Hey guys, I'm a long time lurker but have always been interested in IM. I have never had the chance to really pursue IM for a long while until recently. I am going to be posting my journey as an update here to show my progress, motivate me even more, and possibly help others out. (I learned a lot from other journey threads) First, a brief history: (skip to the next section if this bores you) I have prior experience in MANY different areas. I have done a lot of graphic design. Taught myself how to use photoshop back in highschool many years ago. From there I taught myself how to do some intermediate programming (though I haven't kept up to date on this skill). Anything I find interest in I usually go all out and spend the majority of my time working at it until I'm satisfied with my results. Opposite of the cliche of being master of none but good at many..I like to be master at many and good at many. This may sound a bit conceded, but it really isn't. I'm not and never will claim that I have superior skills over any of you. The ONLY thing that sets most people apart on here is motivation. I have never understood how people go their whole lives working horrible 9-5 jobs getting paid almost nothing, making just enough to pay their bills and buy bad food..only to work some more. They are slaves. Maybe they are happy with that lifestyle, but I seriously feel trapped and depressed in that situation. I landed a job working for ATT making sales for them over the phone. As mentioned above, even though I hated working for them, I wanted to be the best I could at it. So I studied. Worked when I wasn't at work. I took the initiative and learned everything I could about sales and tonality, how to talk to people..and so on. I ended up being the top seller in the region, many pats on the back, handshakes..but the recognition never reached my paycheck. I still got paid peanuts. I was offered a manager position which would only pay marginally more. I figured, I have skills to sell to people, why am I wasting them making other people rich? My wife and I (who met at ATT) both decided to quit and go our own way. That leads us (mostly) up to now. I am motivated, obsessed with learning everything I can about my job, and I'm willing to put in the work. One of the most powerful things to remember is if other people can do it...why can't you? Our business started out with the idea that we could help local companies advertise by sending out mailers for them. One thing we learned quickly is that when starting a business you have to have a starting point and evolve from there. So we did. The more we researched we moved more into marketing, and then into internet marketing. Currently we have a couple different ways to make money and I will outline them below. These are all things YOU can do. You just have to put in the time. Our first project: We started out with the intent to contact local business owners to offer website design services, on page SEO, and ORM. As with any good business person, we had to do research. I found techniques on here that were very helpful. I found things that sounded like good methods, then modified them to fit my vision. We looked up local businesses in the yellow pages, saved ads we got in the mail, and drove around town snapping pictures of any business that advertised on local benches/flyers/billboards. We then took this large list of local businesses and filtered through them. We looked at each potential client and asked ourselves what we could do for them. Everything was documented and we kept extensive notes in excel. From there we ranked the potential clients in order that we felt we could offer the most benefit to. Then, we went down the list and researched everything we could about the business and owners. What was the quality of their website, do they have any online reviews, do they post personal items on their site about grandchildren/pets, what are their hobbies on facebook, and so on. Know as much as you can about your potential clients and businesses. After we researched all of our potential clients as much as we could, we created a general script for calling them. From there it was just a task of calling new potential clients. And calling. And calling. Eventually you will start to sound more natural, won't be as nervous, and will find out what works and what doesn't. The goal is in not trying to finalize a sale on the call. Your goal is to provide a BRIEF idea of what you are calling them for and how it can help them. Then ask to set up a meeting at their business and ask for a specific time. EXAMPLE CALL: BHW Insurance, this is Tina what can I do for you today? Hi Tina, my name is Dick Butt and I need some help. I'm calling about some reviews of your business I seen online. Who would I talk to about that type of thing? Oh, that would be Mr. Ramrod, one second. Thanks Tina. This is Ramrod, what can I do for you? Hi Ramrod my name is Dick Butt, and i'm calling about some negative reviews I seen of your business online. It is showing on the first page of google you have 2 out of 5 stars, have you read any of those reviews? Yes/No/Blah blah Oh goodness, what I can do for you is online reputation management. I can actually help raise the rating of your business and help get those negative reviews off the first page of google. I'd actually like to talk to you about it in person. I can meet you at your business tomorrow at 10:30am. How does that sound? Oh, umm..how about 9:30? Ok great i'll see you then. That is the general idea. Obviously you will edit your script based on the individual client you are contacting and overcome objections when needed. But the goal is to set up a meeting. If you can provide value and interest, they will meet you. Our success rate in cold calling small local businesses and arranging a meeting is around 10%, which isn't too bad. From there, you arrive at their business and explain to them in more detail HOW YOU CAN HELP THEM. Don't make the mistake of telling them all the technical blah blah. In fact, you want to ask them a lot of questions. You want to talk about 20% of the time. Ask them questions so that they basically start to sell themselves on the idea. **At this point i'd like to say if you want to get good at selling to people, you will need to do a LOT of research, practice, mock calls, mock interviews, and so on. So get started!*** Our highest converting product is the website creation. We actually set up affiliate programs with a few hosting providers. This allows us to provide discounts for clients if they sign up for a certain hosting service with our referral code. This benefits both parties. Not only do we get paid from the client, but also get a referral bonus! For your first several clients...you need to OVER deliver like a BEAST!. I cannot stress enough how amazing and awesome word of mouth referrals are. Your clients will sell your services to other clients for FREE! Use your imagination and just work as hard as you can and this alone can be a successful way to pay some bills. Our Second Project Ok so making money for yourself is awesome, we became addicted. Now..how do we make money without working as hard and generate passive income? I seen a few people making money with adsense on here, so I decided to give that a go. I had an acquaintance who already had a site he was trying to make money from, but had no clue about SEO. I made the deal of him updating the site and me doing the SEO and we split the earnings 50/50. Long story short, he was lazy, I ended up writing all the content and doing all the work myself. I was able to get several of his pages in the top 10 of google with strictly great keyword research. (I cannot stress enough the importance of keyword research). I was able to rank long tail keywords in the number 3 spot in google..and I had just posted those articles 2 days prior!!! I had almost no backlinks. This was all from on page SEO and keyword research. I was bringing him traffic to his site, but he didn't know how to monetize from it. His adsense setup was horrible and he refused to change it. His CTR was around 0.02%. After a long stressful partnership I decided to end it and go out alone. Our Third Project From there I researched everything I could about other IM techniques. I figured I'm on a black hat forum, lets try black hat. I created a couple of my own websites prior that I was going to rank white hat, but it was just taking so long. I need money sooner rather than later. If I can bank now and reinvest it to bank more later, i'm ok with a site not lasting forever. So I looked and looked and googled late late nights. (Motivation guys: I would sometimes stay up until 7am then sleep for 5 hours then go back at it). I finally decided that adsense just wasn't going to cut it. Don't get me wrong..it CAN get you money, but it takes a large amount of traffic (usually) to do it. I wanted something that converted better. My past experience with affiliate earnings was positive. So I researched every affiliate program I could. Many of them are pretty high paying. I focused on a mix of newer programs with older programs. With really deep keyword research, I am planning on ranking some churn and burn sites that will display high converting affiliate offers. As a not so scientific way to research how well I might be able to convert people with my ad I basically hit forms/message boards/reddit/craigslits/facebook groups..and just spammed my offers in their faces to see what the response was. On average, spamming affiliate offers on these areas I can earn around $30 a day without much work. SWEET! So now it is time to scale up. With huge help and advice from BreakinBrix here on this forum I have started a campaign to rank some parasites to get some of my affiliate landing pages on google. Again, keyword research is king! I recently purchased GSA ser and still have to purchase the captcha breaker. Again, with everything I go all out. I've spent the last day..and the next week just learning GSA. I'm watching videos, reading articles, toying around hands on..learning everything I can about what it does and what it can do. With everything I have learned I expect to earn more in the next 2 years than I've ever earned before. Once the results of my campaigns start to come in I will go into more detail as to how i'm ranking and my conversion rates. In the mean time, I suggest you check out these BHW resources: blackhat-seo/making-money/702089-parasites-pwn-leeching-authority-sites.html blackhat-seo/my-journey-discussions/581199-100-day-adsense-1-blog-have-done-before-now-showng-you-how-do.html *Cannot link these directly as BHW won't allow me to post links yet. These two threads have a wealth of information. It is up to you to take that information and make it apply and work for you. Will update soon!