Old style organisation

Old style organisation


I’ve dumped all my notepads and gone for a big 90’s style ‘breakfast is for wimps’ type organiser.

I’m loving it.

It’s got a one-day per page infill and everything I do (and need to do) goes in there.

It lacks the integration and seamless file swapping of electronic systems such as my Mac and iPad but let’s face it, I’m not a very seamless person, and more importantly I don’t THINK in a seamless way…

…so a slightly disjoined ‘scribble it out and put in on another page’ approach suits the way i think.

It also kills flies, makes a great take-off pad for the various remote control helicopters we have around the house and makes me feel like I’m actually working when I put it on the pub table after sneaking out for lunch with my wife. It usually doesn’t get opened, but it looks good :)



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Dry Yorkshire Gin

masons dry yorkshire gin


My lovely missus bought me some Yorkshire Gin :)

Apparently it’s ‘handcrafted’ in small batches using Harrogate spring water

We’ll be trying it in a small G&T with copious amounts of ice and lime this evening when the sun is over the yardarm.

It’s slightly stronger than your average London Dry Gin, and you don’t have all the fancy packaging or gaudy exterior

…now there’s a metaphor just waiting to be seized eh?


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How AMAZING are sales letters?

Think about it…

Once you’ve created your sales letter it just sits there and sells for you.

Without your involvement…

While you sleep…

It’s one of the most amazing and most efficient selling mechanism EVER.

It’s a very nice feeling to wake in the morning and check your accounts to find your sales letter has been doing the biz while you’ve been snoring away, and there’s money waiting for you before you even drink your first coffee…

And I still remember the buzz I felt the first time I realised this…

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How to increase your email marketing revenue

how often should i email my list

You want to make more money from your email marketing?

Here’s a simple trick.

Mail more.

Yep that’s it.

Obviously you’ll have to inlude links in your emails – to affiliate products, to your own products or some other way to monetize your emails.

But email more and you’ll make more.

But there’s a problem…

It’s another one of those things that you have to discover for yourself.

I (and other marketers) can tell you until we fall over exhausted that if you want to increase your revenue you should mail more.

But it’s not until you try it for yourself you’ll realise how true it is.

So why not take a shortcut and mail your list TWICE as much for a month…?

…then do the sums :)

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Why are some people SO angry all the time?

Why are people so angry

The other day we ended up at Knowsley Safari Park with the kids.

It was the school half-term break so the queue to get in the place was half a mile long, edging forward a few feet at a time.

There were two lanes of cars – the queue in the left land and the right lane that continued on to a nearby town.

Some drivers drove up the right lane then tried to push into the queue to cut out their waiting time. Some did this on purpose and some didn’t have a choice because of the direction they’d come from.

Anyway as we waited (took about 30 minutes) to get to the Park, we chatted, laughed, ate samosas and basically made the most of the time.

Sometimes a car would come up on our right side and I’d usually let them in the queue in front of us, especially if they had young kids with them.

I maybe did this two or three times at most.

And every time I did this the bloke behind me went totally ballistic – waving his hands, shouting obscenities and holding his horn down for long periods.

Obviously he was bugged at me letting people into the queue.

Truth told though it made sod all difference to the amount of time we were queuing and his reaction was quite funny so I did it a few extra times to see if his head would physically explode.

As we got actually into the park and heading towards the toll booths to pay (still in car) I noticed that tempers were seriously frayed all over the place and we saw car lunging at each other, windows rolled down and people swearing at each other and even one altercation where a bloke got out and was banging on the window of another man’s car.

The animals were very gentle and dignified in comparison.

Two things struck me yesterday:

1. If we ever hit a crisis where people have to help each other and work together we’re all totally fucked – life really does seem to be every man for himself

2. People seem so bloody ANGRY. At nothing in particular, at any situation that doesn’t 100% satisfy their needs and just generally at life, and I think that’s really sad.

I saw the man who was in the car behind us as we wandered towards the car at the end of the day. He was yelling at a woman who had refused him and his family entry to a sealion show because they’d arrived ten minutes late and it was full.

I wondered about his life, and what was making him so angry at everything, and thought maybe he was going through things I knew nothing about and that’s why he was taking it out on other people

Then I thought ‘what a dick’ and we went home after a great day.

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How to start an internet marketing business with no money

A lot of experts tell you it’s not possible – you NEED money to invest in your internet business just like you would ANY business.

I’ve probably even said that myself a couple of times…

Then I had a night on the Guinness with a marketing mate

…and as it usually does, after we’d chatted about everything else the conversation inevitably got around to internet marketing

And in particular the no funds issue.

And here’s what I realised.

It IS very possible to start online with no money.

I did it and probably 80% of the successful marketers did it also.

But we didn’t do it in the way that’s usually recommended in the forums such as ‘write and submit 20 articles a day’ (Jeezus no wonder people give up!)

Or create a blog and add content over time until it grows in the rankings and you can monetise it. (Fair enough but how many people can do this for months or even years without seeing a return?)

No – the way I and most people I know started online was in one of two ways:

1. Buy cheap and sell it for a profit

2. Provide a service.

So for example I started by buying bronze ‘art’ (‘art’ is a generous term here) from Indonesia and selling it on Ebay. I sold other things on there too, including information DVD’s and printed booklets.

At the same time I was copywriting for a couple of gurus and charging them silly money for it.

Basically I was funding my budding IM business from these activities. I didn’t try to be an IM person immediately, I started testing the waters, learning and developing my biz as I went.

The important thing is that it keeps you internet-focused and ‘in the game’ so you can see what’s happening with IM on a day to day basis.

It also allows you to go full-time online sooner so your time is freed up, but make no mistake it’s still work. Better than a 9-5 of course, at least for me, and a lot easier than submitting bloody articles :)


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Be productive with your time by ‘stuffing it in’

One little technique has made a big difference to me.

I don’t have a name for it but the nearest I’ve got is ‘stuffing it in’ and this is how it works:

I’ve trained myself to make the most of those little bits of dead time we all have in a day and to ‘stuff in’ what I can in the few minutes that are available.

Let me explain…

If I’ve got ten minutes before I’m due to leave to pick the kids up from school I used to think ‘Oh there’s no point starting anything’ so I’d mess about at my desk, browse YouTube or check my emails until it was time to go.

Now I’ll look at the tasks on my list (for example writing and sending out a broadcast email to my list) and instead of waiting until I’m back at my desk, I’ll start the task immediately, even though I know ten minutes isn’t enough time to finish it.

On glorious angel-kissed days when the planets are in the correct alignment I’ll find that I actually FINISH the task in the time I would otherwise waste…

…and on other days I’ll at least eat into the bugger so when I get back to my desk, a decent chunk of it is already completed.

It sounds like a small, common sense method, but on speaking with other people about it I was amazed how many people would put off a task until tomorrow, or until they’re back at their desk because the time available didn’t seem like enough to finish the job.

Well even if it’s not, it’s nice to arrive at work the next day and find you’ve already made in-roads into your to do list.

There are ten and twenty minute chunks of time all over your day that don’t seem big enough to start something, but try doing something in that time – you might be surprised about how productive the habit becomes.

That said, sometimes it’s ALSO good to put your feet up and watch someone lighting a fart on Youtube now and again :)

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My latest conversion stats are crap – or ARE they?

tony shepherd solo ads

I started on a new sales funnel that I’m using paid traffic ONLY with.

Mostly solo ads (try Udimi if you want to get started with solos. They have a buyer rating system that works well)

And as you can see from the screenshot the numbers look crap.

I’m only getting a 32% opt-in rate. This means I’m losing 68% of every visitor that hits my site.

I’ve been trying since last year to improve this opt-in number (and still have the same information on the squeeze page) and I’m still trying.

Looks crap on the surface but is it all bad?

Well no it’s not and here’s why.

I’ve found by being totally transparent about what my free offer is (it’s a free sample of my newsletter) that the quality of the person who opts-in to receive the sample is VERY responsive to signing up for a full subscription and for my other offers.

And I’m making a PROFIT on my sales funnel so although I’m only getting a cruddy 32% opt-in rate I’m building my list not only for free, but for a small profit which is the holy grail of paid traffic as far as many marketers are concerned.

I did manage to increase my opt-in rate for the same offer last year by changing the wording on my squeeze page but found that the increased subscribers weren’t nearly as responsive to the rest of my funnel and I ended up not only losing my small profit, but now each new subscriber cost me to acquire.

There are of course other factors and variables to be taken into account such as lifetime value, retention rates, speed at which I build my list and so on…

…but I think this is a good lesson in how you can assume an opt-in rate is crap until you know the numbers behind it.

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Emails are getting harder to read



I receive emails from a LOT of internet marketers.

They all promise different things and I subscribe to their emails because it’s interesting to watch how they market their goods.

I must be on 200 mailing lists if not more.

But I can count the number of marketers I actually BUY from on a regular basis on one hand.

Because these are the guys and gals that are obviously intelligent, informed and experienced in their fields.

They’re also the ones who I resonate with for sure – I like their attitudes, outlook and opinions.

I like the way they do things.

But there’s more to it than that.

If you’ve been around the internet marketing scene for so long you’ll probably understand what I’m going to say…

…and it’s this.

I can now recognise those marketers who don’t have to shout – who don’t have to use hypey language in their emails to get me to check out products they recommend.

I can recognise the quietly confident guys who do things their own way and I like them.

Possibly because it’s how I try to do things.

And while I’ve always said that if you’re a marketer yourself, you should subscribe to loads of email lists to watch how other marketers work…

..it’s getting more and more difficult for me to cut through the level of noise I’m getting in my inbox these days.


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