Ugly Side of Making Money Online

How I Almost Went to The Dark Side- The Ugly Side of Making Money Online

Ugly Side of Making Money OnlineWhen I started this blog my goal was to show my successes and failures without holding anything back.

Well, I was really close to failing a couple days back.

I almost got sucked into the dark side of making money online where the main focus is repackaging terrible products and selling them to wide-eyed, hopeful novices.

I know… I know… I’m sorry.

Here’s the backstory:

I was having money issues and didn’t yet know that I was going to sell my site for a very happy amount. 🙂

It was late at night and I couldn’t sleep and somehow I stumbled upon a product I purchased recently from one of the dark side MMO people. (No, I won’t tell you who it is.)

I watched his videos and everything he said made sense and seemed so easy. (They love to make it look really easy, don’t they?)

I was instantly hooked.

I had the money to run solo ads, I could make a landing page just like him, and I could make a product just like him or even better. (His product wasn’t terrible, but it ignored a lot of information that newbies might not know about or understand, and didn’t go in-depth.)

I even reached out to solo ad providers, created a landing page, and wrote out a plan for course creation, upsell creation and downsell creation, and then it hit me.

I’m not providing any actual value to these people whatsoever.

Instead of creating and promoting a high-quality Amazon affiliate course, I was about to create some crappy solo ad course that taught people how to make money with solo ads.


Where did my conscience go? I have no idea.

I could blame it on the lack of sleep, the lack of money, or anything else, but I knew the truth.

The real issue was with me and my mindset.

I was so focused on the fact that needed money that I ignored how this would affect other people.

What lesson can I learn from this?

I never thought I would ever think of promoting crappy products, but now I can see why someone would do it.

If money is all you care about, or if you’re able to trick yourself into saying that you provide value, selling BS is easy.

Too easy.

P.S.- If you make money online by selling MMO products I don’t have anything against you unless those products are complete crap.

Letter to Upwork Writer

A Letter To the Struggling Upwork Writer

Dear freelancer,

Why, oh why did you send me another copy-pasted proposal without reading what my job is about?

I don’t care that you’re a great ghostwriter and can write “my book” for me when my job asks for a simple 800 word blog post.

I don’t care that you have an MBA, PhD, or a Nobel prize if you can’t read my description and insert a simple two word phrase in your proposal. (Although if you did have a Nobel prize, I’m sure your attention to detail would be higher than that and you probably wouldn’t be writing articles on Upwork. 🙂 )

I don’t even care about the fact that your price is lower than all of the other bids. I’m willing to pay more than what I set my 1000 words rate at, but only if you actually provide value instead of making the same mistakes everyone else is.

Here’s what I care about.

I care about the fact that you read my description, figured out what I actually want, and included my two word phrase in your cover letter.

I care that you didn’t just copy paste a general “dear sir/maam” introduction and actually used my name.

I care that you provided examples of how your past work is relevant to the job I’m offering, and how you can help me reach my goals instead of repeating how good you are.

I’m selfish.

Once you start working for me I will feel guilty if I have to let you go, but if I don’t know you, I only care about the value you can bring me.

I can feel you shaking your head, but how are we different?

You care about the money I can offer and I care about the writing you can offer me.

What if we changed that?

Read more

Amazon Affiliate Decreasing Commissions?

I’m not sure if you heard, but Amazon affiliate has been decreasing commissions for some affiliates.

If you haven’t been hit, you should still know about this because you could be next.

In this post you will learn:

  • Who got hit with the commission cuts
  • How you can deal with it if it happened to you
  • And what the future holds for Amazon affiliate marketing

Quick heads up: this didn’t happen to me. I read about it on reddit and researched it more. Most of the info in this post comes from reddit and Amazon Forums.

What happened?

Some affiliates had their commission rate cut to 2-4%.

This decreased their commissions by nearly 1/4.

Imagine making a full-time income from Amazon and then waking up tomorrow and finding out that you can’t support yourself and your family anymore because you went from making $10,000 per month to $2,500 per month.

That. Would. Suck.

The worst thing is that it hits your entire Amazon affiliate account, not just the commissions from the “bad” site.

So far it hasn’t happened to a ton of people, and it seems that it mostly hit the following:

  • Amazon deal sites
  • Amazon price tracking sites
  • Low priced item sites (Only a few of them though.)

Why did it happen?

It seems that Amazon is paying less to affiliates who aren’t helping them become more profitable.

One hypothesis is that they’re getting rid of the people who send traffic that would’ve bought something on Amazon without the affiliate.

If you have a “best Amazon laptop deals” site it’s likely that the person you send to Amazon was already planning on purchasing a laptop there. You’re just getting a commission because you created a simple list.

You don’t bring them new customers so they pay you less.

For the lower-priced items they cite profitability reasons also, but no one can know for sure.

How can you deal with it?

There are a couple things you can do if you’ve been hit:

  • Create a different Amazon affiliate account and move your other sites there
  • Look for other affiliate programs
  • Or sell off and go into a different niche/business

Since the penalty hits your entire account at once, you can just create a new account and change the affiliate codes for your other sites.

You would miss out on the extra items from the penalized site, but going from 8% to 7% is better than going from 8% to 2%.

You can also check and see if there are other affiliate programs in your niche.

Amazon affiliate is great as everyone knows about Amazon so it’s really easy to make the sale, but other programs have higher commissions.

If you do look for other programs, look at specialized shops instead of big retailers like Walmart or Target, as the specialized shops usually have a higher commission percentage.

You can always sell off your site (although you will probably get a smaller commission because of the percent decrease), but it might be worth doing in order to remove it from your account.

What does the future hold?

Eventually Amazon will either decrease affiliate commissions or cut the program completely.

However, that likely won’t happen for at least a couple years as they’re still focused on growing their site and capturing as large of a customer base as they can.

However, there are always other affiliate programs available, and most if this is pure speculation so just use your brain and try to stay ahead of the competition. 😉

What will I do?

I’m planning on selling my BAB site if I can get $30,000+ for it this May.

I want to cash in on the high months of January-April for that site and then sell it off as I want money to grow my sites that are focused on other affiliate programs and higher-ticket Amazon items.

30k would be enough for me to live at least for a year or maybe a year and a half (as a college student), and invest $15,000 or so in my other online endeavors.

Obviously there’s still taxes and stuff, but it’s still a nice round number.

Were you hit by this commission decrease? If so, are you planning on doing anything about it?


What Is My Ultimate Goal?

I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about what my goals are.

Not just for my websites, but also for my life.

I was unable to figure out my ultimate goal for my life yet, but I think I still have some time to figure that out.

However while writing my latest email for my Monday’s Moneyz newsletter I realized something- I never set the right goal for my websites or online income.

What do I mean by that?

All of my goals have been purely money-oriented and they didn’t “pull” me. (More on this later)

I said “okay, I want to make this much money by this point,” but I never figured out why I wanted to make that amount.

I said “let’s create and publish this blog post. It’s bound to get more visitors, backlinks, and other great stuff to my site,” but I never thought about why I want more visitors.

Do you see my problem?

Quick note: I started out thinking that this would be a short post, but it ended up being nearly 2,000 words. If you want to read the quick summary quick on the TL;DR section on the right.

Setting the Goal

Yesterday I was watching a YouTube video and Tony Robbins said, “There’s two types of motivation. Push and pull. If you’re trying to push yourself… there’ll be days where you do it and days where you don’t. If it’s pull- there’s something out there you want so much- pull is a hundred times more powerful than push. Push wears out, pull does not.”

He also says that pull-motivation should be something that resonates with you on a spiritual, emotional, or other personal level.

One thing that I absolutely hate is debt.

This is why I’m setting a new goal for all of my online businesses.

My goal is to pay for all of my college expenses for the next 4 years using my online income.

This is a goal that will pull me both in the short and long-term and it’s a good way to “brand my blog.”

Instead of simply being that one teenager internet marketer, I can be the guy who’s trying to pay for college with online businesses.

Doesn’t that sound so much better? 😉

Breaking Down the Goal

Education in America is expensive.

It costs $27,000 per year to go to the college I’m going to, and it’s cheaper for me because I live in the same state as the college.

Read more