What Makes Money: List, Traffic, and Offers

December 10, 2011204 Comments

Strategy: Do you want to know what you need when you're building a real business and making real money online?

A. Create an information product and a download area for people to get it after they buy
B. Make a sales letter that explains why it's so great
C. Get traffic to it and build a list of prospects and buyers

That's it. List, traffic, and offers -- this was true back in 1997 when all you needed was a website to get traffic, in 1999 when all you needed was an affiliate program to get traffic, in 2002 when all you needed was search engine listings to get traffic, in 2005 when all you needed was a list to get traffic, and even in 2007 and beyond when all you need are joint venture partners to get massive traffic.

Tactics: Do you want to know what doesn't work?

  1. Free for all link pages
  2. Doorway pages & search engine cloaking
  3. Safelists
  4. Email co-registration
  5. Traffic exchanges
  6. Paid leads
  7. Guaranteed optins
  8. Tell-a-friend
  9. JV giveaways
  10. Ad swaps
  11. Warrior special offers
  12. Auto-bloggers
  13. Traffic loopholes
  14. Social media
  15. "Traffic getting" software

What's funny is that even if you haven't heard of every single one of these so-called "business models" -- they're the same traffic technique (which doesn't work, or only works for a couple months) -- then a year later it comes back under a different name...

Funny, right?

I know it's easy to get distracted by all these fancy terms and techniques but this is what you REALLY need to do:

A. Make a Product & Put It In a Membership Site

  1. Run a 4-week webinar class (using GoToWebinar) solving a problem in your niche
  2. Put those recording into a membership site (using Wishlist Member) and get them transcribed into reports
  3. Create a piece of software (using WP Notepad) or buy resale rights (Master-Resale-Rights.com) that solves your problem in a "push button" way and add it to that site

B. Build a List & Send Them to Your Sales Letter

  1. Capture the buyers of your membership site into a mailing list using Aweber
  2. Pull out ONE module or ONE bonus of your paid course, give it away for free and create a landing page where people can sign up and upgrade to the paid version
  3. Email your list every day

C. Drive Traffic to Increase Your List Size

  1. Setup an affiliate program and link to it in your product and in your membership site to recruit your buyers into affiliates
  2. Make at least 1 forum post every day and post at least 1 article every day until you have 100 articles and 1,000 forum posts
  3. Pay for at least 1 source of paid advertising even if it's just an email solo ad or a banner ad on a blog

That's what works for me, now YOU tell me... what works for you? What was your biggest breakthrough when it came to making a product, building a list, getting traffic, and making money? Go ahead and tell me in the comments below.

Filed in: MindsetProduct Launches

Comments (204)

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  1. You said it…

    But when I got started, JV Giveaways worked becuase they weren’t abused… Adswapping worked because they weren’t abused.

    Then it got taken to the extreme and gave the whole industry a bad name.

    It was never a business model, it was a way to augment traffic and build a list.

    No they are all dead.. Oh yeah… Gifts for these actually used to be valuable , now they are just pieces of digital crap.

    Unfortunately it looks like the same mentality is going to ruin forum advertising (any one ever been mailed for a WSO by 50 different people)

    The real key is be unique. Teach what you know and give people a reason to invest in YOU and your biz.

    Thanks for saying it.. I’m just sayin

  2. Troy says:

    Great advice. I’ve been spending time on content, but you are convincing me that I should be focusing on producing a product (or three).

  3. Robert Plank says:


    Yes and then marketing your product. Giving away info for free on a blog isn’t enough, making a report isn’t enough, you need affiliates, you need a list, you need links from high traffic sites, you need to be running some kind of special offer (doesn’t mean reduce the price) so that your message is newsworthy. The product is the easy and fast part.

  4. Jonathon says:

    The IM (aka: make money online)niche has become over saturated with gurus, wannabe gurus, BS-artists and their puppy dog affiliates. I stay well clear of that niche and wont actively promote any IM products. You only have to look in the Clickbank marketplace to see all the zero gravity products that a few months ago were touted as the best thing since Eve gave Adam her apple. The real problem is that 99% of the scum selling “how to make money online” products have only ever made money selling “how to make money online” products and wouldn’t have a clue how to sell a product in any other niche let alone create one. As for WSOs well don’t get me started …

  5. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Jonathon,

    Internet marketing has always been that way. It’s funny because even way way back in the day (when I was in high school and college) there were just as many sales letters showing the yellow lamborghini and house with palm trees in the front yard and the beach in the backyard. Super cheesy.

    I guess it goes back to a “Sun Tzu” Art of War kinda thing. Strategy vs. tactics.

    Strategy is the long-term stuff. Create a free offer, create an optin page, create a followup sequence, have a sales letter that answers objections, have an order process, add an upsell, have a customer support help desk, that kinda thing.

    Tactics are short-term. Maybe Facebook is hot right now so I’ll create a fan page to drive traffic. Maybe this one person had a huge launch and suddenly built his list from 1,000 subscribers to 100,000 subscribers and I can buy a solo ad really cheap.

    You can use both, but it’s important to know the difference. I’m not going to build a whole business around Facebook or from buying one ad. Never.

  6. Great article!

    If you are suggesting that an email solo ad is a good idea then why would an ad swap with a reputable person not work?


  7. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Gavin,

    What I’m talking about is the “ad swap” strategy of whoring out your list…

    Build a list of 100 people…

    Then mail out an ad for someone else, they mail out an ad for you… get that list to 200… get it to 400… 800… 1600.. 3200… keep doubling it, that kind of thing.

    Next thing you know you have a list of 10,000 people who don’t know you, don’t care about you, won’t click on any links and are used to ignoring you because they are used to you promoting a different offer, and a different person, every single day.

    Now, if I pay someone 300 bucks to mail for me one time… and I get 300 new subscribers on my list, deliver real value, show them a real launch where I might train them and show them the same offer for 1-2 weeks… convert 3-6 of them to buy from me at $100… that’s worthwhile. And I didn’t have to mail for every other person in the world to do it.

  8. How does wp notepad create a piece of software?

  9. Robert Plank says:

    Fill in the blank forms on a WordPress page.

  10. Terrence says:

    Man I like you. Blunt and to the point. As I think about what has worked for it is creating something great that people value. It will pretty much sell itself. Doing the first 3 bullets will get you sales.

  11. You also mention making forum posts?

    Is that as part of the members area?


  12. Robert Plank says:

    It’s in the traffic module of Newbie Crusher. Just go to a forum in your niche (preferably not internet marketing), one that allows you to have a link in your signature, set a timer for 10 minutes, open 3 forum posts in a new tab, and do your best to answer your question with real value in 3 sentences or less without drawing attention to your signature. Do that every day and have your signature link send them to a landing page.

  13. Now I find out I’m doin’ it ALL WRONG!I use four of the majors,4,8,10 and 13. My niches spread frorm software (affiliate) to self help, petcare to recipes, downloadable games to IM videos. And now I’m focusing on WP Blogs – anything wrong with them,Rob? I’m going to have to start spinning that ton of PLR I’ve stored up. Webinars are in the too hard to impossible basket right now, software creation is out of my league despite my growing knowledge base over the last 3 years (at 63),and my major problem is targeted buyers. Where are they? Lead on.

  14. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Michael,

    Not necessarily anything “wrong” with what you’re doing, I would just spend as little time as possible doing things like setting up blogs. Can you outsource any of it? And for traffic exchanges… treat them for what they are. Junk traffic. Get them on your list, put them through a “tough” followup sequence that kicks the crappy leads off your list as fast as possible, as harsh as that sounds.

    Honestly, I was where you are right now and I found I had to take a hard look at all 4 niches I was in, and ditch all but 1. Sell off any sites that would sell and ditch the rest. It’s hard enough sending 1 email a week or 1 email a day, let alone 4 a day in 4 different niches. There’s no time for that.

    And what’s your problem with webinars? Are you nervous? You’re 63, you were born before the Korean War and there’s still something in the world that scares you? Yeah right, I don’t believe that for a second.

  15. As someone who as been providing online services for nearly 22 years (my first ecommerce sale was made in 1989, three years before the World Wide Web rolled out!) I have to say, “Spot on, Robert! Thanks for being a small corner of light in the darkness. -Steve/wiz.

  16. Scotty Bee says:

    Sounds Great in theory, but all the points or steps you mention above need to be learned. Thats where so many people get “burned” and end up on giving up.It’s the “new shiny object” theory I first heard about through James Jones, neadless to say that I’m really careful in what I invest my hard earned cash in.
    Scotty Bee

  17. Sophie says:

    Thanks for this post. However didnt you guys just release a plugin using WSO? And now concluding it doesn’t work? 🙂

  18. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Sophie,

    Every now and then I release a product on another site IN ADDITION to the launch I am already doing.

    About once a month, I hear someone say something like this: “I just had a great idea! I’m going to launch my warrior special offer, only launch it outside the warrior forum!”

    Don’t you mean… a regular launch? As in, mail your list about it and mail your affiliates to promote it to their lists as well?

    As in, the way everyone else promotes stuff when they aren’t confined to just one web site?

    I’m just saying…

  19. Thanks for this great post. I have tried various things in the last few months and came to the same conclusions. If I buy any more Wso, then only if they are helping me to grow my business like plr packages or if they safe me some time i.e. working with WordPress. No more loopholes etc! 🙂

  20. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Julia,

    Way back in the day, as in when I was 18 or 19 years old, my mentor at the time told me to never mention “tricks” or “loopholes” in a sales letter or email. Even though it sounds more exciting, it implies that it’s a temporary fly by night kind of deal that won’t work 30 days from now, and attracts the wrong kind of people.

  21. @Sophie…

    There is a BIG difference between a “tactic”/traffic source and a business model.

    That what happened to JV Giveaways, Ad Swaps, ClickBank and soon WSO’s… some people turn them into “business models” (which they are not) and then burn thousands of people and go out of business.

    Think about how many of the people you received emails/offers/training from last year, that don’t exist today… it’s long..

  22. Marian says:

    Yeah I know exactly what you mean by adswaps Robert! I’m just sick and tired to see the link safe-adswaps or similar in the URL – and I know that’s just another exchange email… nothing more than that. 🙁

  23. Dave Gale says:

    Nice post Robert – absolutely right mate. With so much distraction it’s good ya keeping it simple 🙂

    With the traffic stuff I do like to mix it up with both paid and free traffic methods…

    I am a fan of paid traffic as it allows you to test squeeze pages/offers quickly. No point spending 6 months on seo to find your stuffs not converting!


  24. I’m back home and on my machine again.Thanks for the writeup. I had a laugh at the end. Webinars – watched and asked questions but NEVER done one. Yes, sounds daunting to me- apart from what niche or subject to cover for an hour. I’ve seen some that were a waste of an hour or more in my book. Yet I still belong to an online site that has state of the art webinar machinery- must fathom it out one day with a few more tests. I would love to run one with thousands tuned in and six or more video screens all plugged in discussing this and that- dream on. Maybe one day … any offers?

  25. Catherine says:

    I’ve printed this post off and it’s on the wall of my office to give me focus for the New Year.

  26. Ren says:

    I love this post as it applies to any type of business. Set up a foundation and stick with the basics that work. Thanks!

  27. Blase says:


    I am confused, in your list of
    what doesn’t work you have WSO’s.

    Correct me if I am wrong but didn’t
    you start building your business
    selling PHP tips with WSOs?

    Didn’t you build a large list
    of customers with WSO’s?

    I’ve been on that list since 2005
    or 2006.

    Please don’t miss understand I like you,
    and your products. I just don’t understand
    that comment.

  28. Robert Plank says:


    I remember the exact day I decided to stop posting WSO’s and build my list of buyers from other sources.

    I was launching every product with a dimesale… at the time I was the only marketer who launched every product on the WSO forum with a dimesale.

    I would launch… and get over 1 sale every few seconds for the first hour — just from posting on the forum and mailing my list.

    Once the price hit $10 the buying would slow down drasticaly. Once it hit $20 it would almost stop, and I would get tons of complaints from people telling me I charged too much for my package of 7 PHP scripts, a 100 page manual, 7 videos and developer rights.

    So everyone was being trained to buy instantly (without reading the sales letter) at a price under $10, and once the price was at $10-$20 or higher, they’d stop buying. A little discouraging, right?

  29. Joe Stewart says:

    Hi Robert,

    This is one of the best posts I’ve read in a long time. I’ve been thinking of doing this exact thing, but, honestly, I wasn’t 100% certain of what really IS working right now.

    I’ve ramped my income up twice online only to see it crash and burn because of the business models I used.

    I’m also 100% finished with relying on Google exclusively for traffic. My new motto is “diversify, diversify, diversify”.

    One of my biggest issues is that I have a long background in sales and marketing (I’ve owned two offline businesses) and it’s been difficult for me to move away from that.

    Honestly, I love it! However, there are so many clueless scumbags that have made it look like a dirty industry, but when it’s done right, it’s like you said, it’s all about helping people by solving their problems.

    What I would LOVE to see from you is a step by step process of how you come up with product ideas.

    How do you do market research to find problems that people are having, particularly markets that have backend opportunities?

    How can you increase your chances of success by creating products that people are more willing to pay for?

    What are the the best ways to build a list right now using both free and paid methods?

    I know that there are other products out there that cover these topics, but I’d like to hear what’s working from someone that’s doing it right NOW. Make sense?

    I’d really appreciate your feedback.



  30. Lon Naylor says:

    That’s solid advice and a sound strategy Robert…

    Another big tactic I’ve had great success with is creating personal relationships with JV’s from attending and speaking at live IM events over the last 10 years.

    I’ve developed a reputation as a go-to guy in my niche (Camtasia and PowerPoint videos) and by providing the value of my expertise to my JV partners I create products from webinar recordings, leverage their lists to build my own, and do my best to take very good care of their people.

    Good things happen in a hurry when industry leaders are your friends and you treat them as such and provide excellent win-win value…

    Lon Naylor

  31. Joe Stewart says:

    Hi Again,

    Okay, I just found some of the answers here on your blog. I should have dug deeper first. Still, anything extra you’d like to throw in would be appreciated. 🙂


  32. Ed Seward says:


    To me the problem has become who can you trust before you buy? There are now so many scammers in the IM market now plus many of the names that could be trusted in the past have turned into scammers.

    You have over-hyped sales pages where the products delivered bear no resemblance to what was sold or you discover that you must buy one or more higher priced products to get the product you bought to work as promised.

    Or you have well known marketers selling their outdated, no longer selling products as PLRs based on all the money they made on them, knowing the product no longer sells and their purchasers are just wasting their money by buying the PLR from them.

    And even worse are the once good marketers gone rouge. You especially find this in the Warrior Forum now and must be extremely careful there.

    Unfortunately I just got burnt this way in the Warriors Forum to the tune of $1000. A marketer with a good reputation that delivered excellent products for a reasonable price offered a One Time Offer with his last WSO where he offered to create a product for you, set up the WSO for you and promote the WSO on his mailing list. He guaranteed to promote it to his list until you recover the cost of your investment with him.

    Since he had such a good reputation and I wanted to build a mailing list from a WSO, I bought his offer. Plus it would give me access to his mailing list.

    So for the next two months he kept in contact by email, first on product selection, then on updates on product development and problems that occurred during the product development. Then the 60 day PayPal refund period expired, and guess what?

    He no longer answers his emails, has stopped paying hosting on his web site and can not be found. And of course, since the 60 days is up, PayPal can not refund the money.

    I wonder how many other Warriors he scammed with this scheme? I hope I am the only one who fall for it.


  33. Jimmy aka/imwebmaster2 says:

    Hi Robert…and all the other people posting too…
    I really appreciate the candid remarks on both sides of the fence here…on one hand, the IM Community has clearly been bastardized by wannabees and light weights over the past few years and is over saturated with push button this and that…any experienced business person knows the latest greatest shiny object is not their rope of salvation…on the other hand, the straight forward approach of driving targeted traffic using the right medias to an authority based, solution oriented online or mobile lead capture process that automates a list building objective of quantified leads that you have a permission based opportunity to further develop and strengthen a relationship with that list to further market your solutions to their problems is the most profitable in the long run for a stable income and strong word of mouth generation…that’s real work…

    I get just as pissed off at piece mealed cut and paste push button WSO’s, cloned and respun information and minisites as well as the BS crap solicited by so many of the wannabees…it’s actually corrupted the IM Marketplaces all across the web…but that haooens in about any industry…offline not excluded…

    Some of us have stayed under the radar and quietly continue to move forward with our business direction and keep a finger on the pulse of the IM Community…and at times even take the time to share a nugget here and there in the right forum or post….

    Robert…you may have something here…the majority of the people posting seem to want to vent or are open to getting the real deal…no fluff…no BS…no sugar coating either…and I’ll be one to contribute, share, learn and observe…

    Keep the idiots out…screen every person wanting in…I’ve been in brick and mortar marketing for decades and jumped on the internet bandwagon in the 90’s to extend my company presence and reach so I could expand my services for my clients…long before it was cool and in fact…I took a lot of shit from other business owners and naysayers back then who now are eating their own shit years later…

    I own a real brick and mortar marketing company…I’ve trained countless sales people…serviced countless companies in countless niches and individuals in their start ups…and had to compete against the push button idiots selling in my advertising industry for years…believe me…I can get pissed off…but educating my clients has always panned out for the better and solidified a loyal list base….

    You’re spot on … what’s your next step…

  34. Hi Robert,

    I loved this post. So clean and to the point. Just to add one thing, since Lon mentioned it, we have found our list grows a lot when we do a webinar for someone else’s list. I noticed that you were doing that a while back and also doing interviews for other to promote. Did you find that to be a good traffic source for your business?

  35. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Yes, running a webinar for someone else’s list is a great way to build your list and make sales for everyone. As much as I hold back on mailing for someone else, I still do it once a year because networking is still important.

    I would just be very careful about dumping the webinar attendee list into your email list (as some marketers incorrectly teach). That is a big NO NO and violates can-spam. Instead make them optin again or better yet throw the webinar recording on a page, make sure the affiliate gets commission for the sale and have them put the link to that webinar replay into their followup sequence.

  36. Ann says:

    I don’t get the WP Notepad part – how do you create software from peaoples private notes?

  37. Robert Plank says:


    WP Notepad will allow you to create a to-do list or fill in the blank forms in addition to the notes area… so you could make any kind of tool you want… recipe generator, resume creator, joint venture proposal letter, any template you have.

  38. Sorry but what a bunch of hogwash. You have no clue whatsoever. I built a list of over 350,000 in 14 months using mainly ad swaps.

    I now write a list building column for Mike Filsaime for MDC.COM

    I cannot believe what I just read. Awful…

    Google me or look me up on the warrior forum to substantiate who I am…

    Boy oh boy I bet this post never actually gets posted..

    What a shame this blog post is..

    John Cornetta

  39. Donna Maher says:

    Hi Robert,

    Again, a fantastic, straight-to-the-point post along with the responses by others & you & Lance that are very helpful as well.

    I have just one question, how would you handle creating a Webinar if you don’t have a list? I know there are ways to make one and upload it but where would you get the viewers? That could be what’s holding some of us back in that area.

    Thanks for everything you do to help others!


  40. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Donna,

    Require people to signup to a list to get access to your free 1-hour webinar. Your webinar is free training, so it’s valuable, and people should be giving up their email address for access to it, just like they would for a free report or video.

    To get people on the list and on the webinar…

    1. Setup an affiliate program that will bounce people to the webinar, so affiliates are still tagged (Clickbank can do this, 1ShoppingCart can do this, RAP can do this — just use whatever you are using now)

    2. Post a link to your webinar in a forum… run a webinar just for members of that forum. This used to work for me on the warrior forum, but no longer does since it’s too crowded, but still works on smaller more close-knit forums

    3. Tweet about it, blog about it, Facebook about it, use whatever tiny list you already have to get people onto the webinar

  41. @John

    Let’s be honest here having a list and making sales from that list are 2 completely different things

    Can you build a list and generate traffic. Sure. But I believe that quality over quantity is what matters and that’s what gets lost.

  42. Hi Robert,

    I think there is a common misunderstanding around what actually “generates traffic”!

    Of the list above C2 and C3 are the only steps that will actually generate traffic. B3 only works if you have a list, (most don’t) and will not generate any *new* traffic as they are already on your list. This step will only generate sales!

    I think this is worth pointing out as “List, traffic, and offers” is the theme of the post, and can’t work without the middle component.

    Also, I really need to point out that “1,000 forum posts” at 1 per day is almost 3 years work! Factor in holidays, family time, and other distractions – you are easily talking over 3 years! Is this reasonable, and workable, for the majority? I leave you to answer this for yourself.

    The business model maybe sound, but the figures and the expectations need to be tweaked a little:-)

    My own list of the top 6 things that actually drive new traffic to your offer. In order of importance.

    1. JV’s (usually promoting for you as affiliates).
    2. Affiliates.
    3. Media buying (including PPC and email marketing / solo ads)
    4. Article marketing (using a good distribution service, and over the medium to long term).
    5. Press releases (paid for with a good agency)
    6. Forum marketing

    Note that the top 3 are all PAID FOR routes. That is paying for advertising, or paying for affiliates. Free traffic generation does not work in the long term and you certainly can’t build a business on it. Tactically, you maybe able to “tweet” a stream of traffic for a while, or “WSO” up a list of a few hundred initially, but you can’t build a real business on tactics!

    Also, you need to know that you’ll be hard pushed to muster an army of rabid affiliates in ANY niche market.

    Even in health (one of my own markets) they are few and far between. The only real mass market that survives on affiliate sales is the IM (make money online) market (just look at Clickbank) and related areas (web development, scripts, outsourcing, PLR, etc, etc)

    For niche markets you are really only left with media buying (including PPC), articles, forums and press releases that are worth investing any time, money and effort in.


  43. Lance I make over 600K a year online. I’m sorry but that’s the bottom line. My CB sales average almost $1,500 a day so you have no clue to what you speak.

  44. Jimmy aka/imwebmaster2 says:

    I just have to jump in here and reply to John Cornetta’s post…I’m glad to see that Cornetta’s Post was not deleted and allowed to be seen here….

    I was in the advertising/marketing game before you were born Cornetta…I was doing text ads in newsprint and magazines…building lists that crush your online adswap numbers…adswaps are not trusted anymore..period..

    I’ve been on your list Cornetta for a long time…and you know why I subscribed in the first place????..you’re one of my guinea pigs I’ve been watching a long time…I’ve never purchased anything you have…you’re email promos leave much to be desired …

    Writing for Mike Filsaime means little to nothing to me..Filsaime was in the car business before he got into the IM Game…His overhead alone is so untypical of the mass IM Community…so your affiliation with Filsaime isn’t impressive…

    Adswaps in the beginning had good intentions…not anymore…they’re dilluted and generate volume … not a personalized high retention method anymore…

    I can take one of my small lists of highly targeted responsive subscriber/clients and do one ad to them and beat your sales conversion numbers, percentages and revenues lightyears behind mine…and you can use your 350,000 subscribers against mine…

    Your post is out of line here…I don’t respect it and feel your “Hogwash” claim should be challenged…come pick on me…

  45. I can also think of one other person that succeeded and helped get the AdSwap craze going a couple of years ago (yes, before you were on the scene)…

    Guess what? Things were great, until they weren’t and that person doesn’t even mail that list any more…

    Why? It’s a churn and burn tactic.

    Again, there is a difference between a tactic (which are great to use), but they are NOT a business model.

    I personally use some of the things Robert lists in the “don’t work” pile. I use them to augment my traffic and business they are NOT my business and anyone who has tried to make them that, gurus included seem to disappear after a year or two.

    I am not sure if you have been around long enough to witness this yet, but I know many of the people that have posted on this blog and that are reading this blog right now do… and I am sure there is a laundry list that could be created in relatively short amount of time.

  46. Dan says:

    Wish I had something really cool to add, but I don’t. Just gotta say, I love your information and products. Thank you

  47. Jason Parker says:

    lol… you guys crack me up. I love it.

    I’m not going to agree or argue with you.

    I respect marketers who teach from personal EXPERIENCE and always enjoy hearing it.

    Focusing on traffic, offers, and lists are what work for me too.

    I also like how you guys are talking about everyone jumping on the bandwagon of tactics and basically making results as a whole go down.

    I’ve noticed it just in the past few years with some of the tactics.

    It’s also funny that my most profitable tactic I’ve ever done is one that I kept secret the whole year I was doing it.

    Although… Even then it came down to traffic, leads, and offers that convert to those leads… basically fresh lead flow + offers that convert to those leads.

    Anyway, it’s cool to read about the changes Robert’s seen over his long successful career.

  48. Donna White says:

    Speaking from just a subscriber’s view (and one who has bought lots and lots of stuff in the IM niche), I can’t stand being on a list where the owner sends out adswap emails. (That is just my opinion.) There is at least 2 commenters here who I had been on their list and got tired of getting several adswap emails each day. Whenever I see their name, I look the other way.

    Speaking as a budding list owner, I will never do adswaps. I guess I’ll just have to remain poor. 😉

    As far as the post goes, some of the things I have, and am now learning, just don’t work for me. Also, some of the things, such as giveaways, I am currently testing out. We’ll see. 🙂 In the meantime, I’m having fun with it. And let’s not forget – – learning!

    Thanks to everyone for letting me know I am not alone in the adswap opinion.

    Thanks to Robert for this post. Interesting. And I will mostly be following your advice.

  49. Charles Kaleed says:

    One the the huge missing pieces everywhere you look in I.M. is just brutal honesty. No one entering I.M. now as a newbie has anyway to logically sort the B.S. scams from the real value information out there. The way I see it Robert is taking a stand a calling out the B.S.

    The statements are broad and made without any real explanation. Why does it not work anymore? How did it fail for you exactly? Why does it work? How is it working for you exactly.

    Lance . . . kudos to you. Just stay solid and please go all the way to the mat.

    John . . . $1800 a day on CB??? Really? Is that before or after returns? From where I sit if you are selling solos and purchase rates are non-existent then your list is cold. May as well do PPC and start from scratch. If you got a buyer’s list – best share some stats. If you’ve got $50k/mo in CB sales best provide some stats. NB: Be careful about coming onto a blog and flaming. It can backfire on you . . . big time. There are many ways to make your point without causing damage. No one here went after you personally. Robert just commented about what he thought worked. You made it personal.

  50. Jimmy aka/imwebmaster2 says:

    I posed the question of both the ethics and legal ramifications of using or sharing my lists in adswaps to my company law firm … the first point raised in that conversation concerned my privacy statement included in all my opt in forms where I make the promise not to share or sell their information…

    Although there were a number of other legal issues related with the adswap concept, my privacy statement is all that I needed not to get involved…period..

    Cornetta is lucky he hasn’t been placed under a legal investigation or some other scrutiny for his use of adswap campaigns…especially on the level of 100’s of thousands of subscribers…it only takes 10 complaints co-joined to make it a class action…

    CB is over rated today…most of the business people I know who also were publishers of some kind of info products, etc. on CB years ago, don’t even want to be associated with them anymore and have gone direct to Amazon instead or kept their works internal for valued and loyal subscribers…

    The countless internet newbies I’ve been exposed to who are outraged at finding out there is no magic copy and paste system or push button solution to make big bucks overnight are my best subscribers after I wake them up
    from their attachment to all the shiny objects that fade into the fog…my advice…get grounded..quick!

    Talk to any offline business owner…the guys behind actually creating their businesses…you’ll find a common thread with everyone of them as they opened their doors to traffic…they had some kind of preparation and knowledgebase to draw from…and I mean real world experiences of some sort…and for the most part… business operators are business smart people…
    or they go out of business…quick…

    These are the common reasons offline businesses fail….
    1. undercapitalization
    2. poor management system
    3. lack of industry knowledge
    4. incomplete or no business plan
    5. over powering competition
    6. poor advertising and marketing
    7. poor location
    8. lack of customer service
    9. bad products and services
    10. no accounting or legal support
    **not necessarily in this order

    How many of these offline issues apply to your business?

    The key for any onliner is to approach marketing online as a business…shiny objects are not your rope of salvation…but faithfully following a seasoned, ethical business owner who has been thru the fire just might be…the question is …are you ADHD?.. looking for instant gratification?.. or long term success?

    Remember this…if you start serving people…gaining clients…and you go off half cocked…moving from offering one product or service here and there…without thinking thru contingencies…or following a roadmap…what’s going to happen to you, your reputation and business?…what will others say about you?…here today and out of business tomorrow!

    You don’t wing it…and expect big results…for those that are born with a gold spoon in their mouth maybe…and some people just get lucky too…but those results are not typical…get educated…shop around…do your diligence…invest some personal time to introspective analysis, find your strengths and weaknesses, surround yourself with talent and listen.

    After 15 years online and almost 40 years offline, I can say one truth…I’ve found out how much I don’t know.

  51. HP Jeschke says:

    This post is interesting.

    Some things are true and some things are just plain lies.

    If you know what works you read all this with a smile on your face and the rest will keep wondering what happened.

    One thing works for sure: Controversy!

  52. Jeff Hampton says:

    Hey Robert,

    Great discussion!

    If you do a WSO properly, how does it differ from the “working” model you outline?

    1. Create a product
    2. Right a sales letter
    3. Get traffic

    Isn’t that exactly the same process that a sensible person would follow when launching a WSO? The only difference is that the traffic comes from the Warrior Forum and probably the Warrior Plus affiliate system.

    And, of course I gotta ask, if WSO’s don’t work why have you been doing them for years, and why do you continue to do them?

    And how does all this money keep ending up in my Paypal account 😉

    Jeff Hampton

  53. Robert Plank says:


    Check out my comment about the WSO forum to Sophie above. What’s dangerous about the WSO forum is that many people using it to make those first quick initial sales, and then they never leave.

    The whole intention of that place was to put out a product and test the market, then move it OFF the forum. Most WSO marketers are stuck at 1k-2k, and if that one web site went down, they would be out of business.

    Warrior Forum should just be ONE of many traffic sources that get people into your funnel.

  54. Jason Parker says:


    I think the $1 per lead per subscriber per month thing came from John Reese originally and everyone started saying it… for like YEARS.

    I bet you and Robert have way above that “average,” but I bet most marketers are way below that average.

    Although I can’t find where that piece of logic was originally posted, I think it got twisted throughout the years…

    I believe John Reese said you SHOULD be able to make $1 per lead per subscriber per month.

    Everyone twisted it after that and said, “Yeah, lists make $1 per month on average.”

    Heck I can remember repeating that years ago… But I was just repeating the marketing gospel. It’s just not true.

  55. Todd Gross says:

    This is an amusing thread.. I do have to admit. The fact is, both sides are correct. I have been carefully watching and studying both Lance/Robert’s methodology and Cornettas. John is NOT exaggerating by any means.

    The way to make John’s system work is to go all-out. To purchase the products about him on the warrior forum – such as Dave Eisner‘s recent release on Solo Ads which includes a Cornetta bonus. I’ve worked with John directly and he was able to deliver high quality clicks and thus subscribers to my list in just minutes. . and his creative, cutting-edge way of working adswaps and solo-ads has revolutionized that side of Internet Marketing.

    That said, that is NOT the best way to build a credible relationship-type list. Sure you can get sales and optins by the numbers, but you will be building a less responsive list than the way Robert and lance recommend, and you may not feel good about the way your list is being treated. For that reason, I have for the most part avoided John’s method.

    In fact, I have 1 list that I recently created from my release of WSO Super Affiliate (a WSO) which is all about how powerful Warrior Special Offers really are. WSOs continue to build leads and make tremendous sales. Dan Brock did 100K in sales in ONE DAY with Tim Atkinson in his release about Amazon (Azon Snatcher or something like that) ..on Friday. Yup, 100k – about 4000 sales. 24 hours.

    – BUT I’m off subject, the point is, I treat the new list very similar to how Lance and Robert treat theirs, with the utmost of respect – and would never do an adswap with that particular group unless I knew the quality of the product that was being swapped was extremely high.

    So it is up to the individual on what path they would like to head. Build a huge list of less responsive leads, and work off the numbers, and not the relationship, OR build a smaller list of frequent buyers who you have more of a personal relationship with… which will be much more responsive.

    While I’ve chosen my path, which is closer to Lance and Robert, I have the utmost respect as a marketer for what John teaches and does, and he needs to be taken very seriously. He is incredibly talented, as anyone who studies his work will find out.

    Todd Gross

  56. Alan Sawyer says:

    As Lance said… things get abused but I’m going to bottle out of the argument because both your results are bigger and better than mine.

    All I know is that marketing seems to be a lot like dating… you gotta be yourself, then do what works for you.

    Pretty impossible to argue with traffic, lists and offers though. That ain’t going no where.

  57. Dave Doolin says:

    Most people confuse strategy and tactics. Sort of like most people confuse correlation with causation.

  58. Just focus on one thing and what ever works for you works!
    The main thing we all know is that you have to be building a list. I have the right way.

  59. John says:

    Want to get angry? Search your email for this term:

    I regularly search for that keyword, then UNSUBSCRIBE from any $^#*@ who was lame enough to not only send me a crappy ad swap, but who was LAZY-ASS enough to not even bother to hide the ‘safe-swap’ URL.

    I just did a sweep (again!) and found 417 more emails with that link in them, and unsubscribed to each ‘list’ they came from.

    NOTE: One of the a**holes was sending 5-7 emails PER DAY.

  60. Isobel says:

    I realised I’m on one of John Cornetta’s lists, although Gmail sends the emails straight to the spam folder.

    However, after his comments here I’ll be unsubscribing. “Google me to find out who I am”? ROFL! No thanks, you made it very clear exactly who you are!

  61. This is an interesting post for me.

    I have tried to get a product online for years but never really knew all the steps that were needed to accomplish that.

    I now know how to do that, and I find that Robert and Lance’s products and their expertise have really pushed me forward to understanding the whole method.

    I agree with Robert that organic traffic and good SEO is the one that will sustain you in the long run.

    I have used SoloAds to help create my list. One Solo launch was nonsense and I just launched another one with great opt-in results, and a few sales – only time will tell.

    If I treat these new subscribers with respect, and continue to give them great follow up emails, they may turn into buyers.

    I am doing what they told me to do – post on my blog, write articles, create an affiliate program, post on forums and keep plugging along. I am starting to see good results.

    There is no magic button, or product that is going to make my sales for me. I only buy WSO’s and products that do not claim “thousands in days”. I purchase the ones that will help me learn how to do the steps “better” or learn how to do the step. NO shiny objects anymore for me – and believe me I tried them and got either confused, or they did not work for me.

    I get emails every day from the same people – I delete them (and have even unsubscribed from allot of them, but I still get their emails) Most of these emails really amaze me. When I get 7 emails a week from the same person promoting other peoples products, the claim is that they use this method to promote their product. Most of these people do not have a product, they only push affiliate products, so how are they implementing any of these systems they claim to use???

    There is nothing wrong with doing that but do not lie to me and claim you use it and you get great results.

    I do not know John so I cannot comment.

    I have learned in my offline business that slow and steady eventually leads to mucho bucks, so that is the method that I choose.

    I may not ever make $650,000 a year but I will be able to sleep at night because my Karma is good and my mind is clear.

    Keep up the good work Robert and thanks for all the great products

  62. John says:

    BIG TIP >>>
    1- Offer REAL VALUE to your list
    2- Charge $1 – $3.95/mo (or $12-$48/year)
    3- Offer even more REAL VALUE
    4- Be glad you’re making MORE than $1/month/per subscriber, without even sending any CRAPPY OFFERS to them AT ALL.
    5- Unsubscribe from anybody who DOES send crap offers. (You need to keep your mind inspired and pure, so you can continue offering REAL VALUE to your own list).

  63. Mike says:

    @Todd Gross- Brock could have sold 10 billion worth of product. In the end everyone will be disappointed, Atkinson is in my very humble opinion a fraud and since he’s involved with him, he is too. Did you catch his snapshots of “page 1 rankings” that were all page 3 and 4? He can’t even lie correctly. Atkinson has gotten his hand slapped twice by WF and yet people still flock to him like he has the holy grail. It’s incredible.

    @Cornetta- Bragging about working for Filsaime in order to “authoritate” yourself is like me saying “I’m good with people, after all I worked with Charles Manson in the 60s”. That guy oozes scuminess, but I have heard good things about you despite your association with him, so I will not judge you based on that.

    @Lance Tamashiro- All the big super gurus brag $1 per subscriber per month but how many do it? Jeff Walker claims something like an 80/per lead ROI.

    @Robert Plank- Serious kudos for starting this thread and allowing Cornetta’s posts to remain. very few people would allow that negativity. That’s not a shot at Cornetta, he has a right to his opinion and it’s admirable that you let him have one on your blog. And @Cornetta you should have the same respect for other’s opinions. Just saying…

  64. James says:

    Well – whatever the arguments….. I will predict that Internet Marketing as we now know it , will not survive another 12 months !!… There are too many scams and in-experienced marketeers ramming this cheap crap down our necks ( even if we are’nt on their lists ) .
    If this keeps up – we are destined to shoot ourselves in the foot – and the AR Companies and the major platforms just will not put up with this deceipt any more …..
    ….. So ” make lists now , ….while the sun still shines ”
    Thank you .

  65. Robert Plank says:

    @James Murphy,

    Do you know how many times someone has been saying “internet marketing won’t last another 6 months?” Or even, that email marketing won’t be around this time next year? Don’t sweat it… just get with the program, make a product, build a list and get yourself some traffic.

  66. $1 per subscriber per month in bullshit in my opinion. I doubt if any marketers really hit that.

    Tim Atkinson’s model is selling stuff in the Warrior Forum. He’s the kind of guy selling CB bullshit.

    And since Todd mentioned him, and there’s a lot of WSO guys on here, I’ll say one thing.

    The guy still owes me for a JV we did together. What an asshole. He’s ripped of a few other JV partners also.

    If you care about your list, think twice about promoting anything with his name attached to it. If you’re an adswapper, well I guess you don’t care anyhow.

    Here’s somebody else who got ripped off by Tim Atkinson:

    Todd is right, the only way to make money with these churn and burn strategies is doing MASSIVE scale.

    Hope some people find this helpful.

  67. Voice Of God says:

    So, you think it’s OK to do just about anything, as long as you make some money doing it?

    My question: Where do YOU draw the line of impropriety and decency? Please reply.

  68. @mike

    I only use that number since I first heard it from Mike Filsaime and seems to be the standard number thrown around.

    With that being said I have seen several marketers lately claim over $50/subscribers both on forums and in there marketing.

    Can it be done? Maybe, but the truth is that if you want to succeed online or offline it is no different ..

    You need to build a brand
    You need to build a following
    You need to deliver value

    No matter what tactic you employ, none of the above changes.

    I still believe the point of this post is that you need a solid foundation to employ tactics on…

    How many people are capable of building a 350k list?

    I know a couple… And only ONE claims they make less than a million dollars per year (most claim MUCH more ) from a list that size…

    So tactics vs business model? You decide. And I’ll keep dreaming about my 350k list. But I can tell you. MANY marketers ACTUALLY make more than $600k with lists much, much, much smaller and have done for many, many, many years

  69. Mike says:

    @Lance Tamashiro- Without question. Irwin Kern claims to have made millions with lists 100k or under, so with 350k I would expect more.

  70. Salesmanship In Print says:

    I’ve sold well into 7 figures/year WITHOUT using a list, or sending a single email to anyone at all. Simply by running well-written ads that lead to high-converting offers. A great offer is paramount. And a great offer is one that actually demonstrates real value. With that, salesmanship is easy.

  71. Robert Plank says:

    @Salesmanship in Print…

    I wonder how much faster and bigger you could grow your business if you built a list on top of your paid advertising? Especially capturing the buyers onto a list when they buy, so you can send them additional offers.

  72. Rahman says:

    Truth be told what works for one person may not work for another person in any and every business there is.

    There are dozens of business models that work it all depends on who’s working the model.

  73. Conrad Stuart says:

    Very interesting blog post! I have recently begun promoting on the WF and have done very well with it despite only releasing one WSO.

    In fact, in relation to the above ‘$1/per subscriber per month’ debate above, I can tell you from experience that I am averaging $5 per subscriber per month from only about 3-4 emails per week.

    The key is to build a list that has a very specific set of interests and then only promote offers that are extremely targeted to that niche, as well as to provide a great amount of FREE value to the list so that they know that you actually care/know your shit!

    I estimate about 5% of the marketers on the WF are doing this, and I freakin’ love it because it is the only thing that allows me to stand apart from the crowd. I send at least 1 pure content email or video to my list each week, it takes 2 hours and they get a ton of value and LOVE me for it.

    With that being said, I am very worried for the future of the WF, for the following reasons:

    1) It has become apparent to me that actual traffic from the WF (specifically the WSO section) is drying up FAST. You are lucky if you can launch a WSO for $40 and get just 100 visitors to your sales thread from one ‘bump’.

    Why? In my mind, it’s because people are so bombarded with WSO email offers each day that they have stopped searching the forum for WSOs and only go to the ones recommended to them.

    The result? The ONLY way to have a successful WSO now is to get a bunch of affiliates to promote for you. You used to be able to get your start without having a preexisting list but now, forget it.

    This has resulted in the 100% commission list-swapping clusterfuck that is currently going on. Please excuse my language, and I will fully admit that I am a part of that clusterfuck.

    2) The big guys are monopolizing the whole game and making it harder and harder to get in and succeed, not to mention it just isn’t at all about promoting the most valuable WSO, it’s about promoting the most profitable.

    So, not only do I have to give you %100 commission for you to promote me, I now have to create an OTO for the product as well? Wait, still not good enough…..I have to throw a massive $5,000 JV contest too? What’s next? How are any of the smaller guys supposed to compete with that? How do the customers benefit?

    3) With all due respect (if you are one of the ones who deserve it) but many of the biggest guys on the forum are fucking everything up. How are they fucking it up? They NEVER EVER provide free value to their lists. EVER. They are making these customers HATE us. Hey, it’s more for me since I know that I put in a ton of work to provide value to my list, but these guys are killing the trust that we have with these people (who we forget we once were).

    I have literally caught several large WSO sellers in blatant LIES when it comes to their WSO promos. And the sad part is the only way I can spot the lies are because I actually know my stuff….the average IMer has no idea when they’re being lied to. The funny part is that most of the guys who paint themselves as the good guys are the worst of the bunch. Once again, they’re killing this WSO thing and I don’t know how long this can last, even worse I don’t see how we can change it.

    I didn’t even mean to write this much but I guess this is all stuff that I have had heavily on my mind lately. I don’t mean to sound preachy or holier than thou, since I am an active member of the community I am criticizing.

    Do I think the WSO forum will be dead soon? Unless people get tired of getting great training courses for an extremely low price, then no. But the way that it is going has to be reassessed.

  74. Mikey C says:

    WSOs do work. Yes, it’s hard to find good ones, but that does not mean they cannot be created!

    I made a GOOD WSO, made $38k, and a further $6k from the email list that I’ve been good to and actually added value for.

    I make money from SEO and social traffic, but getting emails and making sales this way is working for me Robert!

  75. Joseph Dickens says:

    I love this post.. Not because I agree with everything Robert and lance have said, but because this is real, and what people have to say is real. I am a customer and subscriber of lance and robert and can honestly say I actually like them, and being on their lists which is more than I can say about some guys.

    that being said I think roberts post makes great points, however I dont think its as simple as “right or wrong” in the end its all about traffic and conversions, and all traffic is different and should be treated differently.

    I use and think there is a place for solo ads, just as there is for media, or ppc traffic.

    I refuse to say john c’s business model is bogus or wrong, because He makes good money I’d assume, and if thats how he likes it then so be it.

    But I feel like constantly building a churn and burn list is to labor intensive, and I would rather have a small responsive list then a huge one that I constantly have to build and build to maintain open rates , and such.

    To me it’s simple: you can find traffic for any offer, just like you can find an offer for any kind of traffic, but they have to be a good fit for each other. And in the end no matter how you get traffic it comes down to how much it costs you to get a customer, and then how much is that customer worth over the lifespan of that customer?

    These are all questions that must be answered before you run any kind of traffic.

    Anyhow I agree with robert and lance big time, and kudos to rob for letting the “hate” stay on his own blog. Also, I respect John and his opinion as well, I think he could have added his rebuttal with a little more class though.

    And about dan brock.. I lost alot of respect for him with his new azon snatcher launch..

    Robert, Lance, Keep up the good work.

    -Joe Dickens

  76. Tony Clingan says:

    Hi Robert

    Refreshing to see somebody telling the truth that traditional methods still work

    There is truth in both sides of the arguement on list building, people like John have built a list very fast but his unsubscribe rate will be high to

    Far to much is said about falling behind the curve when in fact if people stopped chasing shiny objects and focused on what works they would be a lot more successful

    Thanks for sharing Tony

  77. Jeff Bode says:

    Interesting discussion… I think the original post by Robert was misleading to many who commented saying that things such as WSOs do actually work, Robert was saying not to base your business on WSOs alone.

    Anyways, what it really comes down to is getting traffic and learning how to monetize that traffic in a way you feel comfortable with and works for you.

    The main thing seems to be the balance between quality and volume.

  78. Salesmanship In Print says:

    @Conrad Stuart
    Your points are totally valid. The Warrior Forum WSO section is turning into another ‘ClickBank,’ where cross-promotion to big-ass lists is the name of the game.

    It used to be that everybody was seeing (and buying) CB offers with great regularity. Now, a person can go for weeks (or months) without buying (or even looking at) a CB offer. And that’s because the of the pervasive use of email links to WSOs, which are supplanting the CB links.

    So, the sleaziness that was crippling CB is now creeping over into the WSO threads. It’s a slippery slope…and all downhill for the ‘average Joe’ who needs good products, and who needs to be able to sell a product via WSO.

  79. Been thinking of what to comment for 2 hours now and just noticed a message that if I fail to comment soon I may be unable to. Have tweeted and keep studying this information. I also have received 4 links to it from other bloggers I respect Robert besides you so many people want me to take this seriously. With a new product launch this week, the timing is really great. Now all I need is to follow the steps and my MEMBERSHIP website will be up and running. Thank you so much for all your help and the recent webinars. I look forward to continuing to learn from you and also sharing your information with the members who join our site and want to start a business successfully in the 21st century.
    Thank you, thank you

  80. Salesmanship In Print says:

    Here’s an authentic story that everyone should heed:

    We all need to learn this lesson before choosing our path and plan.

    @John Cornetta: this includes you. Especially you.

  81. Jack says:

    I don’t understand about when mr. Cornetta tells us, “I now write a list building column for Mike Filsaime for MDC.COM”? Is mr. Filsaime selling the make-money ideas to DOD now for helping out from the budget cuts?

  82. Dave says:

    Ok, I have to chime in here. I listened to @John Cornetta’s 350K interview I got off a WSO and I left feeling sick to my stomach.

    He is simply the reason internet marketers get a bad name. He cares about 1 thing, getting as many people on his list as fast as possible and selling them whatever he possibly can, no matter what the quality.

    I argue to listen to that interview and come up with any other conclusion. I also sent this to someone that has been VERY successful in Internet Marketing and he was disgusted.

    It isn’t that he isn’t smart – he clearly did some great things that were effective, but in my mind he is a scam artist. You see what he promotes, and I checked it out, it is a joke and there really isn’t any way he would have time validate it.

    That was my take and someone else that I trust…take it or leave it…


  83. Robert,

    Great post, and it certainly has created some interesting conversation!

    While I think there is value in launching WSO’s, I totally agree with the comments regarding what is happening on the Warrior Forum. Over the past few weeks I have been bombarded by offers for just about every decent WSO available. Totally saturated by ‘joe blow’ affiliates.

    I think that WSO’s can be used as a traffic strategy but NOT a business model. I would rather have a handful of decent sustainable revenue generating products sold using a portfolio of traffic generating strategies, than base my business model on WSOs and always having to be launching just to sustain any income.


  84. Jason Parker says:

    “Salesmanship In Print

    Here’s an authentic story that everyone should heed:

    We all need to learn this lesson before choosing our path and plan.

    @John Cornetta: this includes you. Especially you.”


    From Uncle Mofo to Rick the Wild Thing Vaughn in Major League II.

    This guy lost his fast ball.


    Some pretty good stuff.

    Thanks for the link.

  85. Crystal says:

    Spot on. I agree wholeheartedly that 1-14 are all the same, the traffic equivalent of ‘get rich quick’.

    Cheats don’t work. Work works.

    Thank you for being blunt enough to say it outright, boot my behind back where it needs to be heading and reminding me to keep it real. Love your work!

  86. Salesmanship In Print says:

    As I see it:

    1. Create your own high-quality product.
    2. Come up with the best ‘offer’ possible.
    3. A truly useful and valuable product – presented with refined and effective salesmanship – leads to high conversion rates.
    4. ‘High conversion rate’ is the ‘holy grail’ that attracts affiliates and all kinds of traffic.

    End of story.

  87. Judy Jackson says:

    I’m another one that printed the post – to use as reference and as a teaching tool.

    Got to remember a few things here:
    – That this post is directed to people new or struggling to build an online business or take their offline business online.
    – That the ‘system’ is how to start… other things would come in later.
    – That the intent is to build a solid long term business.
    – That the intent is to build a loyal list of buyers and repeat buyers.
    – That the intent is to build a relationship with the list members.
    – That the intent is to build trust and confidence with your list people.
    – That “the thing” isn’t building a list, it’s solving a problem for people on your list.
    – That the intent is to build a list with integrity.
    – That the intent is NOT to just use people to make a buck.
    – That the business is all about the people on the list, not about you.
    – Yadda yadda yadda

    I did Google John Cornetta. I found that his businesses and the way they appear to be conducted would not fit well Robert’s philosophy of how to build a solid business. I saw a lot of flash, a lot of look at me, a lot of promises, a lot of appeal to basic senses… but not to developing relationships, nurturing ones list, inspiring trust and loyalty, or building a long term strong foundation.

    600k a year with a 350k list? HHhhhhmmmmm….

  88. Here is my 2 cent’s, every one has there own way of doing things, they need to figure out how they want to build there list.

    You talk about do what works for you and it is just that some people do not care to speak or build the relationship I do not believe in this, but that is just me.

    I have been showing people how to earn online and how to build a responsive list, I feel a Responsive list is better in the long run than just having a huge list.

    Now people many people will not agree with this and that is okay, I look at the the big picture, also to me Responsive list beat’s a huge list Any Day!

    Thank you Scott
    Skype Me: scwealth
    Online Income Coach

  89. Rog says:

    Hi Robert and Lance,

    First let me say Thank You for sharing your advice and experience with us so freely and openly. I really do appreciate it and look forward to the next post each one of you write.

    On to this one, there has been quite a few comments about “you did this” or “you did that,” then you tell us to not do the same thing. While technically this is true, the folks saying this are not looking at the whole picture.

    I know these things can all be done to get some short term traffic and money, but because of the abuse of these different ways, these are not good methods to base a business on.

    Nearly every single person I know has had to go through different degrees of learning this, and they all really got their businesses moving along well, only after they focused on the basics…the few steps you’ve outlined above! Thank You for the reminder, and I too have printed this post so I can keep it handy at all times.

  90. Ron says:

    The basic ABC’s of marketing, good post Robert.

    I agree with Robert on WSO not being a viable long term business plan. It is great for it’s intended purpose of launching a product and getting initial sales and feedback. I see so many using it a biz model and they’re stuck in the forum having to come up with something new every month to pay the bills. If you’re launching a new product every month to survive, it’s probably crap.

    The Warrior Pro aff program will be the death of many marketers IMHO. I formerly subscribed to quite a few marketers and as soon as the aff program launched they all switched to just emailing crap offers and no longer provide value. So I left them all.

    Robert & Lance both provide value to their subscriber lists and I will most likely always stay subscribed, even though I personally feel emailing once a day is too much. I’ve followed Robert and his business for close to a decade now.

    @Michael software creation is out of league for just about everyone, including the so called gurus. That’s why they hire programers.

    Great conversation everyone

  91. Troy says:

    Wow! Often great articles lead to even better discussions!

    Here I stumbled into WF and have been just watching, attempting to sort through the BS. Too much of it doesn’t match years in offline businesses. Robert nailed it. And nailed it in a way that is helping me make some slow-n-steady progress.

    @Lance – just refreshing to read your comments. Thanks for taking the time.

  92. Hi Robert,

    Your blog post helped me weed out the activities and projects that are wasting some of my time right now and put me back into focus. And thanks to Lance for sending out an email about this blog post. You are the dynamic duo! 🙂


  93. Charles Kaleed says:

    Just wanted to note that Cornetta has apparently bowed out all of the sudden. That is really too bad because here is an opportunity to finish what he started and prove what he claims. Should not be hard. Right? What better place to pony up and show your big guns. I would note that John’s claim of revenue pretty much matches his CB figures. (365 X $1800 = $657k) Gotta wonder . . . just gotta wonder. . .

    The Azon Snatcher launch was really kind of scary to watch. Given Tim’s nastiness lately I would have thought Dan Brock would just launch under his own name and leave Tim out. Would have been a really good move in my opinion. Also, watching the Page 3 ranking post questions against the Page 1 post claims and the way Tim handled it — very icky. Anyone with a lick of common sense can see the tidal wave of EXTREMELY unhappy people that bought with assurance that they will get to Page 1 with automated software that uses a newly discovered “hole” in Google’s page ranking armor.

    Let’s be honest. Clearly this is what 4000 desperate people wanted enough to part with $27 and an OTO for $30+ and a second OTO for $197. Of all things to Brock’s Deadbeat Millionaire (which relates to Amazon sales how???) (For any of you that are not familiar with the Deadbeat product take a look at some of the blog strings of unhappy customers to get a taste.) So, 4000 customers will be assaulting Google in the middle of the XMAS crush where PPC rates skyrocket and competition against every brick and mortar store with $million budgets is in high gear. Page 1 rankings? Really!? How about full blown nuclear meltdown disaster?

    Why set yourself up to have everyone hate you? Why put yourself in a position where you are refunding huge numbers before the New Year hits? Anyone on Tim’s lists knows he HAMMERS and HAMMERS and HAMMERS his subscribers with every conceivable pitch. There is no long term relationship there. There is no long term respect of other people that will last in this industry.

    This is EXACTLY what Robert is talking about. Yet, it is readily referred to as an example of how WSO’s “work” because they can make BIG money.

    If it is a quality WSO and every hits Page 1 with dozens of highly targeted Amazon review sites in the next weeks and makes oodles of money – I humbly apologize. It just seems to me that 4000 sheeple got fleeced – which is not something any of us should celebrate. The more distrust that taints this industry the harder it will be for all of us to even get the chance to start a dialogue and earn trust.

    I ask for your indulgence in advance here, but . .
    any of you like the experience of buying a car . . specifically car salesmen? Why not? High pressure, slimy, say anything to close the sale, tricks to increase the cost, gimmicks, bait a switch, etc., etc., etc., right?

    Now compare the qualities of your favorite teacher of all time. They actually cared about you. Helped you. Supported and listened to you. You knew you could trust them. They wanted you to succeed.

    Which relationship do you want with your subscribers?

  94. Steve Matsukawa says:

    Lance and Robert have hit a nerve it seems, and now it has become “do whatever it takes to make money” versus “developing a long term business through respect and loyalty”.

    I have seen the John Cornetta types, and they flood my email box on a daily basis. The Lance and Robert types email me a couple times a month, when they truly have something to sell, something that will help me in my business.

    It seems that the John Cornetta types feel that any tactic other than shoving a .44 Magnum in your mouth is quite OK to use, in fact, any tactic that will move money from the sucker to the conman is fantastic.

    Lance and Robert do business the traditional way, by building relationships and not abusing that relationship with BS and scamming.

    John Cornetta’s methods drip with BS, scamming and outright deception. I am not a fan of these tactics as I really like to sleep at night without an armed guard at my front door.

    This is from an average joe who has been burned so many times that I look like an extra crispy critter.

    – steve

  95. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Steve,

    Do you really only get emails from us a few times a month? I make it a point to mail 3-7 times per week. But the difference is, during that week I’m mailing again and again with a different reason to buy the same offer. It’s not a different offer every day (or every hour like some marketers), and it’s my offer, not someone else’s.

    The biggest reason is I want to keep making money long term as I have for the past 10 years. If I started treating my list like crap, even if I built it bigger, it would become way less responsive… just like the 14 cents per subscriber discussion that is going on with Lance and John.

  96. You do not need paid advertising, I have been earning online for 8 yrs and I have never bought advertisement.

    All word of mouth and skype.

    But this is just one way, I know John, he chooses to work it another way which is fine if that works for him.

    Thank you Scott

  97. Here’s the simplest system and it costs nothing:

    Started with a simple article about the opportunity, which was published in a national magazine: “Show me the Money”.

    Then created a simple website [Google: Government Construction Experts] that provided free training in the step-by-step process of how to get registered and qualified to get federal contracts.

    Then the owners of a national construction show, “Construction Expo” asked for a Keynote speech/presentation.

    At the presentation, “7 Keys to Federal Construction Profits”, a limited number (8) tickets were offered to a 3-Day “Advanced Federal Construction Training Workshop” for $9,997 with a 100% no questions asked money-back guarantee.

    No one asked for their money back. The “end of Workshop” video comments were posted on YouTube.

    Within months the results started pouring in. Utilizing the training, tools and templates provided, contractors were getting hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars in federal contracts.

    They wrote unsolicited testimonial emails about their success which were then posted on a “Testimonials” link from the main GCExperts website.

    The workshops have taken on a life of their own – no advertising, no list-swapping, no affiliates, no marketing costs, no sales pressure, no fancy fan pages on Facebook and nothing for sale on the website.

    We let construction contractors simply find us, they call or register at the website and get an invitation to watch a live event for an hour or two through Internet streaming.

    A year later and we totally dominate the federal construction training market with no SEO, no salable product on web-pages, no advertising or marketing other than static web-pages that link to YouTube videos.

    The branding is the simply statement:

    “World’s Most Powerful Federal Construction Training”

    – Google it and take a look at the results.

    The best training produces the best results – Create the greatest value in the marketplace and in today’s “the Internet knows everything” world, your branding, marketing and advertising will take care of themselves.

    We have only one focus – creating the most value by helping our clients get highly profitable federal construction contracts. They talk about it and that drives more clients.

    The key is to create such great value that marketing is automatic and it makes selling superfluous.

  98. Charles Kaleed says:

    More power to you Scott.

    I just don’t see how it is that you seem to think that what other people do in our industry does not affect you.

    It sounds like what you are saying is that whatever makes you money is fine. May not be what you do, but each to his own.

    A big part of this thread is directed at the slow spiral down of the WF and WSO’s being sold there.

    Ever been to a foreign country where everyone warns you that the taxi drivers will drive you around the longest way, pickpockets will rip you off, your hotel room is not safe to leave anything of value? How eager are you to go there and spend your money?

    Point is that the rip off artists are always looking for easy money. They are opportunists.

    What is being discussed here is building businesses. Something run by entrepreneurs.

    Bottom line is that the opportunists have discovered the WF and are using it to ply their trade. Please don’t just say “Caveat Emptor” as it is not far from saying it is not your problem and “Let them eat Cake” We should all be vigilent watchdogs in this industry and band together and speak out when we see the thugs come to town.

    Let me be clear here too. I am not calling John Cornetta a thug. I am speaking specifically to the discussion at issue here. My beef with John is that he threw a punch and ran. He should man up and provide hard facts and proof that anyone on this blog is wrong about anything they have said. Saying “you are full of shit” and “don’t know what you are talking about” and claiming some vague facts that don’t seem to add up is chicken shit. While I am sure John has better things to do than defend his position in a blog, he nonetheless threw the gauntlet first and needs to show up for the fight.

  99. Salesmanship In Print says:

    I took a look at the ‘Azon Snatcher’ WSO, but dropped it like a hot potato when I saw that Tim Atkinson had anything to do with it.

    My point is this: When you lie, cheat, and steal to make a quick buck, it sticks in people’s minds. It dirties your name. Too bad it doesn’t get you barred from posting new WSOs and ClickBank products.

  100. Salesmanship In Print says:

    A tip of the hat to Robert for opening up this can of worms.

    My only regret is that Mike Filsaime is taking a beating in this thread, partly because of his association with John Cornetta. I’ve known Mike for many years, I’ve learned a lot from him, and I’ve always found him to be a really nice guy. I’ve also worked with him in some depth at his offices. He had a wonderful staff, and it was a very positive experience. I can’t vouch for everything he does, but I thought he deserved these comments on this page.

    I don’t know John Cornetta at all, but I agree that it was a cheap shot for him to pop in here with some negative comments. And to me, his marketing methods seem shallow and ineffective, despite the large numbers in his claims.

  101. I don’t know but all I had to do is see the word SNATCHER and I had nothing to do with it, I don’t care who put there name on it.

    My two Cents worth ~

    Thank you Scott

  102. Whew, what a bun figjht. But I have to say that it’s easy to see why so many newbies and the desperate clutch at every straw to try and “make a Quid”.

    There is just so much BS and lies out there. I think the only thing you can be sure of is that most of what you hear and see online is just smoke and mirrors.

    I’ve tried to push the “No Hype and No BS” approach for quite a while, but most people looking to “make money online” are simply looking for a quick fix and let’s face it, the quick fix is a long time coming.

    It’s always refreshing to hear someone tell it the way it really is out there on the big bad web. All I know is that to make a mark – and some dollars, you have to get right away from promoting to the promoters. Find a niche you love and market great value to that niche. You can’t be every thing to every body. In fact you can only be one thing to yourself – and that’s to stay true your own beliefs and values – If you’ve got ’em.

  103. Different people work it different ways, some are okay doing the churn and burn method and some give people real value that will help others achieve what they want.

    From what I have seen and the way the IM world is shifting, people are tired of the churn and BURN shit and it will come to a halt soon.

    I have never used list swaps and I would not tell others to do this( but that is just me!

    I feel relationship marketing is the best and most honest way to get it done, not necessarily the quickest but I find the strongest.

    The size of the list is not important as the value that you deliver …

    Thank you Scott

  104. Salesmanship In Print says:

    There are always plenty of things a person COULD do to get ahead. But the list of things you SHOULD do is somewhat shorter.

    For example, you COULD rob a gas station. You COULD steal your grandmother’s grocery money. You COULD promote shitty products to a list.

    The question really is: What SHOULD you be doing?

  105. Whatup, Robert!

    I’m just now jumping in… I was tied up yesterday launching a product called Newbie’s Revenge. That delivers a very similar message to your post! LOL!


    I appreciate the historical timeline of “what worked”, too… as well as Lance’s first comment.

    These various trendy tactics typically DO WORK.

    For a time.

    But then they become diluted, crowded, abused, and ultimately ineffective.

    The fundamentals continue to work.
    Like learning footwork in basketball, or boxing.

    Are they glamorous? Maybe not.
    But do they prevent you from being dunked on, or knocked out?



  106. @Bolaji…

    I’ve met you, I’ll dunk on you all day.. Lol…

    Congrats on the new launch. I could not agree with you more.
    If you miss the fundamentals then you are setting yourself up for failure.

    If it’s a trick, loophole or tactic it will be short lived. Period.

    I have yet to see one that lasts longer than a few months.

    Like I said, me and a few others that have posted here were involved and saw the whole ad swap craze get started. In fact, I used to do them until I saw how friends of mine were pushing them and then ran.

    About a year ago 3 well known marketers ran a huge launch on just this concept. Guess how many people got results. I don’t know of a single one and I “heard” they had massive refunds.

    Again, bottom line…
    1). String fundamentals and a real business model

    THEN you can employ tactics.

    Please do not base your business on a tactic. Unless you’re just looking for a quick hit and run. But then call it what it is..

    Have a great day

  107. Yea that is the impression I get about Johns list, so that is buying a list, not always the best way to go about this – I have been on his list and got emails from him ( he went to the CHURN AND BURN school of marketing from what I see it his mails.

    I just imagine he got A’s in this class, as far as Writing for Mike Filsaime I would not be very proud of that – His list are like snakes ( the are all coiled together ) if you opt out of one you automatically get another one from one of his friends.

    Thank you Scott

    P.S. I learned a lot from Mike’s information and emails but then after awhile this all changed, either him or some of his team started selling shitty programs that had no value what so ever!

  108. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Scott,

    On the other end of things, I am very frustrated when I deal with email marketers too frightened to email their subscribers more than once a week or even more than a few times a year.

    The 1 thing I learned from Filsaime when he was coming up, was to email every day and now I do that without hesitation. It took me a couple more years to “figure out” that I could email 10, 20, 30 days in a row about the same offer and still make sales.

    I have seen way too many guys move one list to another when it gets shut down, change their from name and from email address every single day, all the dirty tricks in the book. If they had put even 10% of that energy actually doing any of these things:

    1. Building a “real” 30 day email follow-up sequence
    2. Creating a product bonus
    3. Setting up an affiliate program
    4. Getting affiliates and joint ventures for extra traffic
    5. Running pitch webinars
    6. Split testing
    7. Charging more

    If these guys had spent their time doing these things that always worked and will always worked… they wouldn’t need to keep shuffling lists around, mailing multiple times a day or agonizing whether to charge $7 or $17 or should this download page have 3 one time offers or 4 one time offers.

    There’s just no reason to work so hard.

  109. James Elliott says:

    Great post. 99% of the time I see any of the things I see in the what doesn’t work list I delete the email.
    Something else thet bugs the h*** out of me is the emails without the name of the person who sent it. I don’t know who the online team is or the support team or any of the other things they use. Something else that is starting to get the email deleted id the ones with no last name. there is a lot of Tom,Dick and Harries who send emails to list.

    I got one the other day with nothing but F. That can stand for Frank or any of the names that use a name that starts with F. I get emails from several Franks and I don’t remember where they are from other than Frank Kern and every one knows he is from CA.

    I have been getting your and Lance’s emails and know hou it is by the address but everyone I don’t remember their address. I will be 70 day after Christmas and not as sharp remembering everything.

    I canceled a lot of the subscriptions over the weekend because all I get from them is ad swap and track safe-swaps. They offer nothing but more opt ins to get on another list for the same thing I told someone I needed information from here to use and not all the opt in,opt in she told me that was just the way the business is and I could delete the emails or what ever I wanted. I did just that after I unsubscribed from her list. I don’t buy much and canund the coaching so I am doing it the hard way and is has been slow but if I don’t die first I will get it done.



  110. Jimmy aka/imwebmaster2 says:

    WOW.!!!….this discussion has turned out to be one of the best, if not the most “real, get down to it” series of postings I’ve seen in years…and very content rich.

    I posted originally just to thank Robert and Lance but had to jump right back in from the start after Cornetta posted his “HogWash” Claim…I didn’t realize then how many fantastic IM people would come forward, share their info and take a stand on the issues…it has restored my faith there on indeed some other “tell it like it is” IM’rs and I’ve added ya’ll to my list of VIP’s…

    I’ve been waiting for John Cornetta to pick on me and take up my direct challenge…he must have gone underground….he’s probably quietly licking his wounds and conceptualizing some Smoke and Mirror PR Campaign that will cover his azz …

    Don’t worry Cornetta…I’m going to help you rank high in the search engines…maybe make it go viral too…no charge…and I bet you won’t be writing for Filsaime very long after I’m finished with you…if this discussion doesn’t already seal your fate and adswapping too…I’ll make sure you get all the credit for bringing this all to light here…

    As for Todd Gross….c’mon man … you find this topic and all funny?…and both sides are right?…what a wishy washy middle of the road “Political” tactic….of all long time IM’rs with high profile exposure and you come on to a very serious discussion like this and dare to post “BS Fluff” with a crowd like this?…give us some of your original content…or do you have to get one of your minions to write it for you first….you’re off my list and I’m unsubscribing to yours…get real!

    I can see those who have posted strong opinions here are clear on this issue…the future evolution of Internet Marketing in it’s essence may very well be rewritten here on integrity and what can be endorsed legitimately….with good ethics supporting the industry

    Thanks to Robert and Lance for having the guts to allow history to be made on their real estate…

  111. Donna White says:

    @ James Elliot
    I totally agree about not knowing who sent the email. Many marketers don’t even put a sign off, they just end the email. I try to decide if it is spam or what?

    You know, adswaps MIGHT have been okay IF people doing them only did them about 1 time a week or something like that. But when I get 3 to 7 emails a day from
    the same marketer with adswaps, that is just pitiful. I’m not exaggerating. I was keeping track by making a folder in gmail with marketer’s name and archiving emails. I still do that.

    Another thing that really irks me. I signed up for 2 affiliate programs in the last 3 weeks. Both of the program owners started sending me adswap emails. I had
    already started promoting them and had sent signups. Well, I phased them out and unsubscribed.

    So sorry everyone that I’m still on the adswap issue. LOL

  112. No I haven’t gone underground nor am I licking my wounds. I stand by what I say. There are many ways to build a list and d swapping better be one of them. I have plenty of loyal subscribers and send plenty of valuable information.

    I’m done here now too busy working and yes making money to frolic in this. I personally attacked no one but some of you feel that’s appropriate.

    Please make this go viral please I stand by every word I wrote

    John Cornetta

  113. Alberto says:


    The concept you explained in this post IS working,
    that’s 100% true:

    ” 1. Create an information product and a download area for people to get it after they buy
    2. Make a sales letter that explains why it’s so great
    3. Get traffic to it and build a list of prospects and buyers ”

    I have no doubt that you understand how this concept REALLY works, but for all those who are starting, it is crucial to say a few more words.

    Creating your own product is NOT the first thing you have to do.

    Before you invest the time and the money in product creation, you must KNOW IN ADVANCE WHAT IS GOING TO SELL WELL AND WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BUY YOUR PRODUCT ( those people will be your ‘traffic’).

    Mapping out the above is the step #1… RESEARCH!

    Next, before you write a sales letter, you must know exactly how your targeted audience think. In other words, you must study them in order to be able to write a sales letter that speaks to THEM. You must know their troubles and their wants. First when you know that, you can write a copy that is going to convert, aka make you money.

    And in order to attract them to your list, and evetually to your paid product, you must first prove to be a person who CAN give them what they need, by providing a lot of FREE high quality content in whatever format you choose to do that.

    THEN you can sell.


  114. Dani says:

    For all the people who have tried all of the things that don’t work, how many have used them ALL, at the same time, as a ‘system’?

    Just wondering if that might yield different results.

  115. Robert Plank says:


    Research is part of the product creation process. If I have to choose between making a product someone doesn’t want, and one someone does want… guess which one I am going to pick?

    The other thing about selling information products is you don’t know if your offer is going to bomb. You don’t know if your hook needs tweaking. Or if adding that one bonus or removing that other one will help. You need a list and traffic (and a sales letter) to test your offer.

  116. Salesmanship In Print says:

    I guess you don’t know how funny your suggestion sounds to those who have actually made money online. I’d suggest you get a mentor as soon as possible. It will save you a lot of misery. Just sayin…

  117. Bob Beckett says:

    Hey Guys!

    Just thought I would drop a note and state that John has made millions of dollars both online and offline.

    I know for a fact that he uses several other methods for generating leads other then adswaps and I know this because we mastermind together quite frequently.

    I personally have generated millions online over the last 14 years and can say 100% that John Cornetta is the real deal.

    Be Blessed,

  118. I don’t get how this got so out of hand… different things work for different people. I for one have found success using a few of those supposedly “don’t work” items and I am sure many other people do as well. So if they don’t work for Robert, does that mean he is doing them correctly? Or does that mean they don’t work for me? WRONG…

    Why is Cornetta being bashed, for his opinion? You guys say he gave his opinion without any backup, but what backup is there in this actual blog post? The post has a list… nothing to constitute the actual list being a invalid source of tools for IM. Give me a break.

    John stated his opinion, I stated mine, everyone has stated theirs. Bashing is not necessary.

  119. Holly says:


    Well I read the above and I have to say that I disagree…Adswaps DO WORK Safelists DO WORK(do not use them on swaps just for traffic to your page) Some of my very first sales were from safelists I DO buy solo ads THEY WORK…I have used JV giveaways not only do they get you a few subs here and there you can make money. I have been doing this for a 1 1/2 and am very successful. These work especially for people just starting out and gives them a chance to network with other marketers. This is important because you need to network with them SO they know who you are and then you get that trust factor in there. I am not going to go buy something from someone I have never heard of or dont trust. Anyway that is my .02 good luck!

  120. Allen Davis says:


    Just because one very narrow business model is what works for you, that does not mean it is the only thing that works.

    You say all these other things DON’T WORK, but so many people are making good money at them.

    You say it is not sustainable, but have you tried sustaining a business using all of these methods?

    In your post you say THESE DON’T WORK, then later on you say “oh, yeah, I use them but not as a business model”. Your post makes it sound like they don’t work at all regardless of whether you are modeling your business on them or not.

    Have you actually tried making those things work as a business model?


    You say that John Cornetta isn’t doing things right because he doesn’t make millions with his 350k list, but he makes a very good income that many people would be happy to have.

    Most of the people who make millions with their 350k lists took many years to build those lists, but John could start over today and have a 350k list in a matter of months.

    Ok, I agree that he doesn’t make as much per subscriber as many marketers, but he also makes a lot more money than many of those same marketers.

    Is it sustainable the way John does business? I believe so although he hasn’t been in the business that long so only time will tell, but there are new people getting into IM all the time that will keep his business going.

    John also thinks outside of the box and tries new things all the time so he will be able to go with the flow and keep doing what works for him.

    Bottom line: Just because something isn’t working for you doesn’t mean you should say it doesn’t work.

  121. Mark says:

    Some people have to much time on their hands.
    John C. has implemented several traffic generating
    techniques and they work. Don’t post unless you know
    all the facts..

  122. Jay says:

    I Have know John Cornetta for over a year now
    and have worked with him on many occasions. I
    can tell you he is not exaggerating at all on his
    online income statements.

    What might work for him with his marketing might not
    work for you.

    It’s all about testing what works and what doesn’t work for your business.

  123. Grayson Brookshire says:

    I skimmed thru all the rubbish above and didnt have time to read in detail numbers and such but John himself has changed IM with his unique ideas on list building. I find it crazy someone says adswapping isnt a GREAT source for building a list and Johns success proves that in itself that it works without a doubt. As far as the value of a subscriber based on income NO ONE can tag an accurate amount you will make per sub of your list. Everyones traffic sources are different, some targeted, some not, some buyers, some not… there is no way put a price on a sub and realistically say how much money you will make with them per year. And to question anyones ethics as a marketer is a little ridiculous… I dont agree with everyones morals and ways to build a list but at the sametime everyone opts into our lists willingly and last I checked we all have an unsub link at the bottom.

  124. Cal Champlin says:

    Enlightening debate! I have worked
    with John Cornetta for 1 1/2 years.
    John has been a tremendous help in
    getting my business off the ground after
    years of floundering. He is generous with
    his time and knowledge and is a staight shooter.

  125. Hello Robert!

    I am not sure if this is my first post here, but even if it isn’t, I surely didn’t comment too much.

    However, the debate here is extremely interesting and I felt the need to jump in with my measly 2¢ worth of insights.

    I have started to finally make money online only after I decided to take it seriously and make it a business. Prior to that it was just a hobby … it was fun, but no income to write home about…

    When it comes to business, there are so many avenues as many marketers there are.
    I would like to say this… ANY marketer who really made money up to his/her own comfort level, should be able to say they finally found a method that worked for them.

    It is not about making millions, honestly. I can’t say I made millions online yet, although I made them offline, before the economic downturn forced me to close my businesses and to focus towards IM.
    I am sure that following my plan and building my business will get me there.

    I am working full time online now though (please note the word ‘work’) and make good money out of my list, although it is NOT my only source of IM income, but just one of them.

    All that being said, I come here with the wisdom and experience of the entrepreneur, both offline and online.

    There are very FEW people in IM who really work it as a business <<< that is the major reason of failure.

    It is not the method or strategy, but rather the mindset.

    I have witnessed John Cornetta's meteoric growth right in front of my eyes.

    He was at 600 subscribers when I had 10k.
    Later on he was at 350k+ (his words) when back then I was at about 60k+ only a few (12, I think?) months later…

    He doesn't disclose his list size now (personally I *suspect* he's close to 500k or maybe even 600k+?) because I am myself at 117k+ now.

    I didn't grow as fast as he did, because I wasn't focusing on the same methods and strategies that he employs.

    I am with you here guys, regarding the quality of the lists, the people on the lists and the way you treat them right, etc…
    As a result I am running branded campaigns where I show myself to my prospects prior to signup.

    John is doing exactly the opposite: he even coined the term 'unbrand yourself' or something like that.

    I don't like it.
    I told him so… a few times.

    YET, we are still friends and I highly appreciate John.

    We can agree to disagree on certain points. No problem there.

    He grew much faster than myself, he is able to RAIN traffic like a cyclone to any page you want him to send traffic to, almost instantly. I can't beat him!

    However, he makes money with his lists, I make good money too, because my lists (even if much smaller in volume) are very responsive to my email campaigns, as I took time to nurture them.

    John is a master of volume.
    I cannot say myself that I am a master of quality, but other people did.

    Bottom line is this.

    List building works.
    Both approaches (mine and John's) work, each in its own particular way.

    There would be an endless debate IF one or the other is
    * easier to implement,
    * brings results much faster,
    * is more ethical
    * and whatnot ..
    BUT … in regards to the blog post's topic …
    bottom line – THEY WORK, people!

    List building works, period!

    Freebie seekers lists (as I have statistically been able to deduct) are about 1/5 value of a small price point buyers list.

    So it is just a number's game.

    You adopt a strategy where you build a buyers list for a $7-$10 product .. and have a list of 1000 subscribers?
    You can BET that a freebie seekers list of 5000 people matches the results and I also think it is much easier and faster to build.

    I personally have GREAT success with my lists.
    I know for a fact the value of my lists, all the statistics, demographics and ROI.

    And it is not important that I say so myself (that my lists are valuable) but much rather it is important, I think, that OTHER people were extremely happy to buy traffic from me, traffic that originated from those lists.

    Hope this helps.

    Steve Lorenzo
    Professional Email Marketer
    Email Solo ADs Vendor
    – running my OWN AR system since 2009!

  126. Rose K says:

    I know alot of people say that swapping is dead or dying,, I have a lost built on swaps and its at 10,000. John did not ooach me but If I had the money I would have him mentor me,, I think he had done some good things and does what he needs to. I don’t know any of you but I think beating on any one cause you disagree with their methods is wrong,Everyone had to do what works for them.John has sent for me already and I got subs and I also had sales.. I have had solos already and did not have as many subs or sales,, There are many ways to do things. Just cause you do things different is no reason to attack someone. Just my two cents

  127. Jayson Benoit says:

    There are multiple ways of making money online and some times you have to agree to disagree with others.

    If it is “churn and burn” or if you are really building a quality relationship, both methods do work.

    Microsoft never tried to build a quality relationship with me, and have pissed me off in the past, but yet I still buy their products.

    Although I do have a quality relationship with my favorite restaurant and I go there because of the quality service received from the management and staff.

  128. Gary Simpson says:

    Howdy Robert and Lance (doggie LOL),

    OK, I’ve read the raging debate above and here is my take on it:


    Are those who:

    * Offer you USEFUL information,
    * Point you to informational blog posts and websites,
    * ANSWER your questions,
    * Link you up or introduce you to helpful or like-minded people,
    * TEACH you something useful,
    * Try to prevent you from making mistakes,
    * Only email or contact you when they have something advantageous for you,
    * Would NEVER deliberately try to trick you or tempt you to do anything that would be harmful to you.

    [Note: Even the very best of us are prone to make the occasional error of judgment. Nobody is 100% correct 100% of the time]


    Are those who:

    * Send you multiple emails per day,
    * Send you emails using numerous FALSE names,
    * Encourage you to purchase scammy “push-button” JUNK that they know does not work and would NEVER purchase themselves,
    * Do nothing for you EXCEPT to recommend that you buy things,
    * Send you to constant landing or “squeeze” pages in an attempt to extract from you your name and email address for their “associates” so their associates (most often described as “good friends”) can repeat the process over and over and over again,
    * Use all manner of deceptive subject lines to lure you into their trap. (eg Paypal Notification and when you open it say something REALLY stupid like: “Now that I have your attention…”)

    [Note: Even the scammiest IMers occasionally stumble upon something truly helpful. Nobody is 100% wrong 100% of the time]

    Take that and digest it folks.


    Gary Simpson

  129. Rodger Hyatt says:

    Wow, half of me wants to piss myself laughing (almost did) and the other half makes me want to grit my teeth… okay it shifts to wanting to hang my head in shame.

    In the past 6 or so years, I have been guilty of just about everything mentioned in here as ‘bad’. We all live and learn right? I surely wasn’t ‘born’ a successful internet marketer… It took some time. Oh man, has it ever been a fun ride though! Damn! The people MOST of all is what I have enjoyed! Creating and nurturing relations with most everyone who has posted on this thread, some of you.. I wouldn’t waste my time with..

    I have caught myself telling people my definition of success.
    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT rich.. but my bills are paid and I spend when I want. If i was so wealthy and ‘successful’ I would get bored fast and lose my passion that made me who I am today. I am not going bald, I do NOT have high overhead or a massive amount of employees to deal with. I wake up each day much like the rest of you… making a B-line for the mouthwash and slapping myself for not setting the timer on my coffee pot. AM i successful? I feel that I am because of the people that I have helped. Not the amount of $ I have made.. You can’t take that sh1t with ya when ya die…

    So now we have a mess of defensive posts coming in. (I wonder how that came about?) *boggle*

    Was on the phone with Lance a few minutes ago.. he and I go a ways back and have much in common to talk about. So we had a good laugh at the whole “What marketing has turned into” and “how hard it is to get out of LOCK-IN mode” once you start down the slippery slope of mail-trash for hire..

    I feel like hanging my head in shame though.. Having been there and still there now. I could go into detail on how my way is different than the ‘bad’ way but I won’t waste my time OR yours.

    Anyone that I train in this business.. first crosses over a bridge. Normally about 3 or so hours get spent finding out if the person is teachable and am I right for teaching them. Once we have an even match and all looks good.. I dedicate myself to that person for life.. Of course the first few weeks are hard core and not meant for wussies… but being there to straighten them up or correct them when I see them crossing the wrong lines has always been what brings me the most amount of pleasure.. Knowing that this person will speak my name at a conference or something in high regard.. makes it all worth the painless hours and hours of one on one. No I am NOT trying to sell a coaching program! LOL… Just talking about being successful and how I define success. Going to sleep at night with a clear conscious and a sh1tload of money under the mattress your sleeping on, with no obligations the following day.

    @Robert – To allow this thread makes you my newest effing hero!

    @everyone else – Do what sends goosebumps all over your body when you do it.

    Most of you know me as a cocky arrogant harsh jerk.. Wish I could deny it. Nope… I can’t (sorry)

    This entire thread has inspired me, made me feel glad of many of my choices and embarrassed of the others. In short.. it has helped me. Once again, thank you all for keeping it real!

    Mind if I send some people here? This sh1t is priceless and contains the answer to ALL IM’ers and those to become IM’ers.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank You! (bookmarked)

    -Rodger Hyatt

  130. Dexter says:

    I have to say, this was an excellent post and the information revealed was spot on, but what was most interesting was the comment section.

    There was some secret sauce spilled on this page, and I think most people missed it.

    This post offered valued, and sparked the community.

    Robert, this was a great way to get the community active and involved. This is social media at its finest. This is what we need more of instead of blogs filled with spam comments, or forums filled with blank profile pages for link juice. This is the type of post that Google loves, and we need more of.


  131. Salesmanship In Print says:

    Instead of arguing whether certain tactics “work” or not, I think it’s more ethical to look for ways to make a clean living. I think it takes a real ass to brag about ill-gotten gains. And sending shitty offers 6 times a day is nothing less than ‘hammering your sucker list.’ Which I would label as ill-gotten gains. Shameful, if you ask me. A few years ago such people might be labeled “shysters” or “snake oil salesmen.” Today I just call them “assholes.”

    Just about any tactic can be said to ‘work,’ if your definition of ‘what works’ is simply a measure of the dollars that can be squeezed out of other people by hook or crook.

  132. Laurie Mills says:

    I am not against AdSwaps, as such, but they need to be a bit more reasonable with the approach that is being used.
    One of my pet hates is the time wasted by opening an email, going to the recommended sites and finding out that you either have the item or have rejected it previously!!
    Honesty in what you are being offered should either have the item name or even the actual providers name included in the original email.
    You will or have found out that some Marketers will send out anything up to 10 or so emails a day but I find that to the point of over doing and becomes frustrating.

  133. Rodger Hyatt says:

    @Grayson – Your theory on “everyone opts into our list willingly and can easily unsubscribe” sounds a bit like the concept of having sex with an 18 year old girl with down syndrome. Just because we can and we can get away with it, where do morals come into play?

    @Steve – Another accurate calculation. 2 cents per the norm.

    @Dexter – I agree and sure hope that this thread suffers no form of censorship. Everyone has maintained respect thus far and leaking some really great info.. most arguments have two sides to the story, each having valid points.

    @Allen – How many places have asked for your absence due to your ‘devils advocate’ dribble? A wise choice would be to not drag the dribble to a professional court like this.. These people all have lists.. ya know? Go obtain one and live through some of these experiences before you come in here? (my 3 cents)

    I saw a thread in here that was centered around “trust” and “safe-swaps”. To clear this up.. DO NOT TRUST THEM, dimitry and his crew stuck me pretty good..

    What we all used to do for marketing in the years passed, is not the same any more… everything changes. We will always have the bad seeds coming and and undercutting or literally taking a shit on the very thing we are doing. Draining every last drop of oil from it and leaving the less skilled marketers to choke on top ramen. Eventually, you WILL adhere to the simple rules. Build a relationship with your list, or enjoy your very temporary stay while you can.

    Keep up the great work folks and do try to smile more often, we all love to see them pearly whites!

    – Rodger

  134. Dani says:

    @ salesmanship in print… I have a mentor, thanks. Assumptions are such a curious thing. Just to address yours, I’ve not only made money online, I did it offline first, both by running a ‘business.’ In the highly competitive high risk real estate finance game, in which 90% of our revenue was generated from 2 marketing methods, classified advertising and direct mail marketing. While those two methods made us the ‘most’ money, we employed an entire marketing system that encompassed every single marketing and advertising method that suited our target demographic profile, and that was responsible for 10% of our revenue, but also, often was a ‘step’ in using one or more of our other marketing methods. A system.

    Any ‘used car salesman’ can ‘make money.’ It doesn’t make him qualified to run the car dealership.

    Having said that, I asked my question for the simple reason that I’ve seen some very very successful launches being promoted in traffic exchanges and via safelists, which is why I asked.

    I understand how to analyze industry stats to project a yield on ROI and I’ve been doing just that to formulate a systematic approach to using all the things that ‘don’t work.’ Unlike so many ‘marketers’, I approach my business with a financial plan for my marketing, that’s based on the projected investment needed to meet the numbers that the averages indicate to cover operational costs and turn a profit.

    I know the industry average CTR, Open Rate, and conversation rates on everything from PPC to prospect lists, to in-house lists. From there, it’s pretty easy to know what you need to invest to get the return you desire.

    So I know what I have to invest to get the eyeballs needed to start making the numbers work. For any campaign, and I budgeted to make that ‘system.’

    If needed, I can even do a capital raise.

    This is stuff I’ve never seen in any “WSO” or other ‘hero’ story. It’s the way it works in the real business world. It’s not what people BUY in the “Internet Marketing” market though.

    I have to agree with Bolaji, that a lack of fundamentals is a major detriment to anyone attempting to succeed in any business, online, or offline. The top two reasons businesses fail are lack of funding and lack of planning. In an industry like IM, where the barrier of entry is low and the ‘I did it with no list, no product and no jv partner’ hero stories abound, it’s easy for people to associate that hero with a person who has no formal business experience.

    In fact, my biggest obstacle when I started my own online business, was in not knowing where to find these stats. Which is why I sought out a ‘business’ mentor.

    @Conrad Stuart- Thank you. You have perfectly described what the WF has become, and you are absolutely right. The lists are so inbred that the gene pool is polluted, and the OTO’s have been so wrongly created and applied, that they are pissing people off. Lately, if I deign to read a WSO thread, I will without fail, find someone complaining about the mere existence of an OTO.

    Unfortunately, much of this has stemmed from the problem of those who have ‘made some money’ suddenly becoming the ‘heroic gurus’, they often know very little about business themselves, yet, they are becoming ‘mentors’ and ‘coaches’ and advising that vendors MUST give 100% commissions and price products at $10 and under to get the ‘buyers list’… then advising them to tell them only ‘part’ of the system (the what to do part) and forcing the customer to buy the OTO to get the ‘how’ to do it information. The customer feels cheated and shortchanged. And after about 6-12 months of being hit with 18 WSOTD offers for this same $10 Front End to $17.00 OTO model, the customers start to feel like they’re being nickel and dimed to death. The evidence is presenting as we speak, when you can’t read a WSO thread without seeing someone complaining about the existence of an OTO or just demanding to know if there is one and how much it is.

    Incidentally, this is where the inbreeding started. A 100% commission product is a customer acquisition strategy. When you first acquire a new customer, you want to upsell them ‘warmly’ and convey the message, “thank you so much for becoming my customer, here’s some other stuff that I have that you might be interested in, let me make a you a good deal on this as my way of saying thanks for becoming a customer.’ Hammering them with an OTO (you will never get this chance again) makes you come across like a used car salesman who is trying to squeeze every last time out of them by putting the pressure on them to buy right now. The OTO should only be used in a firesale type offer, never with a new customer.

    My own mentor goes way back on WF, to a time where you had to PROVE that you had a site and a product that was selling, and only then could you post it as a true ‘special offer’ for forum members. It didn’t start out as a place meant to ‘launch’ at all. Then it became a place to pre-launch and test, now it’s just like ClickBank, and often even more expensive when you consider that the WSO fee is $40.00 and a W+ license fee is $19.00. That’s $59.00. ClickBank only has a $50.00 insertion fee, and now, you have to do just as much work to recruit affiliates for a WSO as you do to do a CB launch, with a smaller pool of buyers, who are on everyone’s list, who are bombarded, like you said, not by good offers, but by an overall, estimated EPC instead and who are adamantly expressing displeasure with the model. Plus, it’s limited to only the MMO niche. At least if you use ClickBank, you can actually do ‘niche’ marketing, and have a lot less competition.

  135. Salesmanship In Print says:

    Yes, the WF has changed. My join date is only a couple months after Allen Says himself. Up until a few years ago, Special Offers were often through the ‘buy me a beer’ system. Literally. I got my start in marketing back in the 1970’s, so I’ve got more perspective than most of the Warriors.

    Oddly enough, the ‘good old days’ of direct mail, media buys, and such are making a comeback lately. Turns out that everything I learned from Halbert, Nicholas, Sugarman (and others) never went out of style, and never stopped being effective. I wonder how many of the ‘tactics’ that we’re discussing on here will stand the test of time.

  136. Justin says:

    Interesting Debate.

    I would add in there Conversions, in fact I would probably argue that conversions is even more important than a list.

    Offer, Traffic, Conversions is my mantra really.

    Nothing wrong with adswaps, its a viable part of any business or rental of mailing lists etc which is what we did a lot of in my mail order days.

    However like anything it just needs to be tested properly.

  137. Robert Plank says:

    @Justin, you said: “Offer, Traffic, Conversions is my mantra really.”

    Why make it complicated? If you have a good offer it will convert. I’m not sure why you have to throw extra terms in there.

    1. Now why did I say to make a product: because just sending your subscribers away to other marketers is not sustainable.

    2. Here’s something else: the most successful affiliate marketers I know bundle a product of their own as a bonus, or even creatively package someone else’s product with their own (buying licensing). Lance and I do this with membership software and a webinar service and those are our top converting offers.

    3. This is my biggest reason for not ad swapping: it only works in internet marketing. Don’t see anyone selling, for example, real estate training… and emailing 6 times a day to other real estate trainers to “bank up clicks.” The niche isn’t savvy enough.

    So what if you’re brand new to internet marketing, not making any money yet, and mailing your list 6 times a day to other make money offers? Something just doesn’t seem right there.

    I would rather people take a niche they are already in (mine is software), create products, build a list, mix some affiliate offers and joint ventures in there, but it’s mostly YOUR stuff. That’s long term.

  138. Salesmanship In Print says:

    ‘Conversion rate’ is King.

    Your mantra is ‘Offer, Traffic, Conversions.’ I’d suggest instead listing Conversion ahead of Traffic.

    If you have a top-converting offer, people with lists and traffic will seek you out. Every time. You could run up some really big numbers without even having a list. But you should be building one with the traffic you get.

  139. For Gawd’s sake Jason.
    I’ve heard and read a lot here but I’ve gotta say “What The????

    @justin reckons “if you have a top converting offer people with lists and traffic will seek you out”.

    DUH!!! If you can prove it’s a “top converting offer” then of course you’ll get a shit load of traffic. but – ‘aint there always a but! How the Hell do you know if what you’re offering is “a top converting offer”.

    Come on Justin, most of us have no idea if what we have to offer is in fact a “top converting offer.”

    we might honestly believe our offer is the answer to all your prayers – but then that’s just the promoter talking. In reality most offers on the web are simply rehashed stuff that’s been around since the day dot.

    If you’re gonna offer such a bland all encompassing statement then for Gawd sake, BACK IT UP WITH SPECIFICS.

  140. Doesn’t a forum like this just open up the SOL valve (Shit On Liver). I love this sort of banter. No one’s right and no one’s wrong – well I’m not and you are – so there!!

    But there’s a couple of important things we seem to be missing.

    Everyone reckons the money’s in then list. And this is more than probably true. The big problem is getting the list to work! I’ve gor a list – it’s not huge, but it’s OK. So I want to send ’em a message right! So I add them to my autoresponder and what do I get??? I get canned. Why??? Because the autoresponder I’m with shits big bricks if they get a couple of wingers. These turkeys say they want my information one second then grizzle when I ask them to confirm their details. The AR mob then claim I’m spamming and shut me down. What a waste of time, work and effort.

    Buyers ARE LIARS. Aint it the truth. I now have a great hatred for ALL Autoresponder providers. They cow tail to the base whingers and couldn’t give a Rats Arse about their own paying Customers. God Save Me From The Politically Correct!!!!

  141. Salesmanship In Print says:

    Regarding someone who was hollering at me above, let me point out that I’m not ‘Jason.’ I was replying to Jason. But in reply to that vocal newbie, here’s something specific: If you don’t know you have a top converting offer, then you don’t.

  142. Hey Robert,

    As much as I enjoy your videos about copywriting (probably a follow up sequence you got), I’d like to step in here and touch the subject of ‘what works’.

    To tell the truth, I think you’re over bending the stick by saying adswaps don’t work. They do and I’m an honest to god PROOF to that.

    In just a few month I went from $300/month to 5 figures a month using… ADSWAPS. So, I belive I have the right to stand out and shout they do.

    Anyone who’s reading this, if you’re a newbie, be careful with what you chose to accept as truth. You may be consciously leaving tons of money on the table and it’ll be a crying shame to see you keep struggling just because you failed to embrace one simple idea.

    Igor Kheifets

  143. Robert Plank says:


    What is your long term plan?

    Are you going to keep building the list, mailing out multiple times a day, sending your subscribers off to other marketers, promoting $10 and $20 offers forever?

    Honestly, I’ve never seen any ad swapper last more than a couple years (at the most) without calling in more and more “favors” …

  144. Salesmanship In Print says:

    @Robert Plank
    Too bad all these newbies get all giddy when they get a whiff of money. It seems to override their conscience. Igor talks about ‘leaving money on the table.’ I think he lost sight of the fact that the ‘money on the table’ is in fact money in a real person’s pocket. And lost site of the fact that his list is a list of real people, not just a herd of ‘marks’ that deserve to be ‘whacked.’

  145. To Salesmanship in print.

    You are great at turning things around. Now explain to me how you know you have a “top converting item” when you haven’t got it out there yet? That’s like saying I’ve made the perfect mouse trap without catching one lousy mouse.

  146. Heimir says:

    Igor Kheifets: “In just a few month I went from $300/month to 5 figures a month using… ADSWAPS. So, I belive I have the right to stand out and shout they do.”

    I share a VERY similar story so I can surely vouch that ad swaps still work. But Robert, the true value of doing ad swaps (I know Igor does this) is to get PROVEN BUYERS.

    Once you have a bigger list you can swap bigger numbers and therefore grow your buyers list faster and that’s where you build your relationship.

    Much of what I know and what I do comes directly from working one-on-one with John Cornetta.

  147. Jimmy aka imwebmaster2 says:

    Just returned to read new posts and am seeing IM’rs defending adswaps, safelists etc…and for the most part their point has been that these tactics work for them and has in fact generated revenues and subscribers
    bottom line…however, the point of these tactics is more far reaching and extends into the IM Community and the IM Industry itself.

    In short, these tactics are not a business model…and more importantly, on a mass scale, these tactics dilute and add confusion to the unsuspecting subcriber base being cross promoted regardless of how many actually do end up making purchases…

    My point is a core issue related to privacy and the promise not to share, rent, sell a subscribers email or contact info directly…my point also includes the marketing ethics, overall industry trust and primarily the legal ramifications….if you tell me that my email address and contact info will not be shared, sold, etc..then that’s what I expect…and legally that’s what the bottom line is supposed to be …

    I can agree the adswap/safelist tactics work for building a massive list on the short term…and I’m happy to see who the people are who endorse it…but I don’t agree with its ethics and I don’t endorse it…for legal reasons…

    I have seen unethical business practices in the offline brick and mortar community over the decades…they don’t last…and many are legally scrutinized and some go to the big house…

    One clear example is a person from one company shovel passing their internal leads and customer information over to a competitor or another industry business … for an exchange under the table so to speak … this is clearly illegal…

    Do the IM’rs who use and endorse the adswap tactic retain the services of a law firm?…If you do…ask your licensed legal professional experienced in the IM and online industry about these tactics…get their legal interpretation…my legal pros advised me early on to NOT get involved with this tactic…regardless of the list growth and revenue generating potential…

    I pay them … I listen… I do as they advise so they can protect my business and me personally…

  148. Heimir says:


    Fair enough, but what if you found a very interesting blog post, that you think would greatly benefit your subscribers.

    However, on that blog is an opt in form, so according to your lawyers advise, you would not send your subscribers to that blog, right?

  149. Jason Parker says:

    Ask internet attorney Mike Young – mikeyounglaw.com

  150. Firstly congratulations Robert.

    There is an old saying I learned about marketing(off or online) when I was starting out in business over 20 years ago.

    Marketing is manipulation.

    And Robert you have certainly proved that (this BTW is not a criticism) you have written an article and it has caused the strongest reactions and number of comments that 99.9% of marketers can only dream of.

    The link to your blog is all over the skype rooms.

    Hats off to you.

    I have read most of the comments in this thread, and as ever when I read this kind of thing I am amazed at the sanctimonious stance taken by many “business people”.

    I don’t usually get involved with stuff like this, but what the hell, you can’t always stand on the sidelines right?

    Everyone has the right to run their business as they
    see fit.

    As with offline business it is up to the individual or company to deal with their customers as they see fit.

    Whether they be right or wrong is not up for debate, as frankly it is none of OUR business how they run THEIRS.

    There are many people here that seem to not realize,
    or forgotten this IS business.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want my subscribers to be as successful as possible in their online businesses,
    as I am sure all other marketers, John Cornetta included

    I want them to be successful in the same way Apple want them to have a good experience with their PC’s, Walmart want them to enjoy their food and Rosetta Stone wants them to widen their horizons and learn a language.

    This is business, please let’s not pretend it is anything else.

    It is a business in which I personally try to give my customers the same level of service I would expect from anyone offline or online to give me, but I am here to make a living and put clothes on my children’s backs and food on our table.

    How I or anyone else does it is no one’s business but that individual.

    My opinion about who I personally think is right in this debate is my own personal business and I wont be sharing it here as it is COMPLETELY irrelevant and would be completely unprofessional.

    All this stuff about calling people out to prove their figures, holy cow how often do top companies go out and tell each other to sort themselves out, or tell them they should change their prices or how to run their business in general.

    How about a bit of professionalism here?

    So please guys, let’s get off the high horses and get a bit of perspective, you run your business the way you want to and let others do the same, if their model is not to your taste so what, no one forces you to do business with them.

    Let John run his business the way he wants, it works for him and the same for all others here, run it as you see fit, if it works, great, if it doesn’t then fix it.

    You know there is about 2 years worth of bottled up annoyance about the way I see IM’ers talking to and about each other, come out in one go here, so I apologize for the length of this posting and for you guys who know me from the skype rooms, I bet you never knew I could write so much 🙂

    Finally,what ever your business model is, good luck with it, and I hope it does what you need it to do for those dearest to you 🙂

    Have a good Christmas and a successful 2012

  151. Rodger Hyatt says:

    @Anthony – Have you considered this when you say that everyone should run their business the way they want and no one should speak out against it.
    –> In this business we are mainly forced into working with other people that have lists. So is it wrong of me to decline to work with you if i dislike the way you run your business? I mean, after all.. it is MY LIST and MY CHOICE weather i direct them to YOUR page right? So if i decline and you ask WHY? I tell you why… you end up insulted… then here we all are… discussing the very thing that stopped you and me from being able to work together. Using YOU and ME as hypothetical persons.

    So yes, we have a choice… just remember the repercussions of your choices have an effect on YOUR business and MY business.

  152. @Robert,

    you’d be surprised, but you can set up a whole lotta income streams on the internet, and while adswaps are putting milk & bread on the table for me, NOTHING is stopping me from further expanding my business.

    I’m sure you share the same vision, Robert. I mean, I’d be stupid to assume just one income stream will keep feeding me forever.

    Still though, ADSWAPS WORK. Case Closed.

  153. Holly says:

    @ Robert..I first hand know tons of people who have done very well ad swapping and have been around for 4 or more. I ad swap and sell more then 20-40 dollar products…A dswaps WORK they just do but networking and knowing other marketers is a huge part of that. Igor is right there are a whole lot of income streams on the internet however ad swapping is a great place to start.

  154. Hey Rodger

    I hear what you are saying.

    If an individual doesn’t want to work with someone because they don’t agree with their ethics or the way they run their business then that should completely be their right and if the other asks why, then tell them.

    As you say it’s YOUR list and YOU have to “protect” it as you see fit and that is professionalism without doubt.

    If it offends well that’s the way it is.

    This is a big pond with a lot of other fish to swim with.

    If I asked you to do business with me and you said no because you don’t like the product I am offering or the way my squeeze page was constructed, or the follow up sequence I have in place, I would have no problem with that in the slightest and wouldn’t be offended.

    You are exercising your right to run your business as you see fit, and if our business models don’t align then they don’t align.

    I just feel these Kangaroo courts where someone is hung out to dry because of the way they choose to run their business are very unprofessional.

    There are many different business models in IM and I have my own opinions about which one’s I like and don’t like and that is exactly what they are, my opinions, so who am I to go shouting them all over the web. My personal preference is to deal with them on a 1-2-1 basis in private where conversations can take place and not have “passers-by” chipping in, and inflaming the situation.

    As I said just personal preference and the way I have been taught to conduct business, and I hope by conducting myself in this way not many people wont want to do business with me 🙂

  155. Bob Beckett says:

    In the IM Niche I build 2 ways.

    I build massive lists via media buying and other sources and then segment them into smaller 10k – 20k tight niche lists that learn to know and love me. These people love webinars and big ticket items because they “Trust” me.

    The remainder of the subscribers sure I’ll promote $49-$199 clickbank products etc… but only after I have reviewed the material and think its worth my subscribers time.

    The other way in the IM Niche is to release quality products and build a buyers list and of course treat them like royalty and a friend.

    When I first started I would buy mail drops from big networks. After a while I added ad swapping back in 08 and added an extra $5k-$10k a week to my bottom line. I of course hired someone to run these for me the majority of the time but why turn down some extra loot?

    As of the last year I stopped ad swapping mainly out of lazyness because I would rather use my money to build my lists and focus on what I love to do. Create software/training products.

    I do the same for all the other niches I’m in.

    So the moral of the story is… to each their own.

    If it’s working for you stick with it. BUT… and a BIG BUT… don’t get caught up with just one source of traffic. Learn to expand and scale up your business.

    I do believe though until you start creating your own products and build a true following that you don’t have a “long term” business model due to the Autoresponders tightening up etc.

    – Bob

  156. Isobel says:

    @Anthony: If John Cornetta chooses to enter the discussion with a comment like this:

    “Sorry but what a bunch of hogwash. You have no clue whatsoever.”

    then sorry – he deserves whatever he gets in response. No one had even MENTIONED him up to that point (maybe that’s what pissed him off?) After making claims about his list and income, of COURSE people are going to ask him to prove it! John can run his business however he wants, but when he attacks other people’s opinions, he better be ready to stand behind his.

    As for Grayson: “And to question anyones ethics as a marketer is a little ridiculous.” Really? You don’t think ethics is part of marketing? Guess you’ll find out the hard way.

  157. Salesmanship In Print says:

    One day I noticed a stream of ants, as they scurried off with the crumbs they had swiped from a picnic. Hmmm…how much they reminded me of the never-ending stream of piss-ant internet marketers who seem content to dodge in and grab whatever they can…oblivious to the propriety of it all, and to the larger world around them. “I’m doing 5 figures a week!” Well…congratulations! Let me give you a teeny-tiny pat on the back…

  158. Jerry B. says:

    Wow! This turned into quite a debate! Good stuff from both sides…

    My 2 cents:

    From Robert’s list above, I would have to agree that none of that stuff worked…FOR ME. If you can get that stuff to work and that’s YOUR model, congratulations! You’ve found something that works for you and you’re happy with it.

    I was going to say that those tactics and techniques aren’t a sustainable, long-term business models but, the fact of the matter is is that there are always going to be “newbies” coming into the “how do I make money online” market and a portion of them can and will get caught up in these adswap/listswap “webs” until they educate themselves enough to figure out other money-making models. Or, they’ll just get burned enough times with sub-par products and information to come to their own conclusions on how this whole “make money online stuff is just a scam” and quit.

    Building lists just to be building lists so you and your adswap/list-swap partners can promote the latest shiny objects or potentially sub-par information products won’t last forever with your current subscribers. So, your model has to be to get more unsuspecting newbies in and “churn and burn” until they “buy, die or get off my list.”

    If that’s your model and you’re comfortable with it, own it and stand up like a few who operate with that model have.

    The other side of the coin is to create value for the people that you get as subscribers and treat them as that; PEOPLE! Not another mark to add up. Add value to their lives in the form of providing good information and/or provide some sort of entertainment component. Either way, you’re contributing and providing value and can make a good living doing so.

    The only 2 things I would argue that Robert may be off the mark on his list of what doesn’t work is with #11 Warrior Special Offers and #14 Social Media.

    There is no denying that the Warrior forum has a huge pool of buyers that could turn into lifelong customers if your businesses products provide the value they are looking for.

    And, I think social media can play a huge role in any business if done properly. Not only in customer acquisition but in customer retention.

    @Salesmanship in Print, you bring up some great points!

  159. Salesmanship In Print says:

    In case it wasn’t obvious already, let me point out that all of the ‘ad-swapping, list hopping’ bullshit falls squarely under the definition of “Advertising.” So, technically it’s not even “Marketing” at all. Don’t agree? Google it and see for yourself.

  160. Kym Robinson says:

    Just because we disagree, doesn’t mean we have to be disagreeable….To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life….

    The question posed above by Robert was….

    Do you want to know what works when you’re building a real business and making real money online?

    Roberts answer is correct but not complete!

    it was also asked….

    Do you want to know what doesn’t work?

    I disagree with the answer as I have had personal success with 12 of the 15 methods listed.

    And as far as debate goes about John Cornetta – I am in a better position than most to make a knowledgeable comment….

    regardless whether you agree with Johns current strategies or tactics is beside the point – the point to this post is as stated above…..what works when you’re building a real business and making real money online

    Cornetta is a business man through and through and continually adjusts his business procedures to constantly be at the top of the game – however that game is currently being played – if only people knew the REAL numbers involved with his business – there would be no question or slanderous comments as above.

    His business interests are many and varied and move with the times – his business model is to use whats working when its working and move on when its not – and that is how you make real money online!

    whether you like him or not – irrelevant
    whether you like what he does or not – irrelevant

    golden nugget – be true to yourself and your own standards, dont worry about anyone else’s business and use whats working when its working and move on when its not – and that is how you make real money online! YEAP!

    oh!…and have a great day 🙂


  161. Rodger Hyatt says:

    @Kim – You should write for people like the president!
    What was obvious black and white, is now gray and I am almost mesmerized, sort of in a transe and ready to damn near whip out my credit card for you. No wonder your employers (past and present) had you on the team!

    Way to slide right through the muck and come out all shiny and pretty 🙂

  162. Salesmanship In Print says:


    You said:
    “Cornetta is a business man through and through and continually adjusts his business procedures to constantly be at the top of the game – however that game is currently being played…”

    You are clearly labeling him a ‘gamer.’ Do you really intend for that to be a compliment?

    You also said:
    “…his business model is to use whats working when its working and move on when its not…”

    So, you’re also labeling him a ‘user’?

  163. Salesmanship In Print says:


    Following up with your statement:
    “…his business model is to use whats working when its working and move on when its not…”

    With this as your definition of a ‘business model,’ then you would have approved of selling LSD in the 1960’s (while it was still legal), peddling pyramid schemes (when they were legal), and spamming out millions of emails every day (when it was legal).

    So, where would YOU draw the line?

  164. Kym Robinson says:

    @ whoever you are in print ???

    I am not labeling anyone anything!

    rather than pounce on anyone who doesn’t see things your way – try READING the English I wrote above!

    let me help you…..

    at the top of THE game…’THE’ game – referring to the IM Game where the rules continually change – just like the game of life – how you play decides your fate (in my humble opinion – or I am not allowed an opinion? or I am, as long as you agree with it?)

    and …..

    USE whats working…you know – ‘USE’ as in the dictionary….to employ for some purpose; put into service; make use of: to use a knife and to avail oneself of; apply to one’s own purposes: to use the facilities.

    Sheesh! some people! 🙁

    @ Rodger… lmao mate! thanks for the compliment – tty on skype soon 🙂

    have a lovely day everyone – I have work to do….

    oh! forgot to mention that above….’WORK’ thats another thing we do when we want to create an online business and make real money online!


  165. Donna White says:

    Hey Salesmanship,

    Layoff Kym, okay? 🙂

  166. Ed Seward says:

    What many are ignoring in this discussion is that the actions of the slime-balls slime all internet marketers, not just the slime-balls.

    Yes, huge numbers of newbies join the internet daily and are targeted by the slime-balls and their tactics. These newbies get burnt a few times and then label all internet marketers as slime-balls.

    I have been involved with the internet since 1996. I have been on a lot of mailing lists and I receive several thousand junk emails a day trying to sell me the latest and greatest rip offs.

    But I buy from very few, and Robert is one of those few.

    The sad thing is some of those I have bought from in the past who were ethical ended up joining the slime-balls in the chase for the fast buck from the clueless newbies and managed to rip me off one time before I dropped them.

    So even those who have been around the block still get taken from time to time and the industry black eye gets blacker by each ripped off newbie.

    Sad, isn’t it, that some feel obligated to defend the slime-balls who slime all our reputations.

  167. Salesmanship In Print says:

    When I was of kindergarten age, a younger kid showed me his shiny new dime. I reached into my pocket and said “I’ll trade you my great big nickel for your puny little dime!” And of course the deal was done, and he was happy though oblivious. But then my conscience bothered me, and I tried to trade him back.

    So, it was a lesson learned. You don’t just take every opportunity that comes along. You use discretion. You think about how it affects the other guy. And how it affects yourself.

  168. Rodger Hyatt says:

    @Ed – I don’t know you… But I like you already.
    You have just summed up most of what drives me to do what I do.

    Thank you… from the bottom of my blackened cold heart 🙂

    so NO …letting someone run their business the way they want to is NOT panning out in our favor… We have to do all the hard work and defend ourselves to the newbies.

    Do this as a test, next time someone asks you what you do for a living.

    Tell them. “I am an internet marketer…”

    …wait for their response now.. don’t give into your urges and start defending that job title… just look at their facial expression, listen to what they say or ask.

    Come back here and re read every post made.. then comment your results..

    I for one would LOVE to see it!


  169. Oi you guys!
    Haven’t we got better things to discuss and argue about than “he’s right – he’s wrong. Stuff like;
    How to get past or around the Net Cops with the SPAM issues on auto responders.

    Everytime I add a customer from one list to another on different ARs the poor bugger has to Opt-In all over again. I lose a heap of business that way.

    I won’t simply use one AR because there are times when I will get a bulk listing of prospects – from a most highly reputable source – a list where every one on it has been washed and tumbled dry. But God help me if a couple on that list forget they signed up – even though I’ve got more details on them than the Mother does, I get accused of spamming.

    What’s worse is when some body places themselves on the do not call lists then boldly signs up with me or ends up on a list again the list owner is called a spammer for letting them in.

    SO, what do we do? Just a question!

  170. Dave says:

    First, lots of great information in this thread that is useful for the new and old to internet marketing. I wanted to share one follow up response to all of this.

    To me it is real clear. There are people in businesses like IM that make it harder to do that business and to overcome widespread perceptions. John is one of those people.

    To me that is clear – but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I would be shocked if John would actually recommend more than 20% of what he sells from clickbank to his good friends or family, but only he knows that and only he knows if he has actually taken an honest look at what he sells before he throws it out to his lists.

    His 350K interview clarified that answer for me, but more importantly he did us all a favor in this thread by showing his true colors. And other post shared this as well, but it is important to mention again I think.

    John Quotes:

    “Sorry but what a bunch of hogwash. You have no clue whatsoever.”

    “I cannot believe what I just read. Awful…”

    “What a shame this blog post is..”

    These were what he said BEFORE anyone said a thing to him – remember that.

    His response later was “I personally attacked no one but some of you feel that’s appropriate.”

    I don’t know about you, but his initial post was attacking to me. People I respect have a far more effective way of communicating. So what if Robert is wrong about ad swaps? Share your reasons why? Give some resources or other facts. The bottom line is John came out swinging then had the nerve to say he wasn’t. Why even enter the conversation at all?

    To me the answer is clear. That is his personality and the way he operates. If he operating from truly a helpful and giving standpoint he would of showed at least some respect for Robert and his blog (I think) and then offered a thoughtful response to his readers sharing why he felt Robert was mistaken on at least that point. He might of actually got some of Robert’s followers on his list if he did that.

    To me he did all he needed to validate what people have said about him. But to each their own…it is a bit of a fun dialogue. I have learned a fair amount, but also have wasted some time 🙂


  171. Jerry B. says:


    It’s simple… herein lies the problem: “there are times when I will get a bulk listing of prospects – from a mostly highly reputable source…”

    Build your list by creating valuable content and people will want to join your list.

    Buying lists eliminates the chance for you to first provide value to your subscribers. You don’t give them a chance to know, like and trust you.

    I made this mistake years ago.

    Unfortunately, there are no short cuts my friend.

  172. Atheer Fendi says:

    Robert, this could be a very smart move of you by posting what you posted to get this amount of comments so Google notice your site and them get a flood of organic traffic… or you simply don’t know what you are talking about or simply can not handle changes.

    I have just started implementing a system I set up to have my business based on… and the 2 most important parts of this system are Ad swaps and JV Giveaway events!

    Why… well because they DO WORK!

    And I accept your and any other’s challenge to keep maintaining online after the next 12 months to come!!

    I am going by the 20/80 rule and found those two things have been what I mostly been getting ,y income and business growth from.
    Of course I will be setting up other traffic and income sources… in fact I have other sources in place already but those take more time to get going like I want them to.

    Talking down Cornettas style of building his online business… if you ask me I would say that is the best way to start of your business. Start having a list to have traffic on demand, start making a living to quit your day job so you have more time on your hands to grow your business. So now when you have food on the table and time in your hand, you can without stress, if you want, set up a long term plan where you have clients that you keep good relationship with and make more money per subscriber and all the other stuff many here said how this “SHOULD BE”.

    About the changes I mentioned… well NOTHING is dead or not working anymore. They have just changed and because you can not handle the change or can not make them work for you, does not give you any right to say they do not work.

    Also to other people here using arguments like abused or not the way they were.. well those are changes and you have to keep up with them or come up with a solution if you are business minded.

    I have witnessed the changes in adswaps and JV giveaway events but I also see how I can make them work for me with little effort that’s why I will be using them.

    Take care of your own businesses people,

    Atheer Fendi

  173. Gary Simpson says:

    There is nothing that slows down traffic more than a good ole car crash. Vehicular traffic, that is. Cops can’t do it. But a decent prang with twisted metal sure can – even if no-one is injured. Everyone has to slow down and “rubber-neck.”

    And there ain’t NUTHIN that draws a crowd more than a damn good fight!


    Kudos to you Robert for setting up the “squared circle” and letting everyone jump in that ring and slug it out for a few rounds.

    I’m laughin’ my OO’s off at what I am reading here. It’s like Star Wars.

    Blessed be you Obi-Wan Plank.

    Gary Simpson

  174. Jimmy aka/imwebmaster2 says:

    @ Heimir

    Of all people Heimir…c’mon man…I see where you’re going with this leading question and I’ll bend sideways to give a little more clarity about my posts above yours

    My subsequent posts on this subject came after John Cornetta crashed the party like a drunk off the street loud mouthing…I just happened to be at the door and decided to shut him up or knock him out….it turned into a pretty good discussion and has evolved into some unique content from other contributors…otherwise I had only visited to thank Robert in my initial post…

    However, I have solid trusted legal advice from licensed experienced Internet Marketing legal beagles that tell me to stand true to my lists that I promised to “never share, rent, sell ..etc..” there private information they were trusting enough to give to me in exchange that I can verify they are humans through a double opt in process…

    My issue extends beyond whether or not it works…I’ll concede to the fact that adswaps do work…so do JV’s and other list sharing tactics…regardless, mypoint carries into both the ethics and legalities associated with blatantly giving a list pimp my permission to whore out my confidential lists..in bulk at that!!

    It doesn’t matter whether my list can make their own decisions about whether to optin…after the fact…I want to sleep at night knowing I’m guarding my lists as I promised … simple as that…nothing can come back at me unless I directly cause it…

    As far as recommending a blog post, article, etc to my list?…particularly if there is an optin form on that blog or article page, whatever…it’s even less rare for me to do that anymore…regardless if there is an optin form…I rarely drive my list as traffic to anyones website or blog unless I have personally checked it out…maybe tested it first…and it’s relative, can augment or support a topic that my list pays me to do that frontend work for them and give them go ahead to do so…after I can endorse it…

    I build my lists in various ways…but I build my relationships on the premise I get paid for the work I do so my people don’t have to get bogged down wading thru all the crap that would distract their objectives at that moment…for example…my newbies who are in niches other than IM…have a hard enough time getting the basics down as they run their own brick and mortar companies or are wanting to transition from their “JOB” into a unique niche for me to pummel them with commission based CB offers and other 3rd party shiny objects that lead them down a path I don’t recommend for newbies…especially after they come to me complaining how they’ve been burned…one way or the other…

    Heimir…I’m on at least one of your lists…and I am following what you do…atheer…you too….parker too and several others…but if you share my email addresses I’ll know it…and as soon as I catch you?…I’ll be opting out and and adding you to my blacklist…simple as that…

    I don’t agree with adswaps, etc…I agree they work but they ultimately feed off of someone else more often than not the unsuspecting…that bastardizes the industry at large…I have good legal counsel NOT to participate in this tactic…but I will recommend others valuable relative content … that way I’m allowing my list to know upfront I am the one making the recommendation and I hope that will remain commonplace amidst trusted IM peers…

    I’m setting up a poll right now using a well known survey system to poll a couple of my larger lists regarding whether or not they would appreciate it if I blatantly whored their name and emaill addrress out to an adswap … I’m looking for their opinion..it goes out Thursday as I blasted an announcement for them to look for a special poll and reward for their opinion

    I want to back up my position with statistics…not just legal advice and my business preferences…and BTW..I started out in the advertising business almost 40 years ago…the PC or TRash80 wasn’t even on the market yet…Jobs was getting stoned in his garage and Gates had left Harvard around that time…I was going to retire…but the onliner stuff is so much fun for this old offliner…

  175. Mike Cowles says:

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for sharing some great content based on basics and thinking long term. For the most part I agree with you, however, ad swaps is a general term like ‘selling online’ that can be done with excellence or total fraud.

    I have done ad swaps and made money and built my list, but I refuse to promote garbage or send anyone to a ‘you can’t leave even if you try’ black hole. I don’t ever tell my readers that ‘my good friend….’ if they’re not actually my good friend, etc.

    Having said that, I’ve personally talked with, spend time with John C. and understand his passion against such a blanket statement that ‘ad swaps don’t work’…

    ANYTHING has the potential to work if you study it and refine it. This is one of the things John does a great job with.

    If you talk to anyone in business and say, there’s a guy who started from scratch and made 600k a year after 14 months I don’t think they’re gonna say, ‘yeah, but he shoulda made more with the list he built!’

    I personally have a decent sized list, but I treat them like close friends and family. They respect me because I respect them. However, there will always be people looking for free information with no intention of spending any money as a customer.

    Why not give someone like that what they’re asking for?

    Most people know how to separate their lists from lookers to buyers and understand that it’s a different relationship with each one.

    The buyers, even if it’s a small purchase, have said, ‘I’m serious about learning this business and am willing to invest in tools and training if it will actually help me improve my business’. Freebie seekers may be curious, they may be potential buyers just looking for proof and the offer that fits them best.

    Why not still respect them (lookers) and give them offers that make sense, whether they’re from you or a partner with the same mindset?

    Seems like a great way to share traffic to lead people in the direction they’re asking to go…

    Talk to you soon.

    Mike. <

  176. Salesmanship In Print says:

    @ Mike Cowles
    It’s safe to say the MOST ad-swappers would have a hard time being classified as being ‘businessmen’ by any traditional meaning of the word. They usually don’t have a business license, a marketing plan (ad-swapping is NOT a marketing plan, it’s an advertising tactic), a business plan, or any other identifiable ‘business’ trappings. They’re more like hobbyists whose hobby happens to have a by-product of cashflow (sometimes).

    It’s also safe to say that most ad-swappers wantonly flog their lists like a camel driver trying to outrun a sandstorm. It’s refreshing that you do not, and I appreciate that very much (really). But we both know that you’re such a rare exception that it isn’t funny.

    Even if ALL the ad-swappers were as clean as Mother Teresa’s rap sheet, it still makes little sense (to me) for a list owner to actually want his list diluted (and usually polluted) by intermingling it with multiple other lists.

    What happens is that list members ends up on more and more lists…most likely dozens, or even hundreds (maybe more). When that happens, everybody ends up with a shit-storm of email EVERY FRIGGING DAY, and usually with multiple instances of the very same offers.

    A lot of the time the content of the emails is low-grade bullshit, in that it’s been ‘cut-and-pasted,’ and contains (as you mentioned) bogus references to “my good friend…,” etc.

    So, is it any wonder that everybody complains of ‘information overload’? I’d say it’s likely also a case of ‘scummy tactics and bullshit’ overload.

    I would appreciate it if I didn’t have to filter out so much whoring, lying, and scamming every day of my life. I’m not saying that about you (Mike), but I would guess you’re also tired having to wear hip boots when you wade into your inbox each day.

    Actually, in my book you’re one of the rare ‘good guys’ that I follow willingly, and with appreciation. Don’t let me down.

    Sure, ad swaps can ‘work.’ Anything that’s pursued with gusto can be made to ‘work.’ Unfortunately, some of the ad-swappers’ only criteria is whether a stream of shekels filters down into their pockets. Regardless of the consequences to others, and to the reputation of their industry as a whole.

  177. Atheer Fendi says:

    @ Jimmy aka/imwebmaster2
    You said
    “Heimir…I’m on at least one of your lists…and I am following what you do…atheer…you too….parker too and several others…but if you share my email addresses I’ll know it…and as soon as I catch you?…I’ll be opting out and and adding you to my blacklist…simple as that…”

    Why are you even mentioning sharing lists???? What does this has to do with us liking ad swaps?

    Its like all the sudden you say “you know, its illigal killing a man and if I see you do that I’ll add you to my murderlist… simple as that..” Like WTF?? Was that proffesionally said by you?

  178. Mel Kryger says:

    It is unfortunate to be a consumer. A person can no longer just go get something they want without being marked as a ‘prospect’ or ‘buyer’ and then categorized into a niche. Whether they are seeking a physical product or a digital download; a ‘learn how’ or ‘done for you’… it doesn’t matter: They will be put into a sales funnel and join a subscribership of some sort (usually email list)… I think it is because nobody is happy with a single purchase… everybody wants more, be it an IMer or Jamba Juice.
    Newbies are especially prone to being victimized by the very tactics presented here in this blog… and assuming they stick around long-enough, someone will eventually teach them how to do everything (or part by part) that has been done to them, then they can do it to a whole new group of newbies behind them.
    Even in the material offline world, this idea of “capture them and bombard them” until they have no money, is becoming so commonplace that I am disgusted. I cannot buy anything anywhere without being offered some sort of “stay connected with us” pitch. sickening.
    I know that some of you believe that you are “treating” your list right and that you take offense to tactics that are less benevolent in nature… but it is my opinion that you are committing the same atrocity… if the system or software or product that a consumer bought from you was/is worth a shit, then what else do they need to buy???
    The name of the game is making money, not solving problems. Really, what else do you think a consumer who bought that weight-loss product wants from you? –> They want to lose weight, not be bombarded by every weightloss product you can find an affiliate link for and have somebody from the Philippines type into your AR…seriously.
    Do any of you even know or understand that people getting into IM are sick of not earning enough money and all they really want is to supplement their income, perhaps surplus it enough to retire (which is what MOST sales-letters purport they will be able to accomplish).
    People at work in the real world realize that they are merely a small (and easily replaceable) part of a system… they are not the whole system alone, so when they “break in” to IM, they are not looking for a business model – nobody wants to be a whole business system on their own. They are looking for something EASY to do to boost their cashflow… it is only after failing, that they buy another product (and get on another list) then fail, buy another product (and get on another list)…over and over… because NOBODY TELLS THEM UP-FRONT THAT THEY NEED TO BECOME A SALESMAN.
    ->Nobody wants to become a salesman, they want to fill in some blanks and push go and move on. But if this blog has proven anything, it is that being a salesman IS how to make money online.
    The whole idea of “listbuilding” is about vamping money from less informed people… whether you ‘care’ or not is really of no consequence. I am on the ‘list’ of quite a few of you that have posted here about how much you respect your list… two bits says tomorrow you’ll be emailing me about the next big thing as if you forgot that you already sold me the best thing today.
    I’m not against the idea of sales, I have learned the importance of it through my IM learning journey. I personally do not have the shark-like attitude required to sell effectively, but have discovered some other areas where my talents are more successful – however, without my sales-team (who engages in lisbuilding) I would not be able to perform my services for anyone… damn.
    –> If you are the sort of IMer who thinks you are doing your list some sort of favor because you don’t engage in the tactics that some other IMers do… just realize that you are still maintaining that list for the same purpose, which is NOT for the “benefit” of your marks (i mean subscribers) –> so really get over yourselves and admit to yourself that you are not as “trustworthy” as you pretend to be.
    I will give a kudos to Mike Coweles for continually offering up freebies… still, if you had just ONE thing that worked and worked LIKE THE CUSTOMER WISHES IT WOULD, then why all the other stuff… why the need to attend yet another free training webinar after webinar??

    I’ve said enough.
    Hope I did not hurt anybodies feelings, I just wanted to share.

  179. Mel Kryger says:

    PS: I have read EVERY post on here before I posted… it took me an hour and a half of my valuable time.
    It was worth it.
    Lots of good bad and ugly going on here.

    Mel Kryger

  180. Salesmanship In Print says:

    NOTE & CLARIFICATION – For those who seem to be bogged down with semantics (or mental issues):

    Ad-swapping is not the same as ‘sharing email addresses,’ which is usually illegal (if there is a privacy policy relating to that list). Ad swapping is just a form of advertising, not a crime (at least not in the legal sense).

    A person has to actually ‘opt-in’ to another list in order to get on it. This in and of itself is perfectly legal, and ethical.

    But ad swapping in the IM world often involves sharing links that lead to squeeze pages, which of course are designed to lure the visitors onto another list. Even when a ‘product’ is offered for sale (or as a bonus), there is usually a concerted effort to build another list. Thus the ‘list’ proliferation.

    Ad swapping can be done legally, ethically, and with decency and respect. So, there shouldn’t really be any legal concerns. There should only be concerns about efficacy and propriety.

  181. Salesmanship In Print says:

    Hypothetical questions:
    If one has a list of, say, 350 thousand members…and they email that list 6 times every day (which amounts to 2,100,000 emails sent per day)…and many (or all) of those emails contain ads that are swapped from other list owners…well, what is the result?


    What is the result to the marketing community?

    Good? Bad?

    And…if a person were to send out that volume of email every day (with that type of content), what would they answer if their mother asked them “Isn’t that spamming?” Would they say “Oh no! It’s not spamming at all! It only looks and sounds like it! I’m a businessman, providing the masses with access to plenty of stunningly beautiful squeeze pages and wonderfully shitty offers! And I’m very, very, good at what I do!”

  182. Josh says:

    Interesting Stuff. I’m new to the Marketing “Game”, and have learned quite a bit from this thread. I will definitely be unsubscribing from a couple of lists in a minute, and taking a deeper look at what i’m doing now.

    Thanks for this revealing thread, and thanks to my other list-owner who showed this to me.

  183. Salesmanship In Print says:

    Let’s say that a person use ad swaps to build a list of 350,000, and sent out 6 emails per day, for a total of 2,100,000 emails sent out per day.

    2,100,000 X 365 days = 766,500,000 emails per year.

    From one person.

    Lets say they train 10 others, each becoming as successful as the first. That would generate nearly 8 Billion emails sent out per year.

    But wait…the internet marketing community is not very large. Not even large enough to support a newsstand magazine. Gee, I guess everybody will be getting plenty of email from now on. Sounds ALMOST like a clusterfuck.

    Hurray! Ad swapping WORKS! Like gangbusters, apparently.

  184. darrenston says:

    I am completely new to the internet business. I work fultime and Ian not too swavey with the computer to make a product I wrote a few blogg hoping that some one will read them, promote them. by telling friends on fb and other social site and the only visiters I get is myself going back viewing my own blogg. its been 6 months since iced started blogging and my bank roll is $6. my mail box full of junk mail from buying programs using them and no results I want to live a comfortable life but I’m spending more trying to learn and applying than receiving. my whole thing is it really possible for someone like me to. become an entrapuner or I need to just give up and goback to my day job. because like I said $6 for 6 months of work how do I get over that hump

  185. Clickdawg says:

    There are two ways you can make money online.

    1) Take advantage of stupid people

    2) Add value to peoples lives.

    It is much, much easier to do #1.
    So we see it everywhere.

    I know scammers who are considered to be expert marketers because they make 7 figures a year.
    They are sharks, pure and simple preying on stupid people. They promote sleazy cpa offers promising to make $500 an hour working for google at home and other
    assorted fly by night offers that convert very well among the cerebrally challenged.

    You can’t fix stupid but governments will always try.

    There is a huge difference between making money online and having a business. The latter requires a long term perspective which most marketers online cannot afford or stomach.

    Businesses have reputations that they have earned by trying to add value to peoples lives or failing to do so.

    Here is a simple challenge, go look through all of the products you have every purchased online and honestly ask yourself how many of them have genuinely added value to your life?

    Then unsubscribe from every list and marketer who has not added value to your life. This is the first step towards building a legitimate business.

  186. Jimmy aka/imwebmaster2 says:


    LOL….I have to say after contributing a couple posts here and reading every single entry too …you summed it all up in a nutshell…thanks for sharing and adding some blunt call it like it is humor too…

    I may want to cut out a quote from your post and add it into my information product introductions related to online and offline business…

    I don’t know how to get in touch with you…most of us posting respected the discussion forum here and didn’t post a contact backlink or emails…let me know how to touch base with you…


  187. Jimmy aka/imwebmaster2 says:

    @ salesmanship in print

    Your last post about the legalities of pimping and whoring out in trade permission based lists that were not told and asked for permission to knowlingly be marketed to with adswaps…there’s a latest legal ruling and endless available information on the topic

    The FTC rulings on internet marketing privacy and truth about advertising standards are free and available…

    Go straight to the FTC for their advertising guide

    Internet Business Law Services

    Here’s a special and specific url for legal points

    I hope this info will improve the quality of your life
    and your business management knowledgebase.

  188. Folusho says:

    I think the biggest problem with this industry is that we equate awesome or great with how much money we or others are making with a certain strategy. This is EXACTLY why most people think IM is a scam!

    I think adswaps would be great if there was some type of standard of information and products.

    In the offline world, businesses are judged by the quality of their products and services.

    No business in their right mind would send their subscriber, even free, to another business without first doing due diligence.

    A great example that I came across recently was how Microsoft and Bank Of America had partnered to offer me and other B of A subscribers a discount on their software.

    Businesses do this often. I know B of A gets a lot of complaints, but if they were setup like most “adswap marketers” they’d be outta business no matter how much money they were making.

    Adswaps, JVs, co regs, etc, can all be done “right”.

    But guess what………..

    Us internet marketers don’t seem to think the FTC will come knocking at our doors anytime soon.

    So yes, a lot of people make big money ad swapping. If they’re taking care of their subscribers both ethically and legally……That’s great….If not….it doesn’t matter how much you make.

    I’ve gone through a few of John’s products and I’d have to say they are GREAT, but I couldn’t operate my business the way he does. It’s just a choice.

    We all make choices for our business, and I’m not better than anyone else that makes a different choice. I simply have to do what’s best for my business.

    As far as whether the above mentioned techniques works, most of them do work for a “select group”, but for most people they don’t and would not.

    PPC, SEO, Banner Ads don’t work for most either though.

    So the bottom line in business is:

    Are your customers happy?

    Do you get repeat business?

    Do you treat your customers with respect?

    Are you operating within all legal and ethical standards?

    and lastly………Are you making a profit?

  189. Salesmanship In Print says:

    @Jimmy aka/imwebmaster2
    I hate to break it to you, dude, but you’re wasting everyone’s time on here by spouting off about stuff that you clearly don’t understand. Get a grip.

    Go back and re-read what I wrote. It was in plain English. Take heed. Then go and fire your ignorant lawyers.

  190. Salesmanship In Print says:

    @Jimmy aka/imwebmaster2
    FOLLOW-UP message:

    List owners will ALWAYS have every legal right to show you all the ads that they think you can stomach. With the possible exception of ads relating to slavery, terrorism, or miming.

    DISCLAIMER: Check with your own attorneys about possible loopholes that might allow list owners to show you links to websites on the topic of miming.

  191. I am somewhat surprised you say Warrior special offers don’t work. Are you thinking of the Warrior forum for internet marketers when you say that? It would seem to me to be an excellent place to get affiliates who could generate some extra sales.

  192. Rodger Hyatt says:

    I think what Robert meant about WSO’s not working is;

    They are now primarily used to build a buyers list, rehashed crap being approved as a wso and everyone and their uncle hopping on the WSO bandwagon to build their list. It’s diluting what a WSO is supposed to be.

  193. kingsley Enwereuzo says:

    Thank you for making this post. I want to ask you what is wrong with WSO and Adswaps?

  194. You said it right Plank. What works is what anyone will concentrate on. Great blog with great post as always

  195. Get a plan and work it, soon you will see thing schanging for you?

    Help other achieve what they want, every one have a Blessed Christmas.


  196. Ed Seward says:

    When I joined the Warrior’s Forum you had to use your name as the login name for everybody to see. You could not promote PLR as a WSO nor could you promote other people’s products as a WSO.

    Now people are allowed to hide behind aliases so you do not know who you are dealing with, are allowed to promote PLR products and are allowed to promote other people’s products.

    In fact recently there was a WSO on how to promote other people’s products as a WSO.

    So the shysters and outright thieves are flocking to the Warrior’s Forum WSOs.

    And the Warrior Forum is protecting them in that they will not allow anybody to make a forum post about the dishonest activities of any of the forum members. They tell you to settle it between yourselves, which is kind of hard to do when the guilty party refuses to respond to any emails about his actions.

    You can still find great deals with the various WSOs. But you must be extremely carefully of what you buy and who you buy it from now.

    The best part of the Warrior forum for most members are the other forums where you can exchange ideas and learn new methods of operating from each other.

  197. Tex G says:

    I Googled John Cornetta like he asked and the first thing that came up was a mugshot from a few months ago.

    Then I followed it to the arrest record and saw that on 8/2/11 he applied for a public defender and filed an affidavit saying that he’s an indigent.

    He did ask us to Google him and verify his story, so he can’t be mad for what we find.

    You can verify it yourself online

  198. C.W says:


    This is one of the BEST blog posts I’ve EVER read. HANDS DOWN! Question- do you run the 4 week webinar as a free webinar then put it into a paid membership, or how would that work? Please respond. Thanks.

    I’ve been on one of your lists for a couple years now. I’m not one to click the “unsubscribe” button regularly, but your arrogance & “show off” attitude here just gave me a good enough reason too. As a woman, that’s a complete turn off, personally AND professionally… and frankly, I AM getting sick of how many emails you bombard me w/on a very regular basis! IM’ers who throw offer after offer at you w/o providing just as much value make me sick!!

  199. Martoons says:

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for all the cool thoughts.

    When will Membership Cube be open again? (I see it’s currently sold out).

    Feel free to contact me when it’s open again.

    Thanks bro,


  200. Towhid Zaman says:

    Well well.. every single ninja in one place. Loved every single conversation. Thanks guys for posting your opinion. Huge amount of info in one place. 🙂

  201. Lewis Saka says:

    You’ve pretty much laid it all out – this is what people need to do. Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, some people will still be looking for that ‘magic’ bullet. It so simple it will go over some people’s head. I want to be part of the minority that follow up and take action. This page has been bookmarked!

  202. michael says:

    did you say Social Media does not work?!


  203. Robert Plank says:

    Michael, please tell us about your successes with social media and how it’s worked better for you than the basics like list building.

  204. michael says:

    dude, you totally missed the point of my comment….


    to keep in short and sweet…

    + social media is at best good for drip feeding content…but MUST aim to build your OWN FREEKIN LIST!

    + guess what people….how do you have to sign up to Facebook and Twitter?….WITH AN EMAIL DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    + so John ‘a**-wipe’ Cornetta can kiss my bootae (yes I’m starting a fight with a so-called useless marketer who creates zero value to his emails whaatsoever but that’s another story!) …what Robert Plank is saying is bang on the money!

    + would you sell in a social gathered drink-up? NO! but people do it all the time on FB and Twitter (its called pitching, not direct selling!)

    + anyone can start a very simple business with THIS ONE blog post from you alone

    + people love complexity…it justifies their laziness and inadequacies!

    + I’ve been to social media seminars but they are a waste of time…too many freebie seekers on FB/Twtr; you have to create value that can be exchanged for money at a fair price and exceed expectations; also people go there to be social…its hard to interrupt that pattern unless you ISOLATE THEM into your own legitimate mailing list!

    + one affiliate marketer I spoke to was frustrated at his lack of success. i said ‘how many bogus internet gurus tell him to keep selling affiliate products? he said after three years he only made five sales. I told him to set himself a newsletter, create great content that is useable and tangible to the reader that will give some form of results….then recommend a product and and sell ad-space!

    I could go on but my fingers hurt ;)0

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