I just received a lead about a scheme called onlinegoldmine by a guy named Jamie Lewis, who I'm sure many have heard of before and there are quite a number of his schemes around. With onlinegoldmine (which he says is free, which it is not!) he makes reference to purportedly making his "millions" with products sold through ClickBank (ironically, onlinegoldmine is available through Clicksure). In his video presentation he makes three statements, which in my mind stand out and they are a) global e-commerce trade will top US$ 1.25 trillion in 2013, b) ClickBank.com is the worlds leading Internet retailer and c) that ClickBank has paid out over US$ 2.2 billion in commissions to affiliates.
Let me put these three statements into perspective.
a) It is a fact that global e-commerce trade his truly mind-boggingly huge and growing each year by leaps and bounds. However, there are quite a few segments of e-commerce ranging from Internet-Banking to making travel arrangements. The actual e-commerce market covering pure on-line shopping is estimated to be US$ 150 billion in 2012 in the US alone. Globally it is estimated to be more than double. So, while Jamie's statement certainly gets a very important point accross, it is definitely distorted when it comes to affiliate commissions.
b) ClickBank is not
the world's leading retailer by any stretch of the imagination. Clickbank is a privately owned company and does not (have to) make their annual accounts public. But, as I have written before, comments made by company officials in 2009 were to the extent that ClickBank had a total of US$ 300 million in sales and that it expected an annual growth of 8 %. That would amount to approximately a little less than US$ 380 million in 2012. Wall-Mart is the largest retailer in the world and it's on-line sales are in excess of US$ 2 billion! And let's not forget Amazon, the truly largest on-line retailer globally with US$ 46 billion in sales of which US$ 21 billion were made internationally! So where does that leave ClickBank? Not only very far behind, but also in comparison pales with regard to the variety of products! Granted, ClickBank may pay higher commissions, but the vastness of the pool of sales by true on-line retailers and their scope of sales would more than make up the difference.
c) Let's take for granted that Wickipedia is a trustworthy source of information. According to Wickipedia, "ClickBank was founded in 1998 by Tim and Eileen Barber. In 2009, the site had attracted over 1,000,000 affiliate marketers, approximately 100,000 of whom were designated as 'active' at any given time. In June 2011 the company claimed to have paid affiliates and vendors over $1.8 billion, processed 35,000 transactions per day, and generated over $350M in annual revenue. It offeres over 46,000 individual products to its affiliate marketers, and provided services in over 200 countries."
While I do not want to discredit Clickbank in any way, I did notice the word "claimed"! As mentioned before, the company does not have to publish their accounts. But you do the math and cut it any way you like.
Having obviously started from scratch and now after 13 odd years of existence, with approximately 100,000 active affiliates (only 10%!), how they can claim to have paid out US$ 1.8 billion by 2011 (not in 2011!) to vendors and affiliates
is for me startling, to say the least. Please keep in mind that in most, if not all cases, the vendors get paid more than the affiliates! And even if that figure is in fact true and more goes to vendors than affiliates, how can so many so-called Gurus claim to have made so many millions from ClickBank? Just try to imagine, US$ 1.8 billion over 13 odd years and of lately 100,000 active affiliates and the majority of that goes to the vendors, not to mention that ClickBank also gets a cut! It somehow just doesn't add up for me and that is why so many of these Guru's schemes end up on my website www.scamhunter.weebly.com
My point of this is, that no matter how you slice it, being an affiliate of Amazon and the likes is tapping a very much larger market, with a much larger number of products, which everyday consumers not only need, but actually buy on-line! The only problem is that why would anyone want to buy their products through you as an affiliate and not go directly to these retailers websites? And that is where ASN
comes in. There anyone can do their normal, everyday online shopping at Wall-Mart, Amazon, Macy's, etc. and get paid for it! And it's all through basically one website! In other words, if you shop at these retailers directly, you get paid nothing, even or especially as an affiliate! With ASN you actually do!
Another point is, even more importantly, that obviously the market for ClickBank, Clicksure and all the others like them - even combined - could never reach to scope and depth of the true everyday on-line retailers and their everyday consumers globally! It also teaches us another very important thing and that is that when you see Jamie Lewis and all the others showing you their supposed ClickBank incomes, you can safely assume that it is utter and pure nonsense and the real money they are making is from the gullability of people who would like to believe such nonsense and thus buying their schemes, not from ClickBank!
Gary Ambrose, who I consider an absolutely brilliant Scam artist and peddler and who daily sends me leads for my website www.scamhunter.weebly.com
has now sent me an invitation to a webinar hosted by himself, titled "How We CASHED in $30K by sending *stupid* text messages ??? (LIVE Seminar with Gary)".
My personal impression is that the title is already an insult to all potential victims of his scheme.
Then he informs me that "This is an exclusive training seminar for Gary Ambrose's subscribers!" Great, but why is it then that I have to fill in my name and email address? He already has those details and shoudn't the registration be just boiled down to join or not?
He goes on to say "This little known cell phone secret takes 8 minutes to do, uses NO Website, NO Cell phone and costs NOTHING!" Hold on, a cell phone secret that does not use a cell phone?!?!?!
And being a secret, I am informed "WARNING: You are fine to copy the technique but you MUST NOT share the information to anyone else."
Oops! I just did! There is no mention of any consequences so I am not sure why he is WARNING me.
Needless to say, I will not join his webinar, because it reeks of being just a squeeze page (for what?) and I can be sure that just like all his other schemes, it will be not only a waste of time, but also may well turn out that his webinar may be free, but not what he is actually peddling.
Anybody who has tried their hand at Internet/Affiliate Marketing has at least considered using Traffic Exchanges, Safe-Lists, Banner Exchanges and the like, be it for free or paid for, and I am no exception.
I got a lot of feedback about these kinds of programs, few good and many being rather critical.
Before I delve further into the usefulness of these programs, I just want to mention that any success in Internet/Affiliate Marketing is obviously based on conversions. I have yet to find any program that can honestly claim that it can do that for you and Traffic Exchanges, etc. are no exceptions. Many claim to send (huge) amount of traffic your way, which should already raise alarm bells, but what about conversions? That is precisely where all these programs, including any other money-making scheme/program out there, basically fail utterly.
We have to understand that many, if not all of those who use any kind of program sending traffic your/their way are actually marketers. Now that not being bad, it is therefore less likely for them to pick up or subscribe to your program, when they are marketing their own. There are exceptions, of course. From my research, the chance of somebody subscribing or buying the program you are promoting through these traffic exchanges and the like are dismal at best! These kinds of conversions are somewhere around 1-2 %. I would consider that a huge waste of time and if you have actually paid for it, money!
I can only make assumptions about why there are so many of these traffic promotion programs out there and many more coming every week. Obviously this must be a profitable business which would indicate that there are a lot of people actually paying for these programs. Given the very low conversion rate, I do find this rather surprising.
There are many alternatives to get traffic to your website, but like everything else in life, it does need some work. Using Social Networks like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogging and others would be just one option. The good news is that the conversion rates are considerably higher, somewhere around 5-10% or even higher, depending on the effort put in.
On my website www.scamhunter.weebly.com
I have on numerous occasions referred to Internet Marketer/Guru Gary Ambrose as not only giving me by far the most leads to uncover and expose schemes as Scam, but also as being a brilliant marketer.
By brilliant I mean well phrased captions and short texts that would want you to have a look at what he is presenting. Most recently he has sent me a lead to mobilemonopoly.com which has been classified by me as Scam.
Now, in my opnion, he has gone too far. He has sent me the following email to the same lead:
"The President Approves ClickBank!?!
The White House personally asked to meet with this
ClickBank marketer... and, the President was in on
it the whole time.
So, why would the White House want to meet with an
affiliate from Clickbank?
Find out here... http://www.garytheace.com/recommends/the-president
And yes, this is the real deal...
Thanks & Good Luck,
P.S. I wouldn't have believed it either...
But the undeniable proof, and profits, are here."
Yes, indeed, the undeniable proof that this is a Scam is truly there! The profits are not! Read the disclaimer and you will immediately see, that it certainly does not jive with the video presentation!
Having said that and if in fact it is true, it still needs to be understood why the White House has invited Adam Horwitz and that is as a successful entrepreneur, which he may undoubtedly be. That he achieved his success with selling his schemes is the reason he was invited and nothing else! Certainly not because his latest scheme is so good, which it obviously is not but Gary implies!
Also, the President was nowhere present at the awards presentation and for Gary to state that the President "was in on it the whole time" is not a distortion of facts, it is a plain lie!
I don't mind that Gary Ambrose peddles Scam (because it helps my quest and hopefully with that helps a lot of people avoid any losses) with a lot of hype, bordering on plain BS! When it comes to lying, it is a whole different matter!
What exactly is a Scammer? Let's keep it simple and just say that a Scammer is a person that will sell you something and will give nothing and take your money or give you something that doesn't work and is false to what is in its description of the item. On my website www.scamhunter.weebly.com
I have also defined Scam as "Making claims on advertisements and/or websites that are untrue, misleading, deceitful and exploitative".
Within that scope, arguably, one of the best and greatest Scammers I have come across is a guy named Gary Ambrose. Sure, there are many, many more but this guy has delivered leads of Scam to me on a consistent basis, for which I am actually quite thankful. Another is Anik Singal, who reportedly actually started out with a very good reputation, but lately that took a dive as he started peddling products and schemes which certainly qualify as Scam and even some of his own have received quite bad user reviews, including lack of support and claims of problems with money-back guarantees.
I am just using these two guys as an example as both have reportedly started out the same way, with Membership schemes.
Recently I have received emails from Gary promoting a scheme by Anik called "marketingwithanik" where good old Anik will "coach" you for 15 weeks for just $ 37.- What a bargain! For such a small sum of money you get to learn how to scam people? Amazing!
In the video he promises to help you from the goodness of his heart how to be successful in making money on the Internet and he also states that he will show you exactly
what you are going to get when you pay. But precisely that is missing! He doesn't exactly show or explain what you are going to get!
He goes on and on about how much money he has made and that's it! So you don't really get to see exactly what you're buying! Granted, he does give a 60-day money-back guarantee, but how does that work, if it is in fact of any value? On my calendar 60 days are 4 weeks, not 15 weeks.
And while he is doing all this 15-week coaching for just $ 37.- from the goodness of his heart to make you successful and a lot of money, you have to read the disclaimer where it states "Results may not be typical. We are still collecting data to determine what a typical result might be. As with any business venture, you run the risk of making nothing at all or even losing money. In order to run a successful Internet business, you will have basic additional charges, such as hosting, domain names and autoresponders. We will recommend to you your best options and choices."
Now let me get this straight. He is doing all this coaching for just $ 37.- and does not mention anything about any additional charges in the video. As a matter of fact he states that there will be no additional or recurring or monthly charges! So his coaching is for you to be successful and make loads of money, but you still run the risk of making nothing at all or even losing money, not to mention the additional charges you incur, which in the video he says you won't?!?!?!?
Obviously, with this kind of misleading and deceptive marketing, this scheme certainly qualifies as Scam in my book! Sure, the maximum anyone stands to loose is $ 37.- if his money-back guarantee actually stands the test. For me it is more a question of the principle rather than the amount of money involved. It actually stands to argue that all schemes peddled by these guys should be considered with great scepticism and even greater caution!
I have said it before, that if it weren't for guys like these, I couldn't run my website as I do and I am actually thankful to them. And just like in this case, when a Scammer promotes another Scammer it feeds me even more leads and faster.