My Put Up or Shup Up IM Journey


Aug 24, 2013
After years and years of reading this forum and looking for the right idea, I think I have finally found it...

This is my thread for my journey toward internet success. Well, actually I have had a lot of success in internet marketing. As a matter of fact, my main source of income is from internet marketing and I've been doing it for 6 years and I've made hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately though, over the last 4 years my business has suffered to the point where now I'm fairly certain that I will never be able to make the kind of money that I used to with it. It's a very saturated niche so please don't ask me about that business. While I've been able to make money with it, I can't teach anyone else how to do it because I don't want the competition so it's not like I can write ebooks/courses and sell them. That would be cutting off my nose to spite my face.

When I began that business, I started making money overnight. You might say I just got super lucky. The stars aligned in my favor. I started to believe that the internet truly was an ATM machine and all you had to do was type in your PIN. However, after many other failing ventures with IM, I've realized just how lucky I was that my first foray was so successful. What makes it even stranger is that I basically discovered and reverse engineered it all on my own without any help.

Over the last 6 years I have tried probably 20-30 other types of IM methods and have failed miserably at every one. I know obviously the best niche in IM is telling others how to make money, but without having one method (that I want to share) be successful, I would feel like a fake just rewriting other people's methods. That's not who I am. I feel like if I can find just one viable & reproducible IM method that the sky could really be the limit.

This brings me to today. While looking into one method quite thoroughly and seeing that it is probably not logistically possible for me, I started feeling very discouraged again. However, this morning an idea so good hit me that I'm ready to get started today. I'm so sure this is going to work, that if it doesn't I probably will give up IM permanently.

Without being too specific as to give away my exact method, basically I'm going to do a review blog for a certain niche. I'm going to include affiliate links provided by businesses in the niche I'm covering, Adsense ads, and possibly other ad space. Along with that revenue stream, I'm also going to be doing a YouTube channel for reviews as well so hopefully I can make advertising dollars on those videos as well. Of course, I will also be collecting email addresses on a pop-up when people enter the site. This list could prove very beneficial for me down the road. If this review site goes well, then I will be able to offer my own products in the niche and I will already have a great list.

Today I will be designing my logo and creating my site. Luckily, I am also a website designer and graphic designer so I will be able to do all of that myself. I also have my own reseller server for hosting. The thing that kind of sucks is that the domain I want is already taken (and not even being used). I tried to contact the owner via their WHOIS info, but I believe all of the contact info is bad because the business closed down. I will have to use a name fairly close, but not completely ideal. I'm going to be mapping out how much I spend to get this idea off the ground. I'm hoping I can keep my costs to very minimal and I can show others how to do this method for hardly any start up costs.

I'm hoping that the forum members can provide me with guidance, tips, & advice on this journey as I'm sure this isn't going to be as easy as I think it will be. Thanks for all of the support.

PS While I currently have no posts on this account, I have been an active member in the past but I lost all of my account info so I had to make a new one a couple years ago and I just hadn't had the motivation to post or comment. Plus IMO what was I really going to add considering all of my failures?
I can relate to a lot of what you've said. Best of luck and keep us updated :)
So right now we are a little over 24 hours in. I have done the following so far:

  • Purchased .com domain $12 from GoDaddy
  • Hosted site on my own server (if traffic gets too high I will have to move it to Bluehost)
  • Created logo
  • Found great WP theme and installed
  • Designed website
  • Created Youtube channel & accounts on Pinterest, Facebook, IG, & Twitter (may also do Snapchat after full launch)
  • Working on getting products to review. I'm going to be doing videos so I have to have product in hand. I believe I can get some companies to donate the product to me in order to review it. However, until I get the site filled with posts, I doubt anyone will do that so I may have to purchase the first several. This could cost around $200. I did order my first product that should be here later this week.
  • Signed up for Mailchimp.
  • Did some more research on my niche/competitors
  • Joined an affiliate network for the niche. However, there are only about 12-15 sites on the network but still could prove to be useful to start out with.
  • Set up Google Analytics for the site
  • Set up Google Adsense for the site. My Adsense account got banned last year (they owed me $30k when it got banned - at least I got one big $17k check the month before). So I'm using my wife's account we also have set up for her blog. I think there is a decent chance Google may tie her account to mine down the road and ban that one too. I want to be careful not to put too many eggs in that basket.
  • Set up email for my site through Google apps for $5 per month. Had a lot of issues setting it up, but it is working now.
I really hit it hard last night and I think I have a great start. I honestly can't believe that this niche is not saturated with other than 5 main competitors. Now the niche itself is super saturated, but review sites for this niche are very few. I believe I will be able to get on the first page of Google pretty quickly. These sites get a ton of traffic. The top one is #2,000 on Alexa. I feel like I'm possibly sitting on a gold mine here if I play my cards right and stay committed.

The next 24 hours I have a lot planned outside of working on this, but here are the things I aim to at least get done:

  • More research on competitors
  • Continue tracking down products to review
  • Write my first blog post introducing my site & what people can look for. This will also give me a good road map and backbone for how to structure my content.
  • Create Mailchimp pop-up

If anyone has any advice or guidance for me in terms of what steps I may have missed or just some pointers on what else I can do, please share with me. It would be greatly appreciated.
Well I have already completed all I set out to do tonight. Tomorrow I have a busy day, but I need to focus on creating one blog post for all of my categories on my site so I can fill my site up. This is going to help me to be able to secure more products for my reviews.

Here is a question for more experienced IMers: Is it okay if I only do posts on my site or do I need to have pages mixed in as well?
Is it okay if I only do posts on my site or do I need to have pages mixed in as well?

I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter. But I just have the contact / about us / privacy policy as pages and the rest as posts. If you haven't already it's a good idea to no-index your archive and tag pages (and possibly category pages too) with the yoast plug-in (enable advanced settings). Helps with avoiding duplicate content issues. Good luck with everything.
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I wasn't able to put all of the content on my site today due to a busy schedule, but I was able to complete the following:

  • Installed Yoast Plugin thanks to the post above
  • Installed Contact Form 7
  • Created Privacy Policy, Disclaimer, Contact Us Forms, & About Us Pages
  • Created menus for site
  • Researched what it's going to take in order to create a YouTube studio for my channel that will be integral to my site. To do it right it's probably going to cost me $200-$300 (I already have a decent camera)
Things I still need to do before full launch:
  • Create original run of content
  • Make intro to my YouTube videos
  • Decide if I am going to do hands only videos of myself holding and unpacking the products for review or whether I want my face shown
  • Determine social media acquisition strategy
Ok. Another day in the books. Today I did the following:

  • I added another post to my site
  • Linked Adsense to my YouTube Channel
  • Created the intro that will be at the beginning of all my videos. (Used
  • Purchased lighting kit, tripod, camera microphone, & green screen for my review videos. I have decided to be the face of my brand and try to use my personality to engage viewers. I only spent $115 on all of that. However, I think I may have to buy a video editing/green screen software. Does anyone know of a good free one?
  • I have started a full social media attack including:
    • Using Sprizzy to get views on my videos on YouTube. I only have my intro video up right now. (just to help gain momentum)
    • I bought 500 FB likes to make my FB page look a little more credible
    • I'm using Instagress to increase my IG followers (free Trial, but will be about $10 per month after 3 days)
    • I'm using Archie for Twitter to get followers on Twitter (free Trial, but will be about $10 per month after 3 days)
    • I'm using AutoPin to get people following my boards on Pinterest (free Trial, but will be about $10 per month after 3 days)
    • I'm not sure how well any of these work. I know someone who uses Instagress & Archie so I know those should work when set up correctly. This social media plan is all about gaining momentum & credibility for my site.
  • I worked out some bugs and kinks with plugins & images on my site

The only thing I believe I have left to do to get things rolling is to start sending out emails to receive free products to review and also to obviously fill up my content. It's going to be hard to fill up the site without the products to review.
I'm not sure if anyone is following my journey or not, but at least I have a record of my method. I feel very confident I'm on the right track. Here is what I've done the last 24 hours:

  • Tweaked Yoast plugin so all my content is optimized
  • I've written 6 solid review posts. Since I haven't yet received products, I am basically just curating content from other review sites to make it sound like my own. I will do this to get as many posts on as possible. Once I start receiving products and my YouTube studio products arrive then I will do legit reviews.
  • I contacted 20 or so companies about providing me with a free product to review, but what I've discovered is that until I get traffic I'm just going to have to pay for the products (they range between $10-$20 on avg - at least the ones at a price point I can afford)
  • Because of this, I've ordered 8-10 of those products that should be arriving over the next few weeks
  • I continued using the programs to grow social media accts. The programs are finally started to give me some followers/likes a little at time, but I'm sure it's like a snowball. Plus until my accounts are a little older and aged I can't go too fast. I already had a Twitter phone verification today. I don't think it will happen again though.
  • I started receiving a small amount of traffic on both my first video on YouTube (paid $25 for about 800) and also on my website. I had 18 visits today. I think that may be from the companies I reached out to visiting to verify my site, but that still is encouraging for me.
  • I made some final changes to my website as well including nailing down the footer
  • I joined several affiliate programs today to help monetize the site
I think one thing I've discovered is that I need some type of template by which I'm going to do my reviews. For instance, if I use a rating system or not. If so, I need to find some type of plugin that displays the overall score plus I would need to determine my criteria.
So I wasn't getting a lot of interaction on my thread but I'm continuing the journey. I have been very busy. I let my wife take over my Social Media for the blog and she is doing great. This has helped ease my burden quite a bit plus she is really good at it. I had added 20 followers on Twitter for instance in 3 days and she has been able to add over 100 in the same amount of time. She has also helped with my FB & IG posts. I found a place to get YouTube subscribers pretty cheap. They don't really help with views/monetization, but it does help to add some credibility as I move forward.

I have three big developments since the last time I posted.
  1. I have filled up my blog with posts so it looks good & full.
  2. I have received some products to review.
  3. My green screen, tripod, & microphone arrived. I also bought a new camera (refurbished for $188 - Nikon Coolpix L840). The new camera I bought did not have a slot for my microphone. I'm going to try the camera without using an external microphone. If it works well I will either hold the microphone for when I upgrade cameras or I will return the microphone.
Monetization Update

I have made a total of 6 cents on Adsense/YouTube so far. Obviously not a lot, but it is a start. I have signed up for many affiliate programs and I think that is where the majority of my money will come in at first. The problem is I've signed up for so many that I've been having trouble keeping up with them.
Hello guys. I just wanted to give you all an update on where I'm at.

I haven't been able to make any money as of yet but I'm pushing forward. We are growing our social media at a good rate using the programs I mentioned in an earlier post. My adsense is doing between 0-3 cents per day right now & my YouTube views are also at about a 1 cent a day rate. I've bought a bunch of fake subscribers & fake views, but they aren't doing anything for me. I didn't think they would do anything other than add credibility, but I'm actually finding they hurt me because people see a video with 2000 subscribers and 10 views.

The one big thing that has happened is that people are finding me on social media & sending me free products to review. I think over time this will continue. My reviews & videos are top notch so surely over time my site & channel will organically grow.

Does anyone have any tips for what to do once you have everything in order? Like I have my whole setup running but I'm just not getting the traffic or views.
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