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Why I failed at Internet Marketing and How to avoid my mistakes

I never woke up one morning and decided that I wanted to start making money online. It literally just happened. My first activity of making money online was a result of me doing something that I loved.

My cousin and I purchased our first investment property together in 2005. By the start of 2007 we owned 24 rental units. Since my cousin traveled extensively with his day job, I had to step up and be very hands on with property management, rehab, tenant selection and evictions.

As the number of our investment properties increased people started to ask us questions to help them get started or to provide advice. We started being invited to speak at real estate investor meetings. After the meetings people would come up and say they wanted to buy our book. The only problem was that we didn’t have a book.

Making my First Dollar Online

So I wrote a book about investing in real estate using creative financing methods. The book was a compilation of different methods that we had used to purchase some of our 24 rental units. The book is only about 130 pages long. I published it for the Kindle on Amazon. People started buying it and that was the first way I made money online. The book is called 8 Ways to Purchase Real Estate With No Money and No Credit and you can buy it on Amazon here.

Once I cashed my first couple of royalty checks, I was hooked. I started looking for other ways that I could make money online. That is when my cousin told me about the I was all over that website looking at the many different ways people were making money online.

Failing at Internet Marketing

The reason I failed at internet marketing was that I started to purchase every single method on how to make money online. Even though I was spending money out to wazoo on products I was not actually taking the time to implement any of them.  I bought my first WSO in November 2010. Between November 2010 and November 2012, I spent $1,478.69. I purchased 112 WSOs in just 24 months. I was averaging buying one WSO a week for two years.

Don’t believe me? Here is exactly what I spent and when on WSOs for this 2 year period.

Item Name Price Paid Purchase Date
Inner Circle Solo Ads $8.17 11/10/2012
Outsourcing With Lyfe $9.83 11/10/2012
Keyword Bonanza: Amazon Edition $10.43 10/18/2012
UpsellAzon $4.39 8/30/2012
3 Minute Sales Videos $26.80 8/25/2012
SEO Cash Cow $8.20 8/10/2012
Azon Deal Alert $13.12 8/8/2012
The Power of Squidazon $17.40 7/26/2012
Amazon Blog Riches $9.03 7/20/2012
Press Release Traffic Code 2.0 $9.95 7/11/2012
Azon Attitude Adjustment $8.20 7/5/2012
Ninja Curation Profits $8.10 6/26/2012
Azon Stock Checker – Multi Site License $17.00 6/6/2012
Quick ScreenCast Profits $9.45 5/8/2012
Your Own Edu Blog Package 2012 $6.35 4/26/2012
PageOne Curator $17.96 3/29/2012
5 Bucks a Day Revisited $5.00 3/20/2012
0 t0 1000 Subscribers in 30 Days With Adswaps $1.00 3/16/2012
CJ Tactics – Commission Junction Unleashed $11.65 3/7/2012
10 PLR Articles $5.65 3/7/2012
HOOK PIGEON LIVE $9.47 2/27/2012
AmaSuite Software Tools OTO $21.12 2/23/2012
AmaSuite Software Tools $21.27 2/23/2012
WP Business Bundle V3 $9.97 2/22/2012
WSO Pro – Single Listing $19.00 2/16/2012
Amazon Affiliate Garden Power Tool Chest! $7.60 2/16/2012
WSO Auto Members Developer $24.19 2/8/2012
Azon Affiliate Crusher $17.00 2/3/2012
$100k In January 2012 $27.00 2/2/2012
Middle Man Profit Plan $17.13 1/30/2012
Mining Video Gold $12.90 1/30/2012
Marketing Graphics Toolkit V3 $9.95 1/28/2012
SE Analyzer Developer Upgrade $9.97 1/27/2012
SE Analyzer WordPress Plugin $9.97 1/27/2012
SEO Knock Out: 22 Real Deal Case Studies $9.97 1/26/2012
Kindle Cover Design Kit $9.90 1/19/2012
Amazon Goldmine IV $17.00 1/19/2012
EXACT BluePrint to $15,434 – 500 Sold In 4 Hours!! $12.78 1/10/2012
WSO Launch Code OTO 2 – Option C $1.00 1/8/2012
WSO Launch Code $24.55 1/8/2012
Amazon Goldmine III $17.00 1/5/2012
Amazon Presell Mastery $7.20 1/4/2012
Road To The Million Dollar Product $9.49 1/3/2012
Amazon New Years Resolution Bonanza OTO $7.00 1/1/2012
Amazon New Years Resolution Bonanza! $7.00 1/1/2012
Amazon New Years Resolution Bonanza!Vol2 $9.90 1/1/2012
Amazon Commercial Style Videos $14.20 1/1/2012
Warrior+Plus Treasure Map $9.95 12/23/2011
WSO Pro – Single Listing $19.00 12/22/2011
Niche Profit Course $18.80 12/17/2011
The Amazon Goldrush $5.83 12/9/2011
Amazon Goldmine II $17.00 12/8/2011
Amazon PLR Video Domination $9.00 12/2/2011
Commission Explosion Report Dimesale $9.10 11/28/2011
WarriorPlus Silver Membership $3.99 11/26/2011
Commission Gold $11.90 11/13/2011
WSO Super Affiliate $9.90 11/1/2011
RSS Pigeon $9.95 10/25/2011
Lifetime Membership Amz Training Academy $27.00 10/17/2011
Lazy Autopilot Profits OTO $16.55 10/14/2011
Lazy Autopilot Profits $9.90 10/14/2011
Affiliate Product Comparison Tables $6.85 10/12/2011
Backlinks SQueezeR $9.95 10/12/2011
Amazon Book Bomb! $19.00 9/28/2011
FlipMe $57.00 9/20/2011
Niche Predators + SEO Smackdown $9.90 9/20/2011
EDU Exterminator OTO $27.00 9/20/2011
EDU Exterminator $8.98 9/20/2011
Backlink Takeover $10.83 9/16/2011
Adcenter PPC Domination $27.00 9/9/2011
Ultimate Facebook Challenge $7.00 9/9/2011
Pingback Optimizer OTO $7.00 9/2/2011
Pingback Optimizer $22.03 9/2/2011
Amazon Video Profits $1.50 9/1/2011
Get Your First Sale – Amazon Coaching WSO $12.09 8/31/2011
.EDU and .GOV Backlinks Goldmine $8.70 8/26/2011
Autopilot SEO Wealth – PLATINUM $17.00 8/24/2011
Autopilot SEO Wealth $9.95 8/24/2011
Stealth Conversions $17.00 8/17/2011
Amazon Siphon WSO $5.00 8/16/2011
WSC from Shawn $9.90 8/9/2011
\Super Simple Amazon Product Selection $9.90 7/26/2011
New – Your Own Edu Backlinking Site $7.00 7/23/2011
New – Your Own Edu Backlinking Site $7.00 7/22/2011
CLICK TWISTER Package $9.95 7/21/2011
How To Supercharge Your Blogs Speed $9.00 7/11/2011
PLR Audio Clips Version 3 $6.50 7/10/2011
PLRAudioClips Package #2 $8.27 7/10/2011
PLR Audio Clips Package #1 $7.47 7/10/2011
Ultimate Review Themes – Limited PLR Offers! $37.00 7/6/2011
FB Viral Video Amazon Shop Machine $11.95 7/4/2011
Ultimate Review Themes $19.95 6/28/2011
Leapfrog Review Theme $14.00 6/27/2011
$10K/ MONTH Amazon Sites $19.00 6/18/2011
Colleen Slaters Amazon Treasure Chest OTO $17.00 6/14/2011
Colleen Slaters Amazon Treasure Chest $9.97 6/14/2011
Muz Azars Golden EDU Links $37.00 6/2/2011
Ultimate Review Themes $19.95 6/1/2011
Video Sales Firestorm $19.00 5/25/2011
Anatomy of An Amazon Sale $7.00 5/22/2011
Connor & Ricky Product Creation $1.00 4/24/2011
Deadbeat Super Affiliate $27.00 4/21/2011
StumbleUpon Revolution $13.00 4/16/2011
Content Creation Frenzy $9.00 4/12/2011
Iron Fist Backlinnks $9.00 4/4/2011
Amazon Affiliate Hot List $10.00 3/30/2011
Fan Page Tsunami $17.00 3/14/2011
$953 in TWO DAYS! Step-by-Step Guide $5.00 3/6/2011
100 Subscribers Per Day $6.05 2/15/2011
Video Traffic Blaster $27.00 12/21/2010
$24,800/Month Running SEO Business $26.97 11/18/2010


Avoid Shining Object Syndrome

If you look close enough you will notice that I even bought the same product twice! What an idiot I was. And I never read either copy of that product. If you want the best advice on how to succeed with Internet Marketing it would be “DON’T DO WHAT I DID.” Pick one method of earning money online and implement that one strategy. Avoid the shinning object syndrome by buying the latest tactic that someone is selling. Pick one method and take action.

Want to know how effective this advice truly is? Let me give you a concrete example. In January 2012 I signed up as an affiliate for a company that produces a product in the sports and fitness market. It was real easy to go to their website and signup as an affiliate. I created a free blogger website and wrote several article reviews about their products. I made my very first sale on February 29, 2012. For the month of February I made a grand total of $5.99.

Clearly that amount is nothing to write home about. It won’t come close to allowing me to quit my day job. Heck it wouldn’t even cover the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks. But here is what I did that has paid off in dividends for me – I kept working at it.

It has been one year that I have been an affiliate for this company. In one year I have written 92 product review articles on products for this affiliate. This articles are spread out over my original blogger website, a free website, a free weebly website, a free Tumblr website, multiple free Squidoo lenses and my own self-hosted website and blog. (I setup 2 incidences of wordpress on my website so that is why I say website and blog). As a result, I have anywhere from 3-4 websites ranked on page 1 of Google for about a dozen different keywords.

Proof Taking Action Pays Off

Now that you see the amount of effort that I have put in for this one affiliate in one year, let me show you the fruits of my labor. One year ago in February I made $5.99. In February 2013 I earned $1,774.81. As a result of taking massive action, I can now afford as many cups of coffee that I want at Starbucks.

I will tell you that my growth in revenue with this affiliate has been incredible since November 2012. Yes I can say that I doubled my income in less than a month when you compared February 2012 to March 2012. That is not hard to do when you only needed to make $13 in the month to double from the previous month. It was around August that I reached $1,000 in commissions in a single month. As of today March 15th, I had earned $1,393.55. That is an average of $92.90 per day for every day so far in March!

I was ecstatic with my online income earnings for January and February of 2013 because I earned more than $100 per day for these 2 months. Now I am on the brink of earning $100 per day from just one affiliate program!

I just signed up for the affiliate program at and last month. I have written 6 articles for dragondoor in the past month. Two days ago I earned $10.60 in commissions already from this affiliate. I am going to spend the next 8 months putting forth the same amount of effort for this affiliate program with goal to grow it to over $100 per day too. I will also be doing the same for

Imagine if I had 3 different affiliate programs where I am earning $100 per day or a grand total of $300 per day. Do you think I could walk away from my day job if I was earning that much online? For those of you without a calculator, earning $300 per day equates to $109,500 per year. I could so easily quit my day job if that happened. Now that I know what is the cost of making my dream happen then I am going out and making sure that it happens.

How Are You Doing in Making Money Online?

If you are not making money online, simply compare the amount of effort that you have put in for the past 12 months to the amount of effort that I have done for this one affiliate program. Are you putting in more or or less effort that I did? Be honest with yourself.

I have seen many people that create one website to promote an affiliate program like Amazon, write 5 product review articles and then do nothing else. Then they wonder why they are not making 6 figures a year as an Amazon affiliate. Rome wasn’t built in a day so why do you put in a day’s worth of effort to build your online income?

The only way to succeed with earning money online is to put in the effort required to succeed. Once you start to succeed then your efforts will start to snowball. It will become more addictive than any drug legal or otherwise. You will WANT to put in the effort necessary to succeed.  But you have to stop spending money on buying a product and start putting forth the effort. Until you do that you will be stuck going to a 9-5 job that you probably hate.

If you have any questions for me, please post in the comments below. I will answer every comment made on my website. If you like this post then please share it on facebook, google+ or twitter by clicking the buttons below.

In my next post, I will share how I was able to generate large amounts of content for my websites cheaply.


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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.

33 comments… add one
  1. Very inspiring! Thanks I needed to hear your story. Funny I have purchased some of the same wso’s. never used them. Lol Thankfully I did not spend as much as you! I see my problem: just need to focus one thing and work it.

    1. Marilyn,

      Sounds like we got the same pvalue out of our purchases which was nothing. Lol. You Phil the hammer on the nail with the idea of focusing on one thing. It is the sure way to succeed.


  2. Hi Jennifer,
    If it makes you feel any better, I have an even worse “purchase but don’t implement” track record than you did. My purchase list is longer than your one – ironically for many of the same products.

    Made a couple of thousand dollars in Adsense but spent many more than I earned.

    I’m glad to say I have finally woken up, and like you I am now concentrating on one system in the affiliate arena.

    Hope my results are as good.

    1. Bruce,

      YES! Someone that spent more than me. JK. I am glad that you have come to the same realization like me. Focus on one thing until you succeed. Then use profits from that to fund the next venture. Rinse and repeat and live happily ever after.


  3. Thanks for this, Jennifer. It is very encouraging to hear of your success. I looked through your list and I have brought six of those, but never used them. I have bought a lot of other affiliate marketing products as well, but as a new years resolution for 2013 I decided to stop buying and just concentrate on using one product until I gain success. In 2012 I earned $600 from one of the products I was promoting in the first half of the year. Then my site was hit by a google update and it went down to nothing during the rest of the year.

    1. Mary.

      Only 6? Wish i had your self control!

      That is great what you nade in 2012. Dont let the update crush your dreams. Do focus one one thing. Take massive actipn. In a year you will greatly surpass your 2012email earnings.


  4. Hi Jennifer

    Great advice. You will notice that the people who are making money online don’t have shiny object syndrome!

    Try one method and stick with it.

    It’s like anything – losing weight, getting fit, taking antibiotics! You have to go the full course to see the benefits.


    1. Kay,

      I wish I had the insight to realize that people that were successful were focusing on just one thing when I started. I would have been much richer since I wouldn’t have spent the money. I agree that you need to focus on just one thing. On Oct 15, 2012 I paid off my very last debt – no mortgage, no car payment, no credit card debt but it took me over 5 years of working a plan every day to get to that point. I am in process of changing my diet and losing weight right now. Started at 35.5% bodyfat Jan 1st and want to get in the 2x% range by April 1st. I focus on it and I will reach that goal. Now that I have seen success online, debt and weight with focusing on one thing it make is so much easier to do it on the next venture.


  5. Great post Jennifer!

    Do you create a separate website for each affiliate program (DragonDoor & Rogue Fitness) or do you promote products from both on one website?

    Curious how it works.


    1. Rhonda,

      I will use multiple free websites to promote both of them but will promote them on the same website. I use Squidoo, hubpages,, weebly and blogger. I use a tactic that I recommend in my Amazon Affiliate Bible where you cross sell products on every post on your website. Amazon is very successful at this and it is just borrowing a page from their success. Go look at any product on Amazon, scroll down below product description and you will see “You might also be interested in” or “Others who purchased this product also purchased” and then they give you a list of more products. I might have a product review article on the Rogue Beater Olympic bar. At bottom I might have other product like the rogue collars, dragondoor convict conditioning book and dragondoor super stretching book. This compliment the product being reviewed and a person might end up buying multiple products because you helped them out by showing complimentary products. This allows me to market both companies from one website.

      Hope that answers your question.


  6. Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for sharing your story. What an inspiration you are!

    I, too, have bought many of those same wso’s with bound and determined intentions. It seems to be such a common problem among marketers to delve into too many projects only to come out with very little.

    I’m so happy to hear of your success! It is such an encouragement. Congratulations and keep on going! 🙂


    1. Sara,

      Thanks for the encouragement. The shinny object syndrome befalls many people that want to make money online. Only until you pick one shinny object and start focusing on it then you will never succeed.

      To borrow wisdom from Tony Robbins – there are 6 human needs and there will be 2 that are your primary driving force in life. The 6 needs are certainty, variety, love and connection, significance, growth and contribution. My 2 are variety and growth which drives my need to learn about new stuff and why I start something and then quickly fall out of love with it and want to try something else because of the need for variety. I am working with a coach that has helped me to curb my getting off track and this had greatly improved my level of success.


  7. Ah the shiny item syndrome, indeed very contagious : )!
    I recognize many of those products. I’m still in the early stages of earning a decent income so thanks much for the tips!

    1. Marilyn,

      We must have had the same high hopes by purchasing the same products. I hope the method that you have chosen works out beyond your wildest expectations. When you get there, come back and share with us what you did to succeed.


  8. Thanks for sharing, I have just started using video with my blog post, takes some time, but it does get easier. Have not product reviews so this will be my next thing to try.

    1. Marilyn,

      I promise you that the process of making videos definitely gets easier the more you do them. You are able to drive traffic to your website with videos as well as keep your readers engage. Plus google is now ranking websites based on how long someone stays on your site and video keeps them on your site longer.


  9. Jennifer – that list of WSO purchases is unbelievable! How did you get stuck in the cycle of buying without implementing at all?

    I know that I bought a few things, gave them a go and knew that they weren’t for me but not opening up the product??

    Glad that you got over your addiction and found something that worked in a big way. Congrats on that.

    Focusing on just one affiliate programme – how many hours of work would you say you averaged per week?

    I am trying a few things because I am worried about getting bored so how do you keep up the interested when just working on one thing, especially when the cash is a slow trickle at the beginning?

    1. Victoria,

      My personality is the culprit that led me to purchase so many products. My primary driving force is variety. That is perfect if I start many things but never finish. It was this need for variety that would get me to purchase something and never follow through. It wasn’t until I started working with my cousin who was making money online and then eventually got my own coach that I was able to start concentrating on a single project. The coach is what keeps me on track and doesn’t let me need for variety keep me from finishing.


  10. I have a similar history, Jennifer. I would attempt to implement something, but then the next sales email hit my inbox and I was off again. I finally buckled down, started implementing a few things, and now I’m beginning to see my earnings take off. I wish I had that money back for all those WSOs, though.

    1. Katie,

      I did the exact same thing you did. I started seeing success when I focused on just one thing. I agree I wish I had all that wasted money back too. Congrats on your success.


  11. Nice article and good story. Lots of folks fall into the trap of buying something but never using it. Good that you were able to recognize it and stop it.

    Great news also on the success that you were able to report. I have a couple questions and perhaps you’ve addressed them on your side. What is your technique for selecting the best aff program? Do you do key word research or simply chose something based on your interests and the payout? Also, can you elaborate more on your link building strategy?

    I’ve struggled with my strategies as well. I have probably 30 niche/adsense sites up but never really got any traction. I’ve taken a step back and have started a site that I hope to build into more of an authority site and eventually offer some homegrown e-products. I’ll still want/need to build links and probably seek out some aff programs to speed my monization.

    Thanks again for the article and I look forward to tracking with your success.


    1. Dave,

      I have no secret formula for selecting the best affiliate program. I started with Amazon because it was the one that everyone and their brother recommended. Plus I buy a boat load of stuff from Amazon and I was comfortable with them.

      The next area that I jumped into for the affiliate program was to mirror my cousin. He has a fitness website that gets about 3,500 hits A DAY! He was promoting this product for athletes and he told me that he was making about $2k a month. Well I kind know more about SEO than he does since he is a jock so I started promoting the exact same product. Now I make almost $2k a month promoting that product.

      I just signed up for Rogue Fitness and Dragondoor because my cousin promoted them also. He sold over $1millions dollars from Rogue Fitness last year and made over $50k in commissions. I would like to be able to bump him out of top place and take that $50k in commissions for myself so that is how I chose to promote them.

      Like I said nothing fancy. No keyword research. I just took something Tony Robbins recommends when he says if there is a result you want (lose weight, make money etc) then find someone doing what you want and mirror them. I am mirroring my cousin and that is my secret formula.


  12. Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some
    stories/information. I know my audience
    would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

  13. Hey,

    I have not guest posted before but would be open to doing it. Send me an email and let’s work something out.


  14. Hi Jennifer, first of all, great website! I have sort of done as you had with your WSOs, but instead of WSOs it has been websites. I have so many websites bookmarked that say so many contradictory things to each other, i have gotten confused with it all. It is great to hear someone else’s story, especially as i have also decided to “get back to basics”, so to speak.

    The question i wanted to ask was, with your review articles – i presume you are not actually testing each item yourself, so how does one go about writing a review on something they’ve not used, and still stay “ethical”?

    Keep up the good work! 🙂

    1. Jason,

      You use the information that is provided on Amazon about the product as well as the manufacturers website. A great source of information is the owner’s manual published by the manufacturer. And the reviews left by people that have purchased the product.


  15. Thanks for the reply, Jennifer – what you say makes sense. I was wondering if you might be able to provide a link to one of your performing sites – i tried the tents superstore link i saw in your video but it seems to no longer be active? I am just trying to gauge what sort of website “makes it”, in terms of look and feel, layout, content, etc. If not, no probs. 🙂

    1. Jason,

      I provide links to several of my sites in my Amazon Affiliate Bible. Outside of those I no longer share links because I have actually had people copy my website verbatim including my affiliate links on their own website, or complained to affiliate programs about my website with hopes of getting my sites shut down so they can rank in my place.


  16. No probs – have just purchased your bible – will make for some bedtime reading. 🙂

    1. Jason,

      You will not be disappointed.


  17. Hi Jennifer,

    Great Post.
    You mentioned about the two affiliate programs at and you please share the first affiliate program which you mentioned “In January 2012 I signed up as an affiliate for a company”.

    1. Jhonty,

      I am no longer a member of that affiliate program since they closed the program and got rid of all online affiliates. Check out my post about would you fire 2 profitable affiliate programs because it talks about this company


  18. Hi Jennifer,
    Very nice article.
    I am from India and also affiliate member of amazon, promoting amazon products through facebook. Like posting amazon affiliate link in my facebook page. And I getting only likes, comments and shares but not getting commission. People are not clicking on my ad just likes the post. So can you guide me how to link correctly in the ad.



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