Product Name: Info cash
Product Owner: Chris Carpenter
Advertised Price: $47
Upsells: $147, $147
What Is It?
Direct link affiliate offers in PPC ads on Bing, Facebook, and a few other non-Google related services.
Because this product was promoted on the Warrior Forum and associated with a famous internet marketer, I had very low expectations for this product. I was ready to write yet another scam review, but was surprised to find out that it wasn't a bad product.
There were many things to like about Info Cash, and though I have some criticisms, I think $47 is a fair price for what Chris Carpenter is offering inside.
Before You Buy
I started off watching Chris Carpenter's sales video with a chip on my shoulder. I hate gurus, and in preparation for the launch of the Info Cash reboot, read up some stuff on the original version. The reviews were not great, and I even read some negative stuff about the owner.
The video pitch was on some kind of hover plane in the middle of a vacation spot. He talked about making money without a website, and his “seven step secret”.
I was very surprised when he actually told us what the product is about – using PPC (paid advertising) to direct link affiliate offers. He explains it in the video but basically it's a numbers game where you pay for each click in Bing and Facebook, then sell products from other companies. If the money you make from sales is more than you spend on advertising, you have a profitable business.
Oh, and he actually told us the “secret” 7 steps in the sales video which is unheard of in the guru world. Basically, we know what we'll be doing to make money, and our $47 is paying for the training. I can't complain there.
Some of the language was a bit hyped and I think the testimonials were recycled from his last product, but the overall impression of the sales pitch was better than average.
What I Liked
This is actually a legit way to make money. I called Bing today and double checked that “direct linking” is OK. Three different representatives told me that it's OK. I sent an email to Facebook and they haven't responded yet, but I've heard that it's OK on FB as well.
What's the big deal? Google doesn't allow it. Google requires that if you are selling an affiliate offer, you have to send people from the Google ad to YOUR website, then to the affiliate offer. As Chris C mentioned in the training, you can actually get your account banned if you try to put your affiliate links in an Adwords campaign.
*One thing I do question is his advice on direct linking in Adwords. He swears that it's OK and you just have to be smart about it, but that's an indication that it's not actually OK.
Sometimes you may pay $1-$5 per click, which is a lot in this industry. Using techniques outlined in Info Cash like bidding on trademarked names and website names, you can usually get clicks for under a buck, sometimes in the 0.05 to 0.30 range. The cheaper the better.
He also gives some solid advice on starting super small, then growing out. Good advice. Most people don't want to spend big on their first campaigns anyway, and as a beginner you are probably going to lose a bit of money in the beginning just because there's always going to be a learning curve to this stuff.
I Learned Something
I'm not that bad at PPC and have a few profitable campaigns going at the moment using Bing. But I was still able to pick up a few things from watching these vids. I haven't finished them yet, but plan on watching.
For example, I didn't know that you could set up tracking pixels for Clickbank products. I felt Chris's training wasn't 100% complete on how to do this (I'm a very non-technical user), but it was enough to turn on a little light bulb in my head.
I also learned about a couple other PPC search engines and websites that I might try out.
Worth the Money
This is not a product that will change your life and make you a million bucks overnight. However, the quality of information is worth the $47. My #1 rated PPC training guide is $200. It covers a much wider variety of topics and goes more in depth into the training, but for those that want to get started on smaller scale for 1/4 the price, Info Cash is worth the money.
The most shocking positive to pull from this product is that Chris C is actually providing personal support in the members are. There are hundreds of comments on each of the lessons and Carpenter has taken the time to answer almost every single one of them.
Even expensive membership products like Clickbank University fail on this front, and lack of support is my #1 complaint for most “make money” products out there today.
What I Didn't Like
Will Cost You Money
You need a budget to make this work, plain and simple. It's really easy to spend more than you make, and as a newbie, it's even easier to choose lame products that don't sell. Carpenter does discuss how to find quite a few different styles of products (digital and physical), but putting the pieces together at this point is not going to happen on day 1 for you.
Unfortunately, experimenting with PPC means you are experimenting with real money. It's not like blogging where you can write a crappy post and improve it over time. A crappy add will cost you each time someone clicks.
Not As Easy As It Sounds
Chris knows what he's doing, so he makes it sound easy. It can be if you have experience. But nothing worth doing in life is going to be easy, so expect to struggle a bit. If you are looking for fast money, this will not be the solution to your problems.
I know a bit about what I'm doing on PPC (not an expert, but know my way around Bing/Facebook). I started a new campaign (not based on Info Cash) last week. On the first day I spent $10 and made $20. Wow – I was profitable. By the second day I spend $30 and still only had one sale.
This campaign is going to take some tweaking. Knowing were all the bits and pieces in Bing or your search engine of choice will take a least a few weeks of constant learning. If you stick with it, it's not rocket science, but you have to commit to learning a little each day.
Don't expect amazing results right out the gate.
Some Details Left Out
Carpenter did mention that not all vendors allow you to actually bid on their trademarked names. However, he didn't mention that it's pretty much the industry standard outside of the “make money online” niche. There's not a single affiliate program I participate in outside of Clickbank and MMO products that doesn't clearly state you cannot bid on their domain name or product name, and many say you MUST use a negative keyword for their brand name meaning your ads will NOT show up for any search regarding their brand.
He also didn't mention that keywords like www domainname com and domainname often times have very low search volume. I have bid on these keywords before and at least in my current campaigns, they rarely convert into sales. Some do, but it's the exception, not the rule.
Now that I think of it, Facebook doesn't even have you bid on keywords! Did I miss the Facebook training somewhere?
Original Info Cash
Step 1 in the members area is to download and read the original Info Cash guide about Adwords. While it's nice that he's giving us access to the guide as kind of a bonus training, he mentions that there are a lot of broken links and he needs to fix them.
Um…couldn't you take a few hours to fix them NOW? Or pay someone to do it? I thought this was kind of a tacky move.
Some stuff I felt was glossed over, like tracking. Tracking in PPC is kind of an advanced topic, so I understand why he wouldn't dig too much into it. Also, for $47, you can only expect so much.
I just mean to say that this is by no means a comprehensive guide to PPC, and you may need additional training to step up your game at some point in the future.
He also only gives examples from Bing, and does not take us through Facebook or 7 search, two other big names in the PPC industry. I use Bing a lot, so it's a great place to start, but it would have been extremely helpful to have more on Facebook, which seems to have some really cool tools for affiliate marketers.
Also, the Facebook paid ads platform is quite different from Bing. The ads look different, the rules are different, and there are a huge difference in the tool set you have in your advertisers area. Again, you might have to buy another product to full understand Facebook ads.
When viewing one of Chris's PPC accounts and it was quite obvious that all of his campaigns are about finding sex friends online. Was this just one campaign or was it reflective of the kind of content his business is built on? I guess it's not a big deal, but there are huge differences in how the MMO industry runs things versus other niches, so I wonder about the online dating industry in this regards. Does anything go?
Support Could Be Better
Having personal support from Chris was a pleasant surprise, but it could be better. I'm spoiled because I have a membership to an internet marketing forum (see below) where I can access the support of thousands of other members as well as a large number of successful internet marketers (not just one). So support wasn't bad for the price, but it could be better.
I'm starting to second guess my recommendation of this product as a legit way to make money. I won't revoke my recommendation quite yet, but just wanted to keep you updated. I've spent all day (8AM to 5PM now) looking for products on Clickbank to promote. It's been very difficult to find anything worth promoting that doesn't already have several affiliates implementing this strategy.
Very often I see things like affiliates promoting ProductX.com using domains like ProductX.net and ProductX.info…all in Bing's ad space.
Also, there are TONS of scams on Clickbank. Just for example, Ted's Woodworking, My Boat Plans, and Aquaponics 4 You are all ripped to shreds by people in the industry who KNOW the topics. These are high converting, high gravity offers with high search traffic volume from CB, but they are complete scams. I'm having trouble finding something worth promoting, but perhaps you're not bothered by promoting junk as long as you can make money.
Also, Amazon doesn't allow affiliates to direct link, so you can cross them out too. In addition to what I mentioned above about a lot of brand names not allowing you to bit on trademarks, I'm finding it difficult to implement the strategies outlined here – And I have some experience with Bing!
I'll continue to update. I just happened to be in a Bing phase anyway, so am enjoying the testing.
I ran the campaigns for a while, and did 4-5 different products and never made a sale. It certainly wasn't a perfect formula that will make anyone money. I think if you tried hard for an extended period of time, you could make money doing this. Like any other product, it will take time, testing, and persistence. However, because of my results, I'm still recommending that you build a website first, then start doing PPC later on down the road. At the very least, build a small website and use your PPC ads to link to your site and I think this will help with conversions.
Informed buyers convert better IMO.
This is just one way to make money online, but it works. It will not change your life overnight, and I felt that there were some pieces missing. But paying a 1 time fee for some legitimate information on how to make money is rare in an industry rife with scams. I'm very surprised, but I'm going to give this one a positive rating!
Personally, I don't think that PPC is the best way to start online marketing. It's not how I started out. I prefer to introduce newbies into the world of online business the same way that I learned – by starting an affiliate website.
There are advantages and disadvantages to this. The main advantage is that any mistake you make is reversible and will not cost you money. You need just $10 for a domain name, and the rest of the work is writing content about a subject you are familiar with.
I feel that with paid advertising it's very easy to blow up your budget and spend more than you earn, and it's also very easy to get stuck in the mentality of not caring what product you promote. What's even scarier is that if you make too many newbie mistakes on certain advertising platforms, you can get your account banned. As a newbie, it's very common to try to be cheeky and cut corners.
The disadvantage is that it takes longer to rank and makes sales, so turning a profit can take significantly longer – usually a few months of learning. But would you rather wait 3 months to earn your first $1 or spend 3 months losing money in PPC?
So, if you would like to learn in an environment where mistakes are not such a big deal, and at the same time have to support of hundreds of other members that have taken the same training as you (plus some real experts), I recommend you take a look at Wealthy Affiliate.
You can create your first two affiliate websites for free, and even get access to their beginner training course for free. A premium membership comes with a monthly cost, but as I mentioned above, it's my #1 rated way to learn how to make money online because it's where I learned. It's also where I'm personally able to provide 1-on-1 support, which is an added bonus for signing up!