3 questions about your list

by ncloud
22 replies
How big is your list, how old is it, and what are the fastest methods you used to grow it?
#list #questions
  • Profile picture of the author IgniteFeed
    I'm not going to disclose the size of my list as that has no bearing on the value, monetization etc. I know marketers who have 100k plus lists, but make far less then some with only 1500. The relationship and trust you have built with your list, the value you deliver to your list is much more important then the size. Solo ad purchases and then using ad swaps/click-banking are the fastest ways to build a sizable list. With that being said the list is going to be far less responsive, valuable then one built through other means.
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  • Profile picture of the author ncloud
    Fair enough, those things probably are more important than the size. But, assuming you got targeted traffic/subscribers in the first place, size can make a big difference. Wouldn't most subscribers be reasonably targeted, unless you just bought a list somewhere? Which most people probably wouldn't do.

    Why would the other persons list be less responsive in an ad swap? If the other person is in the same niche as you then their subscribers might be interested in your stuff too. Who's to say how targeted their list? That would depend on how they got their subscribers, no?
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

    assuming you got targeted traffic/subscribers in the first place, size can make a big difference.
    It can make some difference, but in general the quantitative factors are far less important than the qualitative ones.

    I'll give you an example.

    On multiple occasions, in different niches, I've split-tested two different lists built from the same traffic and sent the same email series. One list was built by opting in the subscribers through a squeeze page, and the other by opting them in on the home page of a content-rich blog. On every occasion, the squeeze page built a far bigger list (often three times the size), but on every occasion, the other list produced more income over a 6-month period. If you can work out why that happens, you'll start to appreciate how unimportant those quantitative factors are, by comparison with how you do things. (There's more explained, in post #29 of this thread, if you want to see it: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...l#/post7939758 ).

    Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

    Wouldn't most subscribers be reasonably targeted, unless you just bought a list somewhere?
    I think you're confusing how targeted the subscribers are with how targeted the traffic is. There's a big and important point missed, there: don't lose sight of the fact that even just the way you opt them in determines which ones, from any collective traffic, will self-select themselved to become subscribers. And that has a lot to do with what the income depends on.

    Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

    and what are the fastest methods you used to grow it?
    It doesn't matter much, because the "fastest"; methods are almost never going to be "good" methods, resulting in a responsive list with a high open-rate and attention-rate and click-through-rate, and typically the fastest-built lists are also going to be among the lower income-producers ... and there are reasons for that.

    Please excuse me if I sound like I'm just criticising your questions, here. That isn't my intention. I'm trying to encourage you to appreciate that focusing on these quantitative factors like how big your list is and how fast you can build your list, is really counter-productive, and that looking at it in those terms is what makes people end up in situations in which 80% of their own subscribers aren't even willing to open an email from them (and some of them even manage, from there, to convince themselves that that's "normal" ). It's not the way forward!

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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

    How big is your list, how old is it, and what are the fastest methods you used to grow it?
    I know that last question for me at least has been with quality Solo Ads. But only for the MMO and Personal Development Niches.


    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author OTrap
    105K (after I recently had it scrubbed)

    Oldest data still in there is from about 2010. They're active, so they're still valuable.

    I used mini launches and JV ad swaps.
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  • Profile picture of the author ncloud
    I guess the real reason I started this post was because I don't much like the idea of using SEO methods to getting traffic and building a list. And that's because even if you do end up ranking for some keywords in the search engines over time, you have to continue building links regularly to maintain your high position in the search engines. It's never ending work. It keeps you working, trading your time for money, just like having a regular job.

    So paid traffic is starting to seem a little more appealing to me. I'd rather spend money to make more money and free up my time in the process, then to have to continually be out there building backlinks working to hold onto my positions.

    And then I got to thinking about things like ad swaps and JV giveaway events, and how I could just tap into other people's lists who is in the same niche as me. It seems like a much faster way to build a list. And as your list gets bigger you can do ad swaps with people with bigger lists. It can take a lot of time and work building a big list yourself, so why not just tap into other people's lists and save yourself a lot of time? It sounds like a massive short cut.

    Alexa mentioned split testing sending people to a squeeze page vs a content rich blog with an opt in form. And how the content rich blog seems to make more money over a six month period than just sending people to an opt in form. That makes sense to me, since the people on the blog are getting more of a taste of your stuff before optin in. Only the ones that like your content would probably bother optin in. So right off the bat you are getting more targeted subscribers.

    But, even though you send your paid traffic to a squeeze page, couldn't you also have your squeeze page set up in a way that they could easily navigate away from it to your other content rich pages (each of which also have an opt in form on the side of the page)?

    And when doing ad swaps, instead of sending people to a squeeze page, you could also send the people to your site's homepage so they can check out your articles first if they want, or just opt in to your list (which is on every page) to get your free gift (report, ebook, or whatever). By doing things this way you may lose some people (those that don't like your content), but at least the people who do opt in are more targeted (likely to buy from you).

    Then again, Alexa's split test was for the next six months. Just because subscribers to a squeeze page make you less money than a content rich blog in the next six months doesn't necessarily mean those people won't buy something from you eventually down the road. If you are promoting several niche related products over the course of the next year or so in your email series, something you promote may peak their interest enough to make them pull out their wallet.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      I guess the real reason I started this post was because I don't much like the idea of using SEO methods to getting traffic and building a list.
      Neither do I.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      And that's because even if you do end up ranking for some keywords in the search engines over time, you have to continue building links regularly to maintain your high position in the search engines.
      I have a lot of other reasons, too (but I accept that that one's also valid).

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      So paid traffic is starting to seem a little more appealing to me.
      Not to me. I do much better with other non-paid, non-SEO traffic.

      Traffic doesn't divide into "SEO traffic" and "paid traffic", you know. There are many other kinds of traffic, which aren't either.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      couldn't you also have your squeeze page set up in a way that they could easily navigate away from it to your other content rich pages (each of which also have an opt in form on the side of the page)?
      You could. Although technically it wouldn't be a "squeeze" page, if it had links to other pages on your site. A squeeze page is a type of opt-in which (as part of its definition) doesn't have other links/exits.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      Then again, Alexa's split test was for the next six months. Just because subscribers to a squeeze page make you less money than a content rich blog in the next six months doesn't necessarily mean those people won't buy something from you eventually down the road.
      It doesn't necessarily mean that, no. But I think 6 months is long enough for a realistic and reliable split-test of significant traffic-volumes: if list A produces significantly more income than list B over the first 6 months of sending email to the subscribers, it's surely unlikely indeed - to put it mildly! - that that position's suddenly, magically, somehow going to reverse in month 7, or later? I think this is "clutching at straws" a little, isn't it? Many marketers don't even send email for longer than 6 months (I admit that I do, myself).

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      If you are promoting several niche related products over the course of the next year or so in your email series, something you promote may peak their interest enough to make them pull out their wallet.
      Certainly it's possible. But clearly not often enough to reverse the findings as to "which list was more valuable"!

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  • Profile picture of the author ncloud
    Ok, fair enough.

    I know there are other non-paid, non-SEO traffic, but don't they all also require a lot of your time? All of them that I can think of require you to keep working working working. Such as article marketing (have to keep writing articles), guest blogging (have to keep writing articles), web 2.0 sites (have to keep writing articles). There is blog and forum commenting, but you have to spend a lot of time doing that stuff too.

    I guess what I want is a business that requires little work from me, because if it requires a lot of work from me continually than it's more like having a job than a business. Although I expect it to take a lot of work in the beginning because you have to create your content (like pages/posts, email series, ebook, videos, etc.), at some point I would like to be able to not have to continue spending a lot of time on it. I mean that's the whole purpose isn't it - to not only make money but to free up your time?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      I know there are other non-paid, non-SEO traffic, but don't they all also require a lot of your time?
      Yes, probably. The one I use does, anyway.

      (You're paying with time, energy, effort and skills, instead of with money: in that sense, there's no such thing as "free traffic", really?).

      Mind you, paid traffic has its own skill set as well. Especially PPC: it has the great advantage that you can often scale it up to some extent (though often not quite as much as people sometimes claim), when you find something that works, but it's a real learning curve ("she said from experience" ).

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      I guess what I want is a business that requires little work from me
      You and a few million other people, I think.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      if it requires a lot of work from me continually than it's more like having a job than a business.
      In working hours it's perhaps like having a job. But more so. And with more responsibilities, sometimes less security, more stress, and so on. And when you have your own business, you're the first person who doesn't get paid when things go badly. That's business for you?

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      at some point I would like to be able to not have to continue spending a lot of time on it. I mean that's the whole purpose isn't it - to not only make money but to free up your time?
      I hear ya'. Some people eventually get there.

      Anyway, I enjoyed chatting with you so much that I never answered your original questions, here.

      My oldest list is well over 5 years old, now (I don't give subscriber numbers/income information any more - excuse me, please ), and the fastest method I've ever used to grow it was having a couple of my articles syndicated in very high-circulation newspapers/magazines, one of which brought me over 10,000 visitors during a period of a few-days, of whom about 1,650 opted in (content-rich home page opt-in; not a squeeze page, of course). I just wish I could do that very regularly ... but the more you try, the more likely it is sometimes to happen. (By the way, the most time-consuming part of article marketing is "getting the articles published", not writing them. You don't actually need much content at all, to be successful in article marketing - two to three articles per month can be plenty - but you have to be able to get them published in the right places and that's another skill-set and learning-curve, as well as hard work ).

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  • Profile picture of the author ncloud
    I'm not sure how you quote certain things like that, so I'll just bold what is not me.

    the fastest method I've ever used to grow it was having a couple of my articles syndicated in very high-circulation newspapers/magazines

    Are you saying you took a couple of articles from your website and got them published in high-circulating offline newspapers/magazines? If so, any ideas on how to find these high circulating newspapers/magazines?

    When creating articles, it usually takes me several hours to do keyword research to get ideas as to what to write about. Several more hours to research a topic, or even several days (depending on the topic). Then I spend time organizing my notes that I took while researching my topic. Then it usually takes me at least 3 days to write an article. Then I have to go back and work some of my keywords into it. All and all, it seems to take forever.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      Are you saying you took a couple of articles from your website and got them published in high-circulating offline newspapers/magazines?
      Yes. That's part of how I make my living.

      I didn't exactly "take them from my website to do that", though - the "purpose" was more the other way round: I only wrote them in the first place in order to try to do that later, but then having created them for that purpose, of course I published them initially on my own website before doing anything else with them. It's called "article marketing".

      It's described a little more fully in post #33 of this thread.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      If so, any ideas on how to find these high circulating newspapers/magazines?
      Yes. There are various different "yearbooks"/"directories" of newspapers and magazines, giving submission information for authors. They vary from country to country, though (no point in limiting yourself to one country?).

      Post #2 of this thread also contains many suggestions for syndication, if they help.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      When creating articles, it usually takes me several hours to do keyword research to get ideas as to what to write about.
      Keyword-optimized articles are typically not the kind of articles one can get syndicated easily, at all.

      Article marketing has nothing to do with SEO.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      Several more hours to research a topic, or even several days (depending on the topic). Then I spend time organizing my notes that I took while researching my topic. Then it usually takes me at least 3 days to write an article.
      Ooh, interesting! It's really unusual for me to find anyone here who takes longer than me to write an article: I reckon on normally being able to write one in one day. But anyway I share the same feeling you must surely have about all the threads here in which people discuss "how to write an article in half an hour"?!

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      Then I have to go back and work some of my keywords into it.
      This part's not for me. I wouldn't be able to get keyword-filled articles published. And even if they're not keyword-"filled", it's not worth my while doing that anyway.

      If you want search-engine traffic from articles (which I don't "want", myself, although I do happen to get floods of it), there's no better way to get it than having articles widely syndicated to relevant websites in your niche. "Good luck" monetizing that kind of traffic, though, when you get it!

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  • Profile picture of the author ncloud
    When you say "Good luck monetizing that kind of traffic, though when you get it!", which kind of traffic are you referring to - search-engine traffic or traffic from your syndicated articles? I'm not sure why either one would be difficult to monetize.

    You also said there is no better way to get search-engine traffic from articles than having them widely syndicated to relevant websites in your niche. I didn't realize that you could send the same article to many different places like that. Don't these places like Ezine Articles have a rule that you must submit only original content? The content can't be original if you have submitted it to several other places and have it on your website.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      When you say "Good luck monetizing that kind of traffic, though when you get it!", which kind of traffic are you referring to - search-engine traffic or traffic from your syndicated articles?
      Search-engine traffic.

      On which subject I can't add anything to what I said in post #13 of this thread.

      Article marketing traffic is the most responsive, most-opting-in, most-email-opening, most-buying traffic I've ever had, in any niche, out of any traffic I've ever generated over the last 6 years (which is why I'm still doing it for a living).

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      I didn't realize that you could send the same article to many different places like that.
      Then click on the first link in my post just above (#13) and see what "article marketing" is.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      Don't these places like Ezine Articles have a rule that you must submit only original content?
      (You're confusing "original content" and "unique content", there. You mean "previously unpublished", don't you? That's called "unique", not "original", which means something different.)

      Anyway, no, they certainly don't. That would make no sense at all. No article marketer would put previously unpublished content into an article directory. ( This little one-page thread, passim, explains why in some detail.)

      But putting articles into places like Ezine Articles isn't really "article marketing" anyway. For the minority of us who still also do that (and I admit that I'm one of them), that's only the last 1% of article marketing. The first 99% is rather more helpful.

      Article marketing is about having your articles (after initial publication on your own site) as widely syndicated as possible in places where the targeted traffic you want to attract is already looking. Those places are not article directories! No article marketer would want potential customers coming to their site via an article directory. This isn't how article directories work, and it isn't what they're there for.

      As mentioned in my post above, it's described a little more fully in post #33 of this thread. With apologies, I'm not typing it all out again.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      The content can't be original if you have submitted it to several other places and have it on your website.
      You mean it can't be "unique".

      No - that's right. It can't. Who cares? I don't. The people publishing it don't. Google doesn't. And - the big point - the people reading it don't because they haven't read it before, so it's unique to them - which is the underlying basis of article marketing.

      The readers of the world's major news and sports websites don't care that some of the articles on the site they're reading were originally published earlier on the same day by Reuters or Associated Press and have just been re-published on the site they're looking at, because they haven't read them before. The readers of some of the political/economic articles in today's Times newspaper don't care that they were originally published on some correspondent's blog before being syndicated in the newspaper, because they haven't read them before: it's all unique to them.

      This whole belief that there's something "good", for some reason, about content being "unique" is simply a misunderstanding based on a longstanding confusion between "duplicate content" and "syndicated content". Years ago, a lot of SEO service-providers managed to pretend (and managed to convince some gullible people) that Google might "penalize" websites for "duplicate content" (it was never true, even of actual "duplicate content", and Google said so openly and still does - but this isn't even "duplicate content", anyway). This post, if you want to see, explains the difference between "duplicate content" and "syndicated content".

      We've come quite a long way from "How big and how old is your list?", in this thread, haven't we?

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  • Profile picture of the author ncloud
    We've come quite a long way from "How big and how old is your list?", in this thread, haven't we?

    Yes we have, but that's okay, I'm learning something new here even if it goes against what I have been taught previously. Thanks you for your long helpful responses, I am glad to be able to pick your brain like this.

    There are a couple of things I'm wondering about this though:

    So when you see an article on EzineArticles showing up in the Google SERPs, does that mean that the person who submitted that article is sending traffic to their article on EzineArticles instead of sending traffic to their website articles like they should be doing? Is that why their article is ranking in Google from the article directory?

    So EzineArticles says you have to submit original content, and even though you have already put the same article on your own site, it is still considered original because you wrote it. But, EzineArticles has to see that the copy submitted was written by the same person who's site it came from – so I have to go by the same name on EzineArticles as I do on my website, but how does that work if I wasn't planning on putting my name on my site? Do I have to have a name on my site somewhere, how will they know the article I submitted is from the same person and therefore original?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      So when you see an article on EzineArticles showing up in the Google SERPs, does that mean that the person who submitted that article is sending traffic to their article on EzineArticles instead of sending traffic to their website articles like they should be doing? Is that why their article is ranking in Google from the article directory?
      That's quite likely to be the reason, yes.

      A few years ago, before all the Panda updates - which started in 2010, as I remember - there were even some people who recommended submitting unique content to EZA (!!) and then building backlinks to the EZA-page on which their article appeared. This was insane, even at the time (some article marketers call it "descending ceiling syndrome", for now-historical reasons I won't bore you with; let's just say that it was an extremely short-sighted and unwise thing to do, even back then), but I suppose it's possible that a few of those might also still rank.

      Post #6 of this thread explains why no article marketer would/should want their potential customer traffic ever finding an article-directory copy of an article rather than the one originally published and indexed on their own website.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      So EzineArticles says you have to submit original content, and even though you have already put the same article on your own site, it is still considered original because you wrote it.
      No, this isn't correct, but I appreciate that the way they explain it on their main site might lead you to think that (it's much better explained, and even openly discussed with their users, on their blog).

      "Originality" isn't determined (by EZA) according to who the article's author is, but according to whether it contains any information at all that isn't already included in other articles already in EZA's database of articles. (It's subjective, and a little vague, too, especially when inconcsistently assessed by their various different editorial staff).

      Key point, in the regard: when EZA declines an article "for not being original" that has nothing to do with whether or not it's previously been published, and is more of a subjective, qualitative description. To simplify and put it bluntly, a rejection for "not being original" really means little more than "We think it's junk and we don't want it".

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      But, EzineArticles has to see that the copy submitted was written by the same person who's site it came from – so I have to go by the same name on EzineArticles as I do on my website
      Yes - this is correct, but (although they don't explain this very clearly) that actually has nothing to do with whether the article is "original": that's about whether or not they think there's any chance that it might be "stolen content". Which - of course - they don't allow. Completely different issue, though.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      how does that work if I wasn't planning on putting my name on my site?
      Easily.

      You can use a pen-name on your site (as I do on all of mine - a different one on each of 9 different sites) and then use the same pen-name at Ezine Articles (as I do - I have 9 different active pen-names at Ezine Articles, all contained within one "author account". Be aware, though, that multiple "author accounts" are not normally permitted.)

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      Do I have to have a name on my site somewhere
      Well, you have to have a name, somewhere on it, presumably? You're hardly going to publish articles under the name "admin", surely? That would be a travesty of branding ...

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      how will they know the article I submitted is from the same person and therefore original?
      "The same person and therefore original" isn't the question, here.

      This isn't really about "originality".

      Anyway, to answer your question, they won't know that it's from the same person, but that doesn't actually matter: what matters is that you submit it to them in the same pen-name as the pen-name under which it's previously been published, so that their minimal "due diligence" gives them no grounds to suspect that it's stolen property (they couldn't, in all conscience, knowingly publish something that had that sort of question-mark over it in circumstances in which it could be asked of them "Why didn't you suspect this?" Understandably, they don't want people serving DMCA notices on them, if they can easily avoid it.)

      Again, be aware that as post #2, here, explains the only realistic benefit you can now get from submitting your articles to EZA is the chance that they can be found there by publishers looking for content to syndicate: there's no other reason at all for using it. Specifically, don't submit articles there and imagine that you're thereby "using article marketing". That alone isn't a business model at all.

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  • Profile picture of the author ncloud
    I have 9 different active pen-names at Ezine Articles, all contained within one "author account". Be aware, though, that multiple "author accounts" are not normally permitted.
    Okay, so they normally don't allow you to have more than one author account, but you can have several pen-names under your one account? Did I get that right?

    Where all do you put your pen-name at on your website? Do you create an 'about me page', or just on the side of each each page with a fake picture of yourself?

    I assume if you're showing a picture of yourself you'd use fake pics along with pen-names - if you're planning on being in several niches anyway. Do you bother with pics? If so, where do you get these pics? Some of these websites that sell pictures sell the same pictures to multiple people.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      Okay, so they normally don't allow you to have more than one author account, but you can have several pen-names under your one account? Did I get that right?
      Yes, absolutely right.

      Again, be aware that as post #2, here, explains the only realistic benefit you can now get from submitting your articles to EZA is the chance that they can be found there by publishers looking for content to syndicate: there's no other reason at all for using it.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      Where all do you put your pen-name at on your website?
      On the home page, in the "site introduction", on the "about me" page, as the author of each article, and so on.

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      or just on the side of each each page with a fake picture of yourself?
      For pictures, I use silhouettes, cartoons and drawings, all of which have been made up for me from my own photos by graphic artists on Fiverr (in other words, at almost no cost). Whether you'd call them "fake pictures" or not, I'm not sure. They're all me, but they're not recognizable as me, and specifically - in my case - no visitors will look at them and think "Hold on a minute: this chick's way too young to be much of an expert in the XYZ niche" (I hope!).

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      Do you bother with pics?
      I always do, actually. I think that - even if it's a drawing, charcoal-sketch or cartoon-style picture - it still "personalizes" the site - and I think that helps. (I can't prove that assertion, of course, because I've never done anything different and "compared".)

      Originally Posted by ncloud View Post

      Some of these websites that sell pictures sell the same pictures to multiple people.
      Not only that, but many (I think "most") of them have restrictions in the fine print about using their stock photos for that purpose.

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  • Profile picture of the author rongindamix
    Frank Kern made a million dollars off of a 1,000 person list. Same with Andre Chaperone.

    It depends on how much trust you have in your list, rather than how big it is
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    • Profile picture of the author teeowl
      How many months did he have the 1,000 people on his list.

      Originally Posted by rongindamix View Post

      Frank Kern made a million dollars off of a 1,000 person list. Same with Andre Chaperone.

      It depends on how much trust you have in your list, rather than how big it is
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  • Profile picture of the author ncloud
    Does anybody know how they managed to do that? There must be more to it than just the trust factor.
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  • Profile picture of the author jsyz426
    I have a fairly large list built the usual way with solo ads, ad swaps, and click banking. It is over 20K but it took me about 18 months of just buying traffic and banking to get it there.
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