• Uh, Oh! ECM closes door. Official Email!

    Posted on April 22nd, 2011 imveritas No comments

    Well,

    I hate to say it.

    I did call this one and then was not sure.

    This is definitely sure!

    Received this an hour ago.

    “Due to current circumstances Elite Clicks Media, LLC. will be closing operations, so effective immediately Elite Clicks Media, LLC. will no longer be running or accepting any affiliate traffic. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions please direct your inquires to ecmclosing@gmail.com. Please submit your final invoices, if any, to ecmclosing@gmail.com Please note that final invoices must be submitted by April 30, 2011. Any invoices submitted after April 30, 2011 will not be considered for payment. Best, Managing Members Elite Clicks Media, LLC.”

    I know this will not be the last one this year.

    Affiliates should now examine their networks and offers like you would a speculative stock!

    I have much more to say on this and other topics.

    ‘Caveat Emptor’

    TRUST NO ONE!

    IMV

  • Lie #2

    Posted on April 7th, 2011 imveritas No comments

    “It’s automated! Just sit back and the money rolls in.”

    I was going to do the next Lie on the “Lie of money”

    But, as I looked at more ads out there I see that “push-button-money-machines” are all the rage again and this topic feeds into the 1st.

    First of all. If, the software is that automated and comprehensive. It will cost you more than the average person has and even the mid-level affiliate. Think $5000 to $50000 and even more depending on the scale.

    Even, with the most advanced software to automate. There are many things that can happen or go wrong.

    Unless, you have a crack support team and scripts to check everything. Problems can come up and you not knowing about them. Costing you dearly.

    Again, who when they start. Can hire a team? Let alone some top monitoring and control software? The guy who just lost his job or the girl who wants to make a little more money and still go to school or raise a family? Not likely!

    Here is a list of things that can go wrong and if you are away can cost you. This list is not everything that CAN go wrong. So, that alone. Should tell you something:

    Server crash.
    Hosting issues.
    Ads are re-reviewed and declined.
    Offer changes landing page and does not notify network.
    Offer changes landing page and new pixel is not placed for tracking.
    Offer Changes landing page and violates TOS of traffic and your ads are stopped.
    Traffic source has an issue and sends traffic that does not convert.
    Traffic source turns on all targets when you have them paused.
    Traffic source does not send notification of system maintenance and your campaign runs un-controlled.
    Traffic source is in-accessible when you need to control traffic spend.
    Traffic source adds new traffic pub and you get traffic you never expected in amounts you never expected.
    Tracking system corrupts DB/collapses/hacked.
    Credit Card needs verification before billing is allowed because your card company has set a new alert limit and payment is declined or denied tell verified.
    Email company accuses you of spam and shuts down your account.
    Network drops offer with-out prior notice.
    Email sent from Network ends up in junk-box and you miss an alert that an offer is now dead.
    You cellphone is dead and you miss a text or email alerting you to one of the above issues.
    SERP changes algorithm and your ranking site is now at the bottom or somewhere people wont see.
    Your automated software attempts to connect but cant so your campaign runs un-managed.
    Google shuts down your gmail account.

    There are many many more.

    I’m sure a whole book could be written.

    You can have human and software ways to deal with each. The point is… If you walked away and didnt check or have someone competant to monitor. You could see your money slip away until some limit is met.

    So, the “making money on auto-pilot while you sleep/work/vacation” has some serious flaws with-out proper structure and support.

    Keep that in mind the next time you ‘drool’ over a “push-button-money-machine” and that is not even getting into technical and money aspects of affiliate marketing. I will cover those in later posts.

    Money can be made and keep this in mind: If it was “easy” everyone would be doing it.
    If you go to any affiliate event and poll the populace you will see a very interesting spread on who is trying, doing, succedding and thriving. It is a small percentage in the thriving more many reasons.

  • Stuggling in Internet Marketing? Maybe you were lied too!

    Posted on April 5th, 2011 imveritas No comments

    This will probably get me banned from many an Ad:Tech parties and Affiliate Summit, but I am sick and tired of the lies being told to people entering and who have been in the internet marketing space. Bookmark this spot because in the next 10days I am going to pull back the curtain and tell you ever little ‘sick’ secret that makes up this space. Why? because the more time and money people waste the more we are falling back and not moving forward as both a society and species.

    THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. if you accept that you are ignorant.

    IMV

  • Lawsuit against 5 Penny Auctions

    Posted on March 29th, 2011 imveritas No comments

    If you run penny auctions you may want to keep an eye on this breaking story

    Lawsuit Filed Against 5 Big Penny Auctions Alleges Illegal Gambling

    March 28, 201

    A lawsuit against 5 big players in the penny auction industry was recently filed in Illinois. Entertainment Shopping, Inc. (Swoopo & oohilove), Bidcactus, BigDeal, Quibids and Beezid are listed as defendants. The complaint alleges that penny auctions break gambling laws in all 50 states.

    My only comment.

    Would be nice to see offers that are not getting sued with-in 6mnths of release?!

    NOTE:  this is from 2-2-11 with another case on 11-30-10. I got GAMED by Google Alert AND the information is still relevant :)

    IMV

    Trust No One

  • FTC Steps Up Efforts Against Scams That Target Financially-Strapped Consumers

    Posted on March 12th, 2011 imveritas No comments

    If you have not seen this.

    FTC Steps Up Efforts Against Scams That Target Financially-Strapped Consumers

    and this video from the FTC on the subject. Check it out.

    FTC and Operation Empty Promises

    Wonder when someone will come up with a way to make money on the internet that doesn’t get the public or government pissed-off in the long run.

    Actually, there are many. Just doesn’t seem to be many in CPA industry.

    We collectively need to change this as an industry or we will see regulation that make CAN-SPAM  look quaint.

    There are way’s to make money and make all levels happy: Consumer, traffic source and government.

    We get paid to be creative NOT criminals!

    Increase the quality in the world NOT the noise :)

    IMV

    Trust No One

  • Dump, dump, dump… Another one BITES the DUST!

    Posted on March 9th, 2011 imveritas No comments

    Well,  I am very sorry to say 2011 is NOT the year for affiliate networks.

    I have seen 2 Officially close. [yMultimedia & AdEngage]

    I know of another. That everyone, but one person, has left. [ECM]

    Which now sent out  a letter about getting funded for $6M.

    So, not sure what’s going on there!

    ( I also saw many parties at ASW that were usually big. Scaled down or non-existent. So… MORE to come!)

    Seems like instead of networks making sure the affiliate is legit. Affiliates need to check the financial structure, business plan and credit worthiness of the network or get a rude awakening. [talk about turning the tables!]

    I really hate to see this happen, since I know being in the middle and a brokerage firm is NEVER easy.

    Many affiliates want to blame the networks when many times they need to see past that and to the offer.

    Good Luck to those surviving.

    Anyone want to place bets on the next one or ten to fall? (Vegas or Monte Carlo ONLY!)

    IMV

    as always and with more evidence every day

    Trust No One!

    btw. if you have not swung by ppc.bz or saltydroid.info Check them out. They make me look tame and sedate :)

    Oh one more thing. I would encrypt those referrers, targets and creatives. Especially,  if they have an ‘internal team’ Let them spend their OWN money testing . NOT YOURS!

    NOTE: Pinnacle Media was wrongfully in this article before. I went off a trusted source and found out later that was in error. Sorry Guys, but I’m here to protect the affiliates NOT the networks. It was NOT intentional and accidents happen. Next time there is an error COMMENT or contact me. I do my best to get accurate information, but even the NYT has to re-tract statements. I hope you understand.

  • How NOT to be a guru and train.

    Posted on March 9th, 2011 imveritas No comments

    There is so much wrong with this I dont even know where to start.

    WSJ law blog – Amish Shah and Digispace Lawsuit

    Bad guru, Bad guru. NO COOKIE {stuffing} or CYBER {squatting} for you!

    and stop telling people you are selling your network because the ‘margins are too thin.’

    Admit it. You NEED legal fee’s.

    All those people that supported and promoted him. Stop acting like you never did!

    There is not ONE post on affbuzz.com about this from ANYONE!

    (wicked-fire doesnt count)

    WTF!?

    Nickycakes, barman and all the rest who like to speak up.

    WHERE ARE YOU ON THIS ONE!!!???

    FAIL!

    [My thanks for mike c. for bringing this to my attention]

    IMV

    trust no one and get legal council from 3 different sources!

  • Breaking News – FTC Finds Paid Reviews Defy “Truth In Advertising”

    Posted on August 29th, 2010 imveritas No comments

    FTC Finds Paid Reviews:

    Another source:

    FTC Link:

    This was not an affiliate per say AND it goes with-out saying.

    If, The FTC will fine and go after companies doing this practice

    Small Business needs to be aware.

    Playing the game of “they wont come after me” or ” Im too small” or “I host out of the country” is russian roullete NOT a business model. IMHO

    I have commented on this enough times.

    So, I wont go back over it.

    IMV

  • Back to Business: Ad:tech and the Return of the Dark Knight

    Posted on April 26th, 2010 imveritas 1 comment

    Well,

    It was another wild and eventful Ad:tech.

    Where as, most bloggers have already been posting up their party pics, who they met, where they ate.  etc. etc.

    I have been deep in the trenches and getting the REAL speak on what is and is not in the Internet Marketing World.

    And Folks… ITS CRAP!!!

    The amount of stuff going on that is costing you money and the lack of recourse is startling.

    I have posted many reasons why you may be suffering in online marketing or maybe you succeeded and then got ‘swat’ back down and now finding it harder and harder to get back on top.

    I feel you.

    And I am here to tell you the landmines out there (remember: landsmines are meant to be NOT seen and to cripple & maim, as well, as kill you!)

    The 1st one I am going to tell you. Is your enemy is NOT the tracking, traffic, networks, banks, IRS, or FTC.

    IT’s the damn offers you are promoting !!!

    You would think they would want you to be successful.

    Sorry, only in Berkley and Cuba does socialism exist.

    They want to make money and if they can keep more to them-self.

    THEY WILL!!!

    How did we discover this ?

    Well, After out great idea of the ‘PERFECT NETWORK’ (3rd party accounting verification & hardened credit card & bank wire level tracking)

    We took the idea to the floor of Ad:tech.

    Like we assumed.

    Affiliates loved it and wanted to sign up right away. Even Networks wanted to know what and how and jump on.

    Want to know who told us to F*off ???

    The offers!!! ( I wont name names, since there is no way in hell I will go toe-to-toe in a slander suit with them)

    They had no issue with hardened tracking, BUT when we mentioned 3rd party accounting so that affiliate, network AND offers knew that everything was legit.

    They kindly told us to F*off.

    There was no way they were going to let the outside world know what their real numbers were.

    So Yes, networks scrub and shave.

    Know why ?

    Because offers, even well know brands, WONT PAY THEM !!!

    I know 3 top name affiliate companies owed not thousands but multi-millions from offers that never paid them, BUT they paid their affiliates. (Thank You Azoogle, ads4dough, Neverblue, AKMG, Rev202, C2M, ECM, MaxBounty, Market Leverage, EWANET and anyone else still in business that has gotten screwed by your offers. They paid us EVEN WHEN THEY WERE NOT!)

    So, the next time you want blame someone.

    Start at the top!!!

    I’m going to post all the info I discovered and verified at Ad:tech.

    Hold onto your wallets and if your traffic isn’t profitable. Scale back or pause it. You WILL want to know these, BEFORE you spend more money and watch it go down the drain.

    IMV

  • Making a killing in CPV/PPV Impression Marketing

    Posted on March 24th, 2010 imveritas 7 comments

    Well, I am sure by now if you are checking out the forums and your email that you are getting bombarded by CPV/PPV courses and forums.

    Yes, you can make money in it. I have moved almost all my traffic to CPV after the great GOOGLE ban. I still have my GOOGLE account. I just don’t like there QS and its lack of reason. Anyone else notice the big three suck for searches in the last 3 months? You know it’s bad when BING! is better at finding what you want then GOOGLE, but its still not all the goodness I saw a year ago. But, that’s another point. Back to CPV.

    CPV or PPV as Gauher Chaundry has coined is popping your message either on top of or behind the website that is being viewed. It is legitimate marketing in that the user has opted-in to the advertising by way of accepting the terms of software. Could be a gaming toolbar or a FLV viewer.

    All well and good. Its not the malware, spyware crap that once installed (usually without your notice) you have to nuke your computer to get rid of. All legit CPV ware I have tried. Easily un-installed and left no traces. Still, always test on a ‘sandbox’ computer and one preferably NOT on your home LAN (just in case it’s a trojan or worm you try.)

    So, what’s the down side?

    Again, it’s with the gurus and the chumps that make money off others. Everyone is sending up the rally cry to get on CPV. (and next will be mobile, then billboards and finally grannies forehead)

    The results? Bid’s that 6mnths ago were reasonable for a target. Have sky rocketed. As more and more people come out with scrappers and courses. More people are jumping on and like most things. There is a finite supply.  So, you see what happens in all supply and demand situations. Demand goes up more than supply. Prices increase. Basic econ.

    Now, I checked with the top CPV companies and got their numbers for subscribers and increase rate. All of them are madly adding new viewers.

    BUT, here is the question? Are there more people watching then selling?

    It’s hard to tell because you can have 10 people or you can have 1 person with the capital of 10 people. You will see the number of members (usually it’s your aff-id) but you have no idea how much the others ones are spending and what their reserves are. IE: I could be losing on CPV on one place making money in another, bid high to bankrupt the competition (still losing money) and then once the competition is out. Use my cash from the other income to now go into CPV and own a place. Until someone with more buck and income streams deems my position worth it and a super -affiliate bidding war breaks out. (not as much fun as it sounds)

    What I do know is that URL’s and KEYWORDS are being bidded up and no one is doing the math.

    If you have an email submit that pays you $1.75 and your bid per impression is .015 that means for every 116 impressions seen you have to get one submit. Now, one in 100 is avg for PPC marketing conversions. But, 1 in 116? That is NOT a normal conversion for impression marketing. The classic number is .01 or 1 in 1000. OK, so that part is not being mentioned.

    Now the testing.

    If I pick 10 targets (not a large number) and I run then campaign at 2x-3x spending. That means I will (in worse case) spend $52.50 to test. That doesn’t sound that bad. Except now you have to have 30 conversions to break even. Which means you shut off all non-performers and let the cash reserves fill-up. THEN, you get to profit. That is unless the offer has ceased (which happens more than you would like to know. I will have stats for that in a later post)

    To make it worse. Many have the mentality of bid 1st position. That might be OK if you want to check out conversions on an offer. BUT be careful, if the test if impressions cost $0.30 on a $4.00 payout (I have seen that on dating) and you are direct linking. How are you going to optimize that and be profitable? You would have to have a ‘sale’ every 13th view!!! NOT LIKELY!!!!

    Starting to see what is being left out of your marketing material and maybe that course or forum you joined?

    It’s called risk management, money management and understanding ROI & ROT. Something people selling you stuff don’t want you to know or calculate. Because ANYONE can get rich on the internet!!! Uh Huh… rightttt.

    The first thing to ask you is WHY? If this is so great WHY? are the selling me this? TO MAKE MONEY!!!

    Mother Theresa is dead and outside of earthquake relief. Business is about making money NOT charity. If they really wanted to help you the would post their info for free (like I am for now) because they make enough money in other ways. The truth is YOU ARE THEIR INCOME!!! and they will tell you what every “psycho-feel good-fear of loss-scarcity-social outcast-I’m just like you” CRAP to suck you in.

    Listen, I come from the trading world. If you have a trading method that makes bank. You don’t give it away or sell it. You get people in as investors, trade their money with your system and charge them AND YOU NEVER EVER EVER REVEAL HOW YOU DO IT or WHAT YOU DO ? Why? Because anyone who has created successful income streams know that processes that spit out money consistently with very little effort are very very very rare. Just look at the banking and investment industry. You don’t think they would not be in this knee deep if they thought they could make 300% ROI ? Well, they are its called branded banners. They just aren’t wasting their time with “get rich quick courses” too much hassle in the long run. But, Netflix subscriptions!!! No hassle with that.

    People do make money on the internet AND it is tough work. For every youtube or waitress that now makes 7 figures off berries there are 1000′s that never get a peep and die a silent death. Though, someone made money off them in the process.

    The last step is what all the gurus promote about.  The ‘you can get rich…fast…easy’

    The 1st two steps ” Spend money, make spent money back.”

    Seems to be left out of the marketing material AND its REAL!!!

    Now, are all campaigns this ‘gloom n doom’?

    NO! AND you need to be real about how much time, money and talent it takes to make money online.

    Too many people are being told the ‘glory’ and what they need is the ‘guts’ knowing the ‘glory’ will come after sacrifice.

    “If it was easy to do. Everyone would be doing it”

    OK, so what’s the solution?

    DONT BE DESPERATE and HAVE SOME COMMON SENSE!!!

    If you are broke, out of work and you don’t have to dimes to scratch. LEAVE THIS SITE NOW!!!

    And go get some  REAL assistance and alot of it since each one give’s only a little. Once you are back on your feet. Spend some time methodically researching and doing. Every time I hear someone say, ” I don’t have money, I lost my job, etc.etc. IM GOING TO MAKE MONEY ON THE INTERNET!!!” I want to smack them awake before they hurt them self.

    The rest of you. You better have time and money you can afford to lose or you are deluding yourself and the ‘sheeple’ marketers have your number.

    I will never say like some people “never buy a course”

    I will, also, never say “just do and test and ignore the rest”

    Those are the 2 mindsets I hear and empirically disagree with.

    What I do encourage. Is to look at IM the same long term rational way you are supposed to look at business planning, life planning, family planning and anything else that takes years to do and has results along the way, as well as, challenges and be real.

    I’m not going to bash this guru or that. I have already been in those sh*t fights and you can’t win against someone with more zombies and bucks then you. (amazing how when something doesn’t work and people have paid for it, people will still ‘pray’ to it acting likes the 2nd coming)

    What I will do. Is keep poking at the ?’s to ask and the facts to demand and when your gut says “this is crap” follow it. I have been wrong at times listening to mine, but the numbers of times I have been right in following my gut has been 1:100+.

    Until next time. Avoid spending $50 to make $1.75 or $500 to make $10. Use the same common sense you do with your checkbook and if you don’t have any.  Go back to TV and the PBS channel (when they are not fund raising). Since, anything else will just suck the last cash out of your wallet and leave you bitter and broke ( I don’t want that for anyone)

    and YES ! I am making money in CPV. I also spent ALOT to get there and most of what I learned was not in a course (though I took many) it was in the field and some good people I have met.  A little knowledge and lots of experience will get you far in life :)

    IMV