Apsense is an online business network designed to help business owners grow their business. The site was started about 6 years ago and has four membership levels – basic (free), pro (paid), premium (paid) and deluxe (paid).
Each membership level allows you to earn monthly residual income from their affiliate system, the percentage increasing incrementally with each level.
I first joined Apsense years ago as a basic member when they had just launched. I had a couple reasons for joining Apsense:
- I wanted to “network” (so that I could promote my other programs)
- I wanted to earn money from referring Apsense
Back then I had just joined an internet marketing training website but wasn’t really making any money yet so I didn’t have anything to lose.
I didn’t have much success then so I concentrated on the other site which was starting to open my eyes about stuff. I recently got reminded about Apsense and logged into my account to check it out again.
What Apsense Offers
Apsense offers several ways for business owners to promote their business using the Apsense network including the popular RevPages, a credit system you can use to send emails to other Apsense members, CPM ads, articles and groups which most people use to spam their program.
The social network aspect includes setting up your profile and following other members, discussions and groups.
Free members can use many of these features with little restriction but pro members have additional benefits. I haven’t really seen the value in upgrading to pro so I never did.
Pros & Cons of Apsense Business Network
I still use the Apsense Business Network so there are some pros to using it but there are cons as well.
- RevPages and articles can be SEO optimized giving you search engine exposure
- You can get free credits to use the credits system for CPM ads and other free advertising.
- You can get content ideas for building your sites (through Apsense questions).
- Most people on Apsense are just trying to promote themselves so the networking aspect isn’t particularly great.
- Advertising inside the network is a waste of time because there are lots of people who aren’t interested in much other than Paid to Click programs, matrix programs and penny earning referrals.
- There isn’t really a focus once you’re logged in. There is way too much you can choose to do which is distracting.
If you’re serious about online business and would like to network with other business owners, I wouldn’t really recommend you take Apsense too seriously. It’s possible to build meaningful relationships within but that would take a lot of time and effort.
Online Business Networks like Apsense?
So are there any other online business networks like Apsense?
The other site I told you about that I joined around the same time as Apsense is Wealthy Affiliate – you can read my review of them here. Wealthy Affiliate is billed as an online business network and is folks who are serious about online business.
With Wealthy Affiliate you can also sign up for free. You can them set up your profile (see mine here), follow other members and interact with them. Your own blog can be used to help others inside Wealthy Affiliate but not to spam your programs. This ensures that the quality of the site remains high and is used for its intended purpose – learning, building your business and networking with others.
I guess the difference between the Apsense and Wealthy Affiliate’s business networks is that one is a free for all networking site with advertising as its focus and other other while free, focuses on eduction and business building.
Like I said I’m still a member of Apsense even though I don’t use it much – I would post an occasional article on there for SEO purposes but that’s it.
While communicating with an aspiring affiliate marketer last week, the question came up about what to use to build a website. Naturally, I recommended that he use the hosted version of WordPress, as I always do.
However, he was a bit reluctant and emailed me back asking about Weebly and whether or not that would be a good alternative.
Now, my preferred platform for building affiliate sites is WordPress so I’m a bit biased and recommend it all the time but for good reason.
I’ve tried Weebly before and think that it is a very good website builder that can work for anyone who wants to create a website using the simple drag and drop interface. However, although there are many features, it still is kinda limited in what you can do with it.
I’ll outline some of the more important features and compare the two, then you can decide which is better for you.
WordPress is a very popular content management system (CMS) that is used primarily for blogging but can be used for anything from a simple blog to more complex websites. More and more websites are being built using WordPress software than with traditional static website builders because it is very easy to use, doesn’t require that the user know complex coding and for the fact that you can do a lot of things with it.
A basic install of WordPress can be used as-is, to build your website but if you’ve identified your needs you can easily extend the functionality and look of your site by using the wide range of available free plugins and themes.
To use the WordPress platform, you’ll need web hosting and your own domain name. This is possibly what throws many newcomers off when they decide to build a website but you do need to invest in your business and web hosting is cheap (as low as $4/month) and domains are less than $10/year.
Weebly is quite different from WordPress. It’s one of the leading drag-and-drop website builders available on the internet right now, providing an easy way for would be website owners to get their site up and running without the knowledge of coding and other design skills.
What the drag-and-drop website builder does is to provide away to build a static website. Although with Weebly, you can easily add a blog to your site.
I was really impressed when I saw all the stuff that Weebly could do. In comparison, you can do some of the stuff with Weebly that you can do with WordPress but I’ll confidently say that WordPress can do everything Weebly does and more.
Weebly is completely free to use but you’ll have to put up with a Weebly subdomain ie yoursite.weebly.com, and there are lots of limitations as to what you can do. If you should choose Weebly, I’d encourage you to get a domain name and sign up for their pro package.
Some Important Comparisons between WordPress and Weebly
In terms of design:
WordPress has far more themes available for you to choose from. Installing the themes is as simple as choosing the theme from the gallery and activating it for your site. You can also premium themes (ones that you pay for) or a custom them (one that is designed specifically for your site).
Weebly has dozens of beautiful themes and allows you to create your own or upload one that you want if you have someone design a custom theme for you.
For the theme layout in WordPress, you can either browse for a theme with the layout you want:
- no sidebar
- left sidebar
- sales page theme
- video theme
- photo gallery theme
Or you can choose a theme that has theme options that let you customize the way you want your theme to look with color options, sidebar options and graphic options and more. Most premium themes will allow you to do this but the point here is that you can do anything you want to do with WordPress.
Weebly also allows you to choose themes with different layouts or allows you to edit your theme. However, since it’s a more static type layout, for example, you can’t have a video theme, but you’re able to add video on any page you create or simply clone the page that has the layout you want.
On the plus side, Weebly automatically allows your site to display a mobile version when accessed on a mobile phone. With WordPress, there are plugins that can help you achieve this but you’d have to install the plugin otherwise there is no mobile version of your site.
Bottomline: although not as flexible as WordPress, the team at Weebly has developed ways for you to do almost anything you want with the designing of your site.
Static vs. Blog
The main difference between WordPress and Weebly is that one was made for blogging and the other was made for static websites. One reason why blogs perform better than static sites is that Google and most search engines give benefits to sites that are regularly updated as this gives more current information to their users.
You can easily make WordPress into a static website or a hybrid of static and blog by choosing the appropriate setting. Removing the comments if you do not want this feature is easily done through the settings panel or by removing the comments file from the appearance panel.
Weebly allows you to add a blog to your site easily with the click of a button. I guess most people would rather go with Weebly because they want to create a website that doesn’t look like a blog but these are people who do not know that WordPress can be used that way too.
WordPress wins hands down when it comes to monetizing your site.
One of the easiest way to monetize any site is to use Google Adsense. There are tonnes of plugins you can use to manage Google Adsense or other ads in WordPress or you can just add them to the sidebar using a widget. Google Adsense is easier to implement in Weebly but the big downside is that Weebly shares the earnings and you only get 50%. You can however work around this and add your Adsense code to an HTML block and get 100%.
For further monetization, because WordPress has thousands of developers working on plugins, there are lots of available options for adding Amazon, eBay, Kontera and other adds and monetization channels to your site. You’d have to do this manually in Weebly.
Weebly also allows you to get a merchant account and sell products on your site (like a store). This is also achievable in WordPress with the dozens of store themes and plugins available. You don’t even need to have a merchant account as you can be an affiliate and set up WordPress to pull in product feeds from approved merchants.
Both WordPress and Weebly aren’t much different in the sense that they provide you with the basic needs anyone would want in a website. Stuff like SEO, multiple user support and analytics are all supported.
In closing, both Weebly and WordPress are good choices if you want to design your own website. WordPress is a little more technical but it will pay off to learn the ropes. Weebly is a bit more simple to understand and there are extensive help files and even live training available.
If you’re going to build a site for the long term and you’re going to be actively involved with it, I would highly recommend you use WordPress. It will save you headache in the long run if you do decide to make the switch and you want to transfer your site.
Have you tried Weebly or WordPress? Is there anything you wanted to know that I may have omitted? Let me know in the comments section below.
Dan Brock is the creator of Deadbeat Super Affiliate and this course is designed to teach how to make money with Amazon and other affiliate programs.
Many affiliate courses focus more on promoting digital products but Dan focuses on promoting physical products as an affiliate.
The first thing that drew me to this product was reading the sales page and the income claim that Dan makes is that he can teach you how to earn $3,000 a month by promoting physical products. Many sales pages these days claim that they can teach you how to get rich or make hundreds of thousands of dollars so it is such a breath of fresh air to see a more realistic claim on a sales page. To me, a sales page is more credible when they don’t promote their product as a ‘get rich quick’ system.
What is the Deadbeat Super Affiliate program really about?
The Deadbeat Super Affiliate program is a system that Dan has created by trial and error until he found what worked best to achieve good Amazon commissions. He has now detailed the steps he himself uses in easy to follow instructions so that others can follow the system and start earning some commissions with the Amazon affiliate program.
This method can also be used to promote other physical products that have affiliate programs also. Dan does cover this in Deadbeat Super Affiliate but for the main examples he uses products from Amazon.
Dan covers why he thinks it is more profitable to promote physical products rather than digital products and some of his reasons include:
- There is a massive range of products that you can choose to promote within many different niches.
- There are many products within this huge product range that have very little competition. Dan shows you the steps to find the good products to promote.
- Amazon is a well known, reputable company and people are comfortable buying products from them so this makes it much easier to make sales.
What’s inside the Deadbeat Super Affiliate membership site?
There are 24 modules in this program that covers everything you need to know from start to finish. The steps are covered in both video and text format and are explain in a way that makes it easy to follow and complete each step.
These modules include:
- An introduction to Amazon affiliate marketing
- Details on how to find good products to promote
- How to know if the product is in demand
- How to know if the product has too much competition
- How to register a domain and get hosting for your website
- How to set up your blog
- Tips on writing content for your blog
- Social bookmarking and backlink building
- How to improve conversions
- Writing product reviews
- How to duplicate your success
This is just a brief outline of all the information that is included in this program. There are many tips and techniques that will help you improve conversions and make more commissions.
There is also an Advanced Training section which is about creating an authority site. This section includes:
- Setting up your authority site
- How to get traffic to your site
- Article stacking
- Video stacking
- The foreign language market
The Positives of the Deadbeat Super Affiliate system
- I really like this system because:
- It is set up in a way that is easy to follow and implement the system.
- It is simple enough for even the newest newbie to easily follow the system and make it successful.
- When you have gone through the complete system once and created your first website, it is very easy to repeat the process with a second website. You can create an empire of Amazon sites very easily following this system.
- There are both video and text instructions so you can do whichever one you prefer. I actually recommend using both as it gives you such a good understanding of the whole system.
- The support is very good and if you ask support a question you receive a reply quite quickly.
- This course is a very good price and in my opinion under-priced for the information that is contained within the course.
The Negatives of the Deadbeat Super Affiliate system
When you buy this program you are bombarded with upsells before you reach the actual membership website. They are ‘one time offers’ that can help with the program but they are not essential for the program. I don’t mind perhaps one upsell but I don’t like being bombarded with a few of them. This is only minor though and it only takes a couple of minutes to get past those and to the main website.
The upsells are really the only negative I have of the Deadbeat Super Affiliate system.
Deadbeat Super Affiliate is one of the best products that I’ve purchased in a long time, particularly for that price, it’s great value for money. The system is easy to follow and it is a system that really can work if you’re willing to follow the instructions and put the effort into it.
In this review of Blogging Espionage, I will first tell you about the product itself, then my feelings about it and finally what other people think about Rob’s controversial new method.
Was it good?
Did I make money?
Can you make money with this “new” system?
All these questions will be answered below.
Blogging Espionage – The guide
I downloaded Rob’s Blogging Espionage pdf last night so that I could check it out. It’s only around 40 pages – less if you don’t count the cover page, legal stuff and the contents page.
The methods are based on blogging and selling text links and doing paid posts. Hardly anything new about that but Rob puts a bit of a twist to it.
Most of the guide is about basic stuff like setting up your blog and buying aged domains. Pretty basic stuff that I’m already knowledgeable about and any newbie can find this info pretty easily with a few Google searches. I believe Rob wants to cover all his bases by getting into detail about everything required to make his system work so I won’t blame him.
The content that matters though is only about five to six pages long. I could make a blog post about the method and it wouldn’t be any longer than this review.
What I Think About Blogging Espionage
I wasn’t disappointed by Blogging Espionage because I figured it would suck.
Saying that a method is “brand new in 2010″ and that nobody has heard of it is a very, very bold statement. Saying that it made you 25K in one day and selling it for $27 (why not $97) would cause any prospective buyer to have second thoughts.
There is no way to skip over the unethical nature of the whole technique because that is what makes it work. I decided not to test the Blogging Espionage system because I would have to lie to the people who I would be depending on for an income.
Also, Rob recommends having at least 6 months of blog posts and this would be very time intensive to produce. I have no idea how you’re supposed to make money in 45 minutes when you have to do all this work. Not that I’m opposed to doing work but a promise is a promise and I have other business to take care of. I would gladly do the work if this was legit.
Finally, I’m not to sure how Rob Benwell made almost 26K overnight with this method just from selling links and doing paid postings. This is not explained in the guide and I’m somewhat skeptical. If his controversial methods are based on lies then you can bet he is going to lie to you to sell you his latest “loopholes”.
I’d rather be an ethical affiliate marketer helping people solve their problems and get what they want and be rewarded with income.
I did not make any money with Blogging Espionage because I decided not to give it a try. It would take a lot out of me to come up with 60 blog posts to put on a 6 month old blog, contact people to sell text links and still have time to run my own affiliate marketing business.
Other Consumer reviews on Blogging Espionage
I headed over to the Warrior Forum to see what they thought about Rob Benwell’s Blogging Espionage and wasn’t surprised at all. Most of the persons who bought the guide refunded it very quickly.
Here’s just a few of those reviews.
By the way, does this guy mention how he makes 23k or whatever it is in one day? I can’t imagine him doing that with sponsored posts/reviews etc? Curious..as that is one bold claim he makes there..
I got nothing from this product – I’ve asked for exactly two refunds ever from Clickbank and this one had the honor of being #2. I normally like Benwell’s stuff – but this should have been a 4 page free report – seriously.
Personally I didn’t like it. The marketer whose link I bought from did say it was ‘grey’ hat so I was warned, but I went ahead and bought it anyway out of curiosity. It’s not something new (I know marketers who have been doing this for years) but probably hasn’t been written about that much. Will you be able to make $1000 by this time next week? I guess it’s possible, but apparently the author hasn’t adhered to the (word removed by moderator) 300 copies limit so with alot of competition I think the opportunity will definitely be more limited.
I rarely ask for a refund on Clickbank because no matter how bad a product is I usually manage to take away something from it – I did get a refund on this one though because for me this method is pretty useless as it’s too grey hat (plus I don’t like the author’s false scarcity tactics)
As you can see, Blogging Espionage doesn’t seem to go down well with others just like it didn’t go down well with me. I suggest that you pass on it as there are plenty of other ways to make money.
If you’re new to blogging and want to learn about selling links and monetizing your blog then try Yaro Starak’s Blog Profits Blueprint instead. It’s free and done by someone who has a very good reputation in the online marketing community.
I recently got an email with the subject line: “The Most Controversial Technique of 2010…25K in One Day.”
The hype got the job done. I opened it to see what it was about because I’d want to know what kind of controversial technique can net you 25K in a day.
Before you read on, I’d like to take a second to let you know that I’m not a beginner and I do make a full time living online through affiliate marketing. So it’s not like I go buying the latest and greatest of these hyped up Clickbank make money products.
And I hardly recommend them to people without first checking them out to make sure its good.
Anyways, the email went on to say that the controversial technique was brand new for 2010, that it had never been done before and the creator of the technique was willing to bet that you’d never heard of it.
It also went on to state, as was mentioned in the subject line, that the creator of the technique was about to make 25K in one day with this underground method.
So now I’m getting even more curious because they never mention the name of the product. This is such a good email campaign but lets see where this leads.
The product was Blogging Espionage and it’s got one of those shiny graphics, Clickbank sales page bursting with popping lettering, screenshots, figures and stinking with hype.
Long story short, I got my hands on the product to see if it lived up to its claims so you won’t have to if it didn’t. And maybe if it did, then you could thank me for putting you onto something that works.
The pdf was the only download available in the members area and it’s about 40 pages deep. It would be worth the $37 if it really does do what it says it does.
It’s 4am here so I’ll go through it after I get some sleep.
One more thing…
The product is by Rob Benwell; the same dude that did Blogging to the Bank. I’m not a big fan of his and I’m expecting this to suck.
Prove me wrong Rob Benwell.
I’ll have a full review of the Blogging Espionage very soon. Probably in a day or two because the product does promise you’ll make money in as little as 45 minutes. (See my full review of Blogging Espionage now.)