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making money online is a challenge

Making Money Online is a Challenge and Here is the Challenge

Want to make money online? The truth is there is no get rich quick scheme. Making money online is a challenge. Sometimes you need to rise to a challenge to start making money online. Well the challenge starts tomorrow – Wednesday  May 22, 2013. Here is how you can compete in the challenge and start making money online.

Niche Site Duel 2.0

One of my mentors is Pat Flynn of the website Smart Passive Income. For the past year I have followed his website, listened to his podcast and read his book. Several years ago he was challenged by Tyrone Shum. The challenge was they would both create a niche site and see who would be the first one to get their site ranked #1 in Google.

Pat Flynn started a niche website called Security Guard Training HQ. It took him only 73 days to get the website ranked #1 in Google. Today that website earns between $1,500 and $3,500 every month with very little upkeep required. In two years that one niche website has earned him over $50,000!

Well tomorrow Pat is starting Niche Site Duel 2.0. I encourage every one of you to participate in this duel. It will show you how to do keyword research and find a solid long tail keyword that you can use to build your own niche website. He will cover how to get your website ranked.

As part of Niche Site Due 2.0, Pat will be selecting 5 people that he will work with personally during the challenge. My goal is to be one of these 5 people that he selects. I will do what it takes to make sure I stand out from the crowd and merit being selected for the challenge. I am going to play full out so that I am able to build a very successful niche website that earns money each month with very little upkeep required.

Ultimate Success Formula

Even if you are not selected then you should follow along and create your own niche website. My previous post about my lessons learned in the solo ad business talks about the Ultimate Success Formula. The Ultimate Success Formula has only 4 simple steps:

  1. Know precisely your desired outcome
  2. Take massive action
  3. Evaluate your results
  4. Change your tactic if necessary

My desired outcome is to earn $250/day by August 31st so that I can quit my day job. The only way to accomplish that goal is to create enough streams of income to reach that goal. My financial goals are laid out in my March 2013 Income Report.

The second step of the Ultimate Success Formula is to take massive action. My massive action is to participate in Niche Site Duel 2.0 that starts tomorrow. I will go a step further and will do what it takes to be selected as one of the five people Pat selects to personally mentor as part of the duel.

Are you going to take massive action too? Are you going to get involved with a golden opportunity and participate in Niche Site Duel 2.0? You can never accomplish your goals unless you start taking action. I challenge you to participate in Niche Site Duel 2.0 with me.

Thinking Outside the Box

I recently started building a list to make money with solo ads. I built my list to slightly more than 2,00 subscribers. Now that I reach that point the traditional teaching on solo ads is that you start a process of “churn and burn” with your email list. You want to be able to email your list twice a day as a result of selling two solo ads a day. If you can sell a 100 click solo ad for $50 then just selling two a day will result in earning $100/day with solo ads.

The problem with the traditional “churn and burn” process with solo ads is that you end up with a large number of people that unsubscribe every time you send an email to your list. Every time you lose a subscriber then you have to purchase a solo ad from someone else so that you add more subscribers to your list. The goal being that you add more subscribers that your lose from those that unsubscribe when they receive your email list.

Since you are sending so many emails to your list then they stop opening your email. If they don’t open your email then you cannot get them to click on the link which is what you need to do when you sell a solo ad. Traditionally you get less than 3% of your list opening your emails. If you have a list of 2,000 subscribers then you can expect only 60 people to open your email. Not all of them will click on the link. You can expect to get only 1% or possibly 2% to click on the link. The solution is you send another email to those that did not open the initial email and try to get a few of those to open and click.

Traditional solo ad business is a numbers game. Well I decided to think outside the box and take a different tactic with my subscribers. I am going to start offer valuable content to develop a solid relationship with them. Then occasionally I might recommend a product or service to them.

This method may not result in a $100/day income right away like you could get with traditional method of solo ads. But it will provide me with a piece of mind and build engagement with my subscribers.

My First Email to My Subscribers

This week I took action and emailed valuable content to my subscribers. Here is the email and the results:

Subject Line: Serious Security Breaches in 2 popular WordPress Plugins and How to Prepare for Google’s upcoming Penguin 2.0 Update



There has been a serious security breach identified with two very popular WordPress Plugins – W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. The security breach allows anyone to execute any command on your WordPress served.

This security hole was identified several weeks ago and was posted on the WordPress forum. You can read about it here.

The security hole allows anyone to bypass all security. Once passed security they would have complete control over your WordPress website.

Fortunately the developers behind both plugins have fixed this security breach. If you are using either of these plugins, you need to immediately update to the latest version that has the fix for the security hole.

Once you have upgraded your plugins I recommend that you run a scan on your website to see if it has been compromised. You can use a free plugin called Wordfence to do this scan.

It is very important to keep your WordPress website protected from hackers that try to harm it. The number of websites where the owners have failed to protect their websites have grown recently. As a result Google has announced that they are going to be addressing security in their upcoming Penguin 2.0 update.

Matthew Cutts is head of Google’s Web Spam Team. He recently posted a video of what to expect in SEO in the coming months. You can watch the video on Matthew Cutt’s website.

The new update is expected to be called Penguin 2.0. This update is due out in Summer of 2013.

The changes coming in Penguin 2.0 update related to security are:

  • Improved detection of hacked websites. This probably means your site is more likely to be blacklisted by Google when you are hacked and that it will be blacklisted sooner.
  • Improved communication with webmasters when your site is hacked. Currently if you sign into Google Webmaster Tools, you can select to receive a daily digest of issues related to your websites. My guess is that Google is expanding this to offer real-time email alerts when malware is detected on your site or when your site is compromised.
  • A possible differentiation between sites that are hacked and sites that serve up malware. 
  • Better tools to diagnose and clean your hacked website. Matt describes a single place you can go to once your site has been hacked where you can get more information that will help you clean up your site.
  • Webmaster Tools will be providing more concrete details and “example URLs” that you can go to to diagnose your site. [No specifics on this]

Other interesting changes related to SEO are:

  • Google will still give preference to high quality content that “users love, bookmark, come back to and visit over and over again”. It sounds like repeat visitors may get a higher emphasis with the Penguin 2.0 update.
  • They will penalize paid links and paid websites that attempt to boost the ranking of other websites by linking to those other websites. They will be removing any PageRank that those paid sites pass on to the sites they’re trying to promote.
  • They are making two algorithm changes that will significantly affect the ranking of sites in sectors that are particularly spammy.
  • Penguin 2.0 will do a better job of giving sites who are clearly an authority in their space a higher ranking.
  • They will also attempt to soften penalties that were imposed on some sites with the release of Penguin 1.0. Specifically sites that are in a grey area but have some positive signals will see a higher ranking.

If you missed it, make sure you watch Matthew Cutt’s video.

Have a great day!

To Your Success,


My Results

Remember I said that traditional solo ads result in only about 3% of your list actually opening your email message. Then only 1% to 2% actually click on the link. If you selling a 100 click solo ad then you need 100 subscribers to click on the link. If you are looking at 1% to 2% clicking then you are going to need a really big list.

Well when I sent my first email above, here are the results I received.

Message sent to: 1,913 subscribers

Bounces: 1

Undeliverables: 22

Opens: 181 opens or 9.5%

Clicks: 60 or 3.1%

Net Result: By sending my very first email message I was able to get 3 times greater results that with traditional solo ads.  I could easily start selling 50 click solo ads and be able to overdeliver in just one email. Most solo ad vendors will send an initial email to their list and then email those that do not open up the initial email in order to get 50 clicks delivered. With my results I would never have to send a 2nd or 3rd email to the unopens to get my clicks delivered.

I will say that I did have people unsubscribe from my list when I sent that email. I currently have 1,874 people now on my list.

Help Me Help You

The best way to accomplish anything you want in life is to find someone that has accomplished what you want and follow what they did. It is true when they say Success Leaves Clues. That is why I actively read other people’s blogs, books and listen to podcasts. I want to find out what they did to be successful so that I can learn from it and start applying what they did myself.

Learning about solo ads was no different. I have read many different blogs from other people either starting to learn about solo ads and write about their experiences or I read from those that are succeeding already with solo ads.

The goal of my blog is to share invaluable information with my subscribers. I want to share with your other blogs that I have been reading as part of my journey to learn about the solo ad business. Hopefully you can learn something from them.

All I ask is if you do visit one or more of these websites, please leave a comment on a post on the website and let them know you got there from my website. Thank you for doing this. Here is the list.

Kimberly J. Castleberry –

Lewis Turner –

Timothy Sartin –

Lene Larsen –

Isaiah Jackson –

Galina St. George –

Next Steps

I am going to continue working on sending valuable content like above to my list. Maybe after sending quite a few emails with valuable content then I will probably try to recommend something as a way to monetize the list. Feel free to leave a comment about what you think of my change in strategy with solo ads.

I am working on my solo ad seller page. I will be breaking sellers down by conversion results and will be awarding them my gold, silver and bronze “Bland Stamp of Approval”. Here are the stamps that I have created.

Gold-Badge Silver-BadgeBronze-Badge






What Motivates You?

My post about my biggest fears talks about finding something that motivates you. This is sometimes referred to asking a “Big Enough WHY”. Why you want something is so strong that you will do anything it takes to accomplish it. I recently added a new WHY to my goal list. In August my mother, younger sister and I will be returning to England probably for the last time in our lives. I can say that because this will be my 24th trip to that country and I have pretty much seen everything that I have ever wanted to see.

My mother’s 75th birthday is in August and she wants to see the staterooms at Buckingham Palace and where Princess Diana is buried. Neither of these items were available to see on any of my previous 23 trips to that country. So we are going for 10 days so she can see what she wants to see for her 75th birthday.

The trip brought out a motivation in my in that I use to have a signet ring with the Bland family coat of arms on it. I wore that ring every day of my life for almost 15 years. Then one day I lost it and for the past couple of years I have not had a signet ring. On this trip I am ordering a new 24 carat oval signet ring designed intagalia reverse. I will have the company deliver the ring to the place where we will be sending the first night in the country. I am putting together the $1,737 it will cost to have my signet ring made for me. I will be posting pictures of it when I receive it in England.



If so, please join over 1,000 people who receive exclusive notification every time I publish a new article or online marketing tips. Click on the red button below!

by Jennifer Bland

I am an Entrepreneur. Mountain Climber. Neil Diamond fanatic. World traveler. MBA grad. Soon to be permanently retired from the ratrace.My website is a diary of strategies that I have used to make money online. I share what I have learned to help others.

23 comments… add one
  1. Very detailed blog post but I got to say I’m kind of upset. Where is the Bland Stamp of Approval Diamond Level badge :)

    Now about those results you got with that first mailing. I’ve done that the first week of getting subs via my follow up sequence. Maybe thats why they can be so responsive at times.

    But I’m happy to see I may not be the only one providing value to them.

    Still great post Jennifer

    – Isaiah J.

    1. Isaiah,

      Thanks for the feedback. From your experience does the response level of your list start to die off after a while? You will have to post a link to your squeeze page so I can sign up and see what valuable content you are delivering to your list. I am always looking to learn from the masters of the trade.


      1. Well yes and no. It really depends on what you are sending and if you are writing your own emails.

        Like I really don’t use swipes that much. Its pretty much evident that I include my personality in everything I do so my subs will know if I wrote the email or not.

        Squeeze page I recently built was this one

        Stuff I will give away will vary from time to time. Free videos, short PDF, blog post, everything or even a combination of them all.

        Survey your list and find out what they want. I’m about to survey mines in a few days ask what they would like to see then give it to them.

        1. Isaiah,

          That is great information and valuable. Signing up to your squeeze page now.


        2. I just opted into your squeeze page too :)

          Btw, you may want to blur out the paypal e-mail addresses. I certainly wouldn’t hit your buy button after seeing that 😉

  2. The first nichesite duel is actually what got me started in internet marketing. I plan on taking part in this one but from the side lines. I’ll hopefully track progress of it on my blog but we’ll see… I’m kinda lazy on making blog posts.

    I’ve been testing different swipes with a couple lists and I can definitely say ctr actually increases if you do something different than everyone else. I actually have people emailing and thanking me for at least making the emails interesting.

    Thanks for the mention, by the way.

    1. Timothy,

      I believe the niche site dual is going to be big. It was a start into Internet marketing for many. That is great to hear reinforcement that doing something different pays off.

      My pleasure to include your website.


  3. Congrats on a very thorough and detailed post.

    I just have one question about starting another income stream, how is this going to affect your other projects? I mean there are only so many hours in the day, so are you going to have enough time, or have you already switched to full time IM now?

    All the best,

    1. AG,

      If you want to accomplish your goal then you will find a way otherwise you will find an excuse. My April Income report showed I worked 176 hours in my day job for the month and 102 hours in my online job. I commit the hours necessary to accomplish my goal of doing IM as a full time job.


  4. I love the thought process that has gone into getting done what needs to be done.

    I still haven’t figured out what my ulimate aim is with my online stuff. I mean I know I want to make money but I haven’t worked out the numbers. I can see that this is a good way to keep you focussed.

    I hope you get picked for Pat’s challenge. If not, i know that you will do well anyway.

    Good luck :)

    1. Victoria,

      I challenge you to figure out your objective with im by monday. You have next 48 hours to ponder and write down everything you might want. Then this weekend finalize your outcome.

      I hope you are right that i get selected.


      1. Does objective and goal have the same meaning?
        Just wondering since they are translated to the same word in my native language.

        1. Lena,

          You can use objective or goal whichever one in your native language means your ultimate destination that you want to accomplish. Take me for example – my outcome is to earn $250/day by August 31, 2013. That is a very clear and defined outcome. I have my outcome and how I will measure success. You need to find an outcome that is perfect for you.


  5. Thanks for the link to my blog.

    Like every other post on your blog, I enjoyed this one too.

    The solo ads business model is very easy. You do some swaps, get some click banking partners, write a few paragraphs 2 times per day and hit the send button. Like you I am looking for a different approach to make money online, as I’m not comfortable with sending out e-mail after e-mail that aren’t providing anyone any value.

    1. Lena,

      That is outstanding that you are taking an approach to solo ads that will work well for you. You must always compare what you are doing to your outcome to see if you are on track or not. If you are not on track then you must adjust. That is what you are doing so good job.


  6. Jennifer, I am your fan as you know. I have already commented to my friend that you are a wise lady who can see and think way forward. Churn and burn tactics can only bring instant satisfaction, with calamitous long-term results. It is also good to have a stake in more than one venture. How on earth do you manage to keep up with all of this? 😉

    Your posts are not just inspiring, but the ones I read twice – which is very very rare for me. Following your progress closely.

    Warm wishes,


    1. Galina,

      Thank you so very much for the feedback! If you read my April Income report I shared that I worked 176 hours in my day job and 102 hours in my online job. Yes I am sacrificing a social life now so that I can reap the rewards later. My coach Bill Keefe taught me the saying “Do today what others won’t. Do tomorrow what others can’t.” That is why I work so hard and have sought out a good coach to help me in this journey.


  7. Hi Jennifer,

    I have just found your site after getting a link from Lene Larsen in a comment on my site. I’m struck with the great value that you provide and will read more of what you have written and write in the future. I would truly like to learn more about your way of affiliate marketing.

    I also like your 5 pics of similar posts that you have at the end of your post. How did you do that? You also have more stuffs on here that I like, like a “Notify me of new posts be email” and such. I think I have much to learn from you… :)

    Take care and best regards

    1. Fredrik,

      Thanks for the kind words. I love sharing what i have learned with others. The plugin is nrelate whiche is a free plugin.


  8. Jennifer, this si good stuff. I’ve kicked around with your solo add articles for while – obviously since I’m so late with this comment. I’ve read parts of many of them and today just carved out time to read through several to get a better grasp on the concept.

    I think I got it when you started to flip the conversation from buying adds to sell an OTO to actually selling your own solo ads. So a couple thoughts, please confirm or correct my thinking.

    Initial list creation is a cost, but selling OTOs should help offset that cost.

    Once a list is in place, you can continue to market to your list with additional OTO

    You can sell “exposure” to your list via solo adds

    Question, why would you decide to see solo adds rather than your own products or at least aff programs? What is the upside here… other than perhaps easier money (?)

    I like your approach to contine to send value to the subscribers. Lots of good reasons for you in this regard but serving the list is positive. If you add a simple “check this out” at the bottom of a value add email, is that enough?

    How to you regulate the number of clicks? If you had a HUGE list would you only send a message to a subset?

    One more, how to you keep from getting a generic and recycled list? If everyone is buying solo ads which is exposure to an already existing list, then providing an OTO/sign up, and then selling solo ads. At what point does the list look like something from GlenGary GlenRoss?

    Very interesting stuff and I like your “add value” spin. I might have to check this out.


    1. I want to clarify a couple of my questions.

      Once you’ve created your own list and your serving this list with value. Why would you sell large amounts of solo ads when you could instead sell aff programs or your own materials.

      When you deliver a solo ad that you sold. Are you sending email copy that is provided by the buyer, or only adding a link to a value ad email you’re sending out?

      If you have a HUGE list and sell a 100 click solo ad. How do you regulate the clicks? If you have a list 10k deep, would you subset the delivery or set you prices to reflect the size/quality of your list?

      Thanks again,

      1. Dave,
        Here are more answers:

        Once you’ve created your own list and your serving this list with value. Why would you sell large amounts of solo ads when you could instead sell aff programs or your own materials.
        See above answer in previous comment.

        Solo ad sellers vary on whether or not they use the swipe file provided by the buyer. Some allow the buyer to provide but others write their own. By writing your own then you can create a generic email that says click here for your free gift. When they click on it then read what I wrote above about how to regulate the number of clicks. It is pretty hard to do this if you are using a buyers swipe file that says click here to get free information on how to lose body fat. When person clicks on link that is what they are expecting so you can’t have QCC send them to a clickbanking partners offer that is about SEO for example.

        See what I wrote above about how to use QCC to regulate the number of clicks you send to a solo ad buyer. Most solo ad vendors will have multiple lists also. They will have lists that sending to that list will usually generate 100 min clicks. Then if they sell a 300 click solo ad for example they will send the same email to 3 of their lists. Rarely do you put every person on your list into one list. If fact I would not recommend it. You will want to separate out your list based on how you got that lead. For example if you got this leads based on a weight loss offer or a IM offer or how to play golf offer. Then you email to the list that is probably more receptive to the offer.

        Hope this answers your additional questions.

    2. Dave,

      Here are my answers to your questions:

      Initial list creation is a cost, but selling OTOs should help offset that cost.
      YES. Let’s say I purchase a 100 click solo ad for $40. I get 50% to optin so now I have 50 subscribers. Let’s say I am able to sell 2 OTOs to these 50 new subscribers at $17 each. I made $34 in OTO but I spent $40. So in reality it cost me only $6 to add 50 new subscribers to my list.

      Once a list is in place, you can continue to market to your list with additional OTO
      YES! You can continue to sell to your list and every time they purchase you make a commission. So in above example let’s say I sent an email to my 50 subscribers and 2 purchase a $10 product. I just made $20. If you can do this with every email you sent then you can make a stream of income from your list.

      You can sell “exposure” to your list via solo adds
      Once I have built the list I can turn around and sell solo ads to other people for $40 for 100 clicks. I send an email to my list and I make $40. This can be a better return that buying a solo ad that results in sales of 2 OTOs because I earn $40 from the solo ad not $34.

      Question, why would you decide to see solo adds rather than your own products or at least aff programs? What is the upside here… other than perhaps easier money (?)
      Why limit yourself to one or the other? If you do not have a product to sell this month then you can sell solo ads and still make money from your list.

      How to you regulate the number of clicks? If you had a HUGE list would you only send a message to a subset?
      Everyone in the solo ad business use with QCC or AdTraxGold. I use QCC. When you sell solo ads you want to also have click banking partners. If you sell a 100 click solo ad you put in a link for them to click in the email you send to your list. You set up QCC so that when 100 clicks are sent to the URL then it automatically fails over to send clicks to your click banking partners. So if more than 100 people on your list click on the link then you are able to still get positive returns by banking clicks with others.

      Hope that answers your questions.



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