Passive Income

Want to Make NO Money Online ?

Sorry quick post – but I got a laugh from this so I thought others might too…

And I didn’t even do the research to find – it thanks to Costa from WordPress Theme Customisations for this one!

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Scribe SEO – My Review of Brian Clark’s Scribe Service

You may of missed it – but a couple of week’s ago Brian Clark – of Third Tribe Marketing fame – launched his latest money-making venture- Scribe SEO.

What Does Scribe Claim To Do:

From their own site they make the following claims – enrolling in Scribe SEO will have the following benefits to you the would be SEO copywriter, blogger or affiliate marketer:

  • hit the keywords you are after
  • employ SEO best practice
  • it the keywords you are after
  • produce optimized traffic faster
  • increase search and social traffic
  • remove SEO guesswork
  • retain maximum readability
  • optimize faster
  • balance keyword usage

Sounds good right? And frankly I understand the appeal – I spent quite a long time considering myself  incompetent at SEO – I thought it was really, really hard and technical and even though I thought I was technical I didn’t GET SEO. So I see where there market is at. I thought writing SEO Titles was a Dark Art. I didn’t know what a keyword was – I may have been very likely to jump at this tool.

What is Scribe SEO?

At the time of writing Scribe SEO is using WordPress plugin technology. Later releases will extend the functionality to work within Drupal, on any website and integrated with Microsoft Word.  The Scribe technology basically analyses your WordPress post (or page) and returns the following information:

  • whether title is the right length and contains your keywords;
  • whether your metadescription is the right length and contains your keywords;
  • whether your content is the right lenght and had the correct keyword density
  • determines what your keywords are and makes suggestions about changing your titles and tags to better reflect this.

The product walk thru is here – note the promised search volumn appears AWOL in the current release.

I am testing Scribe using Thesis with the standard Thesis options installed. Scribe also claims to work for the common and free All-In-One SEO plugin and the Headway framework.

Scribe SEO is a only about 20% of Search Engine Optimisation

Reading Scribe SEO’s copy you would think that Scribe SEO was all you had to run to get you to the top of the search rankings. But its only part of the story – and a I small part of that:  particularly if you are a new blo0gger which is their target market.Scribe SEO only addressing on-page SEO, the far larger part of SEO is off-page SEO otherwise known as backlinks. I could write about Backlinks but I will just send you over to Allyn’s How to Get Backlinks. If your site is new and lacks authorities you need lots of backlinks!

What Scribe Claims to Do

You install the Scribe plugin in the normal manner. Write your post – fill in the custom title and description fields.

Once you click the analyse tab you will get a big SCORE and a list of rules. For the purposes of illustration I have run this analysis over my post comparing Third Tribe Marketing and The Keyword Academy Now that was a deliberately optimised post so I was curious to see how SEO Scribe would do – oops major fail!

  • to run the analysis you have to copy your title down into the custom title box and also fill in the meta description. I rarely do either – my post title is usually my custom  title and the meta description I stopped worrying about ages ago because Google ignores it and makes its own anyways; UPDATE I think I was a bit wrong on this – Google seems determined to use the meta description I wrote for this post – I have just changed the description slightly to see if Google will recongise that and added a video at the end of this post which describes Google’s current position.
  • I got a 73% score – I was failing on not having my keywords at the start of the title – odd because there were 2 main keywords in the post according to me “Keyword Academy” and “Third Tribe Marketing” and they were both in the title – they are both in the title because that tells Google what the post is about. Oh they are also in the tags which helps Google out too. Unfortunately it didn’t help out Scribe because when I checked out the keywords that Scribe thought I was writing about it came out with this:
Scribe’s analysis of
  • (If you can’t read the screen shot the main keywords in order are: keyword, marketing, academy, month, paypal, internet marketing, business)
  • Now those are not the keywords I optimised for – most of my keywords are at least 3 words long – and what’ more importantly – they are not the keywords Google understood my post was about and for which it sent me the following traffic to that post, over the past month:
Google Analyticss Data for the same post for the last month
  • (If you can’t read that the main keywords which brought traffic to this page are: third tribe marketing, the keyword academy ,lis sowerbutts, third tribe, the keyword academy scam, third tribe marketing review, third tribe, inurl: income “this site uses keywordluv”, the third tribe book review, third tribe review)
  • In fact even SEO quake (which is free) did a better job for analysing my keywords – but its not really that difficult – read the title!
  • SEO Quake also points how many outgoing links I have on the page by distinguishing between internal and external links and my counting the whole page including  related posts, comments, sidebars and footers. Scribe SEO only counts the links in the actual post without distingushing between internal and external. Check it your self you’d be surprised at how many links that page has – far more than the 5 that Scribe found.

Scribe SEO will do a worse job of telling you what your keywords are than the many free tools out there.  Or look at where you search traffic is coming from and write more on those keywords. Keywords aren’t a science – they are an art. Google is very,very good and doing a very sophisticated analysis – it knows that two terms “scribe” and “seo” together describe a different keyword “scirbe seo” – but  that same-titled product doesn’t itself recognise that this post is about it! Instead it said my keywords for this post were “SEO” and “Scribe” – which of  course they are not.

Keywords aren’t hard. They are you “USP” or “elevator pitch”. If you are writing about “house buying in New Zealand” than its likely that a good keyword would be “house buying in Wellington” (one of our cities). If you are writing about house buying than home buying may come up as well as will “how to purchase a house” and even “should I purchase a house or flat”  Ask a customer what they think you do.  Brainstorm some more ideas – throw these into the free Google Adwords tool – voila more keyword phrases than you have time to write blog posts about.  Captitalisation doesn’t matter ACDC is the same as AcDc. Punctuation doesn’t matter “lissie’s passive income” is the same as “lissies passive income”. Plurals do matter “dance” is  different from “dancing” and “dances” – closely related however  – once you rank for one it will b e easier to rank for the next one- but different none the less.

Scribe Review Price Point

Brian Clark is not afraid to charge a lot for his products and services – Teaching Sells is a good example of that. However his pricing for his latest offering staggers belief.  All of this information is available for free – there are some fantastic free sites and  browser plugins which will give it all to you.  You only need to learn how to do this stuff once – after that it becomes easy to do. I know you may be not at  that point yet – but I will start a short list of useful resources at the bottom of this post and I am sure my readers will chime in with more. Before someone  screams – but its all in one -place – yes it is but the keyword analysis doesn’t work – so 80% of the results which are dependent on that are flawed too.

The pricing for Scribe SEO is at the time of writing:

$27/month for 30 evaluations in the month – that’s 30 presses of the “analyse” button not thirty posts or pages;

$47/month for 120 evaluations in the month

$97/month for 300 evaluations in the month

There are no refunds – you can cancel during the month to stop your credit card being debited. There is a however a free 5 evaluation trial – which is what I used for this review.

Lissie’s Scam Call

Is Scribe SEO a scam? – NO it appears to be trying to do what it claims.

Is Scribe a good product? NO – it appears to be very light on features for the price offered. The core of the product’s functionality is the keyword analysis and this appears deeply flawed 2/10

Is Scribe SEO worth the money? – NO its extremely overpriced for what its offering. 0/10

On-Page Optimization For Free

I am planning a more detailed post on on-page optimisation (for free) but if you have your favourite free tools drop me a note in the comments. I like

Google Adwords for search volumns and giving you related keywords guidelines for Article Titles

SEOQuake for keyword density, keyword analysis, whois easy link and estimate of keywords you are ranking for (not all sites)

Update on MetaDescriptions

There was some discussion in the comments re the usefulness or otherwise of metadescriptions – below is Matt Cutts on the subject. For those who don’t know Matt – he is commonly considered Google’s unoffiical, official spokesman on all things search.

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Third Tribe Marketing Launches Their Affiliate Program and Some Stats

Third Tribe Marketing has just launched their affiliate program! Wow that was a surprise! Yes I am being Sarcastic! In fact if I had been a smart arse I could have predicted this when they announced the price increase from $27 to $47 – because if you offer an affiliate program  that pays 33% of $47 – that equates to $31.50 to the Third Tribe founders – i.e. you put up the fee to pay for  the affiliates, you end up making the same or more anyways.

Wellington Queen's Wharf
Old and New at Wellington Queens Wharf, New Zealand

Meanwhile the affiliates do all the the traffic generation for you – they send their own followers over, or they rank their own Third Tribe reviews in the search engines and send the resultant search traffic.

Some one in the Third Tribe forums was surprised that they hadn’t launched with an affiliate program. That wasn’t an oversight – it was deliberate. Initially they wanted to milk their own audience. If they had had an affiliate program at the stage they would have been paying for buyers they already had access to. The   initial  “lower price”  allowed them to get the maximum sign up from the curious – who then have the incentive to stay subscribed because if they drop their subscription and then later return they will pay the higher fee. Along the way the achieved the social proof of having thousands of subscribers and active forums.

Oh and they haven’t released the affiliate program yet – they are just building the buzz for it.

Third Tribe Marketing Forum Statistics

Here are some stats from the  Third Tribe Forums. – these cover the first approximately 23 days of the forums:

Chris Brogan: 59 posts total  (2.4  posts/day) 5 threads started

Darren Rowse 74 posts total (3.4 posts/day) 1 thread started

Brian Clark: 142 posts total (5.27 posts/day) 7 threads started including 2 administrative threads and two threads promoting other offers

Sonia Simone: 284 posts (10.09 posts/day) 3 threads started all admin related.

Total forum threads: 796,; total  posts: 10,572

So the owners of the forum started 0.02% of the threads in the forum which  according to their own copy:

The true lasting value of this private community comes from the networking, deal-making, support and insights that come from the interaction among members. …  and you’ll see people like Chris Brogan and Brian Clark being much more candid than they ever would on the outside.

You might want to think about that – if you are considering signing up for them – you are pretty much paying $47/month for a single seminar and two Q&A sessions and to network with a bunch of other people who also don’t know how to make money online – otherwise why would they have signed up?

My main takeaway is that people really will pay to provide most of their own content and pay you while they do it! Watching what Third Tribe is doing – rather than listening to what they are saying. My pick is that over the coming months Third Tribe will be doing a lot more of marketing additional tools (at additional cost) – to the now captive audience. I suspect that basically a forum provides a better marketing platform than a blog – my prediction is though that the churn factor will be quite high unless they figure out a way for people to provide meaningful results in their bottom line from their Third Tribe Marketing membership.

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Tribes – Why I Don’t Belong To Third or Any Other

Sorry guys this is probably gonna be an odd rambling personal post.  My Third Tribe review is honest – I do indeed think the Third Tribe  Marketing service is over priced and won’t help most beginners make money online  and yes I knew I could rank for the relevant keywords. But it was a fundamental – emotional “yuck” response which I got first – well Cat confirmed that maybe t wasn’t just me …

70's Fashion at Wellington 7s 2010

Cat left a comment on my followup Third Tribe Marketing review which made me realise perhaps I should admit the real reason I made the original review  post. Cat said in part:

And that’s an example of what bothers me about this whole notion of being in a ‘tribe’ – there’s this impression of forced conformity – that you’re either on their side, in agreement with their whole philosophy, or not.

Frankensteins at the Wellington 7s Costume Parade

And that is something that has bothered me my whole life. I don’t know where it comes from either . When I was about 13 I was at a holiday camp run by a somewhat Evangelical Christian group – at the end of the week there was a big wrap up meeting – and towards the end we were invited to come forward and “pledge our lives for Christ” or similar – I was sitting towards the back – as people went forward they were hugged and kissed and welcomed to the group – after about 15 minutes there were a handful of us still sitting down – the vast majority were up in the “in” group at the front – I remember feeling terrified and cornered but physically holding the chair I was sitting on so I wouldn’t go up (I was there without my parents by the way) – it was the hardest thing I’d ever done NOT to go up  – I so WANTED to be part of that group- but I knew I was an atheist, I knew that wasn’t my group up there – but it was bloody hard to not become part of it – because the majority were.

"Rodney Hyde" and Maori Activist - Wellington 7s 2010

I was yesterday to a friend and we somehow got to subject of Amway and Landmark Education came up, all of us  had had friendships damaged with friends and relatives who had joined these programs and who in turn and pressured us to become part of them. My friend (who’s a bit older than me) knows exactly why she doesn’t like “tribal” marketing  – she had childhood memories of her parents talking about Hitler Youth (they were displaced persons from Austria and Holland) – because of that she’s always hated any marketing which involves you becoming part of the “in” crowd at the exclusion of the “others”.

Hot Cops - Wellington Rugby 7s 2010

Went I went to Brett McFall seminar I saw the same thing at work – on group a lot older than 13! At the end of the day the sales pitch was – go to the back and sign up in the next 15 minutes for a product which cost around $10k (!) – some people went – as he kept talking he dropped the price down – after 20 minutes my head count was that he had got at least 50% of the room to sign up for something … And the more people signed up – the more the people left became uncomfortable, many left the room rather than stay as the minority.

I thought I was only me that has an instinctive run the other way reaction  when I am pitched to do something as part of a group which will make me “different” from another a group – and often better.

I think most people who are trying to make money online are a little “odd” anyways – which probably makes the call to be part of a new “tribe” even more seductive – don’t fall for it.

The supreme irony should be obvious in this classic clip from Monty Python …

The photos? Wellington was very tribal this weekend with the Annual Wellington Rugby 7’s in town …

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Third Tribe Marketing and Keyword Academy Reviewed – Can Membership Sites Help?

I recently posted a Third Tribe Review and I’ve made no secret that I am a fan and a member of The Keyword Academy – both are membership sites which cost less than $50/month and claim to help you make money online – one I thoroughly recommend – one I don’t why?

First off lets be clear: do you want a work at home job or a business built on passive income? Personally I have no more desire to be at the beck and call of clients than I liked answering to a boss. In fact I could see it could conceivably worse. I am looking to make income online which keeps happening even while I am not there.

Third Tribe Marketing

Hmmm guys you might want to take a second look at your copy –  and fix up some of the missing elements such as Privacy Policy, contact details etc, etc Andy Beard has pointed them out here : Agressive Hype and Obnoxious Tactics. According to Chris Brogan they are about Internet marketing not making money online – that’s pretty confusing cause I thought the whole point of marketing was to make sales and sales are supposed to make your money surely?

Cost: Currently $27 a month- but the price will be rising next week to $47/month. No free or reduced cost first month – but you cancel at any time via Paypal. Apparently you can get a refund of the first month – but you have to request it – I’d suggest using the forums if you can’t find the contact form …

Core Content:. Doesn’t seem to be a defined core course – maybe that will evolve…From what I can gather the theory is that you if you hang with enough like-minded people money will evolve itself into your bank account – call me anal but I’d rather have a business plan. Obviously this is a membership on the Teaching Sells model – so you may well learn something on WHAT they do not what they SAY they are doing.  If I am spending money for a forum I want to know what the defined benefits are from it.

Questions and Answers Sessions: Twice a month is planned

Forum: Nothing that special that I can see – could easily become a wonderful hand holding environment – which is unlikely to be of any use except for networking.  One of the longest threads at the moment is about what it is to be a “cool blogger” …

Who Would I recommend the Third Tribe to

  • Its extremely hard to recommend a product which has no clear definition of what it is they are selling and whom they are selling it to…
  • Seriously if you want to watch WHAT they do not what they SAY they do – this is a very interesting in offering not very much and making people happy to pay for it – the bit that is missing is whether people will stay subscribed – or whether they will have to keep on getting new fodder into the pipeline.

Update on Thrid Tribe Affiliate Program

Along with the price rise there is now the expected announcement of an affiliate program. Of coure Brian Clark is doing it because everyone insisted on it – yeah right – so reluctantly he’s offering 33% of sale price – recurring – so that’s $15.50/month per a sign-up. Expect to see a flood of “second tribe” type gushing reviews of Third Tribe coming to a blog near you.

The Keyword Academy:

The concept is so simple it fits on  a one page  diagram:

Cost: $33 /month(premium) $29/month $29 (basic). First month $1 – you can cancel at any time via Paypal and that’s the most you will pay. (In fact if you sign up through my link and decide not to continue after the first month drop me a message via the contact form and I will refund your $1 to your paypal account). The price has been the same since the launched in April 09 – there is no threat that it will go up soon as far as I know. Other costs involved will including domains and hosting.

Core Content:10 videos with transcripts describing in detail how to make money using the above model. Plus at least previous 6 monthly webinars  are available.

Question and Answer Sessions – 3 times a month including one for European time zone members and one for advanced members. All Q&A’s are recorded and available for download.(premium only)

Content Webinar. There is a content webinar each month – topics include everything from new developments with the Google algorithm to new developments at The Keyword Academy site itself. Available for download (premium only).

Forum (premium only) a forum with a twist. No sigs allowed and mamembers can only sell to other members in one specific area. However members can apply for badges which reflect their online earnings (as verified by management) – which gives an idea to newcomer as to who is walking the talk and who is not.

Who Would I recommend the Keyword Academy to

  • Anyone who wants to develop a passive online business where they get paid for work they did years or months ago;
  • Anyone who wants more traffic to their site – maybe you are tired of the social blogging “write great content and they will come” – its not an either or, I think I write competently here – but the site gets most of its visitors from search engines and that’s all about keywords and backlinks and TKA will teach you both.
  • If you are more experienced and are looking for cost effective access to some useful link building resources – sign up and check it out. You may be pleasently surprised. As an affiliate I’ve been surprised just how “sticky” this membership is – people stay long after they’ve learnt the basics – because of the value add.
  • If you want to develop a work at home job – be it a freelance writer or something else – check out the TKA anyways – first off there are always members looking for writers and second you will understand how to really write SEO copy- and no its not necessary to go to the dark side (hint this site is fairly well optimised SEO copy).

Who Would I NOT recommend the Keyword Academy to:

  • Anyone who thinks they will be making thousands or even hundreds in their first month without doing much work – get a job – its one of the easiest  ways to make fast reliable cash 🙂 ;
  • Anyone who is dreaming about starting a business – this is about WORKING;
  • Anyone who can genuinely not afford the cash – there is enough free information here and over at Grizz’s free blog to get you earning.

Look I’ve been called cynical and rude (and that’s my friends) – but I really, really don’t like people getting ripped off – and just because they may feel good about being ripped off doesn’t mean that they aren’t being so. Even if the people who are running the rip-off scheme (and sorry, bottom-line that’s my opinion of Third Tribe Marketing) – there an awful lot of ernst, good people out there under the illusion that they can make money about blogging about their passions. The bottom line is that most of them won’t make a cent profit.

Membership sites are a fantastic way to make money online – if people keep renewing you make great cash and its an ongoing fairly stable income – that’s the holy grail online I can assure you. But it has to be providing excellent value to the customer as well in my view.

From what I have seen so far from Third Tribe Marketing -this site is an  online cocktail hour for the cool dudes – after all business people having been paying through the nose for networking events off-line for years – so why not online? Doesn’t make it any more likely that  joiningill make a  beginner money though.

If you are a beginner and you are trying to make money online, you have no special skills, no cool tribe to hang out with but you aren’t afraid of a bit of hard work then, I believe that the Keyword Academy should more than pay for its self within several months. Maybe it will 3 months or, 6 months – but from the details provided in the program and the details provided by members in the forum most who stick around seem to hit at least $200/month within 6 months. That’s not a fortune – but it seems a typical result – that’s called no bullshite marketing as far as I am concerned.

Making Money Online Online Business Passive Income Passive Income Australia/NZ

Passive Income Ideas

I’ve been playing with the new “Niche Refinery” tool inside of The Keyword Academy and found some new keywords for this blog – I shouldn’t have to tell you which one I am targeting today. Its not worth a million dollars or anything – but the current top ranking posts for “passive income ideas” – all leave a whole lot to be desired. As usual  content really doesn’t matter that much – its all about using the keywords in the right place and domain authority in the Case of the current top ranker’s – so I figure with a bit content – and some backlinks I too may get to page #1 and provide some useful information.

What is Passive Income ?

Passive income is income you receive which is not related to how you spent you day – well that’s my definition of it anyway! I might have spent the last week doing this (I wish!)

Snorkeling, Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Western Australia
Snorkeling, Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Western Australia

but meanwhile I made over  NZ$2000 – passive income. That income happened with no discernable activity on my part – I don’t think I made any decisions to with last week – but the invoices paying me showed up today – being the first of the month and all.

Passive Income Ideas – Its the Business Model That Matters

Many people will ask how  did I make that passive income last week – the answer is  property investment. Now not all property investors have themselves a passive income business – we do – we hire professional property managers and have never met any of our current tenants – none of whom know that we spent the last 3 years out of the country. Now it doesn’t make us a fortune – there are a few mortgages involved – but we have  had a good capital gain – more than can be said for the stuff in the share market!

The point is -you will find endless arguments of whether an asset class is a passive income or not – the  question should be – do you want it to be? Neither my partner nor I enjoy fixing plumbing or dealing with tenants – so our residential  property is set up so we don’t have to, we chose to do it that way. Alternatively I know people who have created themselves a full-time job looking after their tenants and their property – neither approach is wrong just different.

Top 5 Passive Income Ideas – If You Do It Right

  1. Property investment – its been my top earner to date so I have to put it #1. In New Zealand its tax efficient and low risk. The downside of course is that its only low risk if you have 50% or more equity. Its only passive if you pay someone to manage and maintain properties for you.
  2. Bank Deposits. Yeah really – I can earn over 6% on New Zealand bank deposits and over 5% on call in Australia. I pay no advisor fees, I do pay tax – its the best cash rates in the world  (well anywhere in the world that you have good chance of getting your money back)- anyone around here who pays advisers to put them into a money market “product” is nuts. Overseas investors should think about it – obviously you will carry an exchange risk (which is far from trivial) – but banks in this part of the world  do not fail.
  3. Stocks/Shares/Managed Funds/ whatever you call them.  Primarily I use these for capital gain rather than passive income – but I know this works differently overseas. Again if you chose to be a day trader this will be far from passive income – if  you chose the right advisor long term stock picks- should work for you.
  4. Develop a business which doesn’t require you to work all the hours of the day to make you money. Tim Ferris’s Four Work Week is the ultimate guide to this approach. Most entrepreneurs desperately need to work IN their businesses – Tim points out how you can arrange the business so it pays you without you doing much work at all. You still need to set the business up – but potentially it can cost a lot less than using the first 3 approaches to passive income
  5. Marry a rich partner – well there is some work up front but … – unfortunately no personal experience on this one! Fundamentally if you have enough capital you should never have to work for an income again – money doesn’t fix your life – but it does give you choices.

Those are pretty much the only ways of generating passive income – but as I said above you can still get it wrong – and end up working full-time on a so-called passive income stream .Which brings me to  irony of this post – I write about developing passive income online here – I am trying to develop niche sites which will pay me passive income on a regular basis. Its definitely possible – but I haven’t got it to the scale that I relax yet. Passive income is about timing sometimes -working hard for  a few years so you can take the rest of your life off…. And please no one tell me that freelance writing is a great way to make passive income – tips like that are worth what you paid for them!

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Third Tribe Review – Inside Rowse’s Third Tribe Is it a Scam?

Which Tribe do you belong to? Apparently – according to Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, Chris Brogan, Sonia Simone – you really should be in the Third Tribe. Up until now there has only been two tribes: the sleazy, scum-bag Internet Marketers who promises the earth, or usually $14,449  plus a Lamborghini, while you sleep, and then there are the nice social media folks – they hang around singing kumbaya making lots of friends and making no money.

I couldn’t stand  a kumbaya video – so here’s a video of my aspirational Lamborghini – from my favourite car reviewer –

Apparently there was no middle ground – which was bit of a surprise to me as I have been doing it for a couple of years and so have a whole bunch of other people I know online – but no apparently there has been a vacuum… and Darren Rowse has decided to fill it.  There is apparently a third way  – oops I mean a third tribe (apologies to Eastern Religions there) – Internet Marketing Strategies That Work (Without Being Obnoxious) – as they like to subtitle themselves.

What Exactly is Darren Rowse’s Third Tribe – and How Will It Make Me Money?
Well first off its a membership site -built around the concept of “teaching sells“. I might have been a little sarcastic on that one – but I still stand by it. Now I didn’t put the nearly $2000 into joining Teaching Sells- but the Third Tribe was an affordable $27/month  (but if you join now you’ll pay $47/month)- but its going up soon so hurry – so I “invested” $27 – note that is what its going to cost you – you cancel the sub immediately via Paypal – but you will sink the $27 to check this out – but its OK I can handle the expense – business tax deductions are beautiful things!

What did I get for my $27 (Its now $47 – to pay for the affiliate program no doubt) –  I was promised:

  1. An Education” – well personally I got a lot of education when I first started working underground in Australia as a fairly naive 21-year-old – but I digress. Darren’s Third Tribe Marketing offers me  the chance to attend a webinar or listen to an audio class each month. In the first month the sales copy promises me three “education seminars”.  One is an interview by Johnny Truant who went from making pennies on Adsense to “5-figures a month”  – titled “The Quick Start to Making Money Online”. Then later on in the month – haven’t seen this yet – there is promised a three-hour-long (yeah – bring the popcorn) self-congratulatory talk-fest on how Darren, Brian, Sonia, Chris et al build a “Strong Business Around a Blog” . The third event is mysteriously titled “Interaction” – about building a community of learning – probably something about not writing critical stuff on your blog cause you may upset IMPORTANT PEOPLE – oops…
  2. Live Q & A” – at least twice a month – where you can ask questions about your business with at least two of the founders of Third Tribe. Hmm – cool – perhaps I can ask some questions when it comes up…Well maybe it will work better than  getting any of these guys to actually respond to comments on their own blogs …
  3. Interactive Forum” – really as opposed to the static, non-interactive type?

So how exactly is the Third Tribe exactly going to make me money?  Well…

Johnny Truant spent 9 months doing what everyone says you’re supposed to do to make money online, and made a whopping $111. Then he changed his strategy to a Third Tribe model, and quickly started having 5-figure months. Johnny gives all the real-life details in this hour-long seminar hosted by Sonia Simone, along with concrete steps you can take immediately. You get instant access to it when you join.

Now how “Johnny” made his Adsense payout was the highlight of this post recently – his business model was “write funny blog posts and generally just hanging out online,” – and he managed to make over $100 in Adsaense, in less than a year,  – in fact I am absolutely astounded he made that much! The mind boggles as to what Adsense ads were showing up on funny wity posts, but I’m pretty darn sure they were far from relevant. So the take away from that is that  Adsense sucks – its not a “real business model” – well I’d agree – Adsense certainly isn’t a good monetization method for a humour blog!

Obviously hanging out online your friends is a real business model – maybe. But its OK Johnny is going to reveal his big secret: how to quickly make money online. I can’t tell you exactly what that is – as it part of the $27 $47 Third Tribe membership program – but from his published post on copyblogger:

  • One that you can stand behind publicly. Hmmm right – I have  a few issues with this – after all this is from a guy calling himself “Johnny B Truant” – now I not one to assume that anyone is making up a name on the Internet- people have weird names  I should know! So checked the whois on his website – that’s not his name. Its his brand – I know the maketing geeks will rush over and tell me that’s OK – I know according to the marketing game it is, in the context of a blog,  written in the first person – its not honest IMHO.
  • One that’s based on helping others in exchange for pay. Oh you mean running an Internet-based consultancy – OK that will work – especially if you have skills that other people want to pay for and can be delivered online (anyone want a dance lesson?). Regrettably this is the same problem as Teaching Sells – most begineers don’t have those skills – that’s why they are prepared to join a membership stie and give you money in the hope they can learn the secret!
  • One that benefits from being a real, authentic person. Well I personally am unreal inauthentic person – except when I am being real on this blog. Is Amazon a real authentic person ? I buy from them all the time – same with New Zealand’s very own eBay. I don’t know or care who runs these companies they have blue widgets in stock and I need blue widgets at 2am – I buy from the website.
  • One that matches your best abilities to the needs of others. Yeah you seriously shouldn’t take marketing lessons from me – I am telling you that now!  My point is as above though – you need to play to your strengths sure – or hire talent to fill the gap. Or just be at the top of the search engines when someone asks the question – “where do I buy blue widgets at 2am?”

So how exactly is this going to give a beginner a “quick start to making money online”? Well to be honest I’m completely unclear. I understand how it will  make Darren, Brian et al money. I understand how Johnny makes money – he gets to plug his blog setup service amongst other things – but how its going to  make a newbie money online – someone who is new to business, new to being online and basically desperate to make money in months not years – I have no idea – and paying my $27 $47 didn’t clear things up.

After the first “educational event” with Johnny I was left pondering what my online skills were. That’s OK for me I have been playing around on the online sewer of fake Internet Marketers for a couple of years now – I do have some skills – but the  program isn’t designed for me – its designed for beginners …

Who Do I recommend the Third Tribe Memberhip Site For?

Frankly no  one at the moment – well not unless you just feel you need to give Brian Clark or Darren Rowse a donation. Its early days the site has just launched – maybe it will improve. But at first glance its a lot of waffle dressed up with a slick site design and convincing sales copy. Actually on second  thoughts I  do recommend it to anyone wondering how you go about selling a little for a quite a lot of nice recurring income – watch what they do don’t listen to what they say though.

In fact I’m pissed off for many of the good meaning folks who will join – and who will really get a warm cuddly feeling being part of a supportive online community. There is one part of the sales copy I agree with – paid communities do have a lot less trolls in them and can be very helpful in learning this business. Is this worth $27 $47 /month – well its cheaper than cable I guess – as a form of entertainment, but  in terms of teaching you to make money online, its not just a waste of money its a waste of something even more critical – time.

Darren, Brian, Chris and hangers on – I think you guys make a nice living online – I just think its complete crap that you do so setting up schemes like this to milk your followers and send them off down dead ends. Now a  lot of the people in the community will be quite happy but I really think you need to be upfront that this is a community for people who want to talk about making money online – not for those who actually want or need to be making soon.

You need accurate road maps in Internet Marketing - and the Northern Territory, Australia
You need accurate road maps in Internet Marketing - and the Northern Territory, Australia

So Smart Arse Lissie  How Do You Make Money Online Quickly?

If you are reading this because you were hoping that the The Third Tribe was going to make you money quickly – I’m sorry in my opinion – worth exactly what you paid for it- -t won’t. The following will definitely make you money though:

  • sell stuff on eBay and cragislist – no not as a flipping affiliate. Sell the stuff in  you yard that you never use, sell the toys the kids grew out of, sell the clothes you grew out of;
  • sign up for some of the writing sites which pay – this is a lot easier if you live in the US – start with places such as Demand Studios, Suite101 – the pay is low and the work is boring but they will pay you  regularly. If you want the details on how to launch a freelancing career in around 6 months check out Monika’ Freelance Superstar e-book.
  • sign up on  freelance brokerage sites such as odesk and elance – there are lots of jobs, the pay is low – but again you are likely to get paid in a short time frame.

Oh that’s not what you had in mind-  you want to start a blog and hang with the cool chics? Well then the Third Tribe by Darren Rowse is perfect for you – you probably won’t make you much money but you will feel part of the tribe, the community – that counts – doesn’t it?  The reality is that is room at the top of the “famous A-lister” blog set for very few – if you areading this and haven’t got a popular blog – you are probably too late! In contrast all the suggestions I just gave you are sustainable low-cost business models which you can start on the kitchen table today without any connections, online or otherwise.

How to Really Learn Internet Marketing Strategies That Work

Well you learn from some real experts who have actually done it. Josh over at Unconventional Marketing has good information and Leo Dimilo is well worth reading everything and subscribing to his newsletter on Internet Marketing.  These guys don’t have super pretty blogs – but they do have solid advice based on experience – and can give you information which you can apply.  der:

I’d also suggest you join up with HubPages (free) and  write around 100 hubs –  for each hub pick a phrase which you think people might search for – something you might have searched for in Google perhaps – ask you friends – just try it. Odds are at least some of those hubs will get search traffic and those will make you money from Adsense, eBay or Amazon;

Finally if you are determined to spend some money join The Keyword Academy (honking great ad below) – its a membership stie too. But you can join for only $1 – on going $33/month – I haven’t space  here to say why its so much better than this Third  Tribe review (subsribe to the RSS feed to be automateically notifed)  –  some of you will assume its because I get a commission if you sign up. You’d be wrong – but I will  leave that for another post.  Suffice to say – its entirely predictable and relatively easy to get your blog to rank for something people are  searching for – people who are searching are potential customers – if you connect to customers (not friends – customers) then you can make money.

UPDATE: Thrid Tribe Marketing Affiliate Program

There is a now an affiliate program for Third Tribe Marketing – and it now pays affiliates 33% – or $15.50 a month per a sign up – thought I would mention it if you were wondering about all the new Third Tribe Marketing Reviews you are seeing!


The Third Tribe doesn’t have an affiliate program – yet (watch for that when the price goes up) – but even if it didn’t you wouldn’t find the link for it. If you are determined to join do someone a favour and Google “Third tribe affiliate” and sign up using their link and you will make someone a little cash – and cost yourself nothing extra.

I am however a member of The KeyWord Academy – if you sign up with the any of the links on this blog I will make 33% of the commission. If you are not happy you can cancel within the first month and pay Mark and Court only that $1. In fact drop me a line via the contact form at the top of the page  using the same email address and I will happily refund your $1  so there is no risk with joining. What’s the worst that could happen – you might learn something useful …

Back Links Passive Income Plan Review

Passive Income and Backlinks No Fluff

Backlinks are key in this business – I hope most of you know that already! I could go on and on about backlinks – particular backlinks for DIY sites which make lots of passive income with Adsense. But  I won’t – mainly because my mate Allyn is on and on about it – he seems to have morphed from the stroppy beer-drinking persona – to a nice non-fluff teaching bloke without a budget to afford a chair in his new fancy videos – and I do find the black background pretty dull compared to his DIY kitchen.

Waitangi Park, and Te Papa, Wellington, NZ
Waitangi Park, and Te Papa, Wellington, NZ

Anyway he has this post up which is all about backlinks – and if you understand nothing else about making a passive income online – backlinks are the #1, important thing to focus on – yes more important than the number of  twitter followers you have, more important than the number of stumbles you have and more important than the content on your site. Good content is quite useful – in fact the only reason I linking to Allyn is because he has put together the definitive post about everything you need to know about backlinks So now every time I get asked about what is a backlink I can just point to this post – handy eh?

In fact  iwas a little sore at Allyn calling me “missy” so I was sorely tempted to link to him with a click here but I thought if I gave him a good link – he might build some links to my post too. That’s something that Allyn doesn’t mention – but is worth pointing out I think – that apart from backlinks the 0ther thing that is helpful in this business is having friends.  I suspect that a lot of people who are trying to make money online are quite solitary by nature – but the reality is that having friends online is a lot easier than having them offline – you just start linking out to people you genuinely like (pssh want to see a cool picture of Ur’s Ziggurat?) or even that you think may eliminate some confusion from your readers (online cash and info domains) .

So headon over and listen to Allyn’s rant about backlinks and think about what my link from here is worth to Allyn   Am I Donald Trump or  just some Kiwi Missy with a Website? Am I Bob Villa or Jane Doe (you will have to watch his videos to figure it out!) And Allyn  WTF is a green screen –  are you going to be doing Avatar 2 next ? And dude you need a chair – or more comfortable pants I reckon!

Meanwhile back with me – January has been complete crap – its a bit better now that I figured out what was wrong. I was on a big downer about being home again. It happens every time I come “home” – I get as closed to depressed as my normally fairly bouncy personality can manage.  Whatever the opposite of being a homebody is – I am it!  This time I didn’t even really want to come home (crises in my partner’s family) – so its been worse.

And running your own business and being pissed with life is not a good a combination – even  my improved version of time management hasn’t helped. This has though – More Time Now – I don’t know the author or his blog – I found the link while aimlessly surfing the web (no TV at the moment so surfing  online instead of channel surfing) – and its quite a useful – I think – well it gave me something to think on anyways – which is unusual for my cynical self -its free -no affiliate links that I can see – worth a read if you struggle with time management

Lis Recommmends Paid Tools Product Reviews Tools

Andy Black’s Index Checker Review – Do You Need to Check If Your Support Article is Indexing?

I have updated this post  – see the end!

I bought Andy Black’s Index Checker before Christmas but only recently got around to actually installing it and using it. I liked the sales pitch – it claims to allow you to check any xml site map or RSS feed to see which url’s are indexed. This seemed to me quite useful to double check that my articles on Web 2.0 properties such as HubPages were indexed.

The product is a $7 instant download which you then need to install on one of your own domains. The instructions are detailed and accurate and I certainly managed to install Andy Black’s Index Checker on my Hostgator account with no problems.

The problems came when I tried checking the indexing of my articles on Hubpages and – check out my first ever screencast below to see why I won’t be recommending this product – even for $7.

For a larger version of the video click here.


As you can see in the comments Andy is acutally a respnsive and responsible developer who gets major kudos for showing up and supporting his product!  In the video below I was using an outdated version of the software – its now just a matter of drop down lists to chose ezinearticles/hubpages/squidoo feeds.  Still not perfect – ezinearticles does some odd stuff with titles with a dash in them – you might want to avoid those in the future anyways -and Hubpages is still only giving me the last 10 results – but Andy’s working on it! Meanwhile here is my shameless affliate link

Actually I forgot to mention in the video – the Index Checker failed entirely to manage the RSS feed for this blog which is a feedburner freed!

Wellington Waterfront, near Te Papa
Wellington Waterfront, near Te Papa

Help guys- this is the first time I’ve done a screen cast – am I speaking slowly enough? Its a Kiwi trick to speak too fast, especially compared to Americans – so have I slowed it down enough? Did I make you dizy with the mouse moves?

Why Indexing is Important

Its quite possible for a site to have PageRank and yet not be indexed in  Google! If I am doing guest posting or otherwise considering using a third party’s site to get a link back to my site I always double check the age of the site’s cache in Google (Google the site’s url and click “cache” in the results) – it shouldn’t be more than about 10 days old, and also check how many pages are indexed ( in and then go to advance to see how recnetly pages have been indexed).

Checking for Indexing of Articles

This is what I do to keep an eye on which support and other articles of mine are indexing and how fast.

  • I use Google Alerts on my author names – that tells me exactly when an article is indexed;
  • I use in Google Alerts to know when a link is indexed in Google (they will never tell you them all!);
  • Grab a sentence or so of the published article and google it with quotes – you will find not just he original article but all the copies as well -if you are after plagarists chose a phrase from lower than the first paragraph – some smart ones will re-write the first paragraph.

So for now I don’t have a program that automates the checking of my support article’s indexing – Andy Black’s IndexChecker isn’t the answer for this problem – does anymore have an automated tool for this? One that actually works?

Moving Overseas Online Business Passive Income Australia/NZ

New Zealand Bloggers – Can You Make Passive Income Here?

Some of you seemed to like my photos in the Move to New Zealand – Australia compared so this post is decorated with some photos from Island Bay, Wellington – near where I am currently living.  Todd over at Todd’s Tips has been inspriring me with his Iraq photos – so here is my best effort!

Dingies, Island Bay, Wellington, New Zealand
Dingies, Island Bay, Wellington, New Zealand

My attention was caught by the local Sunday paper featuring this story on a New Zealand DIY site making a claimed $20,0000/month from Adsense. Now that’s presumably New Zealand dollars – so that’s about US$14k – but still its a lot of money being claimed from a fairly small, 1100 indexed page, site. I was initially skeptical of the claimed figures  but I do know my mate Allyn over at sold a website for $30,000 and that it was a DIY type site as well, though knowing Allyn I doubt that AdSense was his preferred magnetization (he hasn’t said yet – it looks like the vblog series is going to extend well into 2010 while he keeps his audience waiting for the good stuff!

According to the newspaper report the owner of the site – retired builder Les Kenny – was talking to the media because:

give a little back to Google and spread the word about AdSense (sic), and he thinks it could be particularly relevant to older New Zealanders who have so much experience to share.

Maori carving, Island Bay, Wellington
Maori carving, Island Bay, Wellington

Mr Kenny probably genuinely doesn’t know why his site is a success – or realise just how difficult it would be for someone else to replicate his success – Kiwi or not.If you look at the other sites mentioned in the article and on his main site you will see that none of these seem to rank for anything much.

The site no doubt ranks for thousands and thousands of long-tail keywords associated with the “how to build …” niche. He ranks #2 for the “how to build”  phrase which has over  18000 searches a month and would give him huge authority on any new plan or project he added to the site. The single most important thing the site has is of course age (2002) – with that longevity and relevance its going to be hard to for anyone to put up a competitor site against hi m in the niche.

Island Bay Beach
Island Bay Beach

Other stuff I found interesting on the site was:

  • the top image banner is an Adsense ad – but is not labelled as such – is that OK if you are just advertising your own sites – and why would you do that ?
  • use of image next to the main Adsense ad block near the top of most interior pages – most of us thought that was highly discouraged by Google;
  • he also has affiliate offers for building plans so its possible some largish percentage of his income are from these;
  • the backlink profile appears to be mainly from link exchanges – current wisdom is that link exchanges are dead – particularly form link pages – but they seem to be alive a kicking on this site;
  • the inclusion of a Spanish language site – directly from the original site’s page links – the Adsense ad’s appear in Spanish for me – but are not advertising anything relevant – mainly language classes – probably because the lack of Spanish language advertisers in New Zealand!
  • if you ever do have yourself in the risky position of making a large amount of money from one website and being dependent on a good  Google ranking its a very smart plan to have local media coverage – just in case …
Island Bay, Wellington, New Zealand
Wooden houses and steep hills -that's Wellington!

If you are a New Zealand blogger – you may want to keep an eye on the infamous Whale Oil blog. This blogger is currently in court over breaching name suppression orders over the last few months. In New Zealand, even if you are found guilty of a crime the court can order permanent name suppression – its getting beyond a joke when the suppression is not to protect the victim (and is sometimes against their wishes) – but is apparently becoming the “right” of any slightly  famous “New Zealand entertainer” or “New Zealand politician”. I’m watching this case with curiosity because apparently while I was away New Zealand has turned into a country happy to suppress almost any criminal’s name – if they  have a “reputation” to protect that is. If Michael Jackson had been a “New Zealand entertainer” his name would never have been associated with child abuse – even if he had been convicted (which he wasn’t).

Empire Cinema, Island Bay
Art Deco, Empire Cinema, Island Bay

Do you like the photos? I can’t be arsed doing a wholesale photo blog – my photos aren’t that good – but I thought I would just throw a few up from time to time – after all most of the stuff I talk about here about passive income is really not photogenic – but New Zealand is – so I might combine the too – might bring some interesting search traffic …

Making Money Online Passive Income

Passive Income Online: Best Posts of 2009

Well this seems to be the tradition at this time of the year to look back at your “best of” posts of the previous year. In fact its not a bad idea because internal linking is really a good idea – and hey some of your visitors may even find some benefit.

An Online Business in 2009
An Passive Income Online Business in 2009

To (mis)-quote Dickens it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

My optimistic 2009 goals are a fairly embarassing example of now NOT to goal set – they are too vague, not tied to abig picture aim really – but at least I had some. I did at least realise that yes, you can make $1000/month with Adsense

This post was pretty much when I hit rock bottom with my hopes for making passive income online – I figured out that all the options were worse than bad – and oddly enough once I understood that  if I didn’t believe in my business no one else would things really turned a corner – mainly because of one my worst written posts ever!

May was the month of the infamous 100 hubs challenge and although I boosted my hubpage earnings significanty. They have since dropped quite a lot – not without first making me quite a few thousand dollars though! I intend to revive some of my formerly successful hubs – possibly as mini-sites or on Infobarrel

As the year progress I slowly realised that I had to more and more treat this online adventure as an online business (one of my better posts I think). I’d even worked out that I could build a legitimate online business  and sell stuff online without feeling like I needed a shower!

By the end of September I actually had some online income which needed management! By October I had written my first e-book on buying and selling websites

At the end of the day –  Ican’t imagine a better lifestyle than the one I have now – it is definitly worth trying to make an income online.

Good ideas I still use

Keyword Academy – I still use their prinicpals for keyword research – in general – I am not totally convinced on their backlink startegy but if that program had been available a year earlier it would have saved me a year of heartache and made me a lot more than the cost of membership!

An Alternative to WordPress – anyone who has more than 2 or 3 blogs will no that WordPress needs constant updating – not the content the bloody software – Mystarterblog is ideal for easy to maintain, niche blogs

If you can’t be bothered reading all of Grizz’s blog  (allow a week) – then Janet has summarised his methods in her Nomad’s Guide to Make Money Online

Online Backup – this really does work seamlessly – after the initial setup – any file I add or modify is backed up the next time I’m online – for free!

Not such good ideas from 2009

Entrecard destroys your search traffic

Today Blog Scam

So have you done a year summary for your blog? If so feel free to leave a link in the comments below!