time without noticing it.

Whenever I open my PC with an intention to work on my passive income project, I'll open the Freckle timer first. There is a button in my browser toolbar for that. I start the timer immediately and get to work.

When a new mail arrives I am not so tempted to just "quickly check it out", because I would need to pause my timer. If the mail popup looks important, I may pause the timer. But pausing my timer makes me conscious that I am switching into doing something that does not take my project forward. I stay focused - I'll just read the mail and come back working. I'm eager to get my timer back on running!

If I end up getting distracted by the web, I don't log those hours. Yes, I used at least part of them for my project, but I want to keep my pulse clean.

Where Is Your Pulse - Is Your Project Alive?

Well, Freckle shows me the pulse of my passive income project. Here is the view where I can input my hours without timer. The green dots below the turquoise bar shows my pulse. If I want to keep my project going, I'd better keep the pulse throbbing.

In addition to seeing my weekly pulse, I can click the "PULSE" on the right and it nicely shows me the pulse of my project for the whole month. If I had a Freelance account that costs $12 per month, I could put all my projects here and the pulse would have colorful pie charts. If I would need to make invoices, I'd probably buy Freelance account right away.

You Can Only Manage What You Can Measure

We are set for success here, right? You know I am. And when I'll look back a year after, I want to know what I did so that I can repeat it. Maybe I want to know how many hours I used for something so I can calculate what ended up being my hourly pay. That way I'll know what type of projects get me most money per hour (not to say that it is the most important thing). And what do you know, Freckle gives me excellent reports on the hours that I log in. Here is the report on my eBook work between 1st and 6th of July.

As you can see, I can now easily see how much time I have used on different activities while working on my eBook. Again, if I had the Freelancer account the hours breakdown would show me nice pie chart.

OK, I'm ready with this blog post. Let's log my hours.

Click, click and click, I'm done.

Don't wait any longer.
Register your free Freckle account and gain more focus in your project too!

The links in this page are affiliate links. If you end up buying Freckle, I'll get some pennies too! But I am not recommending Freckle because of that. I am recommending it because it is so lovable. Life just cannot get any better than this.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Week 7 - June 2012 Status Report

Passive Income In June 2012: 

The income is coming from AdFly and AdSense. This was the first full month when I had also affiliate links online and they had some clicks too, but no buys yet. I removed some of the AdSense ads to make room for affiliate links. Unless I do something different/new on next month the passive income is probably not getting up. In other words, I gotta get to the business!

Costs in June 2012: 

The costs are from Getting Rich With eBooks course. When I get through the materials of this month, I'll write a new review.
I did buy some books also, including my first Kindle book. As they are not directly related to passive income I'm not including them here.

Theme of the June 2012

Vacation and skill building.

I created my first video tutorial this month - that was huge learning opportunity.
I also read a whopping amount of books - mostly on web programming, but also some books on marketing and successful thinking. I have been waiting for ages to have time to read some of those books. The marketing book was recommended to me by the WebServerGuru.

Overall, I think I've learned this month more than I have learned in all previous 12 months! I have updated my 15-year old skills on HTML and learned CSS and JavaScript.

I feel good about last month and I am ready for some action now.