Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Very Rich Jerk

I want money. And you do, too.Now here's an interesting guy, the Rich Jerk, who 'fesses up about his own money-lust and gives you a few useful tips about how to get lusty yourself. First-rate stuff.His take is simple. A lot of money changes hands over the internet. Most of it involves middlemen, and much of the rest of involves the sale of simple information. He shows you how to get a piece of both. His style is a little snarky, but the information is good. It devolves into four broad categories:* how to create web sites that offer standard pitches for informational products *how to create web sites that rely on Google's AdSense and other pey-per-click services to earn commissions *how to engage in wholesaling on eBay *how to indulge in a few other potentially lucrative online ventures, one or two of which border on the highly speculative The marketing section condenses most conventional copy-writing wisdom into a few paragraphs, and does it pretty well: steep your copy with hope, urgency, authority, neutrality, fear, and--evidently his particular forte--quirkiness. Offer expires at midnight! Don't be scammed! I've tried them all! But the real value of his approach is the fusion of this basic copy writing with the technological juggernaut of the pay-per-click engines. Using various combinations of basic copy writing and "search engine optimization," he explains in great detail how to move your own stuff, or to broker someone else's stuff and get a slice of the deal. If you've ever used Google, you already know all about the pay-per-click business: it's the set of targeted ads on the right side of the page. Companies pay a lot of money to have their products placed in that space. It's natural, then, that an entire industry should have grown up around it to help smaller merchants to use the service, too: it's big, big money: Google closed at $303 today (October 20th), very close to its all-time high, and its 3rd quarter revenue was seven times higher than last year's 3rd quarter revenue. They paid out over $500 million in the 3rd quarter to advertisers using their advertising products.Again: $500 million in one quarter. That's $2 billion a year. There's plenty to go around. The Rich Jerk offers a bunch of useful techniques to help us smaller fry manipulate Google's system (and Yahoo's system, and a few others besides) to get yourself some.For its specificty and its applicability, the intel here is more than worth the price. Be prepared to read it a few times, and then be prepared to do some legwork: he may be a lazy jerk, but the rest of us need to expend at least a little energy to make a go of it.