Proof Of Real Affiliate Earnings

Is making money online just a pipe dream?

I know sometimes that making money online seems next to impossible, like trying to squeeze blood out of a stone, but I want to show you that it IS POSSIBLE to make money online.

I’m not one to brag or show off about anything really, I consider myself quite the ‘Average Joe’ when it comes to most things, but hopefully the little bit of ‘proof’ below will give you hope and encouragement to keep going after those sales too.

Plus, I want to let you know that I actually do what I teach and teach what I do… unlike those wannabe marketers with their fake screenshots and hypey sales pitches.

Sidenote: This is does NOT include sales of my own products which is where I generate the majority of my online income. This is some of the money I’ve made from selling other people’s products… i.e. Affiliate Marketing.

Affiliate Commissions proof

WSO pro commissions

Niche Commissions
Commissions from one of my Non-IM niche sites
Niche Commissions
More Non-IM niche commissions

On top of these, I have my Clickbank account which only has a sprinkle of sales every month (sometimes less), and a few other affiliate programs in which I make a few sales here and there like Hostgator.

I get a couple of these every year from Aweber too

You’ll notice there isn’t a shot of my Paypal account here where the majority of my income goes from sales of my own products.

So again, I don’t show you this to brag, but to show you that earning money online selling OTHER people’s stuff is possible.

I admit, these aren’t breathtaking figures.. but they are real and achievable for anyone IF you put in the effort.

As they say, success is 10% inspiration an 90% perspiration.

Keep in mind that I built my internet marketing business from the ground up 5 years ago and have been working on it nearly every day.. sometimes for only 1 hour, sometimes 10 hrs.

Is it easy? No. Does it take time and dedication? Sure does. But I love the infinite potential of being an entrepreneur, the freedom of being my own boss… and of course seeing my work pay off 😉

Stuart StirlingTo your success,

Stu Sensei

Are You Spreading Yourself Too Thin?

I got an email a while back from a frustrated reader who was trying a lot of different ways to make money on the internet, but failing chronically.

He also relayed his feelings to me in this way…

“Sometimes I feel like I’m a mile wide and an inch deep by trying to many different things. Since you seem to be doing well, what do you recommend?”

Do you ever feel like that?

This is how I answered him.

“I focus on one thing at a time. I’ll stick with one niche, one website, one traffic generation method and wait to see results from that. Then I’ll try to master and get results from other traffic sources and try to get it all running on auto-pilot as much as possible.. THEN I’ll move on to the next thing.”

I’m not perfect – there are times when some new shiny thing will catch my eye and I’ll want to try this out or that and float away from my focus from time to time, but I try to control my thoughts and actions and get back on track as soon as I can.

There are way too many ways out there to make money online or whatever you want to do.

Our inbox’s and social network news feeds are constantly bombarded with them!

So it’s really easy to get lost and hung up on all the new and different products and methods – but as you know, you end up going nowhere.

That’s where the feeling of  being “a mile wide but only an inch deep” comes from. You’re trying everything a little to see if it makes a difference, but the reality is that doing little bits of this and that lightly won’t get you where you want to go. You simply don’t get traction and you stay penny-less.

The thing that really makes a difference is this – consistent, focussed effort.

That’s all you really need.

If you’re just starting out – choose one niche, start one website and focus solely on that project until you succeed.

The only way to be successful with our online business is to focus all your efforts, resources and skills into one campaign…and not even contemplate chasing after another until you succeed at the first one.

The point I want to make is don’t spread yourself too thin across too many different websites and campaigns all going at once.

Learn and master one method or skill at a time. i.e. learn to write good articles and fast, get a system for backlinking in place.

Just like an Olympic athlete doesn’t try to get the gold in every sport in the games, they specialize in one type and win in it. The same goes for entrepreneurs. You will find success when you focus and stick with one project at a time.

It’s hard to be disciplined to stick with one thing – even when you think it’s going nowhere – but that’s the difference between the mediocre and those who really succeed.

Stu Sensei

7 Tips For Staying Creative

Ever feel like your creativity has gone out the window and wondering when/if it will ever come back again?

For entrepreneurs, it’s necessary to keep creativity levels high. As we are all one-man shows for the most part, we have to think and make the executive decisions on what product to create next or how to promote this affiliate offer etc, all by ourselves – or at least it feels that way most of the time.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could give yourself an instant boosts of creativity just like pressing the nitro button in a video game? Well, there is no switch for creativity button, but I’d like to share a few tips for keeping your creativity levels high.

Optimize Your Work Place

If you work from home on your internet business, your work space is probably in the corner of the living room with the TV in the other corner and your wife around the corner bugging you to take out the trash. It’s hard to get creative and just plain get work done in a room with distractions. Another idea could be to put up a poster with inspirational quotes.

Borrow Ideas

When you run out of ideas, just go and do some undercover spying to see what others are doing and borrow their ideas. For example when you can’t think of a good topic for your next blog post, go take a look at what your favorite blogger is writing about and some ideas will come to you. Don’t copy, just borrow ideas.

Mix Things Up

Monotony is the biggest killer of creativity. When we do the same thing over and over everyday, we get too lazy to think of new things. Do something random! Play some music really loud and jump up and down on your bed. Make a prank call to your local pizza shop! Go outside and so some somersaults in the yard. It doesn’t have to be so outrageous, but do something out of the norm to keep things interesting.

Join A Mastermind Group

I mentioned earlier in the post that as entrepreneurs, it seems like we have to do everything ourselves – but if we do, it’s easy to burnout – and that includes thinking up ideas. Talking with and bouncing around ideas with other like-minded marketers is a great way to come up with new ideas and keep the fire going. There are many times after a good chat session when I have felt really pumped with mind-energy to go out and press forward in my business.

Listen Or Read Inspirational Material

Similar to chatting with mentors or peers in a mastermind, listening to or reading good inspirational material is a great way to boost your inspiration. Hearing success stories from others in your field is a great confidence booster. Some of my favorite speakers are Zig Ziglar, Gary Halbert and Robert Kiyosaki.

Take a Break

Have you ever heard about the guy that got his million dollar idea on the toilet seat? I don’t doubt it! Like I mentioned about mixing it up, taking a break let’s your mind relax and makes space for new thoughts to enter. I myself have had several “strokes of genius” when I’ve been away from the PC. When you’re searching for inspiration, how about go for a walk or listen to some music?

Keep Up The Momentum

This is key! When you’re on a roll with coming up with new ideas and getting a lot of work done, it’s easy to keep it going. Keep going – and actually, as you keep going, new ideas will present themselves as you work more. Take note of any new ideas on a notepad next to you as you work on one thing. Finish what you’re doing and come back to your list of ideas. You can use this list when you think you have run out of ideas again.

To your success,
Stuart Stirling

p.s. What do you do to stay creative?

How To Make Predictable Income Online

With a regular 9 to 5 job, you know how much money you’re going to walk away with at the end of every week or every month.

With doing business online, whether it’s selling products or services, it’s a little harder to predict your income because you get paid when your customers buy – there is no boss to pay you a set amount. You are your own boss!

I don’t know about you, but that kind of thing is a little worrisome to me. Especially when I have a family to feed.

But I have found that there is a way to have predictable online income streams.

And that predictability comes with my subscriber and customer email list.

You probably know how email marketing works – you write a promo email containing an “offer” of some sort and send it to your list.

Then sit back and wait for the sales to pour in!

Basically, that’s exactly how it works – and it pretty much works every time like clockwork.

It does depends on variables like the offer, the sales page conversions and how good my email copy is but usually I can predict exactly how much I will make from each email.

But overall, email marketing is predictable because the number of my subscribers is the constant (also constantly increasing) which means I can predict how many people will open my email, how many will click and how many will buy.

For me, having a list to send offers to whenever I want is the best way to make money, that’s why I really recommend you start building a list too.

In mine and partner James Brown’s new Sniper List Building course, we teach you the steps to building an effective list building system and the techniques to building a responsive list fast.

With a (growing) and profitable email list of your own, you can feel assurance in your marketing with predictable income, and our course will show you how to get there.

Your partner in success,

Stu “Sensei” Stirling

p.s. Are you building a list? If not, what is holding you back? Please leave your comments below.

Selling Digital Products VS. Selling Services

My two favorite internet business models are 1. Selling Digital Products and 2. Selling Services.

In my opinion, these are the two most profitable and relatively easy ways to make decent money online.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of both…

1. Selling Digital Product Online

I place this one first because it’s my business model of choice. If I had to start all over again with an internet business, I would sell digital downloadable products.

In case you’re wondering just what digital products are, they include PDF ebooks, software, video training, audios, graphics, website templates etc. Basically, any thing of worth in digital form that can be downloaded falls into this category.

The thing I love most about selling digital products is that if you’re the product creator, you work once and get paid over and over again.

This is different to selling a service for example where you are trading your time for dollars.

Selling digital products gives you the freedom to choose when you want to work and how much you want to work because everything can be completely automated.

Thanks to computers and websites that work on autopilot, you can take orders and deliver the download to the customer while you’re out playing golf with your friends.

You can even follow up with your customers if you put them in an autoresponder.

The down side to all this is that it takes a fair bit of work to create your own products.

You can go the affiliate marketing route where you sell someone elses product for a cut of the sale. This works well for beginners or for a cross promotion with your original product if it’s related.

2. Selling Services Online

The basic definition of selling services means that you perform a service for your client that helps them. It’s kind of like ‘freelance’ work where you get paid to perform tasks for your employer.

Some examples of services you can perform include everything from copywriting, ghost-writing (articles, ebooks, press releases etc.) graphic designing, programming all the way to consulting.

There is a lot of money in selling services online. You’ve probably heard of copywriters getting paid $50,000 to write one letter… and consultants  getting paid $10,000  a month to meet (online) with clients to discuss marketing strategies, etc.

It’s not uncommon to find professionals earning 6 and 7+ figures a year selling services online.

Apart from the potential for big pay checks, you usually get paid first too before you do any work.

In this way it beats digital downloads because there is often a big time and money investment initially in getting your digital product ready to sell.

However, there are downsides. And these cons may turn you off selling services because the terms of it aren’t for everyone.

The biggest downside I find is that it’s still like a job – trading dollars for hours. You don’t have the freedom to do as you please when you sell digital products. You have work to do that your client is waiting for.

And that brings me to another drawback – clients.

Most clients you get will be totally happy with your work because they trust your expertise and aren’t all too fussy, but on the odd occasion, you will get the client who will be very hard to please.

It’s clients like this that will almost make the deal not worth your time for the amount they paid you.

There is a way to sell services and take yourself out of the picture, and that is to have staff under you who can handle the contact with the clients and do the work. You will have to pay your staff but you will have to be the ‘manager’.

There you have it, a brief overview of the two best online business models. If you aren’t already, try them out and see which one serves you best.

It really depends on your personality and goals, and a whole lot more, but whichever you choose, give it your best shot and you can make a great living online with it.

To your online success,

Stuart “Sensei” Stirling

p.s. Which business model do you prefer? Why? I’d love to hear your comments.

What Is The Right Niche For You?

When you decide that you want to start an online business, the first thing that comes to mind is often “what kind of niche market am I going to sell to?”

At first you might instantly think “the money! I want to go where the money is!”. While that’s high on the list for most marketers, it’s not the only single thing to consider when choosing the right niche for you.

There are two main things you want to consider when choosing a market before you dive right in.

And these are the 2 questions to ask yourself, (and not necessarily in this order)

1. Is there money to be made in this niche?

2. Am I passionate about working in this market?

Ok, let’s talk about the first one first, “is there any money to be made?” Of course, if you’re doing business for profit, you’ll want to get into a profitable niche rather than one that isn’t right?

Some people say that you can monetize any niche, and although that might be true to some extent, some niches are more “full of buyers” than others. You want to know which ones have the buyers so you’re not wasting your time with tire-kickers.

So how can you tell if a niche is profitable?

A good way to gauge how many people are buying is by looking at how many products are for sale and how much marketing is going on already in that niche. If you go to a related site within your potential niche and see a lot of advertising going on, then you can assume there is money being made!

Another way is to go to a popular affiliate market place such as clickbank.com and check out the latest top selling products. I say ‘latest’ because as the times change, so do popular and profitable niches/products.

Next, are you passionate about the niche you’re looking into?

Even if you find a profitable niche, you may not have the passion to give it all you have keep at it before you make your venture a success.

For example, I wouldn’t enter the “stamp collecting” niche even if it was lucrative, because I’m simply not interested in it (no offense to any stamp collectors out there).

Being an Entrepreneur, a home business owner, Internet marketer or whatever you want to call it is more than just a way to make a living, it’s a lifestyle. And it’s a lifestyle that requires hard work and dedication, just like many other “jobs”.

Luckily for us, we can choose what we want our lifestyle and “job” to be – that’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur!

Make sure you choose a niche you have a love for, something you can see yourself doing everyday.

Even when times get tough, you will still have enough drive and enthusiasm to battle through if you’re doing something you love.

Another point I might add is that it’s ideal that you have some kind of “expert” knowledge about your niche topic. Most of the time however, we are experts at what we love, even if we know it or not.

Sometimes we forget just how much we know about a certain topic because we’ve been “into it” for years. Don’t short sell yourself by thinking you don’t know enough about one type of niche.

Chances are you know 95% more than the rest of the world on the topic you have a passion for.

Stuart StirlingAnd as you know, knowledge is power and that power can be translated into great products and services you can sell for profit!

To your online success,
Stu “Sensei” Stirling

New Office Let’s Me Work In Style And Comfort

I decided 2010 is going to be a breakthrough year for me; one where I’ll step up my game and get more serious about taking my business online to the next level.

One of thing I was opened to since reading HomePreneur by Jimmy D Brown, is that in order to excel at business, especially a home based business, your work space is one very important aspect home based entrepreneurs often overlook that affects your work productivity.

When I first got started with my Info-product business in 2006, I had just the basics; a low powered PC (tiny processor, 256MB ram, 80GB hard disk) running Windows XP in Japanese! with a tiny 15″ monitor, sitting on a tiny desk with a tiny chair…but I did have my internet connection.

The great thing about Japan is the Internet speed here. It’s one of, if not THE fastest broadband providers on the planet.

That setup was enough to get a fair amount done, but over time, things just naturally got too small. My little 80GB hard disk was filling up fast with a ton of large software apps like Photoshop, Camtasia, Skype, Open Office Suite, Microsoft Office etc. Not to mention all my files that I downloaded or created, were weighing my poor machine down.

At the end of 2009, I knew I couldn’t make the progress I wanted for my business with my setup the way it was so I bit the bullet and made it a point to do a whole office space make-over with a new desk, new chair, and best of all, new PC!

I got my new high-back executive chair and desk at the local second-hand shop for 9000 yen (about $100US) which was an absolute bargain! The PC I ordered online from the DELL website.

The specs are as follows for all you tech savvy geeks out there. Dell Studio Desktop, 20″ monitor, Windows 7 Ultimate (English OS), Intel Core 2 Quad processor (6MB cache, 2.66Ghz), 4GB RAM, 500GB Sata HDD, wireless keyboard and mouse (which I’m still getting used to) and the list goes on.

The price for this was just a smidge over 9,3000 yen (about $1050US) which is comparatively cheap. I don’t care too much about price, because I see it as an investment.

This will help me get more done with more ease, in less time. After all, my PC is my major tool I use for my business so it needs to be sharp…I don’t want to be waiting around for a program or file to load.

You’ll also notice how I keep a desk diary on the desk. In that I write my to-do list and other notes I need to remember. Some things you can’t see in the photos are a calendar right above my monitor on the wall and a small whiteboard on the wall to the left.

These help me keep organized so I can get things done and not waste my time when I sit down to work.

Now, I’m all set up for a killer 2010. I’ll be able to fly through my work in comfort. I’m not saying you need to spend $1000+ on new computer stuff for your business too, remember I was using a $700 second hand computer for almost 4 years! But if you can afford it, it sure helps.

Stu Sensei