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Friday, July 30, 2010

What are Your Thoughts on the Pet Supplies Market?

Question: I suppose I could just Google my question. But I really enjoy your street smart insight (and sense of humor). What's your take on the pet supplies market as an online business?
R.R. Nashville TN

Answer Marc Charles:

I like the pet supplies market......a lot.

I've helped a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs in this market.

We're in a Depression....we passed a recession several months ago. But the pet supplies market online is still going strong. People will always take care of their animals and pets.

Here's an article I wrote for Early to Rise on the topic:


Dear Entrepreneur:

People are crazy about their pets. I see it in our house every day. We spent more money this year on special pet food, toys, and treats than we spent going to the movies ... but I didn't realize this was a $34 billion market!

There are several ways to profit in this market. One of the best is by selling pet supplies, toys, and/or specialty foods directly to consumers.

You'll make even more money by targeting pet lovers who regularly shell out big bucks for these items without hesitation.

In today's issue, I'll focus on three opportunities that will enable you to take advantage of this incredible "pet lovers' market."

Here's a short list of products and services that are hot sellers (online and off):

* Pet Pages (pet websites and hosting)

* Toys (Forget about squeaking bones, has more than 10,000 different toys to choose from.)

* Pet Insurance (I'm not kidding. Premiums start at $1 a day.)

* Pet Yellow Pages

* Pet Adoption Services

* Pet E-mail Newsletters

* Pet Charities

* Pet Grams (sent via e-mail)

* Pet Gift Cards (huge!)

* Pet Shows (Everybody knows how big dog and cat shows are - but horse and bird shows are even bigger.)

* Pet Vitamins and Supplements

* Organic Pet Food (Our cat won't touch it - but it's a hot rising trend.)

If you want to launch a business and profit from this market in the offline world (via direct mail), here are 3 simple steps to take:

1. Obtain a mailing list of recent repeat buyers who have purchased pet supplies via direct mail that are in the price range of the products you want to sell.

2. Obtain the names of a pet food manufacturer and/or supplier who is willing to process your customers' orders and drop-ship them for you. Here are two such companies: CarefreeVet and Great Eastern Pet Supply.

3. Obtain preprinted catalogs that you can send to qualified prospects. Most pet supply wholesalers, drop-shippers, and affiliates make these available for you to use.

If you don't want to handle telephone orders yourself, you can retain a call center to do it for you. You'll find dozens of call centers that specialize in this type of thing at, or you can do a quick search on Google.

If you prefer to market pet products and services online, I've got great news. It has never been easier to sell these things on the Internet., for example, is a specialty pet products retailer that has been very successful in "niche retail." They are ranked among's Top 500.

The primary mechanism for selling pet products and services online is to attract or drive qualified traffic to your website.

You don't have a website? No problem! There are hundreds of companies online that offer instant e-commerce sites or storefronts.

What's more, sites like eBay, Yahoo! Marketplace, and Marketplace can deliver mind-boggling targeted traffic to your site. Or you can just post an instant mini-store on these traffic monsters.

Pet supplies affiliate programs are another great option.

Affiliate programs offer one of the fastest and easiest ways to profit from the pet products bonanza.

With an affiliate program, all you do is post a unique URL link in search engine keyword advertisements, on targeted high-traffic websites, or in targeted e-mail newsletters. When someone clicks on that link, they're brought to a pet supplies website. If that person makes a purchase on the website, you receive a commission.

The affiliate program pays an 8% commission on sales up to $3,000 per month, and a 14% commission on sales over $15,000 per month. pays 15% on monthly sales over $16,000.

The beauty of an affiliate program with strong companies like Petco and PetsMart is they usually stick by their commission structure. (Unlike many small-time operators that revise the commission structure once you start selling like crazy.)

What's more, companies like Petco carry name brands and offer thousands of products.

Be sure to check out affiliate management companies like Commission Junction and Linkshare too. These guys make it super-easy for entrepreneurs like you and me to make money. Think of them as one-click affiliate superstores.

Two other concepts in the pet market that I like are pet insurance and pet pages (websites for pets). offers pet insurance for $1 a month. You could either start your own company or joint venture with as an affiliate. If you choose to go the joint-venture route, your job would be to drive traffic and qualified prospects to their website via your unique pet insurance URL.

And here's the deal with pet websites ...

You could offer your customers dozens of website templates. You can design these pet pages yourself, obtain copyright-free templates on the Web, or hire a freelance designer to do them for you.

You could give the templates away to pet lovers but charge a small annual hosting fee. Or you could give the hosting away and charge for the templates. It's up to you.

If you give the hosting away, reserve the right to post advertising on the pet websites to get extra income.

And that's just for starters ...

Take a look at They offer free pet websites and memorial pages to an active community of like-minded pet lovers. Plus, they make money on advertising by selling pet products as affiliates and with other value-added services.

As you can see, the profit opportunities in the pet lovers' market are enormous - online and offline - and nearly endless.

***Fast-Start Tip***

Determine which niche of the pet market you want to sell into.

If you want to sell pet food, products, insurance, and/or toys online, you'll need to build a simple (e-commerce friendly) website. Use successful websites as a guide.

If you're not making or developing your own products, you'll need to locate a manufacturer or supplier that will process and drop-ship the orders for you. A quick search on Google will provide hundreds of pet supply drop-shippers.

Your marketing efforts will be concentrated on attracting and driving qualified prospects to your site. And there are many ways to do this. You can advertise your products in pet-related e-mail newsletters and on high-traffic pet-related websites. You can also purchase keywords and phrases in the top search engines (like Google, Yahoo!, Lycos, MSN, AOL, and LookSmart).

Hot Tip: Prepaid keyword advertising is becoming even more popular than pay-per-click (PPC). PPC can be very expensive - especially when you're testing dozens or hundreds of keywords. Prepaid keyword ads enable you to determine the cost of your ads upfront. Two leaders in the prepaid keyword advertising area are ExactSeek and

Another option is to become an affiliate with a company like offers thousands of brands, a streamlined affiliate program, brand recognition, and a good reputation with customers and affiliates.

If you prefer an offline direct-marketing approach, you'll need to get your hands on mailing lists of recent repeat pet-product buyers, a manufacturer or supplier to process your orders and drop-ship your products, and a full-color catalog that you can mail to prospects.

As I said, most pet supply wholesalers, drop-shippers, and affiliates make preprinted catalogs available for you to use. Just make sure the order form in the catalog includes a key code so you are credited for all sales.

You could also partner with veterinarians and provide them with pet products on a wholesale level. You can purchase thousands of top-quality pet products from China for pennies on the dollar.

Check out my China Wholesale Secrets Program while you're at it. This is the best program of its kind on the market - bar none!

If you live near a top pet supplies direct marketer, consider going to work for them on a temporary basis. If you're lucky, that will put you in a position to receive a million-dollar hands-on education. There may also be an opportunity for you to start or develop a new channel for the company, whereby you would receive a percentage of the profits if it's successful.

There you have it!

Now you have everything you need to know in order to profit from the $34 billion+ Pet Lovers' Market!

Additional Resources:

Responsive mailing lists

Pet Products Affiliate Programs

Doctors Smith and Foster






Pet Supply and Food Manufacturers (that offer drop-shipping)

Worldwide Brands


Exotic Nutrition

Purina Mills


Free Hosting - DotEasy

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Can a Person REALLY Make Money as a Freelance Writer?

Question: Forget the endless hype and "over the top" promo crap. Can a person REALLY make money as a freelance writer (in the real world)?
C.P. Loveland CO

Answer Marc Charles:

Yes. Anyone with a basic understanding of communication and language can make money as freelance writer.

And forget about typing and grammar ....that'll come in time.

Here's an article I wrote for Early to Rise and Profit Center Dispatch on the topic:


Dear Entrepreneur:

I’m going to show you how to make money as a freelance writer, without the smoke and mirrors.

You’ve probably heard this line a thousand times!

Here’s the difference:

I have the inside track on one of the most lucrative writing markets in the world. I’ve revealed all of the details below!

On top of that, I'll show you how to start landing projects by the end of the week.

Granted, if you’ve never written a word in your life, then it might take a couple of weeks to land your first deal.

But believe me, you CAN make money as a freelance writer without journalism training or an English degree. And you won’t have to beg on your hands and knees for a job.

Still not convinced that you don’t need the “right” degree to make big money as a writer?

Well, contrary to popular opinion, best-selling authors do not always make big bucks. And the most educated writers don’t fare any better.

In fact, I had coffee recently with a best-selling children's book author who lives on the coast of Maine. He told me “large advances are a thing of the past and royalties are shrinking, too.” This author didn’t reveal whether he was struggling or not, but he wasn’t thrilled with his publisher!

Anyway, when I talk about making money as a freelance writer, I'm not talking about writing novels.

There are hundreds of other ways to make money as a writer - and most of them are more lucrative than writing books for the top New York publishers.

If you can write a simple letter like this one, you're in!

I stumbled into the writing business. But I’ve always treated it like a business. And if you want to make real money as a writer you should do the same. If you approach the writing business like most writers do, you'll go broke.

I'm not kidding! Here’s what I mean…

Most of the writers I’ve met had almost no marketing or business savvy whatsoever.

Most writers talk about the “big break” and a deal from the top New York book publishers. But in most cases the “big break” rarely comes true for these writers for three reasons:

1) They’re in the wrong market (newspapers, magazines, poetry, novels, and technical writing to name a few).

2) They’re clueless about the principles of direct marketing and persuasive copy (not only in their actual writing but also when it comes to selling their work).

3) They approach writing as a job rather than a freelance business.

My foray into freelance writing went like this…

In 1994, I read an article in The Wall Street Journal about three college kids who were getting paid to write website reviews. There was this frenzy at the time over a thing called the World Wide Web!

The article talked about publishers paying college kids to write website reviews. There was a growing interest in the Web, and people wanted to know more about websites.

I had a profitable business at the time but I thought it would be fun to write website reviews "on the side." As you know, I'm always looking for new profit centers, so these reviews (which I could do quickly and easily) seemed like a nice fit.

I contacted more than 30 publishers who specialized in Internet and Web-related content.

All of the publishers turned me down (or ignored my letter)… except one.

This publisher asked for some samples of my website reviews. But get this… I had NEVER written a website review in my life!

So, I scoured the publisher’s website and read dozens of website reviews. These reviews served as my “template.” Then I copied “the formula” or structure of the featured reviews, added my personality, and sent them to the publisher.

Three weeks later, I received a FedEx letter from the publisher with a two-year freelance writing agreement enclosed!

Don't get me wrong. This project was NOT big bucks. I was only paid ten cents a word! Can you imagine? Most so-called professional writers would be laughing hysterically at an agreement like this but not me!

This was my first paid writing assignment. And it convinced me there was a market (and business opportunity) for freelance writers.

My assignment was on the low end of the freelance pay scale. But the experience opened the door to a boatload of very lucrative writing assignments and projects, including Yahoo! Unplugged.

I still receive e-mail from people about my Yahoo! Unplugged column almost 15 years later!

But I’m not living in the past. Let’s fast forward to this week!

I just completed a freelance writing project that consisted of writing a few comments and critiquing a sales letter for a software product. It took about an hour and half. I’ll receive $500.

I realize $500 is not going to break the bank. But you only need a couple of projects a month, and a steady stream of qualified clients to make a really good living at this.

If you have dreams of writing a New York Times best-seller, go for it! Although rare, it's not unheard of for people with no experience or uniqueness to secure lucrative book deals from the “Big Boys.” But don’t put all your money and time into making this dream come true. You won’t make a living chasing a dream.

But by approaching freelance writing in the way I’m telling you about today there’s a good chance you’ll have the time and the money to make a very good living on while you write a best selling book “on the side.”

Anyway, the type of freelance writing I'm talking about promotional writing is different than what you’re probably used to. But you’ve seen this type of writing every day of your life, probably without realizing it.

And there are many, many opportunities for freelance writers of this type in hundreds of industries. For example, the multi-billion-dollar travel market.

If this market and type of freelance writing appeals to you, you can find out more by clicking here.

And get this: there is a market that dwarfs the travel market! It's called direct-marketing copywriting.

If you want “Navy Seal-type” exposure to the world of PROFITABLE direct-marketing copywriting, I only have one recommendation. And my recommendation has not changed in almost five years!

The program I’m talking about offers the best and fastest way to make money as a freelance direct-marketing writer – end of story!

You can search Google until you're blue in the face or burn through books from Amazon until your fingers bleed. But you’ll never find anything close to this program and course:

AWAI's Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting

I’m serious. This program will change your life. It changed mine!

If you apply 20 percent of what you learn in the first 72 hours, you'll be making money in no time flat. I ordered the program five years ago, and I made $50,000 in the first 12 months with small "side projects."

The travel and direct-marketing industries are not the only places to make money as a freelance writer. They just happen to be the most lucrative! Now, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of this baby.

Great Ways to Make Money as a Freelance Writer

Check out Writer's Market, a book which retails for about $20 (I found a used copy on this morning for two dollars).

Writer’s Market features more than 4,200 listings of publishers, magazines, editors, newspapers, websites, and literary agents. You can also find used copies on AbeBooks for about $10.

If you've never written a word in your life (which is hard to believe), and you'd like to make money as a freelance writer, you'll need three things:

* A basic understanding of how to communicate an idea or concept in writing. I'm not talking about spelling and grammar. I'm talking about communicating a simple idea with words.

* A pool of qualified prospects willing to pay you for articles, reports, sales letters, promotions, special reports, etc. Not every publisher is a "qualified prospect." You really need to understand this otherwise you'll be waiting for publishers to respond to your submissions when you are 100 years old!

* A strong commitment to deliver projects on time, preferably BEFORE the deadline. You should deliver more than you promised, too. I haven’t missed a deadline in 15 years! And I’m busier than most people. And I still have kids at home.

A Wake-Up Call!!!

Writing projects are not going to drop out of the sky. They're out there - tens of thousands of them - but you need to go after them.

This is what I mentioned earlier. Most writers wait for the phone to ring or for publishers to pound down the door. But you’ll never get a gig that way.

And don’t think you need to know everything about the subject before you get started. If you don't feel qualified to do a particular project, act like you are!

I was paid a hefty sum recently to write a 20-page special report on Russian oil companies. I’ve never been to Russia, and I don’t know anything about Russian oil companies (other than that the principles have a lot of money). But you can bet that after getting the job I learned as much as necessary to get the job done.

Imagine having to close a writing project deal in order to eat or feed your family. How would you proceed?

Most of us are spoiled and lazy, which is fine if you don’t want that much out of life. But sometimes we need a “pit bull” attitude.

A friend of mine auditioned for a Broadway musical. The only problem was she couldn't dance very well (and her singing was marginal).

When the producers asked if she could sing and dance, she confidently replied with a huge grin, "Of course, this is a musical." She was hired, and the show ran for more than two years.

Broadway producers do not always hire the best dancers, singers, or actors. They hire the people who can get the job done. Publishers do not always retain the “best” writers either! They’re not looking for someone to write the next great American novel. They need people whose writing can sell.

Here are some of the markets and projects which desperately need freelance writers (I found these this morning):

* Travel

* Direct marketing

* Website copywriting

* Search engine copywriting

* Financial products and services (this market is HUGE!)

* Ad agencies

* Newspapers (I’m always giving newspapers a bad rap… and they are in serious trouble. But they can’t survive without writers, especially when it comes to those that can increase ad sales and subscribers!)

* Magazines (same thing as newspapers)

* News portals

* Market commentary and advice (stocks, bonds, futures, precious metals, currencies, and commodities)

* Restaurant reviews

* Sports writing

* Educational publishing and tutorials

* Screenwriting (I know. This is another hard market to crack, but Paul Lawrence will show you how to do it!)

* Nutritional product marketing (Can you say $10 billion market?)

* Book reviews

* Travel blogs (travel publishers are launching these in droves. Check out the WrittenRoad for a quick snapshot into this market)

* Grant writing (non profit companies and foundations pay grant writers big bucks IF they can close a deal)

* Career advice

And the list goes on!

The opportunities for freelance writers have never been better.

The best markets are the ones you’re excited about (or could GET excited about). If you're not excited about a topic, market, product, or service it'll be hard to write about it with passion and enthusiasm. And believe me, people won’t read it enthusiastically either!

For example, I was not doing back flips about Russian oil companies when I first accepted the “special report” project mentioned earlier.

But I was excited about how entrepreneurs exploited business opportunities. It became easy for me to write with passion and enthusiasm about this sector because business opportunities are right up my alley!

Now, go and do thou likewise!

***** Fast-Start Tip *****

If you want to jumpstart your freelance writing business, then enroll in AWAI's Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting today.

This is the only copywriting program I have ever recommended.

Order a copy of Writer's Market. Then familiarize yourself with some of the available projects and ventures.

Go to (under the Jobs or Gigs category). This place is a wellspring of legitimate projects, ventures, and opportunities.

You can also find hundreds of freelance writing projects at (I counted more than 30 freelance writing opportunities this morning.) You can also post your availability on MediaBistro (you can do this on CraigsList under the Resume section).

Enter the words "freelance writer needed" in Google. Now you'll start to see the tip of this iceberg.

There are thousands of freelance writing opportunities and projects available (more like tens of thousands). Make the decision to pursue them.

You'll find an endless flow of publishers, website owners, and portals willing to “accept” free content. Don’t waste your time on projects like this. You’ll have plenty of time to “leverage” your content down the road.

I provide an article or two each month under one of my pen names to a publisher for free. My articles reach more than 15,000 hardcore financial traders in every issue. More importantly, I usually attract new subscribers for a trading service I manage.

But your main objective is to secure paying gigs as soon as possible. Set a two-week goal.

And don't forget about writing opportunities with royalties. I'm talking about writing eBooks, sales letters, promotions, and other projects.

In many cases you can receive a small retainer or upfront fee in addition to a percentage of sales.


Marc Charles
Your Resourceful Editor
Profit Center Dispatch

P.S. As always, if you have any questions about today’s issue, or comments on Profit Center Dispatch, I’d love to hear from you!

Just drop me a line at Marc@ETRFeedback.Com.

Additional Resources:




The Travel Writer's Life


Direct Response Jobs

American Writers and Artists, Inc.

Blog It!

Writer's Market

Monday, July 19, 2010

What's The Deal With Your New China Product?

Question: Hey Marc! What's the deal with your new China product? I know you mentioned it was almost ready in one of your articles. Has it launched?
W.N. Willmar MN

Answer Marc Charles:

Yes's live and available!

If you know anything about me you know I'm not a hack. When I launch a product it will always include a 100% Money Back Guarantee, legitimate real time customer support (not autoresponders and web-based ticket systems), and premiums or bonus worth as much or more than the product itself.

Such is the case this time too!

Check out the promo for it here:

On top of that, we have a world class forum, blog and website for members only....and I'm personally moderating it!

Have fun and make money.


Marc Charles
China Wholesale Trader

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Is the FOREX Market Another Ploy to Get Our Money?

Question: Is the forex market another ploy to get our money? I mean it looks much harder than all of the promotions to buy Forex products. Okay King...tell me what the deal is?
T.P. Brunswick Maine

Answer Marc Charles:

I know the promos for Forex trading products make it look easy.

Obvioulsy some products are better than others. But you cna teach yourself without every spending a dime on so-called trading secrets or strategies.

However, it's nice to have some help, insight or real street smart insight for ANY business, including trading Forex. So don't rule out every program, book or newsletter, especially if its written and developed by a seasoned professional.

But yes.....the FOREX market is a $1.8 TRILLION waterfall of CASH!

I’ll show you a simple way make money trading the Forex markets in a second.

But first, a little background ...

The FOREX market demands the attention of any entrepreneur who wants to participate in the largest electronic marketplace in the world.

Banks, governments, drug kingpins, ex-patriots, international corporations, sheiks, kings, and speculators all participate.

Traders of every size, shape, color, and educational background can generate enormous profits in this market.

FOREX – or “FX” – stands for Foreign Exchange. It is the largest and most liquid financial market in the world – 30 times larger than all the U.S. equity markets combined.

“Foreign exchange” is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling of another – the Euro/U.S. Dollar (EUR/USD), for example, or the U.S. Dollar/Japanese Yen (USD/JPY).

Yes. You can make money with Forex, and I think it's a legitimate business opportunity.

But the "rub" as they the learning curve, which although fairly simple, it's not always easy for everyone.

As for the products on Clickbank...I know there's a boatload of them. I've reviewed several of them. The only ones I would give a B+ would be Forextrino Click Here!, Forex Robot Click Here!, and FX Automny Click Here!.

The Ultimate FX Predictor is really good too. I was contracted to work on the US promotion, so I'm biased. It's pricey too....but not everything good is cheap. Check it out here:

I hope that helps!


Marc Charles
"The King"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What's the Deal with Dropshipping? Is It a Scam or Legit?

Question: You can't explore business opportunities for long without discovering "drop shipping". Is its a scam or are there legtimate ways to make money with it?
P.S. Estes Park CO

Answer Marc Charles:'s a legitimate business and I've made money doing it.

Dropshipping is a $10 billion+ monster business.

This business doesn't require a lot of capital, it can be run from anywhere in the world, and it's more fun than a barrel of monkeys. More important, it enjoys huge margins ... and customer demand is still growing in leaps and bounds.

The business is drop-shipping vitamins, herbal supplements, weight-loss products, and life-enhancement products for men and women.

According to the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau, vitamin sales exceeded $10 billion in 2009. Direct mail and the Internet accounted for about 15% of sales, and that number is growing exponentially every year. Vitamin sales, weight-loss products, life-enhancement products, and herbal remedies are expected to exceed $17 billion in 2012.

Granted, the lion's share of this market (and the profit) is being gobbled up by health food stores, organic grocery stores and super-stores like Wal-Mart. But there's still room for you. And with drop-shipping, 'you can bypass all the headaches of running a bricks and mortar operation'.

Maintaining inventories can be expensive. 'And what happens when a product is no longer "hot"? You guessed it. It sits on the shelf, gathering dust.

Drop-shipping supplements makes a lot of sense to me. You can mail catalogs or direct-mail promotions to repeat buyers and have the manufacturers of the products drop-ship them to your customers. You'll save time and money with this approach ... and you don't need warehouse space or inventory!

Here's the deal ...

Americans spend BIG BUCKS on vitamins, herbal remedies, homeopathic products, and other forms of alternative medicine. This growing trend is creating a lot of opportunity in this industry.

For example:
• Three in five consumers (59%) take supplements on a regular basis. Even if the buyer is using a supplement - and it's working - he may be seeking even better results ... and will be open to trying something new. Like your product.
• Almost one in four Americans (23%) regularly uses herbs and specialty supplements.
Finding Buyers
The vitamin and supplement market is an active direct-response category with lots of competitors, so good mailing lists are plentiful.
The best results come from mailing to lists of mail-order buyers who have previously bought nutritional supplements by mail. Other lists that work are health-newsletter and financial-newsletter lists.

Do not rent "compiled" mailing lists (e.g., men age 50 or older) when you're starting out. The only names that will work are proven mail-order buyers.

Front-End Marketing Strategies

"Front-end" marketing means you're mailing your first sales effort to prospective customers.
A good way to do this is to mail a simple direct-mail package that features one front-end product that they can order from you directly. The mailing should focus on a single product (like a prostate supplement) and information about the problem it solves (a swollen prostate).

Formats that work great for this type of approach include #10, 6 x 9, and jumbo letter packages.
Most direct-marketing masters will tell you to stick to one product when you're starting out in this business.

The best types of products to focus on in your initial front-end mailings include multivitamins, herbal supplements (such as ginseng, flaxseed, and black cohosh root), antioxidants, minerals (such as magnesium and calcium), and non-herbal supplements (such as glucosamine/chondroitin, coenzyme Q10, and fish oils containing essential fatty acids).

Later, you can branch out and sell multiple products with other formats: tabloids, magalogs (my favorite), digests, and catalogs. But do not try to sell multiple products in solo letter-package mailings.

You can test several health-supplement mailing lists to find the one that works best for your particular product.

And, get this - you can purchase a directory of the best vitamin mail-order campaigns from North American Publishing Company. Sweet!

The "actual" mailing pieces are available as well.

You can also run space ads in newspapers, either selling a front-end product directly or to generate leads.

And you can place inserts in alternative-medicine newsletters - such as the WebMD newsletter - that are dedicated to providing quality health information.

Eventually, you can offer a downloadable catalog on your website, and send your customers e-mail updates featuring new products, discounts, and specials.

For example, Paul Hsu began selling ginseng via mail-order in 1974. In 1998, Mr. Hsu opened the Global Mail Order Network, which ships products to more than 87 countries around the world. The company's direct-marketing sales exceeded $100 million in 2009.

Back-End Marketing Methods

"Back-end" marketing means you're selling additional products to your customers after they've made an initial purchase.

This is where the big money is!

Think about it.

If you have people who trust you and enjoy doing business with you - don't you think they would love to hear about your exciting new products and all the benefits they'll receive by using them?

Just after the initial sale is a great time to send your customers a print catalog with your full product line.

You should also include a catalog with outgoing shipments of your front-end products.
Freeda Vitamins markets "companion products" - nutrients that work better when taken together. (In its marketing copy, Freeda cites scientific evidence for these claims.)

For example, they market prenatal vitamins along with Fem Cal (elemental calcium). And they market vitamin E along with selenium, which improves vitamin E absorption.

One of the most exciting aspects of a drop-shipping business is that it makes it possible for you to offer an automatic shipping program. The customer receives a one-month supply of supplements each month, and his or her credit card is billed automatically. They get a small discount in price, and can cancel at any time.

If you think that's great ... then listen to this. Every time your wholesaler drop-ships one of these automatic orders, you receive your commission (profit) - automatically!

Important Tip: Your Product's USP

To charge the premium prices necessary to build a profitable mail-order supplement business, you must offer products that are perceived by your customers as being somehow different and unique.

That is your unique selling proposition, or USP.

There are five ways to distinguish your product from the competition:

1. Unique ingredient. Your product contains an ingredient usually not found in other supplements in this category.
2. Unique blend. Your product contains the same ingredients as competing products, but in a different ratio that not only gives the customer the optimum daily dosage but also makes the individual ingredients work better in combination.
3. Unique delivery method (liquid, powder, capsule, tablet). Advantages of your method can include greater absorption of the nutrient, convenience, ease of swallowing. Taste (e.g., orange-flavored) can also be a differentiator here, as can packaging (e.g., making it possible to take one pill a day instead of six).

For example, Freeda Vitamins promises that its tablets disintegrate even more quickly than official standards require. They also use a "nutritional delivery" system that eliminates the use of animal substances such as gelatin and glycerine.

4. Quality. Your processing or manufacturing method is superior, so the product delivers more of the nutrient in a more absorbable form.

For example, Freeda Vitamins checks its tablet runs every quarter-hour with an apparatus that simulates the action of the human stomach. Hi-tech hardness testers are also used to make sure the tablets aren't too hard or too soft, which can affect digestion.

5. Brand name. The name of your product line, your company, or the maker or inventor of your formula (e.g., Dr. Atkins) is well-known. Doctors and other healthcare professionals endorse your products, and the general public always wants to learn more about them.

If you can distinguish your product by brand name, providing potential customers with educational information can help entice them to become new buyers. For example, Freeda offers a "Helpful Hints" section on its website that explains the best time to take vitamins, how to store them, when they really expire, the advantages of powder vs. tablet, and the problem with capsules. They also offer nutritional information for people coping with a variety of health problems.

Drop-shipping vitamins to repeat buyers can be easy and very profitable.

Two additional huge markets include life extension and sexual enhancement. These repeat buyers spend money without hesitation in order to "recapture" their vitality, youth, and vigor.

*** Quick Tip: The Drop-Shipping Secret ***

Drop-shipping is a terrific way to sell vitamins via direct mail or on the Web, because you don't have to stock an inventory.
Anyone in business can tell you how expensive it is to maintain a warehouse.
What's more, products typically follow trends or cycles. Therefore, if you have a warehouse full of Vigrexä (a natural Viagra) and a new product hits the market that's faster, cheaper, and more effective, you've got a big problem sitting on your shelves.
Granted, you'll lose some of the profit margin by drop-shipping your products - but you can make up for it in volume or by specializing.
Drop-shipping vitamins is fairly simple.
You'll need to acquire a mailing list of repeat vitamin buyers. I've enclosed some links below to brokerages that specialize in these types of mailing lists.
Then, all you need to do is mail your direct-mail sales piece to the names on the list.
Your customers will place an order by calling a unique 800# or by mailing the order form. (There are dozens of ways to track their purchases, too.)
Once the order has been received, your vitamin wholesaler will prepare the order for shipment.
When the shipment has been completed and the transaction (via credit card or check) has cleared, you will be sent the remaining proceeds.
Typically, your check will include the difference between the wholesale price and the retail price, minus any shipping and handling charges and transaction fees.
Some drop-ship wholesalers require a small deposit in order to cover charge-backs and returns.
One more thing: Always provide a 100% Money Back Guarantee. If a customer takes you up on the guarantee, don't be foolish. Issue a refund check the same day or as soon as possible.
Now you have everything you need to grab your slice of this $10 billion pie!
Additional Resources
List brokers that offer repeat vitamin buyer mailing lists:
Walter Karl
Direct Media

Edith Roman
VentureDirect WorldWide
21st Century Marketing
Carney Direct Marketing

Penton Lists


Adrea Rubin Management Inc.

American List Counsel
Wholesalers and manufacturers that sell supplements to mail-order companies and other distributors:
Jarrow Formulasaä
1824 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Tel: 800-726-0886 / 310-204-6936
Fax: 800-890-8955 / 310-204-2520 NHS Labs Inc.
335 Edgewood #110
Eagle, ID 83616
Tel: 208-939-5100
Fax: 208-938-2819
Wholesale Vitamins USA
2500 83rd St., Bldg. 8 South
North Bergen, NJ 07047
Tel: 201-453-0900
Fax: 201-869-8922 Randal Nutritional Products Inc.
P.O. Box 7328
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Tel: 707-528-1800
Fax: 707-528-0924
Vitamin Power Inc
P.O. Box 0818
39 Saint Mary's Place
Freeport, NY 11520-0818
Tel: 516-378-0900
Fax: 516-378-0919 Vita-Tech
2832 Dow Ave.
Tustin, CA 92780
Tel: 714-832-9700
Fax: 714-731-8482
Hsu's Ginseng Enterprises
T6819 County Road West
Wausau, WI 54402
Tel: 800-826-1577
Fax: 888-888-9511 Nutriforce
3337 N.W. 74th Ave.
Miami, FL 33122
Phone: 800-455-3396
Fax: 305-629-9994
Vitamin wholesalers that offer drop-shipping services:
Smart Vitamins
Vitamin Power

NEL Nutritional

Nutrition Manufacturer



Colorado Nutrition
Mother Nature
Wholesale Vitamins

The Herbal Factory

I hope that helps!


Marc Charles

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Have You Made Money in the Vacation Rental or Travel Market?

Question: I know you're "The King" but have you made any money in the vacation rental or travel markets?
T.Y. Minneapolis MN

Answer Marc Charles:

The answer is yes!

I launched an Internet travel engine/rating service because I liked the idea of a $6 TRILLION mega market. That's how much money was spent on travel and tourism in 2005, according to AccountingWeb.

But I learned a great lesson about the vacation rental market on a recent working vacation in Orlando, Florida.

Here's what I mean by a red-hot vacation rental market.

A vacation rental is typically a home, townhouse, apartment, condo, or a motor coach that's for rent in a popular vacation hotspot.

Every state in the United States and province in Canada has beautiful vacation areas. But I wouldn't necessarily classify all of these areas as "hot." I would classify a vacation hotspot as any place that receives an influx of 10-50 million visitors annually.

The hottest vacation areas right now are Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Las Vegas, the Caribbean, Phoenix, Hawaii, Daytona Beach, and the Bahamas. Second-tier vacation hotspots include Maine, Cape Cod, Disneyland (Southern California), and Myrtle Beach.

This is in the middle of an economic depression too!

There are dozens of ways to profit from vacation rentals.

But I like to focus on business opportunities that have low risk and low capital requirements. It doesn't hurt to have an easy learning curve either. And if there's a "digital" or Internet aspect to the business - so much the better.

Okay……'s the opportunity ...

Investors and speculators purchase vacation properties with the hope of renting them by the week or month to big spending snowbirds. The investors and speculators try to keep the prime time for themselves and their families.

In a perfect world, everything works out as planned. But in reality, vacation rental properties remain empty most of the time.

The new (100+ acre) vacation rental community in Orlando where I spent some time recently was like a ghost town in March. The resort is about a mile and a half from Walt Disney World Resort.
Granted, every resort owner in Orlando says his place is "minutes" from Walt Disney World - but how many minutes? We were a five-minute drive to the gates.

Anyway, several of the owners that I talked to said their vacation properties were booked solid for school vacation week (in April). But that's only ONE WEEK.

Vacation property owners usually retain management companies to handle all of the headaches ... marketing, collecting rents, cleaning, and providing the day-to-day contact with vacationers.

That's where you come in!

Vacation property owners desperately NEED renters during the off-season and non-vacation periods. For a fee, you would agree to market their properties on the Internet - and especially on Google - for them.

There are hundreds of ways to market vacation properties on the Internet.

Most vacation property owners use the infamous cookie-cutter approach. In effect, they post cheap websites that all look alike and have low-quality photos (that also look the same). Oh, and don't forget those stupid availability calendars that are plastered on just about every vacation rental website in existence.

I think there's a better way to market vacation rental properties.

Let me explain.

There are more than 6 million vacation property owners in the U.S., according to the database. Granted, not all of them would be considered "A" prospects for your services - but many of them would.

The pool of prospective clients for this service is HUGE

You can decide which services you'll offer your clients - and whether or not you will perform these services yourself or outsource them to freelancers.

The foundation of this service is to post and market vacation properties on the Internet for the owners.

I think you could best serve your clients by building a unique website around each vacation rental property and securing a unique domain name for it - like

This would enable you to market these properties much more powerfully on the Internet - and especially when you start purchasing Google AdWords for your clients.

Your client's vacation rental websites should be packed to the gills with relevant content!

You see, Google PageRank thrives on "RELEVANT" content. That is the basis and guiding principle for EVERYTHING that Google does. Therefore - when you build (or have freelancers do it for you) websites for your clients, it's important, no CRUCIAL, that Google's PageRank is your top priority. Your second priority is inbound links to the site.

One of the ways to ramp up inbound links to your client's vacation website is by obtaining press or media coverage for it. A vacation property in and of itself is NOT newsworthy. So you have to "tie" current events and news into a story about it.

You can also submit articles, photos, testimonials, referrals, and news stories into the new GoogleBase.

There are dozens of things you can do to improve your client's page rank in Google's search results. But relevant content and meta keywords that are UNIQUE to each Web page are a must.
When your client's website has been developed with Google PageRank in mind, it can be submitted into the Google organic (free search result) database here.

Of course, you can submit the website into other search engines too - but Google is the big boy in town.

Marketing Vacation Rental Properties/Websites for Your Clients

Google AdWords is by far the fastest, easiest, and most effective way to market vacation property websites on the Internet for your clients. Google AdWords enables you to buy specific keywords that prospects will be searching for and allows you to build an advertisement around them.

If you're new to AdWords, I recommend that you use Google's new JumpStart service. Google will develop a customized AdWords campaign for you for $299.

The key to success with Google AdWords (or any keyword buy program) is to follow the leaders - but don't pay a premium. In other words, there are companies in the vacation rental market that spend big bucks for certain phrases, words, brands, etc. Many of these companies could be considered "leaders" in the industry.

Your objective will be to purchase keywords for your clients that are in the "middle range."
For example, let's say the phrase "Orlando Vacation Home" is being offered for $3 per click. Let's also say there are 40 AdWords advertisers for this phrase.

Google features 10 AdWords advertisers on each search result page. It is probably safe to say that the top 10 advertisers (those on the first page) are paying a premium - or around $3 per click. And advertisers at the bottom of the totem pole are probably paying 50 cents per click.
You'll want to find the "middle ground" with any keyword ads you purchase.

Granted, your client's ads probably won't be on the first or second search result pages - but that's okay. They will likely be on the third or fourth page - and still enjoy a nice click-through rate.

Forget about adding multimedia presentations like Flash or Web cams to your vacation property websites. These applications are NOT search-engine friendly - and most casual Internet users don't have the bandwidth to play them anyway.

Another POWERFUL tool for marketing vacation properties is CraigsList. There are more than 195 CraigsList Communities around the world - and the traffic is astronomical! (An elderly friend asked if I could rent her oceanfront home in Maine for her last summer. I posted it on CraigsList and the home was rented in three days - at a premium!)

That’s my two cents!

I hope that helps!

Marc Charles

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Can You Recommend Some Legitimate Ways to Generate Fast Cash?

Question: Dear Marc: I’ve been hoodwinked by money making opportunities in the past. Can you recommend some legal ways to generate cash fast?
B.R. Henderson NV

Answer Marc Charles:

Hi B.V:

It’s good to hear from you…..thanks for the question. I’m sure the same question is on a lot of people’s minds…and so this week’s issue will be a perfect fit!

I’ll get into specific ways to generate cash fast in a second.

But believe me …..

I’ve been in your shoes more than once!

More than 23 years ago when I was a newlywed entrepreneur, working two jobs with a small business on the side, and I had to produce $1500 cash… I didn’t have the time to run newspaper ads, send sales letters through the mail and heck…the web didn’t exist!

And so…..I went door to door and asked homeowners if they would like their interior and exterior windows washed.

I had my insurance guy write a simple liability umbrella policy with a large deductible. It cost me under $100.

I wore my driver’s license with a clip on my shirt so homeowners could check me out if they wanted to. On the back of a cheap business card I imprinted the names and phone numbers of three reputable local businessmen as references.

Anyway, I secured six orders in just a few hours! I soon realized homeowners were willing to pay complete strangers to wash their windows!

Granted, most of these homeowners were not qualified prospects, meaning most of them had never paid someone to wash windows before….they usually did it themselves (or forced their kids to do it).

My average fee for washing windows on most homes was around $150 for the exterior, and $175 for the interior, or $300 for both.

I performed the service early in the morning….and late afternoon. In seven days I completed six homes for a total of about $1800.

I had to deduct insurance, supplies, a shirt clip for my license and some cheap business cards, which came to around $150.

But my net profit on this little venture was around $1650.

But people always ask me, “Yeah….that was then, what about now?!”

Last month I helped my daughter launch a pet sitting service. She obtained six clients in about 10 days. She also has micro-graphic design business which she does on a freelance basis for companies on the web.

My youngest son started a bait supply service this spring. He’s only 9 years old! He loves catching minnows in seine net and selling his bounty to the local bait shops. The bait shop owners think its “cool” a young kid would do something like this….and they love paying him!

In 2006 I helped my oldest son launch an exclusive search engine optimization service, and it’s still going strong today. My son also offers gaming console repair, custom built PCs and networking “advice” (for a fee).

Anyway, I’ve mentioned these cash producing services because they work! If you need cash….you need to be willing to action to get it.

I’ve helped hundreds of people generate cash fast….and I’ve done it myself so I know what I’m talking about. I’m confident I can help you too.

Let’s get to it!

The methods for generating cash fast in this week’s issue are legitimate.

They’ve been performed by myself or by others and have been proven to work.

Granted, all of the methods are not going to be a good fit for everyone.

Simply use the information as a guide…and then ACT on one of the methods to generate some cash for yourself.

However, all of the methods require taking ACTION:

• Sell something on eBay You probably have more stuff and valuables than you think you do. Make some fast cash with it.

• Sell something on This site is similar to eBay but targeted toward video games, DVDs, Bluray and books. Huge traffic = fast sales
• Sell your blood or plasma You can still donate blood from time to time but you can sell it too. Check out licensed facilities in your town.
• Sell your hair has been featured on hundreds of talk shows and TV programs. But there are dozens of other reputable companies out there too.
• Sell your sperm or ovaries There are facilities through the country and world where you can sell sperm and ovaries – AdvancedFertilityCare in AZ is one.
• Become an errand baron This is an easy way to help people and earn money at the same time. You can be in small town or big city. If you can tell ten friends or family members you are available the orders should start flowing to you.
• Wash Windows (storefronts, residential, auto dealerships, historical buildings, etc.) Yes….the market is crowded. But a crowded market means people are spending money.
• Write Resumes for People Looking for Work – There are some great software programs which enable to write job getting cover letters and resumes (for hire). WinWay is a good program and there are many others.
• Gather sea shells sell them to craft shops or online (also to overseas companies via Large craft suppliers like Oriental Trading buy craft supplies too.
• Gather driftwood on beaches and it sell to craft stores and online (also to overseas companies via Large craft suppliers like Oriental Trading buy craft supplies too.
• Mow lawns – You don’t have a way to transport lawn equipment? No problem! You can grab used lawn mowers for a few dollars; leave it at your customer’s location. Sometimes homeowners have his or her own equipment…offer a deep discount if you use their equipment.
• Sell live bait to local bait stores, campgrounds and sporting goods stores This includes minnows, fish, frogs, leeches, worms and other stuff. Start a worm farm!
• Dog walking service – This service is a no brainer and it’s a cash cow in large (hip) metro areas. Fees range from $50-$195 per week (and up) per dog, walking five days per week. Four dogs at $100 is $400! Hey, don’t forget about in-door cats…they need fresh air too!
• House sit for vacationers – A close friend made $2000 to house site for two months (in a multi-million dollar home). All you do is baby site the house and in some cases mow the lawn and keep in clean! My friend did it while working his normal business.
• Make Christmas wreaths – My good friends (A.D. and J.D) have made Christmas wreaths for 9 years. It costs them about $2 per wreath for supplies, and they wholesale them for $10, or retail them for $40 (and up).
• Make and sell candles to craft stores and retail gift shops – For some reason candles are still hot….pun intended! It’s easy and the kids have a blast doing it. Large craft suppliers like Oriental Trading buy craft supplies too.
• Call center service (receive telephone & email orders for retailers and/or infomercials) All it takes is a separate phone. But can include online order taking and online chat support. Sometimes you need to be available at specific times when TV commercials run. A 24 hour call service is an option too. It requires a little more work, but people are doing it. AnswerConnect sometimes retains freelance order takers.
• Make money writing personal letters (write letters to shut-ins, prisoners, military personnel and senior citizens). People are super busy and so they often retain friends, family or companies to write letters to family members or acquaintances. Heck…sometimes people outsource birthday, anniversary, wedding and other types of cards!
• Money Broker (Find money for people) Money brokering is a big business and great service. Don’t believe me? Check out International Wealth Success to learn more about becoming a money broker.
• Make money as a co-signer. People need co-signers all the time. This isn’t just for people with bad credit, bankruptcy problems or other problems. Sometimes successful entrepreneurs or real estate developers simply need a second signature to close a deal. You can Google the topic or check out International Wealth Success to learn more about becoming a co-signer for pay.
• Junk Removal I paid a local kid $50 to haul a large pickup full of debris, clippings and tree stumps to the dump…..twice. People need this service and are paying money to get it done!
• eBay Reselling or Arbitrage Buy something super cheap and sell it for a profit. You can do this if you understand how eBay works in the real world.
• Get Paid to Write Software Reviews (Go to or to CNET to find companies with no reviews) Download software, try it and review it for cash. Seriously.
• Get Paid to Write Book Reviews (, Barnes and Noble, etc) Anyone who has written a book (including yours truly) will tell you the book is easy…marketing it is the problem. New authors and self published authors need convincing reviews. Do you see the opportunity here?
• Get Loans for People with Bad Credit Bad credit is big business. A fellow entrepreneur and friend owns a payday advance facility. He makes 80% of his revenue on people with really bad credit. You can advertise your service locally or better yet online, on places like CraigsList, IWS and Google.
• Deliver Vehicles (which can’t be delivered by traditional means – fire trucks, buses, dump trucks, RVs, limousines, etc.) I’ve delivered RVs, classic cars and a dump truck! Take a short vacation, have fun driving a different kind of vehicles and get paid.
• Sell raincoats and umbrellas at events (buy for pennies on the dollar) T.M. made more than $800 selling raincoats and umbrellas at World Cup soccer events over a two week period.
• Instant weatherization services (impending storms, hurricanes, tornados, floods, or to get ready for winter/summer) People always wait until the last minute to get this done. If you don’t mind pushing the envelope, and you’ve got tools, you can render a great service…quickly.
• Restaurant gift cards (you can buy these at a discount and resell for a profit) You can print up inexpensive gift cards for local restaurants and sell them at a premium. There are a ton of other ways to make money with restaurant gift cards too.
• Sell eBooks on ClickBank Granted, this is not always FAST cash. But it is a great way to make money. You can become an affiliate for a bestselling ebook and make a percentage of the sale. You don’t even need a website…you can use the author’s site. Drive traffic and sales with Google or hundreds of other PPC networks.
• Rogue taxi (leave your name at local resorts, hotels, B&Bs and let them know you are available to drive people anywhere) Yes….local legal taxis may get mad. But you are not a business….you are just giving people a lift!
• Babysitter or nanny temp (still a high-demand service!) You know what this is….and believe me….it’s a super high-demand service. If you have high end character references, copies of a legal background check and a loving demeanor….you’ll have more work than you can handle.
• Clean and/or paint pools (you would be amazed how many people would jump on this service) A friend of my son cleans Paslode nail guns, compressors, paint sprayers, lawn mowers and more on the weekends. He’s turning away work!
• Deliver pamphlets or menus for local restaurants or nightclubs (if the menus are professionally designed it can produce significant foot traffic). You can also deliver flyers for other companies. One time I handed out 500 color brochures for a Tupperware representative for a commission of $10 on each sale. I sold 35 sets in one day and made $350.
• Professional garage or barn sale (work on a percentage of sales for people who drop stuff off on consignment) In Maine, if you have an actual barn on a main road or highway you can make a killing.
• Clean a restaurant or nightclub kitchen (this is another high demand specialized service…you guarantee to clean everything from top to bottom)
• Mobile washing (I made a killing doing this as a teenager, and it’s still a viable service). Rent a mobile high pressure washer. You can wash mobile homes, historic buildings, driveways, pools, cars at auto dealerships and 18 wheel tractor trailer rigs!
• 1 Hour Auto Detailing (offer your service at self serve and full service car washes….microfiber clothes, buffer and a few materials)
• Day camp or after school program (think of the movie School of Rock with Jack Black)
• Rent a clown (I’m not kidding. I read about a kid who designed a hilarious clown outfit, and visits hospitals, birthdays, senior centers). Hey…we could all use a laugh….but at $100 an hour you’ll be laughing all of the way to the bank
• Collect and sell scrap metal (my son’s friend collects copper, aluminum and stainless steel and sells it to scrap metal yards)
• Be a “Temp” (the demand for temporary workers has not been this strong since the Great Depression. Temp workers usually save employers a lot of money…try it!)
• Sign up for Clinical Trials (Granted, you’ll become a human guinea pig, but there are a ton of paying gigs)
• Rent a Room (take in a boarder at your house. It doesn’t have to be someone down on their luck….it can be for medical resident, temporary nurse, executive or even a self-sufficient elderly person)
• Pawn all your stuff (you would be amazed how much “valuable” junk you have!)
• Seal Driveways (there’s a great movie; I can’t recall the name, about modern day gypsies scamming homeowners with a bogus driveway sealing service. They used black, water based paint…because it was cheap. When it rained the black paint would wash away!). Yes…there are plenty of scams. But my advice is to offer a legitimate driveway sealing business, with a money back guarantee.
• Paint! The old stand by…painting houses! I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars painting houses, apartments, offices, grocery stores and even a UPS terminal building. If you can paint trim, interiors and even pools you can make even more. Start out by painting simple stuff like small houses, apartments or barns. You can paint by hand or buy/rent a paint compressor.

That’s it!

These are all proven, legitimate ways to generate cash fast!

Now…it’s time to act!

You’ll notice most of the cash producing strategies in this week’s issue are not digital, or web-based opportunities…with the exception of maybe eBay and…but even those are dealing with physical things.

I'll cover Internet and “web-based” cash producing secrets in future posts!

Have fun!

Please send me your feedback or ideas.

Your humble host,

Marc Charles
"The King of Business Opportunities"