Article by Charlie Wright
Want to try my invention?
It’s a giant cyber-vacuum cleaner.
Don’t worry if an image doesn’t immediately pop into your head.
It’s ‘virtual’, which means it’s invisible. Besides, all YOU need to know is how it works….
What you do is plug one end of the vacuum cleaner into your website. You then direct the nozzle at the other end towards the Google search engine.
Sit back, press “SUCK”, and watch what happens.
Thousands of internet users start coming to your website every minute. The vacuum cleaner sucks them in from every corner of the globe. People searching for a whole range of topics are pulled away from other websites and surge through the doors of YOUR business instead.
As the confused masses tumble into your website, they start buying stuff.
Products literally fly off your virtual shelves. E-books, manuals, courses, DVDs and box sets are snapped up by hordes of locust shoppers.
You laugh manically as pound signs roll across your eyeballs… £££££££££££££££!
A ‘cashometer’ in your head is spinning round and round like crazy…. Paypal are on the phone accusing you of being a money launderer… David Cameron is on the other line, asking if the government can borrow a few quid off you.
A week later, you switch the “OFF” button, and count your piles of money. Yes indeed, you’ve made hundreds of thousands of pounds at the touch of a button.
You pay off your debts. You pay off your mortgage. You book a holiday to the Seychelles.
‘Course you do!
And I sincerely wish I could give this to you – or rather, SELL it to you.
Because if I genuinely KNEW of something that worked like this I’d be a millionaire by next Tuesday.
But many people try and sell the idea of an automated software system that builds lists for you as if by magic. While my giant vacuum cleaner sounds ludicrous, it’s not that far off the promises of many ‘robot’ style products.
Many subscribers to this newsletter ask me if I can recommend list building software, or an automated way to popularise a website.
Trouble is, I’m highly sceptical that software can build lists. And by that I mean QUALIFIED lists… the sort of potential customers interested in your particular product or service. It’s fine to have 100,000 visitors to your website… but only if they ever purchase anything.
In the same way, I’m highly sceptical that BUYING ready-made lists of email addresses is any good either. It’s very tempting to think you can pay someone for an instant audience, but it doesn’t work that way.
The only list building strategies that really work
I’ve been doing this online marketing stuff for over 5 years now. I know experts like Nick Laight of Canonbury (it was him who taught me my first business secrets)… and I’ve contacts at Oxfordshire Press, Fortis Publications, Streetwise, Agora International, and many other smaller outfits like ADK and FSM… as well as one-man bands like Tim Lowe, Nick James, Guy Cohen, Jon Street, and so on…
And I’ll say this: NONE of them use list-building software as their principle marketing strategy. Neither do they buy-in lists of email addresses.
The only PROVEN ways I’ve seen to gather qualified online customers are as follows:
a) have your own product or service to sell into other lists and on other websites
b) have access to direct mail – ie sell something through the post and collect email addresses from it (these tend to be the most ‘qualified buyers’ and the best long term customers)
c) Create a free website/newsletter/blog, post new content every week or even every day. Run this for 6 months to get up organic search rankings.
d) Use your own bespoke Adwords campaign, also banner ad campaigns and inserted adverts into websites and newsletters
e) Use article marketing, social networks and forums
f) Do link swaps with other marketers and publishers – you post links to their sites in return for them doing the same for you.
g) Use classified ads for ‘entry level’ reports and books which you place online, in newspapers etc…
h) Use publicity, press releases and viral email or Youtube video strategies.
Ideally, you’d use a large selection of the above. And I’ll admit, there are probably more techniques out there, but these are the ones I’ve used myself.
Whatever, software has never figured in any serious marketing campaign I’ve done or anyone else I know has done.
Similarly, I’m sceptical about systems that claim to automate the entire process of producing online material and marketing.
Which brings me to the Auto Blog System X….
Does the auto-blog system work?
This product is the brainchild of by Rob Benwell. The idea is that he shows you how to set up create and run an “autoblog”.
This isn’t something you write yourself, it sucks content automatically from the internet (like a vacuum cleaner perhaps!)
To do this you need a special WordPress plugin (not included in the system!) This then pulls information from RSS feeds and article directories.
Because the blog is automated it can post masses of material every day. The theory goes that by sheer force of volume, you’re going to start showing up on internet searches.
Aside from the risk that your autoblog is going to be seen by google as a type of spamblog, it’s an attractive idea.
The plugin does all the hard work, right?
Better still… thar be gold in them thar hils!
According to Rob Benwell you’ll start making $1000 a week, every week, within 30 days, by sitting on your bum and doing nothing.
And all YOU have to pay him is $37!
“OKAY, OKAY, HOW DO I JOIN?”
Well, hold your horses for a minute. Perhaps it’s not as good an idea as it sounds.
According to a Biz Opp Jungle reader, the $37 doesn’t buy you enough information and support to make this magical idea work.
He bought Auto Blog System X and says:
“If you are a Newbie you have no hope in hell implementing what he proposes, you need to be an expert in WordPress and plug-ins and everything that goes with it. You get bamboozled with techno-babble…. I emailed the support about this and did not get a reply. So I cancelled it and asked for a refund.”
As with many of these cheaper entry-level business opportunities, it’s all about the upsell. My reader decided to upgrade to a Premium Money Making Blog costing $25, with future monthly $25 charges.
“So I find and register a domain, send the required information and preference of colour scheme and all that to their email address – guess what, no reaction. So after 5 days I cancelled that as well and asked for a refund.”
Hmmm… nice idea, but not so good on the follow-up, then.
And what about Benwell’s other products?
Other products by Benwell include Google Annihilation, the Niche Domination System and Niche Annihilation.
I had a dig for information on these and, so far, things aren’t very positive.
Niche annihilation method is described by one reviewer as “49 pages of garbage written within 49 minutes which you can read within 4.9 minutes!” The manual tells you the basic structure of a sales letter and how to make it look professional.
Google Annihilation is higher level. It costs $37 per month for up to 30 websites with which you are supposed to conquer the search engine.
You get links for other websites supplied automatically on your site, and your linked appears on these other websites in turn.
The idea is that you join a network of sites all generating customers for each other.
Critics of this say that it doesn’t build in the other list building strategies like article marketing, social bookmarking.
Others claim that the links placed on your website can be of dubious repute (salacious websites full of naked women, for instance! Yoiks!)
The principle problem seems to be the lack of response to any emails. It’s not a slow response or an occasional lack of a response… it’s a ZERO response.
So while all the above may work well, you don’t get the promised support.
If you have some feedback on this let me know. Otherwise, tread carefully on the automated treadmill. You could fly off the other end very quickly!
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