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When I was working in a clothes shop, dreaming of making a living from the internet, I remember one thing that really kept me motivated was reading success stories from other people. Just knowing that someone, somewhere was doing exactly what I wanted to do was enough to keep me putting in the hours.
Earlier in the year I shared an example of two moms making over $5k/m online. Today I want to share another case study with you and reveal how one guy in New Zealand is making up to $10,000 every single month in the Forex industry, one of the most profitable but competitive industries online.
His name is Cam and he was more than willing to share some of his insights in the hope that you’ll be inspired to create your own success story and get some new ideas in the process.
I’m sure you just want me to get right into the interview, so away we go…
“How long have you been making money online? How did you get started?”
I’ve been making money online for about 4 years. It’s a long story… and in all honesty I stumbled into it really. I was playing golf at a work event alongside a guy who was my account manager at an advertising firm. He was telling the story of his ex-colleague (whom I had dealt with before) and how he had made his first million trading futures after just 6 months of leaving his job! I decided to find out how this guy had managed to do it and made an effort to get in contact with him.
He was very obliging and gave me some links to the courses he had done and the path he had taken. I had to take a $1,000 “leap of faith” to buy one of his recommended courses and spent the next 6 months learning how to trade. I loaded the course onto my iPod and listened to it on the bus most days. Then one bus ride to work I thought to myself “I wonder how many more of these courses are around and how good would it be if people could compare them online?”
Excited by my new idea, I did a quick Google search when I got to work and to my astonishment there where hundreds, if not thousands… and the icing on the cake was that they would pay me commission if I referred people to their sites to buy their products. So I embarked on building my first affiliate site, a trading system review website, called Trading Systems Rated.
“Most marketers I know have suffered a number of failures before find something that works. Did this happen with you?”
My first ever venture online was a complete failure and wasted 6 months of my time. Shortly after my first child was born, my wife bought me the book ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’. After reading it in about 2 days (which is about 2 months shorter than most books I read) I decided to register a business in preparation for making my millions. An idea came to me a month later. I was going to create a social network specifically for neighbours (this was before Facebook hit the big time).
I spent the next 6 months building KnowMyNeighbour.com from scratch and it launched it with a fizzle. Then, after realizing that I didn’t really want to connect with my neighbours and there was going to be no money in it unless I had millions of visitors, I decided to pull it down…never to be mentioned again!
“Why did you decide to focus on the Forex market?”
After having success in the general trading system market I could see that Forex products were the most prevalent and had low barriers to entry for consumers. Almost every product launch was a Forex product of some variety from manual to automated systems and almost all of them had affiliate or referral programs that were easy to sign up to. I was hooked as I had started trading Forex at the same time.
“Could you tell us more about one of your top earning sites, ForexReviewsRated?”
ForexReviewsRated.com has been around for almost 3 years now and reviews all types of Forex trading products from systems to signals and automated trading robots. It has a focus on trading robots where I run demo tests in what I call my “Forex Lab”. If they make the grade I’ll trial them on my live account and if I feel their risk/reward ratio is good and that they’ll be profitable over the long term they become “Graduates”.
I get about 15-18,000 visits a month (8-9000 unique visitors) with most of the traffic (73%) coming from search engines and the majority of that from Google. The remaining traffic is a split between Direct and Referring sites. I also have an active email list which generates some good spikes in traffic and revenue. The site generates between $3,000 and $10,000 per month. Usually it’s around the $5,000 mark and this comes from a variety of sources with the majority from affiliate commissions.
It originally started earning money with Google Adsense (which I no longer use) within a week and from affiliate commissions within the first 3 weeks. My first sites (TradingSystemsRated.com and StockBrokersRated.com) were about the same.
“What software are you using to run the review site?”
I tried out about 4 different WordPress review plugins and found that WPReviewEngine, although it cost money, was exactly what I needed. It seemed to work better with affiliate sites than other free plugins.
I took a little while to get my head around how to customise it but once you test a few things out it soon becomes obvious. Their support is really good and they helped me out when I needed to integrate it with my theme. I ended up moving my trading systems site to WordPress and used the WPReviewEngine plugin. If I ever start another review site in the future, this will surely be on my list of plugins.
Note from Glen: I know some of the people behind the plugin so asked if they would offer a discount for ViperChill readers who may be interested in starting their own review site. Though they’re already running a 30%-off special for Christmas, they kindly created the coupon code ‘ViperChill’ which will take 50% off the price of your order for the next 72 hours.
“How are you driving traffic to your network?”
I’ve done all sorts in the past and some work well for a short time but in the long term these are the things I do now:
“When you work for yourself it can be hard to ‘get going’ at times. What keeps you motivated?”
It helps to have an interest in your niche. The FX market has so many dimensions that there’s always something to keep me interested. Five things that motivate me are:
1. Setting short term goals which are fun to achieve. Some of mine have been: a $1,000 week through Clickbank and a Clickbank “full house” where there are no $0 bars (this means you made a sale every day for the past two weeks) – I achieved both of these at the same time funnily enough.
2. Setting seemingly impossible goals, e.g. pay off my mortgage in two years, get 50,000 subscribers on my list in one year, make $10,000 in one day
3. Reading books written by those who have been there done that, e.g. 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris
4. Looking for an opportunity to do things better, e.g. trying things out on the site to see if something works better or creating other site ideas and taking them to the market (another site of mine is ForexDealDay.com a one day deal site for Forex products)
5. Building relationships with others in the industry and those that have common interests, e.g. I’ve recently partnered with a 17 year Forex veteran from South Africa and now we’re selling his system called the ForexPipMagnet.com using the brand and reputation I have built up through my review site
My drive comes from reading books that help change your perspective and give you focus like “The science of getting rich” by Wallace G Wattle and “The secret”. I find that it’s a bit like a video game where you’re the player. The deeper you get into the game the more exciting and addictive it gets. You get to the stage where you just can’t get enough of it!
“What advice would you give to ViperChill readers who might not be seeing results they expected from their internet marketing efforts?”
I would say:
Anyone who gets free cloud niche updates will know that I’ve sent out emails about ‘review’ sites before and explained why they’re so effective. These type of sites can can make a lot of money with little traffic because you’re intercepting a sale before someone actually buys something.
The person is likely to already be in the buying mode and just wants to see what other people have to say about their potential purchase. If they stumble on a site that recommends it (or a related product) then there’s a high chance that they’ll make a purchase, earning you money through any affiliate links.
I remember review sites being around when I started out in 2005 and I still see them making a lot of money for people in 2011, further proving how effective they can be. The reason the particular review format (ranking products against each other) works so well is because when you spend money, you want to get the best product. If I’m looking for reviews of a certain hosting company but someone is showing me why a different company is better, I’m likely to go with the new option.
If you’re looking for a style of affiliate site to build then a review site seems to be a good option. Since they are commonly run on top of WordPress, it’s then easy to add fresh, unique content to your site as well. I think Cam will agree with me that their laser focus on email subscribers and affiliate sales means they won’t always be the prettiest sites, but they can generate incredible conversion rates.
Special thanks to Cam for taking the time out to share what is working for him! I hope you all enjoyed the post.
P.S. We’ve had some interesting discussions on the ViperChill Facebook page lately so make sure you hit ‘Like’ if you want to get involved. On Monday I asked how people were planning to change their marketing tactics in 2012 and I personally learned a lot from the feedback. Thanks as always for your support!