Last night I caught part of John Jonas’ live presentation to a packed room at The Webinar Summit. He was giving his usual presentation on outsourcing to the Philippines for $2.50 per hour by hiring full time employees.

I did not catch the entire presentation and I will be going through the replay videos to soak up all of the advice given by John Jonas and many other speakers. That said I wanted to bring up an important point.

At all Internet Marketing conferences, speakers usually pitch their stuff. John pitched ReplaceMyself.com, naturally.

Nobody was pitching products for less than $997. Not a single person. So John came up with a creative way to get his price point up that high. Normally, customers can purchase a membership to Replace Myself for $97 per month, or get permanent access (the “pro outsourcer” upgrade) for $797.

So how can he sell the same thing at $997? Well, he added in a pretty good extra bonus that is technically worth $800. The bonus was a pre-screened and pre-tested employee. You see, because John Jonas owns OnlineJobs.ph he also setup a business by which he tests candidates and places them in a separate pool. Those candidates are more likely to be successful to you in your business, and he guarantees they work out for you or he will replace them free of charge. A tested employee costs $800 (a finder’s fee) plus usual ongoing salary. So John was throwing in a tested employee and adding $200 to the sticker price of the package. That means you’re actually getting a 75% discount on the pre-tested employee.

If you just want to do the hiring on your own, you can still buy his package at the usual $97 per month, or currently $797 if you take the “pro outsourcer” upgrade. BTW, that upgrade is pitched to you AFTER you confirm your payment for the first month. So don’t worry. You pay $97 and then you purchase the upgrade. Then you never ever make another payment in your life. That’s what I did, and I’m very happy to have done it. I don’t like ongoing fees.

Useful Links

Visit Replace Myself.

For people already ready to buy, and want my huge and helpful bonus, visit the checkout page.

To hear John Jonas on his next webinar (these are GOOD), register for his webinar.

Remember to Pay Employees in Philippine Pesos

This is just a quick post on paying your online workers in the Philippines. Now that pretty much everyone in that country has access to PayPal, it’s clear to me that PayPal is fastest and easiest.

However … I would not recommend paying in US dollars.

Here’s why: When I started using Replace Myself and hiring people through OnlineJobs.ph, I would do as John suggested and arrange a US dollar salary. The conversion at the time was about 46 pesos to 1 US dollar. But yesterday, on August 1st, I went to send payment for July’s work to my team. The conversion rate is now about 40:1 instead of 46:1

I hadn’t noticed this because we shifted to Pesos a while back, and I’m glad we did. It’s costing me a bit more money because of the currency move, but imagine if I was still paying the same $US salary? They would be getting penalized for something they can’t control.

Let’s do some math on this: Say you paid $300/ month to an employee. That would work out to 13,800 pesos back at the old 46:1 conversion. But now that the US dollar has been weak, this same employee would only be getting 12,000 pesos. That’s eighteen hundred LESS per month.

You might want to have a conversation with your guys about this to see what they prefer, but I am going to guess that most of them want stability. They get this when you take the foreign exchange risk yourself. And if the dollar recovers, then you can inch in some raises for them while not even spending more money. Then they’ll be doubly happy.

Hey everyone,

I woke up early while my kids are still sleeping because last night John Jonas sent out an email with a case study that I wanted to watch.

I always learn good stuff from these case studies, so I prefer to watch / listen when I won’t be interrupted.

Go watch this awesome case study on John’s blog with a guy named Eric.

Eric talks about his particular business (local SEO work for local companies), and how he hired his first few employees, what worked out and what did not. Hint – his first hire did NOT work out and he explains exactly why. I’ve seen this happen before. Eric also has a great mindset about what work he wants to do himself (almost none) versus what he wants to leverage his team to do (almost everything).

Go watch Eric and John talk. You’ll learn something.

John Jonas just posted a nice audio interview on his website that you should definitely listen to. Unlike so many of the hour-long fluff pieces out there, this is short and sweet. Just let it play while you delete your junk mail.

The conversation is with a guy named Scott, and John gets him to walk through what he’s doing to get revenue from local SEO clients, but outsourcing all of the work to the Philippines.

If I was starting over I am pretty sure I’d get involved in doing this sort of business because I believe the revenue opportunity is quite large … but the strategy still revolves around one simple thing: 1) have a business model; 2) hire someone to do the time-consuming parts of that business model for you; 3) focus on running the business, and growing the business rather than working “in” the business.

Go listen to this interview between John Jonas and Scott.

After you listen, consider checking out John’s program called “Replace Myself”. This is exactly what I did a couple of years ago and there is no turning back. I have fully embraced the idea of having full time employees for around $300 per month and up. It DOES work. Seriously.

Doubled my Amazon Earnings Recently

I wanted to write up this quick post because it demonstrates the power of following a plan and setting it on autopilot using outsourcing.

As many readers know, I’m a member of John Jonas’ “Replace Myself” program and I hire full time employees to work for me in the Philippines.

For the time being we’ve stopped building Amazon sites simply because I have a few other high-priority projects and I don’t want to dilute my team’s work too much. But I have a total of something like 15 separate sites promoting Amazon niche products and nearly all of them make some money. A few are total duds, and a few are really profitable.

I won’t disclose exact numbers but I’m really serious when I say that you can build a handful of these and easily cover the cost of a full time employee. You can hire one person to build these sites for you, completely, and you’ll probably have your “handful” done in two months, and you can then either build more or downshift to “promotion only” while having your employee working on other tasks for you.

So that’s where I am now. I have about 15 of these sites and we’re concentrating on about 10 of them to boost rankings and revenue.

I have one employee who spends about 1/3 of her time writing a SINGLE article set every day. It is submitted to Unique Article Wizard, which is where the magic happens. UAW builds links for us in a very stable manner. It submits variations of the “article set” to hundreds of article sites over about two weeks (we set the rate). It attaches a RANDOM resource box to the end of the article based on a file that WE created. And obviously we created a slew of resource boxes to build links to the review pages that we want to promote, using anchor text that represents a variation of our keywords.

Two months ago I made that decision to stop building out new sites and instead focus on simply growing what we have. Every day we submit one article for one site, and we rotate through the 10 sites we’re focusing on in weeks.

This single task has doubled our revenue from Amazon. It’s actually up more than that, but I have one site that is somewhat geared towards summer products so I’m not counting the growth there. That’s more of a seasonal effect, but surely still helped by our UAW efforts.

The lesson in this is to come up with a system that you can manage, understand how it works and then set your guys in the Philippines out to execute on the plan. Be the manager and just guide them, while you come up with new money making projects. It’s great fun and it’s profitable.

Here’s more info on UAW in case you’re interested in using this. I joined because John Jonas recommended it and it was a very good rec.
Chris

Internet Marketing: The Cost of Free

How often do you see this question:

“What’s the best free software for doing X”

I don’t know about you but I see this ALL THE TIME. Just head over to WarriorForum and you’ll see what I mean. People are constantly looking for free hosting, free website creation, free autoresponders, free video editing, etc.

If you are an absolute newbie to this business, then it might make sense to use free software for your business in the beginning. But only if you are cash-strapped and can’t afford the investment in a proper solution.

If you are a newbie who actually plans to build a REAL BUSINESS and actually plans to invest real money in building the business, then you are making a mistake to use free services, for the most part.

Yes, there are exceptions. But they are few and far between.

In life, and in Internet Marketing, you get what you pay for. Listen folks – IM is one of the lowest cost business platforms you can possibly start. So why take a good thing and pollute it by building your business on top of free products or services that you can’t control?

I want you to start thinking like a business person. If you are selling information products then you have a high margin business . You can afford to invest in quality tools to help you grow your business or speed up business tasks.

If you sell a product for $47 and you start clowning around with free autoresponders, you have a major strategic thinking error. You should be using a professional solution like Aweber instead.

If you have a website that you want to build up over a number of years, don’t run it on Weebly. Get proper hosting and build a proper website. Use free solutions for testing. Then get real.

If you are going to be making videos as part of your marketing and expect to make real money from it, don’t rely on CamStudio. Go get yourself a proper copy of Camtasia or Screenflow for Mac.

If you want your site to look professional, stay away from “free” graphics. Just pay a graphic designer in the Philippines to do custom work for you. In the long term you’ll appreciate the difference and the ability to customize.

If you expect to be doing a lot of article marketing for profit, sure you can submit to EZA for free. But you should also consider getting something like Unique Article Wizard to accelerate your results.

Instead of working with free WordPress themes invest in something that offers support, way more features and is proven to work. Something like Thesis, for example. I also use FlexSqueeze for this website because it’s simple and I don’t outsource anything on this particular site.

People who pay for good quality products will generally achieve better results. Stop being so darn cheap.

Buy Quality. Period.

Today I signed up as a paid member of ActuallyRank.com so I figured I’d start by writing an ActuallyRank review.

I’m not YET an affiliate. I expect to become one if I am happy with the system. I signed up for the basic package charging $69 per month.

Here’s how Actually Rank it is supposed to work. You sign up and you get access (via login) to 2000 places per month where you can leave a blog comment with a link to your money site.

The blog comment is supposed to be dofollow, rather than nofollow, although I’m not going to be upset if 10-20 percent are actually nofollow. Anything more than this and I’ll feel a bit misled.

The rules are simple. You go to the posts that you are given (up to 2000 at my level of subscription) and you leave a comment that is OF VALUE. You do NOT spam these sites. You leave a useful comment and then drop anchor text links after your comment. Being respectful keeps it all good.

Chris Rempel, the guy running this site, says that members will only share their links with at most 14 other users. So say the users in my shared pool only leave 200 links per month, then I’ll be sharing with only 1.4 users per blog post on average. That’s totally reasonable.

The system has just launched, and I haven’t had a chance to even log in yet, so I’ll update my review here when I know more.

My plan for this service is to use it myself, but also to give my login to one of my guys in the Philippines. Then he doesn’t need to write me emails telling me where we need more links. He can just look at our Google results (analytics, etc) and go build links himself where he deems them necessary. That’s the best way to do things for me because it is more or less hands off.

Anyway, I applaud Chris Rempel for putting together what looks to be a pretty awesome backlinking system. I have no idea what algorithm they used to find and then filter all of the high PR links they are giving us each month, but if it delivers on the promise it would be a bargain at 10x the price.

UPDATE 1: I was able to log in and check out how the system works. Overall I like the layout. I don’t really see the need to support projects within his website though. I think people should manage their linking projects within their own spreadsheets rather than on this membership site. So I’m not using that feature.

As many people are noticing from day one, the initial link package that we’ve gotten is not high quality. Most of the links are nofollow. Chris Rempel is MORE THAN AWARE of this problem and has acknowledged an algorithm problem that is to be resolved in a couple of days (we’ll get a new link package at that time). I’ll reserve judgment until after this happens.

We all know that the Gurus do a pretty good job of giving away good quality content. I’ve started having my Filipino workers go through this training and send me their notes. This way they are the ones learning it so they can implement it, and I’m not spending my time watching & explaining concepts to them. After all they will often be the ones doing the work. And by having them send me their notes, I get to see the quality of the information (helps me decide if maybe I’ll go back and watch it myself) … and I also get to see if my Filipino worker truly understood the video (based on the quality of his notes).

I recently assigned one guy the job of watching Jeff Johnson’s pre-launch sequence where he explains how to do Youtube marketing more effectively. This is pretty timely since we’ve started taking all of our articles and converting them to video and uploading to YouTube. The Youtube “Bounceback” strategy that my guy sent me notes on makes lots of sense and I’m having him implement this.

FYI, here’s how we take articles and turn them into videos. This happens to be for a website where the content is really important to me so I tend to write most of it myself. What I do is take the articles and read them into my microphone. If they are long articles I will break them into 2 or 3 sections and make up to 3 recordings.

I save the audio as MP3 and upload to our project management software. My guy in the Philippines then takes the MP3 and throws it into Windows Movie Maker (free) and ads a title slide with a nice background. The background actually moves, so the viewer can tell that it is actually playing properly, not stalled. This features is built into Windows Movie Maker.

So he takes my MP3, ads a title, and saves as an MP4 and then uploads to YouTube. He crafts a description of the video based on our chosen keyword + snippets of the published article.

From my perspective it takes less than 10 minutes to turn an article into a video. All I’m doing is speaking, saving and uploading. He does the rest.

Now, thanks to having him use Jeff’s free training, he has a better knowledge base on which to achieve better results for my business.

As a final little piece of advice, I’ve found that I used to get WORSE results out of my outsourcers when I tried to give them every possible piece of help needed to do a job. I was simply training them to rely on me for help and answers. Not any more. Now I give them just the basic description of what I want done and I tell them to do their best to figure it out and ask me for help only if needed. Instantly better results. DO THIS. It really does work.

Should You Track Your Outsourcer’s Time?

“How should I track the time spent on a project by my outsourcer?”

This is another often-asked question by people who are just getting started doing outsourcing. I know I asked the question myself in the beginning, but now I don’t ask it anymore.

Here’s why: If you turn the tables and imagine that you had a boss, how would you want your hours tracked? Would you want to punch a clock and feel like a robot, or would you want your boss to notice your results and care about these results rather than the punch clock?

Exactly. Thought so.

Full time employees vs freelancers hired for specific tasks:
OnlineJobs.ph then I get daily reports of their results and I have a general “feel” for how long the work takes them to complete. If I think it’s below par I tell them. If I think it’s great volume I pay them a bonus and thank them. I have only ever had one situation where a person’s work output was too low for too long and I ended up letting her go.

If the person is a freelancer doing work for me such as graphics, usually I’ll agree to a per-project fee rather than an hourly rate. This sidesteps the problem that we’re discussing altogether. Good solution.

I do have one graphics guy that I work with almost every week (seems like every day these days) and I get him to bill me by the hour. I never question his hours because it seems like he works in fast forward. He will deliver me a nice little header for a website and tell me it took 15 minutes. He will format an entire ebook for me in Adobe Acrobat and it looks like a work of art yet he bills me a few hours.

If you are not getting a feeling of fairness in your outsourcing activities then you either need to change the way you bill, or find new workers.

I do not believe it is a good idea to ask them to install screenshot software that sends you by-the-minute reports on what they were doing. If they want to use Facebook for 2 hours I could care less – so long as they actually deliver quality results and MAKE ME MONEY.

So that brings us to the simplistic answer that I learned from John Jonas. Whenever someone asks him the question we discussed here, he will answer by saying “Does the employee make you money?” If yes, good. Keep them. If no, then you know what you need to do.

Answers on Building Amazon Review Sites

The following question was sent to me regarding the outsourcing of Amazon review sites. Rather than email the answer directly I figured it would make a good blog post, so here goes:

The Question:

Hello, I read your blog post on outsourcing Amazon site’s.

I hired an outsourcer from Freelancer a couple of weeks ago to create 5 Amazon Review site’s for $600. They were due to start working on the project on 25th December but he emailed me yesterday saying that his Dad has become ill so he asked me to give him until 15th January to start.

I’ve got a couple of questions;

1. Is it worth paying the monthly fee for OnlineJobs.ph considering i only want to create around 20-25 site’s. Would it be better to stick to site’s such as Freelancer and Elance?

2. What is the best way of having backlinks created for the site’s? Jan Roo’s recommends 3waylinks.net in his ebook but i heard that if you unsubscribe from 3waylinks then you lose all the backlinks created.

As i intend to have around 25 site’s, i don’t want to spend many hours creating backlinks manually. What would be the best way to have the backlinking automated?

My Answers:

If you are hiring a freelancer rather than hiring a full time employee, I would seriously consider hiring 2 or 3 of them and give them the exact same job (different websites obviously). For example hire 3 guys to build 2 sites each. Pay via Elance escrow or something like that, and make sure the terms are clear to avoid disputes over what a “completed” site looks like. Do not do this unless you have created your own review sites in the past. How else will you know how to answer any questions they ask you?

You asked about joining OnlineJobs.ph, and if it is worth the fee. There is no monthly limit to OnlineJobs.ph – you can hire someone and cancel the next day if you like. That’s your call, but if you think you will need someone full time *permanently*, then yes, join the site. If you want someone temporarily, do not join. These people are looking for permanent jobs, generally not freelancer jobs.

Building backlinks: John Jonas teaches you how to build a mini-net (or more correctly, how to outsource the creation of a mini-net) inside of ReplaceMyself. That strategy involves labor, but no cost since all of the sites you’ll use are free. This is definitely a good option.

Another option that he recommends, and one that I 100% agree with and use myself, is Unique Article Wizard. It is SO worth the $67 per month fee it’s not even funny. You will never “lose” the links because this is article submission done correctly. It’s article marketing on steroids. It really REALLY works and I use this strategy with all of my review sites. I have no experience with the 3way links system.

Go check out Unique Article Wizard for yourself. I hesitated for the first couple of months on this after joining ReplaceMyself and I even emailed John Jonas to ask him, “Is it really as good as you say” … he replied, I bought, end of story. It’s fantastic.

Now let’s talk about your desire to have 25 sites. Ask yourself this question – why do you want to have 25? Why not 50 or 100? Why not 1 or 2? If you do not have a solid reason for picking 25 (and I expect you do not), then forget about the number.

Do this instead …

  1. Build a few sites and make sure you post quality reviews
  2. Market your sites according to SOME marketing plan. Mini net + UAW submissions, you pick what you do here.
  3. Monitor your results as you keep building a few more sites. Track your keyword ranking, traffic, and sales for each site
  4. Analyze each site’s results to determine where your time and money is best spent going forward. What I mean is this: Say you have 10 sites and 2 of them are ranking really well, get tons of traffic but have massive bounce rates (meaning people hit the back button). This is a sign you can improve the quality of your content (or the look of the site) to improve bounce and make more sales. This is WAY easier than creating a new site. But you might have another site that gets almost no traffic despite putting in a lot of time and energy. In that case you wouldn’t want to invest more time in it … just leave it behind and build something else.

So your decision to get to 25 sites should first be based on getting to 3 or 4, and then if you feel you’ve maximized the potential (or are busy waiting for enough statistics to make decisions), build more sites. The more you have, the more “real estate” you have to analyze and renovate. Always renovate your winners (improve them) when the ROI (return on investment) will be better than building a new site (breaking new ground).

But most important is this – if you THINK you’ll end up with 25 sites then you better be planning on making profits, and you better be planning on training a team (even if a small team) to help you maximize those profits.

That’s why I love ReplaceMyself. It teaches you how to build systems so you can live the 4 hour work week.

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