That changed in 2009 when I finally decided to DO SOMETHING and create my own eBook in the dating niche. It was the perfect niche for me because I had a really great "zero to hero" story in that area of my life.
Long story short, it took two years to write the damn thing. Why so long?
- I work a 9-5 job as I don't have enough money coming in from IM to live off of.
- I've had multiple people laugh at me, put me down and say IM just doesn't work (i.e. it's all scams, BS, lies etc.)
- I kept doubting myself thinking no one would ever buy anything from me.
- I was scared that once I launched the book, everyone would think it sucks and would ask for a refund, so I kept trying to add more value.
- I have to do EVERYTHING myself. (I know you will say outsource, but this NEVER works out well, see more on this below.)
Finally, in early 2011 my book was finished and I was ready to start selling it. I thought the toughest part was behind me, but I had never been so wrong in my life.
Here are some of the struggles I had:
1. Getting an E-cover
They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I know most people do. So I wanted my ecover to be top notch.
I approached a designer, paid $147 for a high quality ecover and it looked like crap. At first I tried to get a refund, but he argued that he spent time on it and would only refund part of the money. I went to another designer and tried again, but I got an even worse looking design. I soon discovered that paying for bad designs would just be part of the "cost of doing business".
I repeated this process SIX times before I finally found a designer that delivered exactly what I wanted. It cost a mint but I was so happy with the result, I paid him a little extra because he had put so much time into it.
2. Getting a Copywriter.
This was the biggest disaster ever. The first guy I hired, (a well known warrior) took my money, and promised the letter in 3 weeks. The deadline came and went and all my emails went unanswered. Having dismissed this guy as a scammer who took my money and ran, 3 months later he sent me the letter. Despite having written several pages detailing exactly what I wanted the letter to convey, it was the worst piece of copy I'd ever seen.
I then hired a second copywriter who was even more famous and more expensive and his letter was equally horrible - although at least he delivered it on time.
I wrote my own sales letter, showed it to the 2nd copywriter and he was so impressed he offered me a job to write copy for him.
I declined. I wanted to focus my time on my own product, not working for someone else.
After a few more months of tweaking, I finished writing my own sales letter, put it up, drove 200 visitors using Google Adwords and didn't make one sale.
Then I enlisted the help of another warrior who was a copywriter and hired him to do a critique of my sales letter. This was the first guy that actually blew me away and actually provided more value than what I paid for.
I took his advice, and implemented 90% of the changes he recommended.
This led to several more months of tweaking, refining and editing my copy. Finally, I had (what I thought) was a top notch sales page. I showed it to this new guy and he was blown away.
But I wasn't satisfied there. I asked him to "tighten it up" and make it even better. That cost a pretty penny and while he did make a few changes, they weren't all that great. However I took what he did and tweaked it myself to make it my own.
And that's the version that I have today.
There was just 1 thing missing:
Almost everyone I spoke to about this said I should just fake them. That is, just write them myself. I really didn't want to do this. I wanted to be as honest in my business as possible. I refused and went out and contacted a bunch of guys to test out my material.
This took forever. For every 20 guys I emailed (who all happily agreed to take a look at my book for free), only 1 wrote back with some feedback. And this was only after numerous follow-up emails begging and pleading them to send me their feedback. I even provided them with questions to make it easier.
I sent my book to over 200 guys for free. Most didn't respond, some said they were sick and would try out the material later. Others said everything looked good and that they'd get back to me in a week or two - which they never did. In the end I got 8 genuine testimonials from guys who loved the product.
I wanted 10, but I settled for 8. At least they were real. Now I just needed some traffic. That led me to:
4. Google AdWords
The first day, I made a sale using AdWords. It was great. Until a few days later when Google banned my account. They said my page violated their advertising policies. I asked them why and they said my page was unrealistic and made exaggerated claims.
- I told them the screenshots of my results were real, not faked or photoshopped. (Which is true.)
- I told them my testimonials were from REAL people, not faked or written by me. (Also true.)
- I told them I offered a "get results or your money back" guarantee. (Which I adhere to.)
- I told them I offer a 60 day refund policy with no strings attached. (Again, which I adhere to.)
I went out of my way NOT to fake any of this stuff, but seems as if that didn't make a difference at all.
Google still said I was in violation of their policy. I've heard many others say that AdWords is not worth it, so they don't even bother with them anymore. Although I must say Google is strange because if you type the name of my product into Google, my site comes up first in the organic search results. (So I can't pay them to advertise my site, but they will list it for free?)
Then I decided to try:
5. Facebook Ads
I thought this would be real quick and easy.
No matter what I do, my ads always get disapproved. I've changed the title, the picture, the ad text -nothing seems to work. I tried using stock images that I bought the rights to. I tried using images that I created myself. I tried putting the exactly title of my page in the ad - absolutely nothing works.
I figured I would just email them to ask what I'm doing wrong, but apparently Facebook doesn't offer support of any kind. No phone number, no email address. Wow.
So that brings me to now. I did a VERY small launch in October 2011 (more to test things out than anything), and I made 10 sales.
Unfortunately, I've also had 2 refunds.
This is very discouraging to me.
- I know no one cares that I spent 3 years working on this.
- I know I can't please everyone and there will always be someone who isn't happy.
- I know refunds are just part of running a business and I shouldn't get upset.
- I know there are people out there who just refund everything they buy to get it for free.
- I know my product may not work for everyone despite how hard I've worked on it.
- I know there are infinite variables when it comes to someone's success with women & dating.
- I know I have no way of knowing if those two guys actually read my book at all & took action.
I know all that.
I'm just so tired of working so hard and not getting anywhere.
To those who are already successful online - is this really what it takes?