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Reviews of movies, books, and educational materials.

Build a Niche Store (eBay Affiliate Store)

While products like the Build a Niche Store (BANS) are usually not on my list of things to try, I thought I would solicit some reviews about the product. If you’re not familiar with BANS, the premise is simple, you pick the niche and the script delivers products in that niche through the Commission Junction eBay affiliate program.

Sounds confusing, but you’re basically an eBay affiliate through Commission Junction. The part that entices me is that I know a few niches that aren’t horribly flooded with similar sites. Since I also own a few extra domains with crappy content, it could be a perfect match.  Build a Niche Store claims to be easy to install and if a newbie can do it, so can I.

The price is $97 which is irrelevant because the eBay affiliate program is pretty easy to make money with. If someone signs up for eBay through your link, you get $25. If someone clicks your link and buys ANY product on eBay in the next 7 days, you get 50% of the revenue (not total sale price). By just selling a few items and a few signups you’ve easily made your money back.

I’ve never actually used the Build a Niche Store software but am curious to hear from actual users.

What did you like? What don’t you like?

By |January 6th, 2008|Projects, Reviews|8 Comments

eBay “Website for Sale” Scammers

Alright, I always see these sites that are “established” with “income” listed for sale. Normally they don’t sell, but I always see them.

You know, the text says stuff like, “Have you ever wanted to run your own online business from the comfort of your own home with the potential to make over $100k per year but did,nt know where to start.If so then you have come to the right place.This is your chance to bid on a popular proven real ecommerce website business and not an amateur maybe it might make you money website that is found on so many auction.”

Here is one such scammy, scummy, site for sale. What I don’t like about them can be found in the following picture:

eBay Scam

Now “scam” might be a strong word, but Merriam-Webster says scam is defined as, “a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation”.

So saying that the appriasal for this website is $22,400 is definintely deceptive. The website is worth $10 (domain) plus maybe $30 for an ugly template that has been used on at least 5 other identical websites.

So here is me, calling you scammers out. If your websites are really worth anything, lets have a contest. You vs. Me, Head to Head, One on One.

If your websites can make $100,000 per year like you say they can, I want to see a check!

By |June 1st, 2007|Reviews, SEO/SEM|6 Comments

$15k Challenge – I lost

When the $15k Challenge blog first launched (August 2006), I signed up and followed along. The goal was for this guy Dan to make $15k, in one month. The catch was that he only had $200 to spend on anything he wanted. He couldn’t use any of his existing resources (contacts, websites, newsletters, email lists, etc).

I decided that I would give it a shot as well. He was going for a viral lauch and was promoting a craft membership site, and I followed along, just with a different niche. Each month this craft site was going to give away free books and patterns, etc. Stuff that interested people involved in craft…stuff.

I decided my niche would be scrapbooking and created this site for Scrappy Jackie (my alter ego…she needed to be female). I didn’t spend anything beyond the cost of the domain (and my alter ego’s full name) so less than $20 total.

I created an account at and a few of the larger forums. I created personal pages, and went full steam ahead. Over the course of a week, I posted about 200 posts in 6 different forums.  A few days later I got some signups to my email form, but in a weeks time I had about 30 people signed up.

When Dan made his list he had over 6,500 people sign up.  That told me that I either missed a part of the process or he was cheating!

Thankfully I didn’t spend any money promoting this site because it would have all been for nothing.  Anyways, I learned my lesson, stay away from email marketing.  I’ve never been able to get anyone to sign up for anything email related anways.

I guess that doesn’t really have to do with an idea for a way to “make money online”, but it does tell you how to not lose money online!

p.s. If the Jackie Winton is out there, I have a few websites for you!

By |March 26th, 2007|Make Money Online, Reviews|6 Comments

Make Money Online by Writing for KnowMoreMedia

For a few months I wrote for a company called KnowMoreMedia (KMM). They were a good company to work with, and I made a few online friends. I wrote for and PPCIQ hasn’t had a writer since me, but BTB has progressed nicely, but slowed down this last month.

In 7 months I made about $1500 ($1492.89 exactly) through KMM including one month that was over $700. They paid based on the amount of posts you made, comments made, and traffic. I don’t think they pay for comments any longer, but they still pay for posts and traffic from what I understand.

Making money by writing for a network is an easy way to get a check (or PayPal deposit), but is time consuming. You don’t however need much knowledge or skills in building websites, marketing, building links, etc. KMM has put together a great starter kit for someone knew to writing online. If you take the time to learn Typepad, you’ll go a long way with KMM.

I stopped writing from KMM when they dropped the prices they paid for each post and started focusing more on traffic. I never really cared about my KMM traffic because I was getting paid per post, and traffic and monetization was their worry. When that became my worry, the posting wasn’t as important because I needed to focus on marketing this website I didn’t even own. That was pretty difficult. I couldn’t see the value in building links and traffic for something I didn’t own. That is about the time I quit and began focusing on my own websites. If the money would have stayed the same, I would still be blogging for KMM.

If you are interested in writing for KMM you can view a list of blogs that currently don’t have writers here, but also look on the far right side for blogs with an asterik (*). That means they don’t have a writer, but are looking for one. I don’t know how selective they are, I’m sure it depends on the blog, and how many applications they receive.

When I first started writing for KMM, they were brand new. I was fearful that I would do all of this writing then never get paid. They were consistent with their PayPal deposits and never missed one. KMM has a strong leadership team and they are always adding features to their blogs. They have an authors only back end site where the authors can hang out and talk about their blogs.

I would give KMM a high recommendation and hope you find a blog that fits your area of expertise. When you apply, let them know that Brandon Hopkins sent you.

This review is completely unbiased. I’m not getting paid or receiving anything by writing it. I just wanted to show you one of the ways that I have made money in the past.

By |March 26th, 2007|Make Money Online, Reviews|7 Comments