Categories
Travel

The Ultimate Contest – Shoemoney, Affiliate Summit and the Playboy Mansion!

Wow Oh WOW!

Could this possibly be the best possible prize, contest thingi ever to be created?

Two points, that instantly highlight the craziness of this contest:

  1. An opportunity to roll with Shoemoney at Affilaite Summit West
  2. A ticket the Epic Playboy Mansion Party

I can’t decide which one is better. I know that spending a weekend with Shoemoney will completely change my life forever. And that’s not just some “oh yay lets go and get feelings and be all emotional and see the light” warm and fuzzy life changing crap. I’m talking direct, immediate repercussions that will hockey stick my income, network, reputation and lifestyle immediately.

Buuuut, the Playboy Mansion…. This is something that has been on my “top 10 things I want to do before I die” forever like… You could have all the money in the world and not be guaranteed entry to the mansion. Well.. if you had all the money in the world you could probably get in, but you know what I mean…

The good thing is if I win this contest, I won’t have to choose! Because Shoemoney, the mad man that he is, is giving away the opportunity to win both of these fantabulous prizes in one hit! Oh he’s also chucking in some other cool bonuses like a free trip to Vegas and a $2,000 blackjack hand to sweeten the pot!

This post is my entry to said contest which you can read all about here.

Why I Deserve to Take this Puppy Home

First a bit about me.

My name is Vinay, how you doing?

A year ago I took it upon myself to redesign my life. I was 24, working in good job in Sydney as an IT Recruiter. Life was good, I was earning 6 figures, had lots of toys, but it wasn’t Shoemoney good. And I wasn’t free.

I wanted excitement, adventure, riches, travel, VEGAS!!

So I set off, off to see the world. For the last year I travelled through South East Asia, Europe and North America. But before leaving I took it upon myself to get set up with some income to help me along the way and truly achieve my goals. Having an already fairly strong background in IT and business the internet seemed the way to go.

My first endeavour was an e-commerce store which is still running strong and has been my main earner over 2010. While travelling I worked on this business and quickly learned the ways of the internet world.

Heineken Festival, Lake Balaton, Hungary

After 9 months of excessive partying like New Years in BKK, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, 4 day festivals in Hungary, the biggest nightclub in the world in Ibiza, underground raves in Amsterdam, experiences in Berlin that I will not write about publicly and much other crazyness it was time to get serious again.

Deatmau5, Ibiza, Spain

So a couple of months ago I relocated to Vancouver where I am now. I have stuck my head down doing 100 hour weeks and have got lots done. I released my first free product. My first collaborative ebook and my first paid product is currently in WSO testing. I have built niche sites like this and this. I have a full time VA and have assembled a team to produce my first app kicking off early in 2011 – no links here, this one is hush, hush. I feel I am right before tipping point and am just looking for something to push me over the edge. Rolling with Shoemoney would without a doubt be the rocket fuel that pushes me to the next level.

I wanted to move to Vancouver so I could have access to opportunities just like this. I made it to Blogworld for my first Vegas experience a few months ago which was mental but nothing compared to what I expect ASW to be! I also wanted to be in the same time zone and be closer to people who were more experienced and accomplished than me in the online world. They say you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with so I want to make sure I spend my time with people I respect and who are better, faster and stronger than me. So far so good as I met my partner for my software project here already!

Ok so why do you DESERVE to win?

Well I don’t know if I deserve to win or not, only our esteemed judged and super sexy voters will determine that. But what I do know is that I WILL maximize this opportunity to its fullest.

Some people will tell you they party hard, but few people know what partying hard really is.

Some people may tell you that they know how to be professional, but few people have pitched to Fortune 10 Investment Banks.

Some people may tell you they are serious about making it online, but few people have put in the work to learn everything they possibly can AND act on it.

Some people are applying for a free trip to Vegas, but few people understand the REAL value you are offering in this competition.

CLICK HERE

Hell, I will fly myself to Vegas for the opportunity to hang for a weekend. I don’t care about the expenses or the blackjack hand (although I REALLY want that ticket to the Playboy party!) I know the value will be far beyond the immediate material benefits of the prize.

In terms of what I can offer in return… What do you give the man who has everything?

Well, I know I can offer fun company. I can tell you that I’m an easy going guy with a steadfast positive attitude. I have oodles of interesting stories, know how to have a good time and get along with people from all walks of life. I’m also a single man with lots of experience chasing girls all around the world if that’s your kind of thing.

I can be known to give good advice but I can also be known to tell it how it is which some people don’t appreciate. In return, I prefer to be told how it is and I know Shoemoney is that kinda guy. You won’t need to tread lightly with me.

In terms of promotion: I will blog the whole experience and promote Shoemoney as the next Hugh Hefner to every good looking girl I come across for the rest of my life. I will do any type of interview or promotional campaigns you want. I will send everyone who helps me win this a personalised card filled with blue glitter and for the grand finale: If I win the blackjack bet, I will use the winnings to get the shoe money logo tattooed onto my back!!!

Yes you heard me right. John chow can even record it and post it on his blog!

By the way, I don’t have ANY tattoos so this is a pretty big deal. That’s how bad I want this. I’ve thought about it many times and have always said – if I ever get a tattoo it needs to have a good story behind it. If I’m lucky, I might have just found my story.

So please Shoemoney and his oh so very good looking staff, pick me!!

Shoemoney Logo
My Future Possible Tattoo
Categories
Business

Video Failure and a New Future – Niche Site Duel 04

This is a continuation post from the niche site duel I started earlier. Take a look at post one, two and three first if you haven’t already.

As you may have read, I started with a slightly different method of creating a niche site from the standard model that Pat and Tyrone followed in the Niche Site Duel.

Instead I was to make a series of videos to drive traffic to a squeeze page, build a list and sell products. This didnt work out so well… Maybe because I didn’t put enough work into it (probably this), maybe because the model was wrong, maybe because the niche was wrong, for whatever reason, here are some quick results:

I made 24 videos – first problem as the target was at least 50 – and you can see them here: http://www.youtube.com/user/stopsleepapnea

Stats

The videos so far have received 878 views.

From those 878 views I received about 85 visitors. ~10% CTR (Click Through Rate)

From those 85 visitors, I received 12 email sign ups to my squeeze page. ~ 14% Opt In Rate

From the 12 visitors, I have sold 1 product for a comission of $10.

Granted I only spent about 2 days in total making the squeeze page and the videos, but this is still not a great result by any standard.

Tips from Videos

I wanted to give a few tips I learned from making the videos. I have been working on projects I find much more interesting than this one, many using videos such as the free course I built on how to make an online store. So I have learned lots. And this was my first forte into video so I am glad I did it.

Video Tools:

To make these videos, I used three different tools:

  • Microsoft Powerpoint – Create a slide show (Use Open Office if you don’t have)
  • Cam Studio – Screen and audio recording
  • Windows Live Movie Maker – Editing

These are all free and easy accessible tools that anyone can use to start making videos.

For the content, I used PLR (Private Label Rights) content that you can find around the web by searching. This is basically content you can buy for really cheap and brand as your own (I spent less than $10).

Video Techniques

Few tips I want to share when making the videos.

  1. Make your videos short and varying in length
  2. Create a strong call to action at the end with clear instructions – “click on the link below and sign up to our newsletter to get xyz”
  3. Create long outros to your videos after your call to action. This means the user has less of a chance of being distracted by the related videos that pop-up and will more likely click on your link.
  4. Use Tube Mogul to distribute your videos to multiple video directories

Why did I Fail?

The main reason this project failed was not enough traffic to the videos. There are thirdly main reasons for this.

Firstly, I didnt make enough videos… If I had made 100 videos, I would have had at least 4 x the visits. Probably more because the chances of one or two of them becoming popular and getting many hits is much greater.

Secondly, I didn’t market my videos. This is huge. I didn’t build backlinks or get comments to videos thus they sailed by unnoticed.

Thirdly, I didnt pick a ‘video friendly’ niche. Sure my competition research was sound, but logically I think I was off. Sleep Apnea is not a visual topic and not many people are searching for it on YouTube. If I had picked something like Golf Swing or something more visual then I think I would have been in a better situation.

What Next?

Well, if you have visited http://sleepapneastop.com in the last few days then you may have noticed it is no longer a squeeze page (a page designed to get just name and emails like http://www.eshopwiz.com) but is now a blog.

I have decided to turn it into an auto blog cluster.

I may talk about this in the future, but for now all you need to know is there are hundreds of blogs running on it that all look like this:

http://sleepapneastop.com

http://antisnore.sleepapneastop.com/

http://cpap.sleepapneastop.com/

As usual, there is nothing better than a good failure to keep you on your toes. Besides the video marketing, I learned lots about squeeze pages, list building and a whole lot more. Plus the project is not yet dead, taking a new direction.

Oh, I also learned I don’t like learning about, reading about, talking about or making videos about sleep apnea. Thus why the auto blog route. I couldn’t stand to make more content on this subject 🙂

Categories
Business

My First Collaborative Ebook is Here!

Just a quick post to tell you about my first colaborative ebook that I released over at my other blog eshopwiz.com

This has been a great experience, I got to meet many interesting people from all different areas of business. More about the creation of this book in the near future. But for now, go check it out here!

Categories
Business Technology

Founders of Youtube, Twitter and Skype Speak at Dublin Web Summit

My friend Michael Clyne of Pathpacific.com just posted up the recording of the Dublin Web Summit where they had some truly amazing speakers.

The line up included Chad Hurley – Founder of YouTube, Jack Dorsey – Twitter Founder and Niklas Zennstrom – Skype Founder to name a few.

Michael runs a video production studio in Dublin so check him out if you’re in that part of the world.

Chad Hurley – Founder of YouTube

Jack Dorsey – TWITTER Founder

Niklas Zennstrom – Skype Founder

There were a few other great speakers including Brent Hoberman – LastMinute.com, Sloane Berrent – AnswerwithAction.com and Soraya Darabi – FoodSpotting.com. Check out all the speeches here.

Categories
Business

The Launch Post – Could this be the Difference Between Life and Death?

I’m currently working on launching my new site which is a complete, free video guide to building an online store as mentioned in this post.

The site is coming along nicely with the core 7 lessons already developed, the email auto responder is set up using aweber so you get a nice email in your inbox with a link to each lesson (the lessons are delivered over 8 days). There is a blog that is coming along nicely, kind of. There are a bunch of sales pages up at the moment. I’m testing different subscription boxes. I have a sales video made, but need to make another one or two so I can have them rotating for testing by the time launch date comes… I don’t like making sales videos so I’ve been putting this off.

The site is already running, it’s been ‘soft launched’ meaning I have done some mild marketing for it and have a fair few subscribers but it’s still a little rough around the edges so need to smooth things out for the official launch.

One thing I’m very excited about is the launch article I’ve been working on. I think a post article can be very important as a solid kick start to any new site. If done properly, it could really blow out and create a viral effect. If it doesn’t work, it will result in a great post with not much traffic so either way it’s not so bad.

For my launch post I’ve been contacting influential figures in the ecommerce space and asking them this question:

“What is one unconventional piece of advice you would give someone looking to start their own ecommerce store”

So far the feedback has been exceptional! I have had feedback from a number of prominent CEOs, top bloggers and even a guy who has a radio and TV show. I won’t reveal the details just yet but there is some pretty juicy stuff. The goal here is that not only is this turning out to be a great post – which might even turn into a free eBook if I keep getting content like this – but hopefully the people I’m contacting will help me promote the article/ebook and it will go viral. I will write a post on how I went about contacting these people in the future. I cant take credit for this idea however, It was actually something I picked up from listening to this podcast between Pat Flyn (Smart Passive Income) and Corbett Barr (Think Traffic).

I plan to do some pretty hefty marketing to friends and people on my social media networks to try and get Diggs and Stumbles up. By hefty I mean one email asking them to Digg and Stumble the post. I’ve NEVER marketed to my friends before so I’m a little nervous about this, but this factor is driving me to ensure the quality of the content is as high as possible.

The whole process is turning out to be much more coordination than I originally thought. I also need to write a press release or two and push it out to the press release sites. I’ve never done that before… I just put a request up on HARO to see if I can get more contributors to my article so will see if that brings back anything useful. And I’m sure there are plenty of other things I need to do that I have either forgotten or haven’t thought of yet. Either way this post is kind of a check list for myself.

The one thing I still haven’t come close to deciding and that is super important is a title for the launch post. Without a title I’m 100% happy with, the launch isn’t happening. Because as you may know from here, here or here the headline of a post/book is the most important part. Here’s a few I just thought of:

Unconventional Advice from Ecommerce Geniuses?

Too boring…

Want Larger Breasts, a Super Model Girlfriend or a Million Bucks?

Too much?

Captains of Industry Reveal their Tips to Conquering the E-commerce World?

F*&% I don’t know… Maybe it will come to me in a dream. Got any ideas?

Categories
People Technology

Abstract Education: The Khan Academy

This site is truly amazing and could turn out to be one of the most important websites in the world. Abstract living at its finest. I urge everyone to share it with everyone they know.

Its a site with videos teaching educational concepts. It starts with simple concepts like 1+1 and goes all the way into college level and calculus.

The Khan Academy is helping people all around the world, giving them access to a free, first grade education.

 

www.khanacademy.org

 

Categories
Technology

Gangster & Innovator – Mark Burnett @ Blogworld

One of the more interesting events that happened during the day at Blogworld was a keynote by Mark Burnett and his following publicity stunt.

If you don’t know, who Mark Burnett is, here is a Wikipedia excerpt:

Mark Burnett (born 17 July 1960) is a British television producer, known for creating and/or producing competition-based reality television shows such as the American edition of Survivor, The Apprentice and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Mark Burnett’s international productions include: Amne$ia Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?, which has been produced in over 55 foreign countries, The Contender-Asia (a Thai kick-boxing version of the American Boxing-Competition show), and The Apprentice which has been produced in over 21 foreign countries.

Mark Burnett is pacting with casino and resorts giant Genting Intl. to launch a $20 million joint production venture. Mark Burnett Prods. Asia will produce original content for Asian broadcasters and license those formats in markets around the world, including the U.S. The TV venture, the first for Genting, marks the latest overseas expansion for Burnett.

For a guy who use to be in the military and worked as a nanny, his talk sounded awfully familiar to a Tony Robins presentation. Which is not a bad thing in any way as Tony Robins is a gangster (the cool kind) and I’m a self help junkie.

The interesting portion of the talk was at the end when he launched his new TV show: Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

While I am no fan of Sarah Palin, I am a fan of Mark Burnett. For his TV shows, his marketing skillz and most recently his gangster Tony Robins like jargon.

During his keynote at Blogworld, he announced this TV show for the first time by having stevegarfield whom I don’t who, but seems to have a decent sized Youtube channel, upload the first copy of the TV Trailer to his Youtube channel, tweet it out then asked everyone in the room to also tweet it out.

This is the video that was uploaded to Youtube.

The official first tweet
The official first tweet

At the time of writing this video is currently on ~82,000 views. Not bad for 10 days.

Who knows if this tactic will work or not but I like his innovation and guts for giving it a shot. Plus its Sarah Palin so no one really gives a sh!t if it works anyway…

Categories
Business

Designing a Squeeze Page – Niche Site Duel 03

Welcome to post number 3 of my niche site challenge. As you may know from posts one and two I am participating in the niche site duel being run by Pat Flyn.

My strategy has been a little different from the traditional strategies that most of the other guys have been using. And I am not sure if I have picked the correct strategy or not, but at the very least I am learning lots which is the most important thing. Including picking up some awesome linking strategies from makemoneybuzz.

The main reason I chose this route was to experiment with video. With screen casting, driving traffic to and from videos as I am working on another project which is due to launch in a couple of weeks. I knew this and figured I should get some practice in before going full force on a project that I am more comfortable with and that has much larger potential.

The site that I have chosen is http://www.sleepapneastop.com

This was actually the first squeeze page I have ever designed right after going through some training on how to build them.

Here is what I did.

1. Installed WordPress and downloaded a free squeeze page theme from wordpresssqueezepage.com. I’m not going to show you how to install WordPress, there are plenty of guides out there including guides written up by the other participants of this competition. But if you have any questions, just ask.

2. Registered with Aweber to give me pretty email sign up (opt in) boxes and to track and manage my email campaign. Aweber is an amazing piece of software. You can build all sorts of sign up boxes, set up automated email responses, split test emails, track clicks. Basically do anything. If you are thinking of doing any sort of email marketing, get Aweber.

2. Crafted a story around my product. Taking this angle can seem a little on the morally grey side. Again, this is just an experiement. And we all know that stories sell. So I crafted a story about a guy named Peter Evans who used to suffer from sleep apnea but managed to fix it and now he has the secrets to show you how.

4. Created a small, relevant ebook that I give away for free by rewriting some content I found on the web. I think its only about 1000 words and took me a couple of hours including formatting. This gives people incentive to sign up and get the free report. People like free stuff.

5. Built the squeeze page. A few things I have picked up before and after I built the squeeze page:

  • Don’t have big flashy header images. Just have a simple, red title.
  • Make sure that your op-tin box is above the first line. The line refers to the first thing you see when the site loads up. You shouldn’t have to scroll down to see the sign up box.
  • Also, above the line should be short, punchy and with a strong call to action towards the sign up box. The aim here is to get people to enter their email addresses. Nothing else. Your headline should sell the majority of the people.
  • If a reader isn’t sold on your headline, start going down into benefits of the product, then into your story.
  • Finally try to capture with another sign up box.
  • Use a light background (which I am not doing!)
  • Split test your squeeze page using Google Website Optimiser (which I am not doing!)

As I said, this was my first squeeze page so its probably not the most awesomest thing ever. It was an interesting process and so far I have learned a lot. More experimenting to come and soon I will start to show results. Between Blogworld and my other new and exciting project, this site has been about 2% of my time so its definitely not where it should be but I still think it has potential so will keep slugging away at it slowly.

Categories
Business

Abstract Income: How to Support an Abstract Lifestyle

Recently I have been participating in the Niche Site Duel, more as an experiment than anything else. But the reason I have been playing around with things like this is I am trying to build myself a strong income stream. A stream that comes from multiple sources and ideally that can be eared from any country in the world.

To do this, I have been setting up income businesses. An income business (versus a value business) is a business that you can set up for relatively low costs, that will bring in consistent income. While many income businesses are now forming online, they dont have to be online. An example of an income business would be a cafe, restaurant or convenience store. They are never going to turn you into a billionaire, but they allow you to earn your income yet still have more control over your life (at least that’s the idea, doesn’t always work out that way as im sure many restaurant owners would argue).

Currently here in Vancouver, I am exploring the possibility of a value business. A business that has the potential to make lots of money but comes with high risk, more stress, less flexibility etc…

While I have been travelling though, I have built one online income business that has managed to make me a decent profit and is continuing to grow. This business has been an ecommerce business. The model I followed was the same as the one given in the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris, and truly does work. While it can be a bit of work initially, it does pay off in the long run.

I am launching a new site in the next couple of weeks that will be a free course to show people exactly how to build an online store. Its going to be AMAZING!

No seriously, I already have 4 hours of video content, with loads more coming. It will show you how to go from absolutely nothing, not even an idea (although if you already have a product or idea that will help) to owning your own ecommerce store.

It will include product research and selection, domain research and selection. Build the back end of your store (don’t worry, you don’t need to be a techie!) including setting up tracking and payment processing. Designing your store. Building the content. Plus building a marketing and customer retention strategy.

So make sure you subscribe over to the top right as this site is going to kick ass and be totally free!

Categories
People Technology

Blogworld 2010 #bwe – My Review

I was a lucky SOB and managed to win myself a full access pass to Blogoworld last week. It was an awesome experience. I have been to many trade shows in the past but nothing like this. And none since I set out on my own last year. I used to go representing my company which is a little different.

I had also never been to a multi-day event, which had parties too.

One thing I have learned about myself over the last year, is that I suck at networking online. I just don’t have the patience for it. I know this may be a bit of a negative being in the online space as there is no better place to meet people who work online than online… But I just don’t like doing it. I don’t like hanging out on Facebook, I don’t like tweeting stuff, I think its weird meeting and connecting with people online.

But hey, that’s just my opinion and personally, I think its a pretty stupid one. I should do more of it. I just feel that the computer is a place of work and learning. When I am on my computer, I am almost always doing one of those things. If I am not doing one of those things, I quickly start to feel uncomfortable and need to get outside, meet some people, do some exercise, do something!

I also know this challenge I have is the opposite of many other bloggers / internet markets who find it awkward to meet and connect with people in person but have no troubles online. I guess its the salesman in me.

So when Blogworld came about, I was like a kid in a candy store. Admittedly, I only went to the full first day, then the clubs afterwards. Even though I didn’t make it to too many events the next couple of days (partly due to the seductive beckoning of the pool, partly due to my hangover), I made it to every party – and after party. I know this was almost the reverse schedule of lots of the attendees who made it to Blogworld. Whichever way you prefer to use your time, you need to make sure you use your time.

I didn’t feel there were too many advanced content courses being taught during the days, but lots of great stuff if you are just getting into new and social media.

The nights were where it was at. I met so many interesting people. Had so much fun. Spammed business cards, collected business cards, pumped my LinkedIn account oh and did I mention the fun?

Whatever the type of person you are, if you work in the internet space I think Blogworld is worth checking out. I will definitely be back there next year if I am on this side of the planet.

So what did I get out of Blogworld (besides the ability to party for a few nights in Vegas?) – contacts. I met people. Lots of interesting people. And its all about who you know right?

Here are some photos including some great content slides from Blogworld: