Charcoal n’ Canvas: Pencil Sketches Of Your Future

this is the last place i'd have expected to be...

I never thought of myself as one of those old guys who’d talk about art like it’s the most interesting subject in the world. but, still, art intrigues me.

always has.

When i was a boy, i was under the misguided notion that i need to learn to draw very well to be happy in life.

i learned mostly from books. Public library had a great art section. I was there Thursday. And on saturday mornings, i was an artist. With charcoals and paint.

Regardless if i worked on paper, canvas, or clay…it seemed that there was always a pattern in how an artist creates.

And strangely enough, i recently found out that entrepreneurs who build a business from scratch use the same ‘artist’ pattern!

the first time i fell in love with charcoal, i had just learned about caricature. i would have been about 8 then. And none of it made sense to me.

But i found out i loved to draw faces.

a caricature like this one exaggerates the essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable visual likeness

i spent a lot of time creating life-like sketches of my family and friends. And if you search my house today, you’d find a few rare “light and shade” sketches of Michael Jackson, made by yours truly.

After years practicing the craft,

do you know what i found to be the hardest thing to draw in my portraits?

this thing would make or break a masterpiece. if i got it right, the rest of the portrait would look flawless. Life-like. Get it wrong and i may as well have drawn a caricature.

do you know what it is?

it’s the outline of the face. You gotta get the size and proportions just right. And it’s really the basis of the entire work.

but it wasn’t just creating the right shaped oval that’s hard…it’s drawing a clean curve…by hand.

Now if you’ve ever done any pencil or charcoal sketching before, you’ll know that nobody’s hand is steady enough to get the face shape perfect the first go.

so i learned this technique…

the pencil sketch is always full of "tries" that are later covered up

i’d start out by drawing anything resembling an oval with a light and brisk stroke of the charcoal. Then i’d go over it again.

This motion with each complete turn, became like a motor, just started.

as soon as i was rolling, i didn’t want to stop, for fear of disrupting the pattern.

So if i needed to idle, i’d just go around and around the old strokes.

Well if you look carefully, as i move my hand around that page, you’d see multiple tracks of charcoal on the canvas…side-by-side…so precisely spaced that they’re almost parallel to one another.

But each track, resembles one (failed) try from the artist’s hand.

And it appears with every stroke to somehow move the center of the oval. this way or that.

My hand would gain momentum and build speed as i… pushed, squashed, and contorted my trail of charcoal. i’d perfect and shape. Imitate the bulges created by the contours of the live face’s bones.

Eventually, when it was just right, and my hand was still in motion around the page…

i’d just subconsciously repeat the previous shape…the perfected contour i’d just drawn. And as its edges darken, little by little i’d pull from the canvas the portrait’s face.

As if it were always there, in the depths of the page.

Though i haven’t sketched in a very long time, my memories of it are vivid. And it ocurred to me that when i build a business online, i do it like i’m creating a piece of art…

most clients and students i’ve worked with, they don’t target their best prospect. in fact most of them don’t know who their target is at all. And they focus all their energy on perfecting a squiggly business.

The first stroke when starting a business is to identify whose needs you’re trying to solve.

In the spirit of broad strokes, i usually just take an educated guess at a very general audience who would most likely buy the product i’m advertising.

For example, i recently took on a project for a client who sells lead generation training to home business owners. When i noticed that much of the vocabulary used in their newsletters and products was geared toward network marketers…i didn’t want to have to rewrite everything, so i came up with a solution.

I knew the best prospects were network marketers, not home business owners. Sure the training could be used for anyone with a home business, but the vocabulary in both the existing marketing and products would potentially alienate the people who did not identify themselves as network marketers.

So to sell this product, i needed to advertise and attract people who:

  1. understand the network marketing vocabulary
  2. and want to solve a problem of getting leads.

I could have defined my prospect this way. But i didn’t. It’s far too specific and there is only a small pool of people who are searching specifically for my client’s solution.

Instead, i decided to split my criteria. My ideal prospect had to be searching for something that indicates a current interest in network marketing. So the tell-tale signs i’m looking for are words and phrases that may show they’ve:

  1. done network marketing in the past,
  2. been approached/educated about network marketing by a friend
  3. they’re doing network marketing right now
  4. or they’re seriously considering starting a network marketing business

i believed that as long as i was speaking with an audience represented by one of the above, they would at least be able to understand and identify with the network marketing jargon in the promotion material.

So in the worst case, i should still be able to make a few sales of my client’s lead generation solution as long as i’m talking to this broad group of people.

Another “broad” stroke.

Remember, we’re selling to people, not machines. And people search for their problem in different ways. Not all of them are saying “i need leads” and “i want money”. It’s not always that obvious.

I understand this because i’ve been doing it a long time. So i look for the HUMAN behind the search word. For example, here are a few keywords i decided to include in my client’s campaign…and more importantly, the reason why:

mlm ANYTHING => the use of abbreviation usually indicate this person has done mlm before

new mlm => the use of the word “new” shows they had done “old” mlm in the past

online network marketing => they’ve tried/know about regular network marketing, they want to know about the “online” one now…why?”

In the same way, i used this quick test to decide which keywords to EXCLUDE even tho they were seemingly “relevant”:

work from home => there’s no indication in this search that they want to find information about network marketing style work from home or something else like surveys and ebay.

best home business => they may be trying to get business ideas. home business doesn’t indicate knowledge of network marketing

home business opportunities => this isn’t necessarily a network marketer, they may be looking for other types of business opportunities

You see, each keyword is a clue. each keyword represents an individual’s voice asking for help. And my client’s solution may be what they need. In the next broad stroke, i want to know if this audience needs my client’s solution. Are they interested in generating leads?

This can only be really tested using an ad geared at the audience i chose earlier. You see, wanting leads isn’t necessarily a voiced problem, but almost everyone who does network marketing realises the value of a solution.

I usually run a single ad in response to all of those voices. Now this is NOT good practice in a refined account…because the right way to do it is to have custom ads to custom landing pages for each keyword. But that’s not something i could do this early on, until i’ve discovered the BASIC shape of the offer my target audience responds to.

This is still a work in progress. We just want to zero into the money. Broad strokes. Remember.

With the ad, i test the entire target audience as a whole. Do they SEEM to like my offer?

Do people click my ad?

mistakes are blurred back into the if the final image was carved out from the depths of the page...
are they opting into my squeeze page?

How long does it take to get a sale?

I continue in this fashion, chiseling away, refining the ad, the landing page, and the email funnel. All the while making money. Until a beautiful, flawless, machine of a business forms before my very eyes.

And the strangest thing happens when the work of art is unveiled.

When the artist finishes his charcoal sketch, it looks perfect. Where are all the mistakes and errors he’d made? They’re not here.

With his finger tips, he blurred them all away. They now form the shade around the cheek, the jaw, and the hair.

Every “mistake” you make while trying will blur away. And what should be left is a money-printing-machine. Mistakes absorbed. Now, a part of it.

Do you understand how to find your target audience? Want me to do your keyword research for you? Read more about it here…

Revenge Of The Nerds — (of PPC)

“How long have you been in business?”

Simple. Yet typical. We’ve all been asked.

But the difference between your answer and the guy next to you is what determines who’ll grow rich beyond imagination. And WHO will stay broke with only pangs of hunger in their stomach.

Andreas Pauli & (Hopefully) His Wife

I met this dude back in 2005. Or was it ’06? God remembers…


Kind of a strange name, but not so…uncommon that i’d just remember it.

Swear i can’t tell you where he came from, what he did or anything else about him. I just remember the guy. I “generated him”…as a lead back when I would give out personal contact info in autoresponders.

We had a few conversations.

He asked about PPC. I walk-thru with him his account. Suggested a keyword. Or offered some insight to ads.

That was then.

In time, i changed how i built my relationship with my list. And I became waaaaayy too famous to give everyone personal attention like that. Ha!

Anyway, one day, back when i was JUST starting to get known in the market…i wanted to update the address for where my adsense cheques went.

But there was a problem.

The AdSense interface was in another language. Google wouldn’t switch me back to English. And it wasn’t till many months later that mr. genius computer me figured it out.

Only to discover I was in someone else’s account.

Andreas Pauli. Daggers.

Some weird and total freak of nature GLITCH in Google had merged my account with his…somehow. And i didn’t have an adsense account any more. Never bothered with it again.

You can bet your mule i didn’t forget this Andreas guy.

Anyway, so i saw him on Facebook chat today and had a fun little talk with him. I answered more PPC questions, after all, by this point, he isn’t just a student he’s an old friend.

He tells me that for the past few years he’s been using PPC, with many of the techniques i showed him way back when. Still found them relevant and useful. And has now paid off all the debt he and his wife racked up in “business adventures”.

All with online profits.

Wow. Cool!

I’m happy, he’s happy.

We got to talking about old times. This. That. How far we’ve both come since. Why i’m still more awesome than him. Made fun of some other marketers….

And then i made a wisecrack about SEO. Otherwise known as search engine optimisation.

Thing is, i consider myself a PPC guy. And PPC guys have a friendly rivlary with SEO guys. Each thinks they have the better way to generate leads.

PPC-girls and -boys pay to advertise on search engines.

SEO people try to show their junk high up in the results of a user’s search. 😛 It’s free to be listed there. Yaay! And the clever and oh so CREATIVE people at Planet SEO are always selling the obvious…that SEO equals “free” traffic.

On the other hand, PPC means “PAYyyyyyyyyyyyy”-per-click. You see what i mean? How do you sell that? The name is enough to turn people off. And yet I’ve managed to sexy it up and sell lots of training on it.

Fact is, PPC is more suitable to entrepreneurs just starting out. They have very limited skills and nowhere near enough money to ACTUALLY do SEO.

Oh yes, SEO costs money too


Back to the story at hand…

Andreas didn’t seem to be clued in on the rivlary. He was a little taken aback–

“Dude,” I said. “Everyone knows that you do SEO if you got an actual BUSINESS business.. And most of the people i train don’t have a that yet.”

Why Jim, whatever do you mean by “a BUSINESS business”?

Well, ya know, like a company with employees and managers of employees. A business with its OWN product that’s not an affiliate one. A company which has already put in place a way to get buyers who create cashflow in the business.

Cashflow necessary to AFFORD to do SEO, for reaaaalziiiies.

Because a single business owner, on his or her own, cannot bring BIG traffic using SEO.

Look around. Who do you know who is a one-“man”-operation, whose only traffic strategy is SEO, and actually gets more than a handful of leads a day?

Few, if any. Because when trying to get this “FREE” traffic, you’re having to “PAY” employees: article writers, content creators, back-link creators.

Unless you wanna do that bullshit manual labour yourself. Good luck.

You’d have no leverage. You end up trading your time to save a few hundred bucks on employees, get few leads, then push them through an inefficient funnel that won’t sell a thaaang.

By the time you’ve made a sale,

you’re already up to your ass in debt.

by the time you've made a sale with SEO, you're up to your ass in debt

And whatever money you make goes right back out without even increasing your efficiency.

To me, it’s like some kid running around on his little legs trying to gather sticks from different places. And they pick up these prospects and bring them back to their site, one by one.

Look at what they have to do:

Write articles, make blog posts, and create videos. Do you know how much work goes into creating GOOD content? It takes me 1-3 full days to write one decent blog post. It takes all day for me to script a video, shoot it, and edit it.

Granted their content is usually the litter of the internet stuffed unrecognisable with keywords. But still, aaaaaall this work … For what? One or two more leads to their site?

Good effort kiddo. Now go play with the other little boys.

SEO is a GREAT way to amplify something that works. In THAT scenario, you have the money coming in from your business that you can pay for SEO to be done on a mass scale…The leads convert to customers, because you’ve already tested your sales process. And you have TONS more money to put back into your business.

What, then, is the better way to build your business from a one-man-operation to the “company” you need to be to receive the fruits of SEO?

Use PPC first.

Even the SEO experts, the HONEST ones at least, will tell you that PPC is how they test their funnel and traffic.

After all, managing a PPC campaign is a one-man job. One person can generate HUNDREDS of leads EVERY day very quickly with relative ease.

Nothing shits me more than that buuuuuuullshit social media training craze. That is so lame. What is this crap, adding friends? WHO THE FROG HAS TIME FOR THAT?

Just don’t get me started. Don’t get me started.

The bullshit people do for 5 or 10 leads a day…fuck. Give me ONE hour and i’ll have a campaign bringing 10 leads every day for $10. Forever.

Any intelligent BUSINESS person, who finds themselves in a tight cashflow spot, will value the immediacy of cashflow from PPC. They rather spend a few bucks up front than invest in a long-term investment that may or may not pay off SOME DAY. Meanwhile they’re twiddling their thumbs waiting for traffic to hit.

Besides that, PPC is easy.

No Employees, Little Time, and 6th Grade English

Never have I seen such a simple and cheap way to start a business. It requires NO employees, very little time, and not more than 6th grade English.

You don’t have to be creative or an amazing writer or entertainer, because you don’t need content. No videos. No articles. No blog posts.

An ad of 20 words. I can’t fucking fit copywriting in there if i wanted to.

It does NOT require web designers, programmers, or any technical skill beyond the PPC interface.

It needs just one person.


With your computer, and the ability to make someone want to click your ad using 6th grade English.

“Hold up. Hold up. Jim. Wtf dude, don’t you need a website to drive the clicks to?”

Yeah. Sure, a basic squeeze page. And if even that’s a technical challenge, just use Jim’s Landing Page Generator 😉 Instant squeeze pages in seconds.

Even a girl or guy with $5 to their name can start doing PPC right this second. Turn it on. And see traffic in 15 minutes.

You’ll know in 15 minutes if people give a boot about your product or not.

But $5 seriously? I should call my next course 15 Minutes to Traffic.

Look at me. I started doing PPC with a $50 monthly budget. It took 2 and a half months to make enough cashflow to start spending $2,000 on ads. And don’t you dare say that’s because it was 4 years ago.

I start a new profitable campaign for someone with a $5 daily budget, every day.

That’s $150 bucks a month. Ok.

so SUE ME dude.

In four years, it went from 50 to 150.

And if you ask me, i rather skip the morning starbucks fix and invest that money in something that brings an immediate response (such as PPC)…than waste time carrying prospects back to my site with articles and content and “social media” and videos. Yeah, i friggin LOVE PPC, for damn good reason.

Andreas, being a smart guy immediately saw the value of PPC, back when we met.

“It gives IMMEDIATE traffic,” he told me.

You write an ad, hit go, and in about 15 mins people start seeing you.

PPC makes BUSINESS sense.

I asked Andreas the question i asked you in the beginning…how long have you been in business?

He said,

“I’ve always been a businessman, just with a temporary job.”

And that’s what the people who successfully build business ALWAYS say.

I leave you with that thought.

If you’re a REAL business owner who’s sick of pretend, then I can help you with PPC on the following page.

My Secret Trip

Hey girls and boys…

I’ve missed you. I haven’t talked to you in a couple months and I wanted to see if we can meet and work together sometime in the next week or so.

Here’s what’s been happening with me…

{ secret location }, CA.

I just got to [SECRET LOCATION] in California. Traveling is a bit overrated when you have to spend 30 hours locked up on a plane with a bunch of strangers. So these days, I only go to the States when i absolutely must. And must, I did.

Now, I don’t mean for things to sound so mysterious, but i’m working with a few folks who are pretty secretive. This particular project has been conceived and hatched as far back as two years ago. I saw the proof on a whiteboard sheet dated 2008 in The Rich Jerk “secret” headquarters where we spent last night and today working.

Oh i like the sound of that. Secret headquarters lol. I’m such a spy.

Though I can’t tell you what we’re working on, I can say who’s in: Jimmy Davis, Raymond Fong, and Ferny Ceballos. If you’ve been in the networking industry for a little while you definitely know the names. And you may even know what they’re best at doing.

Jimmy Davis, the Godfather of Network Marketing

Jimmy Davis considers himself an “all round badass”. And for good reason, since he’s one of the most connected guys in our industry. He’s pretty much The Godfather of the Networking realm. His ring is kissed by networkers who travel from around the world to have their downline blessed by him.

He’s the guy the gurus call on when they need an intro or a problem solved.

Just two nights ago he got me on the phone with “The Rich Jerk” and introduced me so enthusiastically that we got invited to The Rich Jerk’s office to hang. I never thought I’d meet him, let alone be in a position to work together…he throws some rad Internet Marketer parties and now i can get on the guest list WOO!

Raymond and Ferny are CAPOs of free traffic (SEO)

Jimmy might be the networker’s Godfather, but Ferny and Ray on the other hand are the Capos of Free Traffic. They’re most famous for their ability to rank their websites in top positions in search engines. But that’s not all they do. I’ve come to know them as the guys who drive GIANT projects forward from an idea into multiple products, sales letters, funnels, and everything in between.

Jimmy and I flew in to meet with Ray and Ferny and embark on our HUGE project–so top secret, even we don’t know all the details. We just knew that once we got here, we were all going to work like slaves every day for the next couple weeks putting this thing together. It’s been awesome. Though it’s a HUGE undertaking, mark my words…in about 3 months your jaws will be on the floor when we introduce it onto the world…:)

Anyway, while we’re here, quite a few of our marketer friends were a little jealous of the “dream team” we compiled. Which is pretty exciting, because between the four of us, the impossible becomes possible.

Since we’re all in one place, we decided to hold an intimate Mastermind gathering as a gift to a few lucky subscribers. And I want to extend an invitation to you to join us.

Here’s why I think this will be useful for you, specifically.

You’re a unique person. You’re at a stage in your business that’s very different from the other guys and girls who’ve been through any of my training products. And one of the challenges of writing a training course like PPC Domination or Search Suicide is to figure out what your CURRENT challenge is, what’s holding you back and impeding your success…and then helping you overcome the challenge.

I can only guess at what’s troubling you, you see?

But when you and I are in a room together, everything changes. I only need minutes to identify your challenge and tell you what your next step should be.

Michael Jordan could help you correct how you shoot and you'd get the hoop EVERY time.

Think of it this way…Say, you want to improve your basketball shooting skills. One way, which most people who don’t have a trainer end up going, is to buy training courses and watch videos. You’ll need to, on your own, translate the instructions into action.

But what if you had access to Michael Jordan for a day? You could show him how you shoot and within 2 minutes he’ll be able to tell you why you keep missing the hoop. In most cases, you’ll find it’s something as simple as you’re facing SLIGHTLY the wrong way when you shoot.

Except you wouldn’t have a way to know this… BAM. Jordan shows you the right shooting stance, and the ball goes in the hoop every time. Forever.

If you’ve been in this business for a while and you’re not getting quite the level of success you want to have, then you should join us this week or next. We can help you move light-years forward in your business.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

We’ll hold a mastermind session here in California within the next 2 weeks. It’s not gonna be a seminar where for hundreds of people. It’s just a tiny intimate session with at most 5 people in the group.

Jimmy, Ray, Ferny, and I are going to spend an entire day and work with your mastermind group. For you, for your business, it will be a turning point…no question about it.

You have a PPC traffic challenge? I can help you fix that in an instant.

You got a burning SEO? Ferny and Ray got your back.

You have a closing or conversion challenge? Jimmy can help you with it right away.

Between us, your biggest problem is childsplay.

You see it’s one thing to buy a course on PPC. It’s another to have the BEST PPC guy in the industry work on your account with you.

If you have a question about how to close your lead, Jimmy’s gonna grab the phone out of your hand and show you how he closes.

Being In Business Is a Lonely Game

I have been in this industry for a while now and I know the most difficult thing about this business is the feeling of complete loneliness we have. I know. I’ve always envied anyone with a partner because they had someone to share the burden with them. Sometimes it’s frustrating to be the only one who cares about your idea. There’s no body around who wants to hear you talk about it. Your friends shut you up and get irritated with you constantly rambling about your gurus and their sayings.

But a mastermind barely wants to talk about anything else.

It’s the closest thing you can have to a partnership. Members of your mastermind allow you to draw on their experiences. In most cases, they have a different skill-set from you and have connections with people who can help you. This small group you agree to work with becomes an “advisory board” for all the things you’re not so good at.

And this is related to our top secret project.

By the time you leave you will have clarity of mind like you have never experienced before. You will bond with your mastermind group and your relationship will continue beyond our little gathering.

As you can imagine, many of our subscribers who hear about this will jump through hoops to work with our dream team. Heck some Gurus would give their left leg to be included 🙂

But we only want at most five people in a session. Otherwise it becomes a seminar instead of a mastermind.

It also allows me to select who I work with. Some people really shouldn’t be doing this business, and I don’t want to be responsible for them. I want the good guys like you to get a shot while keeping the wrong people away.

We are still finalizing the details but here are some of the things you need to know:

  • We will be charging for the mastermind. While I have done sold out seminars for 5k+, that’s not a reflection on the cost. Though we haven’t finalised the price, we know it will be AT LEAST $997. If you cannot afford $997 please do not apply.
  • You will need to sign a confidentiality agreement, because you’ll hear about some aspects of our new project. And Raymond is PARTICULARLY brutal about keeping it on the downlow.
  • We will record some of this. That’s why we’re willing to run the mastermind at a significantly low price. We’d like to keep the recording and you need to be ok with being on video. Please make us look good, since we plan to use the footage for other promotion.
  • Our mastermind gathering will be within the next 2 weeks. You have to be able to fly/drive out here in that time. For your convenience we’re going to strive to make it a weekend. But do keep in mind I’m actually booked to leave the US in 2 weeks, so we’ll need to do this soon.
  • You will be responsible for Air fare, hotel, and food. This is not an all inclusive trip. Jimmy will pick an affordable hotel out here in California for everyone to stay at. Raymond will show you around. I will make you laugh. And Ferny will drink your beer.

I promise for the 5 people who come to this event they will come to know themselves as somebody they have never known themselves to be.

Click Here To Apply

Good luck.


Google Wonder Wheel – a Theme-Based Keyword Research Tool

I just learned about a Google experiment that you can use for keyword research. This is another tool that helps you go wide and find new possible markets to get into.

Google Wonder Wheel in Action for the term 'Network Marketing Leads'

Since I’m on the road right now, I won’t have time to get into how to use the tool. But i’ll give you really quick instructions to get started with it.

This keyword research tool gives you a graphical representation of related themes to a search term you specify. Your search term appears in the center of a wheel. Around the wheel are some popular keywords that Google associates closely with your search term. These are natural markets to move into when expanding your pay-per-click campaign.

If you like, you may click any of the related themes to explore it further and find even more markets.

Repeat this as many times as you want and grow your keyword list exponentially with ideas you might never have thought of.

To get access to the Google Wonder Wheel, just paste this code into your address bar


This sets up a cookie telling Google to add the Wonder Wheel to your search preferences.

Just run a search as normal in Google. On the results page, you will see a “Show Options” link directly under your search box. Click it and choose Wonder Wheel from the left. That’s it!

Thanks to for introducing me to the Wonder Wheel and supplying the cookie code above.

To learn more of Jim’s PPC advertising techniques, check out PPC Domination

Google Website Optimizer: How to Split-Test Your PPC Landing Pages for Maximum Conversion


Google provides a tool in their Adwords interface called the Google Website Optimizer. And it has a number of useful features that you won’t find in any other tracking software.

Split-testing pages works by taking two versions of your landing page that are exactly identical except for the one variable being tested. Be it a single word different in the headline, colour, or position of your optin box.

They then automatically forward clicks on your ad to one of the two versions of your page, alternating between them to fairly and accurately determine which results in the desired action of a sale or optin.

Whenever the clicker views a key action page, such as your “thank you” page after opting in, the download page for a piece of software you give out as a demo, or a thank you page after making a purchase, Google counts that as a successful conversion. 

A running record is kept of how many views each version of your test page received relative to the number of times your key “successful conversion” page was subsequently viewed. You can then look at two ratios you compare to decide which page results in the best rate of conversion.


Accurate Conversion Tracking

Tracking is rarely ever exactly accurate. The reason is that much of it is done with cookies to find out who the unique visitors or action takers are. Cookie tracking has its problems–for example, if a prospect uses a text browser or has their cookie security turned on high, you will not get any stats tracked for them.

All the same, most browsers store cookies and allow the tracking software to do their work.

Other third party tracking software does a good enough job. But they track all clicks–those you pay for and those you don’t. Google has procedures in place to cancel out forged clicks and other useless actions. Which makes the only clicks worth tracking those that Google produces. Since these are the only ones you actually pay for. That’s why I prefer to use Google’s website optimization tool.


Geek Talk: How to Define a Clear Winner


Google Website Optimizer Telling Me There is No Clear Winner Yet

Statistics tells us that if you toss a good coin 100 times, it will land 50 times on heads and 50 times on tails. This is only theoretical, though, provided the coin is fairly weighted on both sides. In reality, you may observe 40 heads and 60 tails instead. But if you keep tossing the same coin, the you will get closer to the theoretical outcome of 50/50 heads/tails.

Few marketers split-test correctly because they act on too little data or otherwise they wait too long and waste opportunities to profit with their better landing page.

In the same way, if you toss the coin only 30 times, you are EXPECTED in theory to find it lands 15 times on heads and 15 times on tails. But in reality, the outcome could be extremely one-sided. And if you were to act on this data saying that the coin weighs more on one side than the other, you would probably be wrong.

Similarly, your two test-landing-pages may well show bias in favour of one versus the other even if they are the exact same page. Especially if measuring conversions with only data about a few clicks.

Running tests that update and track every click and conversion along with confidence statistics will help you determine if there is a large enough margin between the two test pages, relative to how many results were observed. Confidence statistics work by figuring out what the theoretical difference between your two landing page versions would be if it were due to the “randomness” phenomenom I described with the fair coin. If there is enough difference seen between the theoretical outcomes and the actual outcomes, you can safely conclude that the change being tested has an effect on how the page performs.

Rather than make these difficult calculations yourself the Google Website Optimizer will do it all for you and interpret the results on your behalf.

When Google says you have a winner, you can trust to kill the loser and keep the winner and repeat with another test variable.


I have used the Google Website Optimizer tool a lot in my business. I test the hell out of every landing page until I get a version that converts at the highest rate possible. This technique has been responsible for me seeing thousands upon thousands of Home Business leads at $2.35 each.

Start using the Google Website Optimizer today. It’s simple. Just create two versions of your best landing page and let the website optimizer tell you the winner!

To learn more of Jim’s PPC advertising techniques, check out PPC Domination.

Double Digit CTR, wtf!?

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Hear this story first…

A few weeks ago I was guest of an online Radio Show courtesy of my pal Ben Settle.  The main topic was Google Adwords and I was brought on to talk about my experience with PPC. While on the call, the other guest showed a snapshot of his adwords account where he was bidding on over 400 keywords–get this–in the SAME adgroup. That’s something a lot of experts, including Perry Marshall will tell you is a biiiiig no-no.

Well the surprising part that had me baffled was that he had a 93% conversion rate. Dude, there’s the very same screenshot I saw in the captioned image below. What a guy! Seriously, I have been impressed since and that’s a really long time to be impressed with someone, ok?

Today, I thought finally to give it a go myself.

I added 500 keywords to the SAME adgroup and gave them individual bids. That’s pretty crazy for me considering I usually have ONE keyword (with 2-3 matching types) per adgroup. And so far it’s been working brilliantly.

But I decided to give the multiple-keywords-in-an-adgroup trick a go. After all, I’m still working on my original 1,000 leads/day challenge that I set maybe a month or so ago (if you remember).

This Adwords Account Snapshot Had Me Baffled: 400+ Keywords In The Same AdGroup With a 93% Conversion Rate With A Landing Page That Should Never Have Converted!

One of the lessons I learned through my online marketing experience is that just because something is working doesn’t mean it’s the best way. So what were the results of this experiment?

First, my click-thru-rate on that adgroup went from 1.5% to 12%. Heck yes! Double digit CTR!

That doesn’t even make sense. Considering that i’m using the exact same ad on 500 keywords. Theoretically, the more targeted the ad is to the keyword, the better response it should get. Here, instead, 500 different keywords with the same (much less tailored ad) are getting clicked more frequantly. Here’s why I think this happened:

When bidding on just a single keyword I would use the same bid for potentially 1000’s of searches. But when I’m targeting longer-tail keyword derivatives I’m gaining the advantage of being able to put down individual bids more customised to each search string’s competition. And I also think that Google is giving preference to my ad over others, regardless of my bids, because I’m telling it specifically (instead of implying) that it should show the ad on those exact search strings.

There is a down-side to this trick though.

My conversion rate shot all the way down. I mean, there’s literally ZERO conversions for the couple of hundreds clicks accumulated today.

Expensive experiment. But a very valuable lesson learned about increasing click-thru-rate.

Now, onto figuring out how to make the landing page convert more of those clicks!

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Keyword Research: Shall I Spy On My PPC Competitors?

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The tools are supposed to be able to allow you to plug in the address of your competitions’ websites to retrieve all the keywords they’re bidding on in sponsored search. Also included, is usually a copy of the corresponding ads and estimated bids. Sounds pretty useful doesn’t it?

Not really.

I’m gonna tell you NOT to research like this. There are better ways to spend your money (like on your PPC ads). And more effective ways to beat competitors to the top of the search page.

Am I saying this because it’s immoral to spy and steal the campaigns of others? No.

It’s because Spy tools don’t deliver on their claims.

To non-technical folks, computer programmers are like magicians. They create magic with their computer code and do amazing nearly miraculous things. But another programmer looking in from the outside can still see the thin string that pulls cards into the magician’s sleeve. They can see that the magic is nothing but an illusion.

Spy tools are an illusion. A marketing gimmick. There is a market for them because people are lazy. I mean, sure it would be nice to just find a successful affiliate promoting the same offer as us and then steal their campaign for ourselves…right?

Except that Spy tools generally return untargeted keywords that no one in their right mind is bidding on. Their bid estimates are WAY off. And they don’t tell you the REAL secrets of why someone else’s ads are working.

For example, they won’t tell you:

  • How the advertiser organises his/her account.
  • Or the negative keywords they include in their keyword lists.
  • Or the way they group their keywords.
  • Or the way they monetize their clicks.

That’s the real stuff worth paying for. And I’m pretty sure if a tool could tell you all of that, it would cost a lot more than $96 a month.

I buy and test just about every PPC tool you’ve ever come across.

Spy tools work by “guessing” keywords, monitoring which ads show up, and then adding them into a database they do lookups on when you use the tool’s search.

They definitely don’t have a way to go into people’s accounts and steal their keywords. There are keywords left out, quite often the money keywords! Also, there are many keywords returned by the spy tool that don’t actually trigger those ads. The bid estimates are wayyyy off. The click estimates are always wrong.

It’s a big collection of unrelated information, gathered from god knows where, and combined in a way to look authoritative. All of it designed to trick you into believing you’ve seen into the inner workings of your competitors’ ad campaigns. When all you’ve done is fallen for an illusion.

Read the small print on keyword spy tools, you’ll find they have disclaimers reflecting their anticipated unreliability.

PPC Bully

The only real way to beat up your competition and take their spot in the sponsored results, is to monitor them over time, identify the winners, learn from them, and then do it better.

If you insist on spending your money on a Keyword Spy tool, then save your dollars for this next one:

I am at the moment in the process of testing a tool called PPC Bully. This is different because it’s not framed as a “spy” tool–it simply automates studying the competition before you start spending your own money bidding on an expensive keyword.

A couple of years ago, I got bored of manually checking the competition by hand. So I wrote a very simple program to make my job easier:

The way it worked was, I’d give it a bunch of keywords I was considering bidding on. And at a defined interval throughout the day, this little program would go out and simulate searches on all those keywords. It would then retrieve all the sponsored ads that are returned and log them for me to study later.

Here’s the theory:

An advertiser who is losing money with their ad+keyword+landing page combination is going to do one of two things:

  • They’re gonna be savvy enough to take their ad down, modify it, and try a new combination
  • Or, they’re gonna leave it till Google slides it down in position and probably slaps it to hell so it won’t show up in sponsored ads any more

Either way, the end result, is that over time, the ads that don’t work stop showing.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for advertisers that are probably making money, all you need to do is find the ad+keyword+landing page combinations that show up EVERY time the program simulates the search for those keywords over an extended period of time. That could be a day, a week, or even a month depending on how competitive the keyword is.

PPC Bully tests your competitors like this.

It isn’t my program. Some bright marketers hired programmers and turned the idea into a commercial service.

Now, if you’re thinking about bidding on some expensive keywords, it’s easy to avoid risking your own money. Just run PPC Bully with that keyword and monitor the competition for a week or so. Find the winning combination of keyword+ad+landing page, and then try to do something similar without violating copyrights.

All I know is that out of all the spy tools I’ve seen so far, the $49 investment in PPC Bully is the only one worth exploring.

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SEO Networker’s Intrusive Case Study Videos

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Fernando Ceballos and Raymond Fong of SEO Networker

Inside, I saw how these two rocket-scientists turned Network Marketers were able to dominate the Google organic search results for common searches that business opportunity seekers are looking for. Keywords like, “attraction marketing”, “network marketing training”, “mlm leads”, and “mlm system”.

Basically, that means they can get perfect prospects for their MLM business from Google for FREE.

They’re good friends of mine, but I’m sure as hell not about to tell them that their content gave away the kitchen sink. I want it to stay up there at least till I finish implementing some of that stuff!

Maybe they don’t realise how dangerous it is to be sharing insider material about their business with someone like me…because, um…I’m gonna implement it, master it, and then I’m gonna be their competition.

Like for example, here’s some of the cool stuff I’m sooooo gonna nick:
(btw, for my American readers who may not know this, nick=take/steal)Â

  • They gave away some of the exact keywords that they’ve been targetting with their main website

    Using Fernando and Raymond’s Search Engine Optimisation techniques alongside my Paid search efforts, I’ll get the benefit of being on BOTH sides of search results. In effect, maximizing my search presence: I get immediate results with PPC and then long-term passive results with all the content I create over time with SEO!

  • Fernando showed the titles and exact addresses to the content that got them on Google’s front page. So in theory, one could go to those articles, do some “research”, and then write similar articles on one’s own website.
  • They showed the actual categories and themes that they divided their content into. This is an integral part of doing Search Engine Optimisation. One could, copy those themes or categories (though we shouldn’t)…and then you’d be able to dominate the same keywords in Google’s organic results too.
  • They revealed their linking strategy. Which sites they’re using to connect INTO their site and how they’re linking the pages within their site in that perfect way that Google wants to just keep sending them visitors.
  • Fernando gave me an idea how to modify my wordpress blog theme so that it monetise the traffic that comes to it from free search engine traffic.
  • They told about how installing a wordpress blog on your site is almost a passive way to get search engine rankings because of RSS. Now that’s pretty smart, considering that with wordpress, the very same blogging engine i’m using right here, I don’t have to do ANY html coding. I can literally create my entire site, landing pages, capture pages, and sales letters all off the same wordpress platform. Holy smokes!
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    Ok so that’s pretty much a whole bunch of stuff I got out of their case study. This came (I think) as a result of a conversation I had with them a few weeks ago.

    See, Fernando and Raymond are launching a coaching program to show regular network marketers how to create sites that Google loves to send traffic to. When we talked about their launch, I made a suggestion that went something like:

    “Hey guys, why don’t you give away a bunch of videos with proper, simple, SEO techniques that people can go out and implement right away. And then hold a contest of some kind that makes use of the learning people get from those techniques.”

    I don’t know that i said it exactly that way, but ya know, quotes are cool in blogs. I thought I’d do one.

    A few days ago they caught me by surprise when they released these case study videos for the contest. The winners get a scholarship into the coaching program. Meaning, they get in for free. Contest ends on the 22nd of January, so not a whole lot of time if you’re thinking about joining in.

    As for me, I’m not eligible for the contest because i’m a JV and I get free unlimited access to the training anyway. But regardless, the information they shared in the videos is as useful to me as anyone else.

    In my next post I’ll tell you some of the things I’m gonna implement right here in this blog to help me dominate a slice of Google’s organic search results!

    Go watch the SEO Networker case study videos and then comment here on what you learn!

Making Easy Money With Replicated Systems, a Dying Myth

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One Tree Hill was a landmark that fascinated me when I was small…

I could see it from my childhood home.

Our house was 30 years old when we moved in. It was made from Rimu tree, and was transferred from another city in the middle of the night on the back of an enormous truck.

When it arrived on our very sloped land at dawn, it was mounted upon thick wooden posts and made to stand level with the slope’s highest point.

Ours was the tallest house in the neighbourhood. And from its strange double-glazed living-room window, I could see across to the other side of the city. There, in the distance stood a single tree waving alongside a dark tower on a “hill”. One Tree Hill.

It was a long time before I finally visited.

The road we drove on wound around what seemed more like a mountain. And as i leaped out of the car, excited, with the wind whipping my hair against my face, I saw my beloved tree and tower in all their glory.

As I came closer to inspect, I noticed two tree stumps in the ground.

“Daddy, this is THREE Tree Hill! Look, two trees next to this were cut. See?”

My father shrugged at where I pointed. No one ever talked about those two tree stumps. I always wondered why.

One day, my teacher assigned us a project to write our own Maori-style myth.

Maori myths had certain distinguishing features: There were man-like-gods for everything. And they were amazing.

There was Maui who caught, beat, and tamed the sun, fished the North Island out of the sea, and tried to conquer death. Then there was my favourite, Tane. He was one of the strongest gods and reigned over the forest. Also, there was Aroha the goddess of love. And earth mother Papa and sky father Rangi who were pushed apart by their children when they grew restless in the darkness between them.

Maori myths were told to children and served as explanations for things their parents didn’t know the answers to back then.

I didn’t know why One Tree Hill had two stumps. So I told this story…

Myth: Kupe Fighting Sea Creatures

There were two young gods–Tane and Rangi.

They made the forest before Tane created man. Rangi fell in love with another goddess named Aroha and wanted to build her a wooden hut in Tane’s forest. Tane was horrified that Rangi should cut up the trees they had worked hard to create. In a fit of rage, he turned Rangi and Aroha into small seeds. He threw them far away at the top of the highest mountain.

As years past, Rangi and Aroha grew into strong trees and had a small child of their own. Tane was not a forgiving god…and when he found out, he chopped Aroha and her child. But not Rangi. Though he tried, he was unsuccessful because Rangi was one of the original immortal gods.

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To an 11 year old, this simplistic story gave an entertaining explanation for the tree stumps. It was a myth for children.

Later, when I grew up I learned that One Tree Hill was at the center of a protest for Maori rights…an angry protestor tried to chop the tree in the middle of the night. Luckily, he was stopped in time.

We’ll come back to the tree a little later. For now, I want to talk about another myth believed by adults…

When the Internet went mainstream, many fortunes were made online. We hear about these lucky people’s stories in the news. Boys were paid 1.6 billion for a little video sharing website called YouTube. A PhD project turned into one of the most recognised names on the internet…Google. College-drop-out turned down a billion dollars for his year-book-like social network…Facebook.

I grew up dreaming of making my fortune online like them. These amazing, intelligent, legends of the Internet were my heroes.

I wasn’t the only dreamer. This stuff became the stuff of myth. Told and spread between adults. There came a time when you didn’t even need to convince anyone that they could get rich quick on the internet. All they had to do was hire a web designer and start an online store-front and woow over-night riches.

Although it’s never been THAT easy to make a lot of money online, until very recently, it was relatively simple. I mean, not so long ago, you could make $15 for 15 minutes of work just by filling out surveys (not any more).

Or you could go to clickbank, commission junction, or amazon and pick the first ready-made product you see with a decent pay-out. You take their sales page and throw together a video or Google ad and drive people directly to the sale.

It’s not like that today.

As more and more people flocked to these internet marketing systems, funded proposals, affiliate programs, and adsense content generators…the internet became saturated with duplicate content. Not long after, a searcher would be faced with millions of results made up of testimonials and reviews that all went to the same sale page, for the same product.

In effect, what is happening now, is that the myth has spread:

“Much money can be made for relatively no effort on the internet!”

And it’s being sold and believed over and over by every opportunist.

While thousands of new people flock to start businesses online using these “simple systems”, what is in effect happening is that thousands of clone businesses are being opened in the very same marketplace.

Their clone businesses sell the same products, to the same prospects, using the same offers, and the same sales pitch. They are in a stale-mate…brutally fighting for the same chunk of market with exactly the same weapons.

The result? Customers are divided and spread very thin between them all. Only a little money (if any) can be made in each clone-business.

One of the winners, in this situation, is the system owner.

Think about it…

All of the myth-inspired “business” owners are spending and risking their own effort, money, and time in the hope of earning commissions. The response they see is minimal–say 1 sale a week. While on the other hand, the system owner is making money on the 1 sale/week over 10,000 affiliates (or system users). That’s 10,000 sales a week with zero extra effort on their part.

Yet, the system owners aren’t the demons in this myth.

They’re just making it easy for people to start. Because they know that most promoters are myth-buyers and they will not stay around to duplicate more than one time. So they make it easy for them to duplicate that once.

On the other hand, the people who DO make the big bucks don’t rely on the system on its own. They’re out there creating a unique experience for customers. They’re making it a point to stand out from the clones. Because they know the myth for what it is–a piece of fiction for children.

They’re out there building a real business on sound, scientific principles. They’re sharpening stronger, better weapons by developing their Unique Selling Proposition (USP). They understand supply and demand. They’re learning marketing skills to beat the clones with.

These are the people who outsource landing page creation, list building, autoresponders, and copy.

As the stories travel and spread, more late-comers will come hoping for a slice of pie. But it’s going to keep thinning and getting harder until the myth is shattered and makes sense no more.

“Make easy money online” will be DEAD!

Just like the tree on One Tree Hill. Sacrificed in a political demonstration for rights. The news was broken a few years ago that after the attack on “Rangi”, my favourite tree was too weak to continue to stand on its own. It became an accident risk. And the decision was made to chop it down.

So much for my myth’s immortal god.

Now the hill has three stumps and a tower. No Tree Hill.

No Tree Hill 🙁